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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-02-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 2, 2013:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: A rape case has ended in a mistrial and a sheriff’s deputy has been suspended after allegations of jury tampering. He is accused of talking to jurors about the trial during a lunch break. The judge added that she was outraged.
  • Update: Omaha, Nebraska (First reported 03-27-13): A command officer and a second police officer are on administrative leave after accusations of excessive force. Two other officers have been reassigned. There is an ongoing investigation into incident involving unlicensed vehicles being towed.
  • West Allis, Wisconsin: A police officer has been charged with obstructing an officer after an investigation into whether he had a sexually suggestive conversation with a woman. The officer is currently on paid administrative leave.
  • Orlando, Florida: The family of a man who died after being shot with a taser by a police officer filed a lawsuit against the police department. The family said that the officer used the taser on the man two or three times after he was defenseless on the ground. The officer said that he was being unruly.
  • Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: A former sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty to charges that he engaged in a scheme to kill a man to prevent him from reporting the deputy’s alleged theft and misuse of his debit card. The FBI and the sheriff’s office investigated the case. The officer was fired after the incident.
  • Ottawa, Kansas: A sheriff has been accused of tipping off his lover about a meth investigation. The sheriff and his lawyer say the allegations are untrue. The prosecutor wrote that he “willfully engaged in misconduct while in office.”
  • Blytheville, Arkansas: A Criminal Investigation Division officer was arrested after an incident at a bar which resulted in public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges. He is on administrative leave as a result of the charges, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
  • Meridian, Mississippi: A former police officer has been sentenced to house arrest and probation after being convicted of forging a subpoena, while employed as a police officer, to obtain his wife’s phone records. He was given one year house arrest followed by five years probation.
  • Salisbury, North Carolina: A resident was awarded $25,000 after she filed a civil lawsuit against the city. She said she was manhandled and arrested by a police officer after she shot video of a traffic stop and high speed chase that happened in front of her house.
  • Pierce County, Washington: A man is suing the county over a police dog attack. The lawsuit says the man didn’t act aggressively toward the dog or officer and posed no risk to them. The sheriff’s department disputes nearly all of the man’s assertions.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-30-13 to 04-01-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 30 to Monday, April 1, 2013:

  • Knoxville, Pennsylvania: A woman filed a lawsuit against the city and a now imprisoned former officer, alleging the man was allowed to continue working for four years even after she filed a complaint against him for soliciting sexual acts from her. “We rely on the police. If somebody else did this to our client, and somebody threatened her and demanded sexual favors, you would hope the police would get involved, her attorney said. “But when it’s a policeman doing that, who do you turn to?”
  • Duluth, Minnesota: An officer was placed on paid administrative leave after his department said he twice backed his car into a parked car in a parking lot.
  • Battle Creek, Michigan: A 24-year veteran of the police department was fired from her job as a patrol officer after a two-month investigation revealed that she was stealing things in the locker room from other officers.
  • Update: Jennings, Louisiana (First reported 01-14-13): A former police chief who was accused of taking items from the department’s evidence room has pleaded innocent in state district court to malfeasance and other felony charges. He resigned three days before his arrest.
  • Palmdale, California: A jury has awarded $1.1 million to a teenager who, while holding a toy gun, was shot in the back by a sheriff’s deputy. The officer used excessive force when he shot the boy, the jury found.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Department of Justice officials say a former state trooper has been sentenced to a year in prison after forcing a woman to perform sex acts. He told the girl that she would be charged with a felony unless she did them.
  • North Versailles Township, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He reportedly hit two vehicles. He was off-duty at the time.
  • Springettsbury Township, Pennsylvania: Three officers are being sued by two people claiming the officer used excessive force against them in two separate incidents. According to a press release, portions of both incidents were caught on videotape.
  • Berkeley Springs, West Virginia: A man had his lawsuit against a deputy settled for $200,000. According to the suit, the officer kicked in the man’s door in an effort to enter his home. After making a second unsuccessful effort to kick open the door, he then fired two shots with his handgun. One hit the man in the abdomen and the other in the right hip.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-29-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 29, 2013:

