By BRETT HAMBRIGHT
It was a case of a local cop becoming the criminal.
Eighteen years ago, Jack O. Edmundson Jr. — now charged with homicide in western Pennsylvania — raided the Willow Street property of a suspected marijuana grower.
Edmundson and other detectives found what they were looking for — numerous marijuana plants and drug-packaging paraphernalia.
Edmundson, while later perusing the suspected dealer's assets, made another find — 200 platinum coins in a safe deposit box.
He took 20 of them for himself, according to police reports.
An East Hempfield Township coin dealer later told police he bought 10 of the coins for $3,670.
Edmundson, booted off the force, eventually was sentenced to 1 to 2 years in Lancaster County Prison for theft. He served 10 months and four days, prison officials said Friday.
Lancaster city Mayor Rick Gray, a former defense attorney who represented the Willow Street marijuana grower, said Edmundson had a reputation even before the charges against him became public.
"He wasn't held in high esteem," Gray said Friday morning. "Most police officers tell you something and you can take it to the bank. Edmundson's reputation was that he was otherwise. He dealt with things the way he felt he had to."
Now, more than 12 years after being paroled, Edmundson, 43, is facing a murder charge in western Pennsylvania. Indiana County investigators allege Edmundson shot and killed 62-year-old Frank Petro on Tuesday inside Petro's sportsman's store.
Investigators said the killing might have been part of an extortion plot. Edmundson is accused of extorting more than $130,000 from the victim while posing as an undercover police officer, according to the Associated Press.
Alan Goldberg, a county defense attorney who also represented the Willow Street grower, couldn't recollect Friday all the specifics about that case.
But he remembered Edmundson's reputation.
"When he was with the Lancaster County Drug Task Force, his veracity always seemed to be in question," Goldberg said. "He was very proactive. Most on the defense bar always questioned his reports."
After being released from Lancaster County Prison on Sept. 24, 2001, Edmundson left the area. He was recently living in Saltsburg, a Pittsburgh-area town with a population of 873.
Prior to becoming a Lancaster County Drug Task Force detective, he worked part-time as a Quarryville police officer, according to newspaper records.
Quarryville police Chief Kenneth Work, who joined that force in 2001, said Friday he never heard mention of Edmundson's name prior to this week.
Gray, former president of the Lancaster Bar Association, said the name was known among defense lawyers.
"Police officers certainly develop reputations as being straight-ahead people and factual," Gray said. "He wasn't highly respected by the defense bar.
"Police officers are human beings. ... it's rare when they go this far astray."
Lancaster County President Judge Joseph Madenspacher was district attorney here when Edmundson joined the Drug Task Force in the mid-1990's.
"He was fairly young," Madenspacher said Friday. "In retrospect, it might have been a mistake."
Initially, Edmundson's boss heard no complaints.
"My recollection is he was fine. I didn't hear anything," Madenspacher said.
Madenspacher, however, placed Edmundson on administrative leave "when we had good evidence this (coin theft) occurred."
Edmundson didn't follow the order.
"He broke administrative leave by going out on a raid," Madenspacher said. "I remember I told the head of the Task Force, 'I want his resignation on my desk tomorrow morning.' "
"I found out after the fact that other (defendants) were complaining to their lawyers about him stealing stuff," Madenspacher said.
One of those allegations — that Edmundson had stolen valuable phone cards during a 1995 arrest in Paradise — went to court.
Edmundson was sentenced jointly for both thefts, according to court records.
Chicago Police Misconduct Lawsuit: Brandy Allen And Nicholas Timmons Claim Authorities Robbed Apartment And Illegally Detained Them
By Howard Koplowitz
A Chicago-area couple is suing local law enforcement agencies, saying officers ransacked their apartment and car looking for drugs but instead stole thousands of dollars’ worth of items. Brandy Allen and Nicholas Timmons, a couple living together in North Chicago, Ill., filed a federal suit late last month against Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, a Lake County MEG officer, “unknown agents” of the group and “unknown police officers,” charging they were unlawfully detained and had been robbed by the officers while they were being interrogated, according to court records.
On July 24, as the couple left their apartment to go grocery shopping, their vehicle was pulled over by four officers who were “clad in fatigues and bulletproof vests” and “jumped out of an unmarked SUV” with assault rifles, according to the suit. The couple was ordered out of their van, and when Timmons asked an officer for a reason for the stop, he was allegedly told, “you know what it is for mother f-----.”
