A woman filed a lawsuit Friday against the city, claiming a Chicago Police officer who arrested her last June went through her iPhone and forwarded sexual photos of her to his own phone without her consent.
Lemia Britt filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming the officer invaded her privacy and violated her constitutional rights when he searched her phone after arresting her for violating an order of protection June 25, 2013.
The officer and the City of Chicago are named as defendants in the suit.
According to the suit, Britt’s purse and iPhone were not inventoried as evidence of any kind while she was being held at the Wentworth District police station, and the officer didn’t have any reason to believe the phone contained any evidence related to the violation of an order of protection.
The officer told Britt he was keeping her purse and phone safe for her, according to the suit.
The photos the officer allegedly forwarded to is personal phone were in a password-protected file on Britt’s iPhone, and they were “of a private and sensitive nature in that they were sexual photos of [Britt],” according to the suit.
The suit claims the officer violated the Illinois Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches, seizures or invasions of privacy.
It also claims the officer violated Britt’s constitutional right to equal protection based on sex when he “seized her photos for his own personal use because she was a female and the photos were of a sexual nature.”
The five-count suit also holds the city responsible for the officer’s actions and seeks an unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages.
A spokesperson for the city’s law department could not immediately provide comment on the suit Friday night.
MICHAELLE BOND, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An off-duty police officer shot a man in the leg Saturday morning during a fight over dog feces left in the officer's yard, police said.
The man was treated at a hospital and released. The officer was treated at a hospital for cuts and bruises on his head and released.
Police did not name the two men but said the man who was shot would be charged with aggravated assault.
The officer was outside his home shortly before noon on the 6400 block of Oakley Street in Lawndale when he saw a dog defecate in his front yard, police said. He asked the dog's owner, a 39-year-old man from the 6400 block of Argyle Street, to clean up. After a verbal argument between the two, the dog owner left.
When the owner returned a few minutes later without his dog, the man and the officer got into a fight, during which the man punched the officer several times in the face and head, police said. The man pulled the officer's hooded sweatshirt over his head, leaving the officer bent over as he continued to hit him from behind, police said.
The officer then drew his Glock pistol from his hip holster and shot behind him, hitting the man in the right thigh. The man was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center. The officer was taken to Jeanes Hospital.
Internal Affairs will investigate the shooting and the District Attorney's Office will review it. The officer will be placed on administrative duty during the investigation.
Knight, an 11-month-old Labrador retriever mix, was shot by officers with the Palacios Police Department on Feb. 27. The owners say the dog was spooked by officers shooting at other animals in the backyard when he broke loose from a chain.
• Bianca Montes • A dog owner wants justice after her 11-month-old Labrador was shot, killed and left to die by an officer of the Palacios Police Department last week.
Returning from the Matagorda County Fair on Thursday night, Tiffany Garcia-Duran said she and her family were devastated to find one of their dogs was missing.
Knight wasn't an outside dog, she said. He was a puppy that typically slept indoors.
That night, however, Garcia-Duran, 29, said she left him chained and on his leash in the backyard with their other dogs.
Garcia-Duran said there's a bar in the alley behind her home, and she's had previous problems with people breaking into her yard.
"We've had stuff stolen from our backyard," she said. "We keep dogs back there to keep people out."
According to a Palacios Police Department report, officers responded to a call about a large, aggressive dog loose near Sixth and Main streets, about a block from Garcia-Duran's home.
A 37-year-old woman complained the dog was chasing her, according to the report. Garcia-Duran isn't buying the story. She said the passer-by was probably just startled by the barking.
"We've been called at least three different times about their dogs," Police Chief David Miles said, explaining he previously spoke to the family about its dogs being loose.
A leash law in Matagorda County states dogs must be leashed or fenced in such a way that they do not run free.
"When officers arrived, they were confronted by that dog," Miles said. "The officer fired three times."
Miles said officers couldn't find the dog after shooting it, and he was unable to confirm if they attempted to contact the family afterward.
"When we got home, he wasn't there," Garcia-Duran said. "I was screaming, looking for him, and our neighbors came out and said there were two officers in our property, and they heard gunshots."
She was shocked.
"I called the police," she said. "I called them when I thought Knight was missing, and they said nothing."
