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"The only good nigger is a dead nigger and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other nigger from coming in the area."
-- July 2011 Statement by Oakland Public Schools Police Chief Pete Sarna, referring to an African-American police officer.
Top News Story!
Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT ~ Updated: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 6:31 PM PDT
TAVARES, VA -- Officer Henri Bart Larue arrested a woman in October 2012 for driving with a suspended license. The woman alleged she was raped by the Leesburg police officer on her way to jail. Larue was arrested in January 2013 after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement spent several months looking into the woman's arrest. Leesburg police later fired Larue after a report showed he joked with dispatchers about flirting with the woman. State prosecutors said DNA evidence backed the woman's claims, and that Larue took nearly twice as long as he should have taking the woman to jail. Defense attorneys argued investigators found no bodily fluids, and said the slow trip could have been caused by stop lights.
Six jurors and two alternates were seated Monday in Larue's trial. The woman, now 24, took the stand Tuesday after opening statements in Larue's trial for sexual battery with a weapon. She told a Lake County jury her emotional story. Corrupt Justice™ is not identifying the woman in accordance with the laws regarding the identity of sex crime victims.
In the beginning the woman said Larue made a comment about not having "pink fluffy handcuffs." The victim claims she thought it was just inappropriate flirting. The woman then testified that Larue took her to the Leesburg Police Department. The woman claims that when they left for the Lake County Jail, Larue made a U-turn and headed behind an empty shopping center. Next, the woman told jurors that she was let out of Larue's squad car, still in handcuffs.
"My arms were still cuffed, so he reached around my arms, pulled up my shirt and grabbed my [expletive]," she said. "He just placed my hand on it and made me touch it." The woman then said Larue, with his police-issued handgun near her head, continued to rape her. "He did it continuously until he was done," she told jurors." The alley felt a mile long at the time, and I felt like cooperating was the safest thing for me," said the woman,
Larue's attorney tried to poke holes in the woman's story on cross-examination. The attorney asked her why she didn't tell anyone at the jail or go home to her child after the alleged incident. "I guess you can't understand that because you aren't the victim of a rape," the woman answered, "but I was not in a state to go see my baby off to school." The trial is expected to continue through the rest of the week.
Published: 11:12 am EDT, August 19, 2014 ~ Updated: 6:43 pm PDT, August 19, 2014
LEESBURG, VA -- Former Leesburg police officer Henri Larue is on trial for sexual battery in Lake County. Larue is accused of raping a woman he arrested and was supposed to be taking her to jail. Larue was arrested in January 2013 after state investigators spent several months looking into his arrest of a woman driving with a suspended license. The Leesburg Police Department fired Larue after a report showed he joked with dispatchers about flirting with the woman. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded it took Larue too long to take her to jail and said they found DNA evidence in his patrol car to support her sexual battery claim.
Attorneys spent Monday choosing from 36 prospective jurors, eventually choosing six jurors and two alternates. They will be asked to decide if Larue is guilty of sexual battery by a law enforcement officer with a firearm. Opening statements are expected to start Tuesday.
Larue was in court Monday and his attorney seemed to indicate the ex-police officer might not take the stand. "So, if you don't hear from one side, would you tend to favor the side you did hear from?" asked Larue's attorney. Larue's attorney has previously questioned the 23-year-old woman’s credibility, saying she had been arrested several times.
Updated: 08/15/2014 7:49 AM | Created: 08/15/2014 7:27 AM
Rio Arriba County, NM -- The FBI confirms Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella was arrested Friday morning. According to Frank Fisher with the FBI, both Rodella and his son, Tommy Rodella, Jr., were arrested and are now in FBI custody. The reason why both men were arrested has not been disclosed, but federal officials are expected to announce the filing of a significant federal indictment at the U.S. Attorney's Office at 11 a.m. Friday. In June, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Rodella's home in connection to the arrest of a man who claimed the sheriff and his son threatened him and then falsely charged him with aggravated assault on a peace officer.
Published: August 11, 2014 - 4:23pm - Updated: August 12, 2014 - 1:15 pm pdt
"We take any complaint of misconduct very seriously. When this complaint was received against Trooper Eric Roberts, I ordered an immediate investigation into the matter. I expect the completion of this investigation very soon. These allegations are especially disturbing and must be properly completed. Any type of conduct of the nature alleged will not be tolerated." Roberts, a 16-year veteran of OHP, has been suspended with pay.
-- Chief of Patrol Colonel Ricky Adams.
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol announced last week that it had suspended Trooper Eric Roberts on July 24th pending an investigation. However, they would not divulge the nature of that investigation concerning Roberts' suspension. However, a woman filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Roberts on Monday. The Plaintiff is accusing him of raping her during a traffic stop on July 22, 2014. On Monday, August 11, 2014, an attorney filed a lawsuit in Tulsa federal court on behalf of a 28-year-old woman against Roberts.
According to the lawsuit, Roberts was patrolling near Town West Shopping Center on July 22, 2014. (Roberts is assigned to Troop YB, which means he patrols the Turner Turnpike.) On that afternoon he saw the woman identified in court documents by only her initials, A.M.F. The lawsuit claims she was driving with a female friend. Roberts made eye contact with her and turned his cruiser around. The woman pulled into the parking lot of a motel where she and the friend were planning to stay. At this point Trooper Roberts initiated a traffic stop. A.M.F. claims she was stopped even though she had not violated any traffic laws.
The lawsuit says Trooper Roberts told the woman he could smell marijuana stating, "You just made my day." Trooper Roberts made the woman get into his patrol car. She says he immediately began asking her inappropriate questions and making inappropriate comments. She says Trooper Roberts asked her if she had a phone with internet access and she said she did. Trooper Roberts then told her to have her friend get a room without her.
The suit alleges Roberts then told the woman to drive to a nearby convenience store. The lawsuit says Trooper Roberts bought two bottles of water. He then ordered her to get into his cruiser. According to the lawsuit, Trooper Roberts ordered her to strip from the waist down and to call up a pornographic video on her phone. The woman claims Trooper Roberts started to drive and forced the woman to perform sex acts on herself while he watched her and the video. In the lawsuit, the woman claims she received multiple calls on her phone as the video played. Trooper Roberts would make her restart the porno video after every call.
The woman says once Trooper Roberts reached a secluded spot, he stopped the car and raped her while standing outside the passenger door of the patrol car. Afterwards, the woman claims, Trooper Roberts poured one of the bottles of water he had purchased onto his groin area, then got a blue rag out of the trunk "along with a substance with a medicated smell to clean himself." The woman says Trooper Roberts then allowed the woman to get dressed as he drove her back to her car where he said, "I'll see you later."
The lawsuit says the woman confided in a friend who got the number for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The next day the woman called the OHP and made a report. According to the lawsuit, the woman led investigators from the highway patrol to the store where she said Trooper Roberts purchased the water. She then led them to the place where she says she was raped. The lawsuit says she believes the investigators were able to retrieve the condom she says Trooper Roberts used.
On Monday afternoon, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol released a statement on the lawsuit:
"The Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirms state trooper Eric Roberts has been placed on suspension with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Trooper Roberts, a sixteen year veteran of the OHP, was suspended Thursday, July 24th, when Patrol officials received allegations of misconduct and launched an immediate investigation into the matter.
'We take any complaint of misconduct very seriously. When this complaint was received against Trooper Eric Roberts, I ordered an immediate investigation into the matter. I expect the completion of this investigation very soon. These allegations are especially disturbing and must be properly investigated. Any type of conduct of the nature alleged will not be tolerated,' stated Chief of Patrol Colonel Ricky Adams.
Creek County District Attorney David Max Cook said Monday he's aware of the investigation but could not comment on it. No further details will be released pending the outcome of this investigation." The woman's attorney said the woman was terrified for her life during the ordeal. He stated that she has no criminal history other than minor traffic violations. He said she is getting the help she needs to get through this.
Published: August 11, 2014 - 4:23pm - Updated: August 12, 2014 - 6:23am pdt
Oklahoma -- Police have identified Sebastian County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Heidelberg (pictured below-center) as the off-duty officer involved in the deadly Brooken Hill shooting of a carjacker Saturday. Justin Wayne Higgins, 23 (pictured above, center) was shot dead after police responded to a domestic disturbance call just before 5 p.m. Saturday where investigators say Higgins took a man hostage in his vehicle, shot at police and then attempted to take another family hostage when Heidelberg intervened.
“Higgins was holding a gun to the head of a family friend of Heidelberg and Higgins was about to drive away with Heidelberg’s friend and Heidelberg’s children in the vehicle,” states a news release from Lt. Philip Pevehouse with the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office. “Deputy Heidelberg’s swift and decisive action stopped an active shooter who had already shown a disregard for human lives.”
Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said Heidelberg’s actions were “at the very least heroic,” and although it was a “horrible situation” considered it a “justified shooting.”
According to a police report, after fleeing the first hostage victim Higgins ran behind the residences toward 21 Bellhaven View Court where he tried to steal another vehicle in the driveway, “but encountered an off-duty Sebastian County deputy, who owned the vehicle.”
“He pointed his weapon at a passenger in the vehicle and when ordered to exit the vehicle, he did so, but pointed his weapon at Deputy Josh Heidelberg and was then shot,” a police report states.
Higgins was from the Muskogee and Wagoner county areas of Oklahoma.
Heidelberg, who has been with the sheriff’s office for two years, is on paid administrative leave pending an internal review and has access to counseling, Hollenbeck said.
Higgins had convictions in Muskogee County for larceny from an automobile and a house, second-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unauthorized use of a vehicle, as well as an unauthorized use of a vehicle conviction in Wagoner County, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections website.
He had an active warrant out of Muskogee stemming from a 2013 felony methamphetamine arrest in which he pleaded guilty and received a 15-year suspended sentenced and was ordered to complete inpatient treatment. He also had a warrant for failure to comply with the terms of his sentencing in unauthorized use of a vehicle cases in Muskogee and Wagoner counties, according to on-demand court records.
Higgins was last released from jail in Oklahoma in October, according to court records.
Published: 2:41 PM, Aug 8, 2014 - Updated: August 12, 2014, 11:05 am pdt
Vengeance is Mine!
