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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-19-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 19, 2013:

  • San Marcos, Texas: A police officer was arrested after he turned himself in on two arrest warrants for obtaining controlled substances by fraud.
  • Floyd County, Georgia: A police officer who was demoted and placed on probation after he was found to have been under the influence of alcohol during a training session he organized admitted he made a mistake. The 8-year veteran of the force was demoted from sergeant, a rank he held for about a year, to patrol officer first class on probation.
  • Fairfield, Maine: A police chief pleaded not guilty to a charge of operating while under the influence. He has since resigned from his post.
  • North Charleston, South Carolina: A police officer pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct in office. He was ordered to pay a $750 fine for the incident. The officer wrongfully detained and then physically assaulted a man before leaving him stranded.
  • Perry County, Pennsylvania: The police chief has been charged with driving under the influence. He was pulled over after he failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
  • Trumbull County, Ohio: A state trooper, who was previously fired and reinstated for a violent outburst, pleaded guilty to lesser charges following a drunken driving arrest. He was fined $650, ordered to enter a drug and alcohol dependency program, and put on probation.
  • Clark County, Ohio: A recently resigned deputy has been jailed on charges of sex with a minor. He faces federal charges related to producing child pornography, which could bring 15 years in prison.
  • Brighton, Tennessee: An officer has been indicted by a grand jury on official misconduct, theft of property, and casually exchanging a controlled substance. He has been accused of stealing a pink iPhone case from the department and exchanging drugs for sex with a woman.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-18-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 18, 2013:

  • Longmont, Colorado: A police officer has been arrested for two counts of sexual assault, and two counts of criminal invasion of privacy for sexual gratification.  “It turns everyone’s stomach involved, to think of this happening to any individual, let alone the mere thought that someone who swore an oath to protect their community would have committed these acts,” the county Sheriff said.
  • Wauwatosa, Wisconsin: A detective was arrested after an internal investigation and she has been placed on administrative leave. The details have not yet been released, but the police chief said, “I will be requesting her termination before the Police and Fire Commission.”
  • Update: Baltimore County, Maryland (Previously reported 05-13-13): A police officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to misconduct in office. He is accused of engaging in sexual activity while on duty and in uniform. They found a lewd video of him on a 16-year-old girl’s cell phone. He has since resigned.
  • Sebeka, Minnesota: The police chief has been suspended with pay by the city following a domestic assault citation, which may violate his probation for a prior misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. He was suspended until ‘resolution of the issues that are on the table.’
  • Rutherford County, Tennessee: A sheriff’s deputy, who is at the center of a controversy tied to a videotaped DUI checkpoint stop, is now “currently under investigation,” according to the Sheriff. He has previously resigned his post once before.
  • San Marcos, Texas: An officer has been jailed on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant. Officials say he seriously injured a woman during an “illegal arrest.”
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: A police officer, who was suspended, has retired. He had been suspended for using excessive force on a prisoner already in handcuffs and then lying to internal affairs about what happened.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer and more than a dozen other people have been indicted as part of a broad drug-dealing investigation. Prosecutors say the officer tampered with an investigation by tipping off a person to a wiretap.
  • Update: Lake County, Illinois (First reported 05-14-13): A deputy was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and solicitation in connection with a case in which two other defendants were charged with human trafficking. He is accused of offering the victim $300 to perform a sexual act and also of knowingly destroying text messages to the victim. He has been on unpaid administrative leave since the arrest.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-17-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 17, 2013:

  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 06-05-13): A former police officer was sentenced to six months in prison for falsely saying he witnessed a drug sale and for arresting an innocent man. “I must say, I am unmoved by your tears, sir,” the judge said. “That you are sitting here and denying guilt is an insult to the truth. Thank God for that videotape because [the arrested man] might be sitting in state prison. Your actions were a deliberate violation of someone’s rights, an innocent person’s rights.”
  • Tucson, Arizona:  A police officer was fired from the department after being arrested for pulling a gun on a convenience store clerk, authorities said. The officer is facing charges of aggravated assault and was booked into jail. He was off-duty and appeared to be intoxicated during the incident.
  • East Greenwich, Rhode Island: State police arrested a police lieutenant on charges of disorderly conduct and simple assault. He has been suspended with pay pending the investigation.
  • Update: Marion, Virginia (First reported 06-19-13): A former police chief pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamines, cocaine, and other drugs. Some of the drugs came from the department’s evidence room.  He faces 20 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.
  • Update: Oxford, Mississippi (First reported 02-20-13): An Ex-State Trooper has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison. The officer pleaded guilty to stomping a woman in jail.
  • Miami, Ohio: The Township agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of the girl who was naked when she was hosed down by the former deputy police chief. The chief was fired after the Board of Trustees found him guilty of several violations of the township’s professional code.
  • Update: Lakeland, Florida (First reported 07-10-13): Two police officers were fired following revelations of a sex scandal that have rocked the department.
  • Cypress, Texas: An officer shot and killed a family dog while his 12-year-old owner and friends were playing 30 feet away.

