Tarpon Springs cop resigns, accused of having affair with felon
TARPON SPRINGS — A Tarpon police detective resigned last month before the conclusion of an internal affairs investigation that found he was having an affair with a convicted felon and often traveled to her mobile home while on duty to have sex with her, officials announced Wednesday.
According to internal affairs documents, Detective John Loibl maintained a relationship with Nickole Carter, 31, and visited her up to several times a week during his shift. Loibl also drove Carter, on probation for drug charges, to probation office appointments in his unmarked police car.
Loibl, 49, was married at the time.
Carter told investigators she met Loibl the summer of 2011 at Busch Gardens while they both waited in line for an amusement ride. They stayed in touch, became friends and eventually began an affair.
When Carter moved from Tampa to Tarpon Springs in October 2012, Loibl helped her find a job at a Subway restaurant and arranged for her to stay at the Hillside Mobile Home Park on U.S. 19. Loibl drove to her home, both in Tampa and later in Tarpon Springs, in his police car during his shift to have sex with her while her children were at school, records show. She told her probation officer she was Loibl's "mistress."
"I think he's a great man. I didn't ever feel forced to do anything," she told investigators. "It was just good to have somebody to actually treat me and my kids good, like nobody ever has."
Loibl took Carter and her three children out to dinner. He bought hamsters for the children, ages 7, 9 and 11, and gave Carter cash to help her with rent and her electric bill, she told investigators.
On July 26, Loibl texted his supervisor: "I don't feel well. My stomach is a mess. … I'm going to go ahead and call out." That same day, Loibl drove Carter in his police car to Perry — a 342-mile round trip. He fueled his police car with gas from a city pump, records show.
Three days later, the Tarpon Springs Probation and Parole Office told police that Loibl might be involved with Carter. Loibl had driven her to the office for a monthly meeting with her probation officer, who recognized him, police said.
Police Chief Robert P. Kochen ordered an internal affairs investigation. On July 30, Loibl was placed on administrative leave with pay.
On Aug. 13, he resigned. He was uncooperative with investigators and didn't show up for his internal affairs interview, police spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Young said.
Had he remained at the department, Loibl would have been terminated, Kochen said.
The chief called Loibl's behavior "disgraceful," adding that "no agency is immune from certain people doing things like this."
Loibl was hired by the department in September 2005. In 2006, Loibl received additional training after investigators found he had improperly documented evidence. In 2007, he was spoken to twice for tardiness, Young said.
In December 2010, Carter was sentenced to 18 months probation in Hillsborough County on a controlled substance possession charge. Earlier this year, she violated her probation by traveling from Pinellas to Hillsborough, where she was arrested for marijuana possession, police said.
State records show Carter was also convicted of DUI property damage in November 2010. She was sentenced to one year of probation, and her driver's license was suspended for six months.
Loibl and Carter could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Because Loibl had not completed 10 years at the department, he will not receive pension benefits, Young said.
Stephen Tanabe, a former deputy with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, has been convicted of two counts of extortion under color of official right, three counts of wire fraud on a deprivation of honest services theory, and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.
According to evidence presented at trial, Tanabe conspired to and engaged in a scheme to take bribes in exchange for his services as a deputy sheriff, thereby depriving the people of Contra Costa County of their right to his honest services.
Specifically, the evidence showed that Christopher Butler, a former Antioch Police Officer turned private investigator, was hired by wives and ex-wives engaged in divorce and child custody proceedings to arrange “stings” against their spouses, whom they told Butler had a propensity to drive under the influence of alcohol.
Butler used “decoys” to entice the sting targets to bars in downtown Danville, where Tanabe was assigned to patrol, and encourage them to drink.
For one sting, Tanabe joined Butler in a bar while off-duty, watching two attractive young women working for Butler drink with a sting target. Evidence showed that, in exchange for a promise of cocaine, Tanabe notified an on-duty deputy that the sting target was about to drive away, having been lured by the prospect out of a hot tub with the two women.
For two other stings, the evidence showed that Tanabe, then on-duty, waited outside the Vine Bar in Danville and then arrested the targets in exchange for a Glock handgun.
“This conviction confirms that Stephen Tanabe did not serve his community with honor or integrity but instead set up unsuspecting citizens and abused the public trust,” said United States Attorney, Melinda Haag. “Law enforcement officers are hard-working, honorable men and women who work selflessly every day to keep us safe. Stephen Tanabe is the exception, and he does not deserve the badge he was wearing.”
The maximum statutory penalties for honest services wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1346, conspiracy to commit same under 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and extortion under color of official right under 18 U.S.C. § 1951, are 20 years’ imprisonment; $250,000 fine; and five years of supervised release. However, any sentence following this conviction will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Butler entered into a cooperation plea agreement with the government on May 7, 2012, and was sentenced on September 25, 2012, to 96 months in prison.