NOWATA COUNTY, Okla. - On June 16, 2014, state trooper Jerrod Martin (pictured below-center) shot and killed Joshua Stand (pictured above, center) in the town of Delaware. The June fatal shooting of Stand trooper Martin has been ruled justified. Trooper Martin has been released from routine suspension and returned to active duty. According to the DA's memo, evidence indicates Martin "was in danger of serious bodily injury or death" and his use of deadly force was justified. According to the district attorney's office, while on duty that morning, Martin witnessed Stand walking on Highway 169. Martin checked with dispatch on any warrants and moved along when told there was no reason to stop Stand. Martin was aware of Stand's contact with Nowata County sheriff's deputies the weekend before and that was his reason for inquiring about warrants.
After moving along, Martin was notified by dispatchers of reports that Stand was walking in the middle of the highway with a knife. The trooper turned around and located Stand. According to a memo from DA Kevin Buchanan, Martin ordered Stand out of the road and to drop the knife but Stand refused, telling the trooper to leave him alone. The memo states Martin's microphone continued recording for a short time but eventually reception became spotty and the recording became mostly inaudible.
Eventually Stand ran from Martin, who followed on foot. Martin told investigators Stand stopped and ran several times during the incident and made chopping and stabbing motions with the knife. At one point, Stand put the knife in his pocket and began walking away. Martin said he considered physically engaging Stand but then Stand turned and removed the knife from his pocket, taking a step toward the trooper. At that time, Martin, who estimated the distance between the two at less than 20 feet, shot Stand multiple times. Stand died at the scene.
An autopsy found Stand had nine gunshot wounds but it wasn't clear if some of the rounds made more than one injury, according to the memo. Two of Stand's wounds were likely what caused his death. In Buchanan's memo, he writes "Of concern in the (ME's) report are three gunshot wounds, which appear to have entered Joshua Stand's body from behind," though Martin said he didn't remember firing at Stand when his back was turned. The ME also determined Stand was in a state of "acute methamphetamine intoxication," which the DA's office says "quite possibly enhanced" his erratic behavior and "added to the unpredictability of the circumstances."
Martin had previously arrested Stand for driving under the influence and firearm possession. He reported also witnessing Stand's combative behavior at the jail on separate occasions. Following the DA's decision to forego filing criminal charges, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol returned Martin to active duty Friday.
Published: August 7, 2014, 5:30 pm - Updated: August 10, 2014, 5:34 am pdt
Chief of Rape!
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (WCJB) – The former Chief of a New Mexico police department is now facing charges that he raped a woman who was in his custody. New Mexico state police arrested former Jemez Springs police chief Shane Harger (pictured above, center). Harger was fired from his position with Jemez Springs police in February (2014). Harger, 40, a former Taos Police Department officer, was arrested Thursday (Aug. 7) on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman detained at a police station in Jemez Springs. A spokesperson for the New Mexico State Police confirmed Shane Harger, 40, was taken into custody at his Edgewood home.
News cameras were rolling as Harger was walked by state police officers to their Albuquerque office on Thursday afternoon, shortly after he was taken into custody in Edgewood. Harger did not respond to requests for comment and kept his head down as officers walked him away in cuffs. State police say Harger was taken into custody without any problems. He’s now awaiting a court date in the Sandoval County Detention Center.
Investigators say they’ve been looking at the case since January (2014). State Police say Harger pulled over a car in early January while he was still the Jemez Springs police chief. Police aren’t saying why the car was pulled over. However, media sources learned that police found heroin inside of the stopped car. According to state police, another officer took three men inside the car into custody and two of them were charged. Meanwhile, Harger took the woman alone.
A warrant for his arrest was filed with the Thirteenth Judicial District Court Thursday. The warrant was filed after he was indicted by a Sandoval County grand jury. The charges include criminal sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact, kidnapping and extortion. The paperwork says Harger illegally detained the woman, then touched the woman’s private parts and raped her. State Police say the woman was released three hours later after she was taken into custody and was not charged. The indictment says Harger then threatened the woman with charges if she told anyone about it. New Mexico state police pulled Harger over Thursday in Edgewood and arrested him.
Harger’s attorney issued a statement Thursday to address the charges:
“Mr. Harger is innocent of these charges and that will be proven as this case moves forward. This is yet another instance where police officers must be forever vigilant when they take people into custody. The fact that the alleged victim in this case did not testify before the grand jury panel is telling about her own credibility.”
This isn’t the first time Harger has been in the news for his questionable behavior. Harger got in a heated argument with TSA and Albuquerque Police at the Albuquerque Sunport in late January (2014). He was trying to get past security screening with identification cards that had two different names. The incident was caught on camera and happened after the alleged rape. It ended with Harger appearing irritated. Meanwhile, a security agent was heard saying “You know, in my opinion, he’s a poor excuse for police chief.” Harger was fired by Jemez Springs Village Council in February, but at the time they wouldn’t say why.
Harger left the Taos Police Department in 2005 while at the center of several lawsuits alleging he assaulted, battered or falsely imprisoned suspects during his one year on the job. Federal court records indicate he was named as a defendant in two lawsuits during 2005. During 2004, he was named as a defendant in two lawsuits filed with state courts. One federal lawsuit, which was settled by the town of Taos, alleged Harger pepper sprayed a restrained suspect and later arrested the man’s mother, purportedly as an act of revenge. The lawsuit, which also named former chief Neil Curran as a defendant, raised concerns about Harger’s record as a law enforcement officer. Harger’s behavior at the Taos Police Department prompted a series of complaints and tort claims, the lawsuit said, and purportedly spurred one captain to resign. Harger’s subsequent departure from the Taos Police Department was “not retirement,” according to municipal officials. The officer later worked at the Milan Police Department and was most recently chief of police in Jemez Springs.
“It can give all of law enforcement a bad name when something like this happens… and nobody that takes this job serious and wants to do a good job appreciates this kind of behavior from anybody wearing a uniform,” said Sgt. Damyan Brown of the New Mexico State Police Department.
Posted: Aug 09, 2014 1:02 PM PDT - Updated: Aug 10, 2014 3:02 PM PDT
TULSA, Okla. (WCJB) - Tulsa police say the weapon and the sport utility vehicle believed to have been used by two officers suspected of shooting and killing their daughter's boyfriend have been found.
Officer Shannon Kepler is jailed on a first-degree murder complaint in the Tuesday shooting of 19-year-old Jeremey Lake and Kepler's wife - Gina Kepler - was arrested as an accessory to murder after the fact.
Sgt. Dave Walker told reporters Friday that the weapon believed to have been used was given to police by Shannon Kepler's attorney and the SUV the couple is believed to have been driving was found at a motel in east Tulsa.
Shannon Kepler remains jailed without bond. Gail Kepler was released on $25,000 bail. Gail Kepler declined comment after being released. Both are expected to be arraigned Tuesday.
Posted: Thurs., August 7, 2014 @ 07:40 AM PDT ~ Updated: Thurs. Aug. 7, 2014 @ 08:00 AM PDT
TULSA, Okla. (WCJB) — Jeremy Lake,19, was found shot to death Tuesday night on a street near downtown Tulsa. Jillian Roberson, a police department spokeswoman, said two Tulsa police officers, who are married have been arrested in the fatal shooting of the 19-year-old man. Shannon Kepler, 54 (pictured above, center-left) was arrested on a complaint of first-degree murder and Gina Kepler, 48 (pictured above, center-right) was arrested on a complaint of accessory to murder after the fact. The Keplers are City of Tulsa police officers. They have 24 years on the force and were off duty at the time of the shooting, Roberson said.
Lake (pictured above, center) was killed as he was walking with the daughter of both officers, authorities said. Lake was walking with the Keplers' 18-year-old daughter, Lisa Kepler, when Shannon Kepler confronted him, Roberson said. An argument ensued and the father lashed out, shooting Lake, Roberson said. Lisa Kepler started to run, and was shot at, but the bullet missed, Roberson said. Lisa Kepler said at a news conference Wednesday that her parents had kicked her out of their home a week ago, and she said was living with Lake at the time of the shooting. "I don't know what could have led them to do this," she said. "They didn't even know Jeremy."
Both Keplers were booked Tuesday night in the Tulsa County jail. It wasn't immediately clear whether they have attorneys. The Keplers are on paid administrative leave, Roberson said.
Police Chief Chuck Jordan said in a statement that "the circumstances around this incident drives home the fact that domestic violence is a societal problem and transcends all economic groups." "I as well as the whole department am saddened for both families involved in this tragic event," Jordan said. Roberson did not immediately return a message late Wednesday seeking clarification on what Jordan meant in reference to domestic violence.
Posted: Wed., Jul 30, 2014 @ 11:40 PM PDT ~ Updated: Wed. Aug. 6, 2014 @ 08:12 AM PDT
Oakland, CA -- Robert Roche, an Oakland Police Officer shattered Scott Olsen’s skull with a lead-filled munition. Officer Robert Roche then threw an explosive tear gas grenade at persons who were attempting to come to Olsen’s aid as he lay critically injured on the ground. This conduct occurred in clear view of the police and media sources. Roche was fired, but on July 30, 2014, an arbitrator overturned the termination and reinstated him with full back pay.
The arbitrator’s decision was apparently based in part on the fact that Roche had been ordered to deploy gas by then-Captain Paul Figueroa. At the same time, Figueroa authorized the use of “beanbag” impact munitions, on persons who might attempt to throw the teargas devices back at the police. It was inevitable that Scott Olsen and others would be seriously injured or killed, yet Figueroa was not disciplined and has since been promoted to Assistant Chief. This is one reason that attempts at police discipline consistently fail in Oakland: commanders are never made to take responsibility.
The OPD’s Crowd Control Policy, adopted as part of a federal court order in settlement of earlier litigation, prohibits officers from deploying the CS Blast grenades or the impact munitions into a crowd. Yet, that is exactly what was done on October 25, 2011, and that is still OPD’s practice, despite the serious brain injury to Scott Olsen which led to a $4.5 million settlement. Scott Olsen, his attorneys, and the National Lawyers Guild and ACLU are demanding that Chief Whent comply with the Crowd Control Policy and ban these weapons for crowd control.
Posted: 5:02 PM EDT, Sat August 2, 2014 ~ Updated: 2:48 AM PDT, Mon. August 4, 2014
New York City, NY (WCJB) -- The New York City medical examiner's office confirmed Friday that Eric Garner, 43, died July 17 after being confronted by police on Staten Island for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. Demonstrators have been saying for weeks that the choke hold killed Garner. The cause of Garner's death was "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police," said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office. The death was ruled a homicide. The police officer's choke hold on Garner while he was being arrested for selling loose cigarettes, killed him. Two EMTs and two paramedics were suspended without pay, according to Erika Hellstrom, vice president of development at Richmond University Medical Center.
Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is seen on the video choking Garner, was also put on modified assignment and stripped of his badge and gun amid the investigation, the New York Police Department said. A second police officer was placed on desk duty. The choke hold tactic is prohibited by the NYPD. In a statement, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch called Pantaleo's reassignment "a completely unwarranted, kneejerk reaction for political reasons." He said the move "effectively pre-judges this case and denies the officer the very benefit of a doubt that has long been part of the social contract that allows police officers to face the risks of this difficult and complex job."
"Police officers don't start their days expecting or wanting something like this to occur in the performance of their duties," PBA president Patrick Lynch said in a statement. "The ME's report indicates that Mr. Garner was a man with serious health problems so there will have to be a complete and thorough analysis of all the factors that played a part in this tragedy. We believe, however, that if he had not resisted the lawful order of the police officers placing him under arrest, this tragedy would not have occurred."
During the encounter, Garner raised both hands in the air and told the officers not to touch him. Seconds later, a video shows an officer behind him grab the 350-pound man in a choke hold and pull him to the sidewalk, rolling him onto his stomach. "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Garner said repeatedly, his cries muffled into the pavement. The video of the incident showed the Staten Island man lying on the ground motionless after he was taken down by a group of officers. An asthmatic, Garner was later declared dead at a nearby hospital.
Acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease were listed as contributing conditions to the controversial death. Police said he suffered a heart attack and died on the way to the hospital. This ruling sparked anti-police demonstrations and calls for a federal investigation. Demonstrators in New York called the police response during his arrest excessive and criminal. On July 19, Garner's friends and family rallied with Sharpton in Harlem, demanding a full investigation into Garner's death.
On Saturday, Garner's widow, Esaw, appeared at a Harlem rally with the victim's mother, Gwen Carr, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. "First of all, I want to thank the God above for giving us justice for my husband so that we can move forward," she said. "I met with the prosecutors and I feel like I did the right thing by doing that and I just want them to do the right thing and get me justice for my husband." Sharpton is planning a march across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island, for August 23.
Douglas Auer, a spokesman for the Richmond County district attorney's office, said the investigation into the death was continuing. "We await the issuance of the official death certificate and the autopsy report," he said in a statement. "The District Attorney will be examining the case to determine if the use of the choke hold was necessary to subdue and arrest Garner, or was an excessive use of force resulting in death," a legal analyst for the media said. A former deputy chief of homicide for the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, the legal analyst said a choke hold does not violate state law but is prohibited by NYPD guidelines on excessive force. The U.S. Justice Department has said it is monitoring the investigation. If local prosecutors decline to file criminal charges, the federal justice department could conduct an investigation into whether the victim's civil rights were violated.
Police Commissioner William Bratton ordered an extensive review of the NYPD's training procedures after Garner's death. After a two-hour meeting with NYPD Training Commissioner Ben Tucker last week, Bratton ordered a "top to bottom review of all the training that this department provides to its personnel, specifically focusing on force, how do we train our officers for a takedown, how do we train them to use the various levels of force that they're authorized to use."
"I would anticipate that coming out of this effort that there will be a retraining of every member of the New York City Police Department in the weeks, months and potential years ahead," Bratton said.
Posted: Sunday, Jul 20, 2014 @ 11:40 PM PDT ~ Updated: Monday, Jul 21, 2014 @ 12:00 AM PDT
New York -- Officer Daniel Pantaleo (pictured above, center) is the New York police officer seen in a video apparently putting a chokehold on a man who later died. Eric Garner's death has led to outrage. Garner, who was 6-foot-3 and roughly 350 pounds, died after a struggle as police tried to arrest him, according to the NYPD. The video obtained by media sources appeared to show that the man was put into a chokehold as he was arrested. The chokehold is prohibited by NYPD departmental policy. Mayor Bill De Blasio called the video of the arrest "very troubling" and delayed a planned vacation for a day after hearing about the incident. De Blasio said NYPD internal affairs and the local district attorney were investigating the incident.
Garner was arrested in Staten Island after he was allegedly seen selling "loosie" cigarettes, police said. Garner was known for selling individual cigarettes for 50 cents each in his Staten Island neighborhood. Police said the cigarettes come from North Carolina and Garner is the end of the supply line. Because the Staten Island man allegedly sold cigarettes to children, the police called the cigarettes a "quality of life" issue in the neighborhood. The video shows officers approaching Garner, who initially denies that he's selling loose cigarettes. "I'm minding my business why don't you leave me alone," Garner can be heard saying. Eventually when police officers move in, Garner appears to not comply and at least five officers wrestle him to the ground as they attempt to handcuff him. As Garner is being held down, he can be heard telling police that he "can't breathe." Eventually when officers realize he is not responsive, they called in an ambulance, which took Garner to a hospital where he died a short time later. Police said he appeared to suffer a heart attack.
Pantaleo is an 8-year veteran. It is reported that he has had his gun and badge taken away pending the outcome of investigations into what happened. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had announced Friday that the cop and his partner were on "desk duty," but they still had their guns and shields. The NYPD announced tonight that Pantelo has been placed on "modified assignment," pending the outcome of the dual probes by the district attorney and Internal Affairs.
The apparent violence of the arrest led to outrage and the internal investigation. On line, numerous people tweeted #JusticeforEricGarner, calling attention to the deadly incident.
Policeman's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, questioned by media sources about what constitutes an appropriate use of force, said the public should not rush to judge before the official investigation is concluded. "At times, when officers are required to make an arrest, they must employ the use of force in order to get compliance from an individual who NYPD policy requires must be rear-cuffed for transport to a precinct," Lynch said. "Force, by its very nature, is an ugly thing to witness. Taken out of the context of what is happening, necessary force can be misinterpreted to be excessive by those who are not trained in law enforcement procedures."
Garner's family has been devastated by the loss. Garner's wife Esaw Garner collapsed into tears as she attended a crowded memorial rally today at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network.
"This is going to be a real test to see where policies are in the city now and whether the change that we feel occurred has occurred," Sharpton said. "We are the only ones in the social setup that has to deal with fear of cops and robbers."
Posted: August 2, 2014 12:09 AM PDT ~ Updated: August 2, 2014 12:17 AM PDT
New York City, NY -- A week after a Staten Island man’s death following an alleged chokehold by a New York City police officer, another man whose violent run-in with police was also caught on video briefly spoke about his experience Saturday.
Jahmil-El Cuffee, 32 years old, and his family joined the Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, alongside family members of Eric Garner, who died last week after a confrontation with officers.
“I just want it all to stop,” said Mr. Cuffee, who is seen on the video apparently being stomped in the head by an officer. “(I’m) a little sore but I’m alright. I’ll be alright.”
The incident involving Mr. Cuffee occurred around 8 p.m. Wednesday outside 223 Malcolm X. Blvd. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, police said.
Officers on patrol in their squad car allegedly saw Mr. Cuffee rolling a marijuana cigarette outside the home, authorities said. The officers approached Mr. Cuffee, whom authorities said was caught trying to put the rolled cigarette behind his chair.
After he produced identification, the officers tried to place him under arrest and, when Mr. Cuffee refused, the skirmish occurred, police said.
A roughly seven-minute video of the incident shows officers handcuffing Mr. Cuffee. A little more than 1 1/2 minutes into the video, an officer identified by a law-enforcement official as 37-year-old Joel Edouard can be seen walking away from the suspect only to return and stomp him once on his head.
Police said the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau has opened an investigation into the actions of officers involved in the incident, and Mr. Edouard has been placed on modified duty during the course of the investigation. The officer has been with the NYPD since 2006. He couldn’t be reached for comment.
Mr. Cuffee was arrested on charges including resisting arrest, tampering with physical evidence and disorderly conduct.
“My brother is not a criminal,” said his teary-eyed sister Rashida Rahim, 39. “There is no excuse to stomp a man on the ground after he was cuffed.”
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said video recordings of arrests never tell the full story.
“They never capture the criminal act or offense that brings police action to the scene,” said Mr. Lynch in a statement. “They present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario. That’s why it is necessary when videotapes surface to have a complete review of the facts in every case before arriving at any conclusion.”
Wednesday’s incident comes as the NYPD grapples with the fallout of Mr. Garner’s death, which has prompted NYPD Commissioner William Bratton to order the retraining of all 35,000 on the use of force. Additionally, the two officers who first approached Mr. Garner have been placed on administrative duty, and the officer who apparently used the chokehold has had his gun and badge taken away. Separately, four emergency responders who were at the scene have been placed on desk duty.
“When I saw [Mr. Cuffee's video] it was almost like, here we go again,” said Mr. Sharpton.
Saturday’s news conference at NAN came a day after Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Garner’s family met with senior prosecutors in the U.S. Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn for about 30 minutes on Friday. Mr. Sharpton announced that he and the family are scheduled to meet with Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan on Monday to ask him to defer to the federal government.
“We are using the model of the Abner Louima case, where Kings County stepped aside and let the Eastern District conduct the case’” said Mr. Sharpton.
Posted: July 31, 2014 ~ Updated: August 2, 2014 1:58 AM PDT
A Rapists' Revenge!
New York, NY -- Kenneth Moreno, a former NYPD officer, was acquitted on charges of raping a young woman in her East Village apartment. Moreno has now gone on the offensive by filing a $175 million lawsuit against his accuser, the city, the Manhattan DA, and others. Moreno and his partner Franklin Mata were arrested in 2008 on charges of raping the unidentified 27-year-old woman in her East Village apartment. The woman was highly intoxicated and was having trouble walking from a cab to her apartment. The cabbie called police, and the two officers escorted the woman upstairs, making sure she got home safe. They also took her keys. Moreno and Mata then returned to the apartment several more times that night. Moreno was caught on tape fabricating an unrelated 911 call from a pay phone so that they had an excuse to return to the area.
Moreno, along with his partner, went on trial for two months in a case that shocked and riveted the city. During the two month trial, Moreno admitted to singing a Bon Jovi song to the victim while spooning with her on her bed. However, he insisted there was no rape. Despite Moreno's denials, during a heated pre-trial confrontation with his accuser outside the 9th Precinct Stationhouse, he was caught on tape telling her he used a condom. The jury found the Manhattan DA's case ultimately unpersuasive. However, the two officers were convicted of official misconduct, and Moreno served nine months in prison. Moreno says that since his release he has struggled to find work as a contractor. He alleges he was sent home from a job after carpenters learned he was the so-called "rape cop."
