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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 10-03-16

Here are the 16 reports of police misconduct tracked for Monday, October 3, 2016:

  • Palm Beach County, Florida: The County agreed to pay $300,000 to the family of Tinoris Williams,  a mentally ill man who was fatally shot by deputies in 2014. That brings the total amount of settlements for sheriff’s office conduct to almost $2,000,000 this year. ow.ly/9US4304Ma4i
  • Lorain, Ohio: Four officers were named in a lawsuit filed by a man who was handcuffed when his face was slammed into a windshield, causing the glass to break. He required medical attention after the incident. ow.ly/fv1q304ManX
  • Update: Glen Rock, New Jersey (First reported 08-06-15): A now-former officer was sentenced to three years in prison after he pled guilty to charges for selling seized guns and sexting minors. ow.ly/oooC304MaND
  • Youngstown, Ohio: An officer was charged with failing to care for her sister, who was found dead in very unsanitary conditions. The decedent was emaciated, covered in sores, and partially covered in feces. ow.ly/ODEh304Mb6n
  • Monroe, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for evading arrest in Arlington, Texas. A nightclub security officer reported that someone pulled a gun on him and the officer and another man were apprehended after a low-speed pursuit. The man with the officer was charged with gun and drug possession. ow.ly/de1p304Mbns
  • Sacramento, California: The City released video and audio of officers’ vehicle pursuit and fatal shooting of Joseph Mann. Officers attempted to hit the man with the cruiser before exiting the vehicle and shooting Mann 14 times. There is an excessive force lawsuit pending. ow.ly/PQMj304MbJc
  • Winnsboro, South Carolina: The public safety chief was arrested in a prostitution sting. ow.ly/Kb1S304Mc5t
  • Contra Costa County, California: A now-former deputy pled not guilty to sexual misconduct against a minor in the ongoing Bay Area scandal involving a teenage sex worker. ow.ly/7UNN304McwF
  • New York, New York: An officer shot himself in the stomach twice. Authorities believe he did it to avoid testifying in a police corruption trial. ow.ly/79fo304McHm
  • Wayne County, Tennessee: The now-former chief deputy was indicted for forgery and theft for misappropriating more than $7,000 in county money and drug funds. ow.ly/UTij304McT0
  • Update: Colorado Springs, Colorado (First reported 02-01-16): An officer was acquitted of menacing and third-degree assault for using violence against a handcuffed man. ow.ly/vObR304Mdhc
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for domestic assault. He told arresting officers that he did it because his wife was not “sorry enough” about an incident that happened at a wedding. ow.ly/2RFM304Nln3
  • Dallas, Texas: An officer was arrested for assaulting a family member. ow.ly/daXQ304NmfG
  • Houston, Texas: An officer was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer in a prostitution sting. ow.ly/H1nW304NoBe
  • Carter County, Tennessee: A deputy was indicted for second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon for fatally shooting Dallas Shatley in an off-duty incident. ow.ly/nP8E304Nprs
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer was charged with domestic violence. Allegations of “years of abuse” were included in the affidavit. ow.ly/tmrc304Nqk2

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 09-30-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 30, 2016:

  • New Orleans and Orleans Parish, Louisiana: Three law enforcement officials were arrested in a cigarette smuggling operation. ow.ly/GJoT304IwFO
  • Rutherford County, Tennessee: The sheriff was taken into custody on domestic abuse and tampering charges. ow.ly/3rMt304Ix98
  • Update: Chicago and Glenview, Illinois (First reported 04-15-14): Three officers—two from Chicago and one from Glenview—had perjury charges dropped because of a filing error. The State’s Attorney’s Office plans to refile. One CPD officer pled guilty. ow.ly/l7rz304IBKx
  • Update: Loudon County, Virginia (First reported 07-21-16): A deputy had domestic violence charges dropped for actions against his girlfriend. He remains on leave pending an internal investigation into the matter. ow.ly/GRQe304IETe
  • Chicago, Illinois: The City is being sued by a witness to the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. She claims officers pressured her to change her story about what happened. ow.ly/pkg1304IFXP
  • Update: Mount Carmel, Tennessee (First reported 06-01-16): The assistant chief was fired, again, for falsifying paperwork. He had been reinstated by the mayor, but the reinstatement was overruled. ow.ly/L3Qa304IS2I
  • Jackson, Mississippi: An officer was indicted on a federal bribery charge and fired. ow.ly/Lk4x304J29U
  • Millard County, Utah: The County is being sued by a mentally ill man who was shot by deputies while he was in his vehicle. He claims the deputies used excessive force. ow.ly/lZV5304J2Xb
  • Washington, District of Columbia: The medical examiner announced that an officer fatally shot Terrence Sterling, who suffered wounds to the neck and back. The officer’s body camera was not activated until after the shooting. ow.ly/Min4304JeQN