Tanabe, 50, was originally indicted on December 15, 2011. The superseding information on which he was tried filed June 12, 2013. Sentencing is scheduled for December 11, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer.
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Wildwood police Sgt. David Romeo, convicted of official misconduct for kicking two handcuffed suspects, is scheduled to be resentenced Oct. 10.
The resentencing hearing was scheduled after an appellate panel found that, while Romeo is not entitled to a new trial, the sentencing judge should determine whether Romeo should face the mandatory minimum sentence, five years, without the possibility of parole.
In March 2010, a jury found Romeo guilty of kicking car burglary suspects Gilbert Haege and Louis McCullough as the two men were face down on the ground and handcuffed.
Two months later, Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten sentenced Romeo to five years in state prison. But Romeo wasn’t taken into custody that day in May 2010 and instead was allowed to remain free on bail while he appealed his conviction.
At that hearing, Batten said, “The defendant yet denies culpability, yet displays no remorse.”
Batten sentenced Romeo to five years with the possibility of parole after serving one year, over the protests of prosecutors who wanted no parole option.
The recent state appellate rulings addressed both Romeo’s request for a new trial and the state’s request that his sentence be revisited.
The appellate panel denied Romeo’s request for a new trial but has said the sentencing judge should determine whether the state’s request that Romeo face the mandatory minimum sentence without the possibility of parole should be granted.
Romeo, who was taken into custody Sept. 12, is being held at the Atlantic County jail without bail until his Oct. 10 hearing.
The official misconduct charge stems from a July 24, 2007, incident in which Wildwood police officers were pursuing two men who reportedly were breaking into cars parked near the Boardwalk.
Three other officers, Detectives Walter Cubernot and Edward Ramsey and Patrolman Roger Lillo, were investigating the series of burglaries and eventually arrested Haege and McCullough
In court, Cubernot testified about Haege’s demeanor at the time.
“He was lying face down with his arms behind his back and had handcuffs on,” Cubernot said. “He just laid there. The fight was over. He gave up. I mean, he was done.”
Romeo, who had been promoted to sergeant in April 2007, came to the scene from the police station and, according to Cubernot, Lillo and Ramsey, kicked the two unarmed, handcuffed men.
At trial, Romeo testified that he saw a weapon — a Leatherman multitool — on the ground.
“I saw the knife on the ground. It was a threat. I had to get the knife,” Romeo said.
But the other officers testified the men were not a threat and that no weapon was on the ground. Cubernot said he found the Leatherman in one of the suspect’s pockets and placed it in evidence.
Ramsey said Romeo gave Haege “a sweeping kick … in the face.”
The officers said Romeo acted intentionally and that they were stunned and shocked by what they saw.
During the trial, then-Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Weintraub placed a handcuffed foam mannequin on the floor and had Ramsey kick it to demonstrate to the jury what happened. Jurors took notes, some getting out of their seats to watch as Ramsey played the part of Romeo.
The appellate court found no basis for a new trial, noting it found no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct and agreed that the court acted properly when it allowed the jury to hear evidence of prior bad acts by Romeo.
There was no evidence that the jury was not properly instructed, the appeals court found.
“We affirm the defendant’s conviction but remand for resentencing consistent with this opinion,” the decision reads.
Romeo joined the Wildwood Police Department in 1994. His last day with the department was May 21, 2010.
Officer convicted in Danziger Bridge shootings asks to be released from prison after getting new trial
Former New Orleans police sergeant Arthur Kaufman, who won a new trial this week after being convicted in 2011 for his role in helping cover up the Danziger Bridge shooting, is seeking a chance to get out of prison on bond. (Ted Jackson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune archive)
In the wake of a ruling granting a new trial for five former police officers convicted for their roles in the post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shooting, the cop serving a six-year prison term for aiding in the cover-up is asking to be released from prison on bond.
Attorneys for former police Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, 57, made their motion for bond Thursday morning. Kaufman is currently in a Virginia prison with a release date of 2017.
Stephen London, an attorney for Kaufman, asked for a $100,000 personal surety bond, which was the bond granted for Kaufman leading up to the 2011 trial. Of the five officers who stood trial in 2011, Kaufman was the only one allowed to remain free on bond in the lead up to trial.
This week's blockbuster ruling by U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt granting a new trial blasted federal prosecutors for "grotesque" misconduct based on their anonymous posting of inflammatory comments about the Danziger case and other federal matters on NOLA.com. The prosecutors outed as NOLA.com commenters were not the prosecutors who tried the Danziger case. But one -- Jan Mann -- was a high-ranking supervisor, and another was a Justice Department lawyer with a role in the Danziger case.
An attorney for ex-offier Anthony Villavaso, who was sentenced to 38 years in prison for his role in the Danziger shooting, earlier this week said he also intends to seek release for his client. By Thursday morning he had not filed a request.
