Runtime: 00:01:16 (One Minute, Sixteen seconds)
Video Site: The Attorney Depot™
"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! Brotherly Love!
Posted: 3:59 a.m. PDT, Aug. 04, 2016 ~ Updated: 05:09 a.m. PDT, Aug. 27, 2016
Portsmouth, VA -- A jury convicted former Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin, 36, on one count of voluntary manslaughter. The conviction stemmed from the fatal shooting of William Chapman II, 18, last year in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Rankin shot and killed Chapman on April 22, 2015, in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart off Frederick Boulevard. Chapman was unarmed at the time. Rankin was fired from the Police Department after his indictment. Circuit Judge Johnny Morrison allowed Rankin to remain free on bond until he is formally sentenced Oct. 12, 2016. Rankin was actually escorted out of the courthouse by sheriff’s deputies. At least 13 state police cars drove by the courthouse after leaving a nearby staging area that had been set up in case of a disturbance.
The trial started July 27. Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales argued that Rankin killed Chapman with premeditation and malice. Defense attorneys said he fired in self-defense. Prosecutors initially argued Rankin should be found guilty of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. First-degree murder carries a possible life sentence. The jury determined he was guilty only of the lesser manslaughter charge. Upon his conviction, prosecutors asked for the maximum 10 years. Defense attorneys asked jurors to recommend no jail time. The same jury recommended that Rankin serve 2½ years in prison. Rankin's attorney said the 2½-year sentence appeared to indicate the jury did a lot of negotiating. He said: “That’s not necessarily an even number. Common sense dictates that was some sort of compromise.”
It was a demoralizing turn of events for many of Chapman’s supporters. Several of Chapman's supporters said Rankin deserved far more time in prison. Chapman’s mother, Sallie, said: “It’s not enough.” She echoed the mother of another unarmed man Rankin killed five years ago. Rankin shot and killed Kirill Denyakin while responding to a burglary call in Olde Towne. Morrison barred the prosecution from telling the jury about the 2011 shooting of death of Denyakin. He noted a grand jury declined to indict Rankin. An attorney for the Chapman family plans to file a civil suit in the coming weeks against the city of Portsmouth and its former police chief. He said Rankin should never have been allowed to work as a police officer. The attorney for the Chapman family said there were signs as far back as the training academy that Rankin was unfit for duty.
However, other Chapman supporters praised the verdict as a turning point in the national Black Lives Matter movement. They lamented on the fact so few police officers are ever convicted of wrongfully shooting anyone. Earl Lewis is a cousin of the victim and spokesman for the family. Prosecutors called Lewis to testify about Chapman’s life and character during the punishment phase of the trial. The military veteran said he saw a lot of himself in his cousin. He said Chapman planned to get his GED diploma and enlist in the military himself. With respect to the verdict, he said: “We had to start somewhere. This was the beginning.” Rankin is only the 13th officer nationwide to be convicted of murder or manslaughter in a jury trial since 2005. He was one of only 74 officers nationwide to face such a charge during that time. The fact that Rankin was escorted out of the courthouse without handcuffs didn't bother Lewis. He said: “He’s going to be in handcuffs sooner or later.”
Many of the Chapman supporters noted those statistics Thursday after learning the verdict. They praised prosecutors for prosecuting an officer in the first place. One community activist said: “The national feeling is, it’s hard to get a conviction of a police officer because in most cities, the commonwealth’s attorneys are in close contact with the officers.” However, he added, that wasn’t a concern here.
Rankin’s attorneys lamented the verdict. Defense attorneys said their client took the trial verdict “as well as can be expected.” They said they would appeal and argued that Morrison should have allowed them to present more evidence. One attorney said: “I think the jury should have heard the whole story.” Morrison barred the defense from telling the jury about Chapman’s juvenile record and several writings the defense said showed a penchant for anger and rage. The judge also prevented an expert witness from testifying on police use-of-force policies. Morrison denied a defense request to postpone the trial in light of recent high-profile shootings of and by police. He also denied a request to declare a mistrial because a Chapman supporter spoke with a juror during deliberations. However, not all of the judge’s rulings were against the defense. The judge also stopped the prosecution from mentioning “mobile messages” Rankin traded with a police dispatch operator less than an hour before Chapman’s shooting. Rankin had said he hated his job and compared Portsmouth and modern society to the biblical cities Sodom and Gomorrah.
Court testimony indicated Rankin was investigating a shoplifting report when he approached Chapman. An altercation ensued between the black pedestrian and white officer. Chapman knocked Rankin’s Taser out of his hand. A video recorded by a camera on the Taser showed Rankin telling Chapman to remove his hand from his pocket shortly before the shooting. Court testimony also indicated Rankin told Chapman to get on the ground. Some witnesses said Chapman charged Rankin before the shooting. Another said he simply made a jab step toward the officer, as if he was trying to make Rankin flinch.
The defense called two police officers to testify on Rankin’s behalf. One officer was black. The officers praised Rankin as professional and called him a “great individual.” One said Rankin served as the master of ceremonies for his wedding. Rankin testified in his own defense. He testified that he responded with two shots. The shots struck Chapman in the chest and the face. Rankin took the stand again during the penalty phase. The Navy veteran and former military police officer described the shooting as a “terrible tragedy” and said he wished it had never happened.
The facts drew sharply different reactions from members of the community. Many members watched the trial on their computers as media outlets live-streamed the trial. Councilman Bill Moody said he was surprised by the verdict because “it looked like it was a clear case of an officer doing what they are trained to do.” Others agreed with the prosecutor's argument: There was no need for Rankin to shoot a man during what amounted to a fist fight.
The jury members declined to comment on their deliberations Thursday as they left the courthouse under the protection of about a half-dozen sheriff’s deputies. The panel was made up of seven women and five men. Eight were black, and four were white.
Posted: Aug. 15, 2016 11:37 PM PDT ~ Updated: Wed. 12:17 PM PDT Aug. 17, 2016
"'Lyke Balltamo'" ~ 2016!
Milwaukee, WI ~ United States -- Dominique Heaggan-Brown, 24, is the Milwaukee police officer who shot Sylville Smith. Heaggan-Brown killed Sylville Smith during a pursuit last Saturday. The shooting kicked off days of civil unrest in the city. Heaggan-Brown has been with the Milwaukee Police Department for six years. He has been an officer for three. Heaggan-Brown also has a music career performing as “KB Domo,” on the side. The aspiring rapper previously rapped that: “Imma start a riot like it’s Baltimore.” Heaggan-Brown apparently got his wish. Since Smith’s death, rioters in Milwaukee have torched several buildings, and some sought to hunt down and attack passing white people.
