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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-28-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, August 28, 2013:

  • Luzerne County, Pennsylvania: A police officer who serves with two departments is facing assault and harassment charges following an alleged drunken fracas at a concert.
  • Update: Waupun, Wisconsin (First reported 08-07-13): A police officer accused of burglary, stealing two vehicles, and leading other officers on a high-speed chase has submitted his resignation. He had been the subject of a manhunt in three counties and now faces multiple charges.
  • New York, New York: A police officer who had arrested a photographer has been indicted on three felony counts and five misdemeanors accusing him of fabricating the reasons for the arrest. All charges against the photographer have been dismissed.
  • Providence, Rhode Island: An officer has been suspended with pay after he struck and kicked a handcuffed man who was taunting him and spitting at him.
  • Zwolle, Louisiana: An officer has been arrested and charged with doctor shopping and obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraud. She was at the department, and on the clock, when she was arrested.
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: A police officer has been suspended while being investigated for allegedly driving drunk and fleeing the scene of an accident. He was off-duty, and in a marked police cruiser when he ran a flashing red light. Records show that he has crashed his police car six times in six years.
  • Homer, Louisiana: A police officer has been fired and two more have been suspended. The police chief said he fired one officer for insubordination.  He’s also put another officer on leave without pay because he’s involved in an investigation. A third officer has also been put on leave without pay.
  • Update: Saline County, Arkansas (First reported 07-01-13): The sheriff pleaded guilty to charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest. He will have to pay $3,290 in fines and serve one year of probation.
  • South Bend, Indiana: A police officer who has been on paid leave for several months will keep his job. He has been accused of interfering with an internal investigation, badmouthing the department, and lying. He will be suspended for 120 days, without pay, and has also been demoted.
  • Wichita, Kansas: A police officer has admitted to conspiring to bribe a car-theft victim in hopes of saving her job. She was accused of arranging to pay the theft victim $150 to recant his statement about her actions.
  • Omaha, Nebraska: A police detective pleaded guilty. He was selling information on suspects and witnesses, criminal histories, driver’s license information, and other data that he took from a police database.
  • Denville, New Jersey: The family of a man shot and killed by a police officer has settled its civil lawsuit against the department and the town for $400,000. As part of the settlement, Denville asserted that the officers had done no wrong.
  • Jefferson County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay for not telling the truth in statements about an arrest.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-27-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, August 27, 2013:

  • Chino, California: Two deputies were arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm. The drew their weapons on one another during a camping dispute. The sheriff’s spokesman said both deputies have been relieved of duty with pay. He said the men brandished their guns in a “threatening manner.”
  • Update: Snohomish County, Washington (Previously reported 01-10-13): A jury convicted a sheriff’s deputy of burglary. He was charged after allegations surfaced that he stole a wood-burning stove, stove pipe and some cedar flooring from a vacation home. He has been fired.
  • Polk County, Florida: A deputy is accused of trying to lure a 17-year-old girl he has known for several years into a sexual relationship. He allegedly sent her inappropriate text messages and photos.
  • Charleston, West Virginia: Two police officers names in a federal indictment against a judge are accused in federal court cases with other alleged misconduct.
  • Norfolk, Virginia: The chief deputy of the sheriff’s office is accused of solicitation. He has been placed on paid, indefinite personal leave following his arrest on a misdemeanor summons of Solicitation for Prostitution.
  • Lavallette, New Jersey: A police chief has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. He was charged with simple assault in connection with the incident.
  • Parker, Arizona: The police chief is on paid leave as a result of two separate investigations. He is under criminal investigation by the Department of Public Safety and also faces a separate internal investigation for violating town policies.
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico: A longtime detective has been charged with sex crimes related to an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl. He has been charged with one count each of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and criminal sexual contact of a minor.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-24-13 to 08-26-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, August 24, to Monday, August 26, 2013:

  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An off-duty police officer was arrested after police say he was driving drunk on his motorcycle.
  • Newark, New Jersey: An off-duty police officer was arrested in the Bronx for pulling a gun on another woman during a dispute. She has been suspended without pay.
  • San Francisco, California: A police officer was reportedly arrested on suspicion of molesting a 15-year-old boy. The officer has been suspended without pay.
  • Update: Pawtucket, Rhode Island (First reported 08-09-13): A police officer has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $600 worth of gas from the city.
  • Tequesta, Florida: A police officer was arrested and charged with one count of domestic battery after police witnessed an incident at a medical center.
  • Brunswick County, North Carolina: A deputy was fired after he was arrested on several sex offense charges, including soliciting prostitution. He was arrested after a two-week internal investigation.
  • Texarkana, Texas: A police officer who injected his wife with animal-euthanizing drugs has been sentenced to ten years in prison. He had access to the drugs because of his role as an officer and was fired after being arrested.
  • Hanceville, Alabama: A lawsuit filed against a now-former police officer alleges that he used excessive force against a 15-year-old girl and caused her to be bitten by the department’s K-9 police dog. The Mayor and the Police Chief both reviewed the incident and say the allegations are unfounded.
  • St. John Parish, Louisiana: Family members of a husband and wife who were shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies filed a suit in federal court against the sheriff and 14 deputies, alleging wrongful death.
  • Lake Oswego, Oregon: A committee of law-enforcement professionals has recommended that two now-former police officers lose their credentials for life after having sex with female employees while the officers were on duty. If they board votes to revoke their credentials, they will not be allowed to be law enforcement officials in Oregon again.
  • Los Angeles County, California: A deputy and a jail employee have been charged with filing a false report for allegedly trying to cover up another deputy’s assault on the inmate. The deputy has since resigned.
  • Richmond, Rhode Island: Authorities say a police officer got two internet domain names in the name of his chief and used them to link to porn sites. He was arrested and charged with a federal crime of using misleading domain names on the internet.

The Use and Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

The current issue of the New Yorker looks at civil asset forfeiture laws around the USA.

Here is an excerpt:

Over the past year, I spoke with more than a hundred police officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and forfeiture plaintiffs from across the country. Many expressed concern that state laws designed to go after high-flying crime lords are routinely targeting the workaday homes, cars, cash savings, and other belongings of innocent people who are never charged with a crime….

In West Philadelphia last August, an elderly couple named Mary and Leon Adams were finishing breakfast when several vans filled with heavily armed police pulled up to their red brick home. An officer announced, “We’ll give you ten minutes to get your things and vacate the property.” The men surrounding their home had been authorized to enter, seize, and seal the premises, without any prior notice.

“I was almost numb,” Mary Adams, a sixty-eight-year-old grandmother with warm brown eyes and wavy russet hair, recalled. When I visited her this spring, she sat beside her seventy-year-old husband, who was being treated for pancreatic cancer, and was slumped with exhaustion….

Around 5 p.m. on July 19th, Leon, Sr., was in his bedroom recovering from surgery when he was startled by a loud noise. “I thought the house was blowing up,” he recalls. The police “had some sort of big, long club and four guys hit the door with it, and knocked the whole door right down.” swat-team officers in riot gear were raiding his home. One of the officers placed Leon, Jr., in handcuffs and said, “Apologize to your father for what you’ve done.” Leon, Jr., was taken off to jail, where he remains, awaiting trial.

The police returned about a month after the raid. Owing to the allegations against Leon, Jr., the state was now seeking to take the Adamses’ home and to sell it at a biannual city auction, with the proceeds split between the district attorney’s office and the police department. All of this could occur even if Leon, Jr., was acquitted in criminal court; in fact, the process could be completed even before he stood trial.

Read the whole thing.

