As seen in...
The Atlantic
ABC News
The Economist
Washington Post
Frontline
National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Worst of the Month — December

For December we’ve selected two former police officers from East Point, Georgia, who were found guilty of criminal charges last month in relation to the killing of Gregory Towns.

Here’s the background: Two police officers, Marcus Eberhart and Howard Weems, were responding to a domestic disturbance call.  When they arrived on the scene, Gregory Towns tried to flee on foot.  The police caught him and placed him in handcuffs.  When the officers ordered Towns to stand up and walk to the police car, he said he was exhausted and too tired to walk.  Frustrated, the police responded by tasing Towns so that he would comply with their commands.  Towns was tased several times and he died.

At their criminal trial, the officers told the jury, via their legal counsel, that Towns died from an illness unrelated to the tasing, but if they did not believe that, the jury should understand that the tasing was the only way to get Towns to the police car.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 01-04-17

Here are the six reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 4, 2017:

  • Rolesville, North Carolina: An officer was placed on paid leave during an investigation into the use of force against female high school student that was captured on video and went viral. ow.ly/igHn307EZbq
  • Update: Henrico County, Virginia: A deputy settled a lawsuit with a woman who was injured when he shot into the fleeing car that she was a passenger in. He was acquitted of criminal charges in the case. ow.ly/RddF307EZCp
  • Roane County, West Virginia: The newly elected sheriff was charged with stealing methamphetamine from evidence and admitted to being an addict. ow.ly/g79t307FjF2
  • McKenzie County, North Dakota: A deputy was fired after an internal investigation. A criminal investigation into the matter is ongoing. ow.ly/EMBr307Geaa
  • Update: McKinney, Texas: The City is being sued for the actions of a now-former officer at swimming pool party in 2015. The officer was captured on video using force against black children who were attending the party. ow.ly/SUTi307Gpi1
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer was arrested on New Years’ for drunk driving. He also faces a weapons charge for having his gun in the back seat, and thus in his possession, while intoxicated. ow.ly/MdHp307GqF8

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 01-03-17

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, January 3, 2017:

  • Kenosha, Wisconsin: An officer was arrested on battery charges. ow.ly/SkY5307DODz
  • New Rochelle, New York: An officer was charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI after a fatal off-duty crash. ow.ly/bLT5307DW8P
  • Baltimore County, Maryland: A now-former deputy reached a settlement with the State of Maryland for $160,000. He claimed he was fired for whistleblowing. ow.ly/d1RZ307DXnU
  • San Bernardino County, California: A deputy was charged with having sex with a teenager who was participating in the department’s Explorer program. ow.ly/xLQ8307E5OJ
  • Kettering, Ohio: A detective pled guilty to stealing prescription pills from a home while he was investigating a break-in. ow.ly/jEZ2307E9lE
  • Modesto, California: The City is being sued for excessive force after two officers opened fire on people in a car who were attempting to escape during a drug sting. Plaintiffs alleged that the officers did not identify themselves and they thought they were being attacked. ow.ly/VQyt307EauS
  • Mission, Texas: An officer was arrested for DWI and an open container violation. ow.ly/dcqA307EaQQ
  • Blanchard, Oklahoma: An officer was arrested for soliciting a minor and child pornography. ow.ly/hirQ307EbuY
  • Miami, Florida: Three officers were fired for posting “jokes” about using black neighborhoods for target practice to a social media site. ow.ly/nHQR307Ekyf
  • Update: Bay County, Michigan (First reported 11-15-16): A deputy was charged with tampering and careless discharge of a firearm for an accidental shooting at the school where he was SRO. He allegedly tried to cover-up the incident. A teacher was grazed in the shooting but was not seriously injured. ow.ly/Uy9m307ElI1
  • Update: Baltimore County, Maryland (First reported 02-25-15): The County reached a settlement with a teen who was shot by an off-duty deputy working private detail at an apartment complex. The settlement was for $30,000. ow.ly/CVlE307Epo0
  • Lee County, Florida: A now-former deputy was charged with grand theft for defrauding the government of $60,000 in work hours. ow.ly/xNm3307Eqmy
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: An officer was charged for an alleged domestic assault on Christmas Day. ow.ly/UKZU307EqGs

 

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-29-16

Here are the seven reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, December 29, 2016:

  • Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the department illegally withheld public records. ow.ly/50mZ307wSAO
  • Elmendorf, Texas: An officer was charged with sexual assault of a child for allegedly abusing a 13-year-old girl. ow.ly/5f7Q307wZUk
  • Update: Richfield, Minnesota (First reported 10-08-15): An officer who was fired after a video was released of his striking a Somali teen while on duty was reinstated by a labor arbitrator. ow.ly/slXI307x9cT
  • Dallas, Texas: An officer was fired for a 2015 hit-and-run off duty. He struck a vehicle while he was trying to pass, causing minor damage, and never stopped. ow.ly/7YkR307xaJP
  • U.S. Border Patrol (Malone, New York): A now-former agent was given five years’ probation for assaulting an elderly couple after his wife was killed in an automobile accident. ow.ly/szd0307xijt
  • Pasco County, Florida: A deputy was fired after domestic violence arrest. ow.ly/FKVk307xjgR
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (First reported 12-19-14): An officer was acquitted of drunkenly firing his gun at a suburban police officer after he was stopped off duty. The DUI charge was dropped before trial. His BAC was tested five hours after the incident and tested at .07, just under the legal limit. ow.ly/ELy0307xmcr

