A deputy in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been charged with aggravated rape for allegedly forcing oral sex on a woman during a traffic stop.
Willie Greer, 33, was fired and arrested last Thursday because of an incident on Jan. 5 during which he pulled over a woman for speeding and allegedly raped her in his patrol car around 1 a.m.
The victim told investigators that Greer wrote her name on his hand and went to his car.
When he came back, he told she was going to jail and made her get out of the car.
After he put handcuffs on her, the victim said he told her several times, "I could let you go, but you'd owe me," according to police records obtained by Chattanoogan.com.
Greer then allegedly uncuffed the victim, and had her follow him to a remote area around the corner to "talk about it." Then, according to investigators, he handcuffed her again, put her in the patrol car and made her perform oral sex on him, WRCB-TV reported.
By George Brennan
FALMOUTH — A Sandwich police officer is being charged with drunken driving in connection with an off-duty crash Nov. 30 in Mashpee.
Daniel J. Perkins, 38, of Sandwich, emerged from Falmouth District Court on Wednesday morning after a closed-door review of the evidence before a magistrate. "They did issue the complaint," Perkins said as he left the courthouse. He declined further comment.
His attorney, Jens Bahrawy, also declined to comment on the case.
Neither Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe's office nor the Falmouth District Court clerk's office could say when Perkins would be arraigned.
Mashpee police filed for a criminal complaint in December — two weeks after the crash, in which Perkins was injured — seeking to charge him with operating under the influence of alcohol. The crash occurred shortly after 11 p.m. at 759 Route 130 near the Sandwich town line. Perkins had to be freed from a truck, which had rolled on its side, using the Jaws of Life hydraulic tool. He was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was treated and released.
According to police, Perkins was the lone occupant of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
To date, police have declined to comment on what evidence they have that Perkins was drunk.
When police don't make an arrest and instead file a criminal complaint, as they did in the case of Perkins, the accused is summonsed to court and is entitled to request a show-cause hearing before a magistrate, according to the Massachusetts Trial Court website. At that hearing, which is private, police lay out the evidence against the accused and the magistrate decides whether the prosecution has shown enough to proceed to arraignment.
"It's to determine whether a crime was committed and who did it," David Frank, managing editor of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, said of a magistrate's show-cause hearing.
According to a 2007 ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court, a show-cause hearing "allows the clerk magistrate to screen out baseless complaints with minimal harm to the accused's reputation."
While a magistrate's hearing is used to determine whether there is probable cause, it is different from a probable-cause hearing. That occurs after someone has been arraigned on a criminal charge that is outside of the purview of a district court, Frank said. Probable cause hearings are open to the public because criminal charges have already been filed and an arraignment held, but typically grand jury indictments are returned before a district court case gets to the probable-cause stage, he said.
That won't happen in this case because drunken-driving cases are under the district court's jurisdiction.
Perkins is a five-year veteran of the Sandwich Police Department and had worked for the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office before joining the force.
An internal affairs investigation into the crash concluded this week, Sandwich Police Chief Peter Wack said.
The Times has requested a copy of the investigation and any discipline, but the town has not yet officially responded to that public records request.
A former Nelsonville Police officer, who's charged with assaulting a 15-year-old boy who was in police custody, is scheduled to take a plea later this month.
According to an entry filed Jan. 9 in Athens County Common Pleas Court, Randall Secoy will appear in court Jan. 17 to change his plea.
Secoy, who was once an Athens County Sheriff's deputy but left that agency in November 2011, was indicted last March on charges of assault, abduction and interfering with civil rights.
The charges are based on an incident that took place while he was a Nelsonville Police officer, after he arrested a 15-year-old boy at a local pizza restaurant for an alleged altercation.
While the boy was at the Nelsonville Police headquarters, he allegedly put his hand on the boy's face and pushed him backwards in a wheeled chair.
Last October, a hearing in the case addressed the questions of what aspects of Secoy's disciplinary record as a police officer and sheriff's deputy the Athens County Prosecutor's office would be allowed to bring up at his trial.
By JAMES A. KIMBLE
A Salem police officer was charged Wednesday with allegedly striking a 39-year-old Maine man in the head with a flashlight and stepping on his hands after he was apprehended during a police pursuit.
Joseph Freda, who joined the department about a year-and-a-half ago, is facing two counts of simple assault for his contact with Thomas Templeton, of York, Maine. State police charged Templeton with reckless driving and disobeying a police officer after a pursuit that ended in Salem shortly before 2:12 a.m. on Oct. 6.
Templeton is currently being held at Rockingham County jail.
