The annual Fairfax County Police
“I thought he had a gun award”
Proceeds from the “I thought he had a gun award” will pay for training on how not to laugh in court when saying “I thought he had a gun award”
Contribution: $100 sent in small amounts over a period of six months from out of state bank accounts to our finance chair Sharon Bulova.
May 1 2014
At the Tysons Corner Mayflower Hotel
8080 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner Va.
Park wherever you want, don’t worry we’re the law!
Or have Morrough park it for you. After all, he’s our bitch
By David Komer
DETROIT — A Taylor police officer charged with misuse of a statewide law enforcement computer network is headed to trial.
Michael Calabrese, 42, has a jury trial scheduled to begin April 7 before Judge Daniel Hathaway in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Calabrese, accused of 11 counts of misusing the Law Enforcement Information Network, has maintained his innocence throughout and had a not guilty plea entered.
Calabrese’s final conference was held Feb. 28, where a plea bargain could have been chosen.
The 13-year veteran of the department has been suspended without pay.
At a preliminary examination of the evidence against him, held in 24th District Court in December, two witnesses came forward to testify that Calabrese looked up their driving records and license information for personal reasons unrelated to any cases.
Calabrese is accused of:
•Five counts of using LEIN information for unauthorized disclosure.
•Two counts of motor vehicle code false certification.
•Two counts of using a computer to commit a crime.
•Two counts of common law offenses, or abuse of office.
LEIN is a computerized criminal information filing system of numerous state databases that include criminal histories, Michigan Secretary of State records, driving records and information that would appear on a driver’s license. Searches can be conducted using a license plate, license number or a name.
By Dominic Kelly,
Police in Crowley, Louisiana have launched an internal investigation after an officer shot a homeowner’s dog while responding to a reported burglary on that property.
The incident occurred late Thursday night after the homeowner thought she heard glass breaking in another room and decided to call the police. She reported a possible burglary and said she was locking herself in her bedroom until authorities arrived. While on the phone with the dispatcher, the woman informed them that her dog was outside in the yard but that it was friendly and wouldn’t be aggressive.
The woman was still on the phone with the dispatcher when, all of a sudden, she heard a gunshot. The emergency dispatcher told her that it was safe to go outside to meet the officers, and it was then she saw that her beloved three-year-old chocolate lab Max had been shot behind its ear.
The officer who shot Max claims that the dog was barking and being aggressive towards him, but a neighbor who witnessed the incident says that’s not what happened at all. According to the neighbor’s account, the dog did bark, but it didn’t try to move towards the officer at all. Max was shot behind its left ear with the bullet going through its neck. Fortunately, Max is expected to make a full recovery.
Now, Crowley Police Department is starting a full investigation into the incident, as is required by policy if an officer fires their weapon. Police do say that there was no sign of any burglary or forced entry at the residence.
The Facebook page “Dogs Shot By Cops” recently posted about the story, and many users expressed outrage over what the officer did.
“If the dog was shot behind the ear how could he have been lunging at the officer,” questioned one user. “Lets see if the police investigator can make the correlation that for the bullet to enter behind the ear the cop would have had been behind the dog. I guess the traits of honesty and integrity are not prevalent within the law enforcement community.”
Police have not yet released any updates on the progress of their investigation, and it’s not clear if the homeowner will press charges.
By Kelly Roberts
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Lafayette police officer responsible for Saturday’s crash with a sheriff deputy’s car will see disciplinary action.
Police Chief Patrick Flannelly said he does not comment on disciplinary action unless it reaches the extent that an officer is suspended for five or more days.
A review board made up of Officer Ian O’Shields’ supervisors reviewed the facts of the wreck and recommended disciplinary action for Flannelly. Flannelly signed off on the recommendation.
He said O’Shields takes full responsibility for the crash, which occurred after he ran a red light. Flannelly said he will review the findings and see what lessons can be learned.
“We constantly look for ways to improve the set-up in the cars, [and] our training regimen for officers in the future, if there are lessons learned, we can take [from it],” said Flannelly.
The investigation is now complete.
It is still not known what repairs will be made to the cars. Total damages for both vehicles combined are estimated between $10,000 and $25,000.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 43-year-old suspended New Orleans Police officer accused of sexually assaulting three teenagers dating back to the 1990s broke into tears as prosecutors sought to again push back his trial date.