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 09-29-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 29, 2016:

  • Dorchester County, South Carolina: A deputy was fired after soliciting sex from an undercover officer. ow.ly/oiYm304GsJx
  • Update: Houston, Texas METRO (transit) (First reported 09-16-16): A now-former officer was indicted for assaulting a sleeping man at a commuter station. He resigned during the internal affairs investigation was underway. The second officer who was originally suspended for the incident was not charged and remains with the department. ow.ly/GPUv304GD2l
  • Florida Highway Patrol: A trooper was arrested for allegedly groping a woman during a traffic stop. ow.ly/ykXz304GNWo
  • Franklin County, Pennsylvania: A now-former deputy was charged for his role in a bar fight in April when he was off duty.ow.ly/REE8304GOcT
  • Springfield, Massachusetts: A narcotics detective was suspended 60 days for threatening to assault and frame kids who stole an unmarked police car and some rolled coins with planted drugs. ow.ly/oeY7304GTXC
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida: A now-former officer was convicted of theft and fraud for stealing fuel for personal use. ow.ly/ulqk304HdeV
  • Ashtabula County, Ohio: A deputy was indicted for assaulting two men in custody and falsifying reports related to the incident. He was fired. ow.ly/d3b5304HdHw
  • Oak Grove, Kentucky: An officer was arrested for rape, sodomy, assault, terroristic threatening, and other charges for sex slavery. He and two others allegedly locked several women in a hotel room and forced them to have sex for money.  ow.ly/qGuu304Hs46
  • Greensboro, North Carolina: The City Council voted to say that a now-former officer should be stripped of his law enforcement certification. They released the video of a violent arrest he made. He had resigned before he was terminated. Under North Carolina law, the state commission has the power to revoke an officer’s certification. ow.ly/imTK304Ht8i

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 09-28-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 28, 2016:

  • Update: Anthony, Texas (First reported 09-06-16): The officer who was arrested for stealing from the American Legion post he led was arrested again for stealing from the police lodge he also led. ow.ly/fAgH304CWNx
  • Pittsfield, Massachusetts: An officer was terminated after a lengthy suspension on several misconduct allegations.ow.ly/oEJd304CXKh
  • Update: Roswell, New Mexico (First reported 05-18-16): An officer who was previously arrested for domestic violence against his wife has been fired.ow.ly/QaQy304CXZA
  • Update: Owasso County, Oklahoma (First reported 11-09-11): A now-former officer who was fired twice for excessive force will go on trial for his second assault November 28. ow.ly/A4XY304CYd7
  • Hood River, Oregon: A deputy was charged with luring a child and other charges related to sexual abuse of a minor.ow.ly/Srkd304CZ4s
  • Cadillac, Michigan: An officer pled guilty to OWI while off duty. ow.ly/gBor304CZZ0
  • Clute, Texas: A now-former officer pled guilty to financial misappropriation. In exchange for the plea, his perjury and tampering charges were dropped. ow.ly/fdlL304D0wL
  • Update: Mercer County, New Jersey (First reported 11-02-15): A now-former officer was given a suspended jail sentence for leaking the mugshot of a then-14-year-old suspect. ow.ly/FN5a304D0QI
  • Update: Adams County, Colorado (First reported 11-30-15): A now-former deputy was acquitted of assault for a May 2015 altercation outside of a bar. ow.ly/HiZN304D1hB

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 09-27-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 27, 2016:

  • Gaffney, South Carolina: An officer resigned after he was accused of using excessive force against a handcuffed detainee. The matter is under investigation. ow.ly/2oED304ALz3
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for threatening his girlfriend with a knife and stealing furniture from her home. ow.ly/LrVH304ALMj
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 01-19-16): A now-former officer was given one year of home detention after his plea to assaulting a teen in the hospital. Two other now-former officers received probation for their roles in the incident. ow.ly/YMJ2304AMHA
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 07-07-16): An officer was indicted for second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Delrawn Small in what has been called a road rage incident off duty. ow.ly/QBiM304AN6j
  • Update: Bristol, Connecticut (First reported 01-20-16): An officer was suspended 30 days for threatening his supervisor. ow.ly/Mmto304ANMd
  • Update: Santa Barbara, California (First reported 07-18-16): A now-former officer was sentenced to four months in jail for workers’ compensation fraud and ordered to pay $115,669 in restitution. ow.ly/N4DE304AO2g
  • Starkville, Mississippi: An officer was suspended for five days and put on administrative probation for one year after a bad arrest of two college football players. ow.ly/lVvb304AOlJ
  • Update: Henrico County, Virginia (First reported 03-02-16): A deputy who was indicted for wounding a man by shooting into a car is scheduled to go on trial in October. ow.ly/C5pD304CA05
  • Temple, Texas: A now-former officer was indicted for making false statements about alerting individuals outside of law enforcement about a pending police investigation. ow.ly/ICBC304CCPd

AP Report on Misuse of Police Databases

This morning, the Associated Press published results of their investigation into the unauthorized access of law enforcement databases by police officers. Unsurprising to regular readers of PoliceMisconduct.net, they found egregious abuses including stalking, harassment, and selling of personal information.