The police department does not have a policy to notify an owner if officers shoot his or her dog, Miles said, but it does try to notify owners as a courtesy.
He said he's unaware whether animal control was called to assist with the incident.
Animal control officials could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
"Our policy is to use the least amount of force necessary," Miles said. "The officer tried to avoid the situation by using a nonlethal amount of pepper spray."
Unfortunately, he said, it wasn't enough "to control the dog."
Garcia-Duran said she later found an unspent bullet near her back door, leading her to believe officers shot at her dogs in the backyard. Knight, she said, was probably spooked and broke away from his leash. She believes he was running from the officers, not toward them.
Garcia-Duran found Knight's remains the next day. He was still wearing his broken leash.
"It just breaks my heart because I feel guilty that I was not there for him," she said. "I've done my share of crying. I just think he needs justice. It wasn't fair, especially if he was running."
By Emily Previti | firstname.lastname@example.org
HARRISBURG — Suspended city police officer Jennie Jenkins claims her suspension over misspending charitable funds is retaliation, state officials confirmed Monday.
Jenkins “alleges she’s being harassed and was suspended in retaliation for opposing unlawful activity, which in this case is discrimination,” said state Human Relations Commission spokeswoman Shannon Powers.
Jenkins was suspended from the Harrisburg Police Department in Octoberamid allegations she'd misappropriated Police Athletic League funds. At the time, she was adamant about her innocence.
That was the last time she spoke publicly about the matter.
Her attorney didn't respond Monday to calls seeking comment.
The state commission began an investigation Jan. 23 in response to a complaint Jenkins filed Dec. 27, 2013, against the city.
She jointly filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Powers said.
About 40 percent of the commission’s cases are settled before investigations conclude or the complainant pursues civil action, she said, then declined further comment.
Powers and city paralegal Michael Brownsweiger declined to release the documents filed by Jenkins, citing the state Right-to-Know law’s exception for “grievance material, including documents related to discrimination or sexual harassment.”
Jenkins’ attorney didn’t return calls seeking comment Monday.
Harrisburg Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge 12 president Jason Brinker, a detective with the department, also didn’t return a call for comment Monday.
The state Attorney General's Office is investigating Jenkins' case on behalf of local police and Dauphin County Attorney General Edward Marsico Jr. because Marsico served alongside Jenkins on the PAL Board.
Recently retired police Capt. Annette Oates had stepped in as PAL director after Jenkins was suspended. It's unclear whether Oates will continue in the role.
By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer
By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager
By Jamie Oberg, News Reporter
CHILLICOTHE, MO (KCTV) –
A Chillicothe police officer already in trouble with the law now faces some serious allegations.
There are 9,000 people in Chillicothe served by a police department of 20. With only 15 of those on street patrols, the recent loss of four experienced officers has put a strain on staffing and raised eyebrows over the reasons behind the staff shortage.
"Any time you have people leave who have 10 years, 15 years, 20 years in the department," said City Administrator Ike Holland, "you lose that history and experience, so it impacts the department."
The Livingston County Prosecutor's Office has charged Brent Allen Schade with first-degree forcible rape and first-degree forcible sodomy.
His 20-year-old girlfriend, Amanda Nicole Gault, was charged with forcible sodomy. She was taken into custody on Thursday.
Schade was placed on unpaid leave in January after he was issued misdemeanor citations for hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence.
The Chillicothe Police Department said they began investigating after receiving a report that a 20-year-old had been physically assaulted.The victim went to the hospital for treatment.
Authorities said the attack occurred starting March 3 and continued into the early morning hours of March 4 at a residence in the 300 block of Cherry Street.
The victim said she had gone to the residence and drank hard liquor and beer with the two suspects, according to court documents. She said at one point they slipped something that smelled and tasted like perfume. After that, she said, she lost control. She said at that point is when they sexually assaulted her, prosecutors say.
A 16-year-old boy was passed out at the home and the woman tried to get his help to no avail, according to court records. The woman said she tried to call 911 but that Gault slapped the phone from her hands.
According to court records, the woman said the attack only ended when she vomited all over the bed and bedroom.
Schade and Gault are being held in the Daviess Dekalb County Regional Jail. Their bond is set at $50,000 each and they were ordered not to have any contact with the victim.