"We intend to seek our clients release on bond and feel that he is an excellent candidate for release," Roger Kitchens had said immediately after Engelhardt's ruling. The other ex-cops who were granted a new trial are Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius and Robert Faulcon.
A new trial date has not been set, but the judge indicated he wanted to move swiftly. It's unclear if the Justice Department plans to challenge the ruling.
A federal judge sentenced a former Edwardsville police chief Wednesday to 18 months at a federal prison camp for stealing towing fees from a city fund.
James S. Bedell, who resigned in October, heard U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan pronounce the sentence. Bedell pleaded guilty in April to four federal counts of embezzlement and theft from the city while he was Edwardsville's police chief.
The money was stolen from tow fees and used to support Bedell's gambling habit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Norm Smith said.
Smith argued for a 21 month prison sentence for Bedell, saying it was Bedell who brought the idea of a lock box and charging a $300 towing fee to the City Council on April 9 2012.
During his closing statement, Smith said he didn't think the harm was in the $138,000 that was stolen.
"The damage was done to the reputation of police officers and to the city. If citizens don't trust the police, if the citizens don't respect the police, they are reluctant to cooperate," Smith said.
"The defendant was the one who brought the idea to the City Council to start collecting a $300 tow fee. He said it was being done other cities. The City Council approved an ordinance to create the $300 tow fee. Two months later after the money starts coming in, he starts taking money out of the cash box and started embezzling," Smith told Reagan.
"Did he come up with the idea he could steal money? Smith asked. Then he said he could not say whether or not he did. But, he made it abundantly clear that it was just shortly after he came up with the idea and got council to approve it that Bedell started stealing the money.
Bedell's attorney, John P. Rogers of St. Louis, said Bedell's crime was a non-violent offense.
He told Reagan that Bedell was lonely and bored because he was not able to sell his home in Napersville for four years and had to be departed from his wife all that time on the Edwardsville job.
He said Bedell took responsibility for his actions early, had no previous criminal history, had a stellar law enforcement career and educational background along with his long, stable married life. He said the father of two boys had suffered embarrassment already and didn't allow his sons to attend the sentencing "for fear of them seeing him in this moment."
Rogers said Bedell, 57, is undergoing treatment for "stress and gambling addiction." He argued that Bedell did not need a stiff sentence because he was not likely to be in court again for anything like what he was there for Thursday morning.
What put federal agents onto Bedell's scheme was a payment made with a Quick Trip money order that ended up in Bedell's personal bank account, Smith said.
On Oct. 5, 2012, the FBI served a search warrant at Bedell's house. During his conversation with the FBI, Bedell explained the procedure for money getting into the lock box.
"He said anybody could get into the lock box using a butter knife. And, he said he didn't know how the money got into his account," Smith said.
After Bedell realized the federal investigation was focused squarely on him, he came clean Rogers said.
Reagan told Bedell he had read all of his letters of support, acknowledged his stellar career and education. He said he didn't have the luxury, though, of choosing good or bad and sentencing on that alone. He said he had to sentence the whole person - the good and the bad - the two faces of James Bedell.
He said Bedell's crime was serious, protracted and calculated.
"It was like a house of cards," Reagan said. He told Bedell he didn't know how he thought he wouldn't get caught. He, too, pointed out that Bedell came up with the tow fee idea and then stole from it. Reagan said it was sophisticated.
Reagan said he found a dozen bad cop cases that had been in federal court in recent years from the metro-east. He told Bedell, "Police are a safety net. ... Bad cops lend more to chaos than safety."
Reagan said sentencing Bedell to probation would not promote respect for the law. He pointed out the hardship individuals who had to pay the tow money had to deal with. "And then a cop took the money. It's just bad ... bad," Reagan said.
Reagan said he has no doubts that Bedell won't end up back in court, but unless he kicks his gambling addiction, he will go back to gambling.
Bedell apologized to the court, his family, fellow police officers ,friends, and the city of Edwardsville for his criminal actions He said his apology was especially made to his wife of 36 years and best friend for 41 years.
"I can't fix this. I am indebted to you for the rest of my life. I hope you can forgive me someday. I will never forgive myself," he said.
He added, "I am praying for leniency and mercy in your sentencing. I made a terrible decision. And, it has cost me dearly."
An Amarillo appeals court has agreed with the city of Lubbock that a hearing officer overstepped his authority in reducing a police officer’s suspension for excessive force.
A three-judge panel of the Seventh Court of Appeals on Friday, Sept. 13, reversed 72nd District Judge Ruben Reyes’ ruling that the city had no standing to appeal the hearing officer’s decision regarding Lubbock police officer Christopher Hennsley’s suspension to the court.
The appeals court remanded the case to Reyes for reconsideration.
