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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”

Pa. detective charged with evidence theft

A former detective was charged Wednesday with taking cash out of the department's evidence room

By Tricia L. Nadolny
The Philadelphia Inquirer
COATESVILLE, Pa. — A former Coatesville detective accused of stealing more than $40,000 from the city's police union and athletic league was charged Wednesday with taking cash out of the department's evidence room.
Detectives during a July 2013 search found two police evidence envelopes, both empty, in the bedroom of Gerald Pawling's Coatesville home, according to a press release from the Chester County district attorney.
The envelopes, which should have contained about $5,800 total, were found tucked next to a dresser and in an underwear drawer, the release said.
Pawling's fingerprints were also found on another envelope still in the evidence room, which was missing $1,640, officials said.
"A desperate man will engage in desperate conduct," District Attorney Tom Hogan said in the release. "When the defendant fell into financial difficulties, he took care of his problems by stealing from his fellow officers, a charitable organization and even the police evidence room."
Pawling, a 17-year veteran of the department until he retired in 2012, was charged in August 2013 with stealing from the Coatesville Police Benevolent Association while serving as its treasurer and from the Coatesville Police Athletic Union while serving as its executive director.
On top of the new accusations that he stole from the evidence room, the district attorney's office on Wednesday also charged the 43-year-old Pawling with taking an additional $9,000 from those two groups.
Hogan said Pawling took nearly $2,800 from the athletic league to pave the driveway of his Walnut Street home. He is accused of purchasing about $7,000 in computer equipment, iPods, ink cartridges and school supplies on an account opened under the union's name at Staples, according to an affidavit in the case released by Hogan.
Union officials told investigators that they were not aware the group had that account and never approved purchases made there, according to the affidavit.
Pawling came under investigation in April 2013 when Coatesville detective Kevin Campbell, the incoming president of the police union, found discrepancies in the union's financial information.
According to a previous affidavit in the case, Pawling admitted in an August 2013 recorded interview to stealing $30,000 to $40,000 from the union between 2009 and 2012.
Hogan has said union funds typically are spent on fees for officers' legal defense and benefits for families of injured officers.
Coatesville police chief Jack Laufer Wednesday said the department was "once again saddened" by Pawling's actions, calling his conduct a betrayal of the public's trust. Laufer took over the department, which has been plagued by lawsuits and staffing shortfalls in the past and spent much of 2012 without a chief, in January 2013. Hogan said an audit on the evidence room started after Laufer was hired led to the discovery that money was missing from an envelope.
Pawling was previously charged with eight counts of forgery and 51 counts of theft and is facing additional counts of fraud, theft, forgery, tampering with public records and receiving stolen property

Civil trial begins for Dallas detective accused of falsely arresting woman for boyfriend’s death

Hephzibah Olivia Lord

Attorneys for Hephzibah Olivia Lord say there was never any evidence that she shot and killed her boyfriend in 2010.
But they contend that didn’t stop Dallas police Detective Dwayne A. Thompson from lying about evidence against her and omitting key facts that resulted in Lord, 36, spending nine days in jail on a murder charge.
On Wednesday, Lord’s wrongful-arrest suit against Thompson began in a Dallas federal courtroom with jury selection and opening statements. Testimony is slated to begin Thursday.
Thompson, a 21-year veteran of the Police Department, has been a homicide detective since 2006. City attorneys are defending him, saying he acted in good faith and without malice.
In May 2010, Lord’s boyfriend, Michael Burnside, died of a gunshot wound to the head from his 9 mm Beretta handgun while drunk on vodka and Red Bull. He and Lord were the only ones in his Dallas home and the two had argued. Lord said she was in the bathroom when she heard the shot and called 911.
Thompson learned that Burnside, 30, was shot in the right side of his head, court records show. Lord told police her boyfriend had committed suicide. A medical examiner’s office field agent on the scene and a hospital emergency room doctor agreed it was an apparent suicide, court records show.
The manner of death has since been listed as undetermined.
Lord was charged with murder a month after Burnside’s death, but a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict her in May 2011. She says in the lawsuit that the ordeal caused her “extreme emotional and mental anguish.”
During opening statements Wednesday, Lord’s attorney, Don Tittle, told the three men and four women of the jury that Thompson told a witness Burnside had been shot in the back of the head, which was untrue. Thompson, he said, “allowed a screenplay in his mind to take over” and had no evidence against Lord.
“Detective Thompson couldn’t or wouldn’t accept that, and his theory became the facts,” he told jurors. “And that’s a dangerous thing if you’re a homicide detective with the Dallas Police Department.”
Thompson’s theory of murder began with a significant error: that Lord had waited seven minutes to call 911 after she called Burnside’s friend, Tittle said. It wasn’t true, he said.
“He never let go of that theory,” he said.
Tittle told the jury that Burnside’s friends told the detective that Burnside became reckless while drinking alcohol, particularly when handling guns.
Tittle said Thompson relied on the statement of a neighbor who said Lord indicated to him she shot her boyfriend by mistake. But that neighbor thought Burnside had been shot in the back of the head — false information that Thompson had already given out, Tittle said.
Tatia R. Wilson, a city attorney, told jurors Thompson will explain to them during the trial why he made certain decisions during the course of his investigation.
She said the defense will show how photographs and other evidence didn’t match Lord’s version of events. In Thompson’s mind, Wilson said, Lord was “not being truthful.”
Wilson said Thompson interviewed friends of Burnside who told him he was not suicidal and had no reason to take his own life. And there was the neighbor — a criminal defense lawyer — who said Lord gave him the impression she had shot her boyfriend by accident, she said.
Wilson said two judges agreed there was probable cause for murder. She said Thompson did not intentionally or recklessly make false statements or leave out any evidence favorable to Lord. Thompson, she said, “acted in good faith as a reasonable police officer.”
Wilson acknowledged that sometimes mistakes are made during a criminal investigation.
“But those mistakes do not amount to malice,” she said.
Wilson said Thompson also is suffering as a result of the lawsuit.
“It’s his reputation that’s on the line,” she said.

