National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

30 Days in Jail for Years of Abuse?

From the Denver Channel:

LOVELAND, Colo. – Fired Berthoud police officer Jeremy Yachik was sentenced Monday to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl.

A Larimer County judge also ordered Yachik to perform 80 hours of community service and to undergo a domestic violence evaluation to determine if he will be required to participate in a domestic violence-treatment program.

According to court records, the girl told Loveland police investigators that Yachik abused her almost daily for years. The abuse allegedly included restraining her hands with handcuffs or plastic zip ties and then slamming her head into a wall hard enough to leave a hole and choking her until she blacked out, according to a Loveland Police Department arrest affidavit.

The girl also said he beat her with ropes, restricted her food, shackled her in a darkened room for hours and force-fed her “ghost pepper sauce” that’s roughly 10 times hotter than habanero peppers, the affidavit said.

During a voluntary Sept. 27 interview with Loveland investigators, Yachik, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, admitted doing many of these things to the girl, the affidavit said.

Another DC Cop Arrested

From NBCWashington.com:

A D.C. police officer tried to kill his wife last month, using Lysol, a metal light post and knives to attack and restrain her in their home, according to prosecutors.

Officer Samson Lawrence has been indicted in Maryland on charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder in connection with the Nov. 24 attack, Prince George’s County State Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced Friday….

According to court documents, Lawrence was trying to hang a projection TV in his Accokeek home when he became angry that his wife didn’t know where the screws to hang it were. He allegedly grabbed a can of Lysol and sprayed his wife in the face every time she spoke.

Officer Involved Domestic Violence

From PBS Frontline:

Domestic violence is one of law enforcement’s most challenging crimes. It’s vastly underreported, dangerous and difficult to prosecute, with repercussions that extend far beyond the two parties involved. The perils only deepen when the abuser comes from within the law enforcement family — armed with training, weapons and the community’s trust.“You get that kind of a character in a badge, you got a real problem,” said Mark Wynn, a veteran police officer who trains departments on officer-involved domestic violence. “When you train someone to be a cop, you train them to challenge when confronted. …You train them to [use] fighting skills that no one else has. …You teach them all these skills, and then you add all of that to someone who is violent, you’ve got a lethal combination on your hands.”A nine-month investigation by FRONTLINE and The New York Times found that law enforcement often downplays domestic violence allegations in their own ranks, letting abusers remain on their beats and victims fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system.  Interviews with former prosecutors, judges and officers, and a review of police and court records show that most departments lack policies to deal with the problem, and harbor a general perception that OIDV isn’t as serious as other crimes. It’s an attitude that extends beyond law enforcement into the courtroom, where prosecutors and judges also play a role in failing to hold offenders accountable.“In many areas of law enforcement in general, we’ve been moving with jet-like speed,” said David Thomas, a 15-year veteran of the Montgomery County, Md. police department and domestic violence educator. “But with respect to violence against women and in particular OIDV, we’re still moving at a horse-and-buggy pace.”

Check your local listings to see the documentary film, A Death in St Augustine.

Trouble in Seattle

From the Seattle Times:

An acting Seattle police captain who was recently given a key role in the city’s plan to fix problems in the Police Department was booked into jail early Sunday after being arrested in a domestic-violence incident.

Donnie R. Lowe, who holds the official rank of lieutenant, has been removed from his role in the reform effort, the department said in a statement Sunday evening.

Details of what led to Lowe’s arrest by South Precinct officers were not immediately available, said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, the department’s chief spokesman….

Lowe has a checkered history with the department, including an arrest in 2008 on suspicion of driving while under the influence (DUI). He has received internal reprimands for inappropriate dealings with his son in a holding cell, and over his effort to retrieve nude photographs of a relative.

The DUI arrest attracted attention because Lowe was allowed to supervise a Seattle police security detail at President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, even though the arrest had taken place Nov. 23, 2008.

Lowe had been stopped on Interstate 5 in South Seattle by a State Patrol trooper. A blood-alcohol test administered to Lowe about an hour after the stop registered 0.113, above the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent for those over 21, according to a State Patrol report.

Lowe pleaded guilty to an amended charge of reckless driving in June 2009. That charge was dismissed in 2011 after he completed alcohol-information school, probation, community service and other terms.

It was not clear Sunday how the Police Department dealt internally with the case.

At the time of the DUI arrest, Lowe worked in the department’s Homeland Security Bureau, overseeing planning for special events and disaster management. He began working on the inauguration assignment before the incident and supervised a 42-member Seattle police detail that assisted in inaugural security.

Lowe, who was with a passenger, was stopped by a trooper about 1:45 a.m. after the trooper noticed his car drifting in the lanes, the State Patrol report said.

The trooper recognized an odor of alcohol in the car and saw a glass in the drink holder filled with a dark-colored liquid that smelled of alcohol, the report said. Lowe had bloodshot and watery eyes, the trooper wrote.

Police Misconduct NewsWatch 11-03-09

5235559Mosquito Cops?

First, some good news… A group in Texas called “Texans for Accountable Government” held a protest against Austin TX police department’s “No-Refusal Weekend” where cops at DUI checkpoints were enforcing a law that allows them to draw blood from anyone suspected of driving while intoxicated, with or without their permission.

While I’m usually critical of police misconduct protests because they generally overreach, are just too disorganized and small to be taken seriously, and don’t portray an accurate, clearly defined, and reasonable objective… this protest appears to be one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Not just because it was well-attended and had a clear and obtainable objective, but also because it was creative in a way that could capture public and media attention.

After all… who can forget a protest against blood-drawing police called “Stop Vampire Cops”? (news coverage here)

Electroshock Torture in Minneapolis?


