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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”

Former cop gets 40 years in drug, weapons case

HAMMOND | A former downstate police officer was sentenced Friday to 40 years in federal prison for his role in a region drug dealing and weapons conspiracy, prosecutors announced.
John Smith, 56, of Indianapolis, was convicted in June of felony dealing of cocaine, two counts of attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of possessing firearms in the furtherance of drug crimes and transferring firearms knowing they would be used in drug crimes, prosecutors confirmed in a news release.
Smith, who was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court used police credentials and firearms to protect illegal drug shipments, the release states.
Former Brooklyn, Ind., Town Marshal Terry Carlyle previously agreed to plead guilty to a cocaine distribution conspiracy charge in the same case and cooperated in the government investigation. In September, Carlyle was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Smith and Carlyle were arrested in April 2011 after an investigation by multiple federal and local agencies, including the Gary, Hammond, East Chicago and Lake County police departments.
"We will continue to investigate public corruption, including police corruption, and will vigorously prosecute and, upon conviction, seek substantial sentences for officers ... who abuse the public trust," U.S. Attorney David Capp said in the news release.

Garden Grove Policeman Sentenced To Prison For Sexual Assaults

SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A former Garden Grove police officer who was convicted of sexually assaulting three women was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison.

KNX 1070′s Mike Landa reports Jesse Andrew Green, 35, was convicted Sept. 6 on three sexual assault counts despite a denial of the charges when he took the stand during the trial, saying he understood that “no means no.” 

But Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough disputed that claim, telling the jury Green called his victims names and told them he had given them sexually transmitted diseases.

Green, of Huntington Beach, lost his job as a police officer Nov. 24, 2010, about seven weeks after he was initially charged with sexually assaulting two of the victims.

The victims — identified in court only as Gina, Abigail and Marissa — felt “violated” and “also blamed themselves,” Scarbrough said.

Abigail, who met the defendant through the dating website Match.com, went on a second date with Green after he allegedly forced her to perform a sex act on him in January 2009, but she cannot say why, Scarbrough said.

All three “liked” the defendant and had consensual sex with him. But the prosecution alleged that at various times, Green would force the women to perform acts they objected to. He also said he was giving them a sexually transmitted disease, Scarbrough said.

Gina met Green online and went on a date with him in April 2006 and had consensual sex with him, Scarbrough said. However, when they were about to have sex on another occasion he grew angry when she asked him to use a condom. Scarbrough said Green sodomized Gina while calling her names such as “whore.”

Green met Marissa through mutual friends. The two exchanged text messages and she sent him “salacious” photos of herself in lingerie, Scarbrough said. They met for a date in November 2009 at an Italian restaurant in Newport Beach, and later when they were about to have sex, she angered him by asking him to wear a condom.

“That’s when she saw a change,” the prosecutor said, adding that the defendant became aggressive and insulted the woman, telling her “I have AIDS, now you’re going to have AIDS and no one will want you.”

He returned to being “a nice guy again” after they had sex, prompting Marissa to wonder, “am I over-reacting?” Scarbrough said.

When they started to have sex again, Green “turned her over” and sodomized her, Scarbrough said. She managed to push him away and ran off, with Green chasing her, saying, “Let’s talk,” the prosecutor said.

Barnett said even “after all the bad things the prosecutor said happened, the alleged victims are calling and dating the alleged rapist and sodomizer.”

He said Green first dated Gina in February 2005, and the two had consensual sex in November 2005, but the alleged sexual assault happened in April 2006. The attorney said Gina wanted a serious relationship, but Green did not.

Gina only went to police in May 2006 when he failed to show up to help her move, Barnett said.

Before Green dated Marissa, she sent him photos of herself in a provocative police costume, Barnett said.

When Marissa went to police a day after their date in November 2009 she did not initially tell officers about the claim that he had a sexually transmitted disease, Barnett said. She also falsely reported that a police dispatcher accused her of being a “cop hater,” but the 911 call does not reflect that, the defense attorney said.

