UPDATE: “Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he asked the FBI to get involved after learning that one of two phones seized from witnesses had no footage on it.” Hmm.
When police abuse their authority everyone loses. Victims may get hurt or even lose their life, police damage their credibility and taxpayers end up shouldering huge payouts to victims and their families.
Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department settled a lawsuit brought against it by two women officers mistakenly shot at during the Dorner manhunt in February. The settlement will cost the city $4.2 million and attorneys called it “a bargain.“
The article has a good summary of the six settlements, including this:
Police apprehended Woodman who was drinking beer near the Fenway area with a group of fans. Woodman collapsed, according to reports, and was taken to a hospital where he died 11 days later.
An investigator’s report concluded he died of a pre-existing heart condition. However, his family said they believed police lied about what happened during their son’s arrest. Woodman had more than a dozen abrasions, bruises, cuts or lacerations that were not mentioned in the investigator’s report.
Read the whole thing.
The parents of an 11-year-old Canfield girl cleared of false rape charges is suing the city, police department and investigators for $5 million, alleging investigators pursued the case because of political connections even after they learned the accusations were false.
The parents alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. Northern District Court in Youngstown that Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci pressured investigators and juvenile prosecutors to pursue the case against the girl despite investigators believing that her three accusers were lying to get her in trouble.
Colucci “in turn applied political pressure to Detective McGivern, demonstrating to McGivern that this prosecution was a personal priority of the chief’s that would affect McGivern’s career at the Canfield Police Department if he did not listen to” him.
The suit says police questioned the girl April 20, 2012 for about five hours without food, water or rest. …
The girl was arrested April 24, rape charges were filed against the girl and she was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center “without her parents even having a chance to say goodbye,” the suit alleges.
One of the accusers later told police they conspired to lie during the investigation, yet the case against the girl continued the suit says.
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A police officer who was waiting in the drive-thru line at a McDonald’s restaurant in Forsyth County is accused of pulling a gun on the customer ahead of him because the officer was angry at having to wait for his food.
The off-duty officer is Detective Sgt. Scott Biumi, 48, of the DeKalb County Police Department. Biumi is charged with felony aggravated assault on the customer. 11Alive News was not able to reach him for comment Wednesday night.
“He put his hand right here,” said the customer, 18 year old Ryan Mash, pointing to his upper chest and shoulder area, “then he pulled the gun and put it, pointed it at, like, my neck area.”
There’s a security camera video at the link above. The report says the officer is on leave with pay pending the outcome of the criminal case. Question: When are officers accused of crimes suspended without pay?
From Columnist George F. Will:
There were abundant dystopian aspects of New York City in the 1980s, when crime, crack and AIDS produced a perfect storm of anxiety about the fraying social fabric. This was the context — a city on edge — when on April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old white woman who worked on Wall Street went for a jog after dark in Central Park. She became a victim of what was immediately called “wilding,” a word probably unknown by the four blacks and one Hispanic, ages 14 to 16, who were arrested and charged with raping her and beating her nearly to death.
After up to 30 hours of separate interrogations by detectives who are paid to be suspicious of suspects, four of the five confessed to a crime they did not commit. Why? Watch this documentary by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns. To see the old videotapes of the interrogations is to understand the dynamic that sent the five to prison despite the absence of evidence to bolster a rickety case that consisted entirely of those contradictory confessions.
More information here.
Brooke Bass spent her legal career looking out for the best interests of police officers.
They were looking out for her, too, her lawyer says — but in a different way.
In the past eight years, more than 100 entities across Minnesota — nearly all of them law enforcement — accessed Bass’s private driver’s license information more than 700 times, her attorney said.
That would make her the subject of the biggest privacy breach to date in the state’s increasingly broad and increasingly expensive license-data debacle.
It is pretty creepy to think about strangers looking up your address and other personal info. Some say the police may only need additional “training” on the ethical use of databases. Hmm.
Prosecutors say the video has nothing to do with the charges being dropped. Hmm.
No word on charges against the officer on the tape.
Consider the dire consequences if the camera had not been rolling here.
From the Charlotte Observer:
Mayor Anthony Foxx is questioning how Charlotte’s Citizen Review Board handles allegations of police misconduct.
Also, the review board’s chairman says the panel will consider drafting reform proposals for City Council to consider.
In his first public comments on the issue, Foxx said Friday that he has asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe to respond to last Sunday’s Observer investigation showing that the oversight panel has ruled in favor of police every time in its nearly 16-year history.
The police commander says he saw no wrongdoing in the video. Hmm.
A few questions:
1. What would have happened if the young man’s mother had not arrived so quickly?
2. What would have happened if she had not been a police officer herself?
3. What would happen if these undercover officers tried to swarm on a person who was carrying a firearm? The police often remind us that they must make split-second decisions. True. But note that this tactic gives the citizen only a split second to decide if he’s being attacked by thugs or whether it’s a police stop.
4. The other day a columnist at the Wall Street Journal heaped praise on the stop and frisk tactics of the New York City Police Department. He said the police have an “uncanny” ability to discern who is carrying a gun. He is looking at paper statistics and gets a warped view of what’s actually happening out there. Consider two scenarios. (A) The police swarm on someone. If they find a handgun, they take him downtown–paperwork shows arrest and gun confiscated. (B) How many times do the police swarm on a person, no gun is found, and the police just walk away as above? No paperwork on that (usually). From the paper records, it is as if frightening incidents like this never even happened.
What if they happen a lot? What then?