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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Some Cops Trolling Government Database


Brooke Bass spent her legal career looking out for the best interests of police officers.

They were looking out for her, too, her lawyer says — but in a different way.

In the past eight years, more than 100 entities across Minnesota — nearly all of them law enforcement — accessed Bass’s private driver’s license information more than 700 times, her attorney said.

That would make her the subject of the biggest privacy breach to date in the state’s increasingly broad and increasingly expensive license-data debacle.

It is pretty creepy to think about strangers looking up your address and other personal info.  Some say the police may only need additional  “training” on the ethical use of databases.  Hmm.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-09-13

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

  • Cincinnati, Ohio: An appeals panel says three officers used excessive force in a deadly encounter with a naked and unarmed college student. The student died after a struggle with police in which the officers are accused of tackling, punching, and kneeing him.
  • Update: Greenville, North Carolina (First reported 02-19-13): A former police officer has been indicted on charges of breaking and entering and larceny. She was a 20-year veteran when she was fired.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: A police officer is on paid administrative leave after he was arrested on charges of DUI, implied consent law, speeding in a work zone and possession of a handgun while under the influence.
  • Orange County, Florida: A sheriff’s officer lieutenant was arrested after a disturbance in her home. She was arrested on charges of resisting an officer without violence.
  • Update: Duluth, Minnesota (First reported 04-01-13): A police officer has been charged with hit and run after twice backing his personal car into another vehicle in a parking lot outside a bar and leaving the scene.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The acting police chief has denied accusations from the head of the police union that she should have known about alleged malfeasance involving secret bank accounts.
  • Kern County, California: After an investigation into allegations that a deputy sheriff had sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her home, a sheriff’s deputy was arrested. The victim reported a burglary in her home. While speaking to two deputies in her home she was handcuffed and led into a room by one of them to be searched. She was then sexually assaulted by the deputy.
  • Denver, Colorado: A sheriff’s deputy has been arrested in connection with the escape of a prisoner who walked out of the county jail wearing a deputy’s uniform and possibly carrying a gun.
  • Dupage County, Illinois: County prosecutors dismissed charges against 19 defendants whose pending cases involved one or more of three former undercover officers who were arrested on charges of criminal drug conspiracy.

Worst of the Month — March 2013

This is a bit tardy because of recent travels, but for March it is the story about former Police Chief Bruce Barlow from Mendenhall, Mississippi:

The indictment said Barlow instructed “his officers to seize cash at every arrest, including money from people arrested for misdemeanors.” When some of those people were arrested, Barlow offered to let them go or reduce charges if they forfeited their property and money, the indictment said. Sometimes he allegedly demanded more money “purporting to be contributions to the police department’s ‘drug fund.’ ” If the payment was in cash, the money rarely made it to the drug fund, the indictment said.

When then-Chief Barlow became aware that he was under investigation, he started committing more crimes:

Barlow tried to create and back-date an inventory list of the property he had taken and took money purported to be for the drug fund to Mendenhall City Hall for deposit, the indictment said. The former chief also is charged with attempting to “intimidate, threaten and corruptly persuade” a witness to lie to the grand jury.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-06-13 to 04-08-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 6, to Monday, April 8, 2013:

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: A family that sued a police officer over a raid of their home, one that led to the shooting of two dogs and a list of ugly allegations against officers, has won a $225,000 settlement. The allegations against 15 members of the department portray the officers as cavalier and reckless, firing weapons at targets near children, screaming profanities and racial slurs, and taking cash from the family while searching for a rifle.
  • Update: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (First reported 04-04-13): A sheriff’s deputy has resigned after being arrested on drug charges. She was caught doing heroin in a parking lot.
  • Bolivia, North Carolina: An officer raped a 13-year-old girl while on duty, and the town hired him without any psychological screening after he had already raped an 11-year-old, the teenager has said in court.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: A police officer has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence. City police officers found him sleeping at the wheel of his car at a traffic light.
  • Monroe County, Florida: A deputy was arrested after he was caught buying fake Oxycodone polls in an undercover operation. He is facing charges of conspiracy to purchase narcotics, possession of synthetic narcotics, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Nelsonville, Ohio: A police officer charged with assaulting a 15-year-old boy has pleaded innocent and still remains on unpaid administrative leave.
  • Update: Hidalgo County, Texas (First reported 12-18-12): A now-former deputy who is the latest law enforcement officer to be accused of being on an alleged drug trafficker’s payroll pleaded not guilty today to a federal drug conspiracy charge. The indictment now included 9 former officers.
  • Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee: A police officer was arrested and charged with statutory rape by an authority figure for an alleged sexual encounter with a 16-year-old boy. A police captain said that the fact that the suspect is a fellow law enforcement officer makes the case more difficult, but not any different in any other aspect. “As far as we are concerned, we got the complaint and handled this like any other investigation,” he said. “We are out for the truth.”
  • Update: Greenville, North Carolina (First reported 02-21-13): A police officer charged with driving while under the influence has resigned as well as having his criminal case continued.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-05-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 5, 2013:

  • Update: Oxford, Mississippi (First reported 11-29-13): Court records say a former officer will plead guilty to charges related to a “doctor shopping” case. He was arrested on charges that he got prescriptions from at least 17 doctors.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: A police officer who was supposed to be monitoring sex offenders is accused of falsifying time sheets and has been fired. “The failure to monitor the registered sex offenders poses a significant risk to the citizens of Fort Worth,” states a disciplinary letter, signed by the police chief.
  • Update: Baton Rouge, Louisiana (First reported 11-02-12): A former officer pleaded not guilty to felony charges. He was accused of writing false tickets to real people, and faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted on both charges.
  • New London, New Hampshire: The police chief has resigned after a woman said he offered to drop charges against her in exchange for nude photographs. His immediate resignation and giving up his certification as a police officer resulted in no criminal charges being filed against him.
  • Battle Creek, Michigan: The police chief is asking the FBI to investigate his department following allegations of corruption from an officer and a city commissioner. “I have watched police officers in my department commit acts of excessive force, evidence destruction and internal cover-ups in crime reporting,” the message said. “…While I have attempted to notify the leadership of both the police department and city officials responsible in employee oversight; I have been met with death threats and lack of backup during investigations…”
  • Colville, Washington: A pilot claims a police officer used excessive force while arresting him after he crash-landed his small plane on a runway. The officer is already on paid administrative leave from the department while sexual misconduct allegations against him are investigated.
  • Update: East. St. Louis, Missouri (First reported 03-29-13): A police officer who was allegedly drunk when he visited a family’s home to take down a report of a burglary has resigned.
  • Chicago, Illinois: The family of a man shot to death by police has filed a federal lawsuit against three unnamed officers. The family says he did nothing to provoke the shooting.
  • Huntington, West Virginia: An officer is named as the co-defendant in a civil rights suit filed by a man. In the complaint the man alleges the officer stopped him without probable cause for DUI and later knocked him to the ground so as to add a charge of obstruction and pad his arrest record. According to the suit, the charges were later dismissed. Following the arrest the man says he requested a copy of the dashboard camera video. He received a reply saying “Officer Koher was assigned to vehicle 176, which is not equipped with video camera monitoring equipment.” However, the man says he was able to take pictures of the cruiser which is “in fact equipped with video camera monitoring equipment.”
  • St. Louis, Missouri: A deputy already in federal prison for possessing and selling stolen guns is facing another trial. She has been ordered to stand trial on state charges of receiving stolen property, burglary, and stealing.
  • Update: Omaha, Nebraska (First reported 04-02-13): Four police officers have been fired following allegations they used excessive force, including punching a restrained suspect, during an arrest secretly recorded.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: Police say an officer who fatally shot a 15-year-old boy while off-duty has resigned from the department in lieu of termination after an administrative hearing was held.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-04-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 4, 2013:

  • Wichita, Kansas: A woman who was sexually attacked by a police officer filed suit, and the city settled for $89,000. The officer pleaded guilty a year ago to sexual battery in the case. The civil suit against the officer alleges that he handcuffed and sexually attacked the woman, whose screams were so loud that he released her, allowing her to run into her home.
  • South Bend, Indiana: A family has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department accusing officers of entering their home without a warrant, and tasing and punching a 17-year-old boy in the home while he slept.
  • Kalkaska, Michigan: An officer was sentenced to 5 days in jail, 4 months probation and more than $600 in fines after pleading no contest to assault and battery charges. He assaulted his neighbor.
  • Oxford, Ohio: The city paid $750,000 to a family whose son was tased and killed by officers to settle the lawsuit they filed. The 24-year-old was tased outside of a bar and went into cardiac arrest. The lawsuit’s allegations said that the officers used excessive force and the city failed to adequately train, supervise, and control its employees.
  • Champaign, Illinois: An officer, who fired his gun in a residential neighborhood, killing a dog, and sending a round through a nearby apartment, has been suspended for one day without pay. The teenage owner of the dog that was shot was there as he fired seven shots.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty police officer has been arrested on charges related to armed robbery and narcotics trafficking.
  • Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: A sheriff’s deputy who just completed her training was arrested when undercover officers spotted her and a companion using heroin in a vehicle parked in a store lot. “Obviously, we are very disappointed,” said the county sheriff.
  • Seattle, Washington: A police officer was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting a handcuffed man being detained by other officers.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-03-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 3, 2013:

  • Hazlet, New Jersey: An officer in training was charged with driving while intoxicated after a car accident. He allegedly struck three cars parked in a driveway.
  • Lorain, Ohio: An officer was suspended without pay for two, 12-hour shifts this year in connection with an incident involving a DUI accident. He refused to take a field sobriety test at the scene, and was cited for failure to control and driving under the influence.
  • Springfield, Illinois: A woman eight months pregnant was tased by police after she reported a car accident in a parking lot. The incident was captured on cell phone video.
  • Update: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (First reported 02-08-13): An officer under investigation for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest has now also been cited for harassment in an unrelated case.
  • New York, New York: Officer pepper-sprayed three little children, including 2-year- and 5-year-old babies, because they thought the kids’ mom jumped a subway fare, the family has said in court. “The aggressiveness of the officers’ demeanors had upset the four-year-old daughter, and her mother bent down to console her and tell her, ‘everything will be OK,” the complaint states. But then, the officers pepper-sprayed her.
  • Waikiki, Hawaii: An officer was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, and has been placed on restricted duty in the police department’s specialized services division.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A grand jury indicted an officer on charges of wanton endangerment, official misconduct, and driving while under the influence. The officer admitted that he had been drinking and initially lied to police officers when he claimed he wasn’t driving the car.
  • Update: McAllen, Texas (First reported 03-07-13): A seventh former deputy of a sheriff’s department appeared in court on drug conspiracy charges in a federal investigation. He is the latest member of the department who prosecutors say helped steal or protect drugs to be resold by a trafficker.

Protecting Pets From Police

From the Associated Press:

Dog lovers concerned about recent cases where law enforcement fatally shot people’s pets lobbied Colorado lawmakers on a bill Wednesday that would require new training for law enforcement on how to handle canine encounters in the line of duty, a legislative idea that appears to be unique in the country.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be considered later by the full chamber.

Several dozen dog owners rallied outside the Capitol before the bill was heard. Some held signs that read, “Officer, please don’t kill me,” with an accompanying picture of a dog.