Then-Chief Dale Holton suspended Hennsley indefinitely — in essence firing the officer — in June 2010 for using excessive force and violating several other police policies during a January 2010 traffic stop.
Hennsley, then an 11-year member of the force, appealed. Hearing officer William McKee in November 2011 reduced the suspension to 15 days and awarded him back pay.
McKee reduced the suspension because he refused to consider any charges in Holton’s indefinite suspension order that hadn’t also been raised in the initial complaint Capt. Scott Hudgens wrote. Hudgens’ memo started an internal affairs investigation of the incident.
McKee held that there was no reason Hudgens’ original complaint could not have been amended while the internal affairs investigation continued.
The Seventh Court of Appeals decided state law didn’t allow McKee the discretion to pick and choose which parts of Holton’s suspension order would be reviewed.
The case arose from a traffic stop near the La Kumbia nightclub on Avenue Q that involved several Lubbock police officers.
A police dashboard video shows Hennsley smashing the rear window of the Ford Mustang he and another officer pursued in their vehicles.
The video also shows Hennsley running up to one of the vehicle’s occupants, who had left the car with his hands up, and kicking him in the stomach.
Other charges against Hennsley including making a misleading radio call, trying to subdue a resisting person without holstering his handgun, using his stun gun without warning other officers and discharging the stun gun with one hand while he had his handgun in the other hand.
Chief Justice Brian Quinn and Justices James T. Campbell and Mackey K. Hancock were the panel that heard the case.
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The Franklin County Sheriff's Office requested the assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in relation to a credit card fraud investigation.
The investigation involved the purchase of two golf carts using stolen credit cards in the Tallahassee area. One of the suspects in the investigation was Jeffrey Tyrone Lockley aka "Bonjo".
A FDLE Special Agent obtained arrest warrants for the following charges: 1 Count Racketeering, 1 Count Scheme to Defraud, 2 Counts Dealing in Stolen Property, 3 Counts Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and 5 Counts of Grand Theft (more than $300.00 less than $10,000).
Lockley was arrested on the 12 felony charges on September 11, 2013, by FDLE Agents in Apalachicola without incident. Lockley was booked into the Franklin County Jail and is being held on a $160,000.00 bond.
Lockley is a former Apalachicola Police Department Officer and a Department of Corrections Officer. This was a joint investigation between the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the FDLE.
The Baton Rouge Police Department has announced the arrest of an officer from their department today.
A press release states that Taylor DeRousselle, 24, Geismar, was charged with misdemeanor Simple Battery.
Investigators say DeRousselle was involved in a physical altercation while off duty at The Varsity Theater on September 7th. He is accused of punching an employee of the establishment in the face.
According to the report, a bouncer at The Varsity saw DeRousselle involved in an argument with another person. The bouncer says he broke up the argument and attempted to escort DeRousselle out. Before he could make it to the door, DeRousselle flashed his Police ID and shouted “I am a fucking cop, I will arrest everyone here.”
The report states that the victim raised his arms in an effort to show no aggression, but a few seconds later, DeRousselle took a deep breath and struck the man once in the left side of his face with a closed fist.
A witness on the scene who observed the incident corroborated the victim’s account. The victim presented medical records to investigators showing that he had a hairline fracture to his left cheek.
During questioning DeRousselle admitted to striking the victim.
DeRousselle has been a Baton Rouge Police Officer for seven months and is currently assigned to Uniform Patrol, 4th District.
He was arrested this morning and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He has also been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
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A North Carolina police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man.
Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department fired 12 shots, ten of which hit 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, according to authorities.
Ferrell, who had played football for Florida A&M University, was seeking help after crashing his car, according to authorities.
When he knocked on a woman’s door, she called 911 — alarmed to find Ferrell on her doorstep.
When officers arrived at the scene, authorities say Ferrell ran toward officers. When a Taser failed to stop his approach, Kerrick fired.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Little Rock Police officer charged with manslaughter, Josh Hastings, was in court Thursday for day four in his case against the state, who's accusing him in the wrongful death of a teenage robbery suspect.
The case isn't as far along in the process as some inside the courtroom thought it would have been.
"The court felt like we were getting too low on potential jurors, and we would bring this other group in," explained defense attorney Bill James. "We hoped it wasn't going to happen, but the judge decided that needs to be done, so that's what's happening."
Court started Thursday with six seated jurors, meaning halfway to finalizing the jury box and officially swearing them in. That quickly changed however, when one was sent home for personal reasons.
Those inside the courtroom expected that they would begin to bring in witnesses Friday morning, but that changed about lunch time Thursday when the judge sent everyone in the current jury pool, including the seated jurors, home for the day and brought in 60 new faces to start the process all over with them from the beginning.
The court wanted a bigger pool of prospective jurors to pull from to fill the seven remaining seats plus the two alternates.