Timmons was handcuffed and searched as officers demanded he tell them where drugs and guns were in the car, but he said he had no information about drugs or guns.
The defendants named in the suit then allegedly “thoroughly searched and damaged plaintiffs’ van, ripping out panels and carpeting,” noting that “nothing unlawful was retrieved from the van.”
Allen, who was sitting on a curb while her partner was being questioned, was eventually handcuffed and put in a police vehicle. The couple was then taken to a Lake County MEG office, where they were interrogated separately.
Allen told the officers that she never saw her partner with guns or drugs and said she didn’t understand why Timmons was being detained. She was also allegedly threatened, with one of the defendants telling her “with this kind of stuff, [Department of Children and Family Services] could get involved and take your kids.”
Timmons was also told that DCFS could get involved and was allegedly told by officers that they would go easy on him if he gave them names of people who had guns or drugs, and that he would otherwise go to jail. But he insisted that he didn’t know anything.
One of the defendants allegedly told the North Chicago man that his home was being raided during the questioning, but that nothing of interest to law enforcement was found in the apartment.
The couple was eventually released after being detained for hours, the lawsuit said. They weren’t charged with a crime.
After returning home, Allen and Timmons noticed that a number of their possessions were stolen, including flat screen televisions, laptops, their children’s video games and even their $1,500 in money orders that represented Allen’s tax refund.
“Every room in the apartment had been upended, including the children’s rooms, and furniture was ruined,” the lawsuit claimed. “The front door frame was broken and the apartment could not be secured.”
Allen asked Lake County MEG to return the couple’s property, but one of the defendants denied stealing the items. She later found out that the law enforcement agency cashed in her $1,500 in money orders. When she confronted Lake County MEG again, one of the defendants told her they wouldn’t give her back the money until she hired a lawyer and could prove that the money orders didn’t come from drug proceeds.
Allen said she was fired for her new job because she stayed home worrying that police would ransack her apartment again. The raid also cost the couple their apartment; the lawsuit claims the raid led the landlord to evict them from the property.
The lawsuit, which claims that the couple’s Fourth Amendment and other rights were violated, alleged that Timmons and Allen still has not been compensated for the stolen items.
“Defendants have not returned plaintiff’s possessions, and plaintiff’s home remains largely empty,” the complaint stated.
By Jan Skutch
A former Savannah-Chatham police official on Thursday alleged that city, county and police officials knew of corrupt departmental conduct and allowed it to continue well before it erupted with the abrupt retirement of Chief Willie Lovett in September.
Allegations by former Major Mark Gerbino were contained in a so-called ante litem letter filed by attorney Will Claiborne and included for the first time County Manager Russ Abolt, former City Manager Michael Brown and former city manager Rochelle Small-Toney in connection with alleged injuries.
A second letter filed Thursday by Claiborne for Robert vonLoewenfeldt contains the same basic allegations.
The letters are considered notices of intent to sue and are the ninth and tenth filed by Claiborne for a client who alleges he or she was the victim of misconduct by Lovett and others on the force.
The latest letters allege that as a result of conduct by the people named, Gerbino and vonLoewenfeldt suffered damages including retaliation for reporting corruption and/or illegal activity by Lovett and others and placing the officers in false light.
In his letter, Gerbino alleged illegal activity included:
• Lovett, receipt of payment for a no-show off-duty job, gambling, obstruction of a gambling investigation, obstruction of narcotics investigations, ordering department internal affairs officers to dismiss meritorious complaints, obstruction of domestic violence investigations and manipulation of crime statistics.
• Capt. Hank Wiley and Sgt. Cleveland Lovett, dismissing meritorious internal affairs complaints and ignoring illegal activity by department officers.
• Former Sgt. Malik Khaalis, obstruction of narcotics investigations
• Former Star Cpl. Willet Williams, engaging in the sale or trade of illegal narcotics and obstruction of a narcotics investigation.
“Our preliminary investigation of Mr. Gerbino’s claim has revealed that some or all of the allegations … were known by individuals responsible for the governance and oversights of the (police department), including, but not limited to County Manager Russ Abolt, former city manager Michael Brown and former city manager Rochelle Small-toney,” the letter stated.
vonLoewenfeldt’s letter identified only Khaalis and Williams in connection with specific alleged illegal activity but added Sgt. Eric Henderson for engaging in the sale or trade of illegal narcotics, obstruction of a narcotics investigation and harboring a federal fugitive.