  • East St. Louis, Illinois: A police officer has been accused of being drunk on the job. He was responding to a call that someone broke into a home and set it on fire. A witness said. “He smelled of alcohol and he was very belligerent, cussing my stepdaughter and boyfriend out.”
  • Canton, Texas: A police officer has been arrested for federal drug violation. The narcotics officer was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with six counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation.
  • Salisbury, North Carolina: The second officer in four months was fired. Police sent him a letter stating he was “hit by a simulation round fired by a subordinate and responded to the individual in a manner that was unbecoming of a supervisor.”
  • Rialto, California: A former police officer was sentenced to more than six years in state prison for committing a series of sex acts with a teenage relative. As part of the plea agreement he also received two strikes and will have to register as a sex offender. Prosecutors said he was facing more than 40 years if he had gone to trial.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer has been indicted and is facing several charges including driving drunk on an ATV. They are a result of an accident that occurred on the ATV.
  • Huntsville, Texas: An officer was arrested after being indicted by a grand jury. He was charged with official oppression for allegedly mistreating a person who was in his custody. Court documents indicate that he assaulted a man while he was in handcuffs.
  • Freestone County, Texas: Authorities say the sheriff has been indicted and a sheriff’s captain arrested for submitting fraudulent information to the state agency that oversees law enforcement training standards.
  • Update: Kent County, Michigan (First reported 03-25-13): A sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge. He is currently on paid leave with the sheriff’s department.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-28-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 28, 2013:

  • Waveland, Mississippi: The city settled four of ten federal lawsuits over its police force’s use of tasers. Though a settlement is not an admission of guilt, it spares the city the risk of exorbitant costs if a jury finds in favor of plaintiffs. The terms of the individual settlements are confidential by order of the court.
  • Update: Robbins, Illinois (First reported 12-28-12): The police chief, who retired after being charged with his second DUI in the past three years, is continuing to be paid by the government into next month, records show.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer has been indicted on misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He allegedly shot a police trainee in the head during a training exercise
  • West Pittston, Pennsylvania: A state police trooper has been charged with unlawfully accessing her then-boyfriend’s cellphone account and filing a false report that he assaulted her.
  • Clinton, Maine: A police officer who was accused of assault and was fired for conduct unbecoming a sheriff’s deputy. He was charged with assault and domestic assault.
  • Trenton, New Jersey:  A city police officer was indicted by a grand jury on charges of official misconduct for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest. If he is charged, he faces five to ten years in state prison if convicted of the second-degree charge.
  • Update: Buffalo, New York (First reported 12-18-12): A now-former trooper who admitted to organizing parties with prostitutes while off-duty was sentenced to three years probation and 300 hours of community service.
  • Update: Murray County, Tennessee (First reported 09-04-12): A former sheriff’s office captain pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in setting up for arrest a woman who had complained about sexual advances by a local judge. The case involved planting drugs into the woman’s car.
  • Detroit, Michigan: A police officer and a civilian were arrested in connection with an armed robbery investigation. The men are accused of a series of robberies of several businesses.
  • DeKalb County, Georgia: An officer has been charged with felony child cruelty and aggravated assault in the beating of his girlfriend’s 13-year old son.
  • Update: Williamson County, Illinois (First reported 03-11-13): A 23-year veteran sheriff’s deputy, who was arrested on DUI charges, resigned. It was his second DUI.
  • Fresno, CA: A sheriff’s deputy on courthouse detail brutalized a 66-year-old attorney after finding a child’s toy wrench in the purse of his client’s family member, the attorney claims in court.
  • Detroit, Michigan:  A police officer is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a teenager he met through a boot camp program advertised for troubled youth.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-27-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, March 27, 2013:

  • Raleigh County, West Virginia: A man is alleging that that an officer used excessive force against him after charging him with expired registration of his motorcycle. Along with violation of his constitutional rights, the man says he suffered “unnecessary infliction of pain and suffering” as a result of the arrest including “abrasions and contusions” to his “back, wrists, shoulders and elbows.” His suit includes claims of excessive battery and intentional outrageous conduct.
  • Omaha, Nebraska: The police chief responded to allegations officers used excessive force during two arrests that were recorded and  posted to YouTube. “I will get to the bottom of this. There is an internal investigation in full swing and the investigation will be conducted thoroughly, fairly, and as swiftly as possible.”
  • Burnett County, Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Attorney General has charged an officer with disorderly conduct for an argument with his girlfriend. The deputy’s conduct has sparked an investigation into a cover-up inside the sheriff’s office.
  • Johnstown, New York: A city police officer who was suspended last summer resigned in the midst of his disciplinary hearing. The chief said he cannot say publicly the reason for his resignation or why he was suspended.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer who was involved in a deadly crash was charged with counts of vehicular homicide and great bodily injury by vehicle. The officer has claimed he was trying to track down a drunken driver before his police cruiser slammed into another vehicle. The crash killed a 21-year-old woman and seriously injured her younger sister, who was driving the SUV.
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: A jury decided that two of four officers are liable for framing a mentally challenged 15-year-old in a 1983 rape and murder case. The man spent 26 years in maximum security prisons before DNA evidence set him free in 2009. He has been awarded $7 million in damages.
  • Greenville, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested after being accused of disposing evidence in a 29-year-old homicide case. “As a result, continuing the case and pursuing defendants [will be] extremely difficult,” said a court solicitor.
  • Mauldin, South Carolina: A police officer resigned after allegations were made that he sent inappropriate text messages to a female student. The case was referred to prosecutors, who will determine if any charges should be filed.
  • Janesville, Minnesota: An officer is facing a felony third-degree assault charge after an altercation at a club. The officer allegedly kneed the victim in the face four times. On the scene he told officers that he didn’t see a fight take place; witnesses say they saw the officer commit the assault.

