National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-31-13 to 09-03-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, August 31 to Tuesday, September 03, 2013:

  • Huntington, West Virginia: A police officer has been accused of falsely arresting a person for recording his on-duty actions. The brothers say the officer arrested one of them and detained the other for filming the arrest on his cell phone. They also say the video was deleted by an officer.
  • Glasgow, West Virginia: A now-former police officer has been arrested for allegedly trading drugs for sex while on the job. The complaint said that the officer and a woman were seen in his cruiser exchanging narcotics for oral sex.
  • Update: Jackson County, Mississippi (First reported 06-27-13): The sheriff faces 31 charges including embezzlement, fraud, hindering prosecution, tampering with a witness, perjury, intimidating an officer in the discharge of his duties, and extortion.
  • Palm Beach, Florida: A patrol trooper is facing criminal charges after authorities say that, while conducting a side business where he employed off-duty troopers, he over-billed a company that hired the troopers by more than $200,000.
  • Eddy County, North Dakota: The sheriff was charged with felony child abuse or neglect stemming from incidents in a home. Information submitted points to extreme spanking of his 10-year-old stepson.
  • Clayton County, Georgia: Federal prosecutors say an officer and another man have been arrested on corruption, drug, and weapons charges. They say the two men arranged a fake traffic stop involving a car they believed was holding six kilograms of cocaine.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: Federal prosecutors say a police officer has been charged with possessing a firearm while using cocaine.
  • Laramie, Wyoming: An officer was fired after being arrested for allegedly driving under the influence and having an open container of alcohol in a police vehicle.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-30-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, August 30, 2013:

  • Update: Hemingford, Nebraska (First reported 07-11-13): A now-former police chief has been sentenced to 20 to 24 years in prison for one count of attempted first degree sexual assault of a child. “This man engaged in sexual relations with an underage girl while on duty,” the Nebraska Attorney General said. “Today’s sentence ensures he is held accountable for his reprehensible crime.”
  • Brewer, Maine: A police officer charged with drunk driving has now pleaded guilty to the crime. He will have to serve a 60 day suspension from work without pay, and then he will be on probation for a year. He will also be demoted when he returns to the department.
  • Webster County, Kentucky: A sheriff’s deputy remains in custody after being jailed on a domestic violence charge. He has been suspended without pay until further notice.
  • Baltimore City, Maryland: An officer has been indicted on charges that he allegedly had a sexual relationship with an underage girl for more than a year. “We are dedicated to investigating and prosecuting officers who breach the public trust by violating the law,” said a state’s attorney in a statement.
  • Wood River, Illinois: A police officer is accused of soliciting a sex act from a woman in exchange for his help in an investigation. He is charged with felony official misconduct and has been suspended without pay.
  • Dolton, Illinois: A police officer was arrested on a public intoxication charge after he created a disturbance in the bar of a local restaurant. Officers offered him the option to call someone to pick him up, but he refused, so they arrested him.
  • St. Helena, California: A police officer was cited on suspicion of DUI following a solo crash.
  • King County, Washington: Prosecutors contend that an ex-deputy stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of drugs while working on a Drug Enforcement Administration task force.
  • Hopewell, Virginia: A police officer was fired, but was later allowed to resign after going through the city’s grievance process. He brought a female high school student home to his apartment instead of taking her to jail to be booked on charges.
  • Dauphin County, Pennsylvania: A woman has said the police had no reason to attack her house, blast it full of holes, ram it with an armored vehicle, and fill it with noxious gas, especially since she had readily agreed to allow officers to enter the home and look for the man they were searching for. She has filed a lawsuit.
  • Cook County, Illinois: A sheriff’s deputy who stole from poor tenants he was evicting was sentenced to a month behind bars. The officer did “a terrible thing” when he targeted “people who have quite enough troubles in life,” said the Judge.
  • Douglasville, Georgia: An off-duty police officer was charged with DUI after he was injured in a car accident. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
  • Update: Lee, Massachusetts (First reported 08-12-13): The police chief pleaded not guilty on charges of money laundering and extortion. The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges he asked two innkeepers under investigation for prostitution to donate $4,000 to a children’s toy fund as a way to stop the criminal complaint. He then wrote three checks for “cash” worth $3,990 and deposited the money in his personal account.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-29-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, August 29, 2013:

  • Update: Loveland, Colorado (First reported 05-29-13): A now-former police officer convicted of possessing child pornography and videotaping a woman in the shower without her consent was sentenced to 16 months in jail, plus 15 years of probation and intensive therapy. He was arrested when colleagues because investigating a woman’s complaint against him.
  • Syracuse, New York: A Citizen Review Board ruled that police officers used excessive force against a man they hit with a Taser and punched before an arrest.
  • Riviera Beach, Florida: A police officer was arrested after he allegedly slapped his fiancé during an argument at a Backstreet Boys concert. He was arrested on a domestic battery charge.
  • St. George, South Carolina: A police chief who has resigned has been charged in connection with a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into how funds may have been used by the department. He has been charged with misconduct in office and embezzlement.
  • Tracy, California: A police officer was sentenced to five years of probation for a fraudulent insurance claim involving Mickey Mantle baseball cards valued at more than $20,000. He resigned after the investigation against him was opened.
  • Normangee, Texas: A police chief and a suspected meth dealer were arrested on federal charges during a raid. The charges against the police chief haven’t been released yet, but troopers say it has to do with computer access and not drugs.
  • Update: Evansville, Indiana (First reported 08-19-13): Charges of criminal recklessness, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement were filed against a state trooper; he was arrested after waved his gun around in a restaurant bathroom. When he was arrested he had a BAC of 0.27.
  • Benbrook, Texas: Two officers resigned after police launched a criminal investigation into the officers’ involvement in a hit and run. “I’ll just say that these allegations are serious and if true they are certainly not indicative of the other fine officers we have working here,” said the police chief.
  • Sweetwater, Florida: A veteran officer was arrested by the FBI on charges of using phony credit cards and stealing other people’s credit card numbers.
  • LeLand, North Carolina: An officer was suspended without pay for 28 days after a teenager recorded video of an arrest on his cell phone. The officer claimed that the teen was interfering with law enforcement, and arrested him. The charges against the teen were dropped.

Blue on Blue Confrontation on NJ Turnpike

We don’t usually post on police misconduct that involves violations of police dept rules and protocols, such as using police vehicles for personal use or things like that.  This video involves a state trooper who is checking out plainclothes officers from Bergen County because there have been some cases of criminals impersonating cops in his area recently.  The plainclothes officers are outraged–wait till around the 6-7 minute mark for the fireworks.  Here’s the thing–if the plainclothes officers lose their temper in these circumstances and treat a fellow officer like this, one can only imagine how they deal with ordinary civilians.

More here.

Another False Arrest for Filming Police


From WECT:

LELAND, NC (WECT) – An officer with the Leland Police Department has been suspended without pay for 28 days after a teenager recorded video of an arrest on his cell phone.

According to police reports, 19-year-old Gabriel Self tried approaching Leland Police Sergeant John Keel as he was arresting another man on drug charges. Sgt. Keel told Self to leave the area….

The charge was resisting, obstructing, or delaying a law enforcement officer. Self was interfering with an investigation, according to the arrest report….

Self said Keel was simply standing in the parking lot, so he did not see how he could be interfering with anything.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-28-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, August 28, 2013:

  • Luzerne County, Pennsylvania: A police officer who serves with two departments is facing assault and harassment charges following an alleged drunken fracas at a concert.
  • Update: Waupun, Wisconsin (First reported 08-07-13): A police officer accused of burglary, stealing two vehicles, and leading other officers on a high-speed chase has submitted his resignation. He had been the subject of a manhunt in three counties and now faces multiple charges.
  • New York, New York: A police officer who had arrested a photographer has been indicted on three felony counts and five misdemeanors accusing him of fabricating the reasons for the arrest. All charges against the photographer have been dismissed.
  • Providence, Rhode Island: An officer has been suspended with pay after he struck and kicked a handcuffed man who was taunting him and spitting at him.
  • Zwolle, Louisiana: An officer has been arrested and charged with doctor shopping and obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud. She was at the department, and on the clock, when she was arrested.
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: A police officer has been suspended while being investigated for allegedly driving drunk and fleeing the scene of an accident. He was off-duty, and in a marked police cruiser when he ran a flashing red light. Records show that he has crashed his police car six times in six years.
  • Homer, Louisiana: A police officer has been fired and two more have been suspended. The police chief said he fired one officer for insubordination.  He’s also put another officer on leave without pay because he’s involved in an investigation. A third officer has also been put on leave without pay.
  • Update: Saline County, Arkansas (First reported 07-01-13): The sheriff pleaded guilty to charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest. He will have to pay $3,290 in fines and serve one year of probation.
  • South Bend, Indiana: A police officer who has been on paid leave for several months will keep his job. He has been accused of interfering with an internal investigation, badmouthing the department, and lying. He will be suspended for 120 days, without pay, and has also been demoted.
  • Wichita, Kansas: A police officer has admitted to conspiring to bribe a car-theft victim in hopes of saving her job. She was accused of arranging to pay the theft victim $150 to recant his statement about her actions.
  • Omaha, Nebraska: A police detective pleaded guilty. He was selling information on suspects and witnesses, criminal histories, driver’s license information, and other data that he took from a police database.
  • Denville, New Jersey: The family of a man shot and killed by a police officer has settled its civil lawsuit against the department and the town for $400,000. As part of the settlement, Denville asserted that the officers had done no wrong.
  • Jefferson County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay for not telling the truth in statements about an arrest.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-27-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, August 27, 2013:

  • Chino, California: Two deputies were arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm. The drew their weapons on one another during a camping dispute. The sheriff’s spokesman said both deputies have been relieved of duty with pay. He said the men brandished their guns in a “threatening manner.”
  • Update: Snohomish County, Washington (Previously reported 01-10-13): A jury convicted a sheriff’s deputy of burglary. He was charged after allegations surfaced that he stole a wood-burning stove, stove pipe and some cedar flooring from a vacation home. He has been fired.
  • Polk County, Florida: A deputy is accused of trying to lure a 17-year-old girl he has known for several years into a sexual relationship. He allegedly sent her inappropriate text messages and photos.
  • Charleston, West Virginia: Two police officers names in a federal indictment against a judge are accused in federal court cases with other alleged misconduct.
  • Norfolk, Virginia: The chief deputy of the sheriff’s office is accused of solicitation. He has been placed on paid, indefinite personal leave following his arrest on a misdemeanor summons of Solicitation for Prostitution.
  • Lavallette, New Jersey: A police chief has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. He was charged with simple assault in connection with the incident.
  • Parker, Arizona: The police chief is on paid leave as a result of two separate investigations. He is under criminal investigation by the Department of Public Safety and also faces a separate internal investigation for violating town policies.
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico: A longtime detective has been charged with sex crimes related to an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl. He has been charged with one count each of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and criminal sexual contact of a minor.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-24-13 to 08-26-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, August 24, to Monday, August 26, 2013:

  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An off-duty police officer was arrested after police say he was driving drunk on his motorcycle.
  • Newark, New Jersey: An off-duty police officer was arrested in the Bronx for pulling a gun on another woman during a dispute. She has been suspended without pay.
  • San Francisco, California: A police officer was reportedly arrested on suspicion of molesting a 15-year-old boy. The officer has been suspended without pay.
  • Update: Pawtucket, Rhode Island (First reported 08-09-13): A police officer has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $600 worth of gas from the city.
  • Tequesta, Florida: A police officer was arrested and charged with one count of domestic battery after police witnessed an incident at a medical center.
  • Brunswick County, North Carolina: A deputy was fired after he was arrested on several sex offense charges, including soliciting prostitution. He was arrested after a two-week internal investigation.
  • Texarkana, Texas: A police officer who injected his wife with animal-euthanizing drugs has been sentenced to ten years in prison. He had access to the drugs because of his role as an officer and was fired after being arrested.
  • Hanceville, Alabama: A lawsuit filed against a now-former police officer alleges that he used excessive force against a 15-year-old girl and caused her to be bitten by the department’s K-9 police dog. The Mayor and the Police Chief both reviewed the incident and say the allegations are unfounded.
  • St. John Parish, Louisiana: Family members of a husband and wife who were shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies filed a suit in federal court against the sheriff and 14 deputies, alleging wrongful death.
  • Lake Oswego, Oregon: A committee of law-enforcement professionals has recommended that two now-former police officers lose their credentials for life after having sex with female employees while the officers were on duty. If they board votes to revoke their credentials, they will not be allowed to be law enforcement officials in Oregon again.
  • Los Angeles County, California: A deputy and a jail employee have been charged with filing a false report for allegedly trying to cover up another deputy’s assault on the inmate. The deputy has since resigned.
  • Richmond, Rhode Island: Authorities say a police officer got two internet domain names in the name of his chief and used them to link to porn sites. He was arrested and charged with a federal crime of using misleading domain names on the internet.