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-28-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, December 28, 2016:

  • Oregon State Police: A trooper was found to have violated policy when he ran a red light and consequently striking another automobile and a pedestrian before crashing into a donut shop. ow.ly/1k69307u3fS
  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio: A deputy was arrested and charged with OVI after a crash. It is his third arrest for the offense. ow.ly/Ejc2307u4vS
  • Buffalo, New York: An officer resigned and pled guilty to filing a false instrument for faking an on-duty injury. He was sentenced to one year of conditional release. ow.ly/YqVZ307u8OP
  • Update: Suffolk County, New York: Court documents in the long-running case of now-former sheriff James Burke revealed that six officers pled guilty to charges related to the beating and cover-up that led to Burke’s imprisonment. ow.ly/j7w6307u9o8
  • Orangeburg County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested for DUI after a crash in his patrol vehicle. He was fired. ow.ly/QPGH307u9LR
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: A deputy was federally charged with identity theft for using a law enforcement database to collect and sell personal information. ow.ly/xccz307u9Yg
  • Coffey County, Kansas: A deputy was fired and charged with sexual exploitation of a child. ow.ly/jCCo307vkqL
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A detective pled guilty to stealing nearly $75,000 in cash from airmail packages he searched for drugs. ow.ly/iIQ6307vMdi

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-27-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, December 27, 2016:

  • Alachua County, Florida: A deputy was charged with DUI after a crash. ow.ly/Jopc307tgFz
  • New York, New York: An officer was suspended after posting a picture of an innocent family in handcuffs to Snapchat after a fruitless raid.  ow.ly/WVea307tmBl
  • Fort Worth, Texas: An officer was placed on restricted duty after a video showed him arresting and berating a mother who called police for help. ow.ly/OuGX307tp7Q
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A homicide detective has been accused of hit-and-run (without injury) and DUI for an off-duty crash. ow.ly/nxbR307tqiP
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (First reported 11-04-15): Four officers may face discipline, but not termination, for their actions in Laquan McDonald shooting. Several other officers have either left the department or been recommended for termination for their roles subsequent to the shooting. ow.ly/hVlC307tpId)
  • Jersey City, New Jersey: Up to 12 officers are expected to be arrested in the coming weeks as a result of a federal corruption probe into the department. ow.ly/xu4m307trhb
  • Update: Huber Heights, Ohio (First reported 08-25-16): An officer was suspended for five days for conduct unbecoming following a domestic violence arrest in August where he allegedly assaulted his wife with a dog food dish. ow.ly/3qgE307tLeJ
  • Ocoee, Florida: An officer was suspended 80 hours without pay for engaging in a pursuit that ended in a crash that injured an innocent motorist. ow.ly/6IeO307tLL6
  • Abbeville, South Carolina: An officer was placed under investigation by state authorities. ow.ly/EeMo307tM7x

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-22-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, December 22, 2016:

  • Washtenaw, Michigan: A lieutenant was captured on police video driving while apparently heavily intoxicated. ow.ly/cwX1307mYrT
  • Oregon State Police: A trooper was fired after pleading to a misdemeanor for abusing his 11-year-old son but was allowed to retain his law enforcement certification. ow.ly/T1OT307n6m3
  • Update: Gaffney, South Carolina (First reported 09-27-16): A now-former officer was charged with assault for actions against a handcuffed inmate. He resigned before he was charged. ow.ly/uJA4307n7Cv
  • Dartmouth, Massachusetts*: An officer was placed on leave after his girlfriend filed a complaint that he has repeatedly abused her over the past year.  http://bit.ly/2hqOT3e
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: The chief is under investigation after an officer pled guilty to perjury in an alleged conspiracy to frame an innocent man. More officers in the department have also been implicated. ow.ly/J8Mo307ndn3
  • Atlanta, Georgia: An officer was arrested for DUI after driving erratically. ow.ly/qcqj307nfBr
  • Greenwood County, South Carolina: A deputy who also served as SRO was arrested for DUI after a single-car crash. ow.ly/O564307nggH
  • Update: Montgomery County, Ohio (First reported 09-13-16): A deputy resigned and is expected to plead guilty to misusing nearly $100,000 of union lodge funds. ow.ly/wpRZ307nhkk