Because Schade is a police officer, the Livingston Prosecutor Adam Warren handed the case over to Caldwell County Prosecutor Brady Kopek.
"It leaves a mark on law enforcement. If law enforcement is cut, we all bleed," Warren said. "My belief is I would be harder on him."
But he said some members of the public might wonder whether he would be too lenient. He said it was best for him to withdraw from the case.
Warren will handle the prosecution of Gault.
PHILADELPHIA - March 6, 2014 (WPVI) -- A retired Philadelphia mounted police officer has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Police say 75-year-old Walter Sasse of Roxborough had a 2 ½ year sexual relationship with the girl beginning when she was 15. She is 17 now.
The teenager recently told a friend and her parents about the alleged relationship, and they contacted
The victim rode horses at the Courtesy Stables at 901 Cathedral Road in Andorra where Sasse worked. Eventually, she also started working at the stables and that's when the sexual contact began, according to investigators.
Sasse retired from the force in 1991 after 20 years with the department. His last assignment was with the Philadelphia Police Department's mounted patrol unit.
He was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual assault and related crimes. Bail was set at $50,000. He posted 10 percent and was released. His next court date is March 25th in Family Court.
BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut — A judge has ordered a Trumbull police officer charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl to stay in Connecticut after new information in the case was discovered.
Assistant State's Attorney Tatiana Messina would not comment on the new information, but urged state Superior Court Judge Earl Richards to order the restriction over the objections of William Ruscoe's lawyer.
The Connecticut Post (http://bit.ly/1igOYOi ) reports that the defense attorney says Ruscoe "denies the allegations."
Authorities say the 44-year-old Ruscoe began texting the 17-year-old girl last March that he wanted to have a sexual relationship with her and then texted her naked photographs of himself and his wife. He allegedly sexually assaulted her at his home. They met at a police cadet program for high school students.
By Mikaela K. Reynolds
DOVER — The two Farmington officers indicted on assault charges last month waived their arraignments in Strafford County Superior Court on Thursday.
Sgt. Michael McNeil, Jr., 34, of Rochester, and Officer Gregory Gough, 24, of Dover, were each indicted on a single simple assault charge for an incident in which the pair allegedly assaulted a man in handcuffs in Milton last summer.
According to the indictments, McNeil grabbed Randy Gray by the neck with his left hand and exerted enough force to pull Gray's body from a standing position, while Gough allegedly grabbed Gray's arms and torso and spun his body during the assault.
The pair was placed on administrative leave after their indictments were handed up by a grand jury on Feb. 20.
Both men are facing misdemeanor charges, which could result in up to one year in jail for each of them.
Chief Kevin Willey wrote in a press release, following the release of the indictments, that police are held to a higher standard of conduct due to the nature of their work.
“If officers violate those standards in any way, they will be, and expect to be, held accountable,” he wrote, adding, “at this time, the charges are just allegations and the officers involved are presumed innocent. We ask that members of the public reserve judgment until all facts are known.”
The incident that led to the assault allegations began last June in Farmington after McNeil, who was off duty at the time, pulled Gray over after witnessing a road rage incident in which he believed Gray was involved.
McNeil asked Gray if he had been drinking after allegedly smelling alcohol on his breath. According to the affidavit, that is when Gray drove off at a high rate of speed, striking McNeil in his left arm and leg with his driver's side door. Farmington police said McNeil was not seriously injured in the incident.
Gray told Foster's he fled the scene after he asked McNeil to show identification and McNeil refused.
Gray is still being prosecuted in connection with the incident and is scheduled for trial and jury selection the week of May 5.
According to Gray, about 20 minutes later McNeil, Gough, and two Milton officers arrived at his home on Middleton Road in Milton after tracking him down through his car license plate. He said McNeil came toward him yelling at him as Milton officers handcuffed him.
Gray claims McNeil grabbed him by the neck trying to force him to the ground and Gough stepped in to help.
According to Gray, Milton officers tried to the stop the incident, which he said only concluded when McNeil fell to the ground. Milton officers then escorted Gray to the back of a cruiser.
Gray told Foster's at the time of the indictments, “I was complying with everything they told me to do and not resisting in any way. There was no need for it.”
