National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-07-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 7, 2012:

  • Bexar County, Texas: Sheriff’s deputy on administrative leave after she was arrested on charge of driving while intoxicated. http://bit.ly/RqFbFQ
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: The son of a man who died in police custody has filed a lawsuit. He says the police caused his father’s death. Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank for the second time denied police used a Taser on Nelson. Burbank said investigators collected the officers’ Tasers at the scene and checked their digital history. When a Taser is deployed, it creates a digital record and produces a tiny slip of paper with identifying marks that match the cartridge that was fired, Burbank said. http://bit.ly/RjAKCp
  • Louisville, Kentucky: Authorities are concerned that alcohol may have been a factor in an off-duty, officer-involved shooting. http://bit.ly/RRWNuM
  • Update: Broomfield, Colorado: Officers were cleared in the fatal shooting of a man who fired an air-soft gun at them. http://bit.ly/UvhmBd
  • Gallatin County, Montana: A felony charge against a deputy accused of assaulting a teenage inmate has resurfaced. The officer put his hands around a girl’s neck and pushed her against a wall while she was wearing a restraint belt and handcuffs. The officer admitted to investigators that his intent was to scare her so she would comply with him. He said that his acts were forceful and not the type he had been trained to use. http://bit.ly/Uy2bHr
  • Hubbard Township, Ohio: An officer was arraigned on domestic-violence charges and placed on immediate suspension. http://bit.ly/POZkGN
  • London, Kentucky: A trooper tried to trade drugs in exchange for sex. He was sentenced to 74 months in prison for drug trafficking and carrying a firearm while trafficking prescription narcotics. bit.ly/RTalpZ
  • Columbus, Ohio: A federal lawsuit filed against a variety of law enforcement agencies and the county states law enforcement shot an unarmed man eight times without cause. ohne.ws/Rj7lbz
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer faces federal charges for allegedly obtaining illegal prescriptions through forgery. He faces up to 56 years in prison. bit.ly/P0VgTd
  • Anchorage, Alaska: The city will pay more than $5.5 million to 11 women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by a police officer now serving 87 years in prison for rape. Paul Stockler, an attorney for one of the women, said his client was raped while she was in handcuffs in 2009. The woman, who was detained in a DUI case but not cited, reached a settlement of more than $947,000, plus she will receive an annuity of $1,000 a month for life, Stockler said. “There isn’t anyone that would go through or put their daughter through what any of these girls went through for any sums of money that any of them collected,” he said. bit.ly/PLXPZL

90+ Arrests of DC Cops Past 4 Years

From the Washington Examiner:

In the past three and a half years, more than 90 D.C. police officers — from detectives to captains to the rank-and-file cops on the street — have been arrested, a Washington Examiner analysis of police data has revealed.

Metropolitan Police Department officers have been nabbed within the District and as far away as Florida. They’ve been arrested on charges ranging from to child pornography to murder. The majority are DUI and domestic violence arrests, though some cases stand out.

 

 

 

Officer Shoots a Fleeing, Handcuffed Suspect

From the Washington Post:

Calvin Kyle, 26, had been pulled over, handcuffed and put in a police cruiser after he was seen riding a stolen motorcycle near County Road and Marlboro Pike in District Heights, law enforcement officials said. But as District Heights Police Sgt. Johnnie Riley attended to other matters, Kyle got out of the cruiser and began to run, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. … Family members said that they had been told that Kyle was in and out of consciousness and had no feeling in his legs. It was unclear, they said, if he would walk again, though it appeared he would survive.

Of all the aspects of police training, the one thing that ought be crystal clear is the circumstances in which deadly force is justified.  This does not seem like a close call.

Police Exempt from Red Light Cameras?

From the DemocratandChronicle.com:

Over the past 18 months, city of Rochester employees have committed at least 119 red light violations while driving city vehicles, records show.

But while employees can be disciplined for the violation, “payment of the related fine will not be required,” according to a newly adopted city procedure for handling the violations.

One-third of the infractions were by police department vehicles, including one driven by Police Chief James Sheppard. These are not instances where squad cars are going through intersections with lights and sirens blaring.

