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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-02-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 2, 2013:

  • Centerville, Iowa: A woman has filed suit against a police officer and the city. The suit alleges that an officer violated rights and maliciously charged her after she refused to allow an examination on her then-12-year-old daughter. It then says a police officer fabricated statements and charged her in an attempt for retribution for the refusal of the procedure.
  • Kernersville, North Carolina: A 12-year-veteran has been suspended with pay and found in contempt of court for causing a disturbance after a man was found not guilty of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
  • Williamson County, Washington: A lieutenant has been accused of driving while intoxicated. A witness called 911 to report a reckless driver who was running red lights, swerving into oncoming traffic, and speeding.
  • Update: Highland Park, Michigan (Previously reported 06-04-13): A now-former police officer was sentenced to prison for conspiring with three other officers to commit extortion and protect a shipment of cocaine. He had agreed to take money in exchange for delivering a four-kilogram shipment of the drug. He brought his badge and gun to protect the shipment.
  • Columbus, Ohio: A police officer was sentenced to seven years in prison for luring two high school students into a sexual relationship. He pleaded guilty to coercing and enticing two 15-year-old girls.
  • St. Lucie County, Florida: A sheriff’s office deputy was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence after he crashed his patrol car. “As sheriff, I do not condone any type of drinking and driving, let alone by a deputy sheriff, whom I hold to a higher standard than a member of the public,” said the sheriff.
  • Update: Minidoka County, Idaho (First reported 06-24-13): The county sheriff turned in his resignation as part of a plea deal. He was charged with felony misuse of public money for allegations he used his county debit or credit card to buy gasoline for a female county employee.
  • Rio Grande City, Texas: An officer has been arrested on sexual assault and other charges after he was accused of forcing a woman in custody to perform a sexual act.
  • Ripley West Virginia: A police officer has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. According to prosecutors, he established a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old and took sexually explicit pictures and video of the minor.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-29-13 to 07-01-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, June 29 to Monday, July 1, 2013:

  • Saline, Arkansas: Officers arrested the sheriff and charged him with public intoxication and refusal to submit to arrest. He became belligerent with them when they tried to convince him he ought not to drive.
  • Monroe, Washington: A police officer has been charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual misconduct following more than a year of investigation. He had a long term relationship that began when his victim was 14 and continued for nearly 10 years.
  • Little Rock, Arkansas: A former police officer has pleaded guilty to escorting what he thought was a 1,000-pound shipment of marijuana across the city. The plea agreement says he was paid $10,000 in cash to do it.
  • Washington Park, Illinois: A police officer has been accused of smuggling narcotics to a female jail inmate. He was arrested in his police uniform, and has been charged with official misconduct.
  • Update: McAllen, Texas (Previously reported 06-05-13): A now-former deputy has pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking charge in a case that took down an entire anti-drug unit. Prosecutors say he was part of the rogue unit that stole drugs from traffickers only to resell them to another dealer.
  • Los Angeles, California: The Department of Justice, after a two-year investigation, has found that sheriff’s deputies in two Los Angeles area cities unlawfully targeted blacks living in public housing, subjecting them to unnecessary stops and seizures and used unnecessary force even when people were handcuffed.
  • Salinas, California: An undercover police officer who crashed his motorcycle while drunk pleaded no contest to DUI and was sentenced to 5 years of probation. He is also banned from drinking or owning alcohol at any time, and cannot go into bars.
  • Pasco, Washington: A woman reached a $100,000 settlement in the lawsuit she filed against police officers and the department. It accused two officers of violating her constitutional rights when, in a case of mistaken identity involving elements of racial profiling, they stopped and arrested her without probable cause. During the course of the arrest, the officers forced her arms behind her back and shoved her face onto the hood of a patrol car that was so hot that it inflicted a second degree burn to her face.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: A decorated officer has been named in at least 13 excessive force complaints that have cost the city and other agencies more than $700,000 in settlements. His supervisors and fellow officers praise him as a courageous and exemplary officer.

