#21 Nov 18, 2010
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - The American Civil Liberties Union launched a program Wednesday to give free video cameras to some residents of high-crime neighborhoods to help them monitor police after years of misconduct complaints.
The ACLU of Eastern Missouri began working on the project last year after television crews broadcast video of officers punching and kicking a suspect who led police on a car chase.
The idea here is to level the playing field, so its not just your word against the polices word, said Brenda Jones, executive director of the ACLU chapter.
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The ACLU has given cameras and training to about 10 residents in north St. Louis, a high-crime, low-income part of the city that members said is plagued by police misconduct. The group hopes to expand the program to 50 to 100 residents.
Police spokesman Richard Wilkes declined to comment when asked how the program might affect police relations with the public.
We dont have any opinions or feelings about it one way or another, Wilkes said.Hopefully it records positive interactions between the police and the community.
Former police Sgt. K.L. Williams is overseeing the training, teaching residents how to videotape officers from a safe distance without interrupting arrests or searches.
The citizens are not there to interfere with any police contacts, Williams said.
ACLU spokesman Redditt Hudson said the program will also include free workshops to teach residents about their rights when approached by police.
Project organizers have worked closely with police to make sure they are aware of the programs goals, Jones said.
The ACLU declined to release the names of people participating in the video monitoring.
Police conduct was highlighted in January 2006, when Edmon Burns was arrested after officers in suburban Maplewood noticed a man in a van acting suspiciously. They pursued him into St. Louis as the chase was broadcast live on television. It was not clear from the video whether Burns resisted officers.
Three of the officers were from Maplewood, and one was from the St. Louis Police Department.
Burns, 33, had a long criminal record. He was treated at a hospital and released.
The FBI investigated and handed the case over to the Justice Department, which concluded last month that there was insufficient evidence to charge the officers with violating civil-rights laws. Prosecutors said their decision was not an exoneration of the officers.
#22 Nov 18, 2010
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI A Kansas City, Kan., police officer pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Wednesday after allegedly filming under a teenage girls skirt at a St. Patricks Day Parade.
Victor D. Waller, 45, will receive a 90-day suspended sentence and two years probation as part of a deal with Kansas City, Mo., prosecutors.
Waller must also attend 12 counseling sessions and pay a $100 fine. If he does not complete the counseling or breaks probation, Waller will have to serve the 90-day sentence, city prosecutor Lowell Gard said.
On the day of the parade, Waller was seen allegedly filming a 15-year-old with a camcorder. The camera was confiscated by Kansas City, Mo., police, who said the video from Wallers camcorder mostly consisted of shots of girls, ages 12 to 15, from the waist down wearing leotards or skirts.
Prosecutors said they could not charge Waller with first-degree invasion of privacy, because the girl was fully clothed and in a public place.
Waller, a 12-year veteran of the force, was suspended by the police department as they launched an internal investigation
#23 Nov 18, 2010
MOLINE ACRES, MISSOURI The new mayor of Moline Acres seems to be shaking up his communitys police department.
The officer on desk duty early this morning confirmed that Chief G.T.Walker had been replaced yesterday by Gregory Moore, former chief in Northwoods.
The officer also said Sgt. Courtland Bey was gone.
Asked whether other members of the department had also been let go, the officer said,I dont know. I came in yesterday on the tail end of everything.
Mayor Fred Hodges was unavailable for details on the shakeup in Moline Acres, a community of 2,600 nestled between Jennings and Bellefontaine Neighbors.
Hodges was elected mayor in April. He had been an alderman.
Just this month, a former Moline Acres police officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for lying to the FBI. Agents were investigating allegations that the officer had pulled over a woman motorist and raped her in 2005.
The former officer Khnum Haim Hayes also worked for a private security firm owned at the time by Walker, the chief who just lost his job.
#24 Nov 18, 2010
GREENE COUNTY, MISSOURI A hearing to determine whether a temporary protection order against a former Walnut Grove police officer becomes permanent was delayed this morning.
Katherine Harp filed a protection order against Brian Koons on April 28. The hearing is now scheduled Aug. 8 in Greene County Family Court.
Harp, a Walnut Grove convenience store clerk, claims Koons has watched her home for hours in the early morning, bothered her at work with sexual comments and told a third party about a plan to kill her husband.
Koons, who has resigned from the department, has said he will defend himself against the allegations. Authorities have been investigating the case.
#25 Nov 18, 2010
GRANITE CITY, MISSOURI A former Granite City police officer and mayoral candidate has been charged with hit-and-run and reckless driving.
Kenneth Lee Crawford, 51, of the 2100 block of Pontoon Road, was one of five candidates who ran for mayor 2½ years ago.
On Thursday, Crawford was released from the Granite City Police Department on the misdemeanor charges after posting bail.