Avoiding Tickets

From  msn money:

To increase your chances of a receiving a warning rather than a ticket:

  • Make it an easy stop. Pull over quickly, turn your interior lights on and keep your hands in sight on the wheel. When an officer approaches a vehicle, says Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright, he or she will be looking at how many people are in the car and where their hands are.
  • Be respectful. If you were looking for a way to ensure a ticket, being argumentative, angry or rude is a great way to do it. “There is no guarantee that a driver will receive a warning based upon behavior,” says Colorado State Patrol Capt. Jeff Goodwin, “but it certainly helps to be respectful and less confrontational.”
  • Save the excuses. Law enforcement officers have heard them all, so save your sob story. Answers to any questions should be brief and noncommittal. (For example, if the officer asks if you know why you’ve been pulled over, say no, legal experts advise.) Don’t argue. This isn’t a court.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-26-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, March 26, 2013:

  • West Valley City, Utah: Nineteen criminal cases are being dismissed by the DA because of possible illegal actions of a police detective. He is being investigated and could face criminal charges.
  • Creal Springs, Illinois: A police chief is facing unlawful restraint and domestic battery charges. He allegedly detained a woman in a home by blocking the doorway with his body in the presence of a child. He is on unpaid leave while the investigation continues.
  • Covington, Louisiana: Two officers were arrested and booked into jail on charges of simple battery and malfeasance in officer. The department’s internal affairs unit concluded its investigation into an incident in which the two officers allegedly used excessive force on an arrestee.
  • Update: Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (First reported 02-20-13): The police officer who was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a child has resigned, according to the police department. The 14-year-old boy told police he remembered the officer telling him he was not trying to be rude with regard to his age, but that he could lose his job.
  • St. Louis, Missouri: A police officer has been suspended and criminally charged with domestic assault and resisting arrest after police say he assaulted his boyfriend.
  • Waltham, Massachusetts: An officer was arrested by the FBI and is facing child pornography charges. He will be arraigned in federal court.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: The woman who said she was punched by a police officer has filed a civil lawsuit against the officer.
  • Oxnard, California: A former officer pleaded guilty to two counts of workers compensation fraud and was ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution to the state. He faces up to four years behind bars but will not likely get a harsh sentence. “Other than committing workers’ compensation fraud, he doesn’t have anything else on his record,” the prosecutor said. “The guy is a former cop.”
  • Manchester, New Hampshire: A detective has been fired after a preliminary investigation into a hit-and-run accident determined the sergeant violated several departmental procedures and his car may have been involved in the accident that injured two pedestrians.
  • Saratoga County, New York: A longtime deputy resigned to settle charges that he slashed the tire of a woman’s car. His case was adjourned pending good behavior.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-23-13 to 03-25-13

Here are the 21 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 23, 2013 to Monday, March 25, 2013:

  • Beaver County, Pennsylvania: State police arrested the Sheriff following a months-long state grand jury investigation. According to the attorney general’s office, the sheriff threatened a campaign volunteer, saying he would “cut (the man’s) hands off and eat them” as well as threatening to “blow (a reporter’s) brains out” after pulling a gun.
  • New Hanover County, North Carolina: A deputy with the crime scene investigation unit has been fired. “If we as officers, as deputies, if we hurt our credibility then we can’t do this job right now,” the sheriff said. The deputy was terminated after an internal investigation revealed she violated three sheriff’s officer policies and procedures.
  • Pender County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s deputy is out of a job after being charged with DWI after a car crash. The sheriff’s office says dispatch began receiving calls that a patrol car was driving unsafely. The officer was in uniform when his patrol car rear ended another car, investigators said.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer has been accused of taping a judge without her consent. Prosecutors allege that the recording of a phone conversation during which he argued with the judge was a violation of Maryland’s wiretap laws.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A police officer’s alleged use of excessive force is “strikingly similar” to allegations from an incident involving the same officer three years ago. The victim suffered a cracked rib, a broken nose and other injuries when the detective tackled him. The officer is similarly accused in a federal civil lawsuit of breaking a man’s cheekbone in three places. He was in uniform working off-duty detail both times.
  • Update: Irving, Texas (Previously reported 01-30-13): The two state troopers involved in a controversial roadside cavity search of two women have been indicted on criminal charges by a grand jury. One is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression. The other is charged with theft after one of the women said her prescription bottle of a painkiller was missing after the search.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: The U.S. Justice Department announced a civil-rights investigation into possible misconduct by police. There have been allegations that officers routinely use excessive force in the line of duty.
  • Update: Itasca County, Minnesota (First reported 03-08-13): A former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to allegedly attempting to videotape a 17-year-old girl in the bathroom. He was charged with one felony count of interference with privacy against a minor under 18.
  • Nashville, Tennessee: A deputy was charged in a federal complaint with conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. “The actions of a few corrupt law enforcement officers harm the reputation of the many dedicated men and women who wear the badge with honor,” said a U.S. attorney. “We will always pursue those few who choose to dishonor their badge and will bring them to justice.”
  • Towson, Maryland: An officer was charged was charged with driving under the influence. He was removed from his position and placed on administrative duty.
  • Update: Washington, DC (First reported 01-15-13): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to life without parole in the deaths of his mistress and their baby daughter. He was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and other crimes.
  • Cairo, New York: Authorities say the police chief has been charged with tampering with evidence. Officials say he also has been charged with tampering with public records, tampering with a witness and falsely reporting an incident.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: An indictment charges that the veteran sheriff let some favored inmates sleep outside jail with access to television and alcohol and that he gave away weapons to people he knew. The sheriff denied the allegations that also alleged chosen inmates had unsupervised visits with women.
  • Kent County, Michigan: A sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge. He awaits sentencing and is on paid leave with the sheriff’s department.
  • New York, New York: Two off-duty officers were arrested and charged with DWI. One is also being charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Sacramento, California: A police officer accused of filing false DUI reports, causing the cases to be thrown out, pled no contest more than two years after he was charged. During the investigation the police department and the D.A.’s office found that the officer lied about DUI suspects refusing to do field sobriety tests, staggering or slurring their speech, and suspects making incriminating statements about being drunk.
  • Update: Grand Junction, Colorado (First reported 06-19-12): A now-former officer was found guilty on one of four counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. He was immediately taken into custody pending sentencing. He could be sentenced to anywhere from 10 years to life in prison or probation, and must register as a convicted sex offender. The jury found in its verdict that the officer, while on duty, had sex with a 16-year-old girl.
  • Update: Madison, Wisconsin (First reported 02-20-13): The police officer arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a child has resigned, according to the police department. The boy told police he remembered the officer telling him he was not trying to be rude with regard to his age, but that he could lose his job.
  • Westminster, South Carolina: The former police chief has be charged with embezzlement, forgery and misconduct in office He is accused of stealing more than $100,000 in funds belonging to the city, according to the arrest warrants.  He is also accused of forging a check in someone else’s name for $1,400.
  • Update: Frederick County, Maryland (First reported 02-20-13): A grand jury has cleared three officers involved in an incident in a movie theater where a man with downs syndrome died.
  • Update: Sacramento, California (First reported 05-31-12): A police officer pleaded no contest to charges related to filing false reports. Prosecutors say 79 cases were dismissed because the footage from the officer’s in-car camera didn’t match up with reports that he’d filed. In 73 of those cases, according to the DA, there were already convictions and those had to be set aside.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-22-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 22, 2013:

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A police officer is scheduled to appear in court on a charge that he assaulted his girlfriend.
  • Oxnard, California: A federal lawsuit has been filed against the police department regarding an overdosing man who died of asphyxia after police restrained him. The complaint contains allegations of excessive force.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A woman raped by a police officer who responded to her 911 call has filed a civil suit against the former officer. The woman testified that he raped her, and then afterwards she was arrested. She told numerous officers at the station what had happened, but they did not believe her. She was taken to a hospital, where a nurse found physical evidence that she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An innocent man imprisoned for seven months by police on the basis of his reputed nickname will be awarded $150,000 to settle his lawsuit. The man charged four police officers with acting “with deliberate and/or reckless disregard for the truth” while conducting an investigation.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: A police officer has been accused of sending inappropriate text messages to a 15-year-old girl. He is on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A federal indictment appears imminent against an ousted police chief. As many as six charges are being considered against him. The police bureau’s Office of Personnel and Finance manager testified that he ordered her to divert public money into a secret account.
  • Update: Tupelo, Mississippi (First reported 02-20-13): Federal investigators are now looking at the supervisors of a former trooper who admitted slamming a woman to the floor and stamping on her in the jail.
  • San Diego, California: Four officers have been assigned to desk duty while the department investigates their involvement in the possible cover-up of the suspected DUI crash of their fellow officer.
  • Anne Arundel County, Maryland: An officer has been suspended in connection with a camera placed inside a boy’s bathroom at a high school. The officer has not been charged, and has been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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