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"I don't like this book because it don't got know pictures" Chief Rhorerer

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”
“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

San Jose cop charged with issuing phony tickets against lawsuit foe and his own lawyer

SAN JOSE -- After a veteran San Jose police officer got in a car accident five years ago, he sued the other driver, ultimately settling out of court. But perhaps not to his liking.
And he apparently couldn't let it go, say prosecutors who charged him with writing phony citations last month targeting the driver, and in a strange twist, the attorney he hired to handle his case.
George Chavez, 51, faces three felony counts of false personation exposing the victim to liability, and three felony counts of filing a false police report. The 23-year police veteran surrendered to authorities Tuesday night, and was freed after posting $60,000 bail.
Authorities say that on Oct. 28, Chavez used his police computer to look up a Texas man he sued in 2008 after a local car accident, as well as the attorney from the Sacramento-area he hired to file the corresponding civil suit.
He then purportedly used that data to write up one traffic ticket and two tickets for illegally parking in a handicapped zone, forging the signatures of the Texas man, the attorney and two other police officers on the citations.
"It's surprising and unfortunate because we put a lot of responsibility on police officers and give them a lot of power," deputy district attorney Daniel Rothbach said. "Besides using his police computer, he went even further, exposing the victims to liabilities and abusing the trust of other police officers."
The purported scheme unraveled when the officer whose signature appeared on the traffic ticket was notified after an administrative review of the citation, and alerted a supervisor. The motorist listed on the ticket was in Texas when the documented violation supposedly occurred. Further investigation turned up the phony parking tickets.
San Jose police officials expressed concern about the allegations against one of its officers.
"In these cases, we respect the criminal process and monitor the criminal proceedings, which will be followed by an administrative review," Sgt. Heather Randol, a police spokeswoman, said. "We hold our officers accountable."
Randol deferred additional questions to the District Attorney's Office.
The charges carry a penalty of up to six years and four months in prison. Chavez was placed on administrative leave from the police department. His next court date is Dec. 10.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga

Ex-Greenfield police officer fined for throwing suspect into jail cell

A former Greenfield police officer was fined $1,500 Wednesday and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service for violently throwing a woman into a jail holding cell in July.
Thomas Roszak, 30, who was suspended following the incident, resigned from the department Nov. 1. He was initially charged with felony misconduct in office but pleaded no contest Wednesday to misdemeanor battery as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Glenn Yamahiro also imposed, but suspended, a 30-day jail sentence for Roszak, meaning he could be forced to serve that aspect of the sentence if he fails to meet the other conditions within six months.
In contrast to Roszak's attorney and the prosecutor's characterization of the offense as a shove, Yamahiro, who watched video of the incident, said it was more like the victim was thrown "like a sack of potatoes," according to her attorney.
Amanda Luke, 30, of Oak Creek had been arrested on charges of driving while revoked, and with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration and fleeing an officer.
According to the complaint against Roszak, he had removed Luke from a holding cell for booking, but when he ordered her to return to the cell she placed her hands on his chest and addressed him with a vulgarity.
Roszak then lifted her by the torso, carried her across a hallway and flung her into the cell, where she bounced off a steel stool fixed to the floor before landing on the floor, according to the complaint.
The officer then called her an expletive and closed the door to the cell without checking her condition.
The woman suffered visible bruises across her body, and surveillance cameras captured audio and video of the incident, the complaint says.
Luke has filed a notice of injury with the City of Greenfield, usually a precursor to a lawsuit.
Her attorney, Jonathan Safran, told Yamahiro on Wednesday that his client, who was not present, took some responsibility and was sorry for her actions that night, but still felt Roszak had acted unprofessionally.
The criminal case against Luke is scheduled for a plea hearing in January.

Five Grosse Pointe Park police officers suspended for videos of mentally challenged man

GROSSE POINTE PARK, MI -- How long they will be suspended and whether they'll be paid while suspended is unclear.
Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director David A. Hiller confirmed that five of the department's 36 police officers will be suspended between 24 hours and 60 days, although he would provide no further details.
The punishments come after a week-long investigation into the origin and disbursement of several videos taken of Michael Scipio, 55, a mentally challenged Grosse Pointe Park resident. Hiller said the videos were recorded in March of 2012 and all of the officers involved worked on the same shift.
All of the officers either received, sent or were aware of the recordings.
That shift has now been "entirely re-alligned," said Hiller. "We broke up everything."
"The fact that mentally-challenged individual, no matter what color creed or what religion... was videotaped for non-law-enforcement reasons, personal vices, by officers of this department is totally unacceptable..." said Hiller.
Videos taken by an officer and forwarded to Motor City Muckraker, the media outlet that released the footage, depict Scipio being asked to sing his song.
Scipio proceeds to string together nonsensical chants and make odd noises, which were forwarded via text message between officers and their friends. One of the officers ex-wives leaked the messages to Motor City Muckraker.
Minister Malik Shabazz, founder of the New Marcus Garvey Movement, called the press conference a "pep rally" that was "not in the spirit" of the closed door meeting he had with Hiller after a protest last week.
"An African-American man was humiliated," Shabazz said. "It's a whitewash... The officers are wrong... I'm not satisfied."
City officials invited four black residents of Grosse Pointe Park to illustrate the diversity that exists in Grosse Pointe Park, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census is 10.5 percent black and 85 percent white. The black residents spoke highly of the police department.
The Grosse Pointe Police Department has no black officers and one female.
"I pride the fact that in the years since I've been here we might get two complaints per year," said Hiller, whose been with the department since 2001. "I don't know that I can ever change the belief that Grosse Pointe is writing tickets because 'you're black on Mack' but that's not the case."
Hiller said in addition to punishment, the entire department will undergo sensitivity training. Hiller did not know how much the training would cost taxpayers.
"Those are not the things we worry about right now," he said. "We want to make sure things are done properly."
Hiller didn't know how much taxpayers are paying for the services of Greg Bowens, a contracted pubic relations professional from Grosse Pointe Park whom the city hired after news of the videos broke.
Marsha Fairrow, pastor for Higher Grounds Ministries located on the corner of Mack and Nottingham, was among those who spoke on behalf of the police department. She said she knows Scipio well. He and others often hang out on the corner near her church and she's called police several times when Scipio has become "belligerent."
She says police have always treated Scipio "very kind" and "humane."
Fairrow said she doubts the videos were taken with malice.
"On several ocassions he's come in and said, 'Do you want to hear the birds tweet?' and he made noises," she said. "That's Michael." He "says funny things."