Barnett said Abigail went on a second date with Green after he allegedly sexually assaulted her and that the two exchanged 67 telephone calls following the supposed attack.

One of those phone calls was a “happy birthday call” to the defendant, Barnett said, adding mockingly, “A happy birthday to my rapist.”

A fourth woman who alleged Green forced her to have sex was allowed to testify in the case, but the defendant was not charged with sexually assaulting her.

cop convicted of felonious assault for pointing gun

HOLLAND, MI - A jury found a former Wyoming police officer guilty of felonious assault for pointing a handgun at officers in Holland in July, records show.
Mark Armstrong, 56, was convicted Wednesday, Nov. 20, of two counts of felonious assault and a charge of felony firearms stemming from the July 25 incident in downtown Holland, jail records show.
Police were trying to talk to Armstrong about alleged threats made to his ex-girlfriend in Wyoming and other acquaintances and received a tip that his vehicle was in a parking lot at Ninth Street and College Avenue. Armstrong approached officers and then fled while flashing a handgun.
Police said that during a brief pursuit, Armstrong turned and pointed a .380 handgun at two officers. No one was injured.
Records show Armstrong is to be sentenced Dec. 30. He is lodged in Ottawa County Jail on a $30,000 cash or surety bond, records show.
Armstrong was fired from the Wyoming Police Department in 2011 for allegedly using two derogatory terms in reference to African Americans while with other officers in a report writing room, according to information previously obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. He had worked for the department for 26 years.

activists say chief’s shootings concern

By Lauren Gold, Pasadena Star-News

PASADENA>> Community activists said revelations this week that Police Chief Phillip Sanchez took part in five officer-involved shootings during his career as a police officer in Santa Monica are cause for concern.
The issue of police shootings is already a hot-button issue in Pasadena and the news of Sanchez’s own past added fuel to the fire for residents who have long advocated for community oversight of the police department. Sanchez oversees all officer involved shooting investigations and was chosen by City Manager Michael Beck after he was vetted by a secret panel of citizens.

Although Beck acknowledged he was aware of the shootings, Mayor Bill Bogaard said he had no prior knowledge of cases in which Sanchez fired on suspects.
“The revelations are cause for concern,” said Attorney Martin Gordon, of the Pasadena Community Coalition. “I believe at the minimum the community will ask, why there was no transparency about this during the original hiring process? Would this have produced a different outcome or a different oversight protocol? What should we do now?”
Gordon added that increased police oversight is still at the top of his list despite the City Council’s rejection last month of Councilman John Kennedy’s proposal to commission a study on the creation of an independent review body for the department. The majority of council members argued that the Public Safety Committee, made up of four council members, is sufficient oversight.

“Whether it is Chief Sanchez or someone else, it is clear that we need some clear form of community oversight of the PPD,” Gordon said. “The Public Safety Committee basically rubber stamps the Chief’s reports. That is not oversight. Having a robust oversight committee would not only help us deal with the myriad of issues facing the Police Department and their personnel, but also help us establish a more clear criteria of our expectations for any chief of the PPD and our officers.”
Sanchez’s officer involved shootings were revealed in a leaked video of a deposition in the lawsuit filed against the city by the family of Kendrec McDade, an unarmed teenager shot and killed by police last March. In the video, McDade family attorney Caree Harper, who is off camera, questions whether Sanchez can objectively evaluate his officers based on his own past shootings.

Sanchez says in the video that he feels he is able to make objective decisions on police shootings.
Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Tracey Ibarra said Sanchez was both criminally and administratively cleared in all the incidents, each of which involved an armed or thought-to-be-armed suspect in a dangerous 
“How is the chief going to objectively handle shootings like that when he’s been involved in five in the past?” Ertll said. “Even if he didn’t have those five officer involved shootings in his past I would still be advocating for (community oversight) because he’s the chief of police and we know that when someone is running an institution most of the time they will support the actions by their subordinates and I think a lot of times that’s why we need an independent commission to objectively review cases that involve officer involved shootings or other issues too.”

