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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-09-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, August 9, 2013:

  • Pointe Coupee, Louisiana: A deputy has been arrested on drug-related counts. The sheriff’s office got three complaints stating that the officer was involved in drug activity. “There is nothing worse than a cop that goes bad and violates the trust of the community,” said the sheriff.
  • Wright County, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with two counts related to DUI. The Minnesota State Patrol arrested the officer and charged him with gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation 4th degree DUI and misdemeanor offense of DUI.
  • Montrose, Colorado: An officer has been accused of sexually abusing a child over a period of years. He is facing felony charges of sexual assault on a child and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.
  • Darien, Illinois: A police chief has publicly denied allegations that he sexually assaulted and harassed an employee while serving as a commander with the Chicago Police Department. There has been a lawsuit filed against him.
  • Update: Palmdale, California (First reported 07-30-13): A sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty to rape and bribery charges for crimes he allegedly committed while on duty. “The sheriff takes it very seriously,” the sheriff spokesman said. “We were the ones who instigated the investigation. We pursued it aggressively because it was a heinous act.”
  • Belton, Missouri: A deputy sheriff was arrested for a felony warrant alleging second-degree statutory sodomy on a 14-year-old girl.
  • St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana: A man is suing the sheriff’s office and numerous deputies for alleged police brutality after he allegedly attempted to record a peaceful protest against the living conditions of the parish prison.
  • Pawtucket, Rhode Island: A veteran police officer has been accused of stealing $700 worth of gas from the city. “It’s obviously very distressing when someone who’s given that responsibility, who takes an oath of obeying the Constitution and following the ordinances of the city of Pawtucket, breaks that trust,” said the public safety commissioner.
  • Clackamas County, Oregon: A detective has been suspended without pay following an accusation that he engaged in sexual activity with a prostitute in public. He was immediately suspended and has been charged with patronizing a prostitute and public indecency.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A police sergeant has been arrested by his own department following an Internal Affairs investigation, a police official said. He was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and stalking.

Worst of the Month — July 2013

For July it was the Anthony Mitchell Case:

LAS VEGAS (CN) – Henderson police arrested a family for refusing to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic violence investigation of their neighbors, the family claims in court.
Anthony Mitchell and his parents Michael and Linda Mitchell sued the City of Henderson, its Police Chief Jutta Chambers, Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley, and City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister, in Federal Court.
Henderson, pop. 257,000, is a suburb of Las Vegas.
The Mitchell family’s claim includes Third Amendment violations, a rare claim in the United States. The Third Amendment prohibits quartering soldiers in citizens’ homes in times of peace without the consent of the owner.
“On the morning of July 10th, 2011, officers from the Henderson Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at a neighbor’s residence,” the Mitchells say in the complaint.
It continues: “At 10:45 a.m. defendant Officer Christopher Worley (HPD) contacted plaintiff Anthony Mitchell via his telephone. Worley told plaintiff that police needed to occupy his home in order to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ against the occupant of the neighboring house. Anthony Mitchell told the officer that he did not want to become involved and that he did not want police to enter his residence. Although Worley continued to insist that plaintiff should leave his residence, plaintiff clearly explained that he did not intend to leave his home or to allow police to occupy his home. Worley then ended the phone call.
Mitchell claims that defendant officers, including Cawthorn and Worley and Sgt. Michael Waller then “conspired among themselves to force Anthony Mitchell out of his residence and to occupy his home for their own use.” (Waller is identified as a defendant in the body of the complaint, but not in the heading of it.)

More here.  Like the ‘Worst of June’ incident, another case of the police abusing citizens for exercising their rights–a particularly egregious aspect of police misconduct, since they are supposed to be defending our rights.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-08-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, August 8, 2103:

  • Barnsdall, Oklahoma: A police chief was charged following an investigation into a crash. He faces charges of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and carrying a firearm while under the influence.
  • Johnston, Rhode Island: A police officer has been charged with assault and breaking and entering in an incident. She was also charged with disorderly conduct.
  • Federal Way, Washington: A police officer has resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct, which included sending lewd photos and text messages to a crime victim. The resignation came in lieu of termination.
  • Harrison County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to five years in prison and six years of probation for two counts of indecency with a child. Upon his arrest he was immediately fired.
  • Soddy Daisy, Tennessee: A police officer has been suspended in connection with a road rage incident that led to gunfire and a female fight. He is on administrative leave pending the investigation.
  • Seattle, Washington: The city has agreed to pay $38,500 to two brothers that alleged they were falsely targeted as bank-robbery suspects because a police officer was upset about the way he had been treated at a bar all three men frequented.
  • Update: Jersey City, New Jersey (First reported 05-02-13): A police officer who struck and killed a man crossing the street has been indicted by a grand jury on three charges including aggravated manslaughter.
  • Daytona Beach, Florida: A police officer resigned after activity involving an online sex game came to light, according to officials. In the game, users can share pornographic images. Some of the officer’s images depicted her in uniform. Investigators found 177 pornographic photos on her desktop computer at work and 97 similar images on her laptop computer inside her patrol car.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-07-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday August 7, 2013:

  • Ceres, California: A police officer is facing a misdemeanor charge of assault while in uniform. He was put on paid administrative leave as his supervisors suspected him of misconduct.
  • Update: DeSoto County, Florida (First reported 06-19-13): Three deputies have been fired, and the jail captain has resigned, as the result of a beating of an inmate.
  • Macon, Georgia: A police officer hit a fellow officer during a fight while on duty. He resigned, and internal affairs is still investigating.
  • Taylor County, Wisconsin: A veteran deputy was fired following allegations that he used excessive force during an arrest. Evidence was presented that he struck the son involved in a domestic violence dispute in the face twice while he was handcuffed and intoxicated.
  • Waupun, Wisconsin: A police officer who was on the run after he burglarized a restaurant and stole a pickup truck was arrested. He is being held in jail. “We uphold the law. That’s what we do,” said the Sheriff. “There’s a brotherhood of law enforcement, where we try to look out for each other. When we have an officer do something like this, it’s kind of tough. I know that every law enforcement officer across the state wants to get this guy.”
  • Sioux City, Iowa: A woman has accused an officer of using excessive force during an arrest. The incident was captured on a police car dashboard camera. The city’s attorney said she believes the officer acted appropriately, and the city denies her allegations.
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin: Thirteen officials, including four deputy sheriffs, swarmed a shelter with a search warrant for a baby deer named Giggles and killed it. The shelter president says she plans to sue the agency. “They went way over the top for a little, tiny, baby deer,” she said.
  • Boynton Beach, Florida: The family of a teenager killed in a deputy-involved shooting has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The 18-year-old was killed after the teen threatened the deputy’s life with a hammer and hedge sheers investigators said.
  • Update: Smith County, Texas (First reported 07-12-13): A now-former deputy pleaded not guilty to five charges. The sheriff says that he had drugs in his patrol car, and all five counts relate to drugs.
  • Butte County, California: A jury found a now-former sheriff’s deputy guilty on two felony counts. He was accused of arranging through text messages to meet a minor for sex.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-06-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, August 6, 2013:

  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer was arrested on drunken driving charges and has been suspended pending an internal investigation into his arrest.
  • Henry County, Alabama: A sheriff’s deputy has been indicted on charges related to stealing property from people during traffic stops. The indictment included three felony counts of second-degree theft of property and one felony count of intimidating a witness.
  • Albany, New York: A police officer who has been on the force just over a year was arrested on assault charges after an argument with his girlfriend.
  • Anniston, Alabama: A police officer has been charged with sexual abuse involving a child under 12 years old. He was indicted on felony charges, and resigned during the internal investigation.
  • Update: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (First reported 04-19-13): A review board says that a police officer did not use excessive force in an arrest cause on camera.
  • Houston, Texas: The mother of a man who was reportedly struck by a police vehicle and succumbed to his injuries has brought a lawsuit against the city. The court documents allege that the police officer pursued the man and “intentionally and recklessly” hit him.
  • Grand County, Utah: A deputy is behind bars on attempted murder charges after a large domestic violence dispute involving his family.
  • Jersey City, New Jersey: An officer pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he stole 600,000 cigarettes and robbed a government informant he thought was a drug courier.
  • Orange County, Florida: A deputy has been suspended after authorities say he fled from a traffic stop while off duty. He is being charged with fleeing and eluding an officer with lights activated. He was being held on $3,500 bail.
  • Galveston County, Texas: An officer was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily injury/domestic violence. The internal investigation will determine he violated agency policy or state rule.
  • Clay County West Virginia: The sheriff has been charged with illegal wiretapping, a federal felony that can carry up to five years in prison. Documents allege he used a hidden device known as a “key logger” on the victim’s computer.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-03-13 to 08-05-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, August 3 to Monday, August 5, 2013:

  • Hughestown, Pennsylvania: The FBI charged a police officer with selling prescription drugs while on duty and in uniform. He allegedly admitted to the drug sales as well as to providing prescription drug pills to another police officer.
  • Putnam County, West Virginia:  A deputy has resigned after a hazing incident involving two teenagers. The deputy allowed two teens to use a taser on each other and did nothing to stop it. He also participated in using the taser on the teens.
  • Prichard, Alabama: A police officer has been charged with trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana. He is behind bars currently.
  • Update: Fairfax County, Virginia (First reported 04-12-13): A now former police officer and firefighter was sentenced to serve a five-year prison term after he was convicted of forcibly sodomizing his ex-girlfriend. “My actions were disrespectful and not honorable,” the officer said.
  • Burbank, California: An officer has been placed on administrative leave following a serious of “serious” allegations that could lead to criminal charges, the police chief said.
  • Peoria, Illinois: A police officer pleaded guilty to attempted obstruction of justice in connection with the probe of a drunken driving crash by a fellow officer and promptly resigned from the force. By pleading guilty to the misdemeanor it means the officer could still apply for another job as a police officer and receive his pension.
  • Rio Arriba, New Mexico: An officer will be demoted from lieutenant to sergeant and has been suspended without pay following his DWI arrest. He pleaded not guilty to the DWI in court.
  • Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin: A police officer is being charged with three felony crimes. He is being held in jail and is under investigation for possible child enticement, child exploitation, and the use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
  • Orange County, California: A sheriff’s deputy allegedly pepper-sprayed a teenager’s pizza during a traffic stop. The teen, authorities said, and a group of friends later became sick after eating the pepper-spray tainted pizza.  He has been charged with one misdemeanor count of assault or battery by a public officer.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-02-13

