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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-03-13 to 08-05-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, August 3 to Monday, August 5, 2013:

  • Hughestown, Pennsylvania: The FBI charged a police officer with selling prescription drugs while on duty and in uniform. He allegedly admitted to the drug sales as well as to providing prescription drug pills to another police officer. ow.ly/nDrUX
  • Putnam County, West Virginia:  A deputy has resigned after a hazing incident involving two teenagers. The deputy allowed two teens to use a taser on each other and did nothing to stop it. He also participated in using the taser on the teens. http://ow.ly/nEezC
  • Prichard, Alabama: A police officer has been charged with trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana. He is behind bars currently. http://ow.ly/nEecO
  • Update: Fairfax County, Virginia (First reported 04-12-13): A now former police officer and firefighter was sentenced to serve a five-year prison term after he was convicted of forcibly sodomizing his ex-girlfriend. “My actions were disrespectful and not honorable,” the officer said. ow.ly/nEdro
  • Burbank, California: An officer has been placed on administrative leave following a serious of “serious” allegations that could lead to criminal charges, the police chief said. ow.ly/nE6qZ
  • Peoria, Illinois: A police officer pleaded guilty to attempted obstruction of justice in connection with the probe of a drunken driving crash by a fellow officer and promptly resigned from the force. By pleading guilty to the misdemeanor it means the officer could still apply for another job as a police officer and receive his pension. ow.ly/nE5Xr
  • Rio Arriba, New Mexico: An officer will be demoted from lieutenant to sergeant and has been suspended without pay following his DWI arrest. He pleaded not guilty to the DWI in court. ow.ly/nE5js
  • Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin: A police officer is being charged with three felony crimes. He is being held in jail and is under investigation for possible child enticement, child exploitation, and the use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime. ow.ly/nDVu2
  • Orange County, California: A sheriff’s deputy allegedly pepper-sprayed a teenager’s pizza during a traffic stop. The teen, authorities said, and a group of friends later became sick after eating the pepper-spray tainted pizza.  He has been charged with one misdemeanor count of assault or battery by a public officer. ow.ly/nDEZQ

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-02-13

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, August 2, 2013:

  • Rhea County, Tennessee: A man is suing the county, the sheriff, and several other law enforcement officials for $2 million for alleged police brutality, according to a lawsuit filed in federal district court. ow.ly/nAgtW
  • Update: Cleveland, Ohio (First reported 06-12-13): A review of a deadly police chase has found that 75 patrol officers violated orders and police department rules, city official said. Nineteen officers face disciplinary hearings. A fleeing driver and passenger were killed when officers fired 137 shots at them. ow.ly/nA7gX
  • Update: Edmonds, Washington (Previously reported 01-16-13): A now-former officer wad found guilty of having sex with a woman in his custody. He is facing up to a year in jail and will be required to register as a sex offender for a decade. ow.ly/nA47f
  • Walker, Louisiana: A police officer was arrested. He is accused of hitting a juvenile rape suspect several times after he was already in the officer’s custody. ow.ly/nygCB
  • Update: Barren County, Kentucky (Previously reported 05-10-13): The now-former sheriff will spend a year and a half in prison related to his trial on civil rights violations. The judge said that by all accounts the sheriff was a model citizen, but his punishment must reflect the seriousness of the convictions and the former sheriff’s position of authority.  ow.ly/nzINW
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A man has filed an excessive force lawsuit against the police department and the city alleging battery and defamation. A hotel security video shows him being taken to the ground by officers in the lobby. ow.ly/nye6I

Questions About a Virginia Police Shooting

From a Washington Post editorial:

The report by Mr. Plowman, the county’s top prosecutor, presents the results of a serious and substantive investigation into the May 29 shooting. It includes statements from shoppers and store employees who were witnesses, and from the officers, as well as images from store security cameras and photos of the knife and scissors.

All that is useful, as is the speed with which the report was produced. Still, some critical questions remain unanswered, including the central one: Why couldn’t the officers — five of them, including three who had drawn their Tasers — subdue Ms. Scott short of using lethal force? Would better training have yielded a different outcome?

According to Mr. Plowman’s report, just one of three officers who drew his Taser fired it. The device hit Ms. Scott but apparently malfunctioned. Rather than delivering an incapacitating five-second jolt, which the report says is the norm, the electrical burst lasted just one second, and Ms. Scott was unaffected.