Baltimore, MD ~ United States -- Baltimore police Lt. Brian Rice was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in connection with Freddie Gray's arrest and death, Judge Barry Williams ruled in a bench trial Monday. Rice was the highest-ranking police officer charged in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a broken neck in a police transport van on April 12, 2015. Opting for a bench trial over a jury trial, Rice's case was heard by Williams, the same judge who acquitted Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson on all charges related to Gray's death. The prosecution wanted the judge to presume Rice had read a general order mandating that officers seat belt prisoners, Williams said, but failed to prove it. There was also no evidence that Rice was aware that failing to seat belt a prisoner might result in injury or death, the judge said.
(July 27, 2016) Prosecutors dropped all charges Wednesday against three Baltimore police officers accused in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, bringing to an end one of the highest-profile criminal cases in the city's history with zero convictions.
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby acknowledged the long odds of securing convictions in the remaining cases following the acquittals of three other officers on similar though more serious charges.
In a hearing Wednesday meant to start the trial of Officer Garrett Miller, prosecutors dropped their cases against him, Officer William Porter and Sgt. Alicia White. Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams, who had acquitted the other officers, was expected to preside over the remaining trials as well.
Heroin overdose deaths have tripled in 5 years with 10,574 dying in 2014 compared to 3,036 four years earlier.
Posted: Aug. 5, 2016 1:37 PM PDT ~ Updated: Sun 12:17 PM PDT Aug. 7, 2016
Hold Thy Child ~ 2016!
Baltimore County, Maryland -- Kodi Gaines is the 5-year-old son of Korryn Gaines. He was recorded by a family member in his hospital bed Thursday. He talked about the police shooting that left his mother dead and him wounded. Korryn Gaines was killed by police in Baltimore County, Maryland, after a standoff that lasted several hours at her apartment in Randallstown. The boy was shot by a Baltimore County police tactical officer, police said in a press release Friday.
According to Baltimore County Police: “As a result of an additional medical procedure performed today at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore County Police believe that a round fired by a tactical officer struck Kodi Gaines, the five-year-old who suffered non life-threatening injuries in Monday’s police-involved shooting in Randallstown. Additional forensics tests will be conducted on the recovered round. The injury is to the left cheek.”
The video was originally posted to Instagram by Gaines’ cousin. She has since made her account private. Baltimore BLOC, a local community group, combined the series of videos and posted the full footage to Youtube. You can watch it above.
Posted: February 29, 2016 1:37 PM MST ~ Updated: Thu 12:17 PM PST Mar. 10, 2016
PLYMOUTH, AL — Montgomery Police Officer Aaron C. Smith, 23 (pictured above, center-left) shot and killed Gregory Gunn (pictured above, center-right) an unarmed black man. Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) began the investigation into Gunn's death at the request of the Montgomery Police Department. The SBI said it believed it had established probable cause to arrest Smith in the shooting death of Gregory Gunn. The Alabama police officer has been arrested and charged with murder. The SBI will turn over their findings to the district attorney.
Smith's bail was set at $150,000. Smith's attorney said he has been released from the Montgomery County jail. He is currently in hiding because he and his family have been receiving death threats following Gunn's death. Smith continues to deny the charges against him and maintains his innocence, McDermott said. Smith has not yet entered a plea. His lawyer also said several different police jurisdictions are supporting Smith.
On Wednesday, District Attorney Daryl Bailey relayed the SBI information to Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. Bailey said in a statement he would "do everything" in his power to protect a police officer who is acting within the law, but would also "use every ounce of" his power to prosecute a police officer who has acted outside of the law. He said the case against Smith will be treated "as any other case." In a statement Wednesday, Strange said: "We believe it is essential for our community and for justice that the light of truth is brought in this case, as in every case."
Gunn's death has reignited racial tensions in Montgomery. A city council meeting was halted Tuesday as protesters holding "Black Lives Matter" signs continuously interrupted the meeting. Bailey addressed the rumors surrounding the case. He said that he will not be discussing the investigation outside the courtroom. He continued: "... Most of the things you have heard reported by the news and on social media are completely untrue."
On Feb. 25, 2016, Smith shot and killed 58-year-old Gunn in front of a neighbor's house. Smith was walking home. Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley said Smith had deemed Gunn was acting "suspiciously." However, he did not say what Smith found suspicious about Gunn. Authorities initially said Gunn had a stick or cane and that the two became involved in a physical altercation before Smith shot him. MDPS said Smith was patrolling alone that night.
Smith's lawyer called Smith's arrest "unjust" and described him as a "highly-decorated young officer who was working as a solo patrol in a high-crime district. The suspect not only ran, but he fought. At some point in time the deceased armed himself with a deadly weapon and attempted to harm the officer." The lawyer declined to elaborate on the nature of the deadly weapon but said that he believes Smith's use of force was "justifiable." He added: "We look forward to defending him in a court of a law. We believe he will be exonerated in a court of law, not in court of public opinion."
The Gunn family said Gunn grew up in the neighborhood where he was killed. The attorney added that Gunn lived with his 87-year-old mother. Gunn cared and provided for his mother. The lawyer disputed authorities' claims that Gunn had a weapon on him when he was killed.
"It seems like it’s a desperate attempt to justify the unlawful killing of a human being," the attorney told media sources. The attorney said Gunn's next-door neighbor ran to his front door to find Smith standing over Gunn with his firearm drawn after hearing a commotion. A post-mortem examination requested by the attorney showed that Gunn was shot five times. The last two shots were fired in a downward trajectory. The attorney said this means Gunn was already on the ground. "The shots that were fired to Mr. Gunn were not consistent with him attempting to attack in any way, nor was it consistent with him attempting to use any kind of weapon against [the officer]."
Posted: August 2, 2016 1:37 PM PDT ~ Updated: Tue., 08:09 PM PDT Aug. 02, 2016
Love Thy Neighbors, ...!
Louisiana -- The coroner's office reported Sterling died from multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest. However, federal authorities will not allow the release of additional information, including the toxicology analysis. The US Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana has issued a federal court order keeping the Alton Sterling autopsy report sealed, preventing it from being released to the public. The coroner told media sources on Tuesday that he also is prohibited from releasing a copy of the judge's order sealing the report.
Posted: May 4, 2016 04:01 PM PDT ~ Updated: May 4, 2016 11:43 PM PDT
ATLANTA, GA — Former DeKalb County Police Officer Vacinto Gumbs (pictured above, center; center-right is Gumbs during a December 2015 arrest on Domestic Violence charges) has been indicted. Gumbs is accused of being part of a vast criminal conspiracy involving the "Gangster Disciples". According to the indictment, Gumbs bragged that he was a hit man for the organization. The Gangster Disciples are a notorious street gang founded in Chicago, Illinois. The U.S. attorney said the Gangster Disciples are responsible for 10 murders and 12 attempted murders in Georgia alone. A grand jury indicted 32 alleged members of the Gangster Disciples on racketeering charges.