In Minneapolis Minnesota, police there are once again facing a civil rights excessive force lawsuit filed on behalf of a man who, judging by the video above at least, was needlessly tasered in the neck after he had given up and placed his hands on a police cruiser hood. I apologize for the sound quality of the video, but his screams while being relentlessly tasered by the cop who walked up behind him are quite disturbing.

The crime that the officer thought merited this alleged extra-judicial abuse? Apparently nothing more than alleged property damage near or at a police station.

The Walls Of Jericho Crumble?

Some of you may recall Jericho Arkansas where police shot the town’s assistant fire chief in the back during an argument over a traffic ticket in the middle of a crowded courthouse in August of this year. Well, today there were two new stories out of Jericho that seem to back up my suspicions that the police and administration there are taking money made by their notorious speed traps and pocketing it for themselves.

First, there’s a story from a man caught in one of their speed traps that accuses officers and town officials of demanding cash-only for payment of traffic tickets… not only that, but that the officer who pulled him over demanded cash right there and then to make the ticket go away.

Then, it appears that one of the town’s police cruisers was repossessed while it’s officers were chowing down inside a “Waffle House”. Not only that, but the patrol car was repo’d along with the evidence that was stored inside of it, including drugs, guns, and ammunition confiscated from suspects.

So… one has to wonder… where is all this cash-up-front that these officers and officials are strong-arming from motorists going if the town can’t even afford to pay off it’s car loans… and will they resort to using horses with lights on top of their heads to pull over people caught in their questionable speed traps once all the patrol cars are repossessed?

Trouble in Toledo?

Apparently there’s a bit of a drinking problem in Toledo where, just over one week after a Toledo Ohio police officer was arrested after crashing into a firetruck while drunk and on duty, yet another Toledo Ohio police officer was arrested at a police station for allegedly driving while intoxicated on duty as well.

While NOW is supposedly still protesting the Toledo PD for rehiring a cop who was caught trying to use his badge to coerce a woman into having sex, there’s been no word from MADD about a protest against all these drunk driving cops… go figure.

Once… Twice…

An Albany Georgia police officer who was put on suspension after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his pregnant wife 2 weeks ago has since resigned… Of course, he only decided to resign after he was arrested yet again on Friday for allegedly assaulting his live-in girlfriend.

I’m thinking that, if the charges are true, this guy should never have had a badge… he should have had a sign stapled to his forehead warning all women to stay away.

OIDV in October

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

Apparently these law enforcement officers didn’t…

California Highway Patrol officer Joseph Handwork has been placed on leave after arrested on felony charge of spousal assault and a misdemeanor charge of willful cruelty to a child. No other details were released.

Hillsborough County Florida Sheriff’s corporal Vivino Millan has been put on paid leave after charged with domestic violence for allegedly backhanding his girlfriend while driving.

Atlanta Georgia
police officer Reginald Fisher, who was recently indicted for shooting an unarmed man in the face without justification, has been arrested again on domestic battery charges while out on bond.

Tippecanoe County Indiana deputy Travis Dowell was demoted from sergeant to patrol officer after receiving a diversionary sentence which will leave his record clean after taking a plea deal over felony battery charges for choking his teenage daughter.

Warsaw Indiana police officer Joseph Klaehn was fired after being arrested on felony domestic violence charges over allegations that he slapped his wife several times during an argument while their children were asleep in the home.

Marysville Kentucky police officer Bernard Evans has been placed on leave after a domestic violence protection order was filed against him by a woman with whom he had an unspecified relationship with. The woman claims she was left with 13 stitches in her forehead after he broke through her door and punched her.

Springfield Massachusetts police Lieutenant Robert Moynihan is under internal investigation after being arrested on allegations that he punched and choked his former girlfriend and threw her 13 year old daughter into a wall after flying into a rage about her using his cell phone.

Genesee County Michigan Sheriff’s sergeant Rick Bennet died in an accident after leading police on an 100mph+ chase in his pickup truck after police responded to reports that he was smashing windows at his ex-wife’s home.

Pamlico County North Carolina deputy Dwayne Cobb was suspended after being arrested for allegedly choking and threatening his girlfriend with his service weapon.

San Antonio Texas police officer Jason Rozacky resigned after his third arrest in 2 months over an apparent ongoing domestic violence & harassment issue with his ex-girlfriend after her apartment was broken into and she was assaulted.

Chattahoochee Florida police officer committed suicide while officers discovered the murdered body of his long-time mistress in a shallow grave in his back yard. He apparently murdered her in a fit of jealosy after discovering she went on a date with another man.

New York NY police transit officer was found guilty of 2nd degree murder for shooting his wife to death in 2007 in a case where he claimed he accidentally hit her while trying to shoot “knife-wielding thugs”.

San Juan Texas police officer Jose Hernandez fatally shot his wife in the chest before ending his own life, and apparently months of beatings that he is alleged to have subjected his wife to according to family members.

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So far, in the last 7 months, the NPMSRP has tracked 155 alleged and/or confirmed cases of officer-involved domestic violence, while the cases listed above occurred just this month. However, I normally don’t write about these cases as much as I could since the officer-involved domestic violence (OIDV) cause has a fairly solid community of activists, like the author of Behind the Blue Wall, who are linked together with OIDV groups across the nation.

Together, as part of the OIDV Network, They do a much better job of tracking these cases as well as advocating for OIDV issues and supporting OIDV victims than I ever could. If you want to learn more, or are a victim of officer-involved domestic violence, I highly recommend contacting them at www.policedomesticviolence.com.