Gerbino, 62, was brought in by former police chief Michael Berkow in July 2008 and left the force in mid-2011. He went on to become chief of police in Americus before leaving in mid-2013 amid alleged work force misconduct. He was hired in October as police chief at Savannah Technical College.
vonLoewenfeldt, 42, joined the local force in October 2000 and left April 1, 2013
By Peter Hermann
The chairman of the D.C. Council’s public safety committee announced Thursday that he will hold an oversight hearing Jan. 24 on police misconduct. It comes after three District officers were recently charged with crimes.
Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said he wants to press Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on whether officers who are under stress or who are involved in questionable behavior are being identified.
It is very important to me that residents have confidence in our police officers to be upstanding citizens who are on the side of angels and not people who commit crimes,” said Wells, who is running for mayor.
Two of the recently accused officers — both from the 7th Police District were charged with sex-related crimes. Another officer wascharged with attempted murder in a domestic incident.
Lanier has said that two of the officers were hired more than 20 years ago when standards were lowered to increase the size of the force.
Wells said the chief needs to do more to reassure the public that officers are being properly monitored.
In an interview Thursday, Lanier said she would like to have “as many meetings as possible to let people know the facts,” help stop rumors and reassure the public about the quality of the officers. The chief is scheduled to talk to residents Jan. 9 at the 7th District station in Southeast Washington on misconduct issues.
The chief said in an op-ed published in The Washington Post that 18 officers were accused of criminal misconduct in 2103. There are about 4,000 officers on the force.
BY: THOMAS F. LIOTTI
The exhaustive and commendable expose by Newsday into police misconduct in Nassau and Suffolk Counties reveals the underbelly of the criminal justice system to the lay public but for those of us who must frustratingly deal with an errant system each day, it is just the tip of the iceberg masked by corrupted elected officials who have an interest in seeing to it that things stay as they are. Newsday should continue its work because it alone may be successful in awakening the public's conscience to the issues of public corruption and police misconduct. It is rampant and deadly. It demands immediate action from all elected officials.
Following the Knapp and Mollen Commissions in New York City, the socalled Armstrong Commission was established to prosecute cases of police misconduct. In contrast, to independence of such a special prosecutor, District Attorneys and elected officials stand for election and accept campaign contributions from police unions. No wonder we hardly ever see criminal legislation that might curtail some of the more prevalent misconduct.
We need a Special Prosecutor statewide to deal with these cases and we need Civilian Complaint Review Boards to conduct real investigations and not the white washed versions run by Police Department Internal Affairs. Nassau and Suffolk should have Ombudsmen or women appointed for a term of years much like F.B.I. Directors appointed for a term of ten (10) years.
Campaign contributions to District Attorneys, judges and elected officials by the P.B.A. should be outlawed. Salaries and pensions by corrupted police should be revoked. If taxpayers want an honest government, they must fight for it. Newsday can not do it alone even if they do again win the Pulitzer Prize for their investigation which they should.
Thomas F. Liotti is an attorney in Garden City and Village Justice in Westbury. He is the former Chair of the Nassau Bar Association Civil Rights Committee.
By Sarah Fruchtnicht, Tue, December 31, 2013
A 35-year-old woman in Pennsylvania is suing Allegheny County claiming her arm had to be amputated after sheriff’s deputies injured it and the jail’s medical provider ignored her pain.
Amy J. Needham was arrested on April 2 after a warrant was issued because she missed a preliminary court hearing, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
She claims sheriff’s employees broke down a bathroom door to take her into custody. The complaint says she was simply using the restroom when they Tasered her, applied arm bars and wrist locks, and put on handcuffs "that were too tight.”
She says the rough treatment resulted in "compartment syndrome," or increased pressure in the muscle compartment, that can results in muscle and nerve damage.
Her attorney, Marvin Leibowitz, said she was spent one week in jail and made 16 requests to see a physician. The mother of three was eventually hospitalized at UPMC Mercy, where doctors amputated the arm.
"She feels that her life is ruined," said Leibowitz. "I think she's having psychological problems. You're 35 years old and you lose your arm."
In April, Needham had failed to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge that was later dropped. She pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge in August, but was not sentenced to punishment.
She pleaded guilty this month to charges stemming from her April arrest, including two counts of assault and one count of resisting arrest. She was given nine months of probation.