Salem police said in a statement that they fully cooperated with the investigation and placed Freda on unpaid administrative leave after their own internal investigation into the matter. Freda is expected to have an administrative hearing regarding his job status next week.
“The Salem Police Department does not tolerate excessive use of force from its police officers,” Salem Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten said in the statement. “The Salem Police Department has long-standing policies and procedures in place providing guidance for our officers.”
Patten said the department’s 62 full-time officers receive mandatory, comprehensive training, including arrest procedures and acceptable use of force. That training happens on an ongoing basis, the department said.
Freda’s arrest comes just days after a YouTube video showed a Seabrook police officer slamming a suspect’s face into a wall, which set off a criminal investigation into alleged police brutality in the 2009 incident. (See related story, Page A5.) In Salem, the investigation into Freda began Oct. 22 when the New Hampshire State Police notified the state Attorney General’s Office about the injuries Templeton suffered during his arrest. Templeton was sitting on the ground in handcuffs when he was allegedly struck and had his hands stepped on, according to state investigators.
Freda’s lawyer, Donald Blaszka, said late Wednesday that his client plans to enter a not-guilty plea in 10th Circuit Court in Salem within the next few days. Blaszka said he has yet to receive police reports and other materials collected from the investigation.
“Once we receive that information, we will review it thoroughly and prepare my client’s defense,” Blaszka said.
Associate Attorney General Jane Young said her office is now looking into other incidents involving Freda.
A 21-year-old man was sentenced to a year in jail for assault last May for attempting to take Freda’s gun and breaking his hand while the two struggled during a November 2012 arrest. Freda struck the man in the face during the scuffle while trying to keep his gun from being taken.
“When gathering the facts, reviewing a past case like that would fall under the scope of that investigation,” Young said.
Freda also drew at least one complaint while on duty as a police officer in Brookline prior to accepting a job in Salem, according to court records. Resident Sharon Ryherd, who was arrested in June 2009, complained about Freda’s conduct when she was arrested for disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest and reckless operation. The charges were later dropped to non-criminal violations and Ryherd paid fines, court records say.
Freda is scheduled for his arraignment on Feb. 24 in 10th Circuit Court in Salem
By JOE MANDAK
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The fifth and final victim of a fired Pittsburgh police officer who's in prison for extorting sexual favors from women has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and top public safety officials.
The officer, 36-year-old Adam Skweres (SKWEHRZ'), pleaded guilty last year. He's serving up to eight years in prison on charges he either forced or tried to force five women to have sex with him.
The woman who sued the city Thursday says Skweres came to her home in uniform in 2012, offered "to help her incarcerated boyfriend in exchange for sex" and forced her to perform a sex act.
The city solicitor couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The Associated Press is not identifying the woman because she was previously found to be a victim of sexual assault.
By Karissa Shatzer -
Airport police officers are trusted to protect the thousands of people who pass through every day. But at least one of those officers at Harrisburg International Airport is accused of betraying that trust.
Investigators said he got away with more than $11,000 in police funds.
According to court paperwork, 40-year-old Todd MacFarlane admitted to stealing more than $11,400 between September, 2010 and September, 2013. That money was taken from the police association, an organization that he was both president and treasurer of.
"No public money was involved. It was from basically the union for those officers," said Fan Chardo, first assistant district attorney in Dauphin County.
When a new association president replaced MacFarlane in the fall, the new boss noticed something was not quite right with the bank account, authorities said.
"Well the new officers were assuming their duties and reviewing the books and they realized there had been this theft," Chardo said.
Court paperwork states MacFarlane took the money from an ATM and used it for "personal living expenses."
"Going to make full restitution, which goes a long way in mitigating the punishment. Certainly giving the money back is not the same as not having taken it," Chardo said.
Prosecutors said the incident should not shine a bad light on all police officers.
"In any profession and in any occupation there are gonna be people that make mistakes and violate the law and police work is no different. And certainly it shouldn't reflect on a great majority of honest police officers," said Chardo.
abc27 News received a statement from the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority:
"Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) is aware that one of our former officers has been charged with engaging in alleged criminal conduct. SARAA cooperated fully with the investigation and has detailed policies and procedures in place to prevent improper activities by its employees. The alleged conduct did not involve any SARAA property or assets."
By Tony Dokoupil, Senior Staff Writer, NBC News
When can police officers use force, and when is use of force excessive?
Those questions hang in the air after the family of Jonathon Ferrell, an unarmed 24-year-old man shot ten times by Charlotte police officer Randall Kerrick last September — and pronounced dead at the scene — filed a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court on Monday.