Unspecified discipline was imposed in more than 90 instances reviewed by AP. In many other cases, it wasn’t clear from the records if punishment was given at all. The number of violations was surely far higher since records provided were spotty at best, and many cases go unnoticed.

Among those punished: an Ohio officer who pleaded guilty to stalking an ex-girlfriend and who looked up information on her; a Michigan officer who looked up home addresses of women he found attractive; and two Miami-Dade officers who ran checks on a journalist after he aired unflattering stories about the department.

“It’s personal. It’s your address. It’s all your information, it’s your Social Security number, it’s everything about you,” said Alexis Dekany, the Ohio woman whose ex-boyfriend, a former Akron officer, pleaded guilty last year to stalking her. “And when they use it for ill purposes to commit crimes against you — to stalk you, to follow you, to harass you … it just becomes so dangerous.”

Law enforcement discipline and self-monitoring is notoriously opaque and varies jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so it is impossible to know how often these abuses happen. While it would be unfair to say that most police officers violate these laws and rules, it is unfortunately not uncommon either. Police departments should regularly audit the logins and access to sensitive personal data to protect the privacy of individuals and maintain the integrity of their own agencies.

You can read the whole AP story here. You can scroll through many of the cases we found that document the phenomenon on Twitter here. And if you don’t follow us on Twitter already, check us out at @NPMRP.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 09-26-16

Here are the 15 reports of police misconduct tracked for Monday, September 26, 2016:

  • Leadwood, Missouri: A now-former officer pled guilty to stealing $40,000 from a woman’s home while  he was off-duty and in plainclothes. ow.ly/z1Th304xWW1
  • Update: Aledo, Illinois (First reported 12-17-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to misdemeanors. He was originally charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl while he was on duty.   ow.ly/AcZK304xXtG
  • Savannah-Chatham, Georgia: An officer was fired, and a second officer was suspended, for improperly handling a report of shots fired. ow.ly/4ewn304xXMH
  • Troy, Missouri: An officer is under criminal investigation by the state police for sexual misconduct with a teenager. He resigned. ow.ly/DBaF304y4cs
  • Schenectady, New York: An officer is accused of abusing a woman after her arrest and dunking her head in an unflushed jail toilet. No charges or lawsuit have been filed but the department is investigating the incident. ow.ly/ODnw304y5xm
  • Pasco County, Florida: A deputy resigned after his arrest for DUI. He crashed into a house. ow.ly/tmqw304y71P
  • Lowndes County, Alabama: The chief deputy is facing an assault charge for attacking a 20-year-old while he was on duty in the county courthouse. ow.ly/4b8H304zAlk
  • Joplin, Missouri: A now-former officer pled guilty to civil rights charges for offering to help a DWI suspect with her case in the hopes of befriending the woman and sleeping with her. He resigned his position in January. ow.ly/KgRO304zGhR
  • Update: Covert Township, Michigan (First reported 07-21-16): An officer was bound over for trial for raping the intoxicated girlfriend of a DUI suspect he had put in jail earlier in the evening. His is alleged to have dropped her off at a hotel and returned to have sex with her. The officer claims the sex was consensual, but the woman says she was too drunk to give consent.  ow.ly/PDIB304zHLd
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 05-01-14): An officer was convicted of aggravated assault but acquitted of attempted first-degree murder for a shooting incident in York, Pennsylvania. ow.ly/P11N304zIZ8
  • Elk Grove Village, Illinois: An officer resigned after he was discovered to have written traffic warnings for incidents that never occurred. ow.ly/GQIi304zNoR
  • Tahlequah, Oklahoma: An officer was fired for policy violations, including intimidating his girlfriend’s ex-husband and other aggressive social conduct on and off duty. ow.ly/9HIr304zOna
  • Greenup County, Kentucky: A deputy was suspended after his arrest for DUI. ow.ly/1S4d304zQFj
  • East Grand Rapids, Michigan: An officer pled guilty to DUI and leaving the scene of an accident while off duty. He was fined $750. ow.ly/hJOS304A0KJ
  • Albemarle, Virginia: An officer was granted qualified immunity against two civil charges, but it was denied in two others, in pending excessive force lawsuits. ow.ly/IiW2304Akls

DC Event 9/29: You Have the Right to Remain Innocent

The police are supposed to protect and serve the public.  Most police procedural dramas on television–perennially among the most popular shows for decades–paint a picture of officers working diligently and honestly to catch the bad guys. Many children are taught that police officers are among the most trusted members of the community and that there is no need to fear them. But is that how police work in real life?