SAPD officer suspended for sexual relationship with woman he arrested

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio police officer served a 30-day suspension earlier this year after he admitted to a romantic relationship with a woman he had arrested twice for felony drug possession, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

SAPD released internal-affairs paperwork for Officer Leroy Diaz Tuesday -- more than four months after the KENS 5 I-Team requested it.

Diaz, a patrol officer for North Substation, admitted to having a four-month relationship with Breanna Mitchell, from October 2012 to January 2013.

Mitchell, 20, was arrested in June 2012 and again August 2012 for felony drug possession.

KENS 5 spoke with Mitchell Wednesday.

Mitchell said the sexual relationship with Officer Diaz started days after her August 2012 arrest.

"He had me meet him close by and I would go wait for him," Mitchell told KENS 5. "Every chance we got, we would see each other."

Mitchell said Officer Diaz expressed concern that he would get into trouble for dating her, but continued the relationship anyways.

According to his suspension paperwork, Diaz ended the relationship in late January 2013.

On Feb. 4, Cibolo Police found Mitchell asleep in her car across the street from Diaz's home.

Officer Diaz requested a criminal-trespass warning against Mitchell, which Cibolo police granted.

In March, an officer at North Substation said he was working on paperwork when a car pulled into the parking lot just before 2 a.m. A woman matching Mitchell's description told the detective, "I want Ofc. Leroy Diaz's clothes out of my place."

Both incidents happened after Diaz was already under investigation.

Diaz's suspension paperwork shows he served his suspension from June 1 to June 30, 2013.

Chief William McManus did not respond to the I-Team's request for an interview Wednesday.

Mitchell said her relationship with Officer Diaz actually helped her clean up her life.

CSPD Officer Formally Charged With Felony Evidence Tampering

The El Paso County District Attorney's Office has filed formal charges against a member of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Officer David Rosenoff is charged with tampering with evidence, driving under the influence and careless driving.
Rosenoff, an almost 24-year veteran of CSPD, was reportedly involved in a crash in the early morning hours of November 9 near I-25 and Woodmen Road in Colorado Springs. Rosenoff was off-duty and driving his personal car.
Police tell us the police officer on scene suspected Rosenoff of drinking. They went to the hospital to draw blood to test for alcohol. He was ticketed with DUI and taken home.
But investigators say when the arresting officer got back to his police cruiser, he noticed the blood sample was missing.
Rosenoff is currently on paid administrative leave, but now that formal charges have been filed, that could change--the Colorado Springs police chief is now trying to get Rosenoff on unpaid leave.

Officer charged with stalking

The Greenville Police Department announced the arrest of one of its officers Tuesday afternoon on a stalking charge.

Officer Carlos E. Melgar, 58, of Greenville was arrested at the Pitt County Magistrate’s office on the misdemeanor charge, according to a department news release.

Police developed information that Melgar had misused police records and database information to identify and meet a woman, the release said. He subsequently stalked that woman, causing her fear and emotional distress.

Police presented the information to the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office. The department has proceeded with criminal and internal investigations.

Melgar was arrested Tuesday afternoon and given a $5,000 unsecured bond.

He has been placed on administrative leave without pay, and all his police powers have been suspended.

Melgar is a four-year veteran of the department.

Chief Hassan Aden said in a statement that the case was self-discovered at the department and pursued by its Internal Affairs Division.

“The arrest of officer Melgar reminds us all that no one is above the law and that the Greenville Police Department holds itself highly accountable to the laws and policies that govern society,” Aden said. “... Maintaining the public’s trust that we are effective in self-policing is a top priority of my administration and sends a clear message that we are an ethical and legitimate police department that will not tolerate officer misconduct.”

Pittsburgh cop reprimanded for Black teacher’s arrest

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A recommendation to reprimand a White Pittsburgh police officer for arresting a Black teacher who commented about the officer’s driving has been deemed too harsh by the city’s police union and not harsh enough by the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued over the incident.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazettesays the union president, Sgt. Michael LaPorte, believes the recommended reprimand should be appealed. LaPorte says Officer Jonathan Gromek did nothing wrong when he arrested Dennis Henderson as a crowd gathered outside a community meeting June 26. Henderson spent 12 hours in jail on charges that were later dropped.
But Witold Walczak, the ACLU’s legal director in Pennsylvania, says “it’s hard to imagine … a stronger case of misconduct.”
The city’s Office of Municipal Investigations recommended the reprimand

Bond reduced for NOPD officer accused of rape

New Orleans, La. - A judge reduces the bond of a suspended New Orleans Police Officer accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.
The judge reviewed the evidence and agreed Monday to cut Desmond Pratt's bond from $500,000 to $400,000 dollars.

In April, the 42-year-old was suspended without pay after he was arrested on charges of aggravated incest, sexual battery, and carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
The former homicide detective denies the allegations.
His trial is set to begin January 6th..

Officer accused of rape tried to find alleged victim after incident

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio police are alleging that an officer accused of raping a woman in his patrol car was arrested after trying to look for her later.
A police report released Tuesday says the woman initially called 911 to report that she was being assaulted by another woman. According to the report, the woman told a responding officer that she "lied" — that she wanted to actually report a rape Friday by a San Antonio officer wearing a badge that said "R. Neal."
Police eventually arrested Officer Jackie Len Neal, who is now accused of sexual assault. Police say Neal was found looking for the woman, having identified himself as "Jack."
Police accuse Neal of placing the woman in handcuffs in the back of his car and raping her.