Sources: Post-Gazette, TribLive
by Thomas Oswald
Saturday Dec 28th, 2013 12:40 AM
Across the United States the rights and lives of people with disabilities are being violated by police officers. Reports show that as many as 50 percent of those shot by cops are have mental illnesses. The current system allows police to use their authority to justify the outright killing of disabled people. Usually, the police officer receives no penalties.
Last summer in Oregon, an 11-year-old girl on the Autism spectrum was tasered after failing to respond to an officer. The officer claimed that the violence was necessary to protect the girl, who was naked and walking alone along a road. However an eyewitness refuted this by saying that the girl was not walking towards traffic and was not in immediate danger. Because the girl is nonverbal, she was unable to respond to the officer. Even after his false statement the policeman remained unsuspended.
Even an unarmed double amputee’s rights were ignored when another police officer killed Brian Claunch, with a gunshot to the head in Houston. The officer arrived at care center because Claunch was distressed. The officer claimed that the disabled man was armed and shot him; however it was found he only was holding a pen he used to doodle. Just recently on Oct. 14, a mentally ill man in Dallas was also shot by police. Both officers at the scene made false statements claiming Bobby Bennett lunged forward, which contradict the surveillance camera evidence which showed him standing still when shot.
Another tragic story involves the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, a 26 –year-old with Downs syndrome. On Jan. 12 in a movie theatre in Maryland, he wished to watch the show again. When security guards placed their hands on him he reacted in fear and distress. He was handcuffed and thrown forcefully to the ground, where he struggled for breath and then died.
These are just a few stories of this kind of brutality, police kill hundreds of disabled individuals every year. Given the inadequate health care system, the disabled often cannot receive the help they need. The budget cuts to health care combined with few attempts to fix the broken mental health care system, demonstrate that the lives and rights of the mentally ill, physically and intellectually disabled poeple are not as important to the government and business as profit. Disabled people are not viewed as equal beings but are often treated with discrimination. The way to make sure that these individuals get their needs met is to do away with the system of profit and to implement a socialist society. Under a planned economy the people’s needs are able to be fully met, allowing a safe healthy environment for people with disabilities, where they can be valued members of society.
by Elizabeth Eisele/ KMOV.com
(KMOV.com) -- A family is demanding answers after their 12-year-old son was approached by a cop for walking on the wrong side of the street and then is falsely arrested because of an officer’s oversight.
The middle school student said a New Mexico police officer stopped him for walking on the wrong side of street. Then the officer ran his name and a warrant charge showed up for possession of marijuana.
However, the warrant was actually issued for a 15-year-old boy with the same name.
“He was in the juvenile detention center overnight like he’s 12,” said the boy’s mother Shaniqua Byrd, “That doesn’t, shouldn’t have happened and no one has offered an apology or anything we haven’t heard anything from them.”
The officer’s police chief is admitting they were wrong in making the arrest, but the family is suing because they say their child should have never been stopped in the first place.
BY JAMIE SKORHEIM
The King County sheriff's office says an on-duty deputy was arrested after he appeared to be passed out at the wheel of his parked patrol car on New Year's Eve.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart said that a citizen called 911 when he observed the deputy hunched over the steering wheel and could not wake him. His car was parked in a Starbucks parking lot in Newcastle.
King County Sheriff's spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West said the 46-year-old deputy was arrested for suspicion of physical control of a motor vehicle, the legal equivalent of DUI when no driving is observed.
"It looks to us that like he is probably impaired by something that didn't appear to be alcohol," Urquhart told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson.
Urquhart said drug recognition experts from the Bellevue Police Department, trained in recognizing if someone is impaired by something other than alcohol, believed he was.
"Their conclusion was that yes that this person was impaired by some sort of a drug, possibly a narcotic," said Urquhart.
The deputy was processed and released by Bellevue Police. A search warrant will be obtained later this week to search the interior of his patrol car for evidence.
"There are two investigations going on. One is a criminal investigation that the Bellevue Police Department is doing. And the other is the internal investigation that my own people are doing," said Urquhart.
The deputy, a 15-year veteran, is on administrative leave pending those investigations.
"We did take a sample of his blood that will go to the state patrol crime lab and we'll see what happens when it comes back," said Urquhart. "I would like nothing better than for it to come back and he be clean and he was just sound asleep. At this point, we don't know that. He was arrested by the Bellevue Police Department. They developed probable cause to arrest him. They processed him. He's now on administrative leave and we are waiting for the conclusive evidence from the crime lab."
