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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-19-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 19, 2013:

  • Update: Kentwood, Louisiana (First reported 09-09-13): The police chief, who was arrested in an evidence tampering case, pled not guilty in court. He was indicted on charges of malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence in a burglary case.
  • Chesapeake, West Virginia: A vice principal and a sheriff’s deputy are accused of falsely imprisoning and arresting a special education student. A civil rights suit has been filed against them, saying they illegally detained and arrested her after they mistook her reaction to waking up from a seizure-induced nap as an act of aggression.
  • Washington Township, Ohio: The three sons of a motorist killed as police were chasing a robbery suspect have filed suit in U.S District Court, alleging civil rights violations. The complaint alleges the man was killed in a “high-speed, wrong-way, unsupervised, chaotic vehicle pursuit” that was contrary to department regulations.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: The family of a man shot and killed by a police officer is suing the officer’s former partner alleging he failed to stop the officer from using excessive force.
  • DeKalb County, Georgia: A police officer has resigned in disgrace after admitting he solicited a bribe and became violent after he noticed someone shooting video of the transaction. “What I’ve done was wrong,” he admitted to Internal Affairs.
  • Fairfield, Maine: The now-former police chief pled guilty in court to operating under the influence. He had his license suspended for 90 days, but will not serve jail time.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A police officer was suspended after an internet video went viral reportedly showing the officer not intervening in a fight between two women. When an unidentified man comes and throws a hard punch at one of the women, the officer does shoo him away.
  • Lumberton, North Carolina: Two police officers have been suspended. The suspensions were a result of restraining orders placed against the officers.

A Police Charity Fail

From the Tampa Bay Times and Center for Investigative Reporting:

Police Protective Fund raises millions of dollars each year in the name of fallen officers.

On Tuesday, four men in charge of the charity’s telemarketing operations were arrested on charges of hiring felons to raise that money. All four are managers who oversee the charity’s phone rooms in the Tampa Bay area and in South Florida….

During the raid, they determined that several felons had been hired and were soliciting donations, agency spokeswoman Erin Gillespie said.

Florida law bans charities and professional solicitors from knowingly employing telemarketers who have been convicted of fraud and other financial felonies.

James Campanelli, 22, said he worked at the Port Richey phone room for about nine months until leaving in July 2011. He told a reporter that employees talked openly about their criminal pasts.

“It wasn’t a hush-hush thing, but I thought it was weird they were getting people’s credit card numbers,” Campanelli said. “It seemed like the people who did real well were the guys that did time. They learned how to be smooth.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-18-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 18, 2013:

  • Millington, Tennessee:  A police officer has been suspended after being arrested for allegedly hitting his wife. He has been charged with domestic assault and is being held on $10,000 bond. He has been suspended with pay during the investigation.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A man who was shot and paralyzed by a police officer when a traffic stop went wrong filed a lawsuit, alleging that he was the victim of excessive force and other rights violations.
  • Update: Normangee, Texas (First reported 08-29-13): The police chief has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly aiding drug traffickers. He is accused of using a law enforcement computer system to aid the traffickers.
  • Braddock Hills, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested after authorities said he allegedly assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her in front of their children. He has been charged with assault, harassment, and terroristic threats, officials said.
  • Grand Prairie, Texas: A now-former police officer pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
  • Washington Township, Ohio: A traffic stop was caught on camera, and witnesses say that the officer involved was out of line. The officer pulled a family from a car and had his gun drawn on them. The police chief said that he is standing by the police report.
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas: An officer was arrested for sexual assault. He is suspected of having sex with a 16-year-old girl at least five different times. At least one of those incidents is believed to have taken place while he was on duty as a patrol officer. He was placed on paid administrative leave and subsequently resigned.
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: A police officer was arrested after he allegedly punched a man in the face. He was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
  • Update: Clay County, West Virginia (First reported 08-06-13): The now-former sheriff pled guilty to illegal wiretapping after he placed a keystroke logging device on his then-wife’s work computer. “Elected officials and law enforcement are no different,” said a U.S. Attorney. “They need to respect and follow the law, and when they don’t there are consequences.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-17-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 17, 2013:

  • Phoenix, Arizona:  A now-former police officer who put a gun to a suspect’s head when the man questioned him about entering his house without a warrant was convicted of aggravated assault, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on a second-degree murder charge he faced for shooting and killing the man later in the confrontation.
  • St. Paul Park, Minnesota: A teen’s family alleges that an off-duty police officer intentionally knocked the teen off his mini bike and verbally assaulted him.
  • Morganfield, Kentucky: A police officer has resigned because of what authorities call inappropriate conduct while off duty.
  • Hamilton County, Kansas: A sheriff was arrested and accused of aggravated assault. The incident occurred at his home.
  • Update: Tucson, Arizona (First reported 08-12-13): A now-former police officer, who pled guilty to computer tampering for using criminal justice databases to check up on romantic rivals, has been sentenced to 3 months probation.
  • Lee County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy was fired and is facing charges of fraud and lying under oath. He is accused of hiding money for a woman who was divorcing her husband. He allegedly made several small deposits into his account, and then lied about it.
  • Fairbury, Nebraska: A police officer was arrested for stealing a police cruiser. He was arrested after being chased by several law enforcement agencies while in the police cruiser, and in uniform.
  • Crestview, Florida: Two police officers are out of their jobs after allegations that they falsified police reports.
  • Update: Minidoka County, Idaho (Previously reported 08-01-13): The now-former sheriff has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for using a county credit card to buy about $300 worth of gasoline for a female county employee.
  • Cottageville, South Carolina: A man is accusing a now-former police officer of fabricating documents in order to arrest him.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-14-13 to 09-16-13

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 14 to Monday, September 16, 2013:

  • Lewisville, Texas: A police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He is on leave with pay while the case is investigated.
  • Wappingers Falls, New York: A police officer has been sentenced to one year in jail after he admitted he conned immigrants who sought driver’s licenses and immigration assistance out of more than $13,000. He pled guilty to third-degree larceny and first-degree scheme to defraud.
  • Pelham, New Hampshire: A police officer who was accused of numerous violations of department policy has been fired. One of the accusations is that he pulled a gun on two apparently unarmed teens during a traffic stop.
  • Peru, Indiana: A police officer who repeatedly tasered a naked nursing home patient with Alzheimer’s disease was properly fired, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: A police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting a man who was seeking help. Under North Carolina law, this charge involves killing without malice; using “excessive force” in exercising “imperfect self-defense.” The unarmed man who was shot had been in a car accident and was looking for help at a nearby house. When the homeowner didn’t recognize him, she called police.
  • Spartanburg, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested and fired after being accused of discharging a firearm into a dwelling.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-13-13

Here are the 9 reports tracked for Friday, September 13, 2013:

  • Trenton, New Jersey: A state police trooper was charged with aggravated assault in the beating of a rookie squad mate in an elevator. The injured trooper, who was reportedly punched in the face repeatedly, suffered a concussion, a chipped tooth, a broken eye socket and torn tendons in and around his eye, which required reconstructive surgery.
  • Jackson County, Mississippi: A man has filed a federal suit against the sheriff and others alleging he was the victim of false arrest when he was picked up on allegations he possessed child pornography. The suit says the investigation abruptly ended when a computer scan found no evidence he had ever possessed child porn.
  • Los Angeles County, California: A veteran deputy was arrested for allegedly having sex with a teenage girl. The department spokesperson said the officer is “well thought of” in the department. “But this is obviously just inexcusable,” he added.
  • Eugene, Oregon:  An officer has been reprimanded for improperly taking seized vehicles home with him, neglecting to tell his bosses about it, and then charging the city for the time he claims to have spent repairing them. The chief ruled that the officer had violated department policies relating to judgment and proper evidence handling.
  • Monroe County, New York:  A decorated sheriff’s deputy has resigned after being charged with felony DWI.
  • Edison, New Jersey: An officer was arrested again after he allegedly bought marijuana while in uniform, conspired to sell the drug, slashed a woman’s tires, and illegally accessed the police department’s records database for personal use.
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 09-03-13): A police officer was fired after he failed to show up for his hearing on departmental charges. He faced charges of violating departmental policy on personal conduct as well as being under criminal investigation.
  • Velda City, Missouri: A police officer is facing federal charges of excessive force and lying to FBI agents. A federal indictment alleges the officer used unreasonable force; he used a police baton to hit and injure two juveniles and an adult.
  • Fairfax County, Virginia:  A 12-year veteran of the police force has been found guilty of shoplifting according to court records.

