#805 Dec 24, 2010
POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED TO 9 YEARS AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WOMAN DURING TRAFFIC STOP
Thursday December 23, 2010 - 10.05am
[ Women and parents – which police officer is a good one and which is a lying, predatory pervert? How do you know? Your life and those of your children may depend on making the right decision.]
A police officer was sentenced Thursday to nine years behind bars for forcing a female motorist to perform a sex act during a traffic stop.
OFFICER FELICIANO SANCHEZ, NOW 35, PLEADED GUILTY IN JULY 2009 TO ONE COUNT OF DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW (U.T.C.O.L.)
Officer Sanchez stopped the victim -- identified in court papers only by the initials R.H.-- for a supposed traffic violation and took her in his patrol car to a remote location, WHERE HE PLACED HIS HAND ON HIS DUTY WEAPON AND FORCED HER TO PERFORM ORAL SEX, according to court papers.
Before the sentence was imposed, Officer Sanchez pleaded with U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank for mercy, saying the woman lied and the May 16, 2007, incident was really part of a "sinful adulterous affair."
Judge Fairbank, though, SAID THE EVIDENCE CLEARLY SHOWED OFFICER SANCHEZ COMMITTED A CRIME THAT REFLECTED "SERIOUS ... PREDATORY CONDUCT," WHICH INVOLVED "DEPRIVING A WOMAN OF HER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS."
In addition, the judge said, OFFICER SANCHEZ SHOWED NO REMORSE AND "HIS DENIAL OF THE OFFENSE (IS) NOT CREDIBLE."
U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said prosecutors had asked that Officer Sanchez be sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison "after considering the egregiousness of the assault, the incalculable pain and suffering Officer Sanchez caused the victim, and the damage to the honor of the thousands of men and women in law enforcement who serve us every day."
Birotte said OFFICER SANCHEZ "VIOLATED HIS OATH TO SERVE AND PROTECT THE COMMUNITY BY COMMITTING A CRIME THAT WAS PARTICULARLY OFFENSIVE, DEHUMANIZING AND HARMFUL."
As Officer Sanchez sat staring at her, the woman told the court in Spanish that she suffers sleep deprivation and depression as a result of her ordeal.
"He knows what happened," she said. "He knows he's not the victim.
In August, Fairbank rejected an argument by Officer Sanchez that he was mentally unfit to be sentenced.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Officer Sanchez in 2008 on one count each of DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW AND CARRYING A FIREARM DURING A CRIME OF VIOLENCE.
After a federal jury failed to reach a unanimous decision, Officer Sanchez pleaded guilty before the case could go to trial for a second time.
After he gets out of prison, Sanchez must serve three years of supervised release, including 20 hours per week of community service, the judge said.
http://22.214.171.124/article/Lo cal_News/Local_News/Former_Bel l_Cop_Gets_Nine_Years_in_Priso n_for_Forcing_Motorist_Into_Se x_Act/73519
#806 Dec 24, 2010
POLICE UNION PUBLISHES ARTICLE IN NEWSLETTER URGING POLICE DEPARTMENTS TO REWARD AGGRESSION
Story Published: Dec 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM PST
An article published in the Police Union’s newsletter, The Rap Sheet, URGES POLICE AGENCIES TO “REWARD AGGRESSION,” AND IT’S RAISING A FEW EYEBROWS AND CONCERNS IN LIGHT OF THIS YEAR’S FOUR DEADLY OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS.
[ Ya Think?]
The article,“Seven habits of successful departments,” written by Charles Remsberg, an expert in police training, APPEARS TO PUSH FOR USING GUNS OVER OTHER, LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS.
While the Police Association didn’t write the article, given the current tension after the shootings, SOME WONDER WHY THE UNION WOULD INCLUDE IT IN ITS NOVEMBER 2010 EDITION.
[ Because it is an excellent example of how they think and operate….. and they thought the public would not see it?]
In addition to writing that the most-effective police agencies “reward aggression,” Remsberg also says that too many “prefer officer Friendly types …” who are “good at smiling and waving and kissing babies.”
He also says those agencies use personality tests to screen out “hard-charging recruit candidates” and that those “passive officers” are “mentally ill-prepared to deal with violent suspects.”
