National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Teaching Them a Lesson

From the New York Times:

The confusion and trouble began that day when Officer Anthony Giambra arrived at the apartment door a few minutes after the 911 call, as an ambulance and fire truck pulled up outside. Ms. LaFont started to tell Officer Giambra about her husband’s condition, but the dog broke loose and raced into the street. She went after the animal.

When she returned, Officer Giambra had thrown Mr. Peltomaa up against a hallway wall and was trying to handcuff him. The professor’s surgical wound was pressed hard against the surface, she said. She gripped the officer’s shoulder and yelled at him to stop. “You’re under arrest,” the officer told her, as another officer hustled her back into her apartment and handcuffed her….

Mr. Peltomaa denies he ever fought with Officer Giambra, though he recalls being confused about why he needed handcuffs to go the hospital. After he was cuffed, he said, the officer shoved him down face first on the tile floor, splitting open his chin and dislocating his thumb.

Then the officers flipped Mr. Peltomaa over, grabbed him by his clothes and dragged him to the ambulance. Ms. LaFont said she was taken to the precinct and put in a squalid cell. Officer Giambra, munching a candy bar, told her Mr. Peltomaa was fine and would be home before she would. “He said he needed to teach me the lesson that you are never allowed to touch a police officer,” she recalled.

Groups Protest Dallas Police Dept

From the Dallas Morning News:

The families of several men killed or wounded by Dallas police officers lambasted the department Thursday for what they said was a pattern of excessive force, civil rights violations and police brutality under color of law.

The newly formed Mothers Against Police Brutality held a news conference at City Hall where they called for a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Dallas Police Department’s deadly force practices.

“It is not a black problem,” said Collette Flanagan, whose son Clinton Allen was fatally shot this year by a Dallas police officer. “It is not a Hispanic problem. It’s not a poor people’s problem. It is our problem” ….

Late Thursday, Police Chief David Brown issued a statement saying that he shared many of the group’s concerns.

“I look forward to working with this group, and moving forward towards positive changes for our department,” Brown said.

Phoenix Police Taser Man, Drag Him Down Stairs By His Feet

I do not know what the anchorman is talking about when he says the police had to make a “split second” decision.  I’m skeptical the use of the taser was really a “split second” situation.  And leaving that aside, the manner in which the man was dragged down the stairs is indefensible.

Chicago to Pay $10 Million for Police Misconduct Case

From the Chicago Tribune:

Caine’s case was the latest in a series of lawsuit settlements involving disgraced former police Cmdr. Jon Burge and detectives under his command that have brought the tab to nearly $70 million when legal fees are counted.

Caine’s attorney, Jon Loevy, used Wednesday’s news conference to sound a warning that even as cases involving Burge and his men get resolved, there are scores of others involving other Chicago detectives who “made cases regardless of guilt or innocence.”

Loevy said that while the city has been forced to come to terms with Burge’s wrongdoing, the tendency is to resist acknowledging that the problem of police misconduct was systemic.

“There are obviously a small number of police officers where there are great clusters of accusations that improper tactics were used and wrongful convictions occurred,” Loevy said. “The city would have us believe that if we just take care of the Jon Burge cases, the problem will go away. Not so.”

Policing in Prince George’s County, Maryland

From the Washington Post:

Other Maryland students were roughed up and badly injured by the police after the basketball game. At least three were knocked unconscious; two of them required medical care. Nine students (in addition to Mr. McKenna) received a total of $1.6 million in settlements from the county stemming from police violence.

In the absence of video evidence in those cases, the officers who used Maryland students as punching bags faced no disciplinary consequences. Amazingly, the police department’s internal affairs division, which handled the abuse complaints, did not even interview most of the students who were injured. It follows that if no video had surfaced of Mr. McKenna’s beating, that too would have been swept under the rug of police impunity and official indifference.

Read the whole thing.   You really should do it.

Chicago Bartender Gets Her Day in Court — 5 Years Later

A drunk, off-duty cop, Anthony Abbate, beat up a petite lady bartender, Karolina Obrycka in 2007.  The video below went viral at the time.    The case is now back in the news because the civil lawsuit is now underway in Chicago.  The Chicago Tribune has the sordid details here.  Apparently, the key issue in the civil trial is whether the department engaged in misconduct in response to Abbate’s criminal attack.  In other words, did certain officers falsify reports, intimidate witnesses, and so forth.

One must consider what would have happened in the case if there was no videotape.  Before the tape was released, Abbate was charged with a misdemeanor.  After the tape surfaced, he was charged with a felony.  Even with the taped beating as evidence, and even after his criminal conviction, a judge ordered 2 years probation.  No jail time at all for Abbate.

Philadelphia Cop Under Investigation for Excessive Force

From ABC News:

A Philadelphia cop under investigation for punching a woman in the face has been taken off the streets and restricted to administrative duties during the investigation, police said.

A video posted on YouTube shows the unidentified cop punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground before she is led off bloodied and handcuffed.

It was decided today that the officer would be placed on “restricted status,” meaning that he is relegated to “administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” according to Lt. Ray Evers.