Names of 3 Seabrook officers in video investigation released; suspect slammed into wall in '09

SEABROOK, New Hampshire — The town manager in Seabrook has released the names of three police officers suspended after a video surfaced showing a suspect being slammed into a wall at the police station more than four years ago.
Town Manager Bill Manzi said the officers identified in the Nov. 11, 2009, video are Keith Dietenhofer, Mark Richardson and Adam Laurent. They are on paid administrative leave.
Police Chief Lee Bitomske said each officer has six to 12 years of experience as patrolmen.
The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI have joined the state attorney general's investigation of the incident.
The police report from that day says then-19-year-old Michael Bergeron, arrested on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and possessing drugs, was struggling and being uncooperative.
Laurent said in the report that Bergeron was "an emotional roller coaster" as he was being booked, one minute happy, the next making derogatory comments to officers. He said Bergeron refused to walk back to his jail cell and that "Richardson appeared to perform an arm bar" on Bergeron. He said Bergeron fell to the floor, then stood up with Richardson's help before falling down again and starting to crawl.
"Due to Bergeron's prior spitting and failure to comply to anyone's order as he was on an emotional roller coaster, I pepper-sprayed him as he looked back at us in the hallway," Laurent wrote.
Bergeron's attorney, Scott Gleason, told WMUR-TV that the video and police reports "don't square up." He said he's concerned that what he saw in the video was not in the police report.
"The police reports don't necessarily mention the evel of force that was used," Gleason said.

APD officer suspended, accused of losing evidence

by KVUE News

AUSTIN -- An Austin police officer will serve a one-day suspension after he was accused of losing evidence. According to his discipinary memo, Officer Robert Thompson seized "apparent narcotics evidence" during a traffic stop on Sept. 12.
The memo says he lost it before the field investigation was completed.
Thompson will serve a one-day suspension on Thursday, but he does have the right to appeal.

St. Louis man charged with anti-gay harassment

ST. LOUIS • A former St. Louis police officer has been charged with harassing a transgender male who flies a gay pride flag in front of a home in the Tower Grove East neighborhood.
Jeffrey Michael Leveque, 45, faces a single count of "harassment motivated by discrimination to frighten or disturb another person," a felony. He is accused of yelling anti-gay slurs and posting on Craigslist a photo of the person's home and gay pride flag.
Prosecutors say Leveque did that from Dec. 10 to Dec. 15. The victim is referred in court papers only as "K.E."
It started when K.E. left home in the 3400 block of Connecticut Street and tried to get into a car, but the car was blocked by another vehicle that Leveque was riding in, authorities say.
Leveque opened his car door and, from a few feet away, began yelling at K.E. using anti-gay slurs. Leveque then allegedly said K.E. "better watch yourself." K.E. is a transgender male who owns the home on Connecticut with his female partner.
Police officer Jerod Breit said in court papers that Leveque's words and actions frightened K.E. The criminal complaint says the incident also put K.E. "in reasonable apprehension of offensive physical contact or harm" and that Leveque was "knowingly motivated by the sexual orientation" of K.E.
After K.E. left the home, Leveque allegedly posted a picture of the front of K.E.'s home and the intersection. The posting also included a photo of the gay pride flag that was out front. The post referred to K.E. using anti-gay slurs.
Leveque lives in the 9900 block of Jeffrey Drive, off of Chambers Road in north St. Louis County. Bail has been set at $20,000. The charge was filed Wednesday.
He was a St. Louis police officer from November 2001 to April 2004. He resigned while under investigation by Internal Affairs.
He has prior runs-in with the law. According to court files, Leveque was put on five years' probation in September after being convicted of receiving stolen property in St. Louis County. The property was construction materials from a Home Depot employee. In addition, Leveque was put on two years' probation in 2007 for third-degree assault.
The charge he now faces in St. Louis for harassment is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The alleged victim did not reply to a request for comment Thursday. The victim's partner said she was advised not to talk to the media in case it goes to trial.

