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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-22-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, June 22, 2016:

  • Chicago, Illinois: The City settled was wrongful death lawsuit with the family of Phillip Coleman, who was tasered 16 times while in custody, for nearly $5,000,000. The officers responsible for the actions were never disciplined.
  • Ward County, North Dakota: The sheriff and the now-former sheriff were both charged with reckless endangerment for the in-custody death of Dustin Irwin. The current sheriff is suspended with full pay.
  • Update: Fresno, California (First reported 03-27-15): A now-former deputy chief rejected a federal plea deal in his drug distribution case. His lawyer said he awaits discovery evidence yet to be turned over by the prosecutor.
  • Update: Mayfield, Kentucky (First reported 06-10-16): One of the two officers who were suspended has resigned.
  • Franklin County, Ohio: A now-former K-9 deputy pled guilty to cocaine possession. Paramedics responded to his home for a drug emergency.
  • Washington, District of Columbia: An officer was arrested for assault at an Annapolis restaurant.
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas: An officer was arrested for an off-duty DUI.
  • Big Stone Gap, Virginia: An officer was charged with over 50 counts related to child rape and incest.
  • Killeen, Texas: An officer was indicted for sexual assault and official oppression for an on-duty incident. He was fired.

BGSU Releases New Report on Officers under Arrest

At the Washington Post, Tom Jackman highlights a new report documenting arrests of police officers across the country. The report, entitled “Police Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested” and written by scholars at Bowling Green State University, estimates that three American police officers are arrested per day every year. The years covered in the study cover 2005-2011.

From the WaPo story:

The most common crimes were simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, and significant numbers of sex crimes were also found. About 72 percent of officers charged in cases with known outcomes are convicted, more than 40 percent of the crimes are committed on duty, and nearly 95 percent of the officers charged are men.


“This is probably the tip of the iceberg,” said Cara Rabe-Hemp, a professor at Illinois State University who has studied police deviance. She said the effort is the “first-ever study to quantify police crime” and shows it is “much much more common than what police scholars and police administrators previously thought.”

A representative of the National Fraternal Order of Police union stated that the numbers are small when put in the context of 900,000 police officers nationwide. But there is nothing contradictory between his statement and that of Professor Rabe-Hemp. The raw numbers the BGSU researchers found are interesting, but we can be sure that they do not tell the whole story.

Here at the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, we collect similar data that is consistent with the BGSU findings. Every day we find cases of misconduct, both on and off-duty. Some incidents result in arrests, other incidents are handled administratively, and some others are revealed by civil suits brought by victims and surviving families of police misconduct. We track the stories over time to see how they are handled by the police and prosecutors as the cases move through the labyrinth of administrative, civil, or criminal procedures.

We find cases where officers are arrested and convicted of crimes. But we also find officers who are given “professional courtesy” and not arrested for drunk driving. We see cases in which officers plea down their violent and disturbing felony cases to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, which allows them to maintain their peace officers’ license. We find longstanding criminal conspiracies that sometimes take years to uncover. And, just today in Baltimore, we see prosecutors unable to convict the officer believed to be most culpable for the conduct that resulted in the death of Freddie Gray. It is impossible to gauge the extent of misconduct because we don’t know how much of it the police and the media are catching.

Part of the reason NPMRP tracks these stories is to get a better sense of how different police agencies handle their misconduct cases, as well as the judicial systems that are sometimes involved. For a number of reasons—the Blue Wall of Silence, qualified immunity, use-of-force protocols, political pressures, the Law Enforcement Officers Bills of Rights, and sympathetic juries, among others—it is very difficult to bring criminal charges against a police officer, let alone secure a conviction, absent incontrovertible proof of wrongdoing.

As I testified last year before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, policymakers, watchdog agencies, and police leadership can benefit from more collection and analysis of police misconduct data. The new BGSU report is a welcomed one. It is 209 pages plus another 440 pages of notes and appendices, and we’re looking forward to digging further into those findings. You can read it for yourself here.