He filed the lawsuit in Bronx Supreme Court. Moreno's lawsuit accuses prosecutors of rushing the case to trial in order to advance their careers. "Most prosecutors have an agenda," his lawyer told media sources. "They want their 15 minutes of fame. Most people lick their wounds and walk away. He is fighting back." In his attorney's press release, which identifies Moreno's accuser by name, his attorney says, "Moreno is forever scarred with the scarlet letter of ‘Rape Cop.’ Mr. Moreno hopes this lawsuit will vindicate his name and make the schemers pay for their malicious conduct. We failed Mr. Moreno on so many levels here because of people’s own personal self-agendas," says his lawyer. "Thank goodness, the jury saw through this false rape scheme."
In a 2011 interview, Moreno's accuser said, "I remember, obviously, that I was in a cab. I remember that two police officers helped me in the hallway. And I remember that I was raped by them. I think the memory I've held onto is the penetration. I woke up to being penetrated from behind. I woke up because the action of his penetration was so hard that my head was moving toward the window [at the head of her bed] like it was going to go through it."
Posted: July 31, 2014 ~ Updated: August 1, 2014 2:37 AM PDT
ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Rico Frazier, 23 (pictured above, center) who works as a reserve police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Pine Lawn is facing charges for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend's apartment and raping her. A 22-year-old Lindenwood University student reported the attack in May, at her apartment about two miles from the St. Charles campus. Frazier and the woman were involved in a relationship until October. Police say Frazier used a rock to smash through a sliding glass door while the woman was sleeping, then sprayed her in the face with law enforcement-grade pepper spray, and sexually assaulted her. Frazier was arrested Wednesday and charged with burglary, rape, felonious restraint and two counts of sodomy. He is jailed on $200,000 cash-only bond, and does not have a listed attorney.
Posted: July 21, 2014 ~ Updated: August 1, 2014 2:37 AM PDT
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Dorian Parsley, 44 (pictured above, center) of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy, solicitation of a bribe, and honest services fraud in connection with a scheme to give an unfair advantage to certain tow truck operators. Between February 2011 and December 2013, Parsley, a former Philadelphia Police Department (“PPD”) dispatcher, used her position to provide confidential police information, such as locations of automobile accidents, locations of PPD squad cars, and vehicle registration information, to tow truck operators who provided her with cash bribe payments. She typically received $100-$200 per week for the information. She agreed that she received $35,400 in bribes.
Parsley would surreptitiously text information that came into PPD dispatch from her personal cellphone directly to those tow truck operators. For an additional cash fee, Parsley agreed to provide certain tow truck operators with the name and address of a vehicle owner by running the license plate and vehicle registration through the PPD dispatch computer. PPD computers automatically access the National Crime Information Center (“NCIC”) located in West Virginia when a vehicle registration was inputted, thereby affecting an interstate wire.
Co-defendant William Cheeseman also pleaded guilty today to one count of bribery for paying Parsley cash bribes for the information on accident locations. He agreed that the value of the information he received was $9,000.
Parsley faces a potential statutory maximum penalty of 35 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $750,000 fine, and a $300 special assessment. Cheeseman faces a potential statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment. The court scheduled Parsley’s sentencing date on October 21, 2014 and Cheeseman’s on October 24, 2014.
Posted: May 12, 2014 1:10 PM ~ Updated: July 19, 2014 4:37 PM PDT
Philadelphia, PA -- A Philadelphia police dispatcher has been indicted by a federal grand jury for accepting up to $200 a week in bribes to divert calls for tow trucks to a particular company, and disclosing confidential information. Dorian Parsley, 44, was named in the indictment unsealed last Friday, along with three employees of the Philadelphia towing company K&B Autocraft. Parsley has been a PPD dispatcher since 1998, with full access to state and NCIC criminal justice databases. She was employed in 2011, the U.S. attorney says, when the city instituted a tow rotation system to end a long-standing practice of tow companies chasing accidents and vehicle breakdowns. On several occasions tow company employees engaged in dispute and fights, including a fatal incident. Parsley also signed standard PPD employee agreements not to accept gifts, loans or favors, and not to disclose confidential information. However, the indictment alleges that between Feb. 2011 and Dec. 2013 Parsley secretly texted tow company employees the locations of accidents, police units and vehicle registration information, in exchange for cash bribes totaling $100 to $200 a week. Specifically, a confidential informant inserted into the operation by the FBI said Parsley alerted tow truck drivers of incidents needing a tow truck prior to them being assigned to the tow rotation system. Parsley also provided the informant with confidential vehicle registration information. Parsley is charged with four counts of bribery and two counts of wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Parsley has been suspended by the police department for 30 days “with intent to dismiss.”
Posted: 07/30/14 6:46 pm edt | Updated: 07/31/14 6:46 am pdt
Philadelphia, PA -- Six Philadelphia Police narcotics officers were arrested this morning on a litany of federal corruption charges. All six men pled not guilty at a pre-arraignment hearing in a federal courtroom. The 26 count federal indictment identifies officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, John Speiser and Linwood Norman. They are accused of robbing and extorting suspected drug dealers and creating false police reports to cover their crimes. Over 22 separate incidents they hauled in over $500,000 in cash, drugs and property. The officers are accused of robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and drug dealing. In many incidents they would allegedly steal the seized drugs and money from suspects or break into the drug dealer's homes while they had put them in lockup. They would threaten violence or shake down the suspects to get the cash or drugs. The officers will be held until their next hearing, scheduled for Monday.
Sources previously confirmed that a federal grand jury has been investigating allegations that Philadelphia narcotics officers stole drugs and money and committed robberies of drug dealers, in some cases allegedly using their guns to do it. In one incident, officials say, the accused held one of the drug suspects for days in a hotel while threatening him and making threats against his family. In another alleged incident, one victim was reportedly dangled over the edge of an 18th-floor balcony in order to get information.
“It was a nightmare, an absolute nightmare,” James McIntyre told media sources in an interview. McIntyre, in a lawsuit filed against several of the officers, claims he was manhandled then wrongfully arrested, spending six months behind bars before charges were withdrawn. The joint investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI also revealed the officers would play a “game” in which they scored points by coming up with different ways of abusing suspects.
Following announcement of the indictments, Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey said, “I’ve been a police officer for over 40 years and this is one of the worst cases of corruption I’ve ever heard.”
The accused are also said to have robbed drug dealers, taking items including cash and expensive watches.
A key figure in this case is Jeffrey Walker, a former cop who has pleaded guilty to corruption and is now cooperating with authorities. He was arrested last year on corruption charges and reportedly started cooperating immediately. Over the past year, authorities have been working to corroborate the information he provided, which resulted in the six arrests as dawn broke this morning.
The incidents reportedly took place between 2006 and 2012. One of those charged, Liciardello, is said to have been the main culprit in falsifying records after the incidents.
Posted: 4:55 PM EDT, Sun. July 27, 2014 - Updated 5:55 PM PDT, Sun. July 27, 2014
Escondido, California -- Police officers in California are grieving one of their own. An Officer's husband sits in jail accused of shooting his wife and trying to cover up her murder by lighting his house on fire. Freddy Perez-Rodas called 911 on Wednesday and said his wife, Laura Perez, was inside their burning home in Escondido, California, according to police. Investigators suspected arson after firefighters put out the blaze and were unable to find her inside.
“We started to look for her and it became something of an arson, missing person investigation,” said Murrieta Police Lieutenant Tony Conrad. Within hours, police took Perez-Rodas into custody and charged him with murdering his wife. Police said that Perez-Rodas confessed. “He essentially admitted to shooting his wife three times in the chest and removing her body from the home and taking it to a storage locker,” said Conrad. Perez-Rodas pleaded not guilty.
Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter said she graduated from the police academy in December. "[She was] quickly moving into a leader on her shift and with her teams,” said Carter. The couple’s 4-year-old daughter is being watched by family members as Perez-Rodas awaits his trial.
Posted: Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 @ 2:00 AM PDT ~ Updated: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 @ 5:24 AM PDT
Mississippi -- Averal “Junior” Burnett, 47 (pictured above, center) a former local law enforcement officer, is currently jailed without bond on a forcible rape charge. Burnett had been denied bond on June 16 in 15th District Circuit Court on the rape charge. Burnett has now been charged with two counts of attempted capital murder in a murder-for-hire scheme. He allegedly tried to orchestrate the murders from his cell. Burnett is accused of giving money to a former inmate at Pearl River County Jail to kill two people who were tied to the rape case. “They are two separate and distinct cases,” District Attorney Hal Kittrell said.
Burnett has 22 years in law enforcement. The first 21 years were with Hattiesburg Police Department. He worked less than a year with Lamar County Sheriff Department. Due to the fact he had once worked in Lamar County, Burnett had been moved to Pearl River County Jail. Kittrell said Burnett, if indicted by a grand jury, will face trial on the rape charge in Lamar County. Burnett could face up to life in the prison on the rape charge. If indicted on the attempted Murder for hire, Burnett would face trial in Pearl County on two counts of attempted capital murder.
The case evolved after the former inmate allegedly tipped off Picayune Police Department to Burnett’s scheme. Warren Strain, public affairs officer with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, confirmed that agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation had been assisting the Pearl River Sheriff’s Department with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing.
The attempted capital murder charge could carry up to a life sentence if decided by jury. If it went to a judge, the sentence would range from no less than 20 years up to “one day less than life.” If the maximum was imposed by the judge, an actuarial table similar to an insurance company’s would be used to determine Burnett’s lifespan, Kittrell said. He then would be sentenced to that age, less a day.
Posted: Friday, Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:27 PM EDT ~ Updated: Friday, Jul 18, 2014 @ 04:27 AM PDT
Miramar, Fla. -- Antonio Dwayne Hester (pictured above, center) 34, a Miramar Police officer. was arrested on petit theft and official misconduct charges. Officials say he stole two bottles of liquor while investigating a shoplifting case. Hester is also facing a charge of falsifying records. All charges stem from his investigation into a May 14, 2014 theft at a Walgreens store. According to police, Hester had detained the suspects and found several items in their car. The items included two bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label liquor, police said.
It turned out the alcohol didn't belong to Walgreens but had been bought in Tampa. The items were brought back to the Walgreens store, and the women were released and given trespass warnings by Hester, police said. Store surveillance captured Hester place the alcohol in the trunk of his police car. A civilian observer who was riding with Hester also saw him place it into his trunk, police said. However, in his incident report, Hester said he had returned the alcohol to the suspects, police said.