Federal, State and local police arrested 30 of 32 alleged gang members. The former police officer was among dozens of alleged gang members arrested in lightning raids across metro Atlanta. The FBI had raids in Cobb and Paulding counties. The raids involved police in Macon and Valdosta counties. Several raids occurred in the city of Atlanta. Media sources were there as the FBI raided a Marietta apartment complex.
DeKalb County's police Chief James Conroy said Gumbs resigned last October. He resigned after investigators said he lied to them about his involvement in using illegal drugs. Conroy said: “So as we were preparing to terminate him for that, he went ahead and resigned and left before the investigation was complete.” .
Venice Hanshaw told media sources she had no idea she was living among accused gang members suspected in a wide web of organized crime. "When you're up and about you don't realize what's going on around you," Hanshaw said. "It's a little bit scary because we have never seen anything like that before." Neighbor Tyler Hall told Willis nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary in the neighborhood. "Nothing ever looked too suspicious or anything," Hall said. "We don't get involved in it we just go about our business."
The U.S. attorney's office says the Gangster Disciples used charitable organizations as fronts for their illegal activity. DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said gang members pretended to mentor young men but really just led them into a life of crime. “They recruit our young men, and so they don't just bring futures to a violent end, but they also lure these young men away from a path of the straight and narrow,” James said.
"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.
Posted: March 16, 2016 4:01 PM PST ~ Updated: April 3, 2016 10:25 AM PST
A Good One!
Police said this week that Officer First Class Jacai Colson was fatally wounded by a fellow officer after he was mistaken as a suspect.
Prince George’s County, Md. -- Police Officer First Class Jacai Colson was fatally shot on Sunday, March 13, 2016. Three brothers are in custody in connection with what police are calling an "ambush of our District III station." All three suspects will be charged with second degree murder, six counts of attempted first degree murder, nine counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and additional charges.
The brothers are 21-year-old Malik Ford (pictured below, center) of the 9200 block of Allentown Road in Fort Washington.
Elijah Ford, 18 (pictured below, center) of the 1800 block of Ryderwood Court in Landover.
The third brother is 22-year-old Michael DeAndre Ford (pictured below, center). He is also of the same address on Ryderwood Court. Police say he is the shooter. He remains hospitalized with what are considered non-life threatening injuries. Police say they believe the gunman intended to die at the hand of a police officer on Sunday. They say they have cell phone video which captured the gunman dictating his last will and testament. That video was recorded just minutes before his two brothers drove him to the District III station. The violence was all captured on cell phone and surveillance video which is evidence in the case.
Michael DeAndre Ford allegedly opened fire at responding officers. He then fired at the police building; at a passing ambulance; and two vehicles. Police say that as the investigation progresses, additional charges will be brought against the three brothers regarding the victims in the vehicles.
Colson was a four-year veteran assigned to the Narcotic Enforcement Division. He was on his way to the police station to meet an officer. He arrived right after Michael Ford began his shooting spree. Colson left his unmarked cruiser and began exchanging gunfire with the shooter. A total of four officers discharged their duty weapons while trying to stop the shooter.
Following the shooting, Malik and Elijah Ford fled the scene. The driver, Malik, turned himself in to police at a nearby fast food restaurant shortly after the shooting spree. Elijah was taken into custody at his home in Landover shortly after his brother.
Two additional officers also responded, but did not fire their weapons. The involved officers are:
•» PO Bryan Melius, Regional Investigation Division;
•» Cpl Jason Wells, Bureau of Patrol, District III;
•» POFC Taylor Krauss, Bureau of Patrol, District III;
•» Cpl John Wynkoop, Bureau of Patrol, District III;
•» PO Matthew Scott, Bureau of Patrol, District III; and
•» POFC Jacai Colson, Narcotic Enforcement Division.
An autopsy revealed that POFC Colson was shot by a fellow responding officer during the gun battle.
Charlotte, NC ~ USA (T.A.D.) -- Randall Kerrick Trial: Jury deadlocked, mistrial declared in police shooting trial.
Posted: 3:59 a.m. PDT, Aug. 16, 2015 ~ Updated: 12:09 a.m. PDT, Aug. 21, 2015
SAN JOSE, Calif. (WCJB) -- Police in San Jose are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred on Monday night, according to authorities. The shooting happened at about 6:54 p.m. on Kirkhaven Court at Stoneyhaven Way. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. So far, authorities have issued no information regarding the suspect or the circumstances surrounding the shooting. No one else was injured. San Jose police will provide more information as it becomes available.
The incident comes after another fatal officer-involved shooting on Sunday that left a suspect in a homicide at a North San Jose office park last Thursday dead. Sunday's incident was the department's seventh officer-involved shooting in 2015 and the third one in a week, police said. The officer-involved shooting will be reviewed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and San Jose police internal affairs unit.
On Aug. 9, Edrian Rivera, 22, was shot and killed by two officers in the area of San Antonio Avenue and Packing Place, according to police.
On Aug. 10, Aaron James Phillips, 30, who was reportedly intoxicated and armed at a home on San Marcos Drive, was shot at by officers. Following a standoff, Phillips was found dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Posted: Jul 30, 2015 06:25 PM EDT ~ Updated: Jul 30, 2015 04:15 PM PDT
Jailed & Bailed!
Cincinnati, Ohio -- Thursday morning Judge Megan Shanahan set bond at $1 million for former UCPD officer Ray Tensing. Tensing fatally shot Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop July 19. Tensing is facing a murder charge. He has posted bond and been released from jail. Shanahan allowed Tensing to post 10 percent of the bond. Hamilton County Court records indicate his father posted $100,085 to get his son out of jail.
Posted: Jul 29, 2015 09:25 PM PDT ~ Updated: Jul 30, 2015 03:32 PM PDT
Cincinnati, Ohio -- Ray Tensing, a University of Cincinnati police officer, went to jail on a murder charge Wednesday. He is the first officer in Cincinnati to face murder charges for killing someone in the line of duty. His own body camera video showed him shooting an unarmed motorist in the head during a traffic stop. The video proved to be crucial evidence to the grand jurors who indicted Tensing. The video stunned city officials, prosecutors and the relatives of shooting victim Samuel DuBose.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said after publicly releasing the video: "It's an absolute tragedy that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless. It's just horrible. He purposefully killed him." The video is a reminder that video, whether captured by witnesses; on smart phones; or by police officers themselves, is transforming the way fatal encounters involving police are investigated and perceived around the nation. The body camera video is likely to be a key piece of evidence at the trial.
The video shows that Tensing stopped DuBose in Mount Auburn on July 19 for driving without a front license plate. Tensing asks DuBose to take off his seat belt. DuBose says: "I didn't even do nothing." Dubose turns his ignition key, starting the car. Tensing then reaches into the car with one hand and, with the other, fires a single shot into DuBose's head. Tensing speaks to him for a little less than two minutes before the fatal shot is fired. DuBose did not appear to be belligerent or aggressive toward the officer before the shot was fired.
