National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

The Freddie Gray Case

From CNN:

More than a week after Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore, and a day since he died, authorities are still scrambling to find out exactly what happened and why.

“I’ll tell you what I do know, and right now there’s still a lot of questions I don’t know. I know that when Mr. Gray was placed inside that van, he was able to talk. He was upset. And when Mr. Gray was taken out of that van, he could not talk, and he could not breathe,” Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez told reporters Monday.

He spoke the same day an autopsy was done on the body of Gray, which showed that he died from a severe injury to his spinal cord. “What we don’t know, and what we need to get to, is how that injury occurred,” Rodriguez said.

The Gray family has retained a great attorney, Billy Murphy.  Go here for a Cato podcast interview with Mr. Murphy about police tactics and constitutional rights.

NewsFeed Break

Please know there will be a one-day break in the NewsFeed. We will resume tracking and posting Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

As always, we appreciate it when readers use our submissions page to send us stories they find from around the country.

Use-of-Force Briefing at John Jay

I will be speaking Monday at a briefing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on police tactics and the use of force. The event is being held at John Jay College in New York City. The full roster and schedule may be found here.

I am looking forward to the briefing because I am familiar with the work and contributions of many of the other participants and their organizations. The panelists represent a broad range of perspectives on criminal justice. I believe we will provide a thought-provoking discussion on current policies and what changes need to be made to them going forward.

You can stream the event at this link starting just after 9 AM.

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-16-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 16, 2015:

  • Fairfax County, Virginia: A public information officer was charged with two counts of child pornography possession. ow.ly/LGKP6
  • Update: Tulsa County, Oklahoma (First reported 04-13-15): The sheriff’s office is alleged to have falsified firearm certification for the 73-year-old reserve deputy who has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a man caught on video. Deputies who refused to sign-off were allegedly reassigned. The deputy who allegedly cooperated is now with the U.S. Secret Service. ow.ly/LH6XL
  • Grundy County, Tennessee: A deputy was fired after his arrest for DUI. ow.ly/LHdl5
  • Update: Larimer County, Colorado (First reported 04-01-15): A deputy was fired for his hit-and-run incident. He hit a fenced-in yard on his way to work and instead of taking responsibility, sped home and changed clothes. ow.ly/LHe0L
  • Cumberland County, North Carolina: A deputy was fired for stealing and then selling sheriff’s department ammunition. ow.ly/LHgpI
  • St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana: An officer was fired and arrested for perjury. He lied about the details of a traffic stop that led to a drug bust. ow.ly/LHm4u
  • Yuba City, California: An officer and his cousin were arrested because of an alleged cocaine trafficking conspiracy. ow.ly/LHo37
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (Savannah, GA): An agent had an affair with an Assistant United States Attorney while they worked on cases together. As many as 200 cases they collaborated on during their several-year affair may be affected by their inappropriate conduct. ow.ly/LIdNd

Chicago Plans Reparations Fund For Torture Victims

From the New York Times:

[T]he City Council this week began considering a $5.5 million reparations package for scores of victims of abuse and torture by the police here in the 1970s and ’80s under the watch of a notorious police commander, Jon Burge. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his support this week for the long-sought reparations, which would include a memorial and a formal apology for the mostly black South Siders who have described being shocked with cattle prods, beaten with phone books and suffocated with plastic bags to compel confessions.

The cases involving Mr. Burge and a group of officers under his command had haunted Chicago and its Police Department for years….

[Mayor Rahm] Emanuel this week described Mr. Burge’s actions as a disgrace, adding, “We stand together as a city to try and right those wrongs and to bring this dark chapter of Chicago’s history to a close.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-15-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 15, 2015:

  • Update: Boston, Massachusetts (First reported 01-07-15): An officer who allegedly assaulted an Uber driver in January has been indicted for assault. He was suspended without pay after the indictment.  ow.ly/LDFTr
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: A deputy was indicted on federal charges for excessive force against a restrained but uncooperative jail inmate and attempting to cover it up. According to the U.S. Department of Justice press release, “The complaint alleges that [the deputy]…placed his hands around the inmate’s neck, struck the inmate’s head against the wall and pulled the inmate to the floor.  The complaint further alleges that the defendant then struck the inmate in the face with his knee.”  ow.ly/LDO9f
  • Update: North Augusta, South Carolina (First reported 04-06-15): The now-former officer who fatally shot a 68-year-old black man in his own driveway has been charged with illegal discharge of a firearm. The City has already paid $1.2 million to the man’s estate as the result of a wrongful death suit. http://ow.ly/LE3ST
  • Update: Prichard, Alabama (First reported 08-05-13): A now-former officer was sentenced to 36 years in prison after being convicted of drug trafficking and related charges. http://ow.ly/LE2Uj
  • Update: Maxton, North Carolina (First reported 05-08-15): The officer who allegedly shot her weapon at unoccupied cars has been fired. http://ow.ly/LDWZC
  • Clayton, New Mexico: An officer was fired after he was arrested and charged with false imprisonment and aggravated assault & battery after an incident with a 17-year-old girl. ow.ly/LETBR
  • Melrose Park, Illinois: A detective was arrested for conspiracy to rob police lab evidence of 2kg of seized cocaine. He was caught in a sting discussing his plan to replace the cocaine with fake cocaine after the evidence had been tested. ow.ly/LEW46
  • Lafayette Parish, Louisiana and Louisiana State Police: One parish deputy and one state trooper were arrested for their alleged participation in a drug and racketeering conspiracy. ow.ly/LEX56