Former NAACP president Joe Brown said he was aware of Sanchez’s officer-involved shootings at the time Sanchez was hired, after being approached by the NAACP branch in Santa Monica. He said, the fact that others in the community including elected officials did not know that information proves there is a need in Pasadena for more transparency.
“If we had had transparency all of our elected persons in the city would have known what they know this morning and then it wouldn’t have been such a shock to the other readership for the newspaper,” Brown said. “I think now it’s going to make the chief a lot better because now he has nothing under the table, there is nothing that has not been revealed.”

Regardless of the chief’s personal record, Brown said there is no question that there are police issues in the city, and that he and other former NAACP presidents have begun working with Sanchez and other city officials to rectify them and improve relationships with the community.
Brown said the group, which included City Manager Michael Beck and Assistant City Manger Steve Mermell, met last week and plans to meet again next week.

“Our number one goal is so that Chief Sanchez will be able to see the citizenry in certain portions of this community are not receptive of the police techniques and tactics,” Brown said. “I believe there is going to be some tweaking of the policies that are on the table right now. ... We need to go back to the community stakeholders and share that something is being accomplished. It will help to move the city forward.”

Officer’s case put off to Jan. 9

JOHNSTOWN -The City Court case of a city police officer accused of felony statutory rape was adjourned Thursday until Jan. 9.
A court official said suspended Patrolman Adam Schwabrow will be back in court at 9 a.m. that day.
Schwabrow was to appear Thursday before Acting City Court Judge Lisa Lorman. But a spokesman for the office of Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said defense attorney Michael McDermott of Albany asked for the adjournment and the judge granted it. McDermott didn't return a phone call seeking comment.
The 32-year-old Schwabrow was charged Sept. 19 by his own Police Department with third-degree rape, commonly known as statutory rape. He is accused of having sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl sometime over the past year and a half.

He is on unpaid leave from his city police officer position and another job as director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Office.

Alabama A&M rape suspect a former Memphis police officer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY) - A man charged with rape at Alabama A&M University is a former Memphis police officer who resigned after shooting and killing a 15-year-old boy.

Terrance Shaw, 29, was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree rape and sodomy of his ex-girlfriend. She was visiting the Alabama A & M grad student at his off-campus apartment.

Court records show a friend of the victim's reported the incident. The victim went to the crisis center, where she was examined.

According to court records, Shaw is accused of raping a woman Nov. 16. Court records also indicate three other men witnessed the act.

Our ABC affiliate in Memphis, Local 24, spoke with Shaw on the phone, who denies the charges. Shaw says it was consensual.

Shaw was off-duty when he shot and killed 15-year-old Justin Thompson during what he said was a robbery attempt in September 2012. Shelby County's district attorney declined to pursue charges after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation finished its investigation of the incident.

According to FOX 13 in Memphis, Shaw befriended Thompson after seeing him panhandling on the street. Shaw said the night he shot Thompson he had received a text message from the teen asking for food. Records show Shaw called police to report the shooting but never identified himself as a police officer. Shaw resigned from the department in April during an administrative review of his conduct.

Shaw is out of the Madison County Jail on a $20,000 bond. His next court hearing is Dec. 4.

Officer Sues Police Dept.

An Atlantic City Police Officer claims he received a death threat after he complained about police misconduct to his superiors. Sergeant Mark Benjamin is now suing the department, which is already dealing with several allegations of police brutality.

Two separate lawsuits accuse Atlantic City police officers of using excessive force while arresting unarmed people. Sergeant Mark Benjamin, a 16-year veteran with the department, says he’s witnessed his share of misconduct as well as an officer releasing a K-9 on a person without reason.

“The technical term may be a whistleblower,” Benjamin said. “But I’m just a good cop and upstanding citizen reporting misconduct.”

Shortly after making the report however, Benjamin claims he himself became a victim. In 2012, he filed a lawsuit against the department stating he was the target of racial discrimination and retaliation after he spoke out. The suit claimed there was “criminal activity by members of the police department.”

