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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”

Woman claims former Fontana Unified police officer raped her

FONTANA >> A woman has filed a $2 million claim against the school district, alleging one of its former police officers raped her in his office.
In the claim, filed Dec. 9, the woman, the mother of a former Fontana High School student and who is not being identified because she is the alleged victim of rape, claimed that Officer John Frank Garcia, 43, of Riverside raped her in a portable classroom that housed his office in May 2011.
Four Fontana Unified Police Department employees have accused Garcia in separate lawsuits of sexually assaulting or raping them. Upland attorney Brian Hanneman is representing them and the mother.

Superintendent Leslie Boozer did not return repeated telephone calls Thursday seeking comment.
Garcia’s attorney, Michael Marlatt, also did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Hanneman said Garcia has refused to answer any questions about any of the alleged incidents, and has pleaded the Fifth Amendment.
Garcia was in charge of the school district’s Fontana Leadership Intervention Program, or FLIP, for at-risk teens at the time of the alleged rape. He called the woman to his office around 7 p.m. in May 2011, telling the woman he could help her with her 15-year-old daughter who had gotten into trouble for truancy, according to the claim.

After talking briefly about the woman’s daughter, Garcia walked around to where the woman was sitting and sat on the edge of the table. He then grabbed both her breasts and started kissing her on the neck. The woman struggled to break free and repeatedly told Garcia to stop, to no avail, according to the claim.
Garcia pulled the woman up, shoved her onto the desk and raped her, according to the claim.
“I was afraid to say anything to anyone, for fear of (Garcia) retaliating against me or my daughter,” the woman said in her claim, “(Garcia) told me that he would help my daughter in the program if I kept quiet. I was afraid and said nothing,”

Garcia stalked the woman in the months thereafter, repeatedly calling her and following her, according to the claim. One night in 2011, Garcia pulled the woman over near Foothill Boulevard and Cypress Avenue and ordered her out of the car. He walked her to a nearby park where he groped her and tried to pull her skirt down, the woman said in her claim.
“I screamed and (Garcia) stopped his attack,” the woman said in the claim.
The statute of limitations to file a claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, with a government agency is within six months of the time of the alleged incident. Since more than two years have passed since the alleged rape, the school district will likely reject the claim, Hanneman said.

If that happens, which Hanneman said is most definite, he will file a petition in court asking if he could file a lawsuit on the woman’s behalf.
Garcia is described in the lawsuits filed by the four Fontana Unified School District Police Department employees as a “serial sexual predator who used his position as a police officer to prey upon females who worked alone at night.” In the last decade, he has been fired from or has left three Inland Empire law enforcement agencies — the Fontana Unified Police Department and the Fontana and Riverside police departments - due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

While working as an officer for the Fontana Police Department, Garcia was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old cadet in August 2006. An internal affairs investigation was launched and the case submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review, but county prosecutors declined to file criminal charges, citing insufficient evidence

Officer who resigned now charged with battery


A Gainesville police officer who recently resigned amid an internal affairs investigation has been charged with two counts of battery for allegedly groping a woman while he was on duty and in uniform.
The charges were filed this week against Steven Carter, 45, who resigned in late September.
"On Dec. 10, two counts of misdemeanor battery were filed. They both allege the same female as the victim," State Attorney Bill Cervone said. "Misdemeanor battery carries up to a year in prison. His being a former officer has no legal ramification with this charge one way or the other. It doesn't change the nature of the charge or the sentence that's available. It's not a factor to us."
Carter, who was hired by GPD in September 2007, likely would have faced being fired by GPD had he not resigned.
Most of the allegations investigated in the internal affairs probe were sustained, including battery, lying on his application, having an inappropriate relationship with a woman, improper use of a police database and sexual harassment of female police trainees, the internal affairs investigation found.
The investigative report states that while working at the Lady Lake Police Department before working at GPD, Carter had sexual activity with a woman while on duty and once put his police gun to his head in front of other employees.
Officer Jeff McAdams, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he reviewed the evidence while the investigation was underway and urged Carter to resign.

DPD Chief reiterates domestic violence among cops is unacceptable following arrests of 2

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has launched an all-out war against domestic violence, even asking men at high school football games to sign a pledge not to hit a woman.
But in the last week, two Dallas Police officers have been arrested for domestic violence.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown says he's concerned about cops being aggressors in abusive relationships.
"We just have to be at a higher standard," said Brown. "We fully accept any police officer worth their salt fully accepts that high standard of professional conduct that the law enforcement community is held to."
Nearly 13,000 times a year, Dallas Police respond to domestic violence calls, and sometimes, the calls involve their own.
Dallas has 3,500 sworn police officers.
Since August 2010, 10 Dallas Police officers, including female officers, have been arrested, allegedly involved in domestic violence assaults. That's less than one percent who wear the badge.
"There's been a certain outcome on those with an employment action leading to termination," said Brown. "We've been firm on that, and we're gonna insist on continuing that firm stance against family violence."
Brown says there is some research that suggests why police, who are expected to better control their emotions, get caught up in domestic violence.
"Now I understand there's research that shows the stress of the job may play out at home, but that's just not an excuse to ever hit a woman or be involved in a domestic violence situation, whether it's a female, male or whatever it be the family issue is that may play out as violence," Brown said.
Brown says the best police officers are the ones who have a life outside of the department – the ones who have balance, and learn how to handle what he calls the incredible stress of urban policing.
"It's my job to ensure the integrity of the organization stays intact, and that the public maintains their trust and confidence in us," said Brown. "And what that means is, you just can't do this job and commit family violence, period."        