There are no hard national standards, no binding state policies, not even a national database that tracks how often, where, and under what circumstances police use deadly force. The result, say scholars, is a free-wheeling space in American law and police policy. The nation’s 17,000 law enforcement agencies set their own terms—and when citizens cry foul, the courts spit out wildly inconsistent results.
"Pick up the paper any day and there’s an excessive force case here and an excessive force case there, and yet there’s no national data at all," says William Terrill, a professor of criminal justice at Michigan State University. That contributes to a larger problem of excess subjectivity, he says, where cops who commit brutality can end up going free — guilty of what Terrill calls "lawfully awful behavior."
The legal test for excessive use of force, according to a 1989 Supreme Court ruling, is whether the police officer "reasonably" believed that the force he or she used was "necessary" to accomplish a legitimate goal. But there are no universal definitions of "reasonably" or "necessary," and in a drive from one jurisdiction to another, the court standards — and the local police department policies — can shift as briskly as songs on the radio.
"Excess is in the eyes of the beholder," adds Terrill, a former military police officer. "To one officer ‘objectively reasonable’ means that if you don’t give me your license, I get to use soft hands, and in another town the same resistance means I can pull you through the car window, I can tase you."
That leaves the lower courts to spin their own "ad-hoc, often inconsistent, and sometimes ill-considered" conclusions, says Rachel Harmon, a professor of law at the University of Virginia. They support a bullet fired in Newark, perhaps, and find a similar shot unconstitutional in Trenton. The result, she says, is a national patchwork, one where "many unconstitutional uses of force go uncompensated and undeterred."
This soft spot in the law and the data exists at a time when police shootings seem to be on the rise in many cities.
Charlotte police killed five people last year, the most in a decade—but less, City Manager Ron Carlee told the Charlotte Observer, than were killed by police in Washington (49), Memphis (42), Fort Worth (32), or Austin (17), all of which have seen their own numbers creep upward.
Boston police (along with their counterparts at the state level) have fired more bullets in each of the last five years, hitting at least 23 people last year, 11 of them fatally. Philadelphia police shot 52 people in 2012, prompting the commissioner to ask the U.S. Justice Department for a special review. Dallas, Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City: all have been rocked by use of force scandals in recent years.
But does any of this add up to a national problem?
No one knows for sure.
The FBI is a clearinghouse for national crime data, from break-ins on the San Francisco Bay to stolen property on the streets of New York. But while it issues an annual report on law enforcement killed or assaulted by civilians, it doesn’t do the same for civilians unjustifiably killed or assaulted by police.
In 1994, Congress required the Attorney General to "acquire data about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers," and "publish an annual summary" of these data."
"It was never implemented," says Terrill. The Justice Department did not return a request for comment. The FBI, meanwhile, acknowledged the shortcomings in its data.
"The data collected is general in nature," said FBI spokesperson Stephen G. Fischer Jr., in an email to NBC News, "and does not allow for the level of detail to determine the occupation of the offender."
To help fill the data gap, Terrill and colleagues recently completed a national survey of police use of force policies, examining how those policies translate to outcomes on the street. He got more than 600 departments to participate, and he isolated eight more—including Charlotte — for a deeper look, including a survey of officers and a two year review of crime, complaints and instances of police violence.
He went looking for what amounts to a standard policy, and hopefully an ideal one, but what he found was jarring: there’s no such thing as a standard policy — and nothing currently in use is ideal. More than 80 percent of departments train officers on a use of force "continuum," running from less lethal to more lethal, depending on the level of civilian resistance. Within that continuum, however, there is variety allowing for "nearly all types of force against nearly all types of resistance."
"Departments pick and choose, tweak and adapt [their policies], in a multitude of ways," Terrill and his colleagues wrote. "All unfortunately with no empirical evidence as to which approach is best or even better than another."
Based on the survey results, Terrill picked eight comparable cities for a closer look, and he won cooperation from Charlotte, Portland, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, St. Petersburg, Fort Wayne, and Knoxville. That offered him a good mix of policies on police violence. And by stacking one policy against another, he hoped to isolate the best one, something researchers have never been able to do before.
The result could bolster the case argued by the family of Ferrell, the former football player killed by Charlotte police last summer. In fact, when contacted by NBC News, Professor Terrill acknowledged that he had just been retained by the family, who hoped to incorporate his results — and possibly his testimony — into their case.
