National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Chicago to Pay $10 Million for Police Misconduct Case

From the Chicago Tribune:

Caine’s case was the latest in a series of lawsuit settlements involving disgraced former police Cmdr. Jon Burge and detectives under his command that have brought the tab to nearly $70 million when legal fees are counted.

Caine’s attorney, Jon Loevy, used Wednesday’s news conference to sound a warning that even as cases involving Burge and his men get resolved, there are scores of others involving other Chicago detectives who “made cases regardless of guilt or innocence.”

Loevy said that while the city has been forced to come to terms with Burge’s wrongdoing, the tendency is to resist acknowledging that the problem of police misconduct was systemic.

“There are obviously a small number of police officers where there are great clusters of accusations that improper tactics were used and wrongful convictions occurred,” Loevy said. “The city would have us believe that if we just take care of the Jon Burge cases, the problem will go away. Not so.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-20-13 to 07-22-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 20 to Monday, July 22, 2013:

  • Little Rock, Arkansas: A trooper has been arrested and accused of taking drugs from the agency’s evidence room and turning them over to a drug dealer. He was fired the same day he was arrested. “It’s a very sad day when a law enforcement officer violates the public trust,” said a U.S. attorney. “Thankfully, because of the integrity and leadership at the Arkansas State Police, information regarding [the officer’s] illegal actions was turned over to the FBI to ferret out the dishonesty by one of their own.”
  • Goodyear, Arizona: A police detective has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 12-year-old girl a decade ago. He is being held without bail on multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child, sexual abuse, and indecent exposure. The victim, now 22, told police the officer molested and had sex with her.
  • Update: Apollo County, Pennsylvania (First reported 05-03-13): A now-former police chief was sentence to serve 9-27 months in the county jail. He pleaded guilty to charges of theft, theft by deception and receiving stolen property, and to two misdemeanor charges involving the theft and sale of police guns and equipment.
  • Saline County, Arkansas: Sheriff’s deputies tied a man to a chair for eight hours and beat him “until his teeth were knocked from his mouth” – after a traffic ticket, the man claims in court. He seeks damages for constitutional and civil rights violations, excessive force, and other things.
  • Varnell, Georgia: An officer pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving. He was off-duty when he slammed his police cruiser at 104 mph into a newspaper delivery car and killed the man using it. He was given 10 years probation, 300 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: A sergeant was arrested on allegations of lewd conduct involving a minor. He faces charges of lewd/lascivious conduct and video voyeurism. The resident is alleged to have used his department issued camera to make videos of a female under the age of 16.
  • Buckner, Illinois: A police officer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and official misconduct in the death of a man. According to the indictment, the officer pushed the man, while he was handcuffed, to the ground and struck him on the head.
  • Los Angeles County, California: A federal jury awarded more than $200,000 to a man who accused sheriff’s deputies of illegally detaining him and using excessive force during an encounter that left him with a fractured rib. The man, then 60, was injured when a deputy repeatedly kneed him in the side after knocking him to the platform floor at a train station. Witnesses loudly complained that deputies were beating an “old man.”
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (First reported 10-31-12): A former police officer who extorted protection payoffs from drug dealer at a housing project has pleaded guilty to theft charges. He was accused of stealing about $5,000 from an FBI informant posing as a drug dealer.

City of St. Paul Pays One Million in Police Lawsuits

From the Associated Press:

St. Paul spent about $1 million to settle or defend itself against lawsuits alleging police misconduct last year, which was the largest amount in at least 17 years, a newspaper reported Sunday….

The total costs — settlement amounts, city attorney staff time and court costs — were almost $800,000 in the Smith cases and more than $230,000 in the Harrington cases, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported ( ).

One case that was settled for $400,000 involved a woman who suffered serious burns when police used a flash-bang device while executing a search warrant at her home.

In another case, a man who ran from police wound up with a skull fracture, gashes on his head that required 21 staples to close and burns to his face caused by chemical spray. The city settled his lawsuit, which alleged that officers used excessive force, for $249,000.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-19-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 19, 2013:

  • San Marcos, Texas: A police officer was arrested after he turned himself in on two arrest warrants for obtaining controlled substances by fraud.
  • Floyd County, Georgia: A police officer who was demoted and placed on probation after he was found to have been under the influence of alcohol during a training session he organized admitted he made a mistake. The 8-year veteran of the force was demoted from sergeant, a rank he held for about a year, to patrol officer first class on probation.
  • Fairfield, Maine: A police chief pleaded not guilty to a charge of operating while under the influence. He has since resigned from his post.
  • North Charleston, South Carolina: A police officer pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct in office. He was ordered to pay a $750 fine for the incident. The officer wrongfully detained and then physically assaulted a man before leaving him stranded.
  • Perry County, Pennsylvania: The police chief has been charged with driving under the influence. He was pulled over after he failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
  • Trumbull County, Ohio: A state trooper, who was previously fired and reinstated for a violent outburst, pleaded guilty to lesser charges following a drunken driving arrest. He was fined $650, ordered to enter a drug and alcohol dependency program, and put on probation.
  • Clark County, Ohio: A recently resigned deputy has been jailed on charges of sex with a minor. He faces federal charges related to producing child pornography, which could bring 15 years in prison.
  • Brighton, Tennessee: An officer has been indicted by a grand jury on official misconduct, theft of property, and casually exchanging a controlled substance. He has been accused of stealing a pink iPhone case from the department and exchanging drugs for sex with a woman.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-18-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 18, 2013:

  • Longmont, Colorado: A police officer has been arrested for two counts of sexual assault, and two counts of criminal invasion of privacy for sexual gratification.  “It turns everyone’s stomach involved, to think of this happening to any individual, let alone the mere thought that someone who swore an oath to protect their community would have committed these acts,” the county Sheriff said.
  • Wauwatosa, Wisconsin: A detective was arrested after an internal investigation and she has been placed on administrative leave. The details have not yet been released, but the police chief said, “I will be requesting her termination before the Police and Fire Commission.”
  • Update: Baltimore County, Maryland (Previously reported 05-13-13): A police officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to misconduct in office. He is accused of engaging in sexual activity while on duty and in uniform. They found a lewd video of him on a 16-year-old girl’s cell phone. He has since resigned.
  • Sebeka, Minnesota: The police chief has been suspended with pay by the city following a domestic assault citation, which may violate his probation for a prior misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. He was suspended until ‘resolution of the issues that are on the table.’
  • Rutherford County, Tennessee: A sheriff’s deputy, who is at the center of a controversy tied to a videotaped DUI checkpoint stop, is now “currently under investigation,” according to the Sheriff. He has previously resigned his post once before.
  • San Marcos, Texas: An officer has been jailed on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant. Officials say he seriously injured a woman during an “illegal arrest.”
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: A police officer, who was suspended, has retired. He had been suspended for using excessive force on a prisoner already in handcuffs and then lying to internal affairs about what happened.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer and more than a dozen other people have been indicted as part of a broad drug-dealing investigation. Prosecutors say the officer tampered with an investigation by tipping off a person to a wiretap.
  • Update: Lake County, Illinois (First reported 05-14-13): A deputy was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and solicitation in connection with a case in which two other defendants were charged with human trafficking. He is accused of offering the victim $300 to perform a sexual act and also of knowingly destroying text messages to the victim. He has been on unpaid administrative leave since the arrest.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-17-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 17, 2013:

  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 06-05-13): A former police officer was sentenced to six months in prison for falsely saying he witnessed a drug sale and for arresting an innocent man. “I must say, I am unmoved by your tears, sir,” the judge said. “That you are sitting here and denying guilt is an insult to the truth. Thank God for that videotape because [the arrested man] might be sitting in state prison. Your actions were a deliberate violation of someone’s rights, an innocent person’s rights.”
  • Tucson, Arizona:  A police officer was fired from the department after being arrested for pulling a gun on a convenience store clerk, authorities said. The officer is facing charges of aggravated assault and was booked into jail. He was off-duty and appeared to be intoxicated during the incident.
  • East Greenwich, Rhode Island: State police arrested a police lieutenant on charges of disorderly conduct and simple assault. He has been suspended with pay pending the investigation.
  • Update: Marion, Virginia (First reported 06-19-13): A former police chief pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamines, cocaine, and other drugs. Some of the drugs came from the department’s evidence room.  He faces 20 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.
  • Update: Oxford, Mississippi (First reported 02-20-13): An Ex-State Trooper has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison. The officer pleaded guilty to stomping a woman in jail.
  • Miami, Ohio: The Township agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of the girl who was naked when she was hosed down by the former deputy police chief. The chief was fired after the Board of Trustees found him guilty of several violations of the township’s professional code.
  • Update: Lakeland, Florida (First reported 07-10-13): Two police officers were fired following revelations of a sex scandal that have rocked the department.
  • Cypress, Texas: An officer shot and killed a family dog while his 12-year-old owner and friends were playing 30 feet away.

Death Penalty Convictions Questioned

From the Washington Post:

An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said.

The review led to an 11th-hour stay of execution in Mississippi in May.