For related Cato Institute work, go here, here, and here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-23-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, August 23, 2013:

  • Update: South Beloit, Illinois (First reported 05-07-13): A now-former police chief pleaded guilty to one count of official misconduct for allegedly pushing a handcuffed woman. She was secured by shackles on her legs and had her hands handcuffed behind her back when the incident occurred.
  • Bismarck, North Dakota: A police officer has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly falsifying his timecard while working. He is accused of using a supervisor’s login and password to the department’s timekeeping system to add time to his card. He resigned amidst the termination proceedings.
  • Update: DeLand, Florida (First reported 06-05-13): A police officer was fired after highway patrol investigators said he ran over and killed a man. The family has accepted a $350,000 settlement from the city.
  • Carrollton, Texas: A police officer will be forced to pay $80,000 in damages after a jury found he used excessive force. He was caught on surveillance video throwing a man against the wall in a jail cell after he had arrested the victim.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer was fired amid allegations that he sexually abused a minor. He has not been charged with a crime, but the DA’s office is reviewing the allegations against him.
  • Tucson, Arizona: A police officer was still in the probationary phase of his employment was fired after investigators verified reports of misconduct. He falsified an official police report, engaged in misrepresentation of facts to his supervisor, and mishandled evidence.
  • Austin, Texas: A lawsuit says that a police officer who fired at an unarmed man during at a traffic stop used excessive force. A witness to the shooting said that the officer fired before giving any commands to the man.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-22-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, August 22, 2013:

  • North Charleston, South Carolina: An off-duty police officer was charged with driving under the influence after an accident.
  • St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to writing fake seat belt tickets while working grant-funded overtime. “To say I am disgusted is an understatement,” said the sheriff. “Our law enforcement job is already difficult enough. Because of [the officer’s] actions, that job of maintaining the public trust has gotten a little harder.”
  • Danville, Indiana: A police officer pleaded guilty to domestic battery. The guilty plea means that he can no longer carry a gun or be a police officer.
  • Chester County, Pennsylvania: A police detective once trusted with thousands of dollars of his colleagues money is now accused of stealing from his own force. “He was respected, he was admired, he was trusted, unfortunately he used those qualities as a smokescreen to steal from his fellow police officers,” said the district attorney. “This is a simple case about a good cop gone bad.”
  • Ottawa County, Michigan: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended for 30 days for “inappropriate behavior.” He was placed on unpaid suspension after an internal investigation.
  • Unified, Utah: A now-former officer has been charged with faking DUI reports and working overlapping shifts to steal taxpayer money. He retired amid an internal investigation that allegedly found he had faked reports while working grant-funded overtime shifts, sometimes at the same time he was clocked-in at other jobs.
  • Chesterfield County, South Carolina: An officer has been indicted on charges of embezzlement and misconduct. Prosecutors say he took money on behalf of the sheriff’s office and deposited it into his personal bank account.
  • King County, Washington: A sergeant who has racked up more than 100 complaints during his tenure with the sheriff’s office has been reprimanded by the sheriff and demoted.

When the Commanders Order Cops to Cover It All Up

When police officers report police misconduct, is that free speech protected by the Constitution?  Or can they be punished because they went outside of the chain of command?  Does it make any difference if the commanders ordered a coverup of wrongdoing?

A former police officer filed a lawsuit that claimed he was fired because he tried to do something about misconduct that he witnessed.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“It is relevant to the resolution of Dahlia’s case that Dahlia disclosed misconduct to LASD in contravention of the numerous threats and admonitions from his superiors not to reveal the misconduct to anyone,” wrote Judge Richard A. Paez, a President Clinton appointee. “He defied, rather than followed, his supervisors’ orders.”

Dahlia alleged that he witnessed other officers physically abuse suspects who were taken into custody during a high-profile robbery probe that began in late 2007. He said he saw a lieutenant grab a suspect by the throat, put a gun under his eye and threaten him.

Dahlia also reported that he heard yelling and the sound of somebody being hit and slapped in a room where a sergeant was interviewing a suspect.

When Dahlia reported what he had allegedly witnessed to a superior, the lieutenant told him to stop his “sniveling,” he said. Dahlia said he also was ordered not to tell internal affairs officers about what he had seen.