Investigation of Covington cops who arrested referees completed; disciplinary hearings pending

Two Covington police officers involved in the arrests of referees during a high school football game in October violated Police Department policies, Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz said Thursday. Lentz would not discuss the specific policies, but said the internal investigation into the officers' actions is complete and he hopes to hold "pre-disciplinary hearings'' with Lt. Stephen Short and Capt. Jack West and their attorneys next week.

The arrests garnered national attention. Charges against the referees were later dropped and Mayor Mike Cooper issued an apology during a news conference a few days after the incident.

During the hearings, Lentz said he will go over polices he believes the officers violated in arresting referee Jim Radcliffe and linesman Chris Gambino on Oct. 11 at the St. Paul's football game against Mandeville High School. He would not disclose the violations Thursday. "That would be premature," he said.

Both officers will be represented by attorneys during the hearings, Lentz said. After evaluating evidence from the hearings, the chief said he would determine what disciplinary action should be taken against the officers.

Attorneys for Short and West, both of whom remained on duty after the incident, could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

The two game officials were booked with public intimidation after Gambino asked Short to move Mandeville fans who were near the sideline to the other side of a border fence and into the stands. An argument ensued and soon after Radcliffe joined the confrontation.

Other Covington Police officers came to the scene, including West, who at the time was the department's acting chief. A short time later, Radcliffe and Gambino were taken into custody. Both were booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail and released the next morning on $250 bond.

Less than a week later, after a firestorm of controversy, Cooper held a press conference to announce charges were to be dropped against the two officials and that an investigation would be launched into the arrests.

Lentz, former deputy chief for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, was sworn in as Covington's new police chief four days after the incident at St. Paul's School. The arrests of the officers generated much discussion on social media sites and local radio talk shows and drew coverage from the national media.

Plainfield police sergeant found guilty of official misconduct, criminal sexual contact

A former Plainfield police sergeant has been convicted of charges he falsely accused a city woman of crimes two years ago, then threatened her with jail time in order to coerce her into performing a sexual act, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Following a week long trial, a jury late on Wednesday found Samuel Woody, 43, guilty of second-degree official misconduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
The date was July 24, 2011 when Woody, then a 12-year veteran of the Plainfield Police Division, arrested the victim, then a 27-year-old city resident, on bogus theft and burglary charges, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Tansey, who prosecuted the case. As the woman was leaving Plainfield police headquarters after being released on a summons, Woody told her he wanted to meet her later, Tansey said.
Later, in an outdoor lot on Madison Avenue in Plainfield, Woody met with the woman. Using the threat of five years in prison, he coerced her into removing parts of her clothing and performed a sexual act on himself while in full police uniform, Tansey said.
The theft and burglary charges against the victim later were dismissed when no probable cause for her arrest was revealed in court, and the criminal contact of Woody subsequently was reported to police. A joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Prosecutions Unit and the Plainfield Police Division Internal Affairs Unit followed, and Woody was arrested in January 2012 and suspended without pay pending the investigation.
“The conduct of this officer was not only criminal,” acting Prosecutor Park said, “but brazenly flagrant in the manner in which it violated the public’s trust.”
Woody was remanded following Wednesday’s convictions. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 3, 2014, at which time he is expected to receive a term of up to 10 years in prison, including a mandatory five-year period of parole ineligibility on the official misconduct conviction, along with being barred from ever again holding public office in the state of New Jersey.

