National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-11-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 11, 2014:

  • Pembroke, North Carolina: A police detective has been suspended without pay for the second time on allegations of sexual abuse.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Two police officers face charges after an off-duty incident. They have been suspended without pay, pending termination. They’re charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury and battery with moderate bodily injury after an altercation.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: A recently-promoted sergeant with a history of domestic violence accusations is under internal investigation after a security surveillance video surfaced showing him apparently beating up his girlfriend in a restaurant where she works.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: A police officer who was fired from the force but recently got his job back is under investigation again. He has been assigned to desk duty while police investigate his role in a fight outside a bar that sent a man to a hospital.
  • Durham, North Carolina: A police officer faces misdemeanor charges after he allegedly assaulted his wife.
  • Update: Hearne, Texas (Previously reported 05-12-14): A jury has declined to indict a now-former police officer who fatally shot an armed 93-year-old woman during a confrontation.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: A police officer has been accused of sending explicit texts to the woman in a rape case he was investigating, including asking her to send nude photos, and filing a harassment charge against the father of a murder victim whose case he was in charge of.
  • Update: St. Paul, Minnesota (First reported 06-09-14): A police officer facing forgery charges rejected a plea deal that would have spared her prison time. She was in court on two counts of aggravated forgery and one count of electronic use of false pretense to obtain identity.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-10-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 10, 2014:

  • Harbor, Louisiana: A 12-year veteran has been arrested on fraud charges. Police officials say he is under investigation for alleged fraudulent use of a fuel card, and that the alleged misuse “spanned into other parishes.”
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A now-former police officer was indicted on aggravated rape charges. A back-logged rape kit finally got tested and helped lead to his indictment which stems from an attack that happened 14 years ago.
  • Cornelius, Oregon: A federal jury found that a police officer fabricated evidence in a drug case.
  • Princeton, West Virginia: The police department has placed an officer on administrative leave following his arrest on a domestic violence charge.
  • Bradenton, Florida: The deputy police chief is on paid suspension following apparently serious allegations of unspecified criminal behavior that surfaced.
  • Lamar County, Mississippi: A now-former officer pled not guilty to multiple charges. He was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of fondling, two counts of sexual battery and a count of attempted sexual battery on a female under the age of 18.
  • Coconut Creek, Florida: An officer has been put on paid leave after being accused of patronizing a spa that was a front for prostitution, police said. He faces a purchasing services of prostitution charge and was put on administrative leave.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: The police chief has placed a detective on administrative leave following the detective’s arrest on DUI charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-09-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 9, 2014:

  • Woodland, California: A highway patrol officer is charged with abusing his wife. He was arrested by police responding to his residence after being alerted that he was having an argument with his wife.
  • Update: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (First reported 06-17-14): A police officer who punched, pushed and swung a woman by her head while trying to break up a fight during a PrideFest parade did not use excessive force, according to the police department’s final report.
  • Lake Milton, Ohio: Township police arrested a police officer on domestic-violence charges. According to a police report he got into an argument with his wife, and then struck her on the face, causing her to fall. He reportedly caused her to fall to the ground a second time in a second altercation after she returned from a neighbor’s apartment, where she had gone to ask for help.
  • East St. Louis, Illinois: The city’s assistant chief of police is being investigated for misconduct related to a female summer youth program worker. He is on an unpaid five-day suspension after an unnamed young woman, who was at City Hall for her first day of work with a summer youth program, made a four-page written complaint involving the officer.
  • North Port, Florida: An officer was fired for sexual misconduct. The officer was terminated after a five-month internal affairs investigation found he’d violated department policies by having sex with his girlfriend while on the job.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An officer was stripped of her police duties and charged with harassment after an investigation revealed she used excessive force during an arrest.
  • Anderson County, Tennessee: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested for driving under the influence.
  • Update: Walnut Creek, California (First reported 09-02-14): A police officer who beat a woman with a baseball bat entered pleas to two felonies. He pled no contest to felony assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and felony vandalism, and admitted to a firearm enhancement.
  • Enfield, Connecticut: A man has filed a notice of intent to sue the town, police department, and four police officers, claiming excessive force was used in an incident that caused serious injuries from bites by a police dog.
  • Update: Waldo, Florida (First reported 09-03-14): The suspended chief has resigned. He was called out by several of his officers who claimed he forced them to meet a ticket quota every night.
  • Sayreville, New Jersey: A police officer was ordered to forfeit public employment, including his job, and was placed on probation for three years after admitting he stole more than $20,000 in rent subsidies paid by the housing authority.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-06-14 to 09-08-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 6 to Monday September 8, 2014:

  • San Jose, California: A resident who was one of several people recording the aftermath of an officer-involved shooting is alleging he was intimidated and threatened with detainment for refusing to surrender his cellphone or delete the images he took.
  • Coeur D’Alene, Idaho: A group of protesters have called for an officer who shot and killed a dog to be fired. A review panel found the officer’s actions unjustified and in violation of the departments policies. Authorities said they could not discuss what punishment he would receive.
  • Sandwich, Massachusetts: A state police trooper was arrested for allegedly attacking a woman. He pled not guilty to a charge of simple assault and battery.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer was arrested. He initially denied having sex with the woman but later recanted his statement, court documents reveal. State police arrested him on a misdemeanor charge of false informing.
  • Burbank, California: Police say an apparently drunk man arrested after allegedly brandishing a gun on the street is a federal agent.
  • Pittston, Pennsylvania: A man claims police used excessive force when stopping him for riding an all-terrain vehicle, according to a federal lawsuit he filed.
  • Update: Fort Wayne, Indiana (First reported 08-29-14): A police officer who pled guilty to rape has resigned from his position on the force.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: A lieutenant at the Georgia State Patrol has retired while under investigation. An internal report alleges the state trooper was hanging out around the Master’s Tournament while on the taxpayer’s tab.

Washington, DC: The Wild West of Traffic Enforcement

From the Washington Post:

In Washington, D.C., where issuing traffic citations is a $179 million-a-year business, drivers get speeding tickets for violations they don’t commit and for vehicles they’ve never owned.

Those are among the findings in a 115-page audit of the three city agencies that issued nearly 2.5 million parking and traffic tickets in fiscal 2013, according to a withering report issued Monday by the D.C. inspector general.

The report portrays the District as the Wild West of traffic enforcement when compared with neighboring jurisdictions and the states, with a shortage of regulations, a legion of ticket writers often confused about the rules, “arbitrary” decision-making about who gets some speed-camera tickets and parking-meter monitors who get called on the carpet if they don’t write enough tickets….

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called the report “flawed” and “sensationalist.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-05-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 5, 2014:

  • Atlanta, Georgia: A now-former police officer was indicted for allegedly beating a man so badly that the man suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A police officer is being accused of shoplifting from an outdoors store. The officer faces charges of theft by unlawful taking under $500
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: An off-duty state trooper got involved in a fight during a wedding, and also became aggressive with police. He is now facing charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and obstructing law enforcement, along with an internal investigation.
  • Update: North Hodge, Louisiana (First reported 08-15-14): The assistant police chief was arraigned after victims have come forward claiming he sexually violated them. He pled not guilty to seven counts of malfeasance in office, two counts of forcible rape and one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Police are investigating whether officers used excessive force in the arrest of a pair of brothers, the department said. Officers say that one man punched an officer as the two resisted arrest, while witnesses alleged that officers used unnecessary force in detaining the men following a dirt bike crash.
  • Broward County, Florida: A veteran sheriff’s deputy was arrested after investigators found in his marked patrol vehicle prescription drugs that had belonged to a dead man. The deputy faces one count each of armed trafficking in hydrocodone, possession of alprazolam, grand theft of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and official misconduct/falsifying public or court records, according to the sheriff’s office.
  • Montgomery County, Ohio: An area woman and her attorney are preparing to file a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office after she says a deputy lifted her off the ground and slammed her head on a concrete floor while booking her into jail.
  • Thibodaux, Louisiana: A police officer was fired after allegations of misconduct surfaced. The issue is under investigation and disciplinary action has been taken against more than one officer.