Norristown police officer charged with assault

NORRISTOWN — A Norristown police officer who has been on the force since 2008 has been arrested and charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment stemming from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of Dec. 24, 2013.

According to a criminal complaint, Officer Brian Graham, 34, of Norristown, assaulted two women who were visiting his residence on the 1400 block of Markley Street.

The victims told police that Graham was spending time with one of them when the other woman arrived around midnight at his request. The woman who was there initially told police that Graham had been drinking vodka since 7 p.m. The other woman stated that the three of them drank alcohol and talked after her arrival.

Graham left the two victims to take a shower, after which he asked one of the women to join him upstairs. When she refused, Graham returned downstairs and started a verbal altercation with both women, according their statements.

He allegedly choked one of the women and dragged the other from one room to another before attempting to toss their belongings outside. He then physically threw the woman he had dragged outside onto a back porch and later pushed the other one out, they told police.

One of the women suffered injuries to her right leg and forearm, according to the complaint.

Graham has been placed on administrative leave.

FBI-Arrested Little Saigon Cop Accused of Aiding Loan Shark Hires Celebrity Lawyer

The Westminster Police Department officer arrested by the FBI in August with a Little Saigon businessman for allegedly running a loan-sharking operation has dumped his Newport Beach defense lawyer for a Hollywood celebrity attorney who once worked as a federal prosecutor.
According to court records, Anthony Duong Donner booted court-appointed John W. Barton to retain Donald Etra, who has represented rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Rihanna (against slugger Chris Brown) and actress Fran Drescher.
In two separate criminal actions (drug and weapon counts) against Snoop Dogg in Orange County, Etra--who is a President George W. Bush appointee to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.--claims he won reductions in charges.
Federal prosecutor Brett A. Sagel's U.S. Department of Justice investigation resulted in the arrest of Donner for using his job as a police officer to enforce the illegal loan-sharking operations of Keven Khanh Tuan Do, who, according to the government, charged more than 60 percent annual interest.
Both men pleaded not guilty and are free on bail.
With the aid of wiretaps, FBI agents claim they recorded Do, owner of Do Construction & Design Inc. in Garden Grove, and a campaign contributor to Republican Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen, using on- and off-duty law-enforcement officers, including Golden West College graduate Donner, as the muscle in the alleged loan sharking business.
Nguyen is currently running for a state Senate seat against Jose Solorio, a former state assemblyman from Santa Ana and a Democrat. U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, the presiding judge in the case, has scheduled the trial for July 15 inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
In December, Donner asked Carter for permission to travel to New Orleans to be a groomsman in a friend's wedding, but the judge denied the request.