Monson tried to gauge how Urquhart might handle a case in which it was determined a deputy was impaired on the job.
"If you had an officer who tested positive, would they be gone?" Monson asked.
"Most likely," said Urquhart. "Each situation is individual."
"I've always said that cops need to be above reproach," said Monson. "They have the power of deadly force when we encounter them. I've often wondered - and this is a tough balancing act - but if a cop makes bad decisions about their life, how can we trust them with our life?"
Urquhart agreed officers of the law should be held to a higher standard, and said he often reminds his officers of that.
"I meet with my officers all the time and I tell them repeatedly, you are held by a higher standard, by the public, by persons like yourself, but by me as well," says Urquhart. "They are held to a higher standard. I hold them to a higher standard, and I will not accept any officers who fall below that standard."
Urquhart said he doesn't know what will happen in this case. He points out it could be a case where it was a prescribed drug, but he says it could still be illegal to drive under the influence in that case. The department is awaiting the results of the investigations.
"When I look at discipline, when I look at officers, I try to make the distinction was this a mistake of the head, or was this a mistake of the heart. A mistake of the head is they knew they were doing the wrong thing and they did it anyway. A mistake of the heart is you're trying to do the right thing and they make a mistake, and that does happen," said Urquhart. "I'm not sure that is going to apply in this case, but it's one of the things that I look at as I decide on the discipline."
By Kate Mather and Ruben Vives
January 3, 2014, 5:30 a.m.
A former Long Beach police officer is due in court Friday on a felony conspiracy charge after she allegedly passed information to the city's Baby Insane Crips street gang through a relative, prosecutors said.
Yvonne Robinson, 42, faces one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, along with a gang allegation, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.
Prentice Jones, the 24-year-old brother of Robinson's brother-in-law, was charged with the same count and allegation, prosecutors said. He was described by prosecutors as an "active member" of the Baby Insane Crips.
Both Robinson and Jones, who were arrested and charged in December, are scheduled to be arraigned Friday. If convicted of the charges, prosecutors said, they each face up to six years in state prison.
Prosecutors allege Robinson -- who spent 13 years with the Long Beach Police Department and most recently worked as a detective in the investigation bureau's juvenile section -- conspired with Jones "to obstruct several investigations," including a homicide case involving the gang.
Long Beach police said their inquiry began about two months before a June 2012 sting on the Baby Insane Crips regarding a series of shootings and the 2009 killing of 19-year-old Frank Castro Jr. Sixteen alleged gang members were arrested in that bust, among them two suspects in the Castro slaying, police said.
During the homicide investigation, detectives had learned someone in the gang was being provided with details of the case to aid the suspects involved, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said.
The leaked information appeared to come from someone within the Police Department, officials said, so a full-scale criminal investigation was launched.
"Detectives did not hesitate to investigate one of their own," McDonnell said when announcing Robinson's arrest. "We will not tolerate actions that dishonor the badge that we wear so proudly."
Robinson was placed under surveillance during the investigation, police said. After several months, investigators had enough evidence to allege she was using her position as a detective to review police reports and provide information to Jones, who then passed it on to gang leaders.
A felony complaint detailed 21 encounters involving Robinson and Jones beginning March 26, 2012, when the detective allegedly called Jones after police issued a press release regarding the Castro slaying investigation.
The complaint also alleged Robinson told Jones he was being followed by a surveillance unit, tried to get him off a gang injunction, and told him that she knew the identifies of the suspects in the killing but had not told police.
Jones allegedly passed some of the information to other suspected gang members, according to the complaint, and referred to Robinson as "the police lady" and his "inside connect."
Long Beach police officials said Robinson was placed on administrative leave in July 2012 and stripped of her police powers while the department conducted an internal investigation. She was terminated in March 2013 after the conclusion of the investigation.
Long Beach police officials said in December it was the first case they could recall where an officer faced gang enhancement charges.
"It's extremely disappointing when the behavior of one individual undermines the public's trust that this department works so hard to uphold,” McDonnell said.
A US law enforcement officer faces criminal charges for allegedly pepper-spraying his girlfriend’s 13-year-old son because the boy stayed in bed instead of going to school.
WRAE-TV reports that Pennsylvania state trooper Ernest Boatright faces a preliminary hearing on 22 January, on child endangerment and harassment charges.
According to court records, Boatright found the teen still in bed when he was supposed to be in school, so he discharged his pepper spray in to the bedroom, it has been claimed.