They are closer to seating the jury, but this has all been done once before and resulted in a hung jury.
"This is a process that requires we be attentive and diligent," Judge Wendell Griffen said.
The previously seated jurors will return Friday afternoon.
It's possible opening testimony will begin Monday. Judge Griffen still expects the proceedings to be finished by October 4.
AMITY — The police officer charged with shoplifting hundreds of dollars in groceries has been fired by the township.
Following a Local Agency Police Tenure Act Hearing on Sept. 10, the Amity Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Sept. 18 to terminate Cpl. Glenn A. Oesterling, effective immediately.
Township Solicitor Brian F. Boland said Oesterling would be notified by certified mail.
Supervisor Richard L. Gokey was absent from the meeting.
Oesterling, a 12-year veteran of the police force, was charged in July for two incidents of retail theft and receiving stolen property. He was subsequently suspended without pay.
Boland said the found the evidence of the charges credible and convincing.
Oesterling, 35, reportedly walked out of the Upland Square Giant on both June 12 and June 18 without paying for the merchandise he allegedly put into blue reusable shopping bags in the shopping cart he was pushing.
According to a criminal complaint filed by West Pottsgrove Police, a loss prevention officer with the Giantobserved a man leave the store on June 12 without paying for six items worth $38.04 in the reusable bags.
The loss prevention officer used store surveillance footage to confirm what the items were and that the man “bypass(ed) all points of sale,” the complaint states.
In the footage, the suspect was observed pushing a shopping cart with a child’s car attachment on the front and three small children riding on the cart in different positions.
Following that incident, the loss prevention officer printed photos of the man and “placed them in the office for review by other loss prevention officers.”
Almost a week later, on June 18, another loss prevention officer observed a man matching the June 12 photos enter the store. The man was pushing a cart with the same three children in the same type of cart with blue reusable grocery bags.
The loss prevention officer followed the man, later identified as Cpl. Oesterling, around the store as he allegedly placed items into the reusable bags.
After moving toward the service desk, “the defendant then bypassed all points of sale and then exited the store,” the loss prevention officer told police.
The loss prevention officer stopped Oesterling in the store vestibule, where “the defendant then identified himself as a ‘cop,’” according to the complaint.
West Pottsgrove Police responded and the loss prevention officer alleged there were 53 store items totaling $296.35 in Oesterling’s possession.
In the second such case this year, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was arrested Thursday on charges that he falsified time sheets while working off duty.
Detectives charged Officer Michael Thompson with eight counts of obtaining property by false pretense, saying he falsified time sheets while working for the Berewick Homeowners Association.
CMPD hired Thompson on May 17, 2007. He was assigned to the Steele Creek Division.
Thompson has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending a criminal and internal investigation, police said.
“The actions of this officer do not reflect the character of the dedicated men and women that wear the badge of the CMPD with honor,” Police Chief Rodney Monroe said in a statement. “We will continue to hold officers to the highest standards and accountable for their actions.”
In May, another CMPD officer was arrested for allegedly falsifying time sheets for his off-duty job at the Arboretum shopping center.
Jeffrey Taylor, 46, faces a felony charge of obtaining property by false pretense, records show.
Taylor has worked in the department for 24 years. He was placed on unpaid administrative leave after he turned himself in.
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Pittsburgh residents brought their concerns about police misconduct to City Council Tuesday during an open forum.
Concerned citizens brought up many issues, including a lack of diversity on the police force, racial profiling and overly aggressive policing in communities with high crime rates.
Rashad Byrdsong, president and CEO of the Homewood Community Empowerment Association, said law-abiding citizens of his community are stuck in a difficult situation.
“These type of shootings, homicide, crimes, in a lot of these distressed communities promote more aggressive policing,” Byrdsong said. “So we’re caught right in the middle between a lot of the gang activity and the more aggressive policing that’s going on in our community.”
Beth Pittinger, director of the Citizens Police Review Board, said she’s already fielded more complaints about police conduct this year than in all of last year.
“And once again, they focus predominately on their conduct toward the public and unbecoming conduct, which generally means their demeanor and how they speak to people,” Pittinger said. “Rude and discourteous seems to continue to plague us as a major problem.”
Pittinger, Byrdsong, and others also came to find and offer solutions, asking the city to help plan a conference to address issues of race-based police misconduct.
“The board would like to sponsor and facilitate with some of our partners … major conference that would involve having experts in both social reform and community responsibility and law enforcement,” Pittinger said.
Councilman Ricky Burgess was interested in the idea and said he plans to pursue it further.
Some at the forum, including City Council President Darlene Harris and former president of the Pittsburgh Fraternal Order of Police Dan O’Hara said most officers are not participating in any kind of misconduct or racial profiling.
