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Posted: 8:34 PM EST, Wed Jan. 9, 2013 - Updated 10:34 AM PST, Mon. Jan. 14, 2013
March 27, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Edward M. Krawetz, the suspended Lincoln patrolman convicted of battery for kicking a handcuffed woman in the head outside the Twin River slot parlor, was imposed a 10-year suspended sentence with probation and was ordered to undergo counseling. He will serve no prison time. Superior Court Judge Edward C. Clifton convicted Krawetz, of Lincoln, on Jan. 23 after a non-jury trial during which the prosecutor asserted that Krawetz committed the felony when he kicked Donna Levesque, of Uxbridge, Mass., in the head on the evening of May 31, 2009. The incident was caught in Twin River security video.
November 23, 2010
Messy Mya funeral!
November 17, 2010
Nine people, including three Prince George's County police officers, were arrested Monday on charges involving drugs, guns, and black-market alcohol and cigarettes as authorities ratcheted up a sprawling corruption probe in the county. Federal agents conducted numerous searches around the county and moved to seize more than 30 homes, businesses and vehicles as part of the widening investigation into corruption in Prince George's.
The nine suspects were arrested three days after County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) and his wife were led from their home in handcuffs, accused of evidence-tampering in a probe of sweetheart land deals. Federal officials say the arrests are all connected.
"This case and Friday's are among a series of related investigations," said Rod J. Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for Maryland. He was referring to Monday's roundup of suspects and the arrests of the Johnsons on Friday, when the executive's wife allegedly flushed a $100,000 check down a toilet in their home and tried to hide $79,600 in cash in her bra as FBI agents knocked at the door of their home with a search warrant.
Johnson, 61, due to leave office next month after two terms as executive, and his 58-year-old wife, Leslie Johnson (D), newly elected to the County Council, were released after their arrests. Jack Johnson was back at work Monday doing the job "the people had elected him to do," his spokesman said, adding that couple are "strong and faithful."
The nine people arrested Monday were taken into custody early in the morning in an operation involving about 150 law enforcement officers who executed as many as a dozen search warrants. Among those charged are:
• Police Sgt. Richard Delabrer, 45, of Laurel,
• Cpl. Chong Chin Kim, 42, of Beltsville; and
• Officer Sinisa Simic, 25, of Woodbridge.
A federal indictment unsealed Monday alleges that liquor store owner Amrik S. Melhi, 51, and others paid Delabrer and Kim to guard the distribution of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol in Maryland and Virginia. Melhi, the two officers and four other suspects are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion.
In a separate scheme, Simic is accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine and using firearms in drug trafficking. Another of the nine suspects, Mirza Kujundzic, 30, of Woodbridge, was charged with those same offenses.
The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, seeks the court-ordered forfeiture of $3.5 million in cash, 25 homes and businesses, 13 vehicles and 84 bank accounts that authorities said are associated with the alleged crimes.
Melhi, of Clarksville, owns several liquor stores, including Tick Tock Liquor and Restaurant in Langley Park, where Delabrer worked off-duty as a security guard. Tick Tock is well known in the county and is one of the most lucrative liquor stores in the area. Online property records indicate that Melhi owns several homes and properties in Prince George's and Maryland.
The others charged in the alleged booze and cigarettes scheme were identified as Melhi's wife, Ravinder K. Melhi, 49; Amir Milijkovic, 39, of Bowie, who owns a College Park auto glass store; Chun Chen, 34, of Bowie; and Jose Moreno, 49, of Alexandria. All were ordered held until detention hearings Tuesday and later this week.
Eugene Pitroff, a lawyer, said federal agents raided his Upper Marlboro office Monday and seized records related to work he had done to help Amrick Melhi and several relatives obtain liquor licenses in Prince George's and Calvert counties. Pitroff represented Tick Tock in 2007, when Johnson, citing an increase in crime and unruly behavior, ordered a crackdown on nightclubs in the county. After negotiating with the county, club owners, including Melhi, agreed to beef up security at their establishments and install new lights and cameras.