Bisard sentenced to 16 years, 3 suspended

FORT WAYNE — David Bisard was defiant until the very end.
Despite a 0.19 percent blood alcohol test and being convicted of nine felonies by a jury of his peers, the now-former Indianapolis police officer said again Tuesday during his sentencing that he was not drunk when he plowed into a group of motorcyclists.
He will now have several years behind bars to think about it.
Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Bisard to 16 years in prison. With three years suspended and time off for good behavior, he could be released in 6 1/2 years.
"I was driving that car. I do accept responsibility," Bisard said with tears in his eyes and his voice cracking. "But I am not going to accept responsibility for being intoxicated ... because I wasn't."
Bisard asked for some level of forgiveness for the Aug. 6, 2010, crash on Indianapolis' Northeastside that killed Eric Wells, 30, and severely injured Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly.
"I wake up everyday knowing I took the life of an innocent man," Bisard said. "But I am not the awful man I've been made out to be. I understand their anger toward me and will never be able to understand their pain."
Bisard's attorney, John Kautzman, had asked for a sentence of eight to 11 years with an unspecified number of years suspended. He said after the sentencing that Bisard wants to "immediately start his sentence and roll up his sleeves and get into the treatment and therapy he needs."

Cop Being Released In Ten Days After Sex Crimes

A former police officer and school board member charged with raping several underage boys will be released from prison. Mike Taylor, 63, is set to be released from custody on Friday, December 6 after serving nine years in prison for his sex crimes against numerous underage boys. 

According to court records, Taylor was indicted on eleven counts of rape in 2002, nine counts of gross sexual imposition, and one count of attempted rape after numerous pre-teen and teenage boys from Washington Court House came forward claiming sexual abuse. In 2006, instead of going to trial he reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery. 

He was sentenced to nine years behind bars. After his release he will be on parole for five years. Attempts to reach Taylor’s attorney weren’t successful. It’s unknown if Taylor will return to Washington Court House. In 2010 during an early-release hearing Taylor said he would file a motion to live with his then-wife at 101 Taylor Lane. Shortly after his early release was denied his now ex-wife later sought a divorce and sold the house on the street named after him in Storybrook. Taylor was a Washington Court House School Board member, local general contractor, real estate agent, and former city police officer at the time of his arrest. -

cop admits violating judge's order in illegal handguns and explosives case

By  Douglass Dowty | ddowty@syracuse.com   

Syracuse, NY -- A former Onondaga County sheriff's deputy admitted he violated the terms of his sentence in a felony weapons conviction last year, but will remain free with stricter guidelines, a judge ruled this morning.

Mark Doneburgh, 62, admitted he obtained a hunting license in violation of his sentence. He also agreed to stop shooting at local gun clubs and to return weapons that he wasn't allowed to have after his sentencing, said Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Ferrante.

"I certainly don't want to see you back here again," Judge Thomas J. Miller told Doneburgh in court. 

If there's another violation, Doneburgh will be sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison, the judge warned.

Prosecutors asked the judge to send Doneburgh to jail for the current violation, but Miller indicated he would give the former deputy a second chance to avoid jail. Doneburgh is a year in to a three-year conditional discharge on a criminal possession of a weapon conviction.

The judge said there may have been confusion at the time of sentencing over whether Doneburgh was allowed to hunt or fire at a range. But Visiting County Court Judge Don Todd clearly stated last December that Doneburgh was "prohibited from hunting utilizing firearms in this or any other state." And Donebugh's lawyer called him a "man of honor" who would not violate the judge's order.

After court, Ferrante wasn't buying the idea there was confusion. "I think Mark Doneburgh was blatant about it," the prosecutor said.

The violation centered around a certificate of relief from disabilities, which allowed Doneburgh certain rights given up by most felons. At sentencing last December, Todd gave Doneburgh a certificate, but told him he couldn't apply for a hunting license for two years. 

As a felon, Doneburgh is not allowed to possess a firearm without a judge's consent. That's what led to Doneburgh's admission today that he violated the sentence.

Miller took away the certificate of relief from disabilities this morning, meaning Doneburgh also can't vote or use his pilot's license, or a exercise a host of other rights, Ferrante said. 

The judge made very clear that Doneburgh wasn't allowed to possess rifles, pistols or firearms of any kind.

In addition to getting a hunting license, prosecutors accused Doneburgh of two other sentence violations:

• Shooting a gun at the Camillus gun club.

• Regaining control of weapons that were to be sold at Gem Sports Supply (inside Ra-Lin's) after his sentencing. 

Doneburgh declined comment after court.

Here is background on the case from a recent Syracuse.com story:

Doneburgh, who also worked at firearms manufacturer Glock, pleaded guilty last year to a single felony weapons charge -- possessing an illegal gun silencer -- that satisfied numerous charges that he owned and sold illegal firearms. He was given a three-year conditional discharge.

The decorated police veteran was accused in 2011 of possessing 22 rifles and handguns with defaced serial numbers or weapons that did not appear on his pistol permit. He was also accused of having an assault rifle, a disguised gun, seven silencers and 13 quarter sticks of dynamite.

The DA's office said Doneburgh made handguns from mismatched and illegally obtained gun parts. Some of the weapon parts came from the sheriff's office, where they were to have been destroyed, prosecutors said. Other parts came from Glock.

None of the weapons were used in crimes, prosecutors have said.

Visiting County Court Judge Donald Todd sentenced the former deputy to a three-year conditional discharge last December. When Doneburgh pleaded guilty, Todd said that Doneburgh's pistol license would be revoked and he would not be allowed to hunt with a gun.