LA County Sheriff's Hit With Corruption Charges and Accusations of Abuse

A federal investigation into alleged abuses inside Los Angeles County jails came to a head today with the unsealing of indictments and charges against 18 current and former Sheriff's Department officials accused of crimes such as corruption, obstruction of justice and abuse of inmates and jail visitors.
The defendants, 16 of whom were arrested today, were named in four grand jury indictments and one criminal complaint. Several local cites rely on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and/or their facilities for law-enforcement services. Those cities include Lynwood, Cerritos, Artesia and Baldwin Park
"The five cases allege a wide scope of illegal conduct," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte said. "The investigation started by focusing on misconduct in county jails, and we uncovered examples of civil rights violations that included excessive force and unlawful arrests."
Birotte said the defendants believed they were "above the law," opting against cooperating with a federal investigation aimed at rooting out misconduct by deputies in the jails.
In one indictment, Deputies Bryan Brunsting and Jason Branum are accused of assaulting a pair of inmates -- including choking one -- at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, then orchestrated the filing of phony reports to cover up the abuse.
Another indictment accuses former Sgt. Eric Gonzalez and deputies Sussie Ayala, Fernando Luviano, Pantamitr Zunggeemoge and Noel Womack of arresting or detaining five people -- including the Austrian consul general -- when they tried to visit inmates at the Men's Central Jail. The indictment alleges that Gonzalez fostered an atmosphere "that encouraged and tolerated abuses of the law, including through the use of unjustified force and unreasonable searches and seizures."
Birotte said in one case, a victim was "thrown into a refrigerator in an employee break room" and kept there for five days without being charged. He said another victim suffered a broken arm and dislocated shoulder and was left permanently disabled. The Austrian consul general and her husband, meanwhile, were handcuffed and detained at the jail, Birotte said.
"In all of these cases ... the deputes involved in the case fabricated reports designed to cover up the misconduct by deputies involved in civil rights violations," he said.
A third indictment accuses seven officials of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements in an alleged effort to interfere with the federal probe of the jails. That indictment names:
-- Lt. Stephen Leavins, who worked in a unit that investigates alleged wrongdoing by deputies;
  • Sgt. Scott Craig, who worked in the unit
  • Sgt. Maricella Long, who also worked in the unit
  • Lt. Gregory Thompson, head of the Operation Safe Jails Program; and
  • Deputies Gerard Smith, Mickey Manzo and James Sexton, who all worked for Thompson
The indictment alleges that an inmate identified only as "AB" was working as an informant for the FBI in connection with a federal probe into alleged misconduct by deputies and abuse of inmates. On Aug. 25, 2011, a federal judge ordered the inmate -- who was identified earlier by the Los Angeles Times as Anthony Brown -- to appear before a grand jury as part of the investigation, according to the indictment.
After learning of the federal probe, the defendants "knowingly conspired to corruptly influence, obstruct and impede, and endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede, the due administration of justice," the indictment alleges.
The indictment contends that after the informant's cover was blown, sheriff's officials moved him around the jail to keep him hidden from federal authorities, re-booked him using different names and even altered jail records to make it appear that he had been released.
The defendants also grilled the informant "to attempt to determine the manner and extent of the federal investigation," according to the indictment.
The indictment also alleges that Leavins, Craig and Long tried to dissuade potential witnesses from cooperating with the federal probe, unsuccessfully sought a court order to compel the FBI to provide explicit details of the jail probe and tried to intimidate an FBI agent by going to her home and threatening to arrest her.
"These incidents did not take place in a vacuum," Birotte said. "They demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized ... part of the culture."
A fourth indictment accuses Deputy Richard Piquette of illegally building and possessing an illegal assault rifle -- a Noveske Rifleworks N-4 .223-caliber rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches.
Birotte also unveiled a criminal complaint filed against three deputies, all brothers, who allegedly made false statements to a pair of banks in what prosecutors described as a "buy-and-bail" mortgage-fraud scheme. In what Birotte described as an off-shot of the original jails probe, Deputies Billy, Benny and Johnny Khounthavong are accused of lying to one bank to buy a 3,900- square-foot home in Corona, and lying to another bank to walk away from another home and avoid paying more than $340,000 in mortgage debt.
All of the defendants except Sexton and Gonzalez were arrested today.
"It's never a pleasant thing to arrest a fellow officer," said Bill Lewis, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office. He said the arrests "should not reflect on the department as a whole."
Sheriff's department officials had no immediate comment on the arrests and indictment, but Sheriff Lee Baca has scheduled a 3:30 p.m. news conference to discuss the case.
The issue of deputies' conduct in the jails has been a hot topic at the county Hall of Administration for the past two years.
Last month, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman to a new position of inspector general, charged with scrutinizing the 10,000-member Sheriff's Department and authorized to conduct investigations inside troubled jails and elsewhere
Creating the office of inspector general was one of the key recommendations last year of a blue-ribbon commission that investigated allegations of violence inside the nation's largest jail system. The commission, which included several former judges and a police chief, concluded there was a pattern of excessive force by deputies in the county jails.
The panel called for an inspector general who would report to the Board of Supervisors and provide independent oversight of the Sheriff's Department, conducting its own investigations, monitoring jail conditions and reviewing the department's audits and inspections.

