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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Worst of the Month – February 2013

This month it is the story from California where totally innocent people were shot by police during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner.   There is no greater responsibility for a police officer than his/her use of deadly force.  If they get that wrong, the less important tasks hardly matter.  Alas, there is a tendency for departments to back up questionable conduct–perhaps out of fear of lawsuits.  But if the officer did exercise lousy judgment in the incident, and he is not relieved of duty (or charged), what do you say to the next victim?

The runner-up comes from Bozeman, Montana.   At first, the complaint was about excessive force by certain officers.  Then, in response to that complaint, the police went back and intentionally altered an audio tape–deleting the portions they did not want the judge and jury to hear.   If civilians engaged in conduct like that, the government would call it obstruction of justice, spoliation of evidence, and possibly perjury.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-02-13 to 03-04-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 2 to Monday, March 4, 2013:

  • Newbern, Tennessee: The police department said that it fired one police officer for reportedly falsifying time sheet documents. “The police department is tasked with protecting the citizens from dishonest people and from thieves, so when something like this goes on inside the police department, that’s dishonest and replicates a theft of city money and of taxpayer’s money, we simply can’t tolerate it,” said the investigator.
  • St. Louis County, Missouri: A police officer is facing a stealing charge. He has been accused of reporting overtime hours that he did not actually work. He has since resigned from the police department.
  • North Forest ISD, Texas: An officer who allegedly conspired to steal $10,000 from a group has now also been accused of robbing a home at gunpoint, while fully dressed as an officer.
  • Update: Carter County, Missouri: A sheriff has been charged with two felonies of distribution of a controlled substance, and possession of meth with intention to distribute. He previously pleaded guilty to stealing firearms from evidence and selling them.
  • Nez Perce County, Indiana: A sheriff’s deputy was fired after receiving a second driving under that influence charge.
  • Update: Prince George’s County, Maryland: Prosecutors have dropped a resisting arrest charge and alcohol-related charges against a veteran D.C. police officer who is suing PG County police officers that took him into custody. He alleges the officers hit him in the face and beat him in the incident.
  • Long Island, New York: A police officer has been accused of punching his 3-year-old son in the face at their home. The child suffered bruising and swelling to his right eye, cheek, and nose.
  • Queens, New York: An officer has been arrested and charged with patronizing a prostitute. He was on-duty, and the prostitute was actually an undercover officer.
  • Update: Lake Como, New Jersey: A suspended state trooper has admitted he was drunk when he hit two parked cars and crashed his unmarked state police vehicle into a creek while he was off-duty.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-01-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 1, 2013:

  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A judge says that a veteran cop is not guilty of punching a woman in the face after a parade. The incident was caught on video, and many people are upset about the ruling.
  • Carthage, Texas: The sheriff has been arrested in a public corruption investigation involving alleged theft, abuse of power and fraud. Texas Rangers and the FBI arrested the sheriff, who took office in January. He faces charges of tampering with a government record, defraud/harm, abuse of official capacity, and theft by a public servant. He’s free on $50,000 bond.
  • Greenville County, South Carolina: Deputy turned himself in on charges related to a relationship he had with a felony suspect who he should have arrested, but instead helped by providing her with information, according to the Sheriff.
  • Franklin County, Kansas: The sheriff has been charged with felony counts of official misconduct and making a false report. The official misconduct charge alleges he unlawfully used “confidential information acquired in the course of” his duties for “the private benefit or gain” of himself or another public employee.
  • Garland, Texas: A police officer who fired 41 shots at a chase suspect has been fired after an internal investigation into the shooting.
  • Key West, Florida: Two off-duty road patrol deputies were charged after a road-rage incident in which one allegedly brandished a gun.
  • Washington County, Minnesota: A deputy is charged with stealing drugs. Investigators say he was taking them from a bin set up for the public to drop off unused prescription medications.
  • Update: Jackson, Mississippi: Two former officers were sentenced to 10 years in jail after pleasing guilty to taking brides. A third officer was given nine years in the same case. They accepted thousands of dollars from men they thought were drug dealers, but really were FBI undercover agents posing as drug traffickers.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer has been fired on intimidation charges after he allegedly flashed his gun at a motorist during an on-duty confrontation.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-28-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 28, 13:

  • Somerset, Massachusetts: The police officer who is facing felony drug charges after allegedly convincing an elderly man to hand over expired prescription drugs resigned from the police force.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: A former state trooper who was accused of causing a crash that killed a woman and injured three others has been indicted by a grand jury. He has been charged with vehicular homicide, reckless driving, and violating his oath as a public officer.
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts: A police officer is accused by authorities of raping a teenage girl. He is now facing charges of committing sexual battery on a juvenile between the ages of 12 and 18 and giving alcohol to an underage person. He has been jailed with no bail set.
  • Sophia, West Virginia: An officer was arrested after he left a restaurant without paying. He was found guilty of defrauding an innkeeper and terminated.
  • Monterey Park, California: Parents of a student who was shot and killed by police officers have filed a lawsuit against the city. They accuse the city of civil rights violations, denying due process, battery, wrongful death, and infliction of emotional distress.
  • Eagle Pass, Texas: An officer pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen firearm. He faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting that he tried to sell an M1 carbine that he knew was stolen.
  • Wilmington, Delaware: Police say an officer has been arrested for having two wives. He has been charged with bigamy and related charges, and has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
  • Dallas, Texas: A police officer has confessed to filing a fraudulent tax return, according to federal documents. He resigned from the force, and agreed to plead guilty to one count of willful presentation of a false of fraudulent tax return.
  • Durham, North Carolina: An internal investigation has found that a former police officer accused of beating a woman during an arrest at a party used excessive force. A news release said the department had “taken, and continues to take, any allegations of misconduct seriously, and works deliberately to ensure that all complaints are thoroughly investigated, and appropriate action is taken when needed.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-27-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, February 27, 2013:

  • Benton, Arkansas: An officer was fired for violating polices and procedures after he was pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • Corona, California: The city fired a police corporal who was convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse. She was found guilty of failing to tell authorities that a fellow member of her church had told her that he suspected a boy, then 13, had been assaulted.
  • Cornwall, Pennsylvania: A state trooper is facing charges following a hit-and-run incident he was involved in while off-duty.
  • Reading, Pennsylvania: An officer who was placed on paid leave following his recent arrest in a New Jersey nightclub was suspended without pay. He was charged in Atlantic City with resisting arrest following a disturbance.
  • Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: An officer faces theft charges and has had her police powers suspended after she was accused of using gift cards that were reported stolen. “We obviously don’t like to hear any allegations that are negative involving our police officers,” said the chief. “But we take these things very seriously and will investigate it thoroughly and completely.”
  • South Bend, Indiana: A police officer has been arrested for a second time for driving drunk. When he was pulled over he allegedly whispered to the arresting officer, “Man, I’m a South Bend Police Officer.”
  • Miami County, Ohio: A former sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to a charge accusing him of stealing property from the sheriff’s officer. He was fired after the conclusion of an internal investigation.
  • Celina, Ohio: The police chief remains on administrative leave because of what the city’s safety service manager is characterizing as “potential job-related misconduct.” There is an investigation still ongoing.
  • Ecru, Mississippi: A police officer has pleaded guilty to depriving the rights of two people he pulled over for traffic offenses. He was accused on two occasions of pulling over people, then taking cash from them in lieu of writing a traffic citation.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-26-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, February 26, 2013:

  • St. Louis, Missouri: A suspended patrolman disgraced the department and should be fired for striking a man with a baton, choking him, and slamming his head into the bumper of a squad car, a police department lawyer said. The lawyer says he used excessive force, racial slurs, and obscenities while arresting a handcuffed trespassing suspect.
  • Dekalb, Illinois: A grand jury re-indicted a Northern Illinois University officer for rape just days after the school fired the police chief for allegedly mishandling the case.
  • Update: Gary, Indiana: A police officer will admit he knowingly sold a gun to a felon and sold that same person drugs later the same day.
  • Update: Tupelo, Mississippi: A lawsuit accuses a former state trooper of beating a man who drove around road block, and his supervisors of looking the other way. The trooper is also facing charges accusing him of kicking a woman and ‘stomping her head against the floor’ in a jail.
  • Torrington, Connecticut: A police officer was charged with drunken driving and speeding.
  • West Sacramento, California: A police officer has been arrested after an investigation into assault and kidnapping charges involving six women. He allegedly carried out the acts while performing uniformed patrol duties.
  • Clarksville, Arkansas: A deputy was arrested and charged with perjury. She was serving as the bailiff on a murder trail, and during the trial told jurors information about the murder suspect’s behavior and certain security measures in place.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut: Five years ago, a heavily armed weapons and tactics team raided a home, and killed a man. Five towns are now paying $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family.
  • Conroe, Texas: A police sergeant was charged with having an improper sexual relationship with a student. “The law clearly states that sexual relationships are prohibited between employees of educational facilities, like high schools, and their students,” said the DA.
  • Hampton County, South Carolina: A deputy was indicted on one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor between 11 and 14, committing a lewd act on a minor, and misconduct in public office. The incidents occurred while he was working as a school resource officer.
  • Update: Brattleboro, Vermont: A state trooper received a suspended sentence of six to twelve months after he pleaded no contest to charges that, while on duty, he assaulted two men who used his canoe without permission.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-23-13 to 02-25-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, February 23 to Monday, February 25, 2013:

  • Houston, Texas: An officer has been accused of telling two women, including an undercover HPD investigator, he would tear up their traffic tickets in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Los Angeles, California: Police officers bought and sold guns from the police armory for profit, and told the lieutenant in charge of the armory to “watch his back” after he reported it, the 25-year LAPD veteran claims in court.
  • Des Plaines, Illinois: A now-former police commander is accused of padding DUI arrest records to get federal grant money and has been charged with one count of making false information, federal authorities said.
  • Irwindale, California: A former police sergeant and two current officers are the subject of criminal investigation – two for alleged sexual improprieties and one for the alleged theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars, officials confirmed. The police chief, in reference to the sexual improprieties allegations, said, “We took this matter very seriously. As soon as the allegation was brought to our attention the employee of concern was placed on administrative leave and we immediately launched an administrative investigation.”
  • Dallas, Texas: Two police officers are under criminal investigation. A judge determined that they repeatedly lied in sworn testimony about a drug arrest they made. After listening to other witnesses, the judge ruled, “there is doubt as to whether any illicit drugs that were alleged to have been found belonged to Williams, as opposed to having been planted.”
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer was suspended for 30 days without pay with the intent to dismiss. Several fellow officer voiced suspicions that the accused officer was stealing clothing, sneakers, and jewelry from the homes of suspected drug dealers during raids and warrant executions.
  • Colonie, New York: An officer has been suspended without pay and is facing a misdemeanor assault charge following his arrest stemming from a bar brawl.
  • Rialto, California: A former officer pleaded no contest to committing a series of sex acts with a teenage relative starting a decade ago. He accepted responsibility for two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object against the victim’s will, and one count of lewd act on a child age 14, according to court records.
  • Update: Long Beach, California: An officer has been sentenced to 11 year and 8 months in state prison for sex crimes involving underage girls. He pleaded guilty to forcible rape, meeting a minor for lewd purposes, using a minor for sex acts, possession of child pornography, and false imprisonment by fraud or deceit.
  • Boulder, Colorado: Two police officers charged with driving under the influence in separate cases have resigned.

Citizen Review Board Rules for Police 16 Years and Counting

From the Charlotte Observer:

Mayor Anthony Foxx is questioning how Charlotte’s Citizen Review Board handles allegations of police misconduct.

Also, the review board’s chairman says the panel will consider drafting reform proposals for City Council to consider.

In his first public comments on the issue, Foxx said Friday that he has asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe to respond to last Sunday’s Observer investigation showing that the oversight panel has ruled in favor of police every time in its nearly 16-year history.

More here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-22-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 22, 2013:

  • Update: Indianapolis, IN: A suspended police officer received an eight-year sentence after he was found guilty earlier this month of two counts each of robbery and official misconduct. Three years of his sentence will be spent in prison, with a year of home detention. He will be on probation for the remaining four years.
  • Albemarle, Virginia: A now-former fourth grade teacher and police officer will spend three years in prison for possessing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to two of the ten felony counts against him as part of an agreement. He received two ten-year sentences, each with all but 1.5 years suspended.
  • Update: Jackson, Mississippi: A now-former police detective is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars. A jury found him guilty of capital murder in the death of his 1-year-old daughter.
  • Mobile, Alabama: A second state trooper has been convicted of using his state credit card to buy gasoline for personal use. He pleaded guilty to a felony ethics charge.
  • South Bend, Indiana: The city’s Board of Public Safety accepted the suspension of a police officer who was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
  • Update: Asheville, North Carolina: A police officer admitted to physically abusing a 3-year-old girl left in his car. He avoided jail time, but must do 24 hours of community service and pay a one hundred dollar fine. The child must stay in therapy, and he can never be an officer again.
  • Peoria, Illinois: A newly retired Peoria police officer was sentenced to 90 days in the Peoria County Jail for attempting to mislead investigators probing a drunken driving crash.
  • Update: Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An inquest jury recommended that there police officers should be criminally charged with failure to render aid in connection with an in-custody death. The man in custody died gasping for air in the back of a squad car.
  • Newark, New Jersey: A police officer has been convicted of aggravated assault for striking a city resident in the face with his service weapon.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-21-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 21, 2013:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer who was involved in a car crash that killed two people has been fired.
  • Nassau County, New York: A jury has convicted the former deputy police commissioner on two counts of official misconduct and one count of conspiracy. The conviction was in connection with his role in preventing the arrest of a teenager whose father was a personal friend and financial benefactor of the police.
  • Greenville, North Carolina: A police officer was placed on administrative leave after his arrest for drunk driving. “None of us are above the law and we hold each other accountable for our actions,” said the police chief in a statement.
  • Lea County, New Mexico: A jury has found a now-former deputy guilty; he was arrested following the investigation of a claim that he sexually assaulted a 9-year old girl, and her 16-year-old sister. He faces a prison sentence of 18 years and a lifetime of parole and sex offender registration requirements. A second, separate trial involving the allegations of the 16-year-old girl is still pending.
  • Update: Melbourne, Florida: A former police officer who was fired for having sex with a prostitute while on the job took a plea deal. He will get 6 months probation and treatment for sex addiction.
  • Lubbock, Texas: The parents of a man fatally shot filed suit for wrongful death, seeking $1 million and access to investigative records. The police say they shot his son in defense of another person.
  • Dekalb County, Georgia: An indictment in federal court states that officers worked together to protect drug dealers during cocaine transactions. In return for their protection, the men were given thousands of dollars in payouts. They were arrested after a year-long investigation.

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