"It would also include two years from the date of sentence that Mr. Doneburgh will be prohibited from hunting utilizing firearms in this or any other state and he's not to apply for any such license in this or any other state," Todd said in court.

At sentencing, Doneburgh's lawyer at the time referred to the judge's prohibition.

"I want to emphasize, this is a man of honor," said defense lawyer Edward Z. Menkin, according to court transcripts. "If you simply tell him you can't hunt with a gun, he's not going to do that. And he certainly is not. It would be a violation of law."

Despite his order in court, the judge did not write the hunting ban on a form that allowed Doneburgh to have other privileges not afforded other convicts, called a certificate of relief from disabilities. 

Prosecutors argued the judge's words in court should have been enough. That confusion appears to be what Judge Miller was referring to today in allowing Doneburgh to remain free.

In a separate accusation, Doneburgh reportedly regained control of weapons that were confiscated from him after sentencing, Ferrante said. The guns -- which were not related to the criminal case -- were to be sold through the gun store at Ra-Lin's Discount, named Gem Sport Supply.

But the guns somehow made their way back to Doneburgh, prosecutors said. The judge today ordered Doneburgh to relinquish those weapons again.

At sentencing last year, Doneburgh blamed the case on a "cowardly informant," saying he was "guilty of trusting a business partner." He said the weapons were used to advance his shooting skills and promote his product knowledge. He ended by apologizing.

Todd admonished Doneburgh for not taking ownership of his actions.

"I'm not sure what you are apologizing for," Todd said. "You're not saying you did anything wrong ... that's a problem with this case."

cop sentenced to 13 years in prison

INDIANAPOLIS — A former Indianapolis police officer convicted of drunk driving will spend 13 years in prison.
A judged sentence David Bisard to16 years in prison with three years suspended.
The sentencing came down one day after Bisard resigned from the IMPD.
He was found guilty in early November of drunk driving and causing a crash that killed one person.
"Best outcome is that David Bisard goes to prison, he serves his sentence and he comes out, he's a good father to his children and he never causes any harm and never gets arrested again," said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. "For me, that's the best result."
The three years suspended sentence will be spent on probation.

The secret diary of Gerry Hyland: Hey...what about the shooting of John Geer?

The secret diary of Gerry Hyland: Hey...what about the shooting of John Geer?

Fairfax County Supervisor John W. Foust: Come out from under the desk and find out what hap...

Fairfax County Supervisor John W. Foust: Come out from under the desk and find out what hap...

The secret diary of Gerry Hyland: Hey...what about the shooting of John Geer? Come ...

The secret diary of Gerry Hyland: Hey...what about the shooting of John Geer? Come ...

In Lawsuit, SPD Learns the Cost of Disrespect

by Rick Anderson  Tue., Nov 26 2013 at 09:35AM

Seattle Police officer Ben Kelly and convicted felon Charles Shateek Smith had apparently never met until a night in January 2009, when Kelly sized up Smith to be a “fucking asshole.” When the cop confronted the 28-year-old for impeding traffic while ambling across Rainier Avenue South, then patted him down for weapons, he found two: a pellet gun that looked like a handgun, and a loaded revolver—a “little fuckin’ 22,” in Kelly’s words. As a six-time felon, Smith was illegally armed.

A judge would later rule that Kelly’s search was illegal, and suppressed the gun as evidence. Smith, facing up to 15 years in prison for being an armed offender, was released.

But as some cops and citizens might see it, it was street justice. Kelly got a convicted robber and burglar off the streets, and Smith was held eight months behind bars awaiting the court’s decision. As some might have suspected, he went on to re-offend, convicted six months later of breaking into the apartment of his baby mama and choking her. He’s now doing 10 years in prison.

Kelly went on to earn accolades from his fellow cops that year for shooting and killing fugitive Maurice Clemmons two days after he slew four Lakewood police officers. Kelly was honored nationally and locally, becoming SPD’s Officer of the Year.

But today Kelly’s faulty jaywalk arrest of Smith has cost taxpayers thousands in legal fees and a $15,000 settlement won by Smith, who filed a lawsuit from his prison cell. He claimed the cop’s disrespectful attitude and wrongful search led Smith to lose his job and family.

In the civil case officially concluded last week, U.S. Judge Richard Jones thought the felon had a point. “Officer Kelly violated the Fourth Amendment when he first arrested Mr. Smith, and violated it again when he searched Mr. Smith incident to that arrest,” Jones said. He thus was not immune to a lawsuit, and “the only question remaining for trial is the amount of Mr. Smith’s damages.”

The city bargained that down to $5,000 for Smith’s attorneys and $10,000 for Smith, to be held in a trust until his 2020 release. News about the settlement sparked considerable comment last week, and most seemed to line up with Cop of the Year Kelly. OK, he swore a lot. But he nabbed an armed felon. “Civil rights my ass!” said one commenter.

News stories left out some details, however, such as what exactly Kelly said to Smith as he rolled up and singled out the suspect from a crowd of jaywalkers. “Come here!” he barked, and when Smith didn’t immediately oblige, Kelly exited his car and exclaimed: “Fucking asshole! When I tell you to fucking get over here, get the fuck over here. I’m going to be fucking cool with you and then what the fuck? He starts walking away from me. What the hell are you doing?”

Hunter Abell, Smith’s attorney, saw this as “yet another instance of SPD engaging in egregiously unconstitutional behavior towards minorities,” his client being black and the cop white. Thankfully, he said, “this case did not result in Mr. Smith being killed or seriously injured,” a reference to, among others, the fatal police shooting of Native American John Williams, tragically shot down by SPD Officer Ian Birk in 2010 seconds after the woodcarver was told to drop his knife.

In a deposition, Kelly insisted the shakedown was justified because he arrested Smith for “pedestrian interference” with traffic, a misdemeanor. But, ruled Jones, “The evidence, taken in the light most favorable to Officer Kelly . . . permits only one reasonable conclusion: Mr. Smith was no different than the typical jaywalker.”