Hester was booked into jail and later released on bond. It was unknown whether he has an attorney. Hester, who has been with the department since April 2006, was placed on administrative leave.
Posted: Monday, Jul 14, 2014 @ 11:27 PM EDT ~ Updated: Friday, Jul 18, 2014 @ 04:27 AM PDT
Miami, Fla. -- What started out as a traffic stop ended up with a Miami Police officer and a Miami Police Lieutenant fighting with each other and having to be pulled apart by fellow officers. The incident happened last month outside a gas station on Flagler Street and 18th Avenue. Officer Marcel Jackson saw a car near Marlins Park. Officer Jackson had a personal camera rolling on his dashboard. The video showed the car moving faster than the flow of traffic. Jackson said the man in the car was speeding and eventually pulled the silver vehicle over. The driver of the silver car turned out to be Lieutenant David Ramras from Internal Affairs from the same department as Officer Jackson.
The traffic stop turned violent. The video shows the lieutenant pushing his way out of the car and then in a scuffle with Officer Jackson, who then took the lieutenant to the ground. As other officers arrived, the two law enforcement officers were pulled apart and exchanged words.
Lt. David Ramras: “Do you know who the *expletive* I am?”
Officer Marcel Jackson: “No, I don’t.”
Lt. Ramras: “I showed you ID.”
Officer Jackson called and told a man named Rick on the phone after the incident: “You know, I was actually on my way to a call. The only reason I stopped him is because he approached a pedestrian. He was flying, so I pulled him over.” Officer Jackson said on the phone that Lieutenant Ramras commented on Jackson’s appearance. “He’s like, ‘What’s all that stuff on your face,’” Officer Marcel said on the phone. “And I’m like, ‘Excuse me? I said, ‘Sir, that’s none of your concern.’ And then he, and then he pushes open the door.”
Both officers are members of the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP said in a statement that parts of the story are incorrect. “Some of the conversations and information provided in these stories were not captured by the secret records or coming from credible sources,” the FOP said in its statement.
Officer Jackson has been relieved of duty with pay. Lt. Ramras has been reassigned to an investigations unit. The state attorney's office is investigating the matter because Lt. Ramras' division was internal affairs, which typically investigates matters like this.
Monday night, Officer Jackson's attorney, Scott Srebnick sent a letter to Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa and Major Jorge Martin of the Special Investigations Section. The letter requested that Miami Police recuse themselves from the case and "demand that Officer Jackson be returned to duty forthwith."
The letter said in part: "Given the incident involves a high ranking officer formerly assigned to IA, and given the disparate treatment of the two officers to date, fairness and the appearance of fairness require that this matter be assigned to another law enforcement agency for investigation. Indeed, one of the matters that ought to be investigated is the handling of the investigation in the hours immediately following the incident....The fact that the internal investigation is apparently being handled by a unit other than IA - the Speical Investigations Section - provides me no additional comfort given Lt. Ramras's high-ranking position in the MPD. Moreover, given the statements attributed to Chief Orosa in the on-line edition of the Miami Herald today, it appears that Chief Orosa has already reached certain conclusions about the facts before any formal statements have ever been taken and withou even knowing all the facts."
Posted: Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 @ 12:51 PM EDT ~ Updated: Friday, Jul 18, 2014 @ 4:38 AM PDT
Florida -- Miami-Dade County taxpayers will pay $600,000 to the families of three men who were shot to death in a botched police sting in the Redland three years ago, despite police claims that the shootings were justified.
Without admitting liability, the county has agreed to pay $240,000 each to representatives of Antonio Andrew and Roger Gonzalez Sr., and $120,000 to the survivors of Jorge Lemus, according to documents provided today by the county attorney’s office.
The family of a fourth man killed -- informant Rosendo Betancourt -- did not join in the settlement as they continue to press their wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit in federal court.
The three whose families are settling their claims were lured to a county-owned home on June 30, 2011 by Betancourt, who told them drugs and money were stashed there.
In fact, more than 100 Miami-Dade police officers were setting a trap at the house for a home invasion crew they say was responsible for dozens of attacks.
Click here to read the state attorney's memo closing out the case.
All four of the men were shot to death, including Betancourt, who is seen on aerial surveillance with his hands up, slowly getting on the ground, surrendering, as instructed by officers. Seventy seconds later, he would be shot to death by an officer who said Betancourt reached for a gun in his waistband.
Chief assistant state attorney Don Horn told media sources he does not believe an officer’s statement that Betancourt did not say anything before, the officer claims, he made a move for his gun. Horn said he expected Betancourt would use a phrase that police knew would identify him as the informant: “I’m going to Disney World.”
But, without evidence to contradict what that and three other officers said in voluntary statements, prosecutors said they could not bring a criminal charge.
Prosecutors determined only the killing of Lemus – shot in the head as he held a handgun when challenged by one officer – was justifiable.
Citing “unusual, counter-intuitive, suspicious and/or disturbing factors,” prosecutors could not say definitively the other three killings were justified. But, they concluded, there was insufficient evidence to support any criminal charge against the officers.
Posted: July 17, 2014 1:10 PM ~ Updated: July 19, 2014 4:37 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES, CA (WCJB) — California Highway Patrol investigators have served a search warrant Tuesday for the medical records of Marlene Pinnock. Pinnock is the woman seen on video being repeatedly punched by a CHP officer on the side of a Los Angeles freeway (pictured above, center). The now-viral video shot July 1 by a passing driver shows Pinnock, 51, being repeatedly punched as she's straddled by the officer. The CHP said the woman was walking on Interstate 10 west of downtown Los Angeles, endangering herself and people in traffic. They claim the officer was trying to restrain her. The woman had begun walking off the freeway but returned when the confrontation occurred. Chris Arevalo, executive administrator for psychiatric services at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, confirmed that the CHP seized the medical records.
The attorney for Marlene Pinnock — the woman in the video — said she was notified by Arevalo on Wednesday. The attorney claims she was told the search warrant was for "property or things that are evidence that tend to show that a felony has been committed or tends to show that a particular person has committed a felony." Pinnock's attorney said the CHP took files that included statements to her doctor about how she was feeling and references to her attorney. She said she was outraged by the violation of doctor-patient privacy and attorney-client privilege. Harper has said she plans to file a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations and will hold a news conference Thursday. "She suffered a traumatic head injury," the attorney said. "How can you give away files about someone injured ... to the very people who beat her?"
The incident has drawn outrage from U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters. Waters called it police brutality and demanded the officer be fired. Civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California have also called for the officer's termination.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow, head of the California Highway Patrol, said he was shocked and the agency's reputation is hurt by a video showing an officer repeatedly punching the woman as he pinned her on the side of a Los Angeles freeway. "This is one of the most significant events of my 34-year career that I've ever dealt with," Farrow said. "We've never seen this before." Farrow has promised an internal investigation that concludes in weeks rather than the usual months. The investigation will primarily focus on the video itself, Farrow said. "The whole issue ... comes down to what happened when the encounter got into a physical altercation," Farrow said. "What was the cause for (the officer) to use force? And that's where we are right now."
Farrow told media sources on Wednesday as he was returning from a second meeting with concerned community groups in Los Angeles that he couldn't confirm the search warrant. "I think what they're trying to do is, they don't have a statement from her, and they're trying to find that out," Farrow said. "I don't think the CHP is trying to put her on trial or make it an issue about her. What I'm looking at is entirely about the circumstances, we all saw what happened. Our job is to find out the why and the how."
Farrow said state law prevents him from revealing the officer's name. The officer, who had been on the job for 1 1/2 years, hasn't been identified and is on desk duty pending completion of the internal investigation.
Pinnock's attorney says she remains hospitalized. Her family found her covered in bruises, ice packs and taking pain medication. "I'm just so overwhelmed," daughter Maisha Allums told reporters Tuesday. "I can't believe a CHP officer that was supposed to protect my mom and help my mom beat her like a — I can't even say like a dog because if it was a dog getting beat like that he would have been in jail."
Posted: 07.03.2014 at 2:00 PM EDT ~ Updated: 07.04.2014 at 7:27 AM PDT
WALWORTH CO./WEST ALLIS (WCJB) — Steven Zelich, a former Wisconsin police officer, told investigators he accidentally killed two women during rough bondage sex. He claims both died before he stuffed their bodies into suitcases. Zelich admits to hiding them for months in his home and car, and then dumping the bags in tall grass along a county road, a detective testified Thursday. Two suitcases containing the remains of 19-year-old Jenny Gamez, of Cottage Grove, Ore., and 37-year-old Laura Simonson, of Farmington, Minn., were found June 5 by a highway worker in the Town of Geneva, Wis. Zelich was arrested June 25 and charged with two counts of hiding a corpse. He made his first court appearance Thursday but did not testify.
Walworth County Sheriff's Detective Jeffrey Recknagel said during a preliminary hearing that the 52-year-old suspect, Zelich, told him "it was an accident." He said Zelich, a former police officer in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, told him that he met both women in S&M chat rooms and that they had agreed to meet him for sex. "Unfortunately, I have not been able to ask anyone other than Mr. Zelich if it was consensual," Recknagel said. "He told me that he had been storing these bodies in the trunk of his vehicle and the smell was so strong that he decided he had to get rid of them," Recknagel said.
Gamez, a teen mother who lost custody of her son, was the first to die. Zelich told the detective he spent several days with her in a hotel in Kenosha County, Wis., in late 2012. She was killed during a bondage session. Her foster family and friends did not report her missing, telling police they thought she had fallen out of touch after moving away from Oregon. Police had suspected Zelich in the November disappearance of Simonson. She was a mother of seven who had struggled with mental illness and placed her children in her father's care. Her father said she had advertised on Craigslist as an escort. After being contacted by Simonson's family, officers searched Zelich's apartment in January but found no signs of her. She was last seen checking into a Rochester, Minn., hotel with Zelich on Nov. 1; he checked out alone the next day.
Zelich's public defender argued that the deaths were accidental and that he was not trying to conceal crime. Judge Phillip Koss disagreed. "If there's purely no crime, I'm not sure why one doesn't call 911 immediately, but beyond that, if there's no crime, it's not clear why these (bodies) need to be hid at all," Koss said. He then ordered Zelich held for trial and scheduled a July 17 hearing for him to enter a plea. Homicide charges could still be filed in the cities where the women died.