Tensing though his lawyer said feared he would be run over. He said charging his client with murder was "absolutely unwarranted." He said he expected an indictment, but on lesser charges. "Murder is the purposeful killing of another," the attorney said. "There wasn't any purpose to kill this fella." Tensing, 25, faces 15 years to life in prison if he's convicted.
"I think it's safe to say that this case is going to help the cause of body cameras across the country," Mayor John Cranley said. "I think we all hoped that the charges that would come out of the grand jury would match the video. We wanted the right thing to be done." The murder charge came after 12 Hamilton County citizens reviewed evidence all day Monday as part of their grand jury investigation into the incident.
The shooting had put the city on edge and rekindled worries about the sometimes strained relationship between police and blacks in Cincinnati. Cranley and other city officials asked neighborhood activists to help keep the peace. They said the city has changed since the riots and unrest that followed a fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by police in 2001. City officials said they were optimistic the reaction this time would be peaceful. However, City officials were taking no chances. Cincinnati police prepared for possible protests and unrest. UC's campus shut down and classes were canceled Wednesday in anticipation of the announcement. Ohio Highway Patrol troopers were seen arriving on campus by late morning. As of Wednesday night, they remained hopeful. Several small demonstrations and prayer services took place across the city, but no trouble was reported.
One big change since the 2001 shooting is the existence of the video. The video gave police, prosecutors and everyone else in the community a view of the incident. A view we would not have had a decade ago, or even a few years ago. Instead of trying to piece together a timeline based only on statements from witnesses and officers at the scene, investigators had a real-time account of the shooting they could play back again and again.
DuBose's relatives, who buried him Tuesday, said they, too, were grateful for the video. His mother, Audrey DuBose, wondered if she'd ever know what really happened and feared prosecutors would blindly accept the word of the officer who killed her son. "I'm so thankful that everything was uncovered," she said. "Everything is being revealed. I can rest now." DuBose's sister, Terina Allen, said the video and the work of the grand jurors made it possible to pursue the first-ever murder case against a police officer in Cincinnati. "I am pleased we will get some kind of justice," she said. "My brother was about to be just another stereotype and that didn't happen."
The traffic stop seemed to begin normally enough. Tensing stopped DuBose at Rice and Valencia streets in Mount Auburn. Tensing works for UC and the stop occurred about a half-mile from campus. University's officers are permitted to patrol in areas where many students live off campus. He got out of his cruiser and approached the driver's side of DuBose's car. The video shows some casual back-and-forth between Tensing and DuBose over whether he has a suspended driver's license. Officer Tensing then asks DuBose to take off his seat belt. At that point, DuBose tells the officer, "I didn't even do nothing." He then starts the car and Tensing reaches inside the vehicle. The shot is fired seconds later.
Deters, whose office reviews all shootings involving police officers, said he's never seen a case of such poor policing. Even if DuBose was attempting to drive away, he said, Tensing should have let him go. "He wasn't dealing with someone wanted for murder. He was dealing with someone without a front license plate," Deters said, describing that offense as "chicken crap stuff."
"Some people want to believe Mr. DuBose did something violent toward the officer," Deters said. "He did not. He did not at all." He said DuBose had marijuana in the car and about $2,600 cash. "He might have had marijuana, but you don't deserve to be executed for something like that," Deters said.
Tensing, who was fired by UC after the indictment came out Wednesday, turned himself in and was booked into the Justice Center Wednesday afternoon. In addition to the murder charge, he was indicted on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter as an option for jurors during trial.
Deters, who refused to release the video before the grand jury finished his work, said it was crucial to the investigation and he did not want it to influence witnesses or grand jurors. He said he showed the video and discussed the murder charge with DuBose's family Wednesday morning.
"I feel sorry for his family. I feel sorry for the community, too," Deters said. "This should not happen. Ever."
Mathews, Tensing's attorney, interprets the video and what it depicts differently from the prosecutor. He said his client was knocked to the ground after trying to grab the keys from the ignition to prevent DuBose from driving away and possibly running him over.
DuBose "sticks his keys in the ignition, jams (his car) into drive and floors it," Mathews said. He said a second video, from another officer's body camera, shows Tensing on the ground.
Mathews said his client told him, "I thought I was going to get sucked under the car and run over."
In the video, Tensing falls after the shot is fired. He then gets up and chases the car, yelling to dispatchers that he is OK but that a shot was fired.
Mark O'Mara, the lawyer representing DuBose's family, said he was stunned by the video and relieved prosecutors quickly took the case to the grand jury. He said authorities in Cincinnati have so far handled the case better than many other cities that have dealt with shootings by police officers.
"Cincinnati is showing us how to do this right," O'Mara said.
Tensing has been a police officer for just over four years. He joined the village of Greenhills police force part-time in April 2011 and stayed on at Greenhills through December, even after he started working full-time at UC.
He was hired at UC in April 2014.
Deters said Tensing's actions during the traffic stop show that "he never should have been a police officer." He said UC could not have known if Tensing was a bad officer when he was hired, but he also suggested the university should get out of the law enforcement business.
Deters, a UC graduate, said the city of Cincinnati should take over campus patrols and the UC police force should be disbanded.
"They're not cops," he said of UC police. "Being a police officer shouldn't be the role of this university."
City and university officials didn't discuss the future of UC's police department Wednesday, but they all expressed hope that the grand jury's decision would be seen as fair and just to the community and to DuBose's family.
"This officer was wrong. And when we're wrong, we have to be held accountable," said Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black. "People are provocative and they're filming us, and it's a tough job.
"It's the most difficult policing environment in the history of our nation, but that doesn't excuse bad behavior."
At least some community activists agreed with that assessment Wednesday, after days of speculation about how the case might be handled and what the grand jury would do.
Bishop Bobby Hilton, of the Word Deliverance Church in Forest Park, said people should welcome the actions taken Wednesday, regardless of how angry or sad or frustrated they are about the shooting.
"There should be no unrest. There's unrest when people feel like they're not being heard," Hilton said. "What more can you ask for? As terrible as it is, it should be a proud moment for our community. We can prove that we can take the most horrible incident and show the world how our community reacts and becomes better."
Posted: Jul 23, 2015 1:25 AM PDT ~ Updated: Jul 25, 2015 1:32 AM PDT
Crotch Kick 36!
@Curtis Lemanski Right. Since you and the cops already know the suspects are guilty, better to save all that valuable cop time and those taxpayer dollars, and just let the crooks die. While you're at it, why not save us taxpayers even more money, and dispense with those bothersome judges and juries, eh? According to your philosophy, they're just a waste of time with these already-guilty "arrestees."