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-14-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 14, 2015:

  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer is under FBI investigation for fatally shooting teen. He fired 16 rounds that hit the 17-year-old boy. ow.ly/LAwVA
  • San Pablo, California: An officer was arrested for buying drugs out of his car and possession of illegal guns. He was on administrative leave at the time and also had 2-year-old girl in the car with him. ow.ly/LAxh7
  • Update: Fairfax County, Virginia (First reported 02-09-15): The sheriff defended the actions that led to a 37-year-old woman’s death in custody. She was fully restrained when she was Tased four times. ow.ly/LAUH2
  • Update: Houston, Texas (First reported 04-24-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison for providing police protection to drug deals. ow.ly/LAzC4
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: Two officers were placed on administrative leave after an APD employee accused them of excessive force. ow.ly/LAxCu
  • Jacksonville, Florida: An officer was arrested for petit theft and misconduct for falsifying time sheets. ow.ly/LAXpv
  • Update: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (First reported 08-25-14): A now-former officer agreed to a plea bargain in a bank fraud conspiracy case. His sentence is yet to be determined. Presumably in exchange for cooperation against his co-conspirators still awaiting trial or a detailed allocution in court, prosecutors have agreed they “will dismiss the remaining charges and will recommend a reduction in sentence if [he] adequately shows he accepts responsibility.” He faces up to 30 years and a $1 million fine. ow.ly/LAZVX
  • Update: South Burlington, Vermont (First reported 03-23-13): A lieutenant pled guilty to DWI. He was ordered to pay a fine. He remains on leave. ow.ly/LBywq
  • Update: Detroit, Michigan (First reported 11-03-14): Two now-former narcotics officers were indicted on federal charges for robbing and extorting drug dealers. ow.ly/LBDOV

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-11-15 to 04-13-15

Here are the seven reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 11 through Monday, April 13, 2015:

  • Tulsa County, Oklahoma: An officer was shown on video holding down suspect who had been shot and was complaining of shortness of breath. He said, “F*** your breath!” The man had been shot by a 73-year-old reserve officer who is also a substantial financial donor to the department. The reserve officer has been charged with negligent homicide. ow.ly/Lvz0w
  • United States Secret Service: A uniformed officer was arrested for burglary and destruction of property after allegedly kicking down the door of his ex-girlfriend’s home when he was off duty. ow.ly/LxryG
  • Tuscon, Arizona: Four officers were placed on administrative leave during investigation into undisclosed misconduct. Their names will not be released during the investigatory process. ow.ly/LxIKb
  • New York, New York: A detective was suspended for stealing rent money from a deli during a raid for selling untaxed cigarettes. The proprietor thought employees had stolen the money but surveillance video shows the detective removing the over $2,500 in cash from the place the owner left it. The receipt the proprietor was given for the seized funds was just under $600. The officer’s supervisor has been placed on desk duty. ow.ly/LxMZf
  • Akron, Ohio: An officer was arrested for assault in an “attack” outside a hotel in Cleveland, though the officer claims self-defense. Two suspects remain at large. ow.ly/Lymid
  • Cleveland, Ohio: A transit officer was placed on administrative probation after an excessive force complaint by passenger. ow.ly/LyvAI
  • Update: Vineland, New Jersey (First reported 04-06-15): An officer is shown on video sitting on a man’s back, punching him, and siccing a K-9 unit on him while he was face down on ground. He died in custody. ow.ly/LyAeX

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-10-15

Here are the seven reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 10, 2015:

  • Ohio State Police: A now-former trooper was sentenced to five years in prison for coercing drivers for sexual favors in exchange for throwing-out traffic tickets. ow.ly/Lr96Z
  • Germantown, Tennessee: An officer was suspended after his arrest on aggravated rape and assault charges. ow.ly/Lrb1x
  • San Bernadino County, California: Several deputies shown on video repeatedly kicking and beating man after chase on an allegedly stolen horse. The footage was provided by a news helicopter following the chase. The sheriff is investigating. ow.ly/LrcG7
  • Weld County, Colorado: A deputy was placed on leave because he may have withheld evidence in an investigation into woman’s death. ow.ly/Lrllt
  • Harris County, Texas: An officer allegedly struck his sleeping girlfriend with his motorcycle helmet and strangled her. She survived. ow.ly/LrLHg
  • Update: Paris, Maine (First reported 12-01-14): The police chief pled guilty to DUI. He lost his driver’s license for five months and was ordered to pay a fine. ow.ly/LrMqT
  • Newbern, Tennessee: The chief was suspended for 14 days on allegations of providing a hostile work environment. He encouraged falsification of time sheets to minimize overtime and incentivized high-volume ticketing. ow.ly/Ls8vs

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