“It was like the masses turned against me,” Benjamin said. “I reported things in reference to police misconduct and with that came the hostilities.”

Benjamin says he now fears for his life after a friend told him a hit was made against him.

“When I inquired what he meant by a hit, the individual specifically said I was being videotaped and that I better watch my back,” Benjamin said. “I took that as a threat. Just as he said, a hit means a hit.”

Benjamin says he reported the alleged threat to his superiors. After an investigation however, he was later told there was insufficient evidence to support it. NBC10 contacted a top police official who claimed he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit or the alleged threat. Court records show the Department has denied any wrongdoing however.

Benjamin says he already knows how other officers will respond when they hear about his allegations.

“They’re going to do what they’re going to do,” he said. “They’re going to say I went against the blue code. They’re going to say I’m a rat. They’re going to say they have a lack of respect for me.”

The police department and Atlantic City have denied any wrongdoing and are trying to get the lawsuit dismissed. Benjamin however continues to argue that his case should go to trial. 

Los Angeles Police Misconduct Lawyers Settle LAPD Civil Rights Case Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1596766#ixzz2lSvMdB7z

November 19, 2013

The Layfield Law Firm, APC is a full-service personal injury law firm representing injured victims and families throughout the nation. Recently, the firm reached a $975,000 settlement in a case involving violations of U.S.C. section 1983 by the LAPD (Rosales v. LAPD, Case No. CV12-00034DDP, Los Angeles, CA).

According to court documents, the case revolved around a confrontation between a local Los Angeles man and the LAPD on February 4, 2011 after a bar fight. The Layfield Law Firm contended that an LAPD officer shot a father of three without justification by using a beanbag shotgun without proper warning. This “head strike” incident resulted in serious head injuries as a result of the bean bag shotgun being used at close range while aimed at the victim’s head.

Court records state that a video had recorded the events of the shooting and that the LAPD allegedly destroyed key evidence. Attorney Philip J. Layfield – founder of The Layfield Law Firm – was able to effectively highlight evidence that supported claims that various LAPD officers lied, destroyed and failed to preserve evidence, and resorted to witness intimidation during the course of the investigation and pending case.

Attorney Layfield was able to utilize his firm’s resources to conduct a 2-year long investigation through the use of private detectives, forensic analysis, and indexing of thousands of pages of documents utilizing the most advanced technology to bolster his clients’ claims. His commitment to preserving his clients’ rights, to speaking out against injustice, and to working zealously on a case that needed to be addressed proved successful in earning a nearly one million dollar settlement. Thanks to the firm’s legal team, the clients will receive the compensation needed to pay for past and future medical expenses, as well as the additional emotional and economic damages they incurred.

The successful settlement is yet another example of the abilities of The Layfield Law Firm’s legal team to take on the most complex and difficult cases. Few firms are able to utilize the intellectual and financial resources of The Layfield Law Firm. For more information about the firm and the police misconduct cases the legal team handles, visit the firm’s website at: http://www.layfield-law.com/.


The Layfield Law Firm, APC provides experienced personal injury and business litigation representation to clients throughout Southern California. The firm’s legal team has decades of combined experience and has recovered more than $70 million in compensation. The firm has office locations across Southern California, including El Segundo, Santa Monica, Riverside, Palm Springs, Newport Beach, and Ventura.

A Miami Gardens Store Owner Catches a YEAR of Police Abuse on Film (Vide...

Miami Gardens Store Owner Catches Police Misconduct on Hidden Cameras

Miami Gardens store owner Alex Saleh has enacted his own form of “zero tolerance.” Saleh installed 15 cameras to catch outrageous police behavior on video — including against his own store clerk, who was stopped and questioned more than 250 times by Miami Gardens police, 60 times for trespassing.

In addition to repeated questioning, Earl Sampson was searched more than 100 times and arrested and jailed 56 times, the Miami Herald reported.