Terrill concluded that Charlotte police officers had one of the worst policies under review. The city’s officers didn’t use force more often, but when they did use it they injured suspects at by far a greater rate, 73 percent compared to 45 percent for the next city on the list. Charlotte’s officers were also among the most likely to point their guns, and compared to the other cities, they used more force "relative to citizen resistance." Charlotte’s officers also rated their city’s force policy as comparatively unhelpful and vague.
Charlotte police did not respond to a request for comment on these findings. But Chief Rodney Monroe has defended his city’s police training as "adequate," even as his department has called Kerrick’s actions "excessive," and supported the state’s charge of voluntary manslaughter.
In a twist that’s typical in use of force cases, Terrill says, his findings may actually help Kerrick beat the criminal charges against him. The fact that Charlotte’s officers may be more likely to draw their guns, injure their suspects, and feel unassisted by their own policies than similar cities may help suggest that what Kerrick did wasn’t the
"It’s an odd world we live in," says Terrill. "I don’t understand it myself."
Philadelphia community rallies around prep basketball player hospitalized by alleged police brutality
By Ben Rohrbach
A case of alleged police brutality has a West Philadelphia community rallying behind a 16-year-old straight-A student and prep basketball player who underwent emergency surgery to repair a ruptured testicle after a police stop on his way to a game.
The details -- widely reported in Philadelphia, including accounts by the city's Daily News and the local FOX affiliate -- are now the center of an internal affairs investigation.
According to a police report obtained by the Daily News, Officer Thomas Purcell stopped Darrin Manning on Jan. 7 (during the height of the polar vortex) after witnessing the teen and roughly a dozen of his Philadelphia Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School teammates wearing ski masks and running down the street.
The police report alleges Manning struck Purcell three times, inflicting no injury but forcing a call for backup. The report also claimed Manning "didn't complain of any pain" while being charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.
That's the police's side of the story, according to the Daily News report. Manning's own account of the afternoon's events paint a disturbing picture that has many in the community outraged, organizing town meetings and rallies in his defense.
Manning told multiple media outlets that his team got off the subway while traveling from their school to the gym at Philadelphia's Berean Institute for their game against Philly's Frankfort High. A member of his group "may have said something smart" to a police officer they perceived to be "staring them down," according to Manning's own account.
When the officer approached, the boys, including Manning, reportedly ran. They were wearing hats, gloves and scarves -- not ski masks -- given to them by Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School founder Veronica Joyner to keep warm, Manning said.
But Manning told the Daily News that he stopped running, simply because, "I didn't do anything wrong." The sophomore contends multiple police officers "roughed" him up, struck him with a pair of handcuffs and 'cuffed him as a female cop allegedly squeezed his genitals so hard during a pat-down that one of his testicles ruptured.
"She patted me down again, and then I felt her reach, and she grabbed my butt," Manning told myfoxphilly.com. "And then she grabbed and squeezed again and pulled down. And that's when I heard something pop, like I felt it pop."
An unnamed witness corroborated Manning's account of excessive force to the Daily News.
According to the reports, after spending eight hours in jail, Manning underwent emergency surgery the following day at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and remained in a wheelchair at school a week later. His mother, Ikea Coney, told the Daily News that doctors believe the injury could potentially prevent him from fathering children.
"I'm just grateful that they didn't just kill him," Coney told the local FOX affiliate.
Meanwhile, Manning's family has reportedly hired an attorney in hopes of clearing him of all charges. Community organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, have also come to Manning's defense, reports said.
The police did not comment to local media, citing their investigation into the incident, but confirmed the officers would face disciplinary action depending on the outcome.
By Lauren Sievert
MERIDEN — A former Cheshire police officer was arraigned in court Friday morning on charges that he stole money from the police union.
Robert Anderson, 43, of Wilton was arrested Jan. 9 and charged with two counts of first-degree larceny. In court, Anderson appeared wearing a jacket and tie, and didn’t speak during the hearing. Anderson looked straight ahead, and outside the courthouse Anderson stood a few steps away as his attorney spoke.
According to the arrest warrant, Anderson stole $50,000 from the Cheshire police union and used the money to take his girlfriend to San Francisco, pay bills and dine out. Anderson faces a maximum imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $30,000 if he is convicted on the two felony counts.
Anderson, who started his career with Cheshire police in 2002, was the union president from 2005-09 and vice president until the end of 2012. His base salary was $68,608 annually. According to court records, the charges are from incidents occurring from Aug. 10, 2005, through Sept. 3, 2011. According to the warrant, two Cheshire detectives described Anderson as a “rogue kind of guy who would act on his own accord without consulting or notifying the union executive board.”
Anderson posted $100,000 bond at the time of his arrest and appeared in Superior Court Friday for his arraignment. Attorney John Gulash represents Anderson.