Police Misconduct: The Worst Case in November

The first victim, David Eckert, was pulled over by police for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. After a police K-9 who was uncertified for drug searches indicated the presence of marijuana, the officers told a judge that the victim appeared to be “clenching his buttocks” and requested a body cavity search warrant, which the judge granted. The officers took Eckert to a local hospital and requested that doctors perform the search, but the hospital doctors refused. The cops then took Eckert to a second hospital, in a neighboring county that was not covered by the warrant, where they found doctors willing to perform the search.
First, the doctors took an x-ray of Eckert’s abdomen, which showed no hidden drugs. Next, they forcibly probed Eckert’s anus with their fingers, which again uncovered no drugs. Undeterred, the doctors inserted an enema and forced Eckert to defecate in front of the officers: again, no drugs. The enema search was repeated twice, and still no drugs were found. Another x-ray was taken: no drugs. To cap off Eckert’s nightmare ordeal, the officers had the doctors sedate him and perform a colonoscopy, probing his anus, colon, rectum, and large intestines. No drugs found.  All of this was done against Eckert’s protest, in a county not covered by the search warrant, with part of the search done after the warrant had expired.
The second victim, Timothy Young, was brutalized in a similar manner after he was pulled over for failing to signal before making a turn, and after another marijuana indication by the same non-certified police dog. He was taken to the same hospital as Eckert and subjected to similar searching methods against his protests.
Cato’s Police Misconduct website often reports instances of police rape and sexual misconduct. In those cases, the offending officers typically do not contend that they have the legal right to abuse their victims’ bodies and are typically punished for their crime, even if often more lightly than others would be punished. Cases like this are entirely different. These cases show that officers can drum up warrants—for a dog’s bark and a perceived “clench”—to repeatedly and forcefully penetrate the depths of the human body for hours on end, and still think they have the power and lawful authority to repeat the process. Even worse, the futile, repeated nature of the searches seriously calls into doubt whether the officers were actually searching for drugs or just torturing the victims under the banner of law enforcement.

One quarter of female drug offenders report experiencing police sexual misconduct

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new University of Florida survey suggests that police misconduct against female drug offenders may be more pervasive than previously thought.

The survey of more than 300 St. Louis-area women who had been charged with substance-abuse violations found that 25 percent of the respondents reported experiencing police sexual misconduct in the form of trading sex for favors.

It is believed to be the first systematic study to assess sex trading between police officers and female offenders from the women’s perspective. The findings appear online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.

“It’s important that the police force acknowledges that sexual misconduct may exist among the force, so that it can be stopped and eventually prevented,” said lead investigator Linda B. Cottler, a professor and chair of the department of epidemiology in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine.

In 2009, 1.3 million American women were incarcerated or under correctional supervision, up from 600,000 in 1990, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Previous research has shown that female offenders have higher rates than the general female population of physical or sexual abuse as a minor, childhood household dysfunction and adolescent pregnancy.

Data for the UF study on police sexual misconduct were gathered as part of the Sisters Teaching Options for Prevention, or STOP, project, led by Cottler while she was on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. Funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, STOP was an HIV prevention study conducted from 2005 to 2008 to reduce high-risk substance abuse and sexual behaviors among women in drug courts. Prior to beginning the study, researchers conducted focus groups with women in a medium-security institution.

“During our conversations the women revealed that their sex partners included police officers and it wasn’t a long time ago, it was happening quite recently,” said Cottler, the associate dean for research and planning at the College of Public Health and Health Professions. “These focus groups formed the basis for the addition of a dozen or so questions that we inserted into our study questionnaire.”

The study involved 318 participants, age 18 or older, who were under the supervision of a probation or parole officer for a non-violent offense. Study recruiters were stationed in two St. Louis-area drug courts during dockets that included women charged with substance-related violations. The women completed surveys led by trained interviewers with information collected on demographics, drug-use history, psychiatric disorders, stressful life events and experiences with police sexual misconduct.

One quarter of study participants reported a lifetime history of police sexual misconduct. Of those women, 96 percent said they had sex with an officer on duty, and 24 percent reported having sex with an officer while the officer’s partner or another officer was present. Only half said they always used a condom with an officer. Fifty-four percent of the women said the officer offered favors in exchange for sex, such as to avoid arrest or being charged with a crime, and 87 percent said officers kept their promises. About one-third of the women who had experienced police sexual misconduct characterized the encounter as rape.

Women who were unemployed, had multiple arrests, adult antisocial personality and lifetime use of cocaine and opiates were at highest risk of trading sex with an officer.

The researchers stress that police sexual misconduct is likely perpetrated by a small number of officers and not by a large proportion of officers. They noted that because of the unequal distribution of power between an officer and a female offender, sex trading should never be considered consensual.

“This study is a call to action for law enforcement, and we need the law enforcement community to understand the vulnerability of women trying to change their high-risk behavior,” Cottler said. “We must have an open dialogue to address this issue through policies and trainings.”

Further research should look at the extent of police sexual misconduct among other populations, the researchers said.

Research reported in this news release was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1RO1–NR09180

Police chief resigns in Fla. city amid allegations of officer harassment, intimidation

MIAMI GARDENS, Florida — The police chief in Miami Gardens has resigned amid allegations that officers routinely harassed and intimidated people at a local convenience store.
The Miami Herald reported (http://hrld.us/18muDHi ) that Chief Matthew Boyd submitted his resignation Wednesday, one day after the NAACP called for a Justice Department investigation into possible civil rights violations.
The NAACP said some patrons of the 207 Quickstop store were arrested hundreds of times for little cause. The store's owner had installed surveillance cameras that captured some of the incidents, which were later made public by the Herald.
Boyd had planned to retire in January. The Miami Gardens city manager says a search is being launched for a replacement.
The owner of the convenience store has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and numerous officials.