Kelly had also claimed he saw Smith “completely stop [and] stare down” a driver, forcing his car to halt. But under questioning, he admitted to being 40 to 50 feet away at the time.

Jones did give the cop a break, saying Smith could recover damages for the arrest but not for the long jailing afterwards. But Jones also wanted to say something about the cost of disrespect.

“What Mr. Smith was doing, apparently, was violating Officer Kelly’s personal rule against not responding in three seconds or fewer to police commands. What Officer Kelly was doing was engendering disrespect for law enforcement and, by extension, the criminal justice system.”

A community judges its police by their conduct, Jones noted, and “When an officer verbally abuses a suspect for no reason whatsoever, he discredits everyone in the system.” Yes, cops on the street sometimes have to use abusive language. But “the circumstances that confronted Officer Kelly do not remotely qualify. . . .

“His conduct promotes disrespect and disdain for every police officer, even those who treat suspects with respect, integrity, and professionalism. The court is not in the habit of addressing conduct that does not bear on the liability of the parties before it, but it would be a disservice to the justice system to permit Officer Kelly’s conduct to pass without mention.”


Journalist and author Rick Anderson writes about crime, money, and politics, which tend to be the same thing.

Arcola cop gets three years for shakedowns

TUSCOLA — A former Arcola police officer who was shaking down Spanish-speaking Douglas County residents for cash has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Douglas County Judge Mike Carroll on Tuesday sentenced Rogelio Javier Gutierrez, 34, of Humboldt, for official misconduct and intimidation.

The charges stemmed from conduct that Gutierrez admitted committing while he was an Arcola officer in 2011 and 2012. He also served as police chief in Humboldt.
Gutierrez resigned both positions around the middle of 2012.
Douglas County State’s Attorney Kevin Nolan said the conduct for which Gutierrez was sentenced involved an April 2011 incident in which he told an Arcola man that his name would be placed on a list of people who didn’t have an appropriate driver’s license unless he gave Gutierrez $500. The man handed over cash intended for his daughter’s birthday party and presents.
The other incident happened in February 2012 when Gutierrez pulled over a car on Illinois 133 and told the occupants, in fluent Spanish, that their license plate tag was expired. When the wife protested, Gutierrez then declared that the husband’s license was not valid and he would need to post $300 “bail” or face being arrested and having their car impounded.
The couple from Terre Haute, Ind., had no cash because they spent it on new clothes for their children at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Tuscola but an adult male friend with them paid the money. Back home, the wife told the principal at the school where she was working as a janitor what had happened and that woman encouraged her to cooperate with Douglas County authorities. State police then began investigating Gutierrez in early 2012.
Gutierrez was arrested in March 2012. He had been free on bond but was ordered to begin his prison sentence immediately. He was also ordered to pay about $3,900 in restitution.
Nolan asked for a 10-year prison sentence for Gutierrez on the intimidation convictions, the more serious of the offenses, and presented written statements from other alleged victims for Carroll to consider.
"We have statements and police reports documenting 10 more folks. My gut says there are more but people are still afraid to stick they heads up because they are afraid they will be hauled away by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” Nolan said.
Gutierrez was represented by Champaign attorney Mark Lipton, who asked for probation or periodic imprisonment for his client.
Gutierrez works as a personal trainer in the Arcola area.

Nassau Cop Sentenced to Conditional Discharge in Menacing

A Nassau County Police officer convicted of pointing his gun at the head of a Farmingdale bartender has been sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Richard Hefferon, 48, who was convicted of third-degree menacing, a misdemeanor, for the 2011 incident, was sentenced Tuesday to a conditional discharge that includes 150 hours of community service, continued therapy with quarterly reports to the courts, and a $500 fine.

This sentence, handed down by Judge Rhonda Erin Fischer, follows about two years of court- and NCDA-monitored therapy. Hefferon also received an order of protection barring him from having a weapon while not on-duty, the Nassau District Attorney's office said.

Hefferon was off-duty when the incident occurred at about 5:50 a.m. on April 26, 2011, Hefferon had several drinks at the South Main Street Pub in Farmingdale when he aimed a loaded police-issued weapon at bartender Charlie Ball's head. The incident was captured on security cameras in the bar, authorities said.

He was arrested in June, 2011 and could have faced up to a year in jail.

“I turn my back and I turned back around and the the next thing I know, he’s got this gun out and pointed right at me,” Ball said at the time. “It could have gone a different way."
Hefferon then a 17-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, was immediately placed on restricted duty after the incident and his weapons were confiscated, authorities said.

Haledon special officer charged in second gas station robbery -

Print | E-mail HALEDON — A former Haledon special police officer, already in jail on charges of robbing a 7-Eleven in Wayne, was charged Monday with robbing a convenience store at the Citgo gas station on Haledon Avenue, police said. Valerio Rodano, 25, who lives in Wayne, told a store clerk that he had a gun in his sweat shirt pocket when he robbed the store at the Citgo on the evening of Nov. 12, George Guzman Jr., a borough police officer, said in a statement. Rodano fled on foot after the store clerk handed over $430, Guzman said. Earlier that same morning, police said, Rodano committed an armed robbery of a 7-Eleven on Valley Road in Wayne. Police have said they recovered a handgun at his home during an investigation of that crime. 

A Haledon police officer, Detective Lt. Chris LeMay, recognized Rodano while watching a video surveillance from the gas station robbery, Guzman said. The suspect was then picked out of a photo lineup by a store clerk, he said. Rodano confessed to robbing the gas station during an interview conducted by borough police at the Passaic County Jail, Guzman said. Deputy Chief Kevin Gottheiner praised his patrol officers and detectives for solving the case, saying they had done “an exceptional job.” 