-- Commentator MaxMank at 2:12 AM July 25, 2015
Los Angeles, CA -- A video released by the Los Angeles County Superior Court shows the arrest of Alesia Thomas on July 22, 2012. The arrest was captured on a police dashboard camera. The video showed Los Angeles Police Officer Mary O'Callaghan (pictured above, center-right) striking Alesia Thomas, 35 (pictured below, center) with an open hand and kicking her in the crotch. Thomas was handcuffed during the assault by O'Callaghan during the arrest in 2012. Thomas complained she couldn't breathe after the assault. O’Callaghan then can be seen smoking a cigarette on the street, as Alesia Thomas fell unconscious. Thomas died shortly thereafter in the back of the squad car. Thomas had asked officers for an ambulance more than 30 minutes before one was called. O’Callaghan was convicted of assault under color of authority on June 5, 2015.
On Thursday, inside a downtown L.A. courtroom, Sandra Thomas took the witness stand. She addressed the judge before the sentencing of LAPD Officer Mary O'Callaghan. She spoke about the Los Angeles police officer she holds responsible for her daughter's death. “I have to ask God to help me learn how to forgive her.” Sandra Thomas, who works as a medical assistant, asked why O'Callaghan didn't show her daughter more sympathy and try to revive her. “You have to show compassion for people,” she said. “It makes me feel like she wanted that to happen.”
During sentencing, O'Callaghan made her first public comments since Alesia Thomas' death and her arrest for assault. When O'Callaghan's addressed the court, she faced Sandra Thomas instead of the judge. “Mother to mother,” O'Callaghan, a 50-year-old mother of three, said through tears, “I am extremely sorry for the loss of your daughter.” O'Callaghan, a Marine veteran who had been with the LAPD for nearly 18 years, said she prays every day for Alesia Thomas' children.
After the emotional testimony, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta sentenced O'Callaghan to 36 months in jail, with the last 20 months suspended, meaning she could be released within five months with good behavior.
The case against O'Callaghan has attracted intense scrutiny amid the national criticism of excessive use of force by police. The video evidence at trial underscored the value of monitoring police encounters with patrol and body cameras. The jury forewoman in O'Callaghan's trial said the video played “a big role” in the jury's decision to find her guilty. One camera recorded conduct outside the vehicle while another documented activity inside the patrol car. That camera recorded O'Callaghan's assault and showed Thomas losing consciousness.
Thomas can be heard on the video saying, “I can't move. I can't breathe,” as O'Callaghan directs her into the back seat of the car. As O'Callaghan gives Thomas commands about where to place her feet, Thomas says, “I can't, I can't.” The officer then screamed a profanity at Thomas and struck her throat with an open hand. Thomas then glances directly at the camera with wide open eyes. The officer tells Thomas she'll get “crushed” if she doesn't move her feet. As Thomas begins to sit up, O'Callaghan jams her boot into Thomas' groin three times. When O'Callaghan tries to readjust a nylon restraint around Thomas' feet, she compares it to “roping cattle.” After the assault, the footage shows O'Callaghan smoking a cigarette. When she realizes Thomas is unconscious, O'Callaghan says, “That ain't a good sign.”
The LAPD is outfitting its officers with body cameras. Policy approved by the Los Angeles Police Commission in April required officers to turn their cameras on before most investigative or enforcement activities involving the public. “It should be clear to everyone that the LAPD and the criminal justice system will hold officers accountable for their actions when they operate outside the law,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement after O'Callaghan's sentencing.
O'Callaghan was not charged in connection with Thomas' death. An autopsy by the Los Angeles County coroner determined that cocaine intoxication was probably a “major factor” in the death. It wasn't possible to determine what role, if any, the struggle with O'Callaghan or other officers who took part in the arrest played in her death. The official cause was listed as “undetermined.”
O'Callaghan's attorney said his client had been relieved of duty by the LAPD pending the outcome of the trial. He said she will be fired because of her felony conviction and will also lose a job as an emergency dispatcher in Vermont that she got after her arrest. He criticized Ohta's sentence as “excessively longer” than the 180 days in jail and probation the district attorney's office had recommended. “I wasn't shocked because this case has been politicized since Day One,'' he said.
Posted: Jul 20, 2015 7:25 AM PDT ~ Updated: Jul 21, 2015 2:14 AM PDT
Goode Ole' Boys!
Southhaven, Mississippi -- A video has surfaced of Mississippi Police hog-tying a concert attendee, Troy Goode. The man was an attendant at the "Widespread Panic" performance Saturday night.
The video shows the last moments Troy Goode is seen alive in public. The witnesses recorded this video and made commentary indicative of a less than serious encounter. The video visually confirms that the 30-year-old engineer was hogtied. The Southhaven police demanded they stop recording. The videographers complied. The witnesses even expressed fear that recording the incident would cause police to arrest them as bystanders. We suspect they had little reason to censor witnesses at the scene if everything was done “by the book” during Mr. Goode’s tragic demise. Goode leaves a 15 month old son and a young widow.
Citizen journalists and witnesses alike are urged to record horizontally to provide the most details of an encounter. Horizontal recording is crucial when the video recording contains the tragic last moments of a fellow citizen killed at the hands of the police.
The recording is also from a great distance and doesn’t utilize zoom to provide a better visual record. However, the witnesses noted Goode’s hogtied position while being carted face down into an ambulance on a stretcher by multiple law enforcement officers and first responders.
Police suspect that Goode was under the influence of one or multiple intoxicants at the time of the incident. Toxicology reports take several weeks to complete. The report will reveal Troy Goode’s actual blood content of intoxicants.
“Designer drugs,” marketed as bath salts, or labeled: “Not Safe For Human Consumption,” are not easily detectable. Some “Designer drugs” cannot be detected in the system at all. The Miami Zombie incident was perpetuated by a young man who unexpectedly walked three miles naked across a causeway. His toxicology reports only indicated marijuana. However, other substances are still strongly suspected as catalysts for that incident.
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 7:25 AM PDT ~ Updated: Aug. 2, 2015 03:42 PM PDT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The city of Charlotte has stopped paying the legal bills for Officer Randall Kerrick in a wrongful death civil suit filed by the mother of Jonathan Ferrell. Ferrel is the unarmed man Kerrick shot and killed last year. Ferrell's mother filed a lawsuit against Kerrick. The city has to date spent over $20,000 defending Kerrick in the lawsuit.
Kerrick shot Ferrell after Ferrell drove his car off a road in a residential west Charlotte neighborhood last fall. A neighbor called police to report a possible home invasion after Ferrell knocked loudly on a front door, presumably looking for help. Ferrell was one of three officers called to the scene. He fired his service weapon 12 times, striking Ferrell 10 times. The shooting was captured on at least one police dashboard camera. However, the video tape has never been released to the public.
The city had been in the awkward position of paying Kerrick's defense fees. At the time they were paying his legal fees, they were charging him with voluntary manslaughter for shooting Ferrell. City Manager Ron Carlee issued a statement saying to pay for Kerrick's defense, under the circumstances, "would be inconsistent and untenable". "A 1977 City Council policy provides that the City will not defend a lawsuit against an employee who willfully acted in a manner as to constitute a criminal act," Carlee said in his statement. Carlee's statement went on to say that if Kerrick is found not guilty of the criminal charge, "policy dictates that the city would then provide a defense."
