National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Prosecuted for Recording Bullies?

Disturbing report from the Pittsburgh area (South Fayette).  A 15 yr old high school student was being bullied by several boys in one of his classes.  Sometimes they would hit him with books and different kinds of abuse would occur almost every class.  His mom lodged complaints with the school, but nothing was done about it.

Since the bullying continued, the boy, who also has ADHD, used his iPad to record what his tormenters were doing so he could show his mother.  “I wanted her to understand what I went through,” he said.

Did the school officials say, “Good — this is the proof we needed to mete out discipline” ?   No.  The school officials forced him to erase the recording and then punished the bullying victim with a Saturday detention!

But it gets worse.

The school authorities also call in the police because  there is a “wiretapping” situation.The boy is charged with “disorderly conduct.”  The judge found him guilty and imposed a fine on the family.

The boy’s mom, Shea Love, says “The whole thing has been a horrible nightmare.”   Yes, the classmates, teacher, school officials, police, prosecutor, and judge all seem to have failed.

Go here for the story.

Update: Eugene Volokh has more details on this incident here.

 

Cop Pulls Gun on Boys Building a Tree Fort

From WSBTV:

A fifth-grader says he was terrified when a police officer pointed a gun at him and his friends while they built a tree fort.

Omari Grant, 11, said he and his friends often play in a wooded area behind his home and were building a fort when a neighbor in the next subdivision called police to complain about what the boys were doing.

But no one anticipated what Omari and his mother say happened next….

Omari told Diamant that two officers, one with his gun drawn, rolled up on him and a few of his friends as they built a fort in the trees behind his home.

“I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said,” Omari said.

More here.

Felony Charge for 13 yr old Boy for Throwing Snowball at Policeman

From DNAInfo.com:

According to police, a 13-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with felony aggravated battery against a police officer Wednesday after he hit the officer in the arm with a snowball while the officer was parked in his vehicle in the 4900 block of West Congress Parkway about 3:20 p.m.  Residents sounded off on the crime and punishment the next day, many describing the charge as police “going overboard.  “”It’s not fair,” said Mary Grant, a longtime resident of the block.  The boy “was being hardheaded, but that’s very harsh.  The officer should’ve tried something different than arrest.  “The boy is believed to be a student at Leland Elementary School, formerly May Elementary, which sits at the southeast corner of the intersection near where the snowball was thrown.  Officials at the school acknowledged that the incident occurred but declined to comment.  “I think that’s ridiculous — it’s such a big charge,” said Latanya Powell, a construction worker on the block.  “It’s just going overboard.   I can see if it were a weapon and harm was done, but it was just a snowball.   “This is a case of kids being kids.  “Like other residents on the block, Powell wondered whether the charge would stain the boy’s record well into his adult years, hurting his chances of finding a job, housing and education.

Perhaps someone can think of a better form of punishment than a felony criminal charge.  Perhaps some dirty jobs around the school–like cleaning a dumpster or something.

H/T: Instapundit

Another False Arrest for Filming Police

 

From WECT:

LELAND, NC (WECT) – An officer with the Leland Police Department has been suspended without pay for 28 days after a teenager recorded video of an arrest on his cell phone.

According to police reports, 19-year-old Gabriel Self tried approaching Leland Police Sergeant John Keel as he was arresting another man on drug charges. Sgt. Keel told Self to leave the area….

The charge was resisting, obstructing, or delaying a law enforcement officer. Self was interfering with an investigation, according to the arrest report….

Self said Keel was simply standing in the parking lot, so he did not see how he could be interfering with anything.

The Case of Officer Julian Steele

This week the  Supreme Court of Ohio handed down a very important decision involving police misconduct, State v. Steele.  The facts are just awful–so brace yourself.

It began with some robberies in a Cincinnati neighborhood in 2009.  After one robbery, a resident took down the license number of a car that was perceived to be moving about suspiciously.  The police traced the plate to Alicia Maxton.

Now Officer Julian Steele enters the picture.  When he finds out Ms. Maxton has children, he goes to their school and arrests all three.  To protect the identities of the minors, the Court only provides us with initials.  One of the minors is RM.  RM  is driven to the police station where he is interrogated.   Mom is not informed because Steele instructed the school people not to tell her what was happening to her children.