Judge Philip Scarpellino recused himself from the case, saying that he “personally called in a complaint on the officer,” and Judge Jack Fischer presided over the hearing. Susan Hatfield, assistant state’s attorney in the Statewide Prosecution Bureau in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney appeared on behalf of the state. The case may eventually be transferred to New Haven Superior Court. Anderson’s case was continued until Feb. 19.
Outside of court, Gulash said he had no comment on the case. Gulash said the arrest came through the inspectors of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.
We've seen some egregious examples of NYPD officers overstepping their duties to teach law-abiding citizens cruel lessons about carrying their ID at all times, criticizing stop-and-frisk, or daring to photograph a cop in public. The NY Times brings us the latest example of vindictiveness with a badge: officers arrested two professors who called 911 after one was suffering a routine medical emergency, despite them not doing anything wrong. "He said he needed to teach me the lesson that you are never allowed to touch a police officer," explained anthropology professor Suzanne LaFont.
LaFont and her husband Karl Anders Peltomaa, a professor of physics and math at The Art Institute of New York, were at their home on West 83rd Street last April when Peltomaa had a bad reaction to medication he was taking (he had undergone open-heart surgery a few days earlier). LaFont called 911, telling them they needed an ambulance and her husband was "freaking out," worried about his heart.
The couples' dog escaped the apartment when Officer Anthony Giambra first arrived; LaFont chased after the dog, and when she returned, she found her husband inexplicably against a wall being handcuffed. LaFont instinctively touched the officer’s shoulder and yelled at him to stop; she was arrested as well.
Giambra later claimed that Peltomaa was an "emotionally disturbed person" who “indicated that he was willing to be placed in handcuffs for his protection.” But he also said that Peltomaa fought back, kicking him in the groin and shin. He also claimed that LaFont grabbed him for a full minute. The couple denies those charges completely; Peltomaa says he didn't fight the officer, was confused why he was being handcuffed to go to the hospital, and says the officer shoved him face down on the tile floor, splitting open his chin and dislocating his thumb.
Peltomaa ended up spending two days in St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center with five stitches in his chin and electronic monitors keeping tabs on his ailing heart. LaFont was locked up for 19 hours before she was brought before a judge. The couple refused to take any plea deals, and fought up until this week to be totally exonerated.
That happened this week when Judge Steven M. Statsinger ruled that cops mishandled the call and injured an already sick man: “Defendant’s motion describes facts so extreme and unusual that this can truly be deemed sui generis,” Judge Statsinger wrote in his decision.
“I don’t think I can forgive what they did,” Peltomaa said. “I am continuously terrified I am going to meet this officer.”
Attorney specializing in police misconduct says people predisposed to trust officers
By Nick B. Reid
January 12, 2014 2:00 AM
A prominent New Hampshire attorney who specializes in police misconduct cases said he believes Seabrook police are guilty of using excessive force in a video released this week, but it won't necessarily be easy to prove in court.
Richard Lehmann of the Concord-based firm Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., is a former county attorney in New Hampshire. Since leaving that office, he has represented a Boscawen man who sued police in that town for using excessive force in 2011, as well as a girl who claimed the New London police chief pressured her to pose for nude photos in exchange for charges being dropped against her last year.
His reaction to the video was simple: "It's excessive force."
But he said that's not an easy point to make in the courtroom, given that people are generally predisposed to trust police officers.
"It's always hard to prove because police go into court — for better or for worse — with credibility, and the public is inclined to believe them unless there's a very clear reason not to," he said.
Lehmann said he'd be interested to hear what the officers will say happened before the events depicted in a YouTube video that has received more than 150,000 views in the week of its release. Three officers were suspended after the video's release and the state attorney general's office is investigating their conduct. In the video, one officer throws a seemingly defenseless suspect head first into a wall, then another pepper sprays the subject while he's on the ground.
Scott Gleason, an attorney based out of Haverhill, Mass., who is representing the alleged victim, said it's a rarity to have such a video to accompany police reports. He said the video proves the reports filed in this case include "blatant and repeated misrepresentation of fact."
"That stuff just doesn't happen," he said. "It's an absolute rarity to literally be looking at a video of what I believe to be clear and unmistakable criminal behavior and then to have somebody — anybody, a police officer or otherwise — writing a report about the event that just transpired and have it be so noticeably false."
New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said her department is investigating the incident to see if there's any violation of law. "It's not limited to any specific crime," she said. "We're doing a comprehensive investigation."