Questions About a Police Shooting in New York’s Times Square

From the New York Times:

The shooting on Saturday night immediately raised questions about the police’s use of deadly force, especially in a crowded area where bystanders were in the line of fire. On Sunday, police officials, including the commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, refused to say if the shooting appeared justified, saying that the circumstances were being investigated.

Department guidelines say officers may not fire their weapons unless they believe they or other people are in imminent danger of death or serious injury, or if doing so will “unnecessarily endanger innocent persons.” Nonetheless, the courts and the Police Department generally give officers great leeway in deciding when to fire their weapons….

The two officers were placed on administrative duty pending the department’s internal investigation, as officers typically are after a shooting. The review process can result in retraining for the officer or more serious disciplinary action, including the rarely employed option of dismissal from the force. (That occurred for one officer after the 2006 killing of Sean Bell, who was unarmed. Three others were forced to resign; one was exonerated in a departmental hearing.)

Mackala Ross and Delores Epps















Former Memphis police officer Alex Beard was speeding to a call with no siren when he rammed into a car, killing 13-year-old Mackala Ross and her mother, Delores Epps, age 53.  Mackala’s father, Michael Ross, was severely injured, but survived the crash.

This week the former officer was offered a plea deal by prosecutors: six months in jail.  Mr. Ross said the sentence was like a “slap in my face.”

The prosecutor said “this was the best that could be done.”   Hmm.

The above photo is Mackala’s school locker where her classmates made a little memorial.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-12-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 12, 2013:

  • Natchitoches, Louisiana: A police officer has been charged with first-degree murder, second degree kidnapping, and home invasion in the beating death of a man. The body was found in a shallow grave, and the district attorney filed notice of his intent to seek the death penalty against the officer.
  • Elkhart, Indiana: A police officer will be suspended for 35 days without pay for the way he handled a domestic violence case. He failed to follow standard procedures and lied to his supervisors.
  • South Lake Tahoe, California: A police officer was sentenced to 18 months in prison for one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. He allegedly tampered with a witness in an investigation into his own conduct, as well as a gang member’s conduct.
  • Lewis County, Washington: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. He tried to drive into an area of the freeway that was closed.
  • Jupiter, Florida: A police officer surrendered to authorities following an independent probe. He is accused of using excessive force and beating a man after the man was arrested.
  • San Diego, California: The city has settled a case a woman filed in federal court for $135,000. The woman says she was being held against a concrete barrier with her wrists cuffed behind her back when she was picked up and slammed face first into the ground. She had to have her jaw wired shut for two months as a result. The officer said he could not comment for policy reasons.
  • Seattle, Washington: The interim police chief handed an eight-day suspension to a patrol officer, finding the officer used excessive force and unnecessarily escalated a confrontation with a man suspected of hit-and-run driving.
  • Mahoning County, Ohio: A deputy, who was originally charged with drunk driving following a two-car crash, has been convicted of a less serious charge. He pleaded no contest to failing to control his vehicle.
  • Ascension Parish, Louisiana: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested and fired after deputies found alleged evidence he exchanged inappropriate pictures and text messages with a 15-year old juvenile.

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