Nassau cop pleads not guilty to resisting arrest, harassment


 Nassau County police officer whose lawyer claims she was wrongfully arrested by fellow officers in an off-duty incident tainted by "racial animus" pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and harassment charges Thursday.
A district court judge in Hempstead released Dolores Sharpe of Jamaica, Queens, on her own recognizance after her plea, which came as dozens of supporters packed the courtroom for her arraignment.
The charges against the 19-year veteran stem from a Nov. 29 incident in West Hempstead. A Nassau police spokesman previously has said the incident is the subject of a department internal affairs probe.
Sharpe's lawyer said she also pleaded not guilty Thursday in a separate court to a traffic violation related to the same incident, in which police have alleged she had an illegal tint on her vehicle windows.
Her attorney, Fred Brewington, said during his client's district court appearance at about 9:30 a.m. that just before her arraignment was the first time his client had received any notification about that separate violation from the government. That ticket had demanded her appearance in a separate court at 9 a.m. Thursday.
"It was never presented, nor raised to Miss Sharpe," Brewington said of the tinted window violation, calling it new information for "the alleged reason for this stop."
"Had we not looked at these papers carefully, she would have missed another court date," he said, alleging "trickery" on the police department's part.
Sharpe is black and the two male officers involved in her arrest, Officer Charles Volpe and Officer Victor Gladitz, are white.
Court documents that became available Thursday contain details about the government's case against Sharpe.
The government alleges Sharpe committed the misdemeanor of second-degree harassment by taking a neck chain from her pocket, and in an attempt to strike Gladitz with it, swinging the object at his face.
"At no point in time did the defendant have permission or authority to take her chain out and swing it at Officer Gladitz's face," a charging document says, describing the incident as happening during a traffic stop.
Court records also allege Sharpe is guilty of resisting arrest because Gladitz tried to take her into custody after she swung the chain at him, but she "resisted and refused to comply with multiple lawful orders to place her hands behind her back" that both Gladitz and Volpe gave her.
The document claims Sharpe refused to put her hands behind her back by "flailing her arms and pulling away" from the officers, who arrested her after a brief struggle.
Brewington said Thursday that the officer has served a 30-day unpaid suspension from her job and is back working in some capacity, but without her service weapon.
Sharpe declined to comment.
In December, her attorney described her side of the arrest in a press conference.
Brewington said then that his client had parked outside a store before Volpe drove up to her in a marked police car and berated her, telling her she had interfered with an investigation by blocking his view.
The lawyer said Sharpe told him she was a fellow officer and asked if she could help, before Volpe cursed at her and she went into the store.
Volpe verbally abused her when she came back outside a short time later and told her to get out of her car, but she refused and said Volpe should call a supervisor, according to Brewington.
Sharpe drove off when Volpe didn't call a supervisor, and Volpe pulled her over two blocks away and told her to get out of her car, the defense lawyer alleged.
Sharpe refused and again asked for a supervisor to be called, and Gladitz soon arrived to assist, Brewington said.
Gladitz demanded Sharpe's identification, arrested her and put her in handcuffs, according to Sharpe's attorney, who said a sergeant then came on scene and ordered her handcuffs removed.
Brewington previously said his client was taken to the Fourth Precinct, where she was detained for three hours, and given an appearance ticket before being released.
The district attorney's office had no immediate comment after Thursday's arraignment, and a police spokesman couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Waterloo cop loses appeal in case of stolen marijuana

Hamilton Spectator
By Brian Caldwell

WATERLOO REGION A disgraced police officer's bid to save his job suffered a setback Tuesday when a judge upheld both his convictions and sentence for stealing drugs.
A lawyer for Andrew Robson argued last month that Waterloo Regional Police improperly entrapped him in an on-the-job sting to see if he would pocket marijuana.
But in a ruling released Tuesday, Justice James Sloan found there was nothing wrong with either the investigation or subsequent 60-day conditional sentence Robson received for taking the bait.
"This is essentially a breach of trust crime committed by a serving police officer and, if anything, it is at the lenient end of the scale," the judge wrote in a four-page decision.
Defence lawyer Richard Niman said he will now likely take the case to the Ontario Court of Appeal, a move that would delay a disciplinary hearing on professional charges even longer.
Robson, 31, an eight-year member of the local police service, spent well over two years suspended with pay following his arrest in the fall of 2010.
He was taken off the payroll after he was technically sentenced to time in custody early last year, but is still a suspended member of the service.
Police targeted Robson after getting information from a colleague that he and other patrol officers at the Cambridge detachment were smoking dope like "fiends."
An undercover officer posed as a distraught mother who had caught her son with four ounces of marijuana.
When she gave it to Robson for disposal while he was working, he only turned in half of it and kept the rest for himself.
The stolen marijuana was still in an evidence bag in his knapsack when police arrested him on the way home after his shift.
Robson pleaded guilty in Ontario Court in Kitchener, but tried to get the charges thrown out due to an abuse of process. His arguments, similar to those at the recent appeal, were rejected by Justice Jeanine LeRoy.
In addition to a year on probation and 120 hours of community service work, LeRoy gave him 30 days of house arrest and 30 days with a nightly curfew.
The defence had argued for a conditional discharge, which would have meant Robson did not acquire a criminal record. A conditional sentence does result in a record and, under law, is considered jail time.
Officers given custody for crimes are almost automatically fired when disciplined under the Police Services Act.
As a result, Robson appealed both his convictions and sentence — which has already been served — before a judge at the higher Superior Court level.
Sloan upheld LeRoy's decisions on both aspects of the case, making the Ontario Court of Appeal the next stop in a process that has already dragged on for more than three years.
Police "had every right to be very concerned and suspicious that one of their own officers may be a chronic user of marijuana," Sloan wrote, stressing they had a duty to then investigate.
Robson testified at his trial that the stress of several traumatic incidents at work led to drug and alcohol addictions.
He said he once came close to killing himself with his police gun in 2009 while sitting in his cruiser in a parking lot.