The FBI’s Remarkable Pension Program

The on-going trial of James Bulger is bringing media attention back to the scandalous behavior of certain high-ranking FBI agents in the Boston area.  There was much wrongdoing, but some of the worst aspects were that these FBI agents would look the other way while their informant, Bulger, committed all sorts of crimes, including murder.  And then, believe it or not, the FBI agents would stay mum while innocent persons were accused of committing their informant’s crimes.  And they would stay mum while those innocent persons languished in prison for years.

John Morris was one of these high-ranking FBI agents and because of his record of “public service,” he is living comfortably on his FBI pension.

We know this because he was cross-examined in court the other day.  Here’s an excerpt from NBC News:

During an aggressive cross-examination, Brennan aimed to discredit Morris by leading him through a long litany of his corrupt acts during his tenure at the FBI, including taking money and gifts from informants, obstructing justice, tipping off organized crime about FBI investigations, carrying on a long affair with his secretary and lying to cover up those actions.

“You were being deceitful?” Brennan asked.

“Yes, I was,” Morris answered. …

Morris, who was granted immunity for his testimony about FBI misconduct in 1998, now works as a part-time wine consultant and continues to receive a government pension.

Some related info here.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-28-13

Here are the 18 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 28, 2013:

  • Three Rivers Park, Minnesota: A police officer has been charged with stealing funds from an ATM at the park where he worked.
  • Asheville, North Carolina: A police lieutenant says he was forced to change the facts of an investigation into a car crash involving the police chief’s son.  He claims he met with the chief and a captain and was “coerced and expected to submit a set of facts and circumstances regarding the accident involving his son that were clearly false and misleading.”
  • Darlington County, South Carolina: A man has filed a complaint after a deputy snatched his camera and threatened to arrest him.
  • King County, Washington: The county has agreed to pay $3 million to a man who was severely injured when he was shot by sheriff’s deputies and officers with the Department of Corrections. The man was unarmed and in bed when he was shot 16 times by officers who were looking for another resident of the home, a man sought in connection with probation violation, according to court documents. The man shot was not a suspect, did not display a weapon and did not have access to a weapon when officers woke him.
  • Update: Woodfin, North Carolina (First reported 06-05-13): A police officer charged with driving while intoxicated has resigned. He was suspended after his arrest.
  • Update: Anderson County, South Carolina (First reported 08-01-12): Two former sheriff’s deputies had pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance. They were each sentenced to a year of probation.
  • McDowell County, North Carolina: A deputy crashed into a wall after hitting another car. He was cited with failing to stop at a red light. Police say the deputy was distracted by something in the car and apparently looked away from the road.
  • Nash County, North Carolina: The highway patrol says it has placed a trooper on administrative duty pending an internal investigation. He was charged with assault after an alleged domestic dispute.
  • York County, South Carolina: The sheriff’s office has reached a settlement with the family of a pedestrian struck and killed by a deputy’s patrol car. They are paying $90,000 to settle the wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Maple Heights, Ohio: A police officer has been accused of displaying excessive force for the second time in five years. The most recent case involves an FBI employee whose arm was allegedly broken by the officer during an altercation inside a recording studio.
  • Hammond, Indiana: Two former police officers have been sentenced to federal prison for using their positions to buy restricted machine guns and laser sights and then illegally sell them over the internet. The sheriff said that the officers “betrayed the badge.”
  • Nashville, Tennessee: A metro police officer has been decommissioned and charged with domestic assault. He was an eight year veteran of the police department.
  • Orange, Texas: A police officer was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was booked into the county jail and has resigned from the department.
  • Pulaski County, Kentucky: A sheriff’s deputy used excessive force against two people, a federal grand jury charged. He was indicted on two counts of violating the victims’ right not to be subjected to unreasonable force by a police officer.
  • Toledo, Ohio: A police officer has been accused of attacking a family in a parking lot. The officer is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. The family says the officer hit and kicked their car, even shattering their window. He faces aggravated menacing and criminal damaging charges.
  • Tempe, Arizona: A police officer has been disciplined after he was caught texting while riding his motorcycle. The man who witnessed, and reported, the incident said that he was not only reading the texts, but also texting back, for several miles, going what he estimated to be about 80 mph, passing hundreds of cars.
  • Putnam County, Florida: Two officers were fired after a bar fight. One of them lost his handgun during the fight and the other was belligerent and flashed his badge. They were off duty at the time of the incident.
  • Wilcox County, Alabama: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested for attempting to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. He was arrested after transporting the substance, which was not cocaine, but he believed that it was. He was on-duty and in uniform at the time.