“I never felt they had any probable cause,” Sampson told the Herald. “They hop out of the car and search me before they even ask me for my name.”

“The same one stop me 2 and 3 times a day,” he told CBS Miami. “I feel like I can’t even be in my own neighborhood anymore.”

Saleh said his Quickstop convenience store has never been robbed — he installed the cameras in June of 2012 to protect himself, his employees and his customers from the police.

“I seen the outrageous police abusing people in the community,” Saleh told CBS. “They’ve been treating the people wrong.”

He has since amassed more than two dozen videos. The Herald obtained some of them, along with Sampson’s 38-page criminal history, which includes one marijuana possession charge among many charges that were never pursued by prosecutors.

In addition to the aggression Sampson experienced at the hands of police, the videos show officers stopping and questioning citizens, searching them, arresting them for trespassing without reason, using what appears to be excessive force on people who are not resisting arrest, filing inaccurate police reports and searching Saleh’s store without a warrant.  

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Florida, said the Miami Gardens police chief has not done his job in stepping in.

“Where is the police chief in all this? In a police department in a city this size, this kind of behavior could not escape his attention,” Simon said.

“Doesn’t the City Commission know that they are exposing the city to either massive liability for civil rights violations? Either that, or they are going to wake up one day and find the U.S. Department of Justice has taken over its police department.”

Saleh, Sampson and their attorney Steve Lopez are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department.

Trial Involving CHP Officer for Police Misconduct to Commence Next Month

Torrance, California (PRWEB) November 20, 2013 

Attorney Alex Galindo with the law offices of Curd, Galindo & Smith, LLP announces that his client's case Cox v. State of California Los Angeles Superior Court Case No.: BC 473308 is scheduled to commence December 10, 2013.

Court documents indicate that on February 5, 2011, CHP Officer Ron McMillan was performing routine traffic patrol along the I-405 northbound near LAX. Officer McMillan noticed that the driver of a gold colored SUV was attempting to alert the officer. Officer McMillan immediately noted that the driver was angry. The driver was William Cox a 52 year old truck driver. Mr. Cox was attempting to summons the officer to complain about another motorist who was cutting off other motorist. Court records state that Officer McMillan a 10 year veteran with the California Highway Patrol pulled Mr. Cox over. Mr. Cox immediately complied and stopped his vehicle on the right shoulder and exited his SUV. Court documents state that upon exiting Mr. Cox began shouting at the CHP officer asking why he didn't pullover the vehicle that was cutting people off. The incident report and court records show that the entire incident was captured on the patrol car's video camera. The video which was lodged with the court shows Officer McMillan in an attempt to keep Mr. Cox safe requested that he place his hands on his head. Mr. Cox complied but when Officer McMillan attempted to handcuff him, Mr. Cox pushed away and asked what was going on. The lawsuit further alleges that Mr. Cox requested a supervisor and began to walk away back to his vehicle when Officer McMillan shot Mr. Cox in the back with a Taser. Officer McMillan contends that he fired the Taser as he felt that his safety was threatened by Mr. Cox. Mr. Cox fell face first and alleges that he suffered severe injuries. The complaint goes on to allege that Mr. Cox was taken to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a wrist fracture and facial lacerations. 

On November 4, 2013, a Judge of the Superior Court denied the State's motion to dismiss the case which now allows the case to proceed to a jury trial.    

Mr. Cox contends that the Officer exercised excessive force and violated his civil rights. Mr. Cox seeks damages against the Officer and the CHP. The Officer contends that he acted in accordance with CHP policy and procedures and that he fired the Taser to protect himself. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Mr. Galindo is a founding member of Curd, Galindo & Smith, LLP which is a full service law firm that represents both corporate and professional clients and those who have been seriously injured or have lost a family member due to an accident, defective product, police misconduct or negligence. The law firm has recovered millions of dollars for its thousands of clients since 1995 by winning complex and challenging business disputes, death and injury cases involving police misconduct, traffic collisions, work place injuries and defective products, including defective automobiles, against some of the world's largest companies and governmental agencies.