[ Huh? You’re really talking about the military in war, not civilian police officers – right?????]
“THE MAIN CONCERN IS IT CONTRIBUTES TO A PROFESSIONAL CULTURE IN WHICH THE POLICE VIEW THE COMMUNITY WITH HOSTILITY, AND I THINK IT MAKES VIOLENCE MORE LIKELY,” SAID KRISTIAN WILLIAMS WITH THE FIRE OFFICER (RON) FRASHOUR CAMPAIGN.
[ Who’da thunk ??]
Frashour was the officer who shot and killed an unarmed 25-year-old Aaron Campbell last January during an incident at an apartment complex on Northeast Sandy Boulevard. The shooting prompted an outcry from those who felt Campbell was unjustly fired upon.
A County jury found no criminal wrongdoing on the part of Frashour, BUT he was "eventually" fired. Police Chief Mike Reese said the use of lethal force in that case was OUTSIDE OF BUREAU POLICY.
WILLIAMS AND OTHER ANTIPOLICE-VIOLENCE ACTIVISTS SAID THEY BELIEVE THAT ARTICLES LIKE REMSBERG’S ENCOURAGE VIOLENCE AND ARGUE AGAINST ACCOUNTABILITY.
The Police Association president, Daryl Turner, declined to do an on-camera interview but said The Rap Sheet likes to provide different points of view to show what other agencies are doing. He said it doesn’t mean it’s policy.
[ LOL !!! Lame ….]
“Well, The Rap Sheet is the police union’s publication. So, if the views that are expressed in The Rap Sheet are not the police views, then who’s views are they?” said Rahsaan Muhammad, also with the Fire Officer Frashour campaign.
Former Hillsboro police chief turned law enforcement educator, Ron Louie, said,“A much better word would have been ‘assertive.’”
“I can see the public reading that (and) saying,‘Wait a minute, I don’t want an aggressive police force,” he said.“Just think of the word. THE WORD ‘AGGRESSION’ IS VERY CONNECTED TO COMBATIVENESS."
Louie said he thinks a disclaimer that said the article offers some good points but the union doesn’t support or operate by all of them would have been helpful.
[ But they didn’t, did they?]
The Police Bureau declined to comment, saying it is a union publication.
[ And surely, the Police Bureau’s members are not part of the Police Union ….. so no one is accountable, right? LOL, LOL, LOL !]
#807 Dec 24, 2010
oh, i see
YOU were forced into a sex act on a traffic stop?!
that IS terrible!
what did he do to break you down?
did he, did he, well, just look at you mean and without saying a word, fearing he might violate you anyway so why not save yourself some pain just go ahead and blow him from the window????
being an astute citizen fully ware of your rights and the process of law, i bet you saved some evidence?
or did you take it down like a shucked oyster?
#808 Dec 24, 2010
Holy Cow! Try re-reading (again) after you calm down from another of your manic mental illness episodes:
“Officer Feliciano Sanchez, now 35, PLEADED GUILTY in July 2009 to one count of Deprivation Of Rights Under Color Of Law (U.T.C.O.L.).
Officer Sanchez stopped the victim -- identified in court papers only by the initials R.H.-- for a supposed traffic violation and:
• TOOK HER IN HIS PATROL CAR,
• TO A REMOTE LOCATION,
• WHERE HE PLACED HIS HAND ON HIS DUTY WEAPON, AND
• FORCED HER TO PERFORM ORAL SEX,
according to court papers.
Judge Fairbank, said the evidence CLEARLY SHOWED OFFICER SANCHEZ COMMITTED A CRIME that reflected "serious ... predatory conduct," which involved "depriving a woman of her constitutional rights."
In addition, the judge said, OFFICER SANCHEZ SHOWED NO REMORSE AND "HIS DENIAL OF THE OFFENSE (IS) NOT CREDIBLE."
http://126.96.36.199/article/Lo cal_News/Local_News/Former_Bel l_Cop_Gets_Nine_Years_in_Priso n_for_Forcing_Motorist_Into_Se x_Act/73519
#809 Dec 24, 2010
DEPUTY WHO DIED IN FIERY SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENT HAD BAC OVER 3 TIMES THE LEGAL LIMIT
[ Surely this will be considered an “in the line of duty” death.