Rodano resigned from his job as a part-time Class II special police officer with the Haledon police in 2009, Guzman said. Class II officers are allowed to carry guns while on the job. He was charged with first-degree robbery and his bail was set at $250,000, Guzman said

Alabama Sheriff’s Investigator Indicted for Unlawfully Detaining and Assaulting Handcuffed Man at County Jail

U.S. Department of Justice November 22, 2013

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice announced today that a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama has returned an indictment against J. Keith McCray, a criminal investigator with the Macon County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office for violating the rights of a man he unlawfully seized and assaulted.
McCray, 41, is charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of witness tampering. On July 4, 2013, the victim was going door-to-door in McCray’s neighborhood attempting to sell alarm systems. According to the indictment, McCray unlawfully seized the victim using a firearm and then brought the victim to the county jail. The indictment alleges that at the jail, McCray struck the victim while he was handcuffed, which resulted in bodily injury. The indictment further alleges that McCray engaged in witness tampering when he intimidated the victim and corruptly persuaded him not to file a complaint for the assault.
If convicted, McCray could face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each deprivation of rights count. He could face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the witness tampering charge.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerusha T. Adams of the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the department’s Civil Rights Division.

cop gets 12 years for forcible sodomy

A former Garden Grove police officer was sentenced Friday to 12 years in state prison for forcibly sodomizing three women.
Jesse Andrew Green, 36, of Huntington Beach was found guilty Sept. 6 of three counts of forcible sodomy, but a jury was not able to reach a verdict on one count of rape, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.
The defendant was reported to have dated the three women from April 2006 to November 2009 while working for the Garden Grove and Calexico police departments.
Prosecutors argued that Green became aggressive with the women during what started as consensual sexual encounters.
The defendant made derogatory statements to the victims, such as calling them names, and told them that "he had herpes or AIDS and that he had transmitted the disease to them," according to the statement.
Three of the victims provided statements to the court, one verbally and two in writing.
The women stated that they trusted Green because he was an officer and appeared to be nice, but realized that he had betrayed them, according to the district attorney office's.
The three women, who did not know each other, filed charges against Green in October 2010. A fourth victim claimed that she had been raped by the defendant in 1998.
All the victims were hesitant to come forward sooner because they feared Green would use his status as a police officer to retaliate against them, according to the statement.
Green must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Cop gets 40 years in drug trafficking case

An Indianapolis man who formerly worked as a police officer has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for using police credentials and firearms to protect illegal drug shipments.
John Smith, 56, was found guilty in June of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, two counts of attempting to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, two counts of possessing firearms in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime and transferring firearms knowing that they would be used in a drug trafficking crime.
U.S. Attorney David Capp announced Smith’s sentence on Friday in Hammond.
Smith had previously served as an officer with three different Indiana police departments: Brooklyn, Knightstown and Stinesville.

The former officer was no longer involved in police work when caught participating in the illegal activities, authorities said in a statement, but Smith illegally used police credentials from his past employment when he carried out drug transactions.

Terry Carlyle, a former Brooklyn marshal and Indianapolis Police Department officer, was a co-conspirator with Smith, according to a release. Carlyle, who cooperated with the government, was sentenced in September to 10 years in prison.
“We will continue to investigate public corruption, including police corruption,” Capp said in a prepared statement, “and will vigorously prosecute and, upon conviction, seek substantial sentences for officers, current or former, who abuse the public trust.”
Federal authorities worked with local police agencies to investigate and arrest Smith, according to the release.


State police said one of its own off-duty troopers was likely drunk and under the influence of drugs when he crashed into a marked cruiser on Route 1 south in Revere early this morning, injuring his brother in blue and the Chelsea man a fellow trooper was in the process of writing a ticket for.

Trooper Shawn D’Amato, 43 — who received the department’s Medal of Valor award in 2002 for apprehending a drug suspect armed with a stun gun — was arrested at the scene and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries state police said he suffered in the chain-reaction crash shortly after 12:30 a.m.
D’Amato could be arraigned in Chelsea District Court as early as this afternoon on charges of drunken driving, operating under the influence of drugs, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to change lines for an emergency vehicle provided “his medical condition allows,” police said.

D’Amato was at the wheel of a 2013 Toyota Corolla when he struck Trooper John Phonesavanh’s 2006 Ford Crown Victoria in the breakdown lane of Route 1 just south of Route 16, police said.

Police said the Crown Vic’s lights were activated and Phonesavanh was seated issuing a citation to a 29-year-old Chelsea man, whose 2002 Honda Accord he’d pulled over for motor vehicle violations.

Phonesavanh, who is assigned to the Revere Barracks, called in the crash himself, police said.
D’Amato was released of duty and his service weapon this morning. He will be subject to an internal duty status hearing later this week. D’Amato has been with state police since 1994 and is assigned to Troop F at Logan International Airport.
In addition to the Medal of Valor, D’Amato was bestowed a life-saving award by state police in 2006 for performing CPR on a woman in respiratory distress at a Logan parking garage.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights, Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft Violations