Death Penalty Convictions Questioned

From the Washington Post:

An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said.

The review led to an 11th-hour stay of execution in Mississippi in May.

It is not known how many of the cases involve errors, how many led to wrongful convictions or how many mistakes may now jeopardize valid convictions. Those questions will be explored as the review continues.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-16-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 16, 2013:

  • Brazoria County, Texas: A state trooper has been fired for performing a body cavity search on two women wearing bikinis driving back from the beach. She is the second trooper fired this year for cavity searches.
  • Stillwater, Oklahoma: Police said they believe an officer stole several bottles of painkillers from the department’s drug take back bin. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation and the officer faces charges for theft of a controlled dangerous substance. “The officer that discovered it, his supervisor, me, we are all acquaintances and friends of Sgt. McConaghy,” a police captain said. “You have to do what’s right and legal and lawful and go about it.”
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Five black men have filed federal lawsuits against eight white police officers accused of conducting or permitting illegal strip searches. The two lawsuits filed also named the city and the police chief as defendants. The plaintiffs, who say they were subjected to unwarranted and humiliating rectal probes, are seeking unspecified damages.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer was indicted and arrested last week for patronizing prostitution. “The investigation revealed at least one of those prostitutes was underage,” said the police director. “At this point he is on non-enforcement.”
  • Laredo, Texas: An officer has been arrested for allegedly stealing and pawning 20 LPD weapons. The officer was also accused of selling a privately owned weapon to a pawn shop.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Previously reported 04-15-13): A now fired officer was sentenced to more than three years in prison for punching a man at a bar, causing the man severe brain damage. A jury found the officer guilty of three assault charges for injuring the 44-year-old man. The officer was a Minneapolis police SWAT team leader.
  • San Jose, California: A federal jury found that a former police officer used “unreasonable” force by repeatedly jolting a naked, unarmed truck driver who was high on PCP with a Taser. They awarded $1 million to his family for his wrongful death.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-13-13 to 07-15-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 13 to Monday July 15, 2013:

  • Denton, Texas: The 2008 Patrolman of the Year was arrested in Fort Worth on suspicion of being drunk while riding a motorcycle.
  • Update: Seattle, Washington:  The Police Department has terminated a Lieutenant following an internal investigation into allegations of domestic violence and dishonesty.
  • Grand County, Utah: A Deputy Sheriff has been arrested for investigation of attempted murder in what police are calling a domestic violence altercation.
  • Huron Co, Ohio: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with failure to control stemming from an early morning traffic crash. Troopers said the cruiser traveled off the right side of the road, came back on to the roadway, went off the left side of the roadway, coming to rest in a field.
  • Fairfax County, Virginia: A police officer has been charged with allegedly fabricating a report that his cruiser was struck by a hit-and-run driver before it slammed into a utility pole. Investigators have determined the officer’s cruiser was the only vehicle that was involved in the crash.
  • Russellville, Alabama:  A former police sergeant indicted on allegations that he made inappropriate sexual advances toward women inmates has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges.
  • Pecos County, Texas: A now-former sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and bribery when his own sheriff’s office began investigating him.
  • San Jose, California: A police officer was charged with requesting and possessing sexually explicit photographs from a teenage girl while assigned as a detective to the department’s Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit.
  • Montezuma Co, Colorado: An undersheriff is being investigated for using a county card for personal expenses. He has resigned from his position.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida: A police officer has been fired and two more suspended following a shooting during the investigation of an occupied stolen car.
  • Augusta, Georgia: An internal investigation culminated in the arrest of a patrolman According to the chief, he was charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer crashed into car carrying children. He has been charged with DUI and is now on desk duty
  • Boston, Massachusetts: A police officer is free on $1,000 bail after police say they found a cache of military grade explosives in a shed at his former home. He was charged with 11 counts of possession of explosives, along with theft and ammunition charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-12-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 12, 2013:

  • Fort Myers, Florida: A police officer was terminated after an incident that was captured on a dashcam video. He was fired for overreaction, profanity, and excessive use of force.
  • Update: DeKalb County, Georgia (First reported 04-18-13): A now-former police officer has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of aggravated assault for reportedly pointing handgun at teens in a car. He was waiting in line behind them at the McDonald’s drive through and got angry at how long it was taking.
  • West Valley City, Utah: An officer is facing charges for stealing morphine from a dead cancer patient. “His fellow officers saw him do that and notified his superior who responded to the scene, where they confronted the subject officer,” said the police chief.
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 09-20-12): A now-former police officer accused of staging his wife’s suicide has denied allegations that he killed her.
  • New Hanover County, North Carolina: The sheriff’s office fired a deputy following an internal investigation. According to documents released the deputy was fired for allegedly not being truthful and for violating the sheriff’s office standard of conduct.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty police officer has been arrested and charged with attempted rape. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse. Police say the victim was an underage female known to the officer.
  • Smith County, Texas: A veteran deputy has been arrested for drug trafficking. He was on duty when he committed the alleged crimes, including selling drugs from his county patrol unit.
  • Update: New Rochelle, New York (First reported 11-12-12): A police officer was sentenced to 5 years “shock probation” on charges related to disseminating indecent material to a minor. He has a sex offender hearing coming up. He is alleged to have given videos of himself engaged in a sexual act to what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-11-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 11, 2013:

  • Update: Waltham, Massachusetts (First reported 06-26-13): The now-former police chief was convicted on two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery on his wife. He faces two and half years for each count, as well as fines.
  • Clarksburg, West Virginia: Two police officers have resigned to avoid federal prosecution. They will not be charged with civil rights violations and making false statements to federal agents stemming from the investigation and charges facing a councilman.
  • Monterey, Tennessee: The now-former police chief has been arrested over a bulldozer that he ordered through a military surplus program meant for law enforcement but used for himself.
  • Sangerville, Maine: Relatives of a man who shot his wife’s ex-husband to death and in turn was shot and killed by a trooper are suing members of the state police. The attorney general’s office has ruled the shooting justified.
  • Orland Hills, Illinois: A former police officer was sentenced to 6 years in prison for a drunken driving accident that killed another driver. He pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI.
  • Update: Harford County, Maryland (First reported 05-01-13): A sheriff’s deputy, previously charged with reckless endangerment from an altercation in which he discharged his service weapon during a traffic stop, was indicted on two assault charges.
  • Hemingford, Nebraska: The now-former police chief has pleaded no contest to one count of attempted first degree sexual assault of a child, which carries a possible sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
  • Update: King County, Washington (First reported 06-28-13): Lawyers for the man who was shot 16 times in his bed by a sheriff’s deputy and a DOC officer say they are filing a $20 million lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections. They were serving a search warrant at the home where he lived, but he was not the man they were after.
  • Austintown, Ohio: A state highway patrol trooper was arrested and accused of operating a vehicle while impaired. He was found sleeping in his car. Police were informed by witnesses at the restaurant where he was parked.
  • Herndon, Virginia: Residents allege excessive force was used during a SWAT raid. They estimate that 30-40 officers participated in it, and one says he was hit: “I was punched in the back of the head.”
  • Miami, Florida: The Department of Justice found that officers have intentionally shot at individuals on 33 separate occasions, three of which MPD itself found unjustified, and that there is a pattern of excessive force.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-10-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 10, 2013:

  • Lakeland, Florida: Authorities are investigating a widespread sex scandal involving nearly a dozen police officers after a civilian crime analyst detailed trysts with the men. The state attorney said, “We find the conduct of a number of sworn officers, including some officers of rank, to be at best a waste of taxpayer dollars. At worst their actions indicate a moral bankruptcy that exists amongst some individuals within the ranks at the Lakeland Police Department.”
  • Harris County, Texas: A trooper has been sentenced to two year behind bars. He pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe from a tow truck driver.
  • Manchester, New Hampshire:  An officer was arrested and charged with assault, stemming from a domestic-related incident at his home. He will be placed on modified working conditions.
  • Lowell, Massachusetts: A police officer was placed on paid administrative leave after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: An officer has been fired amid allegations of drunken driving and domestic violence that occurred over the course of two days.
  • Berks County, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been accused of taking his children along for a shoplifting spree. Investigators say he stole hundreds of dollars worth of groceries from the store.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: A police officer lost his job after a suspect’s mother complained that he was physically and verbally abusive to her son during an encounter, and internal investigators searched through the officer’s own video footage to find other incident’s that supported the woman’s claim.
  • Upper Darby, Pennsylvania: Two officers have been fired over an incident involving three juveniles in police custody. Specifics were not revealed on what happened, but the incident between the five individuals was caught on tape.

Innocent Man Shot 16 Times While in His Bed



A total of 16 bullets hit Theoharis in February 2012, when a King County sheriff’s deputy and a DOC officer opened fire on him while serving a search warrant at the Auburn home where he lived.

He wasn’t the man they were after, but officers claimed he reached for what they thought was a gun.

“Without a warrant, you shoot an unarmed man while he’s in his bed 16 times,” said Heipt. “I don’t know how you could possibly conclude that to be a justified shooting.”

That was one of the questions members of the King County Council had as they reviewed a critical report on the aftermath of the shooting.

The report was put together by Merrick Bobb, who is also overseeing reforms in the Seattle Police Department.

“I knew from the outset of this incident there needed to be a deeper review,” said Charles Gaither, the civilian overseer for the sheriff’s office. Gaither said there were several problems in how the investigation was handled.

The officers involved were not immediately interviewed, physical evidence was overlooked and moved, and the first responding supervisor, also a union representaive, acted more as an advocate for officers and less as an investigator.


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