More on the John Geer Case

From the Washington Post:

Shot in the chest, he was left to bleed to death inside his doorway while police officers, remaining outside the house, did nothing for an hour. Five and a half hours after the shooting, his body remained sprawled on the floor where he died.

Incredibly, the authorities in Northern Virginia — including Fairfax County police and state and federal prosecutors — have refused to furnish any explanation for this stupefying sequence of events last Aug. 29 in Springfield. They have stonewalled.

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. promised to “hold myself accountable” to Mr. Geer’s family, which includes two young daughters. He has done nothing of the kind. No official information about the shooting has been forthcoming. The officer who fired the shot, who remains on the force with full pay, has not been identified.

The authorities conduct themselves as if the case presented insurmountable complexities. This strains credulity. It involved one shot, one gun, one shooter and one fatality. It took place in broad daylight, at mid-afternoon. It was witnessed at close range by at least two other police officers, as well as friends and neighbors of Mr. Geer. And still authorities refuse to act or discuss Mr. Geer’s death.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-04-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 4, 2014:

  • Delaware County, Pennsylvania: A man says that members of the police department dragged him into a room without surveillance cameras and beat him repeatedly about the head and back after he went to the police station to retrieve a confiscated handgun, according to a federal suit filed.
  • Bangs, Texas: The police chief announced his resignation pending an investigation into alleged misconduct. According to the Mayor, the city council was set to meet to discuss the cheif’s removal based on alleged misconduct or lack of confidence, but he resigned first.
  • Update: Lee, Massachusetts (First reported 08-30-13): The now-former police chief remains free after he pled not guilty to a dozen new charges in federal court in connection with the alleged theft of more than $50,000 meant for Christmas gifts for needy families.
  • Yonkers, New York: A police officer has been suspended after he was arrested and accused of pointing a firearm at a woman and choking her at his home, authorities said.
  • Miami, Florida: A police officer is facing DUI and criminal mischief charges following his arrest. He also faces a charge of possession of narcotics and driving with a suspended license.
  • Update: San Jose, California (Previously reported 05-14-14): The police officer accused of rape was charged with another crime. He stormed out of the a Safeway with a bottle of vodka about 2:30 a.m. in violation of a state law that bans the sale or purchase of alcohol between 2 and 6 a.m.
  • Barrow County, Georgia: Internal investigations led to the firing of a deputy for use of excessive force as well as the resignations in lieu of termination by another deputy and a lieutenant for their reaction to the incident.
  • Put-in Bay, Ohio: Allegations of unlawful arrests and heavy-handed tactics against police are being investigated by a county sheriff and a state agency.

Worst of the Month — August 2014

So the worst police misconduct for the month of August goes, unsurprisingly, to the Ferguson police. As the events in Ferguson played out during August, the police department there put on a clinic on how not to police a community.  From the withholding of Darren Wilson’s name (He was the officer who shot Michael Brown six times), to brandishing weapons of war against a community expressing its anger and mourning through protest, and blatantly targeting journalists for arrest and assault, the events in Ferguson have shown just how disastrous poor policing can be to a community.  If there is any silver lining to the situation, it is that people across the country have been presented with a good look at the consequences of when police misconduct goes unchecked and bad policies, like militarizing local police forces, are allowed to continue.  Things were bad enough in Ferguson for them to collectively qualify as the worst police misconduct of August, but the situation will be much worse if the lessons of Ferguson are not learned and the mistakes not corrected in the future—and not just in Ferguson, but in similar towns around the country.

Next week, Cato will be hosting two events related to Ferguson.  More info here and here.

For additional Ferguson-related posts, go here, here, here, and here.


Finally, a not-so-‘honorable mention’ goes to the Denver police officer who tried to get out of his DUI arrest by telling the arresting officer “Bro, I’m a cop.” That he would even attempt this tactic tells us something about the police subculture–where too many law enforcement officers believe that they are above the law.  They aren’t, and the arresting officer did the right thing by getting a dangerous drunk driver off the streets—cop or not.

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