“99.9 percent of our workforce always does the right thing,” O’Hara said. “Occasionally you’re going to have, in any large organizational structure, regardless of whether it’s the police or any business, you’ll have a problem employee or a situation occur, a misunderstanding with the public.”
Byrdsong was not buying this argument. He said the city needs to take a good look at the culture within the department.
“You can’t talk about the few bad apples being isolated from the culture that perpetuates the bad apples,” Byrdsong said. “The bad apples come from the bushel, so we have to actually look at the bushel, what’s going on there, that creates the bad apples."
Burgess held that the main problem with community-police relations in neighborhoods like Homewood is that there are two competing narratives at play, both of them false.
“You have the police officers who believe the community doesn’t like them, that the community disrespects them, that the community is complicit in the illegal drug trade and complicit in protecting family members and friends from the consequences of illegal activity,” he said. “I think on the other side you have the community who believes that the police hate them and the police disrespect them and … are trying to rob them of their constitutional rights through profiling.”
Burgess recently introduced three pieces of legislation to address the lack of community confidence in the police department, which he says has reached crisis level.
Two of the pieces would bring in experts from Kansas City to participate in a summit on how to address these issues, and a third would create a smartphone app that allows citizens to report police misconduct in real time.
BEVERLY HILLS (CNS) – A former Beverly Hills police SWAT supervisor claims he lost his job after reporting a colleague for removing a sheet from atop Whitney Houston’s naked body and making inappropriate comments at the scene of her death in 2012.
A claim filed last week by police Sgt. Brian Weir alleges that then-Det. Sgt. Terry Nutall disturbed the scene after Houston’s death, NBC4 reported.
Weir’s claim is the precursor to a civil lawsuit, which is expected to be filed in the next 30 days, according to NBC4.
Despite having “no legitimate law enforcement … or other proper and legal purpose,” according to the claim reported by NBC4, Nutall “knelt beside and leaned over the decedent, removed the sheet and/or other covering from the body … to an area below the pubic region.”
Nutall allegedly then made “inappropriate comments … that the decedent ‘looked attractive for a woman of her age and current state,’” according to Weir. “Damn, she’s still looking good, huh?” Nutall is alleged to have said.
Lt. Lincoln Hoshino disputed the allegations, saying that Nutall, who has since been promoted to lieutenant, had a legitimate reason for being at the scene. Hoshino said the police department was unaware of any inappropriate conduct.
The 48-year-old singer-actress drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 11, just hours before a pre-Grammy Awards party thrown at the hotel by her mentor, Clive Davis. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office determined cocaine use and heart disease contributed to her death, with evidence that she used cocaine shortly before slipping under the water in the tub.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker has suspended Houston Police Department Chief Charles McClelland following an automotive-pedestrian accident he was involved in on Sept. 4.
"I am the boss; I should take a bigger discipline," said Chief McClelland during a news conference on Thursday afternoon. "This is why I am accepting my suspension."
The chief also explained during the conference that police officers do not receive citations when they are on duty driving city vehicles because they must go through the administrative process.
If at any time an officer is determined to be at fault for an accident, Chief McClelland said that incident will still be on the officer's personal driving record.
Chief McClelland released a video of the accident to FOX 26 News and other news outlets.
During the conference, the chief admitted he would enroll in a defensive driving course.
A man had suffered minor injuries and was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center after he had walked in front of the car driven by Chief McClelland.
The accident took place around 8:15 a.m. on Sept. 4 in the intersection of Clay Street and Travis Street in downtown Houston.
New Orleans, La. -
One of the women involved in a Canal Street fight, captured in a video that's gone viral, says she's glad a police officer has been suspended for allegedly not doing enough to stop the fight. The attorney for the officer takes issue with the allegations and plans to appeal the suspension.
It's an incident that many say did not have to escalate, including the woman who got the worst of the fight.
"I think he should have done more," she said, "more than what he was doing."
The woman said NOPD Officer Cortez Hankton and another officer got out of their car while patrolling Canal Street, about a minute after the fight began.
FOX 8 asked her if she requested Ofc. Hankton to do more. "I didn't have to, he was right there when this all happened," she said.
According to her, her boyfriend and another man began fighting. At some point she and the other man's sister were also drawn into the brawl.
"What he is doing?" wondered Tulane criminologist Peter Scharf as he watched the YouTube video, which has gotten over 60,000 hits. "Is he monitoring the scene or is he just passive? But it's sure ugly."
The victim said her injuries were serious, noting bruises all over her body and a knot on her forehead. She said she required hospitalization for several days after the fight.
The woman also said she and her boyfriend were arrested after the fight, but Ofc. Hankton never showed up in court and the charges were dropped.
"If he had done his job, none of this would have happened," she said.
Hankton's attorney says he will appeal the officer's suspension.