Maryland law sets caps on the number of liquor licenses that local jurisdictions can issue, meaning that most stores and restaurants obtain licenses via transfers from other stores and restaurants that are closing. Critics of the system have long said that it favors business owners who form alliances with state lawmakers and local politicians.
Campaign finance records show that Amrik Melhi has donated money to several Prince George's political candidates, including Johnson.
"As far as I knew, these were decent people," Pitroff said of Melhi and the relatives he helped obtained licenses. "All this stuff has come as a shock to me."
Among the properties that authorities have moved to confiscate, in addition to Tick Tock, are what appear to be several liquor stores in the county, including Shop Rite Liquors in Takoma Park. Public records indicate that Shop Rite is partly owned by Karl Granzow, a former deputy fire chief in Prince George's.
Granzow's home was searched in 2008 in the probe of development deals. At the time, Granzow declined to comment. As for the liquor store, Granzow's attorney, Timothy Maloney, said Granzow has a 25 percent stake in the business but is not involved in its daily operation. He said he does not think investigators are interested in his client.
Prince George's Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton (pictured left) said that before Monday morning, he knew very little of the federal investigation that now includes three of his officers. "I'm outraged at the disgraceful conduct demonstrated by three of our officers who tarnished our badge for their own greed and personal gain," he said. "These individuals are just bad people that need to go away." He said that federal authorities "did not share the targets, the names of the targets with me," so he could not suspend all those involved while the investigation continues. Hylton said that officers might soon be prohibited from working part time at establishments that are not properly licensed or are known to serve too much alcohol.
"We are going to go back with a process that will require each of our officers to submit a request to work at a location before they are approved," Hylton said, adding that a deputy chief will review each of the requests. "We have to really rein this back in. I think we have to address the issue of greed."
Since Johnson's arrest Friday and the announcement from the chief federal prosecutor that more charges were coming, anxiety and speculation have been rampant in Prince George's. The Johnsons' arrests grew out of a four-year FBI investigation into developers and their associates suspected of "regularly providing things of value to public officials" in exchange for official favors, according to a 10-page affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.
The investigation centered on alleged bribes that Jack Johnson took in exchange for helping an unidentified developer seek grant money from a federal affordable-housing program administered by the county's Department of Housing and Community Development. The developer gave Johnson cash and checks as far back as 2007, including one for $100,000, according to the affidavit.
Prince George's County !
July 8, 2011
A Boston police officer at the center of one of the most notorious police brutality cases in city history used unreasonable force while arresting a man in the North End in 2009, then lied about the episode to department investigators, according to an Internal Affairs Division report obtained by local media sources. As a result, Officer David C. Williams has been placed on paid administrative leave, the Boston Police Department said, and could lose his job under Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis’s nearly 19-month-old policy of dismissing officers who lie in the line of duty, to internal affairs investigators, or in court. Williams is appealing the finding, and a hearing is scheduled for later this month.
Williams was fired from the force in 1999 after being implicated in the racially charged 1995 beating of undercover police officer Michael Cox, then reinstated with nearly $550,000 in back pay after a civil service arbitration in 2005. Williams’s attorney insisted his client told the truth about the 2009 North End arrest. “He’s absolutely testified honestly and truthfully about the incident that occurred,’’ the attorney said. “Any conflicts about the incident were the result of a fast and rapidly evolving incident.’’
Michael P. O’Brien, a 30-year-old Middlesex County corrections officer, filed a civilian complaint against Williams and five other officers who arrested him on Hanover Street on March 16, 2009. O’Brien said that Williams drove his head into the sidewalk and choked him after he began recording Williams and his partner with a cellphone as the two officers responded to a minor traffic accident.
Williams’s partner, Officer Diep Hung Nguyen, was cleared of three charges, including using unnecessary force, as were the four other officers involved in the arrest. Williams was cleared on four charges, including two counts of violating the rule for respectful treatment. Nguyen’s lawyer did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.