Boatright told investigators that he had pepper-sprayed two cats on an enclosed porch, but it is alleged that the boy told police Boatright sprayed the chemical into his room in April. The boy also reportedly told police that it was not the first time the man had pepper-sprayed him.
His attorney, Matthew Zatko, said Boatright “vehemently denies the charges that have been filed against him. He is very much looking forward to the opportunity to defend himself and clear his name".
WRAE-TV reports that officials at the Pennsylvania State Police said that Boatright has been a trooper since 1989. He is assigned to the New Stanton barracks but has been placed on leave without pay, since he was charged with endangering the welfare of children and harassment
The officer is accused of hitting her teenage daughter with a broom.
Posted by Rebecca McCarthy (Editor
Laura Jean Motes was upset with her 16-year-old daughter for lying about where she had been on Saturday night, so the 44-year-old Athens Clarke County Police officer allegedly hit the child with a broom. She was arrested by Oconee County Sheriff's deputies Sunday afternoon at her Oconee home and charged with battery under the State Family Violence Act.
According to a story in the Athens Banner Herald, the teenager told authorities that Motes had been sweeping when the two were talking about the girl's lying to her. Motes struck the girl on the head with the broom and tried to hit her again when she attempted to call 911, the 16-year-old told deputies.
When her mother tried to hit her with the broom handle, she blocked the broom with her arm, the story says. Motes also is said to have poked the broom handle several times into the child's abdomen, the story says. The deputy's report noted that the teenager had injuries that were consistent with her version of events, the story says.
Motes' recounting was markedly different from her daughter's, the story says. She told deputies her daughter kicked the broom, the story says, and said she had spanked her with a wooden spoon, perhaps injuring her hand in the process.
Another daughter heard the altercation but didn't see what happened because she was in the basement, the story says. A family friend picked up the children while Motes was taken to jail, and DFACS was contacted. Motes was released shortly after her arrest on bond.
According to the story, Motes has been placed on paid administrative leave and will meet with ACC Police officials on Monday, after an internal investigation has been concluded. It's illegal for anyone convicted of family violence to own or use a gun, the story says, so it's possible Motes' days as a police officer are over.
Los Angeles Daily News | By Christina Villacorte
Deputies accused of rape, smuggling heroin into a lockup, stealing money from a narcotics bust, smuggling undocumented immigrants and even using a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter for unofficial business.
This was just some of the misconduct investigated -- and corroborated -- by the Office of Independent Review in a recently issued report.
The OIR, a civilian oversight body created by the county Board of Supervisors, is tasked with making sure the LASD's internal affairs investigations are thorough and effective, and the recommended discipline is fair.
The report, posted on the OIR's website, provided summaries of administrative discipline cases resolved through Sept. 30, 2013.
Because of privacy laws, it does not list the identities of the deputies involved or the dates of the misconduct, some of which may have taken place a few years ago.
Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers expressed concern about the findings.
"When these matters are brought to our attention, we make every effort to investigate them as promptly as possible and take the most appropriate correction action," he said in an email Thursday. "This can include retraining, written reprimands, suspensions, demotions, and even discharge."
Rogers added accountability must be ensured "from the sheriff to the most junior supervisor."
"All of us have an absolute obligation to conduct ourselves in a manner that is above reproach and demand the same of those who work within our chains of command," he said. "As supervisors, we must do everything in our power to ensure that our personnel do not engage in conduct that violates the public trust, damages the reputation of the department, or causes irreparable harm to their careers."
Mike Gennaco, who heads the OIR, said recently enacted reforms at the LASD do not seem to have made a significant dent in the volume of misconduct, except when it comes to excessive use of force in the jails.
"Unfortunately, the cases are probably the same as far as level of egregiousness," he said in an interview Thursday.
"With regard to jail cases, I know that force is going down, at least in the downtown jails," he added. "The fact that there are cameras make it easier to decide whether the conduct was in or out of policy."