Sad. Sincere Condolences to his family, particularly at this time of the year.
“Stupid Is As Stupid Does”.]
Deputy Was Driving Drunk Before Fatal Crash, Police Say
Published: Friday, December 24, 2010, 1:14 PM
Officials say a County sheriff’s deputy who died in a fiery single-car crash was driving drunk.
Iinvestigators say 36-year-old Officer Kyle Lesher had A BLOOD-ALCOHOL LEVEL MORE THAN THREE TIMES THE LEGAL LIMIT for drivers when he crashed and rolled his car last night.
The County coroner’s office says Officer Lesher was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police stated that NEIGHBORS RAN TO THE SCENE AND PULLED OFFICER LESHER FROM THE BURNING WRECKAGE before medics arrived.
#810 Dec 24, 2010
Merriest of Christmases & A Safe & Happy New Year To All.
In particular, to the many honest, hard working and dedicated public servant POLICE OFFICERS. May God Bless and Protect You Always. You are Loved and Respected.
[ As for the far too many bad cops - well, let's just say it's hoped your Christmas presents will be to get caught, exposed, convicted and jailed as soon as heavenly possible.]
#811 Dec 25, 2010
Ga. Officer Shot, Killed Responding to Robbery
Posted: Friday, December 24, 2010
Updated: December 24th, 2010 09:45 AM CDT
A Dougherty County police officer was fatally shot while responding to an armed robbery last night, according to WFXL-TV.
Lt. Cliff Rouse responded to the call at the Pitt Stop Convenience Store at 3225 Sylvester Road just after 10 p.m. and was shot at a nearby trailer park a short time later, Chief Don Creek told the news station.
He was shot once in the stomach and once in his left leg. He called for help and requested an ambulance.
Creek said he was wearing a protective vest, but the shot to his stomach barely missed the bottom layer.
Rouse later died after he was transported to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. "Lt. Rouse was a fine officer, a fine man, and a wonderful family man," Creek said. "This is a tragedy, Lt. Rouse was an exemplarity officer and our hearts go out to his family."
The 18-year veteran of the department leaves behind a wife and two children.
A massive manhunt ensued after the shooting and 20-year-old Raynard Thomas was arrested a short time later.
Thomas will be charged with felony murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission a crime. More charges are pending for Thomas, who a convicted felon.
#812 Dec 25, 2010
NEW STUDY SHOWS COPS HAVE TROUBLE ADJUSTING AFTER WAR TOURS
Many law enforcement officers called up to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are finding it difficult to readjust to their jobs once home, bringing back HEIGHTENED SURVIVAL INSTINCTS THAT MAY MAKE THEM QUICKER TO USE FORCE and showing less patience toward the people they serve.
In interviews with the Associated Press and in dozens of anecdotes compiled in a survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, OFFICERS DESCRIBED FEELING COMPELLED TO USE TACTICS THEY EMPLOYED IN WAR ZONES AFTER THEY RETURNED TO WORK in the U.S.
[ Which is exactly why soldiers should not be allowed to become police officers.]
One officer said he felt compelled to fire his gun in the air to disperse an unruly crowd in California. Others said they felt they felt wary about being flanked when working crowd control. And others said after seeing the hardships ordinary Afghans and Iraqis lived with, it's hard to care about complaints over pet droppings.
THE REPORT, WHICH WAS ISSUED LATE LAST YEAR, WARNS THAT THE BLURRING OF THE LINE BETWEEN COMBAT AND CONFRONTATIONS WITH CRIMINAL SUSPECTS AT HOME MAY RESULT IN “INAPPROPRIATE DECISIONS AND ACTIONS — PARTICULARLY IN THE USE OF ... FORCE. THIS SIMILARITY ... COULD RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH TO AN INNOCENT CIVILIAN.”
[ Particularly when SWAT teams ( wanna-be soldiers in imagined war games ) are involved.
Same gear, same training, same mindset.
The populace is seen as “enemies” instead of American citizens.]
In two high-profile cases, officers blamed their overzealous use of force on complications from their military service.