Police Brutality – Thug slams 72 year old woman to the floor

12 December 2013 – A DUI arrest on a 72 year old women turns bad when Kevin Jones (badge #149) of the Glynn County police is trying to cuff the woman. She was taken down, and did not have her arms to break the force that Jones decided to use on her. The sound is the worst part. Both sides will need this footage, and it deserves to be put online for people to make their own judgement. Glynn County Police,157 Public Safety Blvd. Brunswick, GA

Families of alleged police brutality victims renew efforts to get officer removed

North Chicago police have a notorious reputation  after 12 alleged brutality cases in recent years.
Now the families of two victims are renewing efforts to get a man who they say is a bad cop off the force.
63-year-old Stretha ‘Van’ Alston, a veteran now in a wheelchair, was beaten and tased in 2009.
Dash cam video shows police shows him being tailed for several minutes.
He says he drove slowly to his home because out of fear of aggression from police.
He and a witness say he got out with his hands up.
Documents show the same arresting officer, Gary Grayer, was later involved in the arrest of Darrin Hanna, who allegedly died at the hands of police.
North Chicago’s new police chief did not respond for comment

Skokie cop pleads not guilty in alleged police brutality incident

A former Skokie police officer pleads not guilty to excessive force charges this morning.
Michael Hart is accused of shoving Cassandra Feuerstein into a jail cell. She was arrested for a DUI in March. When Hart allegedly pushed her, her face hit a bench.
She needed to undergo facial reconstructive surgery, and suffers from vision and dental problems.
Ge resigned from the force last month

Oakland agrees to pay Occupy protesters in brutality cases

Henry K. Lee

The Oakland City Council has agreed to pay more than $693,000 to settle two lawsuits filed by Occupy Oakland protesters who alleged they were the victims of police brutality.
The payouts, for the videotaped beatings of two apparently peaceful protesters, come less than six months after the city approved $2 million in settlements to resolve lawsuits accusing police of mistreating protesters at Occupy and BART demonstrations.
The city authorized paying Army veteran Kayvan Sabeghi $645,000 on Tuesday to resolve a lawsuit he filed against the city in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleging that he was clubbed by Oakland police during an Occupy protest on Nov. 2, 2011.
Sabeghi, a businessman who was an Army Ranger in Iran and Afghanistan, said he had taken part in a nonviolent protest and was trying to walk home when he was stopped by police. One officer, Frank Uu, was videotaped repeatedly hitting him with a nightstick. Sabeghi was arrested on suspicion of remaining at the scene of a riot but was never charged, his lawyers said.
Uu has since left the force. In court documents, attorneys acknowledged that city officials "do not dispute that Officer Uu used excessive force on plaintiff in violation of the Fourth Amendment."
Sabeghi underwent surgery for a lacerated spleen. He has a pending lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court in which he accuses sheriff's deputies of denying him medical care while in jail. The sheriff's office has denied the allegations.
In a second case, the council agreed to pay $48,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by Robert Ovetz, a college instructor and activist from Marin County, who said he was thrown to the ground and struck twice by a police baton during an Occupy protest in Oakland on Jan. 28, 2012.
Video footage of that incident does not show what happened before Ovetz was pulled from a crowd of demonstrators outside the YMCA on Broadway. But it does show that Ovetz was not resisting when an officer - identified in the lawsuit as Ercivan Martin - hit him in the abdomen and back with a baton.
Ovetz, a Woodacre resident who has taught sociology and other courses at Cañada College in Redwood City and College of Marin in Kentfield, was treated at the Highland Hospital emergency room in Oakland for what he said was a large bruise on his abdomen and two damaged teeth.
He was jailed for three days on suspicion of felony assault on a police officer, but Alameda County prosecutors filed only a misdemeanor obstruction charge, then dismissed the case because, they said, it was in the interest of justice.
Ovetz was among hundreds of people who were corralled by police after Occupy activists tried unsuccessfully to take over the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center earlier in the day.
In July, the city approved a $1.17 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by a dozen Occupy Oakland protesters who said they were victims of excessive force during clashes with officers in 2011. That payout came a little less than a month after a judge approved a $1 million settlement to 150 people who accused police of mishandling their arrests during a 2009 protest over the BART police shooting of Oscar Grant.
Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: hlee@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @henryklee

Orleans Parish Sheriff sued for alleged police brutality and civil rights violations after man is mistaken as an escaped prisoner