Todd Walther, president of the Charlotte Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police said, "We still support Officer Kerrick." Walther said Kerrick could apply to the Chapter for help in paying the costs of his defense in the civil suit.
Posted: Jul 20, 2015 7:25 AM PDT ~ Updated: Jul 20, 2015 7:42 AM PDT
CHARLOTTE, NC (WCJB) -- Officer Randall Kerrick (pictured above, center-right) is on trial for voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is defined as killing someone without malice. The doctrine of "imperfect self-defense" and excessive use of force are included in the definition. The heart of the trial will center around Officer Kerrick's training and whether he believed his life was at risk in exercising use of force. Investigators say in 2013, 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell (pictured above, center-left) wrecked his car around 2:30 a.m. He had just dropped a friend off at home. He ran down an embankment on Reedy Creek Road and kicked out the rear window of his car to get out. The first house he reached was about one-tenth of a mile away.
Homeowner Sarah McCartney called 911. She said Ferrell was pounding on her door and she was scared he would kick down the door. Her husband was not home and she had a baby in the house. Eleven minutes later, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers arrived on the scene and encountered Ferrell. Police say Ferrell was on a road leading to the neighborhood pool. CMPD says Officer Thornell Little unsuccessfully fired his taser at Ferrell. Kerrick drew his service weapon and fired weapon 12 times. Ten bullets struck and killed Ferrell. Only part of the encounter between the two men was captured on dash cam.
The facts that have been released through the police investigation and pre-trial motions remain in dispute. Former Police Chief Rodney Monroe made the decision to charge Kerrick within hours of the shooting. He said that Kerrick used excessive force. The State argues Ferrell feared for his life when police shined their spotlights on him and that no identification or commands were given. Ferrell happened to run between a gap in the patrol cars where Kerrick was standing, said Special Deputy Attorneys General Adren Harris and Steven Arborgast in court documents. This is where prosecutors for the State and defense attorneys differ in their accounts.
Defense attorneys say Ferrell came aggressively toward the officer. They argue that Kerrick and the other two officers were responding to a 911 call about a potential home invasion in the Bradfield Farms subdivision in east Mecklenburg. Kerrick's defense attorneys say Ferrell ignored verbal commands and failed to show his hands upon request. Defense attorneys also say the State failed to preserve blood samples which they wanted for further drug testing. The standard state lab tests show Ferrell was not intoxicated, but had been drinking.
Around 9:15 Monday morning, Kerrick arrived at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. His fate will be in the hands of 12 men and women selected to sit on the jury. Undoubtedly, many of the jurors will have followed the case or at least heard about the shooting of Ferrell. Judge Robert Ervin will ask all the jurors to forget what they know and dwell only on the facts presented in the courtroom. The jury is expected to hear and see at least eight weeks of evidence. Some of the evidence will include expert witnesses. The case file amounts to more than 24,000 pages which the State has handed over to the defense.
Kerrick could be found guilty, acquitted of the charge, or the trial could end in a mistrial with a hung jury unable to reach unanimous verdict. If convicted, Kerrick could be sentenced from three to seven years in prison.
Kerrick was on the force two years before the shooting. Ferrell had recently moved to Charlotte to be with his fiancee, Cache Heidel. He played football for Florida A&M University and was raised in Tallahassee. The City of Charlotte settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Ferrell family for $2.25 million dollars weeks before the scheduled trial. Georgia and Willie Ferrell, the mother and brother of Jonathan Ferrell, are expected to speak at 11 a.m. Monday at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
CMPD is preparing for the possibility of protestors during the trial. Newly named Chief Kerr Putney has been involved in several community meetings aimed at reducing racial tension between police and the community.
Charlotte has been spared the riots and violent protests that other cities have seen in the wake of officer-involved shootings of unarmed men. However, no one can predict what a jury will decide and how the community will react.
Updated: July 11, 2011 Posted 3:59 a.m. PDT, June 10, 2011
"I think it is pretty straightforward. The child is under seven and is under what is called the age of reason[.]"
-- Nicole S. Urdang, a psychotherapist and licensed mental health counselor in Buffalo, N.Y.
KANSAS CITY, MO -- A 5-year-old girl is facing possible murder charges for allegedly drowning a toddler who was crying too much. Police are waiting for a medical examiner's report on how Jermane Johnson Jr., died, but are investigating the death as a homicide, spokesman Darin Snapp said Thursday. "I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's the youngest suspect I can remember," Snapp said. "It's extremely rare." Johnson, 18 months old, was in a Kansas City house on June 3rd with other children at the time of his death. Police say a 16-year-old relative who was supposed to be babysitting suffers from a mental disorder. She was sleeping when the drowning happened at around midnight.
An adult left the teenager in charge of several young children, including Jermane, so they could pick up the boys father at a bus stop. The father had come into town from St. Louis to retrieve Jermane and take him home. Investigators learned through interviews that a 5-year-old girl in the house got irritated with her young cousin, Snapp said. "She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water in a bathtub until he stopped crying," Snapp said. The tub had not been emptied after the youngsters to a bath earlier in the evening. Snapp said a decision on to handle the case will be left up to prosecutors after the medical examiner's report is released. Police say they are also looking into other aspects of the case, including the welfare of other children in the home and the decision to leave the children alone.
September 15, 2010
Brothers in Homicide!
A Coweta County firefighter is facing multiple charges in the death of the 2-year-old son of his fiancee. Casey Allen Spradlin, 25, faces counts of felony murder, malice murder, first-degree cruelty to children and aggravated battery in the death of Brayden Robinson, said John Bankhead, spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
On Sept. 3, 2010 emergency personnel responded to a 911 call from a residence in Luthersville, Bankhead said. Inside the home they found Brayden unresponsive and he was airlifted to Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. Brayden later died from his injuries.
Spradlin, who was caring for Brayden at the time, told officials the boy had been injured in a fall. But medical personnel who treated Brayden were skeptical, and investigators determined that the child died from blunt force head trauma, not a fall, Bankhead said. Spradlin was arrested Tuesday in Meriwether County. He is being held without bond in the Meriwether County jail.
August 30, 2010
NYPD Blue Beats!
Queens, NY -- Larry Jackson is a six-year veteran assigned to the 110th Precinct of the NYPD. His wife called 911 for help against a gang of thugs. Jackson says he was brutally beaten by baton-wielding fellow officers who stormed his Queens home. Jackson suffered a broken right hand and multiple bruises from kicks and billy-club blows. Jackson said he got his injuries from the men in blue called to his home after a gunman menaced guests at his daughter’s birthday party.