WASHINGTON—Former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Hebert, 48, pled guilty today to one civil rights violation, five bank fraud violations, and one aggravated identity theft violation, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI New Orleans Field Office, and Sheriff Newell Normand from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to the plea agreement and other documents, Hebert engaged in a scheme to defraud J.P. Morgan Chase Bank (Chase Bank) from August 2, 2007 through November 21, 2007. The scheme began when Hebert, in his capacity as a Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputy, responded to an automobile accident involving Albert Bloch and stole Bloch’s VISA debit card, as well as other items. While Bloch was hospitalized following the accident, Hebert used that debit card to make unauthorized purchases of merchandise, including two Global Positioning System units and to withdraw funds from Bloch’s Chase Bank account via automated teller machines (ATMs). After Chase Bank cancelled the debit card due to Bloch filing a dispute with the bank, Hebert continued his scheme to defraud by negotiating and attempting to negotiate forged checks drawn from Bloch’s account. Hebert then obtained the replacement debit card sent to Bloch and used that card to make further unauthorized transactions at Chase Bank ATMs. Bloch has not been seen since 2007.
By pleading guilty, Hebert admitted that he violated Bloch’s civil rights when he responded in his official capacity to Bloch’s automobile accident and unreasonably seized and converted Bloch’s property, including funds that Bloch had on deposit with Chase Bank. Hebert also admitted that on at least five occasions, he executed his bank fraud scheme against Chase Bank by unlawfully using Bloch’s original ATM card, replacement ATM card, and Chase Bank checks. In addition, Hebert admitted that on at least one occasion he used Bloch’s driver’s license number and Social Security number in order to execute his bank fraud scheme and thereby committed aggravated identity theft.
“When the defendant officer responded to an automobile accident and stole the victim’s credit cards and used them to commit fraud, he violated not only the law but the core law enforcement values of trust and respect for civil rights,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to work with our partners in the U.S. Attorney Offices and FBI to ensure that civil rights violations are identified and where appropriate prosecuted.”
“Mark Hebert’s guilty plea occurred as a result of the successful collaboration of local and state law enforcement agencies in our continued fight to eradicate corruption in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite for the Eastern District of Louisiana. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners are delivering the same message in a unified voice: we will not tolerate abuse of power and official position. If you violate the public trust in southeast Louisiana, you will be held accountable.”
“In as much as I am very disappointed in the behavior of former JPSO officer Mark Hebert as outlined in his guilty plea today, I am extremely proud of the persistence of my criminal investigators and the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this investigation,” stated Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. “My office will not tolerate any form of corruption.”
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled before the Honorable Jane Triche-Milazzo on March 24, 2014. For each of the five counts of bank fraud, Hebert faces a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. For the count of aggravated identity theft, Hebert faces a maximum statutory sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For the count charging a civil rights violation, Hebert faces a maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The investigation of this matter was conducted by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective’s Bureau and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Sanders, and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Shan Patel.

Cops to pay man over revenge arrest

Pretoria -
A former chairman of the Hartbeespoort policing forum will receive R180 000 from the police after being unlawfully detained by officers seeking revenge against him.
The Pretoria High Court found that the revenge against Pieter Rautenbach was due to his insistence that a task force be set up to investigate corrupt police officers.
The SAPS members who caused his arrest were implicated in possible wrong-doing, and they apparently wanted to get back at Rautenbach.
He was arrested in October 2008 and locked up for two hours on a charge of intimidation and interfering with police duties. It took six months before the criminal charges against him could be withdrawn.
Acting Judge RM Keightley was so outraged by their conduct that he ordered that a copy of his judgment be handed over to the Police Department so that his comments regarding three policemen could be seen by their superiors, particularly his finding that they lacked credibility, and maliciously caused the prosecution of Rautenbach on false charges.
“I trust that this will have the desired effect and that the appropriate action will be taken against them. I particularly recommend that the minister take active steps to ensure that the defendants are held personally responsible for their financial obligations (to pay the damages).
“I do not see why the taxpayer should be held liable to fund this kind of conduct by police officers,” said the judge.
Before his arrest, Rautenbach placed an advertisement in a local newspaper in which he alerted the public to complaints about the conduct of certain police at Hartbeespoort police station.
These included that they threatened to arrest people who were complainants in criminal cases, and sought to extract bail money from them.
He asked residents with complaints to contact him.
A member of the public, who was threatened with arrest, later called Rautenbach.
Three police – Thomas Mokgatle, Petrus Makgopela and Kaelebogo Bohelo – claimed Rautenbach stormed into their office, shouting and making trouble. Rautenbach, in turn, claimed that while he was at the police station, he was never in the office of the officers.
Various witnesses corroborated his version.
The police officers’ only defence was that they told the truth and Rautenbach and the others did not, said Judge Keightley.
He said their performance in the witness box led him to reject their versions. The judge added that they were the authors of their own demise. He found they had falsely instituted charges against Rautenbach

Police officer arrested, charged with DWI after accident

A Laredo police officer was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after crashing into a tree early Sunday while traveling southbound on IH-35.
Miguel Angel Esparza, 23, was booked and taken to Webb County Jail where he posted bail. Esparza will be placed on administrative re-assignment with pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Chicago Police officer charged in shooting that killed woman

A Chicago Police officer was charged with involuntary manslaughter Monday in connection with an off-duty shooting that left a 22-year-old woman dead and a man wounded on the West Side last year.
Cook County Judge Donald Panarese ordered Dante Servin held on $75,000 bond on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct.
Servin, who had been working as an Area Central detective since the shooting, will be stripped of his police powers until after the trial.
Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden criticized the charges, calling it a “sad day” when a Chicago Police officer is “charged for doing something he’s trained to do when defending himself.”
A federal lawsuit was filed against Servin and the city in March by Antonio Cross, who was wounded in the shooting on March 20, 2012. The family of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, who died in the shooting, reached a separate $4.5 million settlement with the city in March.
Prosecutors said Monday that Servin was on his way home when he heard a large crowd in Douglas Park and called 911 to report a party.
Servin later left his home with an unregistered handgun and encountered the victim and three others by an alley, prosecutors said.
After words were exchanged, prosecutors said, a person in the group pulled out a cellphone, and Servin opened fire.
At the time of the shooting, police said the off-duty detective rolled down his window to investigate some people causing a disturbance when Cross — later charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault — approached carrying a handgun.
Police said Cross, then known as Anthony Cross, pointed the gun at the detective, prompting him to fire, hitting Cross and Boyd.
Cross, then 39, was shot in the hand, and was treated and released from a hospital, but Boyd, who was shot in the head, died the next day at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Boyd’s family filed suit over the shooting in 2012, claiming she was not armed and presented no threat to Servin. The City Council Finance Committee signed off on a $4.5 million settlement in March.