The FBI’s Remarkable Record: 150 Shootings; All Justified

From the New York Times:

[F]rom 1993 to early 2011, F.B.I. agents fatally shot about 70 “subjects” and wounded about 80 others — and every one of those episodes was deemed justified, according to interviews and internal F.B.I. records obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The last two years have followed the same pattern: an F.B.I. spokesman said that since 2011, there had been no findings of improper intentional shootings.

It’s a much better practice to have another, independent, agency investigate the use of deadly force.   Some related information here.


Park Police Lost Track of Thousands of Weapons

From the Washington Post:

The U.S. Park Police has lost track of thousands of handguns, rifles and machine guns in what a government watchdog agency concluded is the latest example of mismanagement on a police force trusted to protect millions of visitors to the city’s iconic monuments.

There is no indication that police guns got into the hands of criminals, but the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of the Interior warned that the Park Police might not know if they had. In a scathing report, the authors said there is “credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing.”


ABC Agents Mistake Water for Beer

Consider this recent report.  It’s 10 pm and some college students are returning to their car after picking up some items from the grocery store.  Out of nowhere, six guys approach quickly in an odd, non-friendly manner.  One guy actually jumps on the hood of the car. Another brandishes a gun.  The men are talking, but you’re in panic mode thinking a criminal attack is underway.  One of your friends is in the back seat yelling to the driver to “Go!  Go!”   So the driver pulls away.  Talk about a harrowing encounter!

Moments later, a police vehicle with flashing lights shows up and so the college students pull over.  Turns out the men who had approached the students before were ABC agents (that’s Alcohol Beverage Control) in plain clothes.  The agents mistakenly thought the students were in illegal possession of beer.

Let’s pause here to consider the reckless tactics of the police.  The police created a situation where citizens had only seconds to respond to what they reasonably perceived to be a criminal attack.  Outnumbered and seeing a gun, the driver might well have been justified in driving right over an agent in self-defense had he been blocking the way.  It should also be noted that there are now some ten million Americans with carry permits.  Had a permit holder been confronted in this situation, he might have fired on these plain clothes officers.  And then the officers likely would have fired back.   A high risk of deadly force and loss of life over what?   Young adults suspected of  beer purchase.

But this story is not over.

One of the students, Elizabeth Daly, is arrested and charged with three felonies!   2 counts of assaulting an officer and one count of eluding the police.  Add up the possible prison time and she is facing 15 years.  She spends time in the jail and her family scrambles to find her an attorney.

Fortunately, the prosecutor exercises his independent judgment on this affair and he drops the charges.

A happy ending?  Well, as noted, it could have been much worse.  An agent might have been run over.  In response to that, another agent might have shot one of the students.  Or there might have been a miscarriage of justice with a prison sentence for Elisabeth Daly.  None of that happened, but, still, consider:

1.  Ms. Daly now has an arrest record.

2.  The Daly family has a legal bill to pay.

3.  Those ABC agents may well be still out on “patrol.”

Story here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-27-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, June 27, 2013:

  • Suffolk County, New York: An FBI investigation is probing into claims that the chief beat up a defenseless suspect. It may also be moving closer to answering unresolved questions that could show he committed further, worse crimes than those of which he is currently accused.
  • Paterson, New Jersey: An officer accused of propositioning a 12-year-old girl for sex pleaded guilty to official misconduct and attempted aggravated assault.
  • Jackson County, Mississippi: A lawsuit filed claims that the county sheriff created a culture “of going after his perceived enemies, conducting improper investigations (and) violating citizen’s constitutional rights.”
  • Freeman, South Carolina: A police chief pleaded guilty to obtaining a controlled substance from different practitioners. He was fined, has to get a chemical dependency evaluation, and will serve 60 days of unsupervised probation. He is still the current police chief, suspended, pending a review.
  • Monroe, Washington: A now-former police officer who investigators said had sex with an underage girl and secretly photographed her in the bathroom was charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct.
  • Update: Joliet, Illinois (First reported 03-13-13): A jury found a former police officer, accused of beating a woman during an arrest, not guilty on all counts.
  • Hillsborough County, Florida: The sheriff’s office has agreed to pay $215,000 to 10 victims of a botched gang roundup. The judge threw out the charges against 23 people after learning many of the supposed gang members were bullied by a felon turned confidential informant into going to the meeting where they were arrested. The judge heard testimony that investigators did nothing to stop the informant from threatening people to attend the meeting.
  • Update: Macon, Georgia (First reported 06-21-13): A police officer arrested on drug and child endangerment charges has resigned before the department decided her fate. The case is still under investigation.
  • Middlesex County, New Jersey: The now former sheriff and two men who worked under him have admitted their roles in a jobs-for-cash bribery scheme that operated out of the sheriff’s office. “[The sheriff’s] long years in power corrupted him,” said the state attorney general. “It’s hard to fathom the greed and arrogance that would prompt a law enforcement leader to demand bribes of young recruits.”
  • Red Bay, Alabama: A police officer is at the center of an investigation after being accused of using excessive force on a church deacon. The officer and deacon exchanged words at the church, when the officer put his handcuffs on the deacon and took him to the ground face first. Members of the congregation begged the officer to let the deacon off the ground because he suffers from health complications. A witness says he pulled his gun out and waved it at the congregation, hollering “get back.”
  • Update: Oregon, Ohio (First reported 03-21-13): A police officer charged with drunken driving pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of reckless operation. He was sentenced to three days in an intervention driving program, fined $200 and court costs, and placed on probation.
  • Sherwood, Oregon: An officer, married to a woman who is being investigated for sexually abusing her high school students, is now on leave. According to a complaint, he began harassing a student by pulling him over on traffic stops and pointing his firearm at the boy. “In doing so, [the officer] actively attempted to prevent Plaintiff from coming forward to the police about what happened,” said the complaint.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-26-13

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, June 26, 2013:

  • Update: Irving, Texas (Previously reported 03-25-13): Two women subjected to body cavity searches along a highway have settled their lawsuit for $185,000. The trooper allegedly used the same glove on both of them, and no drugs were found.
  • St. Louis, Missouri: The family of a man who was shot 25 times by police have filed a wrongful death lawsuit. In it, the family alleges that officers initiated a high-speed car pursuit that was in violation of the department’s “no chase” policy. Witnesses report the man raising his hands in surrender before officers shot and killed him, according to the lawsuit.
  • Oakland, California: The city has agreed to pay approximately $1 million to end a lawsuit on behalf of 150 demonstrators alleging police misconduct in their mass arrest. “This was a perfectly legal demonstration through city streets and there was a predetermined plan by the police that they would not be allowed to march,” said an attorney. “As soon as things got difficult for OPD, they threw the rulebook out the window.”
  • Chicago, Illinois: A veteran police sergeant was arrested on a charge that he attempted to extort a liquor store employee by offering to look up police reports, license plates, and other information in exchange for cash.
  • Greensboro, North Carolina: A police officer has been fired from the department. The police chief would not give a reason for the termination. He has been suspended twice by the department, once for allegations of assault. He also has made his own allegations against the police department saying that the gang unit targeted Latinos.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: A federal judge ruled that the sheriff’s office was systematically singling out Latinos, and racially profiling people. The decision backs up the claims that officers violate the constitutional rights of Latinos in relying on race in their immigration enforcement.

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