Despite the findings against Williams, O’Brien said it was “a sickening feeling’’ to read the Internal Affairs Division report clearing officers of other charges. “It was like a kick in the gut,’’ he said. “I was expecting to be exonerated. I was expecting them to come out to say: ‘This is a lie. These charges aren’t true. This arrest was false.’ As happy as I am they’re charging him with something, it’s tough. It’s a knock at your credibility as a person.’’ O’Brien, of Methuen, a former National Guardsman, has filed a federal lawsuit against Williams, Nguyen, and the Boston Police Department. He alleges that he suffers from debilitating headaches and dizziness as a result of the arrest, and that his career as a correction officer and his aspirations to join the Army’s Special Forces have been “flipped upside down.’’
O’Brien was arrested after Williams and Nguyen responded to a fender-bender on Hanover St. According to police and court documents, O’Brien and two friends were in a car that backed down Hanover Street and clipped a double-parked vehicle. In his incident report, Williams wrote that O’Brien “became very unruly’’ and “pushed Officer Nguyen.’’
But according to the Internal Affairs report obtained by the Globe, Williams, who is 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds, used an “unreasonable amount of force’’ to arrest O’Brien, who was 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds at the time. The report also found that Williams, 48, was “untruthful in his statements’’ when interviewed by department investigators.
The Internal Affairs Division ruled that Nguyen, 33, used “reasonable and proper force’’ to arrest O’Brien and that Nguyen properly arrested O’Brien for disorderly conduct. The report also found that while Nguyen directed profanity at O’Brien and an unnamed witness to the arrest, investigators were “unable to prove or disprove’’ a violation of department rules mandating respectful treatment of civilians.
O’Brien said he did not see the other four officers who took part in the arrest and does not know how they became part of the investigation.
The notice of findings, signed by Superintendent Kenneth Fong of the Police Department’s Bureau of Professional Standards, provides no details about how investigators came to their conclusions, nor does it shed light on how Williams was untruthful during the internal investigation.
O’Brien and his attorney, Howard Friedman, said he could not discuss the case or his lawsuit because the information is being kept secret at the urging of the police under a court order.
But O’Brien was willing to say what punishment he believes Williams deserves. “He should be fired; he should have been fired a long time ago,’’ O’Brien said. “I was astonished that someone with such a history could be working on the Police Department.’’
Under department rules, Williams could accept the internal affairs findings and submit to Davis’s discipline. However, Williams is challenging the findings, which means the department has to conduct an administrative hearing before the commissioner or his designee. According to the department’s rules and procedures, any recommendations by the hearing board will not be binding on the police commissioner.
Williams, who joined the department in 1991, was among a group of officers found responsible for the vicious 1995 beating of a plainclothes officer, Michael Cox. At the time, Williams and the others said they mistook Cox, who is black, for a murder suspect they were chasing. Cox was nearly beaten to death on a dead-end street in Mattapan.
Williams and two other officers were fired for their role in the episode, although none were criminally charged. The Boston Police Department took Williams back after a civil service arbitrator ruled he was dismissed without just cause.
Cox, now a deputy police superintendent, sued the city and won $817,000. He later sued Williams after Williams was reinstated and reached an out-of-court settlement with him.
July 26, 2009
“Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home.”
-President Barack Obama - July 2009On July 15, 2009, prominent black scholar, Professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested at the two-story home he rents from Harvard. Professor Gates is the director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research. He is Summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale. Dr. Gates is also a MacArthur "genius grant" recipient. He is an acclaimed historian, Harvard professor and PBS documentarian. Dr. Gates was one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Americans" in 1997. He is the Holder of 50 honorary degrees. Professor Gates had returned from a trip to China on Thursday with a driver, when he found his front door jammed. He went through the back door into the home — which he leases from Harvard — shut off an alarm and worked with the driver to get the door open. The driver left, and Gates was on the phone with the property’s management company when police first arrived. Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home near campus after a woman reported seeing “two black males with backpacks on the porch,” with one “wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry.” By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police demanded that Gates (pictured left) show identification. Gates was arrested shortly afterward for alleged disorderly conduct, a charge that was later dropped. Crowley said Professor Gates “exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior.” He was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26, 2009.