“The physical beatings continued in BPD interview rooms and in the field, evidenced by the booking photos of various suspects,” the court said.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-21-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, August 21, 2013:

  • Dallas, Texas: Six officers were fired. Two of them failed to investigate hundreds of domestic violence cases. A third officer was charged with negligent homicide after an internal affairs investigation revealed he lied about a chase that led to a suspect’s death. Yet another officer was arrested for sexual assault, and the sixth had felony warrants.
  • Update: Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania (First reported 02-05-13): A police officer who had been fired for what was described as roughing up a suspect has been reinstated by an arbitrator.
  • Brookhaven, Mississippi: A police officer was arrested in connection with murder and child sex charges and has been dismissed from the force. The body of a murdered man was found buried in his backyard.
  • Austin, Texas: A police officer has been suspended after accessing a police report filed against him for personal use. He was suspended for three days for violating department policies.
  • Cocke County, Tennessee: A lieutenant pleaded guilty to a charge of delivery of hydrocodone. It is a crime punishable by two to four years in prison.
  • Huntsville, Alabama: A police officer was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. He is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
  • King County, Washington: A deputy has been arrested for investigation of offenses that include theft, possession or stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.
  • Adams County, Colorado: A deputy sheriff was convicted on assault and child abuse charges in the assault of a 15-year-old boy while responding to a disturbance call.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: A man died shortly after a run in police, and now his father, a former detective, wants answers. Witnesses captured the incident on video and there is an investigation underway.
  • Chester County, Pennsylvania: A state trooper has been indicted on charges of assaulting a handcuffed man inside the alleged victim’s home. He pleaded not guilty to the criminal civil rights charge against him during his initial court appearance and has been suspended without pay.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer who crashed his own squad car and then tried to cover it up has been fired. The Merit Board terminated him at the recommendation of the police chief. He was found guilty of official misconduct and failure to stop at an accident.

Sheriff Under Fire For His Leniency



A veteran King County Sheriff’s sergeant who’s received over 120 misconduct complaints has been demoted in a move King County Sheriff John Urquhart calls a “dramatic step.” But many are wondering how he still has a job at all.

Urquhart told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show he took the drastic actions against Sergeant Patrick “K.C.” Saulet earlier this month after reviewing complaints filed by a family who said the sergeant threatened them and was verbally abusive after their GPS system mistakenly guided them into a restricted Metro Transit area near the Convention Center in Seattle….

Saulet’s demotion comes on the heels of another high-profile incident where he allegedly threatened to arrest The Stranger editor, Dominic Holden, for photographing him legally from the sidewalk during an arrest of another man at the International District Station plaza.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-21-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, August 21, 2013:

  • Anderson County, South Carolina: A newly hired deputy has resigned after being arrested. He was charged with public intoxication and trespass after notice. “I will not tolerate behavior by any employee that brings discredit to my office or the citizens of Anderson County,” said the sheriff.
  • Greeneville, Tennessee: A police officer has been accused of searching for pornographic images of underage girls on his patrol car computer. He is no longer employed with the department.
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 05-10-13): A now-former police officer already facing state charges for prostituting his wife was indicted on a federal prostitution charge that alleged he oversaw a call-girl business with more than 300 customers.
  • Update: New Orleans, Louisiana (First reported 08-17-12): A police officer apologized in court to the family of the unarmed man he shot to death during a drug raid. He then began a four-year sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
  • Bennettsville, South Carolina: A police officer has been suspended without pay for two months after his police dog died in a car of heat stroke. He was left in a patrol car with no water and the windows up.
  • Tom Bean, Texas: The now-former police chief has been arrested again on a warrant for misappropriation of agency property. He also faces three felony charges and is accused of tasing one of his own officers.
  • McPherson, Kansas: A 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s office was arrested for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
  • Update: Akron, Ohio (First reported 11-12-12): A now-former police detective has pleaded guilty to five sex-related offenses involving juveniles. The charges were pandering sexually oriented matter, illegal use of a police computer and receiving stolen property.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: The police department is defending itself against 61 lawsuits alleging that officers used excessive force that led to injuries. Fifty-three of them were filed between 2011 and 2013.
  • Update: Fort Dodge, Iowa (First reported 08-14-13): A police officer accused of assaulting his wife has pleaded not guilty to the charge. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.

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