Officer Wayne Williamson, an Austin, Texas, police officer who served 18 months in Iraq, was fired in 2008 after he OPENED FIRE ON A FLEEING ASSAULT SUSPECT IN A CROWDED PARKING LOT. A DISPATCHER HAD REPORTED THAT THE SUSPECT WAS CARRYING A KNIFE, BUT WILLIAMSON SAID HE DIDN'T SEE A WEAPON WHEN HE FIRED.
NONE OF THE ROUNDS HIT THEIR MARK, BUT ONE STRUCK A MINIVAN WITH TWO CHILDREN INSIDE. THEY WERE NOT INJURED.
Williamson told investigators he had been having trouble readjusting to some aspects of civilian life and that he had trouble DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN IRAQ AND AUSTIN during the confrontation.
On Friday, a sheriff's sergeant who served in the Gulf War before leaving the Army 17 years ago was sentenced to 18 months in prison for repeatedly punching a handcuffed suspect in the face in the back of his squad car.
In this frame grab [ see link below ] from video provided by the County District Attorney's office, County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Krause is seen punching a handcuffed suspect in the face in the back of his squad car.
The survey was based on interviews with 53 law enforcement officers who had returned from serving in the National Guard or reserves, as well as written responses from 340 returned veterans and 112 police chiefs.
#813 Dec 25, 2010
Laura Zimmerman, a psychologist who contributed to the study, said the irritability some respondents reported feeling with citizens back home stems from a sense that the stakes have been lowered. Officers have gone from helping build nations to writing speeding tickets, she said.
[ Hence the unnecessary build up of militarized police forces – so they can “make war” on civilians and get their adrenaline rush.]
“They've seen bigger problems now. Coming back to policing, THE MISSION doesn't feel as critical,” she said.“Once you raise the bar, coming back down is just difficult. I think it's just that feeling of non-purpose here.”
Todd Nehls, the sheriff of Dodge County, Wis., and a colonel in the Wisconsin National Guard, said that after spending a year stationed in Afghanistan, he's had less patience for small complaints back home. After seeing people go without electricity and walk miles for fresh water, he said, you quickly grow tired of citizens complaining about dogs urinating in their neighbor's lawn.
Zimmerman said the urban nature of the Iraq war, as compared to the jungle warfare that dominated the Vietnam War, may have made it more difficult for some returning officers to adjust to urban life back home.“Now it is easier to muddle the environments,” Zimmerman said.
The study's authors hope it will help law enforcement agencies develop protocols to help reintegrate the thousands of officers called up since the start of the war in Afghanistan.
#814 Dec 25, 2010
NEW COPS TRAIN TO HAVE WAR MENTALITY
The Wrong Message At The Police Academy
24 Dec 2010 03:20 pm
Radley Balko draws our attention to this ABSURD TRAINING REGIME FOR NEW POLICE OFFICERS.
Here's the description:
• From the darkness, a knife-wielding attacker lunges at them. A few draw their guns and fire. They live. Most freeze, pull their Tasers or do any number of things besides pull their guns. For the purposes of the exercise, they die.
• Then two men circle and attack with shield-like pads, pounding the recruits as they try to fend them off with batons. Most spend more time on their backs than on their feet. Then the men with pads smother the recruits with all their weight, only getting up so another man in fighting gloves can mount them and punch away.
By then most of the recruits, exhausted and worn out, have no chance. They lie on the ground, cover up and take the punches to their heads, backs and ribs.
"You're just going to lay there and die? You know you're better than that," officer Bill Brewer screams at Eugene Yanga, the first recruit to take the pummeling. After watching the first few recruits give up the fight, Brewer storms out. "That was a mess," he says.
"That was disgusting."
When the exercise ends, the staff is furious. Brewer calls it one of the worst performances by a class he's ever seen. Some of them were defeated the moment they walked into the room, he says.
"What we're measuring is your heart," he said. "Some of you gave up." On the streets, that lack of heart will get them killed, says Dean Leslie, the officer in charge of Class 6-09. "Some of you in here don't have any fire in your gut," he says. "If you can't do it in practicals, you can't do it in real life, and you're going to be dead."
The problem isn't drills that simulate violent scenarios. It's the idea that "fire in the gut" is an attribute that out to be tested for and encouraged, as if police officers are dying when under attack because they're insufficiently passionate about fighting back.