H/T:  Drudge Report

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-06-12

Here are the 9 stories of police misconduct tracked for Thursday September 6th, 2012:

  • Hialeah Gardens, Florida: A police officer has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for his role in a marijuana distribution ring. He conducted two traffic stops of people known to be transporting marijuana. A total of 24 pounds of marijuana was stolen by the officer and his co-conspirators during those stops. bit.ly/SnnGNM
  • Washington, D.C.: A police officer illegally seized a camera phone from a citizen trying to photograph officers at the scene of an arrest, a civil liberties group alleged in a federal lawsuit filed. The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of the camera phone’s owner, whose phone was taken by an officer just a day after the police department had issued a new directive prohibiting officers from seizing such devices or from interfering with citizens taking photos of police in public spaces. wapo.st/P1evPI
  • Kingsport, Tennessee: A police officer was charged with criminal simulation and forgery. Investigators believe that the officer impersonated a former employee in sending an email message that accused the police chief of misconduct. bit.ly/QoyY0N
  • Houston, Texas: A former Houston police officer is on trial for handcuffing a waitress, driving her to a secluded park and repeatedly raping her while he was on duty. The prosecution claimed the police department had ‘a rapist on its payroll,’ referring to the officer, who is facing two counts of aggravated sexual assault against the woman, an immigrant. “He had a badge, he had a gun, he had a marked patrol car and evil in his heart,” the prosecutor told jurors. bit.ly/OZBedD
  • Miami Beach, Florida: A six year veteran of the police department appeared in bond court. He was charged with racketeering, fraud, and official misconduct. The officer turned himself in and is also charged with two counts of false statement of financial condition and two counts each of obtaining a vehicle by trick and unlawful subleasing of a vehicle. http://cbsloc.al/Od1vYL
  • Little Rock, Arkansas: An officer has had six suspensions over five years, and still has his job. He most recently shot a 15-year-old boy and killed him and is currently on paid leave pending the investigation into the shooting. http://on.kthv.com/P49E0i
  • Worcester, Massachusetts: An officer already serving 10-12 years for rape has been sentenced to 18-20 more years for the rape of an additional woman. http://bit.ly/Oq5OM4
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: An officer was charged with depriving numerous women of their civil rights by illegally detaining them without probably cause. He would then sexually harass them. http://hrld.us/Qb48oT
  • Woodbury, Minnesota: Mark Eric Henderson Jr. saw his opportunity to escape from the Woodbury motel room where he and seven other people were being held hostage early Friday, and he took it. When the gunman who had been tormenting the group told Henderson to go to the window to see if any police were outside, Henderson took his chance and made a beeline for the door. The kidnapper opened fire at him in response but missed. As Henderson bolted out the door toward them, Woodbury police opened fire and cut him down. The 19-year-old died later that day at the hospital. http://bit.ly/OTL8xf

Malfeasance at State Police Crime Lab

From MassLive.com:

BOSTON – The scope of the investigation into the improper handling of drug samples by a state crime lab  chemist spans 34,000 cases over the past nine and a half years, according to the Patrick administration, heightening fears that the breach of justice could be widespread and difficult to unravel. …

The list represents an estimated 34,000 cases worked on by the chemist in question between 2003 and 2012 spanning her entire period of employment at the DPH, according to the Massachusetts State Police and the Executive Office of Public Safety. The administration said there was no estimate on how many of those cases may have been mishandled by the chemist, which could not only jeopardize convictions, but threaten confidence in the criminal justice system.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-05-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 5, 2012:

  • Youngstown, Ohio: Two deputies have been placed on leave while there is an investigation going on into a deputy that was caught on video beating an inmate. “I was horrified when I seen the film. Somebody’s going to have to pay the consequences of what happened there,” said the Mahoning County Sheriff. bit.ly/OSRUFc
  • Nogales, Arizona: A federal lawsuit has been filed against the police department for allegedly shooting a stun gun at a disabled man in a department store. The man says police used excessive force after he suffered a seizure. The lawsuit claims the man wasn’t fully aware of his surroundings when they used the stun gun. A woman working at the time disagreed with they way officers responded. “They should first investigate what’s wrong with a person because he could’ve died after all shocks they gave him.” bit.ly/NMMVHA
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer was suspended for 30 days for drunk driving and being involved in a crash while he was off-duty. bit.ly/OMuY8D
  • Jackson, Mississippi: A police officer was indicted for allegedly accepting a bribe in exchange for granting a field release for a suspect. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years behind bars. bit.ly/Q4CAXR
  • Union City, California: A police officer resigned from the force after being convicted of a misdemeanor count of lewd or dissolute conduct in public, authorities said. He exposed himself to two women in their home, and they filed a complaint, which led to his arrest. bit.ly/PPK80n
  • Dartmouth, Massachusetts: A detective was arrested for allegedly blackmailing his 37-year-old stepdaughter into having sex with him. bit.ly/OZ96sH
  • Simi Valley, California: An off-duty officer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing a pickup into a utility pole, house, and retaining wall. The truck came to a stop upside-down on the side of the road. bit.ly/NRpl6w
  • Richland County, North Dakota: A lawsuit was filed against the Sheriff’s office claiming two of its deputies used excessive force on three young men during a traffic stop last year. bit.ly/RhtrFE