Not exactly.

Police officers are trained to extract information from people whether or not they are criminal suspects. Indeed, one of the more common tricks officers use is getting people to give up the right to refuse a search of their person or property. With consent, police officers can rummage through your pockets and cars–or even your homes–looking for a reason to arrest you.

For this reason, talking to police when you don’t have to is often a bad idea. So many of the wrongfully convicted people in this country didn’t exercise their right to be silent and were put away because they didn’t think they had anything to hide. How wrong they were.

On Thursday, Cato is hosting an event with Prof. James Duane, the law professor whose lecture to NEVER talk to the police went viral. He’s here to discuss his book on self-incrimination and the criminal justice system, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent. The book is engaging, informative, and easy to read. Cato adjunct Randy Barnett of Georgetown University Law Center will be commenting on the book and it will be moderated by our own Tim Lynch.

Copies of the book will be sold at the event. You can register for the free event and lunch here. You can join the discussion online using the Twitter hashtag #6ARights.

Cross-posted from Cato@Liberty

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 09-23-16

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 23, 2016:

  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 02-04-12): The officer who fatally shot Ramarley Graham after chasing him into his apartment will face administrative trial for the incident. ow.ly/zsrq304uOsN
  • Broward County, Florida: A deputy was charged with falsifying off-duty work detail hours. ow.ly/cKo4304uPm6
  • Dallas, Texas: An officer was charged with misdemeanor oppression for slapping a man who called him a racial epithet. ow.ly/A2cE304uPxv
  • Update: Ohio State Highway Patrol (First reported 01-20-16): An officer will stand trial in October for stalking and theft from evidence. ow.ly/jjhU304uYsQ
  • Livingston, California: A now-former officer was sentenced to three months in jail for assaulting a handcuffed detainee. ow.ly/11CI304uYLy
  • Phoenix, Arizona: Three officers resigned and are now under criminal investigation for making a man eat marijuana to avoid going to jail. ow.ly/YmkQ304vrub
  • Miami Beach, Florida: The City settled a lawsuit with a good Samaritan who was beaten by a plainclothes officer for intervening when the officer was attacking someone else for $100,000. ow.ly/6Gbz304vrKH
  • Update: Las Vegas, Nevada (First reported 01-19-16): An officer was acquitted of kidnapping, coercion and domestic battery by strangulation for actions against his ex-girlfriend. ow.ly/gi4c304vGUU
  • Jackson, Georgia: An officer was charged with tampering and making false statements for staging an ambush and claiming she was shot by an assailant. ow.ly/SSvt304vK6b
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An officer was charged with molesting a young girl over the course of several years. ow.ly/ymyL304vHID

Some (Heavy) Monday Morning Reading

The findings of two new reports may be of interest to NPMRP readers.

The first is tangential to police misconduct, but nevertheless big news in the criminal justice world: The 2015 Uniform Crime Report. The findings show an increase in violent crime and murder and a continued decrease in many property crimes. A mixed bag, to be sure, but it is important to remember that we’re still near historic lows in violent crime as other crimes continue to trend downward.  While crime rate increases are reasonable cause for concern, people should not be swayed to believing that everything is going terribly. It’s still very safe for most people in the United States and new policies based on overreaction are the last thing we need.

More directly related to our typical slate of work at NPMRP is a new report on the ATF’s ‘stash-house’ sting program. For those unfamiliar, the ATF would find people and entice them to rob a drug dealer’s stash house with the promise of a big payday. The drug house doesn’t actually exist but the people duped into joining the heist are then prosecuted and give heavy sentences for a crime that never happened. The practice has faced strong public criticism because it preys on the poor and particularly minorities. A new study confirms the findings of an earlier USA Today investigation that showed that racial minorities were targeted to be set up by the ATF at an astonishingly high rate. According to the news report:

The new report, prepared by Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan, found only a 0.1% chance that agents could have selected so many minorities by chance, even if they were targeting only people with criminal records that suggested they were likely to be part of a robbery crew, as ATF policies require. Those results, Fagan wrote, show that “the ATF is discriminating on the basis of race” in choosing targets for the stings.

The full UCR report can be downloaded here. The Fagan report is here.

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