And if the state were to decide to press charges against any officers involved, it's not too late, she said, despite the fact that the video is more than four years old.
While the statute of limitations for any misdemeanor, such as simple assault, would have passed after one year, the law provides up to six years for any felony prosecution, such as second-degree assault, which occurs when a person "knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another."
But in the case of a public servant, the law allows even more time. For any offense based upon misconduct in office by a public servant, a prosecution can commence during any period of time the defendant is in public office or within two years thereafter, according to state law.
On the federal side, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said his office could determine whether the incident involved any civil rights violations.
Lehmann said in his experience, "It's so rare that police officers get prosecuted for any on-duty conduct."
He said most police are upstanding, but in those cases when they aren't they can still sometimes get away with it.
"In some of these cases it's pretty clear the authorities are giving the police perhaps too much benefit of the doubt," he said.
But that doesn't mean Gleason won't try to hold accountable the officers, whose behavior he described as "beyond despicable."
"Make no mistake about it: I don't see any other way than to prosecute them in any manner and means possible," he said.
By Matt Essert January 17, 2014
On Monday, two California police officers were found not guilty for the 2011 murder of a homeless man. Kelly Thomas, 37, died five days after being violently beaten and tasered by six police officers. Video surveillance footage showed the on-duty officers confront the homeless and mentally handicapped man before pushing him to the ground and beating him with their knees, fists, batons and electric stun guns — the jury took less than two days to acquit the two officers on trial.
The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project's 2010 (NPMSRP) Police Misconduct Statistical Report (the most recent data available because of the scarcity of available statistics) shows that from January 2010 through December 2010, there were 4,861 unique reports of police misconduct that involved 6,613 sworn law enforcement officers and 6,826 alleged victims.
1. A Tennessee patrolman forced a woman to perform oral sex on him
Hamilton County Sheriff's patrol officer Willie Marshay Greer, 33, pulled a woman over for speeding at 1 a.m. and after running her name through a database and discovering she had an open warrant for arrest, offered to "strike a deal."
"I could let you go, but you'd owe me," the woman said Greer told her.
Greer then forced the woman to perform oral sex on him while handcuffed.
2. A Chicago cop sodomized a man they wanted to turn into a drug informant
Angel Perez, a 32-year-old Chicago man, is suing the Chicago Police Department after accusing several officers of beating him and sodomizing him with a gun to force him to cooperate as a drug informant in 2012.
According to a report in VICE, "One of the officers 'inserted a cold metal object, believed to be one of officer's service revolvers, into the plaintiff's rectum.' The complaint continued: "The two officers laughed hysterically while inserting the object' and Sergeant Cline joked, 'I almost blew your brains out.'"
3. Police in Minnesota shot and killed a man who was handcuffed
A man in Brooklyn Center, Minn. was shot and killed while in handcuffs. Edmond Fair, 24, was pulled over at a traffic stop when officers discovered he was a wanted man and handcuffed him. According to the police, he struggled and reached for the officers' guns, prompting them to retaliate and shoot him. The details of the case are not totally clear, but it is hard to attack a cop and reach for his gun while in handcuffs.
4. An Illinois deputy had sex with a 9-year-old boy
Following federal investigations by the U.S. District Attorney's Office and the FBI, former Illinois sheriff's deputy, 38-year-old Gregory M. Pyle, plead guilty to charges involving sex with a minor. Pyle had been with the McHenry County Sheriff's Department for 10 years and spent some of his time leading the department's child pornography investigations.
In court, Pyle admitted to taking a 9-year-old boy from Chicago to Milwaukee, sexually abusing him and posting the photos online.
5. Police in Nebraska beat a man senseless
Omaha, NE Police using excessive force
A sixth officer has been fired after an illegal parking incident escalated into a brutal confrontation. When police discovered an illegally parked car with expired tags, 28-yea-old Octavius Johnson got into a confrontation with several officers that ended with his beating. Johnson's brothers caught the incident on videotape, which was confiscated by an officer. The police officers involved were investigated and eventually dismissed for use of excessive force, warrantless search and seizure and destroying evidence.
6. A Pennsylvania cop pepper-sprayed a 13-year-old because he didn't want to go to school
Pennsylvania state trooper Ernest Boatright was charged with child endangerment and harassment and placed on unpaid leave after pepper-spraying his girlfriend's 13-year-old son when the boy stayed in bed and refused to go to school.