Mr. Galindo received his business degree from University of Southern California in 1982 and his law degree in 1985 from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Galindo has been a lawyer and real estate broker for over 25 years. He has won numerous jury verdicts and settlements in the area of personal injury, products liability and civil rights/police misconduct cases. Mr. Galindo is a member of ABOTA which is an organization of attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. All of the attorneys who belong to ABOTA have earned great distinction at trial. Mr. Galindo is a member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Consumer Attorneys of California, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, NPAP (National Police Accountability Project), National Lawyers Guild, National Association of Realtors and California Association of Realtors.

Protests after shocking police brutality video emerges

Police in San Francisco are being accused of heavy-handed tactics after a video showing officers making several arrests at a block of flats.

The YouTube video, taken on a cell phone, has sparked claims of 'police brutality' as well as a protest at the Mission substation last night.

About 100 people marched along the road and stood outside the electricity distribution centre. Police watched over the protest in riot gear as the angry residents shouted 'police brutality', NBC reports.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said the incident originally started because a 20-year-old man was asked to stop riding their bike on the sidewalk but then escalated quickly into a 'tremendously resistive situation'.

D'Paris Charles Williams was arrested on Friday when members of the city’s violence reduction team ordered him to stop riding his bicycle on the sidewalk in the Valencia Gardens Housing Complex.

Mr Suhr said: 'Why the desperation to avoid this police contact which would be just a simple citation for riding on the sidewalk?

'From what I see in the video, the officers are also being punched at. Our rule is they can use whatever force reasonable to overcome the resistance,'

Police chief: Greg Suhr said the incident started when a 20-year-old man was asked not to ride his bike on the sidewalk

In the six-minute clip, several police cars are parked in the middle of the road and scores of people line the sides of the road shouting at the police.

Five officers were injured; two went to the hospital.

Lawsuit alleges police brutality

BRIDGEPORT -- A $10 million federal lawsuit claims Bridgeport police officials closed their eyes to a rampage by three rogue officers allowing them to leave a nearly two-year trail of abuse and brutality.

"This was a deliberate indifference to the rights of citizens," said Gary Mastronardi, who with Robert Berke filed the lawsuit Friday against the city, Mayor Bill Finch, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett and members of the city's Office of Internal Affairs. "They didn't protect the citizens, they protected these cops. Gaudett is going to have some explaining to do."
The lawsuit alleges that since 2010, Sgt. Ronald Mercado and officers Robert Lawlor and Elson Morales were given a free hand by their superiors to beat up and abuse citizens. The suit lists nine specific incidents.
"We believe there are many more," Mastronardi said.
"The department has in place specific policies and procedures against the improper use of force," said Police Department spokesman Bill Kaempffer. "Allegations regarding unreasonable force are taken seriously and investigated by the Office of Internal Affairs under a procedure approved by the federal court. The department intends to defend its actions in investigating citizens' complaints against the allegations in this lawsuit."
But Mastronardi countered that the OIA's investigative process intimidates citizens from proceeding with their complaints against officers.
He said prospective complainants are told they could be prosecuted if they lie in their statements. He claimed detectives don't actively investigate claims, but instead send registered letters to the complainants asking them to come in and give statements.
"The system is set up so that the citizen is never believed unless a video is made public," he said.
Of the eight incidents identified in the lawsuit, two of the alleged victims never filed a complaint with OIA, and three did not respond to certified letters to provide signed, sworn statements so their cases were closed. One later withdrew his complaint.
Among the nine incidents of alleged brutality by the officers include the May 20, 2011, kicking and stomping by the officers of a man lying on the ground in Beardsley Park that was captured on video by a passerby that was posted a year later on YouTube, and the May 5, 2012, struggle between the officers and a man stopped for driving with tinted windows, also captured on video.
On May 20, 2011, Orlando Lopez-Soto was arrested in Beardsley Park following a chase by Morales and Lawlor.
A video taken by a citizen in the park shows that after twice being shot with stun guns by the officers, Lopez-Soto was repeatedly kicked in the head, face and body by Lawlor, Morales and officer Clive Higgins. The video was made public earlier this year and received national attention.
Lopez-Soto has a separate lawsuit pending against the officers in federal court.
In another videotaped incident, on May 5, 2012, Michael Stinson was driving in the P.T. Barnum housing complex when he was stopped by Mercado, Lawlor and Morales for driving with tinted windows.
A video taken by a citizen shows Mercado shoving Stinson on the ground and choking him while Lawlor and Morales repeatedly kick Stinson. Lawlor then shot pepper spray into Stinson's mouth.
Feliciano, Bracey, Santiago, Bravo, Lopez-Soto and Stinson have prior criminal records. Lopez-Soto pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges from the incident and is serving a 5-year prison term. Stinson later pleaded guilty to assault and drug charges in an unrelated incident and is serving a 5-year term.
"Ironically, Mr. Stinson and his lawyers assert a failure of the internal affairs process when it is in fact undisputed that Mr. Stinson himself failed to cooperate with their investigation of his claim," said Associate City Attorney Betsy Edwards.