“To get my butt beat like that was unnecessary,” Jackson said. “We called the police, and this is what happened to me.” Jackson is black. He said the excessive force by the cops, who were white, might have been racially motivated. “They didn’t treat me like a house-owner calling for help,” he said. “Everyone who lives in the 113th Precinct is not a perp.”
Jackson’s wife, Charlene, made a 911 call around 1:15 a.m. Sunday as her unarmed husband faced down thugs armed with a gun and bats. The men who showed up as partygoers, started leaving his home in Rochdale. “I told the 911 operator it’s my daughter’s 21st birthday and my husband is a police officer and there’s a young man with a gun,” she said.
Larry Jackson, wearing an apron with the slogan, “I’m the chef and I’m awesome,” said he did not identify himself to the street thugs as a cop. However, he was able to convince them to leave. They were slinking off when the first patrol car from the 113th Precinct roared up and a sergeant got out. Charlene Jackson said she tried to tell the sergeant what happened when her niece yelled from the house that there was a fight inside.
The sergeant’s driver ran inside and struck a friend of the family with his baton, the Jacksons said. The sergeant then pushed Larry Jackson with his baton. When Jackson grabbed the sergeant, another cop began choking him from behind. Jackson was knocked down and fell on his 82-year-old mother-in-law who briefly lost consciousness, he said. “I’m covering my face and getting hit everywhere,” he said. “Then somebody pepper sprayed me.” The couple said cops hit at least six family members and friends with batons. Their stepson, a cousin and a nephew were charged with disorderly conduct.
August 14, 2009
Grand Jury Fails!
A white NYPD officer was cleared by a grand jury in the shooting of an off-duty black cop. Undercover cop Andrew Dunton, who fired a half-dozen shots during the deadly Harlem street showdown, faces no criminal charges in the May 28, 2009 killing of Officer Omar Edwards. The grand jury heard from 20 people - including police and medical witnesses - before returning its decision.
"The grand jury's finding that Officer Dunton had not committed a crime did not mean that race was not a contributing factor in Officer Edwards' death."
--Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) August 14, 2009.
Edwards, 28, was off-duty with his gun drawn while chasing a auto burglary suspect. The grand jury relied on testimony by the burglary suspect Miguel Goita. According to police, after his arrest, Goita told police that Edwards "tried to kill me."
C.J. Question: If Edwards was trying to "kill" the burglary suspect Miguel Goita, why didn't he just shoot, instead of attempting an apprehension?
"It remains questionable whether the grand jury examined the actions of Officer Dunton, or merely the actions of the alleged thief in a confused, mixed presentation." New York prosecutors declined any comment.
Previously Updated: June 17, 2009
NEW YORK, NY – A video has emerged from two witnesses at the scene during the "accidental shooting" of [Black] Officer Omar J. Edwards [by a white officer] while he was off duty in New York City.
As the video shows, NYPD were the least bit concerned that Mr. Edwards may have been an off-duty cop. See Original Story: Five - "O" Homicide
November 12, 2009
LILLINGTON - A Lee County deputy has been charged with murder in the July shooting death of her estranged husband. Angie Renee Clark, 40, of the 200 block of Ripley Road in Cameron, was charged Tuesday, according to an arrest report from the Harnett County Sheriff's Office. Clark turned herself in at the Sheriff's Office after a grand jury handed up an indictment Tuesday, the report said. She is accused of fatally shooting Michael Clark, 44, outside the couple's house on Beehive Lane in Broadway on June 10, 2009. Clark was off-duty when the shooting happened. The couple had been separated for about four years, according to family members, and Michael Clark was trying to reconcile with his wife. Court records show Angie Clark had filed two domestic violence orders in the past eight years, including one in December. Clark had been on administrative leave from the Lee County Sheriff's Office since the shooting. Sheriff's officials couldn't be reached for comment this afternoon. Clark's bail was set at $25,000.
June 11, 2009
Broadway, N.C. — An off-duty Lee County sheriff's deputy is on paid administrative leave Thursday night after investigators say she fatally shot her estranged husband at their home in Broadway. Harnett County deputies responded to the home of Michael and Angie Clark at 8 Bee Hive Lane at 10:22 p.m. Wednesday after a report of a shooting there. Michael Clark, 44, died at the scene, deputies said. Michael Clark's father said that the couple had a rocky marriage which involved "physical abuse on both ends." "We don’t know if it was a justified shooting or an unjustified shooting ... I hate my son is gone," said Jerome Clark.
According to court records, Angie Clark took out a domestic violence protective order against her husband in 2001 and last December. In the most recent case, she said her husband shot at her car. She also claimed he threatened to "kill all of you" before paying child support. In January, however, she voluntarily dismissed the case.
Jerome Clark said the two had been married about six years and had five children. They were separated and living separately, he added. "He loved his kids very dearly. Whatever it took for him to provide for those kids, he did. He’d give his entire heart,” said Melinda Frederick, victim's sister. "The investigation has indicated that the victim was shot by his wife, Angie Clark, age 40, of the same address," Harnett County authorities wrote in a news release Thursday. "There have been no charges filed in the case and no other information will be released at this time."
Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter said he knew the couple had been separated, but was not aware of any serious problems. "And she's done a good job. She gets along well with people in her shift and in the community, and we've been real pleased with her,” Carter said. Michael Clark's body was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy. Investigators would not say whether the gun used in the shooting was the one Angie Clark carried on the job. She has been a deputy in Lee County for about two and a half years.