Skip down to the bottom of the story, and we get this from one of the trainers:
THEY"LL ALWAYS BE on guard -- carrying a gun on duty and off, checking out fellow shoppers at the grocery store, THINKING ABOUT THOSE WORST-CASE SCENARIOS while having dinner with the family. IT'S LIKE A SWITCH THAT FLIPS ON AND NEVER TURNS OFF, Germosen says.
"I BELIEVE EVERY SINGLE RECRUIT HERE, WHEN THEY PUT THAT BADGE ON, THEY ARE WARRIORS," THE FORMER MARINE SAYS.
"WE'RE FIGHTING A WAR."
[ A war against whom?
The lunatics are running the asylum people.]
Would you want an officer with that war mentality checking you out in the grocery store?
#815 Dec 25, 2010
Yogurt shop suspect dies in shooting
View All Photos
Posted:12/24/2010 8:42 PM
Maurice Pierce, who was once jailed in Austin's infamous 1991 yogurt shop murders and had remained a suspect in the unresolved case, was shot dead Thursday night after taking a police officer's knife and slashing the officer's trachea and carotid artery, police said Friday.
Police said officer Frank Wilson acted in self-defense in shooting Pierce. The assault left the officer with life-threatening injuries, but he was stabilized Friday at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center. He is "in good spirits" and will probably stay through Christmas, Assistant Police Chief David Carter said.
The incident was Pierce's third run-in with law enforcement since 2008, according to police. Two of those were in Travis County, and another was in Collin County, where Pierce, 35, was awaiting trial on charges of evading arrest and aggravated assault on a public servant.
Running a stop sign
The slashing and shooting happened late Thursday night in North Austin, near Parmer Lane.
Carter, the assistant police chief, said at a news conference Friday that Wilson and other officers had not been interviewed, but Carter gave this account, based on information police had gathered:
Wilson and his partner, Brad Smith, saw a car run a stop sign in the 12000 block of Carrera Drive, a residential neighborhood. The officers attempted to pull the car over just before 11 p.m., but the driver "was trying to elude them" at first, Carter said.
The driver was Pierce, who stopped and ran from the police. Wilson and Smith split up and chased him. A few blocks away Wilson caught Pierce in a backyard and "attempted to Tase him."
The two wound up in front of houses on Campos Drive, where Pierce grabbed a knife from Wilson's belt and slashed him with it. The knife cut Wilson's right ear, trachea and carotid artery.
Wilson got off one shot before staggering a couple of driveways down. Officers Bobby Townes, Dale Stevenson and Zachary Reed found him after arriving moments later and stopped the bleeding long enough for him to survive until Emergency Medical Services arrived. Police officials say Wilson probably would have bled to death without the officers' intervention.
The shot killed Pierce, who was pronounced dead at the scene, Carter said.
Wilson was treated at the scene and taken to the St. David's facility in Round Rock, where he underwent surgery and remains in intensive care.
"We're very lucky today that officer Wilson is going to survive," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said Friday at a news conference. "But (the incident) does (remind) us police work is very dangerous" at times.
Carter said Friday that many officers carry a standard-issue knife on their belts, as Wilson did. Carter said he did not know whether Pierce had drugs or alcohol in his system.
#816 Dec 25, 2010
POLICE INSIST MAN WRONGFULLY ARRESTED BY COP WITH HISTORY OF MISCONDUCT IS GUILTY DESPITE VIDEO CLEARING HIM
Earlier this week Shane Rhooms, who earlier HAD SPENT THREE WEEKS IN PRISON FOR ALLEGEDLY FIRING AT POLICE OFFICERS, WAS CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES WHEN VIDEO AND CELL PHONE RECORDS SHOWED HE WAS CLEARLY AT A REGGAE CONCERT WHEN THE SHOOTINGS OCCURRED.
[ Again, ain’t it great to have incontrovertible evidence such as video when bad cops are caught committing crimes and then lying and conspiring to cover it up ?]
But the police aren't backing off their story.
[ Because they know they are going to get their butts deservedly sued off - AGAIN.]
Not only did a spokesman say on Tuesday that they "remain skeptical of the purported alibi" but then Police Commissioner Ray Kelly went and offered more support for the officers who made the ID Wednesday.
Maybe he should have done a little more research into who he was defending?
The Daily News looked into the cops who fingered Rhooms in the first place and what they found doesn't looks great.