Cambridge Sgt. Leon Lashley, an "uncle tom," black sergeant (N-word pictured next to Sgt. Crowley; giving peace sign) who was at the home of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. when he was arrested, says Gates "may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony." Lashley says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation. Sgt. Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates' reaction to Crowley was "a little bit stranger than it should have been." Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said he supported Crowley "100 percent."
Throughout the country, minority police officers continue to fall victim to their trigger- and baton-happy white comrades. Some of those on the receiving end of attacks by white cops turn out to be their minority colleagues. "It happens all the time. The cover-up is unbelievable," says Ron Hampton, executive director of the National Black Police Association in Washington, D.C., a retired 24-year member of the Washington, D.C. force who has never heard of a white officer being attacked by a minority officer. "It happened to me. I was stopped, questioned--everything."
• (New York City - 2009) Seven weeks ago Omar Edwards, an off-duty black officer, was shot dead by a white officer who mistook him for a criminal suspect. See Video Update on Shooting.
• (California - November 2008) Inspector Marvetia Lynn Richardson, 41, a 14-year San Francisco police veteran who is now on unpaid leave from her job, said Antioch [Calif.] officers broke down her door last year, stunned her with a Taser and then took her to jail when she demanded they write "Tasered" on a citation for resisting arrest. Richardson, who is black, said the incident was an outgrowth of Antioch police efforts to enter homes without warrants to harass and drive African American tenants out of federally subsidized housing. Richardson owns her home and [does] not receive [any] housing assistance. Antioch police referred to Richardson during the incident as the "alleged homeowner" and "this so-called SFPD lady," the suit said.
C.J. Note: Oakland (CA) Police Officer Hector Jimenez was placed on one (1) year's paid leave after gunning down two unarmed African-American males witihin a seven (7) month period of time. A large number of African-Americans are being gentrified out of Oakland. As a result of gentrification they are moving to Antioch, CA for lower rents and subsidized housing.
• (Philadelphia - January 1995) African-American officer Adrienne Cureton, a six-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, fell victim of one of the nastiest attacks by white co-workers ever recorded. On Jan. 2, 1995, Cureton, then 26, was working her usual night shift as a plainclothes member of the juvenile division. She was taking a report on a missing 2-year-old girl when a squabble broke out in the home. Officers arriving to provide backup entered the home and proceeded to beat Cureton senseless--perhaps as many as 20 of them pummeling her with flashlights and fists as she repeatedly cried, "I'm a police officer!" Eventually a black officer put an end to the assault.
"I personally believe that they saw 'black.' They grabbed me and did what they had the opportunity to do," Cureton told the Philadelphia Daily News. "It was like Rodney King--only I'm a cop. Even if I wasn't a cop, they had no right to beat somebody like that." The Cureton case is far from the only recent example of white-on-black police violence:
• (New York - 1994) Black New York transit officer Desmond Robinson was shot in the back four times as he lay on the ground after an unrelated shooting investigation went haywire.
• (Nashville, TN - Dec. 14, 1992) Black police officer Reggie Miller was choked, kneed, and eye-gouged by five officers following a routine traffic stop.
• (New York - November 18, 1992) Black New York City transit officer Derwin Pannell was fired upon 21 times and critically wounded while arresting a farebeater.
• (California - 1988) Black Oakland police officer Derrick Norfleet was working undercover when he was rammed by a patrol car and beaten by a trio of officers--two of whom sat in the same room with Norfleet at a precinct meeting two hours earlier. Oakland Police Officer Lt. Derrick Norfleet, 45, (Deceased) committed suicide at his home in Vallejo (July 2008). Norfleet was assigned to the patrol division and had been with the department for more than 22 years.
The "uncle tom," Sgt. Lashley was saying, ...?
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