"He's incredibly disappointed by this. He plans to put on a vigorous defense," said Raymond Burkart III.
Burkart said the officer was doing his job and awaiting backup, a statement disputed by NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
It's a case that's a concern to people involved in officer training.
"There may be some confusion among police officers that needs to be clarified. Somehow he thought he had to wait for backup," said Mary Claire Landry, a police training expert with the Family Justice Center.
There are accounts of similar brawls happening at least once or twice a week on Canal Street, and Landry says it's important for officers to respond correctly.
"Those situations are going to escalate there's no doubt about it, if you don't de-escalate that... you really have to take action and separate the parties," Landry told FOX 8.
Dr. Scharf says it's not clear whether Ofc. Hankton acted improperly. "It's embarrassing but was it beyond the standard? So reasonable tactics, that's the question," said Scharf.
It's an issue that will likely be decided by Civil Service, once the suspension appeal is filed.
A San Francisco police officer cited a bicycle rider for having a suspended or revoked automobile driver’s license. You read that right — even though no driver’s license is required to ride a bicycle in California when it happened.
From the SFPD Richmond Station police blotter, via the Richmond Review:
Driving with a Suspended License: Aug. 8, 2:42 a.m., Geary Boulevard
An officer on patrol noticed a bicycle rider making an unsafe lane change while riding eastbound on Geary Boulevard. The officer enacted a traffic stop and discovered the rider had a suspended/revoked driver’s license.
The bicycle driver was cited for a misdemeanor offense of driving with a suspended license.
The officer’s baffling application of the law is especially strange considering the fact that this person could have been riding a bicycle because they lost their driver’s license.
Well, if that’s the new order of things, police ought to start ticketing all children who ride bicycles on sight.
Wendel Don Hughes, the Sallisaw police officer charged with larceny of domestic animals, was sentenced Monday to a10-year suspended sentence with restitution.
“He took a 10- year suspended sentence with restitution of $72,301 to be paid back in $600 increments,” Josh King, an assistant district attorney in Adair County, said.
King said the amount of restitution was determined from the sale barn receipts.
All though the restitution amount has been ordered, Hughes has the full term of his probation to pay the entire amount.
Hughes, 38, of Sallisaw was charged with multiple counts of stealing cattle and one horse.
Hughes had worked for the Sallisaw Police Department for eight years when the charges were filed in January 2011.
Hughes was suspended after the charges were filed and then later fired after he allegedly shot himself and blamed the owner of the stolen cattle.
Hughes stole 178 head of cattle and sold them at auction under his name. According to court documents, he delivered the horse to a personal friend in Virginia.
“Our goal was to make the victim whole and allow him to recover fully from his losses. We will revoke the sentence if Mr. Hughes fails to pay,” King said.
King said this is a felony conviction and as such will bar Hughes from working as a police officer.
The Madison Police Department has suspended two officers following an internal investigation of an incident involving the officers' guns.
Columbia Co. deputies responded to the home of Officer Cary House and Officer Emily House Jan. 3rd after receiving calls about gunfire.
According to Madison Police, the officers were socializing with some casual acquaintances. The department says the officers' guns were fired from the backyard toward an unpopulated area. Police do not believe other residents in the area were in danger.
Madison Police say it was determined that Officer Cary House discharged a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant. He was arrested.
MPD's internal investigation revealed Officer Emily House likely drove while intoxicated that evening, though she was not charged.
Madison Police say both officers violated department policies.
Officer Cary House was reprimanded and suspended without pay for 30 days.
Officer Emily House was suspended without pay for 9 days.
A small-town police chief who recorded a series of foul-mouthed Youtube videos ranting about John Kerry and the UN and firing his automatic weapon, has been fired.
Mark Kessler had already been suspended for 30 days for posting the profanity-laced pro-gun videos. Now Gilberton Borough Council, in Pennsylvania, has voted to sack him from his role in the community.
Kessler has acknowledged that his videos are inflammatory, but he told NBC News they were designed to draw attention to what he sees as the erosion of the USA's Second Amendment and the freedom of speech.
He said it was his 'right' and 'freedom' to make the videos, in which he repeatedly fires the borough-owned automatic weapon. He told NBC Philadelphia after being fired: 'I feel in my heart I'm doing the right thing.'
Several Kessler supporters showed up at the hearing yesterday, most were members of his 'Constitution Security Force' - his pro-gun group. One member got into an argument with an opponent, according to the news service.
In the hearing, Kessler's lawyer, Joseph Nahas, claimed the charges brought against his client were inflated to justify his dismissal for the videos, said NBC News.
In one video, he claims to be apologising for using offensive language in a previous video. He then says he's kidding, tells people who were offended to 'go f*** yourself' and then fires founds from a machine gun.
In another video, he complains about Secretary of State John Kerry, the United Nations and other 'libtards' and 'p******' he claims are trying to take his guns.