According to an accident report, Crawford was allegedly involved in a wreck about 7:50 p.m. on Illinois Route 203 about a quarter-mile north of Pontoon Road and left the scene.
Crawford, the report stated, was driving a rental vehicle when he struck a 1999 Chevrolet owned by another Granite City resident.
According to the report, there were no injuries. A description on how the accident occurred was not in the report.
#26 Nov 18, 2010
MOLINE, MISSOURI A former Moline Acres police officer was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for lying to an FBI agent investigating allegations that he pulled over and raped a woman in 2005.
During the sentencing hearing of Khnum Haim Hayes, 35, allegations surfaced that two police officers helped Hayes, who was in jail, try to find the victim so that he could embarrass her.
Hayes was found not guilty in March in U.S. District Court in St. Louis of charges of depriving the woman of her civil rights and carrying a gun during a crime of violence. But jurors found him guilty on two charges of making false statements.
Under the law, the penalty for lying to federal agents increases with the seriousness of the crime being investigated. And U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey made it clear that this crime was serious.
You, Mr. Hayes, are like a cancer that is untreatable. You need to be excised, Autrey said.
When jurors in criminal trials are told about dirty lying cops by defense attorneys, Autrey said,They think about cops like you.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Rosen sought the 10-year sentence, saying it would send a message,We will not tolerate this kind of conduct from law enforcement officials.
The woman told jurors during the trial that Hayes stopped her and took her to a dark loading dock behind the Riverview Gardens school administration building, where he tried to have sex with her.
In closing arguments, lawyer Brad Kessler argued that the sex was consensual and that the woman was embarrassed at being seen there by another officer on patrol.
During Thursdays sentencing hearing, FBI Special Agent Gregory LaCombe testified that two police officers from other departments helped Hayes investigate the alleged victim. LaCombe said Hayes was trying to find the woman so that he could get her name in the newspapers and cause her shame and embarrassment.
LaCombe said Wellston police Officer Steve Abbington told him that he obtained documents and contacted the Moline Acres police chief as part of his work for Hayes.
Abbington was dismissed from the Wellston force last year.
Hayes sent a letter to Pine Lawn police Officer Theresa Bourbon and she ran the womans name through a restricted law enforcement database to find her address before giving it to one of Hayes early lawyers, LaCombe testified.
Officials said that Bourbon is now working for Wellston police.
Neither Abbington nor Bourbon is charged in the case.
#27 Nov 18, 2010
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI A state commission that rules on professional licensing and other matters said a former Kansas City-area sheriffs deputy is subject to disciplinary action for allegedly altering a videotape of an assault on a suspect.
Now its up to the Missouri Department of Public Safety to determine the level of discipline. But the departments decision wont come for at least 30 days, to give the former deputy, Donald A. Devens, a chance to appeal the Thursday ruling of the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission.
Ultimately, Devens could lose his state peace officers license.
According to the hearing commissions decision, the public safety department has cause to discipline Devens for committing an assault and tampering with evidence while on duty.
Jeremy Spratt, director of the public safety departments Peace Officer Standards and Training program, said the department has not received the hearing commissions ruling. But even if it had, public safety officials couldnt act until after the appeal deadline, he said.
Devens, who has since resigned from the Clay County sheriffs office, is accused of altering a videotape that showed him punching and kicking a handcuffed suspect after a 2005 chase.
Devens wasnt criminally charged, but the sheriffs office turned in a report after he resigned. That led to an investigation by the state public safety department, which turned the case over to the hearing commission for review.
Dana Frese, the attorney representing Devens, declined comment Thursday.
Devens and other officers were involved in a chase the evening of Aug. 16, 2005. Clay County Sheriff Paul Vescovo has said they were trying to stop a speeding truck that had a 2-year-old passenger.
Sheriffs investigators found some troubling footage weeks later when reviewing a videotape from a police department that helped with the chase. It showed Devens assaulting the non-resisting, handcuffed suspect, Wesley A. Lewis, 29, of Kansas City.
Even more disturbing, Vescovo said, was that a videotape Devens provided after the arrest did not show the excessive force the Kearney Police Department had on its tape. Devens is believed to have altered his cruisers recording to erase the assault.
We are sympathetic to the deep sense of outrage that pushed Devens to strike out against Lewis for needlessly putting into jeopardy the safety of many innocent people, the hearing commission stated in its ruling.Nevertheless, the reason the law authorizes trained peace officers to apprehend and arrest is to ensure that the rule of law is followed.
Devens resigned Oct. 7, 2005, when the sheriffs office concluded its investigation. He had been with the department since August 2001 and had a clean record, until the assault and altered videotape allegations.
About four months after leaving the deputy job, he went to work for the Pleasant Valley Police Department, also in the Kansas City area.
He resigned as a Pleasant Valley police officer April 17.