It is not known how many of the cases involve errors, how many led to wrongful convictions or how many mistakes may now jeopardize valid convictions. Those questions will be explored as the review continues.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-16-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 16, 2013:

  • Brazoria County, Texas: A state trooper has been fired for performing a body cavity search on two women wearing bikinis driving back from the beach. She is the second trooper fired this year for cavity searches.
  • Stillwater, Oklahoma: Police said they believe an officer stole several bottles of painkillers from the department’s drug take back bin. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation and the officer faces charges for theft of a controlled dangerous substance. “The officer that discovered it, his supervisor, me, we are all acquaintances and friends of Sgt. McConaghy,” a police captain said. “You have to do what’s right and legal and lawful and go about it.”
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Five black men have filed federal lawsuits against eight white police officers accused of conducting or permitting illegal strip searches. The two lawsuits filed also named the city and the police chief as defendants. The plaintiffs, who say they were subjected to unwarranted and humiliating rectal probes, are seeking unspecified damages.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer was indicted and arrested last week for patronizing prostitution. “The investigation revealed at least one of those prostitutes was underage,” said the police director. “At this point he is on non-enforcement.”
  • Laredo, Texas: An officer has been arrested for allegedly stealing and pawning 20 LPD weapons. The officer was also accused of selling a privately owned weapon to a pawn shop.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Previously reported 04-15-13): A now fired officer was sentenced to more than three years in prison for punching a man at a bar, causing the man severe brain damage. A jury found the officer guilty of three assault charges for injuring the 44-year-old man. The officer was a Minneapolis police SWAT team leader.
  • San Jose, California: A federal jury found that a former police officer used “unreasonable” force by repeatedly jolting a naked, unarmed truck driver who was high on PCP with a Taser. They awarded $1 million to his family for his wrongful death.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-13-13 to 07-15-13

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

  • Denton, Texas: The 2008 Patrolman of the Year was arrested in Fort Worth on suspicion of being drunk while riding a motorcycle.
  • Update: Seattle, Washington:  The Police Department has terminated a Lieutenant following an internal investigation into allegations of domestic violence and dishonesty.
  • Grand County, Utah: A Deputy Sheriff has been arrested for investigation of attempted murder in what police are calling a domestic violence altercation.
  • Huron Co, Ohio: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with failure to control stemming from an early morning traffic crash. Troopers said the cruiser traveled off the right side of the road, came back on to the roadway, went off the left side of the roadway, coming to rest in a field.
  • Fairfax County, Virginia: A police officer has been charged with allegedly fabricating a report that his cruiser was struck by a hit-and-run driver before it slammed into a utility pole. Investigators have determined the officer’s cruiser was the only vehicle that was involved in the crash.
  • Russellville, Alabama:  A former police sergeant indicted on allegations that he made inappropriate sexual advances toward women inmates has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges.
  • Pecos County, Texas: A now-former sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and bribery when his own sheriff’s office began investigating him.
  • San Jose, California: A police officer was charged with requesting and possessing sexually explicit photographs from a teenage girl while assigned as a detective to the department’s Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit.
  • Montezuma Co, Colorado: An undersheriff is being investigated for using a county card for personal expenses. He has resigned from his position.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida: A police officer has been fired and two more suspended following a shooting during the investigation of an occupied stolen car.
  • Augusta, Georgia: An internal investigation culminated in the arrest of a patrolman According to the chief, he was charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer crashed into car carrying children. He has been charged with DUI and is now on desk duty
  • Boston, Massachusetts: A police officer is free on $1,000 bail after police say they found a cache of military grade explosives in a shed at his former home. He was charged with 11 counts of possession of explosives, along with theft and ammunition charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-12-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 12, 2013:

  • Fort Myers, Florida: A police officer was terminated after an incident that was captured on a dashcam video. He was fired for overreaction, profanity, and excessive use of force.
  • Update: DeKalb County, Georgia (First reported 04-18-13): A now-former police officer has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of aggravated assault for reportedly pointing handgun at teens in a car. He was waiting in line behind them at the McDonald’s drive through and got angry at how long it was taking.
  • West Valley City, Utah: An officer is facing charges for stealing morphine from a dead cancer patient. “His fellow officers saw him do that and notified his superior who responded to the scene, where they confronted the subject officer,” said the police chief.
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 09-20-12): A now-former police officer accused of staging his wife’s suicide has denied allegations that he killed her.
  • New Hanover County, North Carolina: The sheriff’s office fired a deputy following an internal investigation. According to documents released the deputy was fired for allegedly not being truthful and for violating the sheriff’s office standard of conduct.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty police officer has been arrested and charged with attempted rape. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse. Police say the victim was an underage female known to the officer.
  • Smith County, Texas: A veteran deputy has been arrested for drug trafficking. He was on duty when he committed the alleged crimes, including selling drugs from his county patrol unit.
  • Update: New Rochelle, New York (First reported 11-12-12): A police officer was sentenced to 5 years “shock probation” on charges related to disseminating indecent material to a minor. He has a sex offender hearing coming up. He is alleged to have given videos of himself engaged in a sexual act to what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl.

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