We are doing our part to make these issues clearer at NPMRP, which you can check out here. Keep an eye on on this space for more information about police misconduct in the coming weeks.

This was cross-posted from Cato at Liberty

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-21-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, June 21, 2016:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana: Three officers were fired and a fourth was suspended. One officer struck a handcuffed arrestee and the others didn’t report the incident.
  • Dearborn, Michigan: An officer was suspended without pay. He has been accused of groping a woman during a traffic stop.
  • Passaic County, New Jersey: A deputy was suspended during an investigation into $35,000 in missing funds from the police union, where she served as Treasurer.
  • Veterans’ Administration (Salisbury, NC): An officer was arrested for allegedly running a marijuana grow operation.
  • Update: Roseau County, Minnesota (First reported 06-02-16): A now-former deputy pled guilty to shooting up a cabin and false reporting as part of a feud in an off-duty incident. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which were suspended, as well as five years of supervised probation.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: An officer was charged for pepper-spraying a fellow officer.
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin: An officer was arrested for OWI and hit-and-run after a crash causing property damage. His BAC was measured at .24, which is three times the legal limit.
  • Update: Bexar County, Texas (First reported 07-04-13): The County settled a lawsuit with the family of Mathew Jackson, an unarmed motorist fatally shot by an off-duty deputy after a minor traffic crash. The $750,00 settlement will be paid by the County’s insurance policy.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-20-16

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Monday, June 20, 2016:

  • New York, New York: Three officers were arrested as part of an ongoing federal corruption investigation that implicates major donors to Mayor deBlasio’s campaign.
  • Update: St. Charles County, Missouri (First reported 04-01-16): A now-former officer pled guilty to property damage in Pike County. He was sentenced to two years’ probation. He previously pled guilty to theft from a bait car and was sentenced to five years’ probation in that case.
  • Update: Oakland, California: The third chief in nine days resigned as a sex and prostitution scandal continues to grow.
  • Pinal County, Arizona: A deputy was arrested in Phoenix after entering a home illegally and assaulting a man there in an off-duty incident.
  • Jersey City, New Jersey: Three officers and one now-former officer were indicted on a total of 100 counts including conspiracy, falsifying records, and misconduct in office.
  • Ascension Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was arrested for rape and malfeasance for alleged sexual contact with a 14-year-old runaway.
  • Update: Shawnee County, Kansas (First reported 06-01-16): The arrest of a detective who was charged with perjury has prompted the prosecutors’ office to notify defenses notifications in more than 600 cases the detective participated in.
  • Update: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (First reported 04-11-16): A now-former detective pled guilty for striking a handcuffed suspect during interrogation. Sentencing is scheduled for October 13.
  • Richmond, Virginia: The trial of an officer charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Patterson Brown Jr has ended in mistrial due to a deadlocked jury.
  • Update: Montclair, New Jersey (First reported 03-18-16): An officer had his reinstatement and $270,000 in back pay overturned by appeals court.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-17-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 17, 2016:

  • Update: Wilmington, North Carolina (First reported 06-30-14): An officer was acquitted in ):-excessive force case for striking a teen who was cuffed in the back of his cruiser.
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested after refusing a sobriety test after rear-ending another vehicle.
  • Grant County, Oregon: The sheriff is under investigation for forging documents. A deputy allegedly induced the “egregious” arrest of 911 caller who had reported the deputy’s family was shooting guns on their property.
  • Inglewood, California: The City will pay $4.6 million to an unarmed man who was shot in the head by a police officer.
  • Montgomery County, Maryland: A police officer was caught in an underage sex sting in Prince William County, Virginia.
  • Update: Los Angeles County, California: The now-former deputy who was at the center of the jail scandal that led to convictions of 21 law enforcement officers was sentenced to six months in jail for bribery.
  • Update: Delaware County, Indiana (First reported 09-15-14): A now-former deputy was sentenced to probation for 2014 DWI crash that led to injuries of others and himself. He was allowed to retire and thus retain his retirement benefits.
  • Chico, California: The City settled a lawsuit with a man who claims he was detained and consequently injured without cause for $400,000.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-16-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, June 16, 2016:

  • Ector County, Texas: A deputy was federally charged for extorting an illicit gaming room.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A now-former officer had his 2013 termination overturned by state appellate court. The NOPD plans to appeal the decision.
  • Update: Gatlinburg, Tennessee (First reported 02-22-16): A detective was arraigned on perjury charges. He is alleged to have covered-up the sexual assault of a high school freshman as a hazing ritual.
  • Highlands County, Florida: A deputy was fired for maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old girl, including providing her with alcohol.
  • Update: Lyon County, Kansas (First reported 11-24-15): A now-former deputy was convicted of vehicular manslaughter for an off-duty crash in 2012.
  • Update: Grand Rapids, Michigan (First reported 03-03-15): A now-former officer was convicted for sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a home invasion pled guilty to child porn charges. The charge stems from a sexual relationship he had with a then-17-year old girl. He had sexually explicit pictures of the girl. The judge ruled that his sentence should run concurrently with the 2-15 years he is serving for the sexual assault conviction.
  • Albion, Michigan: A public safety officer was arrested for OWI after a single-car crash.
  • Montgomery, Alabama: An officer was arrested for sexually assaulting a man while he was on duty. The officer was charged with first-degree sodomy for actions against a driver he pulled over for a noise complaint.
  • US Customs and Border Protection: The department is being sued by a woman who was given body cavity search without a warrant or probable cause.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-15-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for June 15, 2016:

  • Update: Boston, Massachusetts (First reported 02-23-16): An officer will plead guilty and resign for buying $5,000 worth of stolen gift cards from a shoplifting ring.
  • Clark County (Nevada) School District: An internal affairs detective was placed under investigation for intimidation and mishandling cases.
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was suspended for challenging an arrestee to a fight and removing the arrestee’s handcuffs in order to do so. (Video)
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: A deputy was suspended 10 days after being stopped for DUI three times on separate occasions. In each case, he was not arrested and driven home by the officers who pulled him over.
  • Update: Hartsville, Indiana (First reported 07-24-15): A now-former deputy town marshal was given a two and a half year suspended sentence for sexting a 12-year-old girl. The victim’s mother agreed to the sentence.
  • Update: Greenville, North Carolina (First reported 07-23-15): A now-former officer pled guilty to assault of his ex-girlfriend. He grabbed her by the throat and repeatedly punched her in the face.
  • Hillsborough County, Florida: A deputy was arrested after a wrong-way crash into a tractor trailer. The deputy abandoned the vehicle and was found nearby attempting to hide from authorities.
  • Broward County, Florida: A sergeant was charged with 29 counts related to sexual misconduct with minors.
  • Loudon County, Virginia: A deputy was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly killing his (personal) dog and putting its body in a dumpster.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-14-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, June 14, 2016:

  • Update: U.S. Secret Service (First reported 11-16-15): A now-former agent faces new charges for sexting teenage girls.
  • Update: Arlington, Texas (First reported 08-10-15): The officer who was fired for fatally shooting Christian Taylor was not indicted by a local grand jury.
  • Update: Jacksonville County, Florida (First reported 04-29-16): A now-former officer will only face a simple battery count for repeatedly striking cuffed woman.
  • Update: Madison County, Tennessee (First reported 12-15-15): A deputy resigned and pled guilty to DUI. He was found unconscious in his car while off duty. He will serve 48 hours of an 11 month, 28-day sentence, the rest of which was suspended. He will be on probation during that time.
  • Update: Broward County, Florida (First reported 02-18-15): An administrative law judge ruled that a now-former deputy who is serving five years for his conviction on 14 counts of false imprisonment may receive pension benefits. The judge ruled that “the state did not meet legal tests for trying to strip [the former deputy] of his retirement benefits. Those tests include that the criminal offenses were “done with the intent to defraud the public or the employee’s public employer” and that they were “done to obtain a profit, gain or advantage” for the employee or someone else.” During the offenses, the deputy was in uniform and in a marked patrol vehicle when he intimidated undocumented immigrants into performing sex acts for him.
  • Pickaway County, Ohio: A deputy pled guilty to misdemeanor assault for an off-duty incident. He had been charged with felonious assault on a peace officer that responded to a domestic disturbance at his home.
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer is under investigation after a released video shows him kicking a suspect in the head while another officer arrests him.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: An officer was arrested after an hours-long manhunt. He is accused of sexually assaulting teen girl.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A now-former officer pled guilty a second time for killing a man in jealous anger. He had previously pled guilty to first-degree murder of Tristan Little Sr., but filed for and was granted relief for not understanding the ramifications of his original plea. He was originally scheduled to serve 50 years of a life sentence. His new plea requires him to serve 35 years of a life sentence.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-13-16

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Monday, June 13, 2016:

  • New Bern, North Carolina: A now-former officer was charged with larceny for stealing items while conducting a search.
  • Camden, New Jersey: An officer was accused of misconduct, including assault and false reporting. So far, 18 of his pending cases have been dismissed.
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for punching a 71-year-old woman in the face during an off-duty argument about her dog.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested for a hit-and-run and suspicion of DUI after an off-duty crash into a parked car.
  • McAllen, Texas: An officer was charged with animal cruelty after he left his K-9 partner in a hot car after he got home from his shift. The dog subsequently died.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: An officer was arrested on drug possession, malfeasance, and firearm theft charges.
  • Union County, Arkansas: An officer was arrested on child pornography charges and fired.
  • Update: Shelby County, Tennessee (First reported 04-25-16): A deputy was charged with violating a protective order. The order stems from an arrest for aggravated assault against a woman in April. The alleged violation involved the deputy contacting the woman and offering her money in exchange for dropping the original charges. The deputy is currently suspended.
  • Update: Oakland, California (First reported 05-13-16): The police chief resigned amid a multi-departmental sex scandal involving an underage sex worker. Three now-former officers allegedly had sex with her when the woman, now 18, was underage. They allegedly referred to her as “juve”—as in juvenile—and tipped her off to anti-prostitution police activity. The investigation is ongoing, but as many as 25 officers from several other departments may have been involved with her.
  • Florence, Kentucky: An officer was suspended while he is being investigated for handcuffing a 12-year-old boy.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 06-10-16

Here are the seven reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 10, 2016:

  • Iberia Parish, Louisiana: The sheriff and two senior deputies were charged with federal civil rights violations for beating two men in custody in two separate incidents. One of the victims was alleged to have assaulted one of the sheriff’s relatives.
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was arrested for taking bribes from a local trucking company in exchange for favorable vehicle inspections.
  • Update: DeKalb County, Georgia (First reported 01-07-16): A now-former officer arraigned for the shooting death of Anthony Hill. He pled not guilty.
  • Update: Houston, Texas (First reported 01-14-16): A now-former officer was sentenced to four years in prison for monitoring a police radio to aid an armored car heist.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: A detective was removed from duty. His cases in the Crimes Against Children unit have been placed under review by a police task force.
  • Detroit, Michigan: A deputy chief gave false testimony in a case that resulted in a wrongful conviction of then-14-year-old boy for quadruple homicide. Devontae Sanford, now 23, was ordered released from prison last week. He had been sentenced to 35-90 years after giving a false confession in the case. The actual killer, a hitman, confessed to the crime and eight other homicides just weeks after Sanford was sentenced.
  • Mayfield, Kentucky: Two officers were suspended without pay for undisclosed policy violations.

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