Gray said there is video footage of the event, but it is not currently available.
Assistant Grafton County Attorney Jack Bell reviewed the case after Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi determined it was best to have an outside attorney review the allegations. Velardi said the switch was necessary because McNeil is an active police officer and a witness in several cases, including the one against Gray.
The state now has 14 days to make an offer to the two men. Dispositional conferences will be scheduled for each of the men.
By Brian Byrne
Parma City Council has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle a police brutality lawsuit brought forth by the mother of a 16-year-old boy.
PARMA, Ohio -- City Council on Monday agreed to pay $40,000 to settle a police brutality lawsuit brought forth by the mother of a 16-year-old boy.
The suit accused officer James Manzo of unjustifiably striking the boy twice in the head while placing him in a cruiser following a traffic stop in November 2012.
Filed in November in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, the suit sought unspecified damages for the boy, claiming assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment and professional misconduct. It states he has suffered continued headaches as a result of the incident, and incurred substantial medical bills.
Council met in executive session to discuss the out-of-court settlement, and approved it on first-reading suspension of the rules, meaning it did not receive the required three separate reviews.
“I assume they were anxious to resolve this case because I think they realized patrolman Manzo was completely out of line with what he did,” the boy’s lawyer, Terry Gilbert, said Tuesday.
City spokesperson Jeannie Roberts said officials would not comment on the case because it remains open as the settlement is finalized.
According to the suit, the boy and two others had just been picked up by his father after visiting a friend when the van was pulled over by Manzo, who indicated the vehicle was stopped "because it was circling the block." The boy disputed the officer’s assertion, leading Manzo to open the van and say, “if you want to be a smart ass, come here."
As Manzo placed the boy in a cruiser following a pat down, “he produced a hard object, probably a flashlight, and struck (the boy) twice in the head without justification,” the suit reads. Manzo then left the boy bleeding in the cruiser while he radioed dispatch, allegedly falsely reporting the juvenile had bumped his head on the window.
“As a potential cover up to any wrong-doing, the blood from (the boy’s) head which got on (Manzo’s) patrol car was cleaned up before investigators had a chance to inspect and preserve the evidence. This evidence would have bearing on the veracity of the attack,” the suit states.
The boy was transported by EMS for treatment at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, where he was handcuffed to a bed, according to the suit. He ultimately received stitches and staples to seal a facial contusion.
“I think the citizens of Parma should be concerned that they have a cop that has a license to go around and beat minors up like that without suffering consequences,” Gilbert said. “This was not just an accident, it was an intentional, deliberate act against a defenseless minor. There’s just no excuse for it. If anyone else did something like this, they would be hauled off and be charged and have to answer to a felony.”
A police report for the incident was not immediately available.
City Law Director Tim Dobeck said Tuesday the boy has unspecified charges pending against him in juvenile court.
This is the second allegation of police brutality the city has faced in recent months. In October, Independence resident William Zaccardelli, 50, filed a federal lawsuit against 15 Parma and North Royalton officers, claiming he suffered a fractured skull as a result of excessive force following an early-morning pursuit across those cities in November 2012. Zaccardelli was later convicted of refusing to submit to OVI testing in connection to the chase.
BY AMY RADIL
Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey's recent discipline reversals are coming under scrutiny from the police auditor and Seattle City Council.
Seattle officials plan to seek changes to the obscure union appeals process that has allowed reversals of police misconduct findings.
The Seattle Police Department has been under scrutiny in recent years from the Department of Justice, the federal court and numerous civilian-led groups, all of which have analyzed SPD’s disciplinary process.
But it took a confrontation between Seattle journalist Dominic Holden and SPD Officer John Marion to put the spotlight on the ability of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild (SPOG) to appeal disciplinary findings after the cases are technically closed.
The appeals process came under new scrutiny when Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey notified city officials that he was reversing the findings in Marion’s case and several others, as a result of settlements with the union. Bailey ended up reinstating the misconduct finding for Marion, but the disclosure left city officials with many more questions.
City Councilmember Nick Licata has worked to improve the transparency of SPD’s process for investigating police misconduct. But he said this incident revealed what he called a “twilight zone” within that process.