Zelich, a private security officer since resigning from the force after an altercation with a prostitute in 2001. He was working for Securitas Security Services USA when he was arrested and had passed regular background checks.
Posted: 07.02.2014 at 2:00 PM EDT ~ Updated: 07.03.2014 at 7:27 PM PDT
WALWORTH CO./WEST ALLIS (WCJB) — Former West Allis police officer Steven Zelich is charged with two counts of hiding a corpse in connection with two bodies found in suitcases in the Town of Geneva. Newly-released documents show West Allis police searched Zelich’s apartment in January. The search was done at the request of Minnesota police who were trying to find Laura Simonson. The bodies of 37-year-old Simonson of Farmington, Minnesota and 21-year-old Jenny Gamez of Oakridge, Oregon were found in suitcases on the side of the road in the Town of Geneva on June 5th.
Newly-released incident reports show that police in Farmington, Minnesota told West Allis police they had reason to believe Simonson was with Zelich. According to a West Allis police report from January 17th, Farmington police asked West Allis authorities to check Zelich’s apartment for Simonson. Farmington police described Simonson as being in an “S&M/sex slave type relationship.” The responding officer wrote he “did not observe anything that would indicate Simonson had been staying at the residence.”
The records show police returned to Zelich’s home three more times in late January and early February. They were trying to deliver a letter from the Farmington, Minnesota police. However, each time, Zelich was never home, so they left it after the third attempt.
Nearly 13 years earlier, in the spring of 2001, a woman told West Allis police that Zelich, an officer at the time, had assaulted her. The woman said she was a stripper, and had agreed to go home with Zelich for a “private show.” When they went into Zelich’s bedroom, the woman says Zelich “dropped something into his pants pocket” that “sounded like handcuffs.” When she tried to leave, the woman says Zelich “grabbed her and threw her to the ground.” Zelich was never charged in the incident. Three months later, he resigned from the West Allis Police Department.
Steven Zelich has not been charged with murder in the deaths of Simonson and Gamez at this time.
Posted: 06.26.2014 at 3:00 PM EDT ~ Updated: 07.03.2014 at 7:27 PM PDT
WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Steven Zelich, 52 (pictured above, center) a security officer and former police officer is suspected in the deaths of two women. Both of the women's bodies were stuffed into suitcases and discarded on a rural Wisconsin highway. Zelich met his victims online, in one case possibly through a bondage website, according to police and a criminal complaint. He was charged Thursday with two counts of hiding a corpse. Zelich was arrested the day before. Zelich made his first appearance in court in Walworth County through a video monitor in jail Friday, June 27th. Zelich was ordered held on a $1 million bond on the two counts of hiding a corpse.
During his arrest Zelich said he met both women online. Detectives wearing hazmat suits, removed large brown bags of evidence. A refrigerator was also removed from his apartment in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb. Zelich told investigators he hid one for about a year and a half, moving it between his home and vehicle, the complaint says. It wasn’t until the first week in June that Zelich says he took the suitcases to the Town of Geneva, according to the complaint. Highway workers discovered two suitcases containing female remains June 5 in the Town of Geneva, some 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee. Both bodies were decomposed.
Police identified one woman as Laura Simonson, 37 (pictured above, center) of Farmington, Minnesota. Simonson was found naked with a rope around her neck. A sexual ball gag was also strapped into her mouth with a collar, according to the criminal complaint filed in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Police said in Simonson's case, Zelich may have met her through a bondage website. He told investigators he killed Simonson in Rochester, Minnesota, in November 2013, the complaint says. Rochester is more than 300 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Police believe Simonson died at the Microtel Inn and Suites because she checked in with Zelich on Nov. 2, and Zelich left alone the next day, Rochester police Capt. John Sherwin said. Investigators have collected evidence from the hotel and interviewed people who stayed there on those days. A woman who answered the phone at the hotel said employees had been told not to talk to the media.
Farmington police detective Sgt. Lee Hollatz told media sources that Zelich has long been his "No. 1 person, by far, of interest" in Simonson's disappearance. He discovered Simonson went to the hotel with Zelich soon after her family reported her missing on Nov. 22, but he said all he had was a missing person's case until the bodies were discovered. Hollatz said Simonson was identified within a day by her tattoos. "I saw Laura as a vulnerable adult because of things in her life that she was dealing with," Hollatz said. Simonson's father, Richard Wierson, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter had struggled with mental illness since adolescence and her seven children were placed in foster care with him in 2010. Wierson also said she placed escort ads on Craigslist.
Authorities have released the identity of the second woman as Jenny Gamez (pictured above, center). She is described her a white female with long, dark hair, a pronounced overbite and a small heart tattoo on her lower left abdomen. Gamez' hands were bound behind her back. Zelich told investigators he killed Gamez in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, in late 2012 or early 2013. A report out of Oregon state claims Gamez’ foster mother says investigators told her Zelich met his victims on an online dating website, and that sexually-deviant content was found on Gamez’ computer.
At least a half-dozen law enforcement agencies have been involved in the investigation because events happened in different places. Police said they expect homicide charges to be filed where the women were killed.
Walworth County public defender Travis Schwantes said he would most likely be the attorney assigned to represent Zelich in Wisconsin. Schwantes declined to comment on the allegations until he'd spoken with Zelich.
Zelich worked for the West Allis police department from February 1989 until his resignation in August 2001. He has been a licensed private security officer with Securitas Security Services USA since 2007, according to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Securitas said Zelich passed criminal background checks done by the state every two years to renew his license and his employment record reflected "no extraordinary or remarkable incidents."
Posted: 06.30.2014 at 3:00 PM EDT ~ Updated: 07.03.2014 at 1:00 AM PDT
ROME, NY -- An off-duty Rome Police Officer is facing rape charges, according to the Rome Police Department. 32-year-old Jason A. Paul (pictured above, center) was arrested and charged with third degree rape after the investigation into an incident that happened in the early morning hours of June 29 in Rome.
Paul is accused of having sex with a woman without her consent. We have reached out to Rome Police for more information into the incident. Paul has been suspended without pay pending the investigation.
Paul was arraigned in Rome City Court Monday afternoon. There was no information about a future court date.
Posted: 10:51 AM EDT, Sat June 21, 2014 ~ Updated: 06:35 PM PDT, Sun. June 29, 2014
ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Police video and documents provided to Corrupt Justice™ shows how an ordinary traffic stop last week degenerated into a physical altercation. The matter further disintegrated into the use of ethnic and homophobic slurs. Local attorney Peter J.R. Martin, 74, was stopped by Officer Mike Malinowski of the St. Albans Police Dept. The stop occurred Thursday, June 12, at 5:30 p.m. Martin was stopped for having tinted windows, which are not legal in Vermont. The incident occurred on Lake Road near Cherry Street at St. Albans Bay. Martin was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He has pleaded not guilty.
A nine-minute police video taken by a camera on Malinowski’s cruiser shows an ordinary police stop. Malinowski explains why he has stopped Martin, asks for his license, registration and insurance. They have a brief conversation in which Martin objects to the law, pointing out he could purchase a new car with tinted windows included. During this conversation, Martin says to Malinowski, “You’re just doing your job.” Martin also says, “I have eye conditions, not that you care.” Malinowski answers, “Unfortunately, Vermont doesn’t recognize that.” They discuss Martin’s military service, and Malinowksi asks if Martin is still on active duty. He is not.
Malinowski returns to his cruiser and spends several minutes verifying Martin’s license and registration. He then returns to the car and presents Martin with the ticket. He explains that he offers everyone receiving such a ticket the opportunity to remove the tinting. “If you do take it off and you come back to the office and show me you don’t have it on, I’ll void the ticket,” Malinowski says. “It’s not your fault; you didn’t write the law,” Martin tells him.
Martin asks about Malinowski’s ethnicity. The officer replies his name is Polish. “All right sir, hope you have a better day, okay,” Malinowski says, and Martin replies, “Adios.” Malinowski starts back toward his car and Martin attempts to drive off. Martin ends up farther off the side of the road. “It doesn’t look like it,” Martin says, apparently in reply to Malinowski having wished him a better day. Malinowksi offers to call a wrecker.
A second video picks up after the wrecker has arrived. Martin is standing outside his vehicle. The tow truck operator, identified in court documents as Todd St. Pierre, is preparing to tow the vehicle. Malinowski is on the radio, describing the situation to someone. Martin, he reports, is unwilling to have St. Pierre tow the car because he’s going to have to pay for it himself. According to a statement provided by St. Pierre, Martin began to protest when St. Pierre said they could not bill Martin’s insurance directly and he would have to ask the insurer to reimburse him.
“He’s saying he’s going to sue them,” Malinowski reports. He walks toward where Martin is attempting to stop St. Pierre from attaching chains to his car. As Martin continues to object to having the car towed, the officer says, “I said I’m going to get a wrecker and you said, ‘Thank you very much.” At this point, St. Pierre is attaching chains to the car. Martin says, “I don’t want him towing it. Take if off of there.”
Malinowski asks Martin to step away from St. Pierre and Martin replies, “No … arrest me.” Martin apparently touches St. Pierre, because Malinowski says, “Don’t touch him,” to which Martin replies, “I’m not going to touch him. Arrest me.” When Malinowski asks why, Martin says, “Because I’m going to take it off of there and if he gets in my way I’m going to push him out of the way.”
St. Pierre returns to his truck at this time, and Martin puts his hands behind his back, encouraging Malinowski to cuff him. “Why are you being difficult?” Malinowski asks. “All you have to do is pay the gentleman.”
“I’m sick of you people,” Martin says, leading to the following exchange with Malinowski.
“Doing what? Doing our jobs?”
“That’s what you might think. I don’t think so. My German-American uncle died fighting Nazis in World War II. I will not tolerate you people.”
St. Pierre approaches the driver’s side of the car. Malinowski advises Martin to back away from the car, saying, “I don’t want you getting hurt.” Martin reiterates his demand to be arrested, referring to the chains, “Take this (expletive deleted) thing off my car.” St. Pierre opens the door to the car, and Martin says, “Get out of my car.” He attempts to grab St. Pierre.