Why? The report is vague, saying it is unclear whether human error or equipment malfunction is to blame. (The Taser in question has been sent to the manufacturer for “more thorough examination,” the report says.) And why didn’t the other two officers who had drawn their Tasers use them? …

[P]olice must be prepared to deal with psychotic, disturbed and aggressive people; that’s part of the job description. Did the deputies in Loudoun receive adequate training for such an encounter? On that question, the report is silent.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-01-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, August 1, 2013:

  • Nassau County, New York: A police officer has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for pointing his department-issues weapon at a bartender’s head during an off-duty confrontation. He faces up to three months at his sentencing. ow.ly/ny9mG
  • Richmond County, Georgia: A now-former deputy was indicted on charges of tampering with evidence and violation of his oath of officer. He confiscated a large amount of Marijuana, money, and a handgun and did not document any this in any report of recover the property correctly. ow.ly/ny8dQ
  • Washington County, Alabama: The sheriff says he intends to fight charges of conspiracy and theft of government money. The indictment alleges the sheriff conspired with others to fraudulently obtain Social Security benefits for one of his employees. ow.ly/nxYIx
  • Nolensville, Tennessee: An officer pled guilty to a federal mail fraud charge for demanding $200 from a woman in exchange for not arresting her for driving without a license. ow.ly/nxVtg
  • Shoshoni, Wyoming: A legally blind man says two local police officers used excessive force when they came to his home to investigate complaints about his cats. All the charges against him were dropped. ow.ly/nxSvU
  • Sedgwick County, Kansas: The Sheriff says two deputies were arrested and booked into jail after a criminal investigation found possible crimes of making false information and official misconduct. They are on administrative leave without pay. ow.ly/nxPDq
  • Cleveland, Tennessee: A police officer who was suspended has resigned from his job. A woman filed a formal complaint alleging that the officer sexually assaulted her at her residence. ow.ly/nxCHj
  • Rock Rapids, Iowa: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager. He was arrested and charged with third-degree sexual abuse. ow.ly/nxAuA
  • Update: Anne Arundel County, Maryland (First reported 06-10-13): A police detective has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting of another driver in a road rage incident. ow.ly/nxzWn
  • Update: Minidoka County, Idaho (Previously reported 07-02-13): The now-former sheriff has pleaded guilty to felony misuse of public funds.  He admitted to using his gas card to buy fuel for personal reasons. ow.ly/nxrYK
  • Los Angeles, California: A college student mistakenly left in a Drug Enforcement Administration interrogation room for five days will receive $4.1 million from the government in a settlement in advance of a lawsuit. He was in the windowless room for five days without food, water, or toilet facilities. He suffered hallucinations and was forced to drink his own urine to survive. ow.ly/nxcYE
  • Update: Socorro, Texas (First reported 11-09-12): Charges against two now-former officers have been dismissed by a judge who determined the case against them lacked sufficient evidence. ow.ly/nuP7k

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-31-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 31, 2013:

  • Washington, DC: A police officer pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder drug money. He faces around 10 to 16 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. ow.ly/nuLgr
  • Kannapolis, North Carolina: A police officer and his wife have been arrested on charges of federal child pornography. Both are charged with receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography and making false statements. ow.ly/nuI0u
  • Spokane, Washington: An officer has been suspended for two months without pay after the department determined he had been associating with a woman engaging in prostitution, drugs and burglary. ow.ly/ntq2L
  • Update: Los Angeles, California (First reported 05-22-13): A police officer pleaded no contest to two felonies. He was arrested for sexually molesting one girl and attempting to molest a second after luring them to his home. ow.ly/nv6Wc
  • Burlington, Vermont: A deputy police chief was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This is not his first alcohol-related arrest. ow.ly/ntpw6
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (Previously reported 07-12-13): A policeman was acquitted of killing his depressed wife with his department-issued gun and then trying to make it look like a suicide. ow.ly/nuJQP
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: After police watched their attack dog rip apart a sleeping woman’s leg, the cops told its handler “Severe trauma to the leg? … Awesome … you deserve a slurpee,” the woman claims in court. ow.ly/ntn0S
  • Cary, North Carolina: A police officer resigned from the department hours after she was charged with driving while intoxicated. She is accused of sideswiping four parked cars during the incident. ow.ly/nthYQ
  • Darby, Pennsylvania: An officer has been charged with allegedly holding women against their will in his police car. He faces 16 charges, including multiple counts of simple assault and harassment to kidnapping and stalking. ow.ly/ntgbo
  • Baltimore City, Maryland: A police officer has been suspended amidst an investigation into the capture of a teen involved in a chase. Officials say the officer used excessive force in the apprehension of the teen. “The commissioner, Commissioner Batts and myself, are very disappointed and troubled by what we saw on the video,” said Deputy Commissioner Rodriguez. ow.ly/ntftY
  • Springfield, Tennessee: A police officer was arrested on a domestic assault charge. Following the opening of the investigation, he was terminated from his position at the police department. ow.ly/ntdMF
  • Update: St. Louis, Missouri (First reported 06-05-13): A police officer, accused of driving drunk and crashing into a police truck, changed his plea, and was sentenced. He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault – operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resulting in injury. ow.ly/nt6PK

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-30-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 30, 2013:

  • Santa Fe, New Mexico: Police are under fire for handcuffing a woman who was having a diabetic attack. They thought she was drunk after she crashed into another vehicle, and left her face down and handcuffed on the road. ow.ly/nsyEW
  • Fergus Falls, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of sexually abusing several boys while volunteering as a fishing guide at a church camp. He has been charged with criminal sexual conduct. ow.ly/nr9lA
  • Update: Sarasota, Florida (First reported 10-09-12): An officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation into an incident. The incident involved a homeless man who was accused of disorderly intoxication and was thrown into a metal railing. ow.ly/nr935
  • Escambia County, Florida: Two sheriff’s deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave after they opened fire and shot an unarmed black man in his own driveway. Neighbors describe the man as mild-mannered and law abiding, and a teenage girl who witnessed the shooting said she did not see the 60-year-old provoke the incident. “He wasn’t belligerent or anything,” she said. http://ow.ly/nsBzm
  • Update: Woodstock, Georgia (First reported 06-20-13): A police officer will be suspended and receive a $6,000 pay cut after his K-9 partner was left in a patrol car and died of a heat stroke. http://ow.ly/nsClz
  • Rocky Mount, Virginia: A police officer and another man have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of acquiring guns through straw buyers to resell them at a profit. Department policy calls for an officer accused of a felony to be suspended without pay. http://ow.ly/nsDxU
  • Christian County, Kentucky: A deputy sheriff was arrested for allegedly having sex with a now-former inmate at the jail. He has been charged with official misconduct, third degree sodomy, and two counts of third degree rape. http://ow.ly/nsG16
  • Mingo County, West Virginia: Three sheriff’s deputies are accused of brutalizing a man following an altercation he had with one of the deputy’s loved ones. The man says that at no time did he pose a threat or evade or resist arrest. http://ow.ly/nsOcI
  • Garland County, Arkansas: A now-former deputy pleaded guilty. He arranged for a minor to travel and engage in prostitution.  A U.S. Attorney said, “[The officer] abused his position of public trust to engage in illegal activities involving prostitution. This activity is unacceptable, and we will continue to bring to justice those individuals who seek to use similar positions to perpetrate crimes.” http://ow.ly/nsSMF
  • Amity Township, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been charged with shoplifting from Giant. He is charged with retail theft and receiving stolen property. http://ow.ly/nsSeY
  • St. Clair Shores, Michigan: An officer was suspended without pay after he was accused of being part of a duo who robbed people while posing as cops. Reports said that police were investigating incidents of men posing as officers who beat and robbed their victims, and the 20-year veteran was arrested. http://ow.ly/nsUjV
  • Palmdale, California: A deputy was arrested on suspicion of committing 11 criminal counts. They include sexual penetration under the color of authority, soliciting a bribe from alleged victims and rape under fear or distress. His pay was suspended following the arrest. http://ow.ly/nt0xU

‘It was like a firing squad’

From the Pensacola News Journal:

Middleton, 60, of the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, was shot in the leg about 2:42 a.m. Saturday while trying to retrieve a cigarette from his mother’s car in the driveway of their home.

A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car and called 911. While he was looking into the vehicle, deputies arrived in response to the burglary call.

Middleton said he was bent over in the car searching the interior for a loose cigarette when he heard a voice order him to, “Get your hands where I can see them.”

He said he initially thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but when he turned his head he saw deputies standing halfway down his driveway.

He said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.

“It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-27-13 to 07-29-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 27 to Monday, July 29, 2013:

  • Update: Birmingham, Alabama (First reported 06-17-13): A now-former police officer was sentenced to 100 years in prison on arson convictions related to six fires. He started the fires while he was in uniform and on duty. ow.ly/nqmLF
  • Grand County, Utah: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested after an investigation into attempted murder following an alleged attack on his father. He has been charged with two misdemeanors. ow.ly/nqoJr
  • Petaluma, California: An officer pleaded no contest to an alcohol related reckless driving charge. The police chief said the department is taking the incident seriously and understands members of the community who have expressed disappointment in the officer’s behavior. ow.ly/nqohg
  • Birmingham, Alabama: A police officer was arrested and fired. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of ethics violations. ow.ly/nqmzc
  • Seattle, Washington: A police detective was arrested after an investigation into reports he cyber-stalked and stole the identity of a woman he was romantically involved with. He has been jailed and placed on administrative leave. ow.ly/nqkFu
  • Tallahassee, Florida: A police officer has been suspended for illegally accessing his estranged wife’s email account. The internal affairs report indicated he intended to use the emails against her in a divorce and custody case. He could have faced felony charges for illegally accessing the email account, but the state’s attorney’s office chose not to prosecute him. ow.ly/nq7JX
  • Orange County, California: A deputy sheriff was suspended without pay after she was arrested in connection with a real-estate scam. She was jailed on charges of grand theft, scheme to defraud, and uttering forgery. ow.ly/nq5AP
  • Sacramento, California: A highway patrolman has been accused in a sexual battery incident against a disabled man that took place inside a department store’s public restroom. He was off-duty at the time of the alleged battery. ow.ly/npVBW

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