PARTICULARLY, THE FACT THAT OVER HIS 13-YEAR-CAREER, LT. ROBERT HENDERSON HAS COST THE CITY $500,000 OVER EIGHT COURT SETTLEMENTS.
One lawyer who has sued the cop on behalf of clients five times told the paper that "it seems clear to me he has made multiple false arrests in the hope of finding contraband." To which Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne bitchily responded, "The lieutenant put his life on the line, which is more than a plaintiff's lawyer will do."
[ putting his life on the line … by committing crimes under the color of law? What another great example of bad cop mentality….]
Rhooms' lawyer, meanwhile, is pissed that the PD is still talking smack about his client even after he provided an air-tight alibi. In a statement yesterday he wrote:
“We are extremely concerned with the PD’s posture that the officers and investigators remain confident that Mr. Rhooms was involved in this crime.
THIS POSITION CONFIRMS THAT THE BLUE WALL IS ALIVE AND WELL AT ALL LEVELS OF THE PD AND SHOULD BE OF GREAT CONCERN TO ALL CITIZENS."
[ Remember folks, bad cops can do it to any of you anytime.
Who’s next ?]
#817 Dec 25, 2010
Yes, there are bad cops out there. But their numbers are so miniscule when compared to the number of law enforcement employed in this country. Unfortunately, the bad cops get more publicity because of people like you who thrive on negative media. 99% of law enforcement are honorable men and women who protect us everyday.
#818 Dec 25, 2010
Really ? Show us your proof.
It's people like you who hide their heads in the sand and ignore serious problems who allow those problems to continue and prosper.
Please do prove your "opinion".
#819 Dec 25, 2010
POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH DUI AFTER FLIPPING HIS CAR WHILE POINTING GUN AT OTHER MOTORIST
6:31 p.m. EST, December 24, 2010
A police officer faces DUI charges Friday after crashing his car.
Witnesses told police that 31-year-old Officer Roney M. Daniel HAD BEEN POINTING A GUN AT ANOTHER DRIVER BEFORE CRASHING HIS CAR.
Police spokeswoman Yvonne Martínez said Officer Daniel will be booked into the County Detention Center once doctors clear his release from the hospital.
Reports show witnesses first spotted Officer Daniel's car on southbound Babcock Street around 2:45 p.m. He was chasing another car while pointing a gun out of the window, the police report shows.
Emergency dispatchers received several 911 calls from residents a few minutes later stating Officer Daniel's car had crashed and overturned at the intersection of Ramsdale Drive and San Lane SE.
"Responding officers immediately detected the odor of alcohol," Martínez said.
Officers confirmed Daniel is an officer with the Police Department. He had been driving his personal vehicle.
#820 Dec 26, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Police Department Under Investigation
by Greg Miller - Investigative Reporter
This is an ongoing investigation involving a police officer who identified himself as “Officer Santa Clause”.
DOUG LIBERT FILED A FEDERAL LAWSUIT CLAIMING AN ILLEGAL SEARCH OCCURRED AT HIS RESIDENCE WHEN OFFICER SANTA CLAUSE ENTERED INTO LIBERT’S HOME WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE, SEARCH WARRANT OR CONSENT OF LIBERT.
The Police Department has been guilty of not complying with a court order requiring the true identity of Officer Santa Clause to be revealed.
Furthermore, the Police Department is:
• also guilty of obstructing and investigation by failing to comply with State laws that require the department to release public documents relating to important government activities.
• The police department refuses to give up facts about the department’s personal; especially, the name and rank of police officers who are employed with the department.
In the end Libert wishes the true identity of the officer to be known and that the police department takes corrective action to help better it’s professional standards.
#821 Dec 27, 2010
(This is the first installment in a three-part series examining the lack of police oversight in departments.)
When police officers get into trouble and are fired or quit their jobs, they often jump to other departments -- the same "last-chance" departments, a Gazette-Mail investigation shows.
The state doesn't monitor why officers switch departments, but the Division of Criminal Justice Services keeps track of their employment histories. An examination of the data -- about 14 years' worth -- shows that 166 officers have held jobs with more than four departments in the state.