Malinowski intervenes and a short scuffle ensues in which Martin fell to the ground, hitting his head. Malinowski draws his Taser and points it at Martin, who is prone on the ground, saying, “Do you want to get tased?” He then notices Martin’s Smith and Wesson .38 Special on the ground next to Martin. Saying repeatedly, “Step away from the gun,” Malinowksi uses his foot to push Martin onto his back in the opposite direction of the gun. “I’m not stepping anywhere. I’m on my back,” Martin says. After moving the gun out of reach, Malinowski orders Martin onto his stomach. Martin instead tries to rise and Malinowski pushes him onto his stomach and cuffs him. Once Martin is secure, Malinowski empties the bullets from Martin’s weapon.
The officer asks whether Martin has anything else which can hurt him and Martin replies “Only the truth.” Martin says he has a heart condition, and Malinowski calls for an ambulance before assisting Martin to his feet. As he searches Martin, Martin says, “You’re a disgrace as an American.” He also tells the officer, “We’re going to have fun now.”
As Malinowski is searching him, the two men have the following exchange:
“How did you cut your face? Did that happen when you rolled over?” Malinowksi asks.
“You threw me on the ground.”
“Yeah, because you resisted.”
“That’s right,” Martin says.
Sgt. Frank McCarty arrived just as Malinowski was leading a bloodied Martin back to his car. “Well, well, well you missed all the fun,” Martin tells McCarty. McCarty instructed Malinowski to take Martin to St. Albans Town Hall where he could be seen by ambulance personnel. He then gathered up the gun and bullets and a knife Malinowski found while searching Martin, and secures them in his vehicle.
McCarty caught up with Martin at Northwestern Medical Center. According to his affidavit, Martin looked at McCarty’s name tag and said, “McCarty, you’re Irish like me, but you’re a disgraceful Irishman.” He also overheard Martin tell his wife, “I got thrown to the ground by that little polack.” According to McCarty, Martin kept up his derogatory comments, calling the officers, “Nazi (expletive deleted) cops and nervous little faggots.”
This is not the first public altercation between Martin and St. Albans police. Martin also used homophobic slurs and sexist language during a March 2011 traffic stop.
Martin and his wife were departing a restaurant when a female officer stopped them for a burned out taillight. The stop became public knowledge when Martin wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper about it. The officer, Marie Beland, reported she had smelled alcohol and asked Martin if he had been drinking. He said he had not, but refused to step from the car for a roadside sobriety test, according to SAPD Chief Gary Taylor. Taylor responded to Martin’s letter with his own accounting of events. Ultimately, Martin was physically removed from the car and arrested by SAPD officers. During the arrest, Taylor reported Martin called a male officer “homo” and asked him “if he was some sort of faggot.” Taylor did not report the specific slurs directed at Officer Beland. According to police, Martin also said, “We need to stop having little ladies running around on the police force.” Martin had not been drinking and no charges were filed in the case.
Posted: 3:13 p.m. CDT June 26, 2014 ~ Updated: Jun 26, 2014 03:10 PM PDT
Metro Sex Predator!
Nashville, TN -- The decommissioned Metro police officer accused of raping his ex-girlfriend will leave his post after a 29-day suspension.
Lt. Curtis Watkins, 36, sent his letter of resignation effective the end of his suspension to police on Thursday, according to a release from the Metro Nashville Police Department. He was arrested on June 13 after a Davidson County grand jury indicted him on three counts of rape during a two-year period.
Watkins was decommissioned from his position on January 27 after the alleged victim contacted police with her concerns. The suspect was subject to two Metro investigations about the matter at the time of his resignation, police said.
Before his decommissioning, Watkins worked in the Investigations Unit at Metro’s Madison precinct. He was a 15-year veteran of the police department.
Watkins remains free on $100,000 bond. His next appearance in court is scheduled for August 6.
Posted: June 24, 2014 - 4:05 am ~ Updated: 6:58 PM PDT, Tues. June 24, 2014
Underage Girl Contacting!
Van Buren, Ark. -- A patrol officer with the Van Buren Police Department was put on unpaid suspension after he made contact with a 16-year-old girl on Facebook.
Cpl. John Cao (pictured above, center) returns to work today after an internal investigation determined he violated a departmental policy but made no criminal violations, Van Buren Police’s public information officer detective Jonathan Wear confirmed Monday.
Parents of the teenage girl, who was stopped for speeding and not given a ticket, filed a complaint with the Police Department after it was learned that Cao contacted her on the social media site.
Posted 5:42 pm, June 23, 2014 ~ Updated at 10:11pm, June 23, 2014
Van Buren, Ark. -- A Van Buren Police Officer was put on an unpaid suspension following a complaint from parents about his communication attempts with their 16-year-old daughter, police say.
The 16-year-old daughter was stopped by Officer John Cao for speeding as she was going over the Midland bridge coming into Van Buren on (May 11) according to the Van Buren Police Department. She was not given a ticket according the department.
It’s not abnormal for that situation to happen because Cao was looking for driving while intoxicated (DWI) violations that night, and cops often stop a lot of vehicles for various problems because they are looking for drunk drivers, according to Van Buren Police Chief Kenneth Bell.
“It is not a paid suspension,” Bell said. “It`s an unpaid suspension for seven 12 hour shifts.”
“It was one of those things, he runs radar at one location, he stops a lot of people for speeding and very seldom do people get speeding tickets,” Bell said.
Bell explained that cops working DWI are strictly looking for DWI.
The video from that night was reviewed, and no violations were found, according to Bell.
Later, though, the officer attempted to contact the teen on Facebook. The girl talked it over with her parents, and they filed a complaint on her behalf, Bell said.
Cao does not face criminal charges, and an internal investigation was completed. No criminal violations were found, according to Bell.
There was a department policy that was violated, and he was disciplined according to that policy, Bell said.
Bell explained the Van Buren Police Department takes all complaints seriously.
“Obviously his behavior is not what we want the public to think that we are about, using our position to make personal arrangements or personal engagements. The Van Buren Police Department is not about that at all, and we took the complaint very seriously and disciplined officer Cao,” Bell said.
Cao returns to work on Tuesday (June 24).
Posted: 9:47 am, June 23, 2014 ~ Updated: Monday, June 23 2014, 11:49 PM PDT
Eagle River, Alaska -- Federal agents arrested Joseph Keenan May, 60 (pictured above, center) a former Florida, Manatee County sheriff's deputy. May has been a wanted fugitive on the run for the last 23 years. He avoided trial over charges of raping a six-year-old. May was arrested on charges of raping a 6-year-old girl in 1990. However, he fled the county even before the trial. May was finally arrested by FBI agents in Eagle River, Alaska. Following the arrest, the FBI found a large cache of firearms and ammunition in May's home and vehicle. He had been living under the false identity Michael Camp, his stepbrother who died in the 1970s.
"According to the indictment, May has been living under the identity of a stepbrother, Michael Camp, who died in his teens in the 1970s in Pennsylvania," a release from Federal authorities stated. May has also been charged with aggravated identify theft as he used his dead stepbrother's Social Security number to apply for an Alaska driver's license in 2009 and unemployment benefits in 2013. Assistant US Attorney Thomas C. Bradley told media sources that May must have been really careful to avoid any brush with the law so far, including getting fingerprinted even for a job. "I've done a lot of cases with fugitives; people who have been on the run for two, three years, even 15 years. But for the type of charges he has, this is the longest I've ever seen," Bradley said.
Law enforcement authorities are surprised on how the former police officer was able to hoodwink investigating agencies for so long. Although a statewide arrest notice was issued against May in 1993, he until last Friday, had never been apprehended by any law enforcement agencies in the country. It was only recently that the FBI agents, while running cross-references, found a resemblance in the pictures used in May's Social Security number and his brother's. On further investigation, the FBI found that Camp was long dead and it become clear that both Camp and May are now one person.
May will be imprisoned for life for the rape charges, while for the charges of identity theft, he could be sentenced to at least 12 years.
Posted: 9:47 am, June 22, 2014 ~ Updated: Sunday, June 22 2014, 09:57 PM PDT
BENSON, N.C. — Benson police have charged a former police officer in connection with a bank robbery. Media sources reported that Gregory Scott Corbett (pictured above, center) faces robbery with a dangerous weapon charges and three counts of first-degree kidnapping. Officials say Corbett went into the First Federal Bank in Benson on Friday and pulled out a gun before demanding money. They say he then forced employees into the bank vault.
Corbett was previously charged with a bank robbery back in the 1990s. He once worked as a police officer in Selma and Clayton before leaving in the mid 1990s. He is currently being held in the Johnston County Jail under a $500,000 bond.
Posted: Saturday, June 21 2014, 04:31 PM EDT ~ Updated: Sunday, June 22 2014, 04:31 PM PDT
Rape in Corrections!
Ogden, N.Y. -- An Albion corrections officer was arrested Friday for third degree rape. New York State Police said John M. Randolph, 49 (pictured above, center) was arrested for Third Degree Rape and Official Misconduct. After a one month investigation, NYSP discovered that a relationship developed between Randolph and an inmate inside the Albion Correctional Facility. The relationship then turned physical while the inmate was outside on a work release program. Randolph and the inmate had sex multiple times in the Town of Ogden. The Corrections Officer was arraigned in Ogden Court, and remanded to the Monroe County Jail with $2,500 bond. Randolph is expected to return to court on June 23 at 2 p.m.
Posted: May 1, 2014 - Updated: 02:13 pm PDT, Wednsday, June 20, 2014
New Mexico -- Jeremy Martin, a 24-year-old UNM law school student, says he was kneed in the groin by an APD officer so hard, it shattered one of his testicles.
It was after midnight Friday and Martin was driving a carload of friends through the UNM area. Police say he ran a stop sign. According to the police report, APD officer Padilla said Martin seemed drunk and admitted to having three beers. After a field sobriety test, Officer Padilla told Martin to sit on the curb, but says Martin resisted.
Martin's attorney says what happened next is hard to stomach. "This officer felt the necessity to knee him so directly and with so much blunt force that it shattered his testicle," the attorney said. Jeremy was booked on DWI and marijuana possession charges--both misdemeanors. "He was taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he had emergency surgery to have his testicle removed," according to the same attorney.
The attorney said he is in the middle of filing a lawsuit against the officers involved, but most of all, an answer to this:
"How does a DWI investigation with a first year law student -- when he absolutely did nothing to provoke the officer -- result in the shattering of his testicle and emergency surgery to remove it?" the lawyer asked.
There is also a confusing line in the police report filed by the officers who arrested Martin. The report says he blew a stop sign while traveling north on Wellesley Place, but there is no way to travel northbound on Wellseley to the stop sign in question.