“The thing that surprised me the most was how few people understood what was happening,” Licata said. “I had to sit down with some of the mayor’s staff and explain step by step what I was discovering and they were themselves discovering it for the first time. It really was in some ways like a puzzle.”
At a recent City Council meeting, outgoing SPOG President Rich O’Neill said the City Council and others outside SPD had no right to interfere with Chief Bailey’s determinations. O’Neill also said the original case between Holden and Officer Marion should have been sent to mediation “so the officer and the complainant could sit down like adults and explain their positions instead of grandstanding in the media.”
Looking For Other Cases
This appeals process can add several months to a misconduct case. The auditor for SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability, Anne Levinson, has urged SPD to resolve cases more quickly. The fact that these appeals drag on for months “undermines accountability,” she said in her most recent report.
She also said these reversals based on union appeals could corrode public trust. She’s seeking the data on how many other cases were reversed in the last few years. SPD has requested an extension until March 17 to supply it.
Licata said this data could form the basis for new legislation and upcoming contract negotiations. “We need to take a look at the current legislation and amend it – because it’s already part of the code – to make it much more transparent so we know when they are negotiating away the misconduct findings. And we preferably need to tighten up the appeal process,” he said.
Hamper The Search For Chief?
The search for Seattle’s next chief of police is officially underway. The job was posted Thursday and the deadline for applications is April 4.
O’Neill said the appeals system review could impede the hiring process. “I fear that the events of the last few days will hamper our search for a permanent chief of police. Who in their right mind will want to apply for the job if they have to check with eight different people and check the political winds before making a decision on an administrative issue?”
By Lina Chappelle
It’s one thing to get a ticket for jaywalking, but it’s another to get arrested for sitting at a bus stop.
The latest case of questionable police behavior: the arrest of 25-year-old Abie Kyle Ikhinmwin, a University of Texas at San Antonio student, who was confronted and accused of committing a traffic vio lation while at a bus stop near a shopping center. The criminal justice student questioned the officer in return and was told she was gong to jail before being dragged by her hair into the back of a police car. Luckily the confrontation was all on film.
“I’ve never been so dehumanized in my life,” Ikhimwin said.
Police-on-civilian violence goes well beyond just minor and unjustified arrests.
There was the recent murder of 18-year-old Keith Vidal, who suffered from schizophrenia. When cops arrived after his family called in seek help to subdue the teen, they shot and killed him. One cop is reported to have said “we don’t have time for this” before shooting the boy.
There was the death of Florida A&M football player, Jonathan Ferrell. After having a car accident, Ferrell went to seek help at a nearby home. The woman there, mistaking his need for help as a burglary attempt, called the cops. When they arrived, Ferrell ran to them for help and in exchange got shot ten times. A second grand jury has indicted the officer that killed Ferrell and if found guilty of voluntary manslaughter he could face up to eleven years in prison.
Don’t forget about 70-year-old veteran Bobby Canipe, who police shot when he was just reaching for his cane. Or the brutal mistreatment of Charda Gregory, whose hair was cut off while she was handcuffed. A list, provided by the CATO Institute’s Police Misconduct, goes on and on, but where does it end?
A very large part of the problem is that there are no national standards for police conduct and the result, as Tony Dokoupil with NBC News explained, is “wildly inconsistent results” spewed by the court systems. Of the 17,000 police precincts in our nation, every single one has different procedures. After much research, Dokoupil found that the rate of police shootings is steadily increasing through cities in America.
The report reads:
“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.”
And while some of the cases mentioned above get properly tried, many cases that involve police misconduct are not even addressed.
A study done by William Terrill, criminal justice professor at Michigan State University, found that of 600 police departments examined, there was not one standard policy for handling civilian resistance. Basically, police departments are making up procedures as they go, but that leaves room for major injustices.
“Excess is in the eyes of the beholder,” Terrill wrote. “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,” he added, “the same resistance means I can pull you through the car window, I can tase you.”
BY BRETT POUSER
The Atlantic City Police Department was ordered by a U.S. District judge in December to hand over all internal affairs reports regarding a 2010 excessive force lawsuit in order to determine if the city has been “deliberately indifferent to the violent propensities of its officers,” said Judge Joel Schneider in a mycentraljersey.com article.