Among the most serious cases catalogued by the OIR:
--The District Attorney filed 11 felony counts ranging from bribery to rape against a deputy accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a traffic stop, in exchange for not arresting her for driving on a suspended license, and of making similar offers to other women;
--A deputy arrested by Border Patrol was ultimately convicted of felony alien smuggling. He resigned from the LASD while his criminal case was still pending;
--An LASD employee pleaded guilty to felony spousal assault and cruelty to a child after assaulting his live-in girlfriend and her children;
--A deputy tried to bring heroin into the court lockup and deliver it to an inmate inside a burrito;
--A deputy left her gun in a backpack in the backseat of her private vehicle and then offered two youths a ride to their bus stop, one of whom mistakenly took her backpack to school instead of his own;
--An LASD employee was suspended after being accused of unauthorized use of helicopter for non-official business flights and falsification of time records;
--A sergeant and a station clerk pleaded no contest to grand theft after stealing money from the proceeds of narcotics investigations;
--A deputy was arrested and subsequently convicted of kidnapping, falsely imprisoning, and assaulting his ex-girlfriend with a firearm.
--A deputy who utilized the closed circuit monitoring system to inappropriately view women at the court house was discharged because of other unrelated misconduct;
--A nursing assistant with a history of performance issues failed to provide medication to an entire module;
--About a half dozen deputies belonging to a clique -- what the American Civil Liberties Union calls a gang -- known as the "Jump Out Boys" were discharged. "Elements of this creed, if followed, do not reflect the standards expected of members of the Sheriff's Department and directly contradict our core values," the OIR said.
--A deputy alleged to have had sexual relationships with inmates and prostitutes resigned in lieu of being discharged.
--A deputy left a male inmate and a female inmate unsecured in an adjacent courtroom lockup area. They had sex, and the female inmate became pregnant
An Atlanta Police Department supervisor was arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence, FOX 5 has learned.
Atlanta Police Lt. Maurice Dodd allegedly struck a water hydrant on Piedmont at Farr roads in Buckhead early New Year's Day. Investigators believe that the vehicle struck the hydrant with such force that it was propelled into a parked car, which sustained significant damage. As Dodd sat in his damaged personal vehicle, a female patrol office came up to check on the situation and said she spotted two open beers in the vehicle's cup holders.
Dodd was arrested on DUI and other charges. At the jail, Dodd allegedly resisted the female officer, who had to call a corrections officer to take Dodd to the ground so that he could be handcuffed.
"It's always frustrating when you have any officer arrested, but more specifically about our middle managers and managers of our department. Clearly we are held to higher standards," said APD Chief George Turner.
Dodd is on paid leave pending a meeting with Chief Turner, which is scheduled to be held next week.
Turner issued a letter to the all APD officers stating that there have been too many members of the force charged with DUIs. In 2012, up to eight officers were involved in some kind of DUI situation.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Charleston Police Reserve Officer was arrested and faces criminal sexual conduct charges, said officials with the Charleston Police Department.
Christopher Colin Ward, 44, of Indian Corn Drive, was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Officials said the incident reportedly happened on Dec. 3, 2013 in Ward's home.
According to the affidavit, the victim met Ward at a Daniel Island restaurant and, after three glasses of wine, went back to his home. When she was there, she had another glass of wine.
The affidavit says Ward performed a sobriety test on her, told her she failed, and then said she was safe to stay at his home and sleep until she was sober.
He then gave her a Xanax and she fell asleep. Twice during the night she woke to find Ward performing various sex acts on her. She later woke up naked in bed, the affidavit states.
Ward was a reserve officer for five years with the Charleston Police Department, officials said.
At a bond hearing Friday night, Ward was released on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond.
Officials are still investigating.
by Bailey Darrow
PUTNAM COUNTY — A part-time Monterey Police officer was arrested in Cumberland County after a reported domestic altercation.
Jacob Gregory Phillips, 47, of Bee Rock Road, Monterey, has been placed on leave from the department after he was arrested and charged with domestic assault.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Cpl. Sean Mullikin responded to a reported disturbance at the Phillips home late Saturday night.
“Upon arrival I located the male on the front porch bleeding from the face and the female locked in the vehicle in the driveway,” Cpl. Mullikin’s report states.
The female subject was identified as Phillips’ wife, according to the report.
Jacob Phillips, who goes by the name of Greg, reportedly stated that he and his wife had been at a party at his full-time business where he said his wife had been drinking to the point he wanted her to go home.
“On the way, both parties got into a verbal altercation over this matter,” the report states.
The wife claimed that Phillips hit her in the face, busting her lip, and jerked a purse from her shoulder, the report states. She said she hit him back in self-defense.
Phillips maintained that he did not hit his wife, but said that she “went crazy and then all he saw were stars,” according to Cpl. Mullikin’s report.
“Through my investigation, I determined that Mr. Phillips was the primary aggressor,” Cpl. Mullikin wrote.