Published On: Jun 19, 2014 02:11:54 PM EDT ~ Updated On: Jun 22, 2014 05:35:00 PM PDT
MIAMI, Fla. - An Opa-locka police sergeant was found guilty on two of three charges Thursday in the trial of the so-called "dirtiest cop" in Florida. A jury found police Sgt. German Bosque (pictured above, center) guilty of false imprisonment and tampering. Bosque was also facing a charge of battery, but he was found not guilty on that count. "It's just never a good day when you have to bring down a police officer because we expect them to protect us, so it's kind of bittersweet," assistant state attorney Sandra Miller-Batiste said.
The state and defense both rested their case Thursday morning, and closing arguments began in the afternoon.
Korey Davis claimed Bosque punched him in the face while he was holding his 14-month-old baby in April 2011 and placed him in a holding area against his will when he went to the police station to file a report against Bosque.
The defense only called two witnesses, former Opa-locka Police Chief Cheryl Cason, whom Davis called the night of the incident to ask for advice, and Davis' ex-girlfriend, the mother of their son, who was present the day of the alleged assault. Bosque decided not to testify in his own defense. "I'm against bad policemen," Bosque told media sources. "I'm against, you know, dirty cops. ... I like the person in the mirror."
Bosque has been arrested, disciplined, suspended, fined and sent home with pay more than any officer in Florida. He has been accused of slamming the head of a handcuffed suspect, beating juveniles, hiding drugs in his police car, stealing from suspects, defying orders and falsifying police reports.
His lawyers said they plan to appeal.
Posted: 12:32 pm EDT, Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - Updated: 03:13 pm PDT, Wednsday, June 18, 2014
MIAMI, Fla. (WCJB) – Opening statements got underway Tuesday in the trial of a suspended Opa-locka police sergeant who faces a number of charges including false imprisonment and tampering with a witness.
In her opening remarks, Assistant State Attorney Ansley Peacock told jurors German Bosque punched Corey Davis in the face on August 3rd, 2011 when Bosque and other officers arrived on a domestic call. Davis was sitting with his toddler on his lap in a car, refusing to return him to his mother who had called police.
Peacock said Bosque grabbed the boy from Davis, then punched the man in the face and let him go. When Davis went to the police department to make a complaint, the dispatcher summoned Bosque who allegedly slammed him against a wall, cuffed him and kept him in a holding cell for about 15 minutes before letting him go.
Security video only shows the alleged victim in the lobby, and in the holding cell where Bosque removed the handcuffs. The alleged battery by the officer would have to have occurred out of camera range.
A Defense attorney told jurors Bosque cut a belligerent Davis a break by not arresting him at the scene of the domestic incident where he allegedly tried to strike the baby’s mother with his car. She said at least five officers who were there will testify Bosque never hit the man. She said Bosque cut him another break by not arresting him at the police station for resisting officers at the domestic scene and for allegedly using his car as a weapon.
The lawyer said Davis fabricated the alleged abuse with making money in mind.
“This case is about Corey Davis laying the groundwork for a civil lawsuit,” Bosque’s attorney said.
(pictured above, center: The wife and child of Officer German Bosque)
Bosque has a checkered past with the police department. During his career there, he’s been fired, then re-instated, eight times. The last time the city fired him, October 2012, Bosque faced a number of allegations including:
•» Busting a handcuffed suspects skull;
•» Beating juveniles;
•» Caught with drugs and alcohol in his squad car;
•» Ripping off suspects;
•» Falsifying reports;
•» Participating in an unauthorized chase where four people were killed; and
•» Calling in sick from Cancun.
In a court hallway before the start of the trial Bosque said he’s confident that a jury will acquit him.
“The facts are always studied. Every single time, I’m always found acquitted, I’m standing on my feet, I get my job back because I am a good officer,” said Bosque.
Bosque says he has been wrongly portrayed in the news.
“Anybody who doesn’t know me or know about the case exactly, they hate me. I hate myself when I read what the media says about me, and it’s not true.”
The trial is expected to last several days and Judge Miguel de la O hopes to have closing arguments done by Friday.
Posted: 6:33 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Updated: 2:33 a.m. Sunday, April 27, 2014
LA MESA, CA — San Diego police officer Gilbert Anthony Lorenzo, a seven-year department veteran, was arrested and jailed on a charge of felony domestic violence against his wife in La Mesa on Tuesday, authorities said. La Mesa police Lt. Matt Nicholass told reporters that the incident involved the 31-year-old officer’s wife and she did not require medical treatment. La Mesa police took Lorenzo into custody and booked him into jail. Authorities declined to give any details about the incident or where it took place. Lorenzo was later released on $50,000 bail.
San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman revoked his police powers and suspended him after learning about the incident. “We are not going to tolerate misbehavior from our officers,” Zimmerman said. Zimmerman said the District Attorney’s Office has not filed charges in the case. “I was very disappointed, very disappointed to hear the news,” Zimmerman said. She said Lorenzo worked in the Northern Division area of the city, along the coast, and had previously been assigned to the Mid-City Division. Zimmerman said someone called San Diego police at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday to report domestic violence involving one of their officers. She declined to say who made the call. An internal affairs investigation began, and La Mesa police were notified because the incident occurred in the city, Zimmerman said. “Everybody has due process, even police officers,” she said.
The department has dealt with a number of officers in recent years who were accused of sexual misconduct. The Department of Justice is reviewing the agency’s hiring, training and supervisory policies.
Posted: Apr 4, 2014 - Updated: May 12, 2014 11:48 PM PDT
FAIRFIELD, CA -- Solano County Superior Court Judge Robert Bowers declared a mistrial Thursday in retired Vallejo police captain Tony Pearsall's bizarre driving-under-the-influence and hit-and-run case. Pearsall -- who's married to former two-term Vallejo City Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes -- was arrested on July 22, 2012. The case involved the widely prescribed sleep medication Ambien. Both charges are misdemeanors with a maximum jail sentence of six months. The judge declared the mistrial after the jury announced it was deadlocked after just three hours of deliberations. Nine jurors felt Pearsall was guilty of the DUI charge; three felt he was guilty of the hit-and-run charge.
The case stems from Pearsall's arrest, after he allegedly struck a parked car in a shopping center parking lot. He later bumped a police car in front of his house in the 200 block of El Camino Real in Vallejo. According to police, officers received a complaint at about 9:15 p.m. of a hit-and-run in the parking lot of the former Lucky supermarket at Tuolumne and Redwood streets. A witness gave officers a description of the suspect's vehicle and a license plate number, which turned out to be Pearsall's, police said. Officers then drove to Pearsall's residence trying to find the car. As the patrol car turned south on El Camino Real officers saw the vehicle driving on the wrong side of the street at a slow speed, police said at the time.
On Tuesday, Police Officer Megan Sheridan testified that Pearsall appeared to be "confused" and "disoriented" when she approached his car to ask him for his keys. At some point, Sheridan said Pearsall's car jolted forward and struck the front of the police car, possibly because he had taken his foot off the brake without putting his vehicle in park. She also said Pearsall had trouble keeping his balance when he exited the car, adding that his eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slow and staggered. Pearsall told police he had two glasses of wine with dinner before taking Ambien around 8:30 p.m. Although he intended to go to sleep, he said he drove to the supermarket -- which is about a mile from their house -- because his wife asked him to buy her some Benadryl. After paying for the Benadryl, he said he blacked out.
On Wednesday, Gomes testified she'd asked her husband to buy some Benadryl for an allergic reaction she was suffering. A short time later, Gomes said she heard screaming outside and a women yelling, "Get out of the car." Gomes added she didn't recognize her husband at first when she went outside and later asked officers to take him to the hospital because she thought he needed medical attention. Also on Wednesday, Solano County Criminalist Supervisor Denise Lyons testified that Pearsall tested positive for Ambien and a small amount of alcohol. She said mixing alcohol with Ambien intensifies the effects. "It causes drowsiness," Lyons said. "You're too tired to stay awake. When you combine that with alcohol I'd expect that to be more intense."
Pearsall, 68, didn't dispute the evidence that he drove while impaired. Instead, he fought the charges based on his belief that he didn't know -- and wasn't properly warned -- about the medication's intoxicating effects. Pearsall testified he forgot he had taken Ambien before heading to the store. "The first place I knew where I was was in the back of a police car," Pearsall testified Wednesday. When he regained consciousness and realized what had happened, he said he was "devastated." In a recorded interview with officers, Pearsall said he didn't recall the drive home from the store. The interview, taped at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center after Pearsall had been read his rights. The interview was played for the jury on Wednesday. "I thought maybe I hit something ... but I wasn't sure what it was," he can be heard saying. He added that he thought he'd gone over a curb. Pearsall told officers he didn't feel impaired when he left for the store. "The whole thing is just weird," he said. Pearsall was cited at the hospital and released to his family.
The defense also presented evidence of Pearsall's reputation for sobriety and community service, including his 36 years as a police officer, his Vallejo City Council term from 2003 to 2007 and his work for the neighborhood revitalization non-profit Fighting Back Partnership. Pearsall retired from the Vallejo Police Department in 2003. During the three-day trial, police Lt. Herman Robinson, former Solano County prosecutor Doug Keener and former Vallejo Mayor Tony Intintoli testified about Pearsall's reputation and work in the community.
Pearsall's defense attorney said, "It was a tough case and I'm hoping the district attorney realizes they are never going to get a conviction." He added, "Mr. Pearsall was hoping for vindication. I'm sad because I would like it to be a verdict for him."
Solano County Deputy District Attorney Rashaan Jones argued Pearsall should have known about Ambien's effects because he had been taking it off-and-on for 18 months to help him sleep. Pearsall said the medication was prescribed after neck surgery. He added that the medication's warning label at the time advised patients not to mix the drug with alcohol and to "use care" if operating a car. Jones acknowledged Pearsall's good work in the community, but urged the jury not to give the defendant a "free pass." "That's not how the law works," Jones said.
Jones said afterward the case will be re-tried. A trial-setting date was scheduled for May 2, in Bowers' Fairfield courtroom.
Reader Pageviews by Country Movie Intermission! Police Beatdowns U.S.A. ~ 2014!
Description: United States -- In California, in an incident captured on video, we saw a barefoot woman described as harmless, being subdued and pummelled by a California Highway Patrol officer. In this compilation we look at similar police encounters spanning 2008 through 2014.
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Read more on the State of Florida v. Michael Dunn (Indictment, Police Reports, Civil Complaint).