OFFICERS MOVING FROM DEPARTMENT TO DEPARTMENT AFTER THEIR ACTIONS ARE QUESTIONED - BUT BEFORE ANYTHING CAN BE PROVEN -- IS A COMMON OCCURRENCE ACROSS THE NATION, said Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Omaha, and a police accountability expert.
"Everybody talks about the problem of gypsy cops -- officers who are employed, get in trouble, quit, then get hired somewhere else," he said.
"It has been talked about but it has never been researched. Part of it is that research in policing always focuses on big cities. Small departments go off the radar screen."
There are 14 departments that have each hired at least 10 of the 166 officers that moved around the most.
Smithers, Montgomery, Shinnston, Mount Hope and Cedar Grove combined have hired those officers at least 80 times.
In the past two years, the Sunday Gazette-Mail has shown that at least 13 officers who have left one department under a cloud of allegations have found work at another department.
"We have news stories about a particular officer when misconduct results in a very serious problem," Walker said. "We don't really have a professional system to prevent these kinds of problems."
One of those news stories this year focused on Robert McComb, 81 YEARS OLD, of Cedar Grove.
McComb had his knees replaced in February, but that didn't slow him down.
Last spring, he fixed up his camp, putting in a retaining wall against the riverbank that had him carrying and stacking 1,800 masonry blocks.
In August, McComb had a bad run-in with police officer Johnny Walls, a on his fourth department in seven years. The then-Cedar Grove chief stopped McComb as he drove his ATV to his house.
Witnesses said Walls grabbed McComb, pulled him off the side of the ATV and slammed him to the concrete, face-first.
Officer Walls already had a history of problems.
In 2006, William Pullen won a $36,000 settlement against the town of Chesapeake for Walls' actions as a police officer there.
Now, McComb can barely walk from the camp to his car.
"I couldn't deer hunt this year," he said. "I couldn't lift the rifle."
Police officers switch jobs for the same reasons anyone does -- better pay, relocation, better work environment, said Roger Goldman, professor at the Saint Louis University School of Law and an expert on police certification.
"THEN YOU HAVE YOUR LAST-CHANCE AGENCIES -- EVERY STATE'S GOT THEM," HE SAID.
GOLDMAN SAID THERE ARE DEPARTMENTS ALL AROUND THE NATION THAT WILL HIRE AN OFFICER WITH QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT IN HIS PAST BECAUSE IT'S EASIER AND CHEAPER.
#822 Dec 27, 2010
NATIONALLY, THERE'S VERY LITTLE MONITORING AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF OFFICER MOVEMENT, he said. There are 44 states that have a mechanism to decertify police, but the standards for doing so vary. About 20 set the standard at criminal convictions, he said.
"In Arizona, they can do it for ethical reasons," Goldman said.
In West Virginia, the Law Enforcement Training Subcommittee of the Governor's Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Corrections has the power to decertify officers.
The committee is made up of law enforcement officers and officials from around the state. It has the power to decertify police "for conduct or a pattern of conduct unbecoming to an officer or activities that would tend to disrupt, diminish, or otherwise jeopardize public trust and fidelity in law enforcement," according to the West Virginia State Code.
IN PRACTICE, THOUGH, the state only decertifies officers who have been convicted of a jailable offense, said West Virginia State Police Sgt. Curtis Tilley, who heads the LET subcommittee.
[ Form over substance ]
The LET subcommittee HAS A ONE-MAN STAFF AND DOESN'T HAVE SUBPOENA POWER, which Tilley says is necessary to be able find information about what officers have done.
DEPARTMENTS WON'T GIVE UP INFORMATION ABOUT INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS OF AN OFFICER WITHOUT A SUBPOENA BECAUSE THEY'RE AFRAID OF GETTING SUED, HE SAID.
The past two years, legislation has been introduced that would increase the role and power of the subcommittee to allow it to decertify more officers, BUT BOTH TIMES IT FAILED.
"We don't have the ability to investigate. We aren't charged with investigating whether something did or didn't happen, he said. "We deal with incidents where we are certain something did happen."
wrong, but not always a federal crime.
If anyone brings a complaint of wrongdoing by a police officer to the attention of the FBI or U.S. Attorney, they MIGHT investigate it, said Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.
The investigation has one purpose: to find out whether the officer committed a violation under the federal civil-rights statute, Goodwin said.