More Information

About the lawsuit
The lawsuit against several Bridgeport officials and the city includes the following allegations:
On Dec. 3, 2010, William Feliciano was arrested on Gilmore Street after a brief chase. Two officers repeatedly kicked Feliciano in the face, head and body causing multiple fractures requiring two surgeries and medical bills of $125,000.
On Dec. 30, 2011, Efraim Perez was arrested. After handcuffing Perez, an officer watched as two others rammed Perez's head into a wall, rubbed his face into ice and snow on the street and beat Perez while accusing him of being a gang member.
On Jan. 3, 2011 Aaron Bracey was leaning against a parked car on Reservoir Avenue waiting for a ride to work when the suit states he was approached by officers, who grabbed him and pinned his chest to the hood of the car. He was handcuffed and put into their police car and after a while let go with a ticket for loitering, according to the suit.
On April 19, 2011, Angel Santiago was being arrested by an officer who repeatedly kicked him in the head, face and mouth.
On May 23, 2011, Ramon Sierra was walking to a store on Boston Avenue when he was stopped by police. The suits alleges that officers grabbed Sierra, who is paralyzed on his left side, threw him on the ground, then drove his head into the side of the police cruiser. He was hospitalized for his injuries.
On May 20, 2011, Orlando Lopez-Soto was arrested in Beardsley Park following a chase by police. A video taken by a citizen in the park shows that after being shot twice with a stun gun by the officers, Lopez-Soto was repeatedly kicked in the head, face and body.
On Aug. 16, 2011, Courtney Swabey was arrested after he criticized officers for using excessive force against a female friend. They then threw him on the ground and kicked him repeatedly in the head and body, causing him to be hospitalized, the suit states.
On Nov. 3, 2011, William Bravo was arrested after a foot chase for possession of marijuana. Bravo was struck repeatedly in the head with an officer's gun, then was kicked in the head, face and body.
On May 5, 2012, Michael Stinson was stopped by police for driving with tinted windows. A video taken by a citizen shows an officer shoving Stinson on the ground and choking him while two others repeatedly kick Stinson. An officer then shot pepper spray into Stinson's mouth

Ralliers Allege Police Brutality at Insomnia Cookies Protest

Protesters held a rally Friday to voice complaints of police brutality, claiming that the Cambridge Police Department injured a protester picketing outside of Insomnia Cookies the previous night.

Jason Freedman, the protester, sustained injuries to his face, back, and arms while being arrested by the police, claimed Geoffrey Carens, a Harvard library assistant and Industrial Workers of the World member.

Freedman was arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, according to CPD spokesperson Daniel M. Riviello.

Freedman declined to comment Sunday.