"This game gotta stop, man!" said a tearful Desmond Pratt as he sat Tuesday in a jury box in shackles and jail scrubs.
According to his attorney, Robert Jenkins, Pratt had just rejected a deal from Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office to plead guilty in the case — a deal offered on the morning the former homicide detective was scheduled for trial on allegations that he molested three teenagers.
The New Orleans Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1kMA86Y) the most recent of the alleged incidents — a sexual battery — took place a year ago. He's been in custody for 11 months for the alleged molestations. He also faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and carnal knowledge of a juvenile from earlier alleged incidents.
Prosecutor Jason Napoli told Criminal District Judge Franz Zibilich that authorities were getting no help from the mother of the purported victim in the most recent incident, and that the mother has "consistently stifled our ability to prepare for trial."
Zibilich granted a request to subpoena the girl through her mother, who was in the courtroom. She later spoke privately with Cannizzaro outside the courtroom, then with a group of Pratt's supporters, leaving unclear whether she continues to press for Pratt's prosecution. She declined to speak to a reporter.
Zibilich put off the trial until April 1 and ordered Jenkins to submit an argument by Monday on whether, and under what circumstances, a videotaped statement from the girl could be used at a trial.
Pratt has been in jail since April. Zibilich reduced his bond in November from $500,000 to $400,000 but refused to lower it further despite at least two trial delays. The judge said there appeared to be no new evidence that warranted a bond reduction.
During Tuesday's court appearance, Zibilich turned to Pratt and urged him to consider agreeing to a deal. He noted that the most serious allegation could bring a sentence as high as 20 years if Pratt is convicted.
"I'm not going to say there's a reverse presumption (of guilt)," Zibilich said, but "some jurors come in and say, 'Why would this little girl lie?' 'Why are these women lying?' "
He told Pratt, "You're at risk here."
Before his arrest, Pratt worked in the Sixth District. Prior to that, as a homicide detective, he was a key figure in the investigation of crimes now pinned on alleged drug lord Telly Hankton, who is serving a life prison sentence for his conviction in a 2008 murder.
How Pratt's legal troubles might affect that case is unclear.
Jenkins declined outside the courtroom to specify the plea deal offered by prosecutors. Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for Cannizzaro's office, also declined to elaborate, citing a policy against commenting on open cases.
LUDLOW, Mass. (AP) — A high-ranking Ludlow police officer charged with stealing drugs from the department’s evidence locker has been suspended without pay.
Lt. Thomas Foye had been suspended with pay since his arrest in August, but because he was indicted by a grand jury last week, the town’s Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend him without pay.
According to court documents, video surveillance captured the 49-year-old Foye entering the locked narcotics locker at the police station, where he appears to handle and open evidence bags. He is charged with tampering with evidence, theft of drugs from a dispensary and cocaine possession.
In a brief statement at Tuesday’s board meeting, the 25-year veteran thanked the board and said he “went into surgery a hero and came out a drug addict
MENSAH M. DEAN,
RICHARD DeCoatsworth was once called a hero cop after surviving a shotgun blast to the face. Now the disgraced ex-cop is more like a drama king - one who really annoyed Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich yesterday.
Rather than plead guilty to promoting prostitution and related counts - as was expected - the jailed DeCoatsworth instead accused a city prosecutor of spewing lies about him, attempted to justify ignoring Ehrlich's order to submit to a presentencing mental-health exam and apparently decided to withdraw his guilty plea after all.
DeCoatsworth, 28, in a blue business suit, his bullet-scarred lower face covered by a thick growth of beard, stood and claimed that Assistant District Attorney Ashley Lynam had told "lie after lie after lie" about him. He said he refused to take the mental-health exam because his lawyer had been barred from being with him.
But Ehrlich said that that was not true, and that arrangements had been made for DeCoatsworth's lawyer to attend the testing session earlier this week.
The judge scolded DeCoatsworth for defying the court order, telling the defendant the test would help him make "the most appropriate and hopefully thoughtful decision in this case" during the sentencing hearing.
Ehrlich said he believed DeCoatsworth's real reason for refusing to take the exam was because he already decided