"IT'S AN ISSUE THAT DESERVES NOTORIETY," GOODWIN SAID.
[ Thank you !]
"IT'S ABOUT ABUSE OF PUBLIC TRUST.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chuck Miller, who handles the cases for the Southern District of West Virginia has been busy. The Gazette-Mail has reported on four FBI investigations into police officers' actions this year alone.
Last year, OFFICER RAYMOND O. "DALE" CONLEY PLEADED GUILTY TO A CIVIL-RIGHTS VIOLATION IN FEDERAL COURT FOR FORCING A WOMAN TO HAVE SEX WITH HIM WHILE ON DUTY.
Also in 2009, OFFICER MATTHEW LEAVITT PLEADED GUILTY TO TWO CIVIL-RIGHTS VIOLATIONS FOR BEATING TWAN REYNOLDS AND ILLEGALLY CHARGING HIS WIFE, LAUREN REYNOLDS, WITH DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is not prosecuting Johnny Walls for the incident with Robert McCombs, nor any of the West Virginia State Police involved in the 2007 beating of Charleston lawyer Roger Wolfe, Miller said.
But just because there's not enough evidence to prosecute a civil rights violation under federal law, it doesn't mean that something didn't happen, Miller said of police investigations in general.
"I don't want to say we are the last resort, but there are other remedies," said Joe Ciccarelli, FBI supervisory senior resident agent in Charleston.
The FBI is not designed to be police oversight for other agencies, he said. Those agencies need another mechanism to review allegations, he said.
Not every abuse of authority or overstepping of boundaries by police is a civil-rights violation.
"It may be a crime," he said, "but it's not a federal crime."
#823 Dec 27, 2010
After he realized the process wasn't automatic, Miller said plea agreements in civil-rights cases now include the stipulation that officers must surrender their police certification.
Leavitt's and Conley's pleas included the agreement.
In the case of Johnny Walls, Miller said there is video from his cruiser that shows McComb getting stopped by the officer.
According to witnesses contacted by the Gazette-Mail, Officer Walls grabbed McComb, pulled him off the side of the ATV and slammed him to the concrete.
Miller said emergency officials said McComb was belligerent and refused treatment at the scene. The evidence before him didn't put McComb in the best light and he didn't believe he could prove police officer Walls violated his civil rights beyond a reasonable doubt.
Robert McComb's daughter, Karen McComb, didn't expect the FBI to prosecute the case, but she wants something done about police officer Walls and officers like him.
Karen is a licensed independent clinical social worker, a position that has put her in contact with many victims of trauma and with many police officers.
She was at the scene of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 shortly after it happened. In 2009, she was brought in by the Charleston Police Department after Officer Jerry Jones was killed by friendly fire.
"I don't want to get down on those guys," she said of police. "It's disheartening to me, because you have people out there like this guy [police officer Walls], and then other officers that truly put their lives on the line get a bad reputation."
In Monday's Charleston Gazette: Problems with the State Police dating back 30 years.
#824 Dec 28, 2010
Mass. officer responding to call is killed
Shooting happened Sunday night in Woburn, just north of Boston
Two charged in fatal shooting of Mass. cop
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WOBURN, Mass.— A police officer responding to an attempted armed robbery at a department store's jewelry counter the day after Christmas was shot dead in a gunfight, and a suspect also was killed, authorities said.
The shootings happened Sunday night at a Kohl's store in Woburn, a city of about 40,000 residents just north of Boston.
The officer was shot while responding to a robbery in progress, police and prosecutors said. He was taken to a hospital in nearby Burlington, where he died.
One suspect was shot dead by responding officers, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone and Woburn police Chief Philip Mahoney said.
"This is a horribly tragic incident in which an officer was fatally shot in the line of duty," Leone said in an e-mailed statement.
He said his "thoughts and prayers" were with the family of the officer, whose identity wasn't disclosed because the family hadn't been notified.
Heavily armed police officers and troopers used dogs to search nearby stores and retail complexes for other suspects in the attempted robbery, which happened around 9 p.m., near closing time. A second suspect later was arrested by a state trooper, state police spokesman David Procopio said. It was under investigation whether there was a third suspect, he said.
The identities of the suspects hadn't been determined, police and prosecutors said.
Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright 2010 Associated Press
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