NEW ORLEANS— A man is suing the Sheriff and an unnamed Sheriff’s Deputy for injuries he suffered while being detained during a search for an escaped inmate.
Stanley M. Leblanc filed suit against Marlin N. Gusman as Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff and a Sheriff’s deputy, and their insurance company in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.
The plaintiff’s petition for damages states that the plaintiff and others were under the I-610 overpass in October 2012 when they were surrounded and accosted by a group of Sheriff’s deputies. When the plaintiff was complying with an officer’s orders to place his hands on a nearby truck and provide identification, “during a profanity-laced tirade, an unknown deputy hit the plaintiff in the face, head, neck and jaw; slammed the plaintiff against a truck tailgate; used a chokehold on him and then handcuffed him.” Leblanc claims that he was then kicked and forced to the ground despite informing the officer that he could not kneel due to a prior knee surgery. Upon release, Leblanc found out that the deputies were searching for an escaped inmate.
The defendants are accused of gross and flagrant recklessness, carelessness, acts and omissions, negligence and fault for practices unbecoming that allegedly caused physical and emotional injury the plaintiff in terms of public ridicule, humiliation, embarrassment, brutal and unnecessary force on a person willing to cooperate, violation of civil rights, denial of liberty and pursuit of happiness and mistaken identity.
An undisclosed amount is sought for pain and suffering, emotional distress, attorneys’ fees, court costs, loss of pursuit of happiness, loss of enjoyment of life and medical expenses.
Leblanc is represented by Pius A. Obioha of the Law Offices of Pius A. Obioha & Associates LLC.
The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Paulette R. Irons.
Case no. 2013-09689.

Civil rights group criticizes Dallas police for deadly uses of force

The families of several men killed or wounded by Dallas police officers lambasted the department Thursday for what they said was a pattern of excessive force, civil rights violations and police brutality under color of law.

The newly formed Mothers Against Police Brutality held a news conference at City Hall where they called for a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Dallas Police Department’s deadly force practices.

“It is not a black problem,” said Collette Flanagan, whose son Clinton Allen was fatally shot this year by a Dallas police officer. “It is not a Hispanic problem. It’s not a poor people’s problem. It is our problem.”

According to statistics issued by the department late Thursday, 70 percent of the 57 people killed by Dallas police officers from 2003 to date were ethnic minorities. Six people have died in shootings involving officers this year, the department said.

The statistics also show that injuries to officers by suspects have spiked in the last four years. So far this year, officers have suffered 58 such injuries, more than twice the 27 injuries in 2009.

Late Thursday, Police Chief David Brown issued a statement saying that he shared many of the group’s concerns.

“I look forward to working with this group, and moving forward towards positive changes for our department,” Brown said.

The group’s news conference came three days after Monday’s questionable shooting of a carjacking suspect by a Dallas officer. A witness has said the suspect had his hands up when the officer shot him in Pleasant Grove.
In the aftermath of that incident, Brown changed the way the department deals with officers who have been involved in shootings.

Previously, those officers would typically give investigators detailed statements about the incidents within hours of the incident. The new policy requires officers to take 72 hours before giving detectives an official statement as part of the criminal investigation into the incident. Officers can still provide an immediate bare-bones walk-through with their attorney present so investigators can start their work.

The civil rights group demanded Thursday that Brown rescind the change.

“You should not need 72 hours to tell somebody what happened,” said Daryl Washington, an attorney representing Flanagan.

In his statement Thursday, Brown said the change was based on scientific studies about the effect of acute stress on officers’ memories.

“In police-involved shootings, officers have the right to refuse to talk to investigators as a part of the criminal investigation,” he wrote.

The group also decried a grand jury system that they said routinely declines to indict officers in police shootings and said they want investigators from the Dallas County district attorney’s office to come to the scene and be involved from the start.

But some of the changes the group asked for are already in place. Those include having the FBI review all police-involved shootings, implementing a use-of-force reporting system and developing a formal foot pursuit policy.

Baltimore police brutality settlements worth $113K on agenda

By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun

9:51 p.m. EST, December 9, 2013

City officials are set to consider $113,000 in payments to settle two lawsuits alleging police brutality, including a case in which a well-known 77-year-old barber's arm was broken during an arrest.

Baltimore's Board of Estimates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on an award of $63,000 to Lenny Clay, the West Baltimore barber at Lenny's House of Naturals whose case sparked protests in 2009. The spending panel also has before it a $50,000 settlement with Anthony Keyes, 42, whom officers shocked with a Taser before arresting him on charges that were later dismissed.

The city's Law Department recommended the settlements because of "conflicting factual and legal concerns" and the "unpredictability of jury verdicts."

James E. Clay, who goes by the name "Lenny," was arrested Dec. 23, 2009, after he struck a parked car and continued driving, the city said. Clay, who was 73 at the time, did not hear the officers directing him to pull over and eventually stopped his vehicle near Leeds Street and Palormo Avenue, city lawyers said.

The officers, Sgt. Robert Brown and Lt. Sean Mahoney, removed Clay from the car. During the arrest, Clay suffered a broken arm, according to city documents.

Clay filed a $26 million lawsuit against the officers, alleging battery, excessive force and gross negligence. Clay, whose regular barbershop clients have included Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, repeatedly denied the officers' allegations that he resisted arrest and appeared intoxicated.

Schmoke once referred to Clay as the "Mayor of Poppleton." Friends said the barber spent countless nights on the streets trying to talk kids out of selling drugs, raised money for Pop Warner football league uniforms, and gave money to send talented students to private schools.