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, August 2, 2013:

  • Rhea County, Tennessee: A man is suing the county, the sheriff, and several other law enforcement officials for $2 million for alleged police brutality, according to a lawsuit filed in federal district court.
  • Update: Cleveland, Ohio (First reported 06-12-13): A review of a deadly police chase has found that 75 patrol officers violated orders and police department rules, city official said. Nineteen officers face disciplinary hearings. A fleeing driver and passenger were killed when officers fired 137 shots at them.
  • Update: Edmonds, Washington (Previously reported 01-16-13): A now-former officer wad found guilty of having sex with a woman in his custody. He is facing up to a year in jail and will be required to register as a sex offender for a decade.
  • Walker, Louisiana: A police officer was arrested. He is accused of hitting a juvenile rape suspect several times after he was already in the officer’s custody.
  • Update: Barren County, Kentucky (Previously reported 05-10-13): The now-former sheriff will spend a year and a half in prison related to his trial on civil rights violations. The judge said that by all accounts the sheriff was a model citizen, but his punishment must reflect the seriousness of the convictions and the former sheriff’s position of authority.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A man has filed an excessive force lawsuit against the police department and the city alleging battery and defamation. A hotel security video shows him being taken to the ground by officers in the lobby.

Questions About a Virginia Police Shooting

From a Washington Post editorial:

The report by Mr. Plowman, the county’s top prosecutor, presents the results of a serious and substantive investigation into the May 29 shooting. It includes statements from shoppers and store employees who were witnesses, and from the officers, as well as images from store security cameras and photos of the knife and scissors.

All that is useful, as is the speed with which the report was produced. Still, some critical questions remain unanswered, including the central one: Why couldn’t the officers — five of them, including three who had drawn their Tasers — subdue Ms. Scott short of using lethal force? Would better training have yielded a different outcome?

According to Mr. Plowman’s report, just one of three officers who drew his Taser fired it. The device hit Ms. Scott but apparently malfunctioned. Rather than delivering an incapacitating five-second jolt, which the report says is the norm, the electrical burst lasted just one second, and Ms. Scott was unaffected.

Why? The report is vague, saying it is unclear whether human error or equipment malfunction is to blame. (The Taser in question has been sent to the manufacturer for “more thorough examination,” the report says.) And why didn’t the other two officers who had drawn their Tasers use them? …

[P]olice must be prepared to deal with psychotic, disturbed and aggressive people; that’s part of the job description. Did the deputies in Loudoun receive adequate training for such an encounter? On that question, the report is silent.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 08-01-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, August 1, 2013:

  • Nassau County, New York: A police officer has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for pointing his department-issues weapon at a bartender’s head during an off-duty confrontation. He faces up to three months at his sentencing.
  • Richmond County, Georgia: A now-former deputy was indicted on charges of tampering with evidence and violation of his oath of officer. He confiscated a large amount of Marijuana, money, and a handgun and did not document any this in any report of recover the property correctly.
  • Washington County, Alabama: The sheriff says he intends to fight charges of conspiracy and theft of government money. The indictment alleges the sheriff conspired with others to fraudulently obtain Social Security benefits for one of his employees.
  • Nolensville, Tennessee: An officer pled guilty to a federal mail fraud charge for demanding $200 from a woman in exchange for not arresting her for driving without a license.
  • Shoshoni, Wyoming: A legally blind man says two local police officers used excessive force when they came to his home to investigate complaints about his cats. All the charges against him were dropped.
  • Sedgwick County, Kansas: The Sheriff says two deputies were arrested and booked into jail after a criminal investigation found possible crimes of making false information and official misconduct. They are on administrative leave without pay.
  • Cleveland, Tennessee: A police officer who was suspended has resigned from his job. A woman filed a formal complaint alleging that the officer sexually assaulted her at her residence.
  • Rock Rapids, Iowa: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager. He was arrested and charged with third-degree sexual abuse.
  • Update: Anne Arundel County, Maryland (First reported 06-10-13): A police detective has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting of another driver in a road rage incident.
  • Update: Minidoka County, Idaho (Previously reported 07-02-13): The now-former sheriff has pleaded guilty to felony misuse of public funds.  He admitted to using his gas card to buy fuel for personal reasons.
  • Los Angeles, California: A college student mistakenly left in a Drug Enforcement Administration interrogation room for five days will receive $4.1 million from the government in a settlement in advance of a lawsuit. He was in the windowless room for five days without food, water, or toilet facilities. He suffered hallucinations and was forced to drink his own urine to survive.
  • Update: Socorro, Texas (First reported 11-09-12): Charges against two now-former officers have been dismissed by a judge who determined the case against them lacked sufficient evidence.

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