Phillips was booked into the Cumberland County jail at 12:40 a.m. on Sunday and was released on $1,000 bond around 1 p.m. that afternoon.
Monterey Police Chief Bill Randolph spoke with authorities in Cumberland about the incident Sunday morning after learning of his officer’s involvement, he said.
Phillips has been placed on leave and his patrol car and weapons have been collected by authorities.
“Any time there is domestic violence, you are not allowed to have weapons in the house,” Randolph explained. “So, we made sure that we have all of his weapons.
“Of course luckily, we still get due process and he is going to have to be found guilty or innocent. If he is innocent, there won’t be any actions taken. If he is found guilty, we have procedures that we have to follow,” Randolph said.
Cumberland County authorities are handling the charges.
A Greenwood police officer accused of being "out of control" at a New Year's Eve party is suspended.
Investigators say Joey Rodriguez was drinking and became upset when he was asked to leave the party being held at 4487 Diamond Ridge near Bargersville. When officers arrived, they reportedly found him lying on the road and bleeding. He allegedly punched one officer in the face and another in the nose, and also kicked responding medics.
A witness also saw Rodriguez choking his wife, Kelly, at the party and was punched by the witness until he let go of her. That's according to a report from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.
Kelly Rodriguez told investigators that she had not been battered and couldn't remember during the struggle if her husband’s hands were on her neck or shoulders. She went on to say that Joey Rodriguez had never acted this way before, that he had been having a hard time since his son left a year ago. Kelly said that she thought this was just a bad time of the year for her husband.
Bargersville Police charged Joey Rodriguez with one count of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting law enforcement and public intoxication.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office charged him with one count of battery and strangulation and one county of battery against Kelly Rodriguez.
Joey Rodriguez is being held in the Johnson County Jail on $150,000 bond.
Posted by Breann Bierman
CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -
A Chandler officer had a brief unpaid suspension for using police computers to look up a subject he believed his wife was having an affair with.
The investigation of Officer Garrett Dever, released Friday, showed Dever was suspended for four days.
According to the report, Dever was honest about the incident and had no past disciplinary action taken against him.
Dever's wife, former Tempe Officer Jessica Dever-Jakusz resigned in lieu of being terminated in November 2013 for her sexual involvement with a suspect being investigated for selling drugs.
The suspect with whom Dever-Jakusz was having an affair told investigators that she originally lied to him about the fact that she was married. When she came clean about that, she told him her husband was a Chandler police officer but that she was in the process of leaving him.
According to the suspect Dever-Jakusz was involved with, she told him that her husband had been "looking up a bunch of stuff on him."
Sources reveal the investigation involved Dever using police computers to look up a subject he believed his wife was having an affair with and then threatening that man.
Dever is the son of the late Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County. The sheriff was killed in a single vehicle accident in Northern Arizona in September 2012. Larry Dever's blood alcohol level at the time of his death was .291 percent. That is more than three times the legal limit.
Termination papers submitted on Joseph Rodriguez
By Troy Kehoe
GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) - A Greenwood Police Officer accused of punching another officer remained suspended late Friday, despite conditions of a bond agreement that he would resign from his position.
Joseph Rodriguez was released on $9,000 bond late Thursday after agreeing to enroll in an alcohol rehab program, and turn in his badge and service weapons within 24 Hours.
But, Greenwood Police Chief John Laut told I-Team 8 that Rodriguez had not submitted a resignation to him by late Friday. Because Greenwood PD did not negotiate terms of the agreement, Laut said he did not impose a timeline for Rodriguez’s resignation.
“That was negotiated with the prosecutor, and we didn’t have input on that timeline,” he said. “So, I’ve now filed paperwork with [Greenwood's Police] Merit Board recommending his termination.”
The Merit Board is scheduled to meet in executive session on Monday afternoon and will consider the recommendation at that time unless Rodriguez submits his resignation before then, Laut said.
I-Team 8's calls to Rodriguez's attorney, Brian Newcomb, were not immediately returned Friday.
Rodriguez, 39, was off duty when he was arrested by Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies following a disturbance at a party.
Witnesses say Rodriguez was drunk at a party in the Hickory Stick neighborhood when he began choking his wife. When officers arrived, they found him lying in the road. When they tried to help him up, deputies say Rodriguez punched one deputy in the face and kicked medics.
Rodriguez faces charges of battery on two police officers, resisting law enforcement, public intoxication, strangulation and battery against his wife.