Michigan police suspend cop behind humiliating, 'racist' footage of black man

Police in a Detroit suburb yanked a cop off the street after he reportedly told a mentally ill black man to sing and dance so he could record humiliating videos.
The Grosse Pointe Park police officer has admitted making several videos that sparked public outrage and accusations of racist abuse, according to the Motor City Muckraker, the news blog that first posted the footage.
“We all feel deeply, deeply sorry for the video we saw on the Website,” Grosse Pointe spokesman Greg Bowens told the Detroit Free Press. “This is not a true reflection of the people of the city of Grosse Pointe Park. People are working very hard to hold the ones responsible for that video accountable.”
A middle-aged black man sings and makes strange noises, apparently at the direction of a police officer, the grainy footage shows.

“Go ahead, do your song,” the person behind the camera says on the video.
Bowens didn’t name the suspended cop, but Muckraker had previously identified him as Officer Michael Njam.

Michael Scipio, 55, of Detroit claims he is the man in the officer’s video, the Detroit News reported.
Scipio lives in a boarding house in Detroit, just beyond the Grosse Pointe city line. Officers patrolling the small, primarily white enclave have frequently stopped him for public intoxication, and they have also driven him home and to the hospital, the paper reported.

“I don’t know who did it,” Scipio told reporters when asked about the video. “It made me feel like a fool.”
Steve Neavling, who broke the story on Muckraker, claimed the videos were just a sampling of the humiliating footage that was passed among officers and relatives to make fun of black men.
He also posted a picture — attributed to an officer — of a black man riding in the back of a trailer.
Neavling told the Free Press he would turn over additional videos to police once he had permission from his source.
Michigan activists have called for all officers involved to be fired.
“What kind of fun is it to take advantage of someone?” Minister Malik Shabazz of the Marcus Garvey Movement told the Detroit News. “It’s humiliating.”
The city says the investigation is ongoing.
"The people responsible for this video, and for the circumstances surrounding this video, will be disciplined accordingly," Bowens told Fox Detroit. "If there's anybody out there who has a video of anybody being mistreated in this fashion, that's not already posted out there, or just has it, we want them to contact the police chief."

Texas cop arrested for handcuffing and raping 19-year-old at traffic stop

A 40-year-old police officer in San Antonio, Texas is facing charges of felony sexual assault after a 19-year-old woman accused him of handcuffing and raping her during a traffic stop over the weekend.

According to an arrested warrant obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, Officer Jackie Len Neal pulled over the teen, telling her that her car was reported stolen.

Even though the woman produced a sales slip for the vehicle, Neal insisted on patting her down. The woman told him she felt uncomfortable with the pat down and asked for a female officer, but he ignored her, the warrant said. The woman was allegedly groped, placed in handcuffs and then taken to the back of his patrol car.

Neal was accused of raping the woman and instructing her to keep it a secret.

At the time of the alleged assault, video cameras mounted in Neal’s cruiser were not functioning because a hard drive was missing. However, a GPS tracking system did corroborate that the police cruiser was parked for 18 minutes on Betty Street as the woman had claimed.

Former Tallassee officer charged in 2 counties

The former assistant police chief of Tallassee faces criminal charges in two counties and prosecutors have had to start over with a major child abuse case he investigated because of questions about his conduct.
District Attorney Randall Houston said Chris Miles surrendered Friday afternoon to authorities in Elmore County, where he's charged with second-degree theft. He's accused of taking a gun out of an evidence locker at the Tallassee Police Department. Miles was freed on bond shortly after his arrest. He's also free on bond from charges in neighboring Macon County
Court records don't indicate if he has an attorney in the newest case yet.
Earlier in the week, prosecutors dropped more than 100 charges against a man accused of child sex abuse and brought six new ones over concerns about Miles, who was the lead investigator.
Stephen Conrad appeared in court Friday in Wetumpka and was told he faces two counts of first-degree rape, three counts of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12, and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. Prosecutors said the charges involve three females and one male. Two are now adults.
Conrad is being held under $410,000 bond and does not yet have an attorney.
Conrad was originally charged with 109 counts, but the district attorney said they were dropped after being "tainted by illegally obtained evidence." Houston said the new charges resulted from an independent investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
Houston's chief assistant, C.J. Robinson, told the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/1g2P0sJ) that Miles is under investigation by state and federal authorities involving allegations of coercion in the Conrad case.
Miles, 39, of Eclectic left the Tallassee Police Department in October after being charged in neighboring Macon County with two counts of theft of property and two counts of burglary. Macon County District Attorney E. Paul Jones said Miles is accused of breaking into a business in Shorter. He is free on $99,000 bond.
Jennifer Thompkins, who represents Miles in the Macon County case, said she can't comment on those charges because the case is in its early stages, but she said he did not coerce the defendant in the child sex abuse case. She also said he "had other officers present when interviewing the defendant and used electronic devices to record any statements made by the defendant in compliance with department procedure."
Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rogers told the Montgomery Advertiser that he is unaware of any electronic recordings. "As to coercion, we have testimony from our officers as to coercion occurring," he said. "That apparently carries more weight with the agencies that are investigating this."
Thompkins said Miles has done nothing to jeopardize the case against Conrad. "Mr. Miles tried to protect these victimized children through countless hours of dedication and gut-wrenching evidence and investigations along with several other officers," she said.
In the gun case, the district attorney said the weapon, a semi-automatic handgun, has been recovered but an investigation continues into firearms missing from the evidence locker.

Mich. officer off duty for racially charged video

GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) — A spokesman for a Detroit suburb says a police officer has been sidelined after taking responsibility for harassing a black man while videotaping him.

Grosse Pointe Park spokesman Greg Bowens tells the Detroit Free Press for a story (http://on.freep.com/1i222v6) Friday that the unnamed officer has been removed from patrol duty. Bowens says an investigation is nearly complete.

The videos were posted to the website of a news outlet called the Motor City Muckraker. Bowens says authorities are seeking additional videos from the site in an effort to determine "if there is a pattern" of mistreatment.