RM denies any involvement in the robberies.  Steele tells this minor that if he does not confess, his mom will be jailed and she will lose custody of his siblings.  Frightened, RM falsely confesses, and Officer Steele records the “confession” a second time.  RM is then charged with the robberies and is imprisoned.

The next day, Steele tells the school that he does not really believe RM was involved in the robberies.  Among other things, RM does not match the physical description of the suspect.

Over the next week, Steele arranges several meetings with Mom under the guise of discussing RM’s case.  One such meeting is at Steele’s apartment and he tells Mom that he thinks he might be able to get RM out of detention because he can cut through all the damn red tape.  And he wants to help out because he does not personally believe RM was involved.  Then Steele changes the subject (or tries to anyway) to sex.   Mom goes along with the overture because she believes Steele is the one who has the power to get her son’s release.

Continue Reading →

Undercover Narco Befriends, then Busts, Autistic Teenager

From ABCNews.com:

“Our son was a new kid in August, and this undercover cop befriended him,”  Snodgrass said. On the second day of school, Snodgrass said, Daniel asked the boy to buy drugs. “He asked my son if he could find marijuana for $20,” Snodgrass said. ”Three weeks later my son was able to bring back a half joint he received from a homeless guy.”

Later, Snodgrass said, “he asked to purchase my son’s prescription medication, but our son refused.”

It took the 17-year-old three weeks to procure a half joint of marijuana, according to court documents filed later in Riverside County juvenile court. After he was pressed again by the police officer, the student retrieved another joint for $20, from another homeless man, the documents said.

“During that time, he received more than 60 text messages from this undercover officer,” Snodgrass said. “Our son has a real problem reading social cues and social inferences because of his various disabilities. It would’ve been hard for him to figure to out that he was talking to an undercover officer.”

Snodgrass said his son had been diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome  and various anxiety disorders.

Temecula police arrested Snodgrass’ son, along with 21 other students, on Dec. 11. Snodgrass told ABC News that his son was interrogated, booked and held for two days without having contact with his parents.

12-Year Old Challenges Las Vegas Motorcycle Cop

From Examiner.com:

The 12-year-old boy, who’s name is Jeremy, confronts a Las Vegas Metro motorcycle cop after he noticed the cop was illegally parked on a sidewalk just to get something to drink. Earlier today, Gawker reported that the boy proceeded to ask the cop if he had any emergency reason to park, and then he asked for the cop to reveal his badge number.

After ignoring the boy’s questions, the cop then asks Jeremy if he is a lawyer. Jeremy states that he is just a 12-year-old citizen and continues to pressure the cop for his badge number….

The cop continues to refuse, and eventually leaves on his motorcycle. Before leaving the scene, the cop becomes agitated with the 12-year-old, and asks Jeremy for his ID then accuses him of loitering.

Video at the link above.

We may have a job for him here after high school.

Undercover Cops Ensnare a Special Ed Student, Get Him Expelled

From the Press-Enterprise:

The parents of an autistic student accused of selling marijuana last year to an undercover deputy have prevailed in their effort to have the teen reinstated at the Temecula high school.

An administrative law judge who heard the special education student’s case issued a scathing ruling against the Temecula Valley Unified School District Friday, March 8. Judge Marian H. Tully wrote the district left the student “to fend for himself, anxious and alone, against an undercover police officer” and said the parents had “overwhelmingly demonstrated” that the teen’s behavior with the deputy was significantly influenced by his disability.

An Office of Administrative Hearings judge who heard the case challenging a move to expel the special education student, Tully found that the district failed to provide the teen with required counseling and other services while knowingly exposing the teen to the deputy.

Dealing with pressure from the officer was a challenging social situation that “would have been difficult even for typical high school students,” the judge wrote.

12 Year Old Girl Burned By Paramilitary Police Grenade

From the Billings Gazzette:

A 12-year-old girl suffered burns to one side of her body when a flash grenade went off next to her as a police SWAT team raided a West End home Tuesday morning.

“She has first- and second-degree burns down the left side of her body and on her arms,” said the girl’s mother, Jackie Fasching. “She’s got severe pain. Every time I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Medical staff at the scene tended to the girl afterward and then her mother drove her to the hospital, where she was treated and released later that day.

A photo of the girl provided by Fasching to The Gazette shows red and black burns on her side.

Police Chief Rich St. John said the 6 a.m. raid at 2128 Custer Ave., was to execute a search warrant as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation by the City-County Special Investigations Unit.