Thursday night’s protest was one in a series of monthly pickets at the 65 Mount Auburn St. store that began in August, when several workers fired by the cookie shop made claims of labor rights violations. The protesters urge the company each month to increase wages and let workers unionize.

The picket on Thursday began at approximately 9:30 p.m., according to IWW member Christopher M. Perkins, who was present at the protest.

“We were chanting and holding signs, trying to make the point that Insomnia Cookies is unfair to its workers,” Perkins said.

More than a dozen CPD officers arrived at the scene approximately 20 minutes into the picket, according to Perkins.

Riviello wrote in an emailed statement, “Officers dispatched to this location were attempting to strike a balance between the freedom of speech of the [protesters] and the rights of pedestrians and business to access the public sidewalk.”

According to Perkins, the CPD officers approached a protester holding a megaphone and demanded that he turn it off. The protester complied.

“Nonetheless, they began pushing the person who was holding the microphone,” Perkins said.

Freedman then approached the CPD officers to demand that they not touch the protester with the megaphone, according to Perkins. One of the CPD officers then punched Freedman in the face, he said.

Genevieve Lechat, an IWW member who was also present at the protest, said that she took photos of Freedman as he was being assaulted. The photos, which have been circulated online and over email lists, seem to show a man that Lechat identified as Freedman being overpowered by several officers outside of Insomnia.

Riviello did not respond to a question about a photograph that seemed to show officers subduing Freedman.

Carens, who has previously supported labor movements at Harvard, wrote in an emailed statement that the police threw Freedman on the trunk of a vehicle and then on the ground, “pinning him partially under a parked car and on the curb as they piled on top of him.”

More Police Brutality Allegations

Another person has come forward claiming she was the victim of police brutality from an Atlantic City officer.
In only five years on the force, Officer Sterling Wheaten has already been named in half a dozen lawsuits. The latest comes from Janine Costantino, who claims Wheaten assaulted her at Caesar’s Casino last year.
“I couldn’t imagine this was actually happening,” she said.
Costantino says Wheaten arrested her brother after he got into an altercation with another patron.
“Wheaten had my brother in a headlock and his arms were limp and his legs were weak,” Costantino said. “I screamed out that it was police brutality and that I was videotaping it all.”
That’s when she claims Wheaten turned on her.

“He was running at me and he says, ‘Give me the phone you b**h,’” she said. “He grabbed my bun and he was slamming my forehead into the floor.”
Wheaten then arrested Costantino but court records show the charges against her were later dropped. Costantino says she’ll never forget what one officer told her the night of the incident.
“He’s like, ‘Oh, that’s your first mistake,’” she said. “You shouldn’t be videotaping police officers.”
Wheaten already made headlines earlier this year after video surfaced allegedly showing him releasing his K-9 on a man who was already face down on the ground. Lorenzo Langford, who was the Atlantic City mayor at that time, called the video “horrifying.”
NBC10 obtained an internal police report which shows that Atlantic City Police internal affairs investigated Wheaten 15 times between 2008 and 2010 for allegations of misconduct, some of those allegations being excessive force. Each time however, the department concluded Wheaten did nothing wrong or that there was not enough evidence to clearly prove he did something wrong.  Wheaten’s attorney told us she was confident internal affairs performed complete and thorough investigations. She did not respond to the latest lawsuit however.
“I get calls every day from people who have been brutalized and terrorized by the Atlantic City Police Department,” said Jennifer Bonjean, an attorney who is representing Costantino and others who are suing Wheaten. “It’s overwhelming the pattern that I’ve been able to establish just with these limited cases I’ve been involved in. I think the prosecutor’s office is turning a blind eye to many of these allegations. They have to be seeing the same police officers that we’re seeing.”
The Atlantic City Police Department is also at the center of another lawsuit from one of their own. Sergeant Mark Benjamin sued the department after claiming he received death threats for reporting police misconduct to his superiors.
The various allegations against the Department have caught national attention. The Reverend Al Sharpton visited Atlantic City on Wednesday to attend a rally speaking out on the department’s alleged police brutality.