After firing more rounds from a machine gun, he invites the 'libtards' to 'come and get it.'
Kessler was suspended in July for improper use of state purchasing programme, failing to submit required crime data and making derogatory comments about borough officials.
After the hearing Nahas declined the offer to comment, NBC News said.
When the videos first surfaced last month, Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said she found the language in the videos offensive and she understood that others did as well.
'I think it's blackened our eye a little, but we are a strong community,' Hannon said at the time. 'We will go on from here.'
Officials have said that Kessler bought the weapons with his own money and donated them to the police department, an action approved by the council. Kessler told PennLive.com on Wednesday that he also donated the ammunition used in the videos.
A former Meriden police officer has been sentenced to jail after he was convicted of using unreasonable force against a handcuffed man and lying about it in a report.
A Meriden police officer who was found guilty by a federal jury of using unreasonable force when he shoved a handcuffed man into a prison cell bench resigned from the department Tuesday.
Evan Cossette, 26, was convicted of pushing Pedro Temich, of Meriden, which made him fall into the cement bench and left him unconsciousness. The fall also left him with 12-centimeter gash on the back of his head.
Cossette took the stand in his own defense Friday and said he thought the man was about to attack him and didn't expect him to fall.
During his testimony, Cossette said the surveillance video was edited and leaves out the part when he told the prisoner to sit down.
On Monday, he was found guilty of using unreasonable force and obstructing a federal investigation by preparing a false report.
Cossette resigned from his position Tuesday morning, according to the personnel director for the city of Meriden.
And since he resigned, there is no need to hold a hearing regarding his termination from the police force.
Cossette could face up to 30 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28.
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Evan Cossette, the son of police Chief Jeffry Cossette, was sentenced to 14 months in jail on Monday in federal court New Haven. After his 14 months in jail, he will have to complete one year of supervised release.
Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence him within the guidelines range of 27 to 33 months. Cossette's attorney was asking for home confinement and community service.
Surveillance video played during the trial shows Cossette pushing Pedro Temich into a jail cell in 2010. Temich fell and hit his head on a concrete bench.
Cossette testified he didn't intend to injure Temich. He said he thought Temich was about to head-butt him when he pushed him and was surprised he fell.
General David Petraeus' rocky first days as a lecturer at the City University of New York only got rockier this week. Six CUNY student were arrested on Tuesday while protesting outside Macaulay Honors College, where Petraeus holds his classes. Now their supporters are saying that police unnecessarily roughed the students up during their arrest, and video footage seems to support that claim.
The video above shows one of the arrested demonstrators being immobilized by NYPD officers after a clash between the protesters and police had already begun. At about 30 seconds into the video, you can clearly see a police officer kneel down and punch the demonstrator's exposed kidney area. Ultimately six students, ranging in age from 18 to 25, were taken into custody and charged with mutliple crimes, "including disorderly conduct, riot, resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration," according to the Guardian.
In response to the video, and to support the ongoing campaign against Petraeus, a group of graduate students and professors gathered together yesterday to pen an open letter that voices their displeasure with Tuesday's arrests and Petraeus' hiring:
As graduate students and educators of CUNY, we express our outrage at the violent and unprovoked actions by the NYPD against CUNY students peacefully protesting the appointment of war criminal David Petraeus as a lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College. We deplore the use of violence and brutal tactics against CUNY students and faculty who were protesting outside the college. It is unacceptable for the university to allow the police to violently arrest students.
Originally a CUNY project, the letter, which asks for the charges against the students to be dropped and for Petraeus to be fired, has now been signed by hundreds of academics from around the country.
After being arraigned on Wednesday, the six students who were arrested are due back in court on October 17.
A Dawson Police officer who also worked part-time for Warwick, was booked into the Dougherty County jail Thursday night, accused of stealing from Sears in the Albany Mall, and it's not his first arrest.
42-year-old Lt. Marcus LeMacks resigned his Warwick post Friday afternoon, and remains suspended in Dawson.
LeMacks worked part-time at Sears. Store loss prevention officers investigated him for two months before Albany Police arrested him a little before 5:30 p.m.
They say surveillance video shows LeMacks taking items from the store and putting them in his vehicle. Investigators believe he stole about $1,200 worth of merchandise. They plan to search his home to try to recover items.
Dawson Police Charlie Whitehead says officer Marcus LeMacks has been suspended without pay until his legal case is adjudicated, and he has been notified of his suspension.
Chief Whitehead added that LeMacks' POST certification had just come off probation in June, after his misdemeanor conviction of supplying alcohol to minors. In 2009 LeMacks was fired from the Leesburg Police Department after being charged with providing alcohol to people under age 21.
Chief Whitehead says LeMacks has been employed by the Dawson Police Department since 2009.