This is going to catch on with lawmakers around the USA.  Long overdue.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-02-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 2, 2013:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: A rape case has ended in a mistrial and a sheriff’s deputy has been suspended after allegations of jury tampering. He is accused of talking to jurors about the trial during a lunch break. The judge added that she was outraged.
  • Update: Omaha, Nebraska (First reported 03-27-13): A command officer and a second police officer are on administrative leave after accusations of excessive force. Two other officers have been reassigned. There is an ongoing investigation into incident involving unlicensed vehicles being towed.
  • West Allis, Wisconsin: A police officer has been charged with obstructing an officer after an investigation into whether he had a sexually suggestive conversation with a woman. The officer is currently on paid administrative leave.
  • Orlando, Florida: The family of a man who died after being shot with a taser by a police officer filed a lawsuit against the police department. The family said that the officer used the taser on the man two or three times after he was defenseless on the ground. The officer said that he was being unruly.
  • Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: A former sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty to charges that he engaged in a scheme to kill a man to prevent him from reporting the deputy’s alleged theft and misuse of his debit card. The FBI and the sheriff’s office investigated the case. The officer was fired after the incident.
  • Ottawa, Kansas: A sheriff has been accused of tipping off his lover about a meth investigation. The sheriff and his lawyer say the allegations are untrue. The prosecutor wrote that he “willfully engaged in misconduct while in office.”
  • Blytheville, Arkansas: A Criminal Investigation Division officer was arrested after an incident at a bar which resulted in public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges. He is on administrative leave as a result of the charges, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
  • Meridian, Mississippi: A former police officer has been sentenced to house arrest and probation after being convicted of forging a subpoena, while employed as a police officer, to obtain his wife’s phone records. He was given one year house arrest followed by five years probation.
  • Salisbury, North Carolina: A resident was awarded $25,000 after she filed a civil lawsuit against the city. She said she was manhandled and arrested by a police officer after she shot video of a traffic stop and high speed chase that happened in front of her house.
  • Pierce County, Washington: A man is suing the county over a police dog attack. The lawsuit says the man didn’t act aggressively toward the dog or officer and posed no risk to them. The sheriff’s department disputes nearly all of the man’s assertions.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-30-13 to 04-01-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 30 to Monday, April 1, 2013:

  • Knoxville, Pennsylvania: A woman filed a lawsuit against the city and a now imprisoned former officer, alleging the man was allowed to continue working for four years even after she filed a complaint against him for soliciting sexual acts from her. “We rely on the police. If somebody else did this to our client, and somebody threatened her and demanded sexual favors, you would hope the police would get involved, her attorney said. “But when it’s a policeman doing that, who do you turn to?”
  • Duluth, Minnesota: An officer was placed on paid administrative leave after his department said he twice backed his car into a parked car in a parking lot.
  • Battle Creek, Michigan: A 24-year veteran of the police department was fired from her job as a patrol officer after a two-month investigation revealed that she was stealing things in the locker room from other officers.
  • Update: Jennings, Louisiana (First reported 01-14-13): A former police chief who was accused of taking items from the department’s evidence room has pleaded innocent in state district court to malfeasance and other felony charges. He resigned three days before his arrest.
  • Palmdale, California: A jury has awarded $1.1 million to a teenager who, while holding a toy gun, was shot in the back by a sheriff’s deputy. The officer used excessive force when he shot the boy, the jury found.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Department of Justice officials say a former state trooper has been sentenced to a year in prison after forcing a woman to perform sex acts. He told the girl that she would be charged with a felony unless she did them.
  • North Versailles Township, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He reportedly hit two vehicles. He was off-duty at the time.
  • Springettsbury Township, Pennsylvania: Three officers are being sued by two people claiming the officer used excessive force against them in two separate incidents. According to a press release, portions of both incidents were caught on videotape.
  • Berkeley Springs, West Virginia: A man had his lawsuit against a deputy settled for $200,000. According to the suit, the officer kicked in the man’s door in an effort to enter his home. After making a second unsuccessful effort to kick open the door, he then fired two shots with his handgun. One hit the man in the abdomen and the other in the right hip.

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