The Rev. C.D. Witherspoon, who was among those protesting Clay's arrest, on Monday called the incident "shameful."

"It was egregious, violent behavior," he said. "It really outraged the community. It's a shame the city has to foot the bill for police violence."

Clay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

City Solicitor George Nilson said he was initially reluctant to settle the Clay case. But he said it would have been difficult to show that Clay had damaged another vehicle or was intoxicated.

"Those things were a little soft in the proof," he said.

Nilson added that he believed the officers involved did not intend to hurt Clay, but that he did incur significant medical expenses.

"He's an older gentleman and he was unquestionably injured," Nilson said.

The other case proposed for settlement involves the Feb. 3, 2011, arrest of Keyes, who said he was visiting a friend to sell a car when officers conducting a raid accused him of attempting to purchase drugs. He was taken down, shocked with a Taser and injured, according to the city. Keyes filed a $375,000 lawsuit, which would be dismissed if the city approves the settlement.

Baltimore typically spends about $3.5 million a year defending the Police Department against lawsuits. About 65 percent of the cases against police allege excessive force, officials said.

Currently, the Police Department is $3.9 million over budget for the year, according to the city's budget office, though the total figure for legal expenses was not available Monday evening.



Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-police-settlements-20131209,0,5717722.story#ixzz2nSj6jcf6

MPD Demotes Several Officers

MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Four Mobile Police officers in Precinct 1 will be suspended following an internal investigation into the falsification of nearly 100 police reports, Chief James Barber said Thursday afternoon.

Three of the officers were demoted he said.

The investigation was launched under previous Chief Micheal T. Williams after officials found discrepancies in 7 police reports.

The probe expanded to include all 5 precincts in the department, where investigators found 85 reports in Precinct one had been altered or completely falsified.

Barber said misconduct was not a result of pressure from top brass, rather a systematic problem to conceal evidence of crime in one precinct.

"There's no pressure applied to change any reports, I'll assure you that, the accountability process is that you're accountable for crime so that you know what's happening," Barber said, "[It's] pretty telling of an environment that allows that to happen."

Precinct Capt. Eddie Patrick was at the helm, Barber said. Patrick was demoted to Lieutenant and reassigned to another non-operational role. Sergeant Joe Wolfe was bumped to Corporal and Corporal Damian Colvin to a patrolman. Officer Scott Davis will simply serve a suspension.

The men were found guilty during disciplinary hearings which concluded Monday, Barber said.

Patrick was not accused of actually falsifying records, but not preventing it to permeate in the unit, the chief said.

Wolfe, Colvin and Davis were found guilty of making false entries.

All four will begin suspensions at various times, but will be able to appeal the decisions to the Mobile County Personnel Board.

Another detective resigned during the investigation, Williams previously said in October.

In some of the cases, Barber said, victims who reported crimes told internal investigators they never spoke to a detective, however, statements supposedly taken from those victims appeared in reports.

"I can't even put words for you how disappointed I am to have to stand here and discuss the internal matters of the police department," Barber said, "It's a very distracting thing for me to have to deal with at a time when I'm trying to move the department in a different direction."

It's the second time in as many days Barber addressed reporters concerning alleged misconduct by officers.

On Wednesday, Barber confirmed Third Precinct Captain Carla Longmire and Officer Bradley Latham were accused of having sex while on duty.

Longmire is charged with unbecoming conduct and failure to supervise. Latham is charged with unbecoming conduct, untruthfulness during an investigation and disobedience of orders.

Barber said the charges against Longmire and Latham will be reviewed during a disciplinary hearing December 16.

Chief Barber says the initial complaint came from a supervisor at the precinct two months ago.

Lt. Roy Hodge will serve as acting Captain in Precinct 1, Barber added.

Howard County officer charged with DUI

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — An off-duty Howard County police officer has been charged with drunken driving.
Officer Austin George has been suspended with pay following the arrest, which police say occurred around 2:20 a.m. in Ellicott City.
Police say a county officer watched a car drift in the roadway and stop on the side of Rogers Avenue. Police say the driver, identified as George, showed signs of intoxication. He was charged with driving under the influence and released to be driven home by a sober driver.
Police chief William McMahon says in a statement that officers are held to the same expectations as the rest of the community. George is a 2-year veteran of the department.

Child pornography charges filed against former police chief

A former Berks County police chief was charged Tuesday with child sexual abuse for allegedly possessing and sharing child pornography with an undercover police officer from his home computer in the Pennridge area of Bucks County.

Robert E. Geist, 44, of the 2600 block of Bedminster Road (Route 113) in Bedminster Township, was arraigned on one count each of child pornography, disseminating images or video depicting child sexual acts, criminal use of a communication facility and obstructing the administration of law.

He was released by District Judge Robert A. Schnell Jr. under a $25,000 recognizance bond.

Geist was hired in 2004 as a police officer in Brecknock Township, a small township with about 4,500 residents just south of Reading.

He was fired in October 2012 after serving as police chief for about 18 months after taking two lengthy leaves of absence for illness, according to reports from the Reading Eagle newspaper.