#28 Nov 18, 2010
SARCOXIE, MISSOURI A Jasper County lawsuit alleging a Sarcoxie police officer injured a woman has moved to federal court.
Jeanette and Patrick Mettlachs petition against the city of Sarcoxie and officer Jeffrey Steffen was filed at Springfields federal courthouse.
According to the petition, Jeanette Mettlach went to the Sarcoxie Police Department on Nov. 1, 2001, after learning her 17-year-old son was arrested.
After she knocked on the door and requested a reason for the arrest, an officer allegedly grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her to an outside area of the building.
When Jeanette Mettlach said she had recent back and neck surgery, he allegedly twisted her shoulder. She claimed she required additional medical treatment after the incident.
The city of Sarcoxie denied the allegations in a response filed by Springfield attorney Kristoffer Barefield.
The Mettlachs are represented by Monett attorney John Woodard.
#29 Nov 18, 2010
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI A St. Louis County deputy sheriff who took more than $10,000 in bribes over more than 40 years was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison Friday.
Curley Hines, 79, was one of four deputies indicted last summer for accepting bribes from moving companies for preferential treatment in eviction cases.
Prosecutors said that Hines took more than $10,000 in bribes over more than 40 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crowe said that not all deputies that worked for the county were accepting bribes.
Hines, of the 100 block of East Rose Hill in St. Louis, and Richard Robinson, of Hambletonian Street in Florissant, went to trial and were convicted. Robinson also got 33 months in federal prison and both men were ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the county.
The deputies who pleaded guilty and cooperated, David Rodriguez, 51, of St. Louis and Marcus Lipe, 64, of OFallon, Mo., received probation and house arrest.
A moving company owner, Darryl Nance, pleaded guilty and received probation and 200 hours of community service.
County deputies handle court papers and evictions but are not police officers.
#30 Nov 18, 2010
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI Two former police officers from the St. Louis suburb Velda City pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges in the beating of a jail inmate, authorities said.
Former Velda City police Sgt. Lewis McGee and former detective Mark Winger both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the civil rights of a jailed man.
Authorities said that on July 31, Winger and McGee conspired to physically assault a man who was being detained at the Northwoods Police Department in suburban St. Louis.
While McGee held the victim on the ground with his foot, Winger struck the victim multiple times, causing him bodily injury.
McGee, 42, and Winger, 29, then made false statements to a special FBI agent to cover up their roles in the conspiracy and assault. Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
A female processor at the jail where the inmate was housed, Arvette Ford, 48, also was indicted for failing to intervene in the beating and lying to federal investigators.
The victim was not named in court papers, referred to only by his initials, E.H. But in September, St. Louis County charged Winger and McGee with assaulting 20-year-old inmate Emil Harris.
Harris was arrested by Velda City police on traffic warrants. He was jailed July 29 in nearby Northwoods because there was no room to house him in Velda City, authorities have said.
The federal indictment alleged that on July 31, Ford called Velda City to complain about the inmate and ask that officers come to the jail to deal with him.
According to the indictment, Ford let Winger and McGee into the cell, with Winger ordering jail workers to deactivate surveillance cameras. McGee held down the inmate while Winger struck him, the indictment said.
A Northwoods police employee contacted the FBI. The inmate did not file a complaint
#31 Nov 18, 2010
Former Kansas City Missouri Police Officer Steven Rios To Face New Trial For First Degree Murder In Throat Slashing
#32 Nov 18, 2010
JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI A Jackson County deputy has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon after he allegedly fired several shots inside his home Sunday. Two of the shots went into a nearby house, prosecutors said.
Lester M. Williams, 37, also faces a charge of armed criminal action. The sheriffs office has placed him on administrative leave without pay while it investigates. Williams has worked for the department about eight years.
According to court records, police were dispatched about 1:20 a.m. Sunday to the 19700 block of East 6th Terrace North in Independence after someone heard shots being fired. Officers set up a perimeter around a house until Williams, who had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on his breath, came out the back, police said.
When officers went inside, they found several bullet holes, including 20 in the master bathroom. Nobody else was inside the home, though officers found Williams department-issued Glock gun.Two bullets actually entered a neighboring home, court records state. One of the slugs hit a wall outside the bedroom where Chris Daub, his wife and their child were during the shooting.
Chris Daub said three other bullets hit the exterior of their house. He had heard several loud noises that night and got up a few times to check for vandals, never realizing someone was firing a gun.It was kind of a scary night, Daub said.
Williams could not be reached for comment on Friday evening. The Sheriffs Department said it wont immediately release any other information about the case.
#33 Nov 18, 2010
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI Some St. Louis police officers are being investigated internally over allegations that they used World Series tickets seized from scalpers, a police spokesman confirmed Monday.