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-04-12

Here are the 9 stories of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 4th, 2012:

  • Fairmont, West Virginia: A former Fairmont State University student is alleging that police turned what should’ve been a routine report of a fender-bender into a full-fledged search of his vehicle, because he is black. bit.ly/NKvfwc
  • Anderson County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested and charged with conspiring to make, deliver or process hydrocodone from his house. Officials say that he distributed drugs while on the job. bit.ly/OLEfOi
  • Prince George County, Maryland: A video shows an officer striking a boy with his gun, and it appears that it fires when it hits him in the head. The officer lied about the incident and said the boy attacked him. wj.la/PZbuji
  • St. Paul, Minnesota: An officer was caught on video kicking a man in the chest who was lying on the ground and coughing after he had been sprayed with a chemical irritant. The officer then handcuffs the man, drags him to his feet and, with the assistance of another officer, slams the man onto the hood of a squad car. The man plans to file a lawsuit. bit.ly/TeMwyy
  • Federal Way, Washington: A lawsuit says that the police department unconstitutionally used excessive force by unreasonably using lethal tactics against an unarmed individual suspected of a minor, nonviolent crime. It was the second fatal shooting by the officer over a 16-month period and, in both incidents, he was the only officer to fire his weapon. bit.ly/Uha1VH
  • White Could, Michigan: An officer was arraigned on charges of lying to detectives investigating the detective’s sister. The sister was a person of interest in a case. bit.ly/PzDCVL
  • Ogden, Utah: Four highway patrol troopers brought R. Todd May to the ground and punched him eight times and shocked him at least twice with a taser. He is now suing, saying they used excessive force and asking for $250,000 in damages. When he was complaining of stomach pains after he was in placed in a squad car, an officer can be heard on the police camera saying to him, “you’re fine, there’s not even any blood.” bit.ly/NHn3ac
  • Grant County, West Virginia: A woman is suing the sheriff, alleging that he used excessive force when she was arrested for driving under the influence. bit.ly/Q1j2xI
  • Spartenburg, South Carolina: An officer shot, and killed, a tethered dog after approaching the wrong house to serve papers to a man who did not live there. exm.nr/NFALdN

Today is Jury Rights Day

September 5  is Jury Rights Day!

Here is my blog post from last year:

Today’s date, Sept. 5, marks an important historical event in the development of the right to trial by jury. On this day in 1670, William Penn and William Mead were prosecuted in England for “unlawful assembly,” “disturbing the peace,” and “riot.” These “crimes” arose from Penn having preached near Grace Church to a meeting of several hundred Quakers.

It was a peculiar trial in many respects. The court, for example, denied Penn’s request to simply read the indictment. But the trial was most notable for the way in which the court tried to bully the jury. When the jury did not come back with guilty verdicts, but a verdict that simply said “guilty of speaking to an assembly,” the court refused to accept that outcome and ordered the jury to return to their deliberations. When the jury returned with a verdict that acquitted Mead of all charges, the court ordered the jury to prison! Next, the jurors filed a writ of habeas corpus challenging the legality of their imprisonment.

Soon after, an important legal precedent was set for jury independence: jurors cannot be punished for voting their conscience. That’s the story behind “Jury Rights Day.”

Alas, the jury trial has been in a steady decline here in the United States.

We started out strong. Our Constitution says, “the Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall by by Jury.”  And our second president, John Adams, said, “It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty … to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”

But these days, the government pressures many defendants to enter into plea bargains so fewer and fewer cases go to trial. And the government no longer wants jurors to vote their conscience. Indeed, it goes so far as to arrest people for distributing pamphlets that discuss these matters.

We need policies that will once again honor the role that juries play in securing justice.

For a good article, go here.  For a good book, go here.

Some good news from New Hampshire in this area.

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