7. A North Carolina cop shot and killed a subdued schizophrenic as his parents watched
This past weekend in Boiling Spring Lakes, N.C. the parents of 18-year-old Keith Vidal called police for assistance when their son was suffering from a schizophrenic episode while carrying a screwdriver in his hand. Scared for their child's safety, three officers responded to the call and attempted to subdue the teenager. While the officers were holding Keith down during his episode and tasing him repeatedly, one officer reportedly said, "We don't have time for this," and shot between the two other officers, killing the boy.
"There was no reason to shoot this kid," Vidal's step-father Mark Wilsey said. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."
One of the officers involved has been placed on leave — the others have been cleared of wrongdoing by their departments.
Matt is a writer and editor living in New York City. A philosophy graduate of McGill University, he enjoys politics, television, and IPAs.
By Nick Grube
Last year, a Honolulu police officer repeatedly texted and called an ex-girlfriend even though she had already told him to stop.
The Honolulu Police Department determined that to be criminal behavior — it's unclear exactly why — and the officer was suspended from work for one day.
Another officer was supposed to investigate an assault that occurred during a local sporting event. Some of the individuals involved were off-duty cops.
But HPD says the investigating officer failed to properly investigate. The punishment: a day-and-half without pay.
Many more officers were forced to take time off in 2013, sometimes for far more serious offenses. Two were fired. Officers threatened citizens, fought with coworkers, forged signatures and crashed into cars while driving under the influence.
In all, 35 Honolulu Police Department officers were suspended or discharged for misconduct in 2013, according to the department's latest annual report that county police agencies are required to file with the Legislature.
That’s more than in 2012, when 30 officers were punished for 35 incidents of misconduct.
The annual misconduct reports provide a glimpse into the police disciplinary process, but little else. Each incident is described in only a couple of sentences. No names, dates or other relevant information — such as if an officer is a repeat offender — is provided.
It’s part of an underlying problem in Hawaii’s public records law. Police officers are treated differently than other public employees when it comes to suspensions.
Details about an officer’s misconduct are kept secret even though any other civil servant who gets in trouble — whether a University of Hawaii professor or a court clerk — can expect to have their misconduct aired publicly.
The only time an officer’s disciplinary records become public is when that individual is fired. And even then the only information that’s released is related to the misconduct that resulted in the termination.
Civil Beat explored the lack of transparency and whether the public is being well-served by it in a five-part investigative series, In The Name Of The Law. Civil Beat has filed a lawsuit seeking to gain access to the records of 12 Honolulu officers suspended for egregious behavior.
And lawmakers say they plan to introduce several pieces of legislation this session that aim to require more disclosure and hold Hawaii’s police officers more accountable.
Disciplining Honolulu’s Police
Only two officers lost their jobs for misconduct in 2013, according to the new report to the Legislature.
One officer was terminated after failing a drug test. The other was fired for transporting a juvenile runaway without permission and lying to investigators about the incident. That same officer also altered another officer's name and badge number in a police logbook and falsified mileage records.
Civil Beat asked HPD for the names and disciplinary files of these officers but has yet to receive a response. The department also has not yet responded to a request for an interview about the annual police misconduct report.
Most officers — 28 of them — received suspensions of fewer than 10 days. A majority of those officers were suspended for one day without pay for offenses ranging from participating in unauthorized funeral escorts and harassment to threatening citizens and fighting during domestic disputes.
An officer who was suspended for 20 days was arrested for possession of marijuana and driving under the influence. He or she was off duty and playing in a sports tournament. The summary doesn't say whether charges were filed or if the officer faces prosecution.
One cop tried to obtain password and login information of other officers as a means to take advantage of special duty assignments that result in more pay for officers. That officer who was suspended for 10 days. Another officer who helped in the scheme was suspended for three days.
Is More Transparency Coming?
The lack of detail in the annual reports is likely to bring about new legislation that aims to make Hawaii’s police officers more accountable for their actions.
Last year, Sen. Les Ihara introduced a bill that would have required the four county police departments to include more information about the nature of the misconduct beyond what is currently provided.
Ihara also wanted to clean up a technical detail so that the reports covered the entire calendar year. As it stands now the reports must be submitted to the Legislature no more than 20 days before the session starts, which sometimes leaves a couple week gap in the reporting period.
Sen. Will Espero, who chairs the Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee, is also looking at various measures to increase oversight of the state’s police forces. He is exploring the creation of a new statewide entity that would license officers, both at the county and state level, similar to the way doctors, lawyers and other professionals, such as elevator mechanics, are licensed in the state.
Espero has said this new program, which exists in all other states besides Hawaii, would add another layer of accountability for police. Most states that license police officers also have the ability to revoke those licenses if an officer gets into trouble for serious misconduct.
In addition to the proposals, Civil Beat has filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu and HPD over the release of disciplinary records for 12 officers who were suspended for serious misconduct, including criminal acts.
Currently, county police departments withhold that information, citing privacy concerns of the officers. But Civil Beat has argued that the information is public under the state’s public records law, the Uniform Information Practices Act.
Both the city and HPD have disagreed with that premise in court papers. They argue that information about the misconduct of suspended officers is not public and also would be considered an invasion of their privacy.
The state police union, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, is also intervening in the case. Attorneys for SHOPO have argued that they have a right to defend the individuals officers’ privacy interests because the city and HPD might not do it with the same veracity.
By: Chris Trenkmann
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A Wesley Chapel resident has taken it upon himself to record police and government vehicles speeding without flashing lights or sirens.
Using multiple cameras installed on his SUV, Eric Campbell said he is simply trying to call out the people who are supposed to be upholding the law, for not obeying the law.
Eric Campbell said it was a car crash that motivated him to install multiple cameras on his SUV after a lady changed her story to police about what really happened in the accident.
By having cameras facing every direction and recording constantly, there would be no mistaking what was going on around his vehicle.
It wasn't long before Campbell realized he was recording incidents of law enforcement cars speeding by his car without sirens or flashing lights. Campbell then posted those videos to Youtube, and filed complaints with local police agencies.
"I'm not out to get cops," Campbell said. "I'd just like to see the same rules apply to everybody."
Campbell uses a $300 device that records video and the speed he's traveling using GPS, as well as any police car he may be following.
In one case, he followed a vehicle that appeared to have no regard for the posted speed limits.
"I got up to about a hundred [mph}, at which point I didn't feel safe. I immediately slowed back down again," Campbell said. "And that was it. I had what I needed to make a submission."
His videos show alleged driving misconduct by a Tampa Police car, an unmarked Tampa Fire Rescue vehicle, a Pasco County Sheriff's cruiser, and a Hillsborough County Sheriff's car.
The Tampa officer was traveling 73 in a 55 mph zone, according to Campbell, while the Pasco Sheriff's deputy was speeding at 92 in a 55. Campbell said he clocked the Tampa Fire Rescue employee going 102 miles per hour in Pasco County, well outside that agency's jurisdiction.
"Once those enforcing the laws don't have to obey them, what point is there for the rest of us to obey them?" Campbell asked.
The Pasco County resident said it's useless to expect law enforcement to police themselves.
"There is this unwritten rule that they do not cite each other," Campbell said.
That's why he's taken it upon himself to publicize his videos in an effort to stop bad driving behavior by government employees.
So far, Tampa, Hillsborough, and Pasco officials declined comment about the alleged incidents, saying they are under ongoing investigation. No officers have been disciplined in connection to the videos.
Campbell is no stranger to challenging law enforcement. He filed a class action lawsuit in 2009 after he was ticketed by the Florida Highway Patrol for flashing his headlights to warn oncoming traffic about a speed trap. Campbell said that case was recently reinstated by the Florida Supreme Court after being dismissed by a lower court.
Campbell said he is not a vigilante, even though his Youtube videos have provoked reactions by both the general public and other law enforcement officers. He plans to continue trying to keep police and government officials honest.
"The law should be upheld by people who obey the law," Campbell said.
Posted by Kyle Stucker
A Salem police officer could face up to five years in prison for allegedly using a flashlight to beat and draw blood from a handcuffed high-speed chase suspect before intentionally stepped on one of the man's cuffed hands, according to the Eagle-Tribune.
Officer Joseph Freda, 33, of Salem, was arrested this week on two counts of misdemeanor simple assault months after he was placed on paid administrative leave due to a New Hampshire Attorney General's Office investigation into Freda's actions while arresting Thomas Templeton, 39, of York, Maine, on Oct. 6.
Freda is now on unpaid administrative leave.
The Eagle-Tribune has reported that several police reports pertaining to Templeton's arrest have been released. The reports describe a series of injuries to Templeton, as well as an exchange that featured Freda swearing at Templeton after Templeton accused Freda of hitting him.
"Yeah, I [expletive] hit you," reads the report filed by Salem Officer Robert Kirley.
The Nashua Telegraph has reported that Freda has been accused of excessive force before. In 2009, a Brookline resident claimed Freda, then a Brookline officer, used excessive force and charged her with a crime without cause following a traffic stop.
Senior Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Jane Young, the Salem incident's lead investigator, couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday about the case.
Salem police officials also couldn't be reached for comment, although the department has said in a release that it "does not tolerate excessive use of force from its Police Officers."