A story in the Monday edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citing unnamed police sources, said officers in the departments vice-narcotics unit gave about 30 confiscated tickets to relatives and friends, who used the tickets to attend games.
Tickets are no longer torn at Busch Stadium but are electronically scanned. The tickets were stored as evidence after they were used, the newspaper reported. Police spokesman Richard Wilkes said the tickets should have been stored immediately after they were confiscated.
Wilkes said nine or 10 officers are under investigation. Their names have not been released, and the officers are continuing to work while internal affairs officers look into the allegations.
Police Chief Joe Mokwa was in a meeting Monday and unavailable for comment, Wilkes said. But Wilkes said Mokwa believed the investigation could be completed by the end of the week.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce didnt rule out the possibility of criminal charges against the officers, but said they appeared unlikely.
Its one of those weird deals where its concerning but Im not sure it fits into a crime category, Joyce said. There was no theft involved because the tickets were not stolen; the tickets were not damaged, so there was no tampering with evidence, she said.
But Wilkes said discipline could be harsh.
According to the chief, there could be severe punishment and they could lose their jobs, Wilkes said of the officers.
Face value of World Series tickets at Busch Stadium ranged from $50 to $250 each.
The Cardinals hosted three games during their World Series win over Detroit in October, including the deciding Game 5.
#34 Nov 18, 2010
BENTON, MISSOURI A former police officer for the cities of Chaffee, Mo., and Jackson turned himself in to Chaffee police Friday and posted a $15,000 bond on a felony stealing charge.
According to a Scott County Sheriffs Department news release, David Rubel, 37, of Chaffee, reportedly conspired with Nicole L. Beaulieu, 28, of Minnesota, to steal a 1990 GMC vehicle impounded in a Sikeston, Mo., storage yard March 8.
#35 Nov 18, 2010
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI A police officer accused last year of having a crack pipe and illegal drugs in his home resigned this week.
An attorney for George Kepley, 52, dropped off the paperwork to department officials.
Police Chief Jim Corwin last year recommended firing Kepley for allegedly violating department policies. Kepley allegedly had the drugs and drug paraphernalia in his home, dated a known criminal and wrote a bad check to a grocery store while on duty.
Prosecutors have not filed criminal charges, but the Police Department cited the incidents in court records and public disciplinary documents.
Kepley had been suspended without pay since June.
#36 Nov 18, 2010
HANNIBAL, MISSOURI Former Hannibal police officer Timothy Dann will have a preliminary hearing April 9 for three counts of statutory rape and two counts of statutory sodomy.
Dann, 37, a former school resource officer with the Hannibal Police Department, was arrested Feb. 2 after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was placed on paid leave last June and resigned in December.
#37 Nov 18, 2010
SHREWSBURY, MISSOURI The father of a 9-year-old sexual assault victim says the prison sentence a former police officer got Friday was justice but provided the family with no sense of satisfaction or victory.
Sentenced Friday in St. Louis County Circuit Court to five years in prison was former Shrewsbury police Officer Korey M. Kranefuss, 27, who had once been active in the departments DARE program and other youth programs.
In a victim impact statement, the boys father told Judge Steven H. Goldman that his familys life over the past two years changed in ways words cant explain. We were thrown into a world of investigations, interrogations, court appearances and a legal process that was foreign to us.
Before the victim came forward in March 2005, the family had considered Kranefuss a friend, an adopted member of our family, a police officer, the father said.
Kranefuss was suspended after his arrest, and the investigation was taken over by St. Louis County police detectives. As part of a plea agreement in January between prosecutor Joe Dueker and defense attorney Dan Juengel, Kranefuss pleaded guilty of one count of statutory sodomy, and the state dismissed one misdemeanor and 10 felony charges.
All of the allegations involved the same boy. Shrewsbury Police Chief Jeff Keller said there was no evidence of other victims
#38 Nov 18, 2010
ST. GENEVIEVE, MISSOURI A Ste. Genevieve police officer and a county sheriffs deputy agreed Thursday to pay $600,000 to the family of an unarmed, mentally ill man shot in a confrontation in 2005.
Former officer Michael Coon, who fired the fatal shot, was never charged or disciplined, Police Chief Dale Newman said Thursday.
#39 Nov 18, 2010
BUCHANAN COUNTY, MISSOURI Charges were brought against a former Buchanan County Sheriff`s employee who`s accused of stealing money from the department.
Kathy Hamm will face felony stealing charges.
She`s accused of stealing at least $500 from the department between October and December of last year.
Hamm had access to jail house accounts. Hamm worked for the department for two years. She has since resigned.
#40 Nov 18, 2010
CHAFFEE, MISSOURI The former Chaffee police officer charged with patronizing prostitution spoke only briefly Thursday about his arrest.
At his news conference in Circle Park, Daniel Ayers told a small crowd and members of the media he was set up by police.
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