*The tweet and original story linked for this report incorrectly identified the department as Dartmouth, Rhode Island, not Massachusetts.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-21-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, December 21, 2016:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation: An agent was charged with two felonies for shooting at a Grand Rapids officer in an incident off duty. No one was injured. ow.ly/f027307jCct
  • San Bernardino County, California: Two deputies were found negligent and to have used excessive force when the shot a man; $110,000 was awarded to the victim. ow.ly/PzSD307jEqq
  • York County, Pennsylvania: Two constables were charged with tampering with public records, unlawful computer use, giving false statements and theft. ow.ly/rIlJ307jO62
  • Anderson County, South Carolina: A now-former deputy was charged with misconduct, forgery, perjury, and altering, forging or counterfeiting an automobile title. ow.ly/lpnL307jOFP
  • Update: Berthoud, Colorado (First reported 10-16-13): A now-former officer who was previously convicted of child abuse (battery) was found guilty of sex abuse against a child while he was on the force. Because the victim was a minor at the time of the crime and protected by privacy laws, it is unclear whether the victim in the present case was the same as the previous one. ow.ly/9jZS307jPnL
  • Bedford Heights, Ohio: An officer was charged with domestic violence. ow.ly/Ro2x307jPSI
  • Bucks County, Pennsylvania: The director of public safety and a deputy constable are among three people indicted as a result of a $400,000 money laundering sting. ow.ly/TqAo307jQOy
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 06-12-12): An officer whose charges for manslaughter the 2012 shooting death of Ramarley Graham were dismissed by a judge in 2013 will face administrative trial in January for the incident. Officers chased Graham into his apartment and he was shot to death in the bathroom. He was unarmed. ow.ly/h9xk307jR9q

 

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-20-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, December 20, 2016:

  • Litchfield, Minnesota: An officer was arrested for DWI. ow.ly/BAfC307gWmf
  • Update: New Orleans, Louisiana: The City announced that it had settled several civil rights lawsuits stemming the infamous post-Katrina shootings of civilians by officers for $13,300,000. ow.ly/YyJq307iM6J
  • Update: Brigantine, New Jersey (First reported 01-09-15): A now-former officer was sentenced to five years in prison after his plea to misconduct and sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl. Another officer from Atlantic City was charged in the same case and was also sentenced to five years in prison (see July 2, 2015 recap). ow.ly/XCO0307iNK3
  • Update: Garland, Texas (First reported 09-18-14): A mistrial was declared in the case against a now-former officer who shot at unarmed Michael V. Allen 41 times during a vehicular chase. ow.ly/kehn307iSPQ
  • Update: Hampton, New Hampshire (First reported 10-12-16): A detective who also serves as union president pled no contest to DWI after a crash. He will lose his driver’s license for nine months.ow.ly/JW75307iU1v
  • Arlington, Texas: A detective resigned after she allegedly neglected to investigate child abuse cases. Many of her cases are now under review. ow.ly/KncF307iUjE
  • Citrus County, Florida: A deputy was fired after her arrest for domestic battery against her boyfriend. ow.ly/3Xnt307iZvE
  • Update: East Point, Georgia (First reported 07-10-14): A now-former officer was found guilty of felony murder and a second officer was found guilty of manslaughter in the tasering death of Gregory Towns, who was handcuffed at the time of the incident. ow.ly/4fQc307j3zX
  • Update: Reading, Pennsylvania (First reported 05-26-16): An officer again had tampering charges dropped for lack of evidence. He allegedly destroyed a cell phone after accosting a woman. ow.ly/b8n6307jAEk

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 12-19-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Monday, December 19, 2016:

  • U.S. Marshals Service (New York, NY): A deputy marshal was arrested after he pulled a gun on a fast food cashier during a drunken off-duty incident. ow.ly/Eepo307g7yV
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: Three officers were fired and two were suspended for separate and apparently unrelated incidents. One of the terminated officers was previously fired and reinstated after he was accused of statutory rape while serving as a school resource officer (see August 12, 2016 recap for first report). One of the suspended officers was recently arrested on a contempt of court charge. The other three officers faced administrative action for unspecified violations. ow.ly/TEyQ307ghL6
  • Update: Alameda County, California (First reported 03-31-16): Two deputies were fired for beating a motorist in San Francisco’s Mission in an incident caught on video. A third deputy remains on leave. ow.ly/ixkE307gFJf
  • Whiteville, North Carolina: An officer was fired amid a criminal investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is ongoing. ow.ly/JcSV307gMpN
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was suspended one day for flirting with a teen via a text message after she was involved in a traffic accident. The suspension was served in October but was recently brought to light by a request under the Freedom of Information Act.  ow.ly/fT21307gPOF
  • Update: Niagara Falls, New York (First reported 11-14-16): A now-former officer has new charges filed against her in a drug conspiracy case. ow.ly/d3Ww307gSAL
  • Update: Harris County, Texas (First reported 09-07-16): A now-former deputy constable will not face indictment for destroying more than 20,000 pieces of evidence in closed and open criminal cases. ow.ly/kzWR307gUtc
  • Cross Plains, Tennessee: A school resource officer was charged with sexual battery by an authority figure. ow.ly/AELT307gVB2
  • Fresno, California: The City agreed to pay $2,200,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit for the shooting death of Jaime Reyes Jr.  Reyes was unarmed and climbing a fence when shot and then one officer shot him three more times in the back as he lay on the ground. ow.ly/k964307gVT5

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.