His firing was apparently unrelated to the criminal investigation.

According to the arrest affidavit:

New Britain Township police detective Cpl. Jeffrey A. Cummins began investigating Geist June 23 after he received 13 images from Geist through a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Seven of the images allegedly depicted child pornography, including a photograph of a nude girl estimated to be 15 years old standing in a hot tub in a sexually suggestive pose.

Another download took place between June 30 and July 1. Cummins alleges Geist sent him a video with the file name "6Yo babyj – Bedtime rape."

When Cummins and other police officers went to Geist's home to search for evidence, Geist's father was outside in the garage and announced in a loud voice that police were on the property. Police allege Geist immediately began running two file eraser programs on his computer.

A forensic examination of the computer, though, revealed the names of some files, including one that had ben previously sent to Cummins, according to the arrest papers.

— Tracy Jordan

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-c-pennsylvania-police-chief-arrested-on-child-p-20131212,0,7340739.story#ixzz2nSgyvQdm
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Police officer arrested for aggravated rape

LAKE ARTHUR, La. (AP) — A Lake Arthur police officer has been booked on charges of aggravated rape and molestation of a juvenile.
Trooper Stephen Hammons say state police began investigating 37-year-old Damon Broussard, of Egan, last month after he was accused of engaging in sexual activity with two children younger than 15.
Hammons tells the American Press (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb ) investigators later learned that Broussard also allegedly had sex with a child under the age of 15 several years ago and allegedly had sex with a child under the age of 13.
It was unclear whether Broussard has an attorney.

Detroit homicide cop pleads guilty to perjury, running criminal enterprise

The former head of the Detroit Police Department’s homicide unit could spend up to 20 years in prison for running a criminal enterprise involving mortgage fraud and lying on the witness stand.
William Rice, 64, a former police lieutenant, pleaded guilty today in Wayne County Circuit Court to two counts of perjury and one count of continuing criminal enterprise, and his co-defendant and longtime girlfriend Cheryl Sanford pleaded guilty to one count of continuing criminal enterprise and one count of false pretenses between $1,000 and $12,000, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
As part of their pleas, 13 other charges, including those related to drug dealing, were dismissed, although they owe restitution of more than $100,000. Rice is to be sentenced on Jan. 29 to 2-20 years in prison and Sanford to five years of probation, with the first year in jail, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to an earlier Free Press report, Rice lied on the stand in October 2009 when he was a defense witness in a case involving Sanford’s nephew, Davontae Sanford, who was sentenced to 37-90 years in the killings of four people in Detroit in 2007. Davontae was 14 and charged as an adult at the time.

East Haven cop Jason Zullo to be sentenced for obstruction on Monday

EAST HAVEN >> Former town police Officer Jason Zullo is expected to be sentenced Monday in federal court for obstruction of justice and could be sent to prison for 24 months.

According to sentencing documents from the U.S. attorney’s office, “the government respectfully requests that Zullo be sentenced to the term of incarceration that his criminal conduct warrants — 24 months. Zullo stands before this court having pled to one count of obstruction and undoubtedly will seek to excuse his conduct as an isolated incident. The evidence obtained during the course of the investigation, however, demonstrates that Zullo repeatedly abused his position of power as an East Haven police officer and that his actions were premeditated and intended to injure those that he deemed should not be permitted in his town.”

Zullo pleaded guilty in October 2012 to one charge of obstruction of justice after admitting that he purposely left out of a police report the fact that his cruiser had repeatedly hit a motorcycle driven by Robert Salatto, with Salatto’s helmetless girlfriend riding on the back, when he was chasing them on Oct. 18, 2008.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution agreed not to push for more than 24 months in prison, while Zullo, 35, and his attorney, Norm Pattis, agreed not to seek less than 12 months, according to Pattis.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Zullo would face either 18 to 24 or 12 to 16 months in prison, depending on which side’s version of the applicable issues the judge accepts. He also faces up to three years of supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine, plus possible restitution.

The charge is a felony, which means Zullo will lose his rights to vote, hold office and carry a firearm. He also will be required to give up a sample of his DNA.

Zullo’s plea deals only with the motorcycle incident and “does not address” the “ethnic-based” allegations that had been at the center of a federal criminal and civil rights investigation of the East Haven Police Department, said Pattis.

Those allegations included a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Latinos and other residents, including ethnic profiling, disparate treatment and use of excessive force. i

The plea made Zullo the second of four former East Haven police officers indicted in January 2012 to plead guilty, following Sgt. John Miller, who changed his plea on Sept. 21. Miller will be sentenced Feb. 1. According to his plea agreement, Miller could avoid jail time if he fully cooperates with prosecutors.

Two other former officers, David Cari and Dennis Spaulding, decided to go to trial. A jury found both guilty in October of numerous charges including conspiracy to violate civil rights, deprivation of rights for making arrests without probable cause and obstruction of justice.

Spaulding was additionally convicted on an unreasonable force charge. Both will be sentenced Jan. 21.