Dec. 11, 2009
SEBRING -- It looks like the prosecution will not be seeking the death penalty against former Avon Park police officer James Parker. Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin was not in the Highlands County Courthouse Thursday morning for Parker's pretrial conference and stand-in David Ward could not advise when Judge Peter Estrada asked whether the state would be seeking death. However, Parker's public defender told Estrada he had spoken with Houchin and was told the state would not be seeking the death penalty. If they were, Mills continued, he would have insisted on using a court reporter at Thursday's hearing. Estrada noted for the record that no court reporter was present. He added that, while he couldn't speak for the state, it was his understanding that the decision had gone through the assistant state attorney's death penalty committee. "I have halted my penalty phase preparations," he said. The PD asked that the case be continued until March so he and Houchin can go through other discovery issues and set depositions. Estrada granted the continuance and the next court date is March 18, 2010. Parker, 33, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse that stem from the death of 22-month-old Kaedyn Short earlier this year. Short died May 27, 2009 at a hospice home where she was being cared for in her final days. She was the daughter of Parker's former live-in girlfriend and had been on life support at a St. Petersburg hospital for some time after being hospitalized for severe injuries she suffered March 29, 2009. The child, then 20 months, was initially brought to Highlands Regional Medical Center with multiple bruises and an apparent skull fracture. Her mother, Jennifer Short, was at work at the time of the incident and Parker was watching the child, according to the Highlands County Sheriff's Office. Jennifer Short was also indicted in June on felony counts of failure to report child abuse and neglect of a child causing great bodily harm. June 27, 2009 A Highlands County grand jury returned an indictment June 24, 2009 charging former Avon Park police officer James Parker with the [First Degree] murder of 22-month-old Kaedyn Short. The grand jury also charged Parker, 32, with aggravated child abuse. His first court appearance was set for a June 25, 2009. Parker remain[ed] in the Highlands County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bail stemming from the initial child abuse charge. May 27, 2009 AVON PARK - A 22-month-old girl who authorities say was severely injured by Avon Park police officer James Parker died from her injuries today. Kaedyn Short passed away at 9:38 a.m. at a hospice home where she was being cared for in her final days, according to a Highlands County Sheriff's Office press release. Short was the daughter of Parker's former live-in girlfriend and had been on life support for some time after being hospitalized for multiple bruises and an apparent skull fracture March 29, 2009. On March 29, 2009 deputies with the sheriff's office were called to Highlands Regional Medical Center after Short, then 20 months old, was being brought into the emergency room with multiple bruises on her body and an apparent skull fracture. Doctors told deputies that Short suffered multiple skull fractures and she was going to be transferred. Because of weather conditions, a helicopter could not get to Highlands Regional. Instead, a mobile pediatric unit from All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg was sent to Sebring to pick her up. Her mother was at work at the time of the incident and Parker was reportedly watching the child, the press release stated. Parker was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse, domestic violence related, and remains in the Highlands County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. On June 26, 2004, Parker (pictured left) was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge involving his former wife. He entered into a diversion program and the state attorney's office eventually deferred prosecution. He was also involved in a 2008 New Year's Eve ruckus involving Pete and Sue Diaz of Avon Park. The couple was recently acquitted by a jury on battery charges against Parker. Parker has been with the Avon Park Police Department since 2006, and was previously employed by the department for roughly 20 months between 2002 and 2004. He was placed on administrative leave without pay pending further investigation. At Parker's May bond hearing, sheriff's office Det. Tyrone Tyson said there was evidence of older injuries on the child, including a two-month-old fractured right collarbone and a broken elbow, which occurred about a week prior to March 29, 2009. On May 4, 2009 attorney Richard Pipkin, speaking on behalf of Short's mother, had told a court room gathered for Parker's bond hearing that the child was being taken off life support. If she did live, doctors said she would be a vegetative state, the attorney had added. The sheriff's office is continuing to investigate the case, along with the state attorney's office, District 10 Medical Examiner's Office and the Department of Children and Families. Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin could not comment Wednesday afternoon if his office will file first-degree murder charges against Parker. "Naturally, the autopsy will be the next step," Houchin said.
June 9, 2009 His job was to uphold the law, but a Harris County Precinct 6 reserve deputy constable is now on the other side of the law, KPRC Local 2 reported Monday. Angel Erevia, 31, had a daughter, Angelina, who just turned 1 on Sunday. Now she's left without a father. "He was a sweet person," said Erevia's mother, Santos Rodriguez. "He always helped people." Houston Police said reserve deputy constable Jose Castillo shot Erevia to death. "What kind of law do we have if they can just go up to somebody and shoot them like an animal?" asked Rodriguez. Police said that at about 2 a.m. Friday, the two men's girlfriends got into a fight inside Buffalo Fred's on North Shepherd Drive. Employees kicked everyone out who was involved, and police said Castillo, 39, was one of them. But the fight didn't end there. "I just remember the gunshots," said Erevia's girlfriend, Araceli Sanchez, who witnessed the shooting. Police said Castillo (pictured left) shot four times. Sanchez said Erevia never had a chance. "He wasn't even armed," said Sanchez. "He's just not that type person." Erevia died before he got to the hospital. "I don't have no alternative but to terminate him," Harris County Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino said. Castillo had been working as a reserve deputy as a volunteer for 14 years. Trevino said he was never on the Precinct's payroll and had no disciplinary problems. "He seemed like a family guy, a hard working guy," said Trevino. "I was shocked." Castillo is no longer a peace officer. Instead, he's charged with murder. "They need to put him away. He took a life," said Sanchez. Castillo made an arrangement with HPD to turn himself in. He'll be held on $100,000 bond. HPD said he already admitted to the shooting in a written statement, but said it was self-defense.
March 5, 2009 A reserve officer with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has been arrested on charges of attempted murder and aggravated stalking. Greg Conner, 48, was taken into custody Thursday outside a fast food restaurant on State Road 71 South. Conner is also the firing range master and a firearms instructor for Chipola College, and had once been a full-time deputy with JCSO. According to a press release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (see below), an investigation “revealed that Conner intended to kill his (estranged) wife and her boyfriend.”
News Release from Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement - For Immediate Release
March 5, 2009 The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) today arrested Gregory Conner, 48, in Marianna, Fla. for attempted murder and aggravated stalking. The joint investigation revealed that Conner intended to kill his wife and her boyfriend. FDLE and JCSO arrested Conner after confirming his intent to carry out his plans. Conner was an auxiliary Deputy Sheriff with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and was immediately removed from his position by Sheriff Roberts. “I am disappointed with Conner’s actions,” said Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts. “I am glad that Conner and his family were unharmed in the incident.” The State Attorney’s Office for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit assisted in the investigation. Conner was booked into the Jackson County Correctional Facility.
Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts said Conner and his wife had been separated for some time, and that JCSO investigators had received information [...] that Conner was stalking her and her boyfriend. According to Roberts, Conner had been seen at odd hours in the area of his wife’s home in the Grand Ridge/Shady Grove area and the boyfriend’s dwelling, which are some distance apart. Roberts said officers had confronted Conner at one point, and he had denied stalking the couple. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) got involved [...] after receiving further information about Conner’s alleged plans. Concern grew as authorities from FDLE and JCSO ramped up their investigation Wednesday evening, said Tommy Ford of FDLE. According to Ford, it appeared that Conner was progressing toward a plan of murder and that “overt acts” had been taken in the planning process. He and Roberts declined to give details of the surveillance and other investigative techniques employed which led authorities to that conclusion. They would reveal little further information except to say that it did not appear to be a ‘murder for hire’ plot but rather something that Conner planned to carry out himself. Unspecified evidence has been gathered in the case, Ford and Roberts said. While they would not reveal any particulars, Ford and Roberts agreed that the alleged plan was an elaborate one that, if carried out, would have involved sudden death and would have had the clear earmarks of homicide. The alleged plan was “unfolding rapidly” [...] when Conner’s wife, boyfriend, and the two Conner children were moved to a place of safety overnight, according to Ford. Conner was arrested Thursday outside a fast food restaurant on State Road 71 South. He offered no resistance and the arrest was without incident, Roberts and Ford said. Conner was booked into the Jackson County Correctional Facility. For years, Conner was the person who most often greeted Roberts and his officers when they arrived at the local firing range to do the quarterly shooting necessary to keep them qualified for weapons.