The Use and Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

The current issue of the New Yorker looks at civil asset forfeiture laws around the USA.

Here is an excerpt:

Over the past year, I spoke with more than a hundred police officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and forfeiture plaintiffs from across the country. Many expressed concern that state laws designed to go after high-flying crime lords are routinely targeting the workaday homes, cars, cash savings, and other belongings of innocent people who are never charged with a crime….

In West Philadelphia last August, an elderly couple named Mary and Leon Adams were finishing breakfast when several vans filled with heavily armed police pulled up to their red brick home. An officer announced, “We’ll give you ten minutes to get your things and vacate the property.” The men surrounding their home had been authorized to enter, seize, and seal the premises, without any prior notice.

“I was almost numb,” Mary Adams, a sixty-eight-year-old grandmother with warm brown eyes and wavy russet hair, recalled. When I visited her this spring, she sat beside her seventy-year-old husband, who was being treated for pancreatic cancer, and was slumped with exhaustion….

Around 5 p.m. on July 19th, Leon, Sr., was in his bedroom recovering from surgery when he was startled by a loud noise. “I thought the house was blowing up,” he recalls. The police “had some sort of big, long club and four guys hit the door with it, and knocked the whole door right down.” swat-team officers in riot gear were raiding his home. One of the officers placed Leon, Jr., in handcuffs and said, “Apologize to your father for what you’ve done.” Leon, Jr., was taken off to jail, where he remains, awaiting trial.

The police returned about a month after the raid. Owing to the allegations against Leon, Jr., the state was now seeking to take the Adamses’ home and to sell it at a biannual city auction, with the proceeds split between the district attorney’s office and the police department. All of this could occur even if Leon, Jr., was acquitted in criminal court; in fact, the process could be completed even before he stood trial.

Read the whole thing.

For related Cato Institute work, go here, here, and here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-23-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, August 23, 2013:

  • Update: South Beloit, Illinois (First reported 05-07-13): A now-former police chief pleaded guilty to one count of official misconduct for allegedly pushing a handcuffed woman. She was secured by shackles on her legs and had her hands handcuffed behind her back when the incident occurred.
  • Bismarck, North Dakota: A police officer has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly falsifying his timecard while working. He is accused of using a supervisor’s login and password to the department’s timekeeping system to add time to his card. He resigned amidst the termination proceedings.
  • Update: DeLand, Florida (First reported 06-05-13): A police officer was fired after highway patrol investigators said he ran over and killed a man. The family has accepted a $350,000 settlement from the city.
  • Carrollton, Texas: A police officer will be forced to pay $80,000 in damages after a jury found he used excessive force. He was caught on surveillance video throwing a man against the wall in a jail cell after he had arrested the victim.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer was fired amid allegations that he sexually abused a minor. He has not been charged with a crime, but the DA’s office is reviewing the allegations against him.
  • Tucson, Arizona: A police officer was still in the probationary phase of his employment was fired after investigators verified reports of misconduct. He falsified an official police report, engaged in misrepresentation of facts to his supervisor, and mishandled evidence.
  • Austin, Texas: A lawsuit says that a police officer who fired at an unarmed man during at a traffic stop used excessive force. A witness to the shooting said that the officer fired before giving any commands to the man.

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