This investigation is indicative of a larger trend in New Jersey; complaints of brutality are routinely ignored or the offending officers are almost always exonerated. In fact, just one percent of all excessive force complaints made in central New Jersey are actually acted upon, even when many of the officers involved have previous complaints made against them numbering in the dozens, reported thinkprogress.org.
The number of police misconduct complaints sustained in New Jersey is seven percent lower than the national average.
Here are three potential reasons:
1. FLAWS IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS PROCEDURES
Internal affairs units serve as a buffer between officers and lawsuits, insulating them from accountability. Recently, this has become a hot button issue with several high-profile police brutality cases making their way to federal court.
The concern is that internal affairs, responsible for investigating excessive force and misconduct complaints, has a bias towards protecting the actions of abusive officers. This is what led the ACLU to draft a petition against the city of Newark in 2010, accusing it of widespread misconduct in its handling of internal affairs, according to nj.com. A year after the ACLU’s petition, the city’s police department was placed under a federal watchdog monitor, a first in the state’s history.
2. CULTURE OF BRUTALITY AND CORRUPTION
The ACLU has accused the Newark Police Department of fostering a culture of brutality among its officers so “widespread and grave that they warrant outside Federal intervention,” said ACLU Executive Director Udi Ofer in an nj.com article. The ineffectiveness of internal affairs units to sustain brutality complaints could be the result of this violent streak present in police departments across the state.
And this violent propensity is seen at all levels. Corruption charges have been levied at leading police officials across the state, according to a northjersey.com article. In March Anthony Ferraioli, former Hackensack PBA president, along with another officer plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault of a Hackensack resident during questioning in 2011.
3. ILLEGITIMATE CLAIMS
Complaints revolving around the poor performance of internal affairs units have been met with opposition by police officials. Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy in 2010 insisted that the numbers don’t prove anything, arguing in an nj.com article that “drug dealers make allegations against police officers everyday to stop them from doing their job.” But although it is theoretically possible that the low numbers are due illegitimate complaints, executive-director of the ACLU New Jersey at the time, Deborah Jacobs, fired back at McCarthy saying “you’re going to tell me 200 people made internal affairs complaints and the majority made it up? That doesn’t make sense.”
The discrepancy between national and state figures indicates a real problem with how New Jersey Police deal with complaints of excessive force. Whether this is due to illegitimate claims of police brutality or because of problems with internal affairs procedures and a culture of brutality and corruption has yet to be determined.
RACINE — A team from the American Civil Liberties Union will hold a free training session on Thursday about what residents should do when they… Read more
RACINE — Although one turns to authorities for assistance with racial profiling and misconduct, fighting a police officer at the moment of misconduct is the worst approach.
This is according to Emilio De Torre, Youth and Program Director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, who gives frequent training sessions around southeast Wisconsin on how residents should conduct themselves in contact with police and what their rights are.
While residents have a right to not give consent to officers without a warrant to search their cars or homes, he said it is unwise to stand in the way of officers who go through with a search anyway.
“Verbally, respectfully assert your right, and then let whatever transpires transpire, because any other altercation is going to be very bad, but not for the police officer,” he said.
He spoke to several dozen residents on Thursday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1134 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, in a training session on the rights of residents and powers of police, particularly during traffic stops.
The session — scheduled to last 90 minutes — went well more than two hours as attendees asked questions and voiced frustrations about their experiences with police, even to two members of the Racine Police Department, Sgt. Jessie Metoyer and Lt. Aldred Days, who attended the meeting.
“There always is criticism,” said Metoyer after the session. “As supervisors we need to know when people feel that their rights have been violated.”
The session was hosted by North/South Outreach, which was founded to offer community events and stop youth from getting involved in gangs and crime, according to founder Tyrell Davis.
“Everything is for the community that I polluted and destroyed once upon a time,” he said, recalling crimes he committed.
Davis asked the ACLU to host this session due to recent incidents of racial profiling he said he has experienced and heard about.
“There’s a lot of racial profiling going on in my neighborhood and I know it’s not just around here, around the north side area, it’s everywhere in the inner city,” he explained. “I chose to be part of the solution and find someone who can give the correct information to educate everybody else.”
Acknowledging that there is little a person can do if they feel they have been profiled or mistreated as the incident is unfolding, De Torre explained that every officer is accountable to a superior and the recourse is to file a complaint with the department.
He said if every person alleging police misconduct files a complaint with the Police Department, those complaints will go to superiors and stack up.
If that fails, he said, the community should band together and refer the issue to the media, the Department of Justice, the FBI and higher until the issue is resolved.
“If the police are not giving you quality policing, if everybody else in the community gets it but not Latinos, or not black folks, or not white folks, then you have a right to complain,” De Torre said.
Metoyer noted the importance of residents and police knowing their rights and how to conduct themselves during traffic stops and urged residents to find complaint forms in English and Spanish on the department’s website.
By George Brennan
SANDWICH — Sandwich Police Chief Peter Wack released the results of two internal investigations this week: One concludes a police officer lied about his military ranking and another finds that a police officer violated department rules in an alleged drunken driving crash.
The internal investigations were released Wednesday in response to a public records request by the Times and center on the conduct of three officers — Timothy Kane, Daniel Perkins and John Manley.
Kane, who is suing the town in federal court and filed a similar complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, never told the town he had been promoted during his six-month deployment in the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 2011 and, ultimately, was overpaid by $2,400 by the police department, the internal affairs investigation concludes.
The town pays members of the military differential pay while they are deployed, making up the gap between their federal salary and what they would have earned from the town.
The investigation concluded Kane violated the department's policy on truthfulness as well as a town policy that makes employees responsible for telling supervisors about any change in military rank that would affect pay.
The department's investigation did not sustain allegations that Kane committed a criminal act of larceny and cited a separate investigation by the Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe's office, which declined to press charges against him.
"Patrolman Kane denies any wrongdoing and we look forward to trying our case in federal district court where we'll have an opportunity to present all the evidence and let a jury decide," his attorney Joe Napiltonia said Thursday.
Kane has since paid back the money, records show. In the report, Kane denied there was an intent to deceive, saying members of the department knew he had been promoted to master sergeant.
"I did not try to defraud, it was an oversight on my part," Kane told the investigator, according to the report.
In his lawsuit, Kane alleges he was passed over for promotion because of his military service.
Sgt. Josh Bound, who got the job even though Kane scored higher on the civil service exam, conducted the internal investigation.
Last week, the town's attorney, Bradford Louison, called it "ludicrous" to think the town would discriminate against Kane for serving in the military. At least two other department members have been promoted after being deployed, Louison said.
In the internal investigation, Kane acknowledged that he initially told Lt. Michael Nurse that his military rank had changed at the end of his deployment, instead of one month into it as military records show. Kane told the investigator he was "distracted" because he was in a police supply store making a purchase at the time of Nurse's inquiry, the investigative report shows.
"...I confronted him with that (military record), that's when he got confused and distracted, that's when he started to stumble, so I think he intended to lie," Nurse said, according to the report.
Wack said in an email Thursday the department cannot release the discipline Kane received because he did not sign a waiver allowing the town to release it.
The second internal investigation pertains to an off-duty crash in November involving Officer Daniel Perkins. Wack determined there was no longer a need to withhold the public record as O'Keefe's office had requested because the Mashpee police report was released as part of the public court record.
Like the police report, the internal investigation says Perkins, fellow officer John Manley and a third man were coming from Zachary's Pub, a strip club in Mashpee, in separate pickup trucks when Perkins lost control of his vehicle on Nov. 30 and crashed on Route 130 near the Sandwich town line.
Perkins was injured in the crash and taken to Cape Cod Hospital, records show. His blood work, subpoenaed by Mashpee police, shows he had a blood alcohol level of 0.22, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08, records show.
Perkins pleaded not guilty to a charge of operating under the influence of alcohol last month in Falmouth District Court. He is due back in court March 27.
Perkins refused to be interviewed for the department investigation, records show. The investigation concluded he engaged in criminal conduct, conduct unbecoming an employee, failure to report for duty and absence from duty. He was suspended for 60 days and served part of that working for the department without getting paid, Wack said.
The internal probe provides the first insight into Manley's actions that night. Manley and another unidentified man, who is not a police employee, took Perkins out to cheer him up — starting at the British Beer Co. in Sandwich and ending at Zachary's, according to the report.
Manley said he lost track of Perkins during the two hours they were at Zachary's and is unsure what Perkins had to drink, records show. He asked Perkins if he needed a ride before they left Zachary's but did not believe his colleague was impaired, records show.
When he came upon Perkins' vehicle flipped on its side, Manley and the unidentified male got out of their truck, checked on Perkins' condition, found that his injuries were not "life threatening" and asked a woman at the scene if she had called police, records show.
"I left the accident. It was a panic response," Manley, who admitted to having five or six draft beers that night, reportedly told the investigator. In a follow-up interview, Manley, a two-year veteran with the department, said, "I was scared of the repercussions with the department."
Manley told the investigator he called Perkins at home the next day to check on his condition, according to the report. He was suspended for three days for conduct unbecoming an employee and neglect of duty.
Attempts to reach Perkins and Manley on Thursday were unsuccessful.
By VÍCTOR MANUEL RAMOS
Four Latino men who are among those claiming they were victims of discriminatory traffic stops by a Suffolk police officer said Thursday night that the sergeant arrested in the case is the man who took cash from their pockets, wallets or vehicles.
The men, gathered at a house in Coram, looked at photographs of Sgt. Scott A. Greene taken before his appearance Thursday in First District Court in Central Islip and said he is the same officer they had learned to avoid.
"I just felt powerless when this happened, because what could I do if he was a policeman," said a 35-year-old Mexican immigrant, who said the officer took a $100 bill from his wallet during a traffic stop about two years ago.
"Police are supposed to be there to serve, protect and help people, not to harass them."
The other three men also said Greene took cash from them after traffic stops during the last three years.
All asked that their names be withheld, out of fear of reprisal.
The four said they have spoken to investigators with the Suffolk County district attorney's office.
Greene, 50, who was arrested during a sting operation on Jan. 31, has pleaded not guilty to charges of official misconduct and petty larceny.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has said he took a $100 bill from a car driven by an undercover Latino officer.
Thursday's court appearance was Greene's first since his arraignment immediately following his January arrest.
The 25-year veteran of the force, a Shirley resident, has been free on bail.
He declined reporters' requests for comment.
Immigrant advocates have told Newsday that they know of at least 13 Latino men who have come forward to say that a Suffolk County police officer stopped their vehicles, frisked them and took cash.
In court, Assistant District Attorney Melissa Bliss told Judge Derrick J. Robinson that "more charges are coming" and the investigation is ongoing.
Robinson set Greene's next court date for April 23.
Greene, his face somber, sat in the courtroom's first row, looking straight ahead.
After the brief proceeding, he walked silently, holding the hand of the woman beside him, as he made his way out of the courtroom.
"I can't disclose anything right now," he told Newsday before the court session.
Greene's attorney declined to comment.
Irma Solis, an advocate with the community group Make The Road New York, said Thursday night that the immigrants' complaints, to this point, have centered on one officer.
The men said they also are concerned about repeated police stops that led to thousands of dollars in fines.
The Mexican immigrant interviewed Thursday night, for example, said he now carries two wallets -- one for his IDs, and another with money, which he hides.
"They are waiting to see what the results of the DA's investigation reveals," Solis said.
"We are hoping they conduct a thorough investigation . . . to bring some level of security among the Latino population."
The advocates said the case exemplifies the kind of abuses they want to see eliminated from the department following a December settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The settlement, which set a plan for reforms, stemmed from allegations of discriminatory policing after the 2008 killing of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in a hate crime.In the sting operation, Spota said that Greene pulled over the vehicle and ordered the driver out. Moments later, the uniformed patrol officer was caught on video taking the money from an envelope on the passenger seat, then folding the bill and stuffing it in his left sleeve.
During the stop, Greene ordered the driver to stand behind his car, Spota said. Authorities didn't say what reason Greene gave, if any, for stopping the vehicle.
A video camera hidden inside the undercover vehicle caught Greene removing the $100 bill from an envelope filled with $1,200 in marked bills, the district attorney's office said.
Authorities and advocates have said they believe Latino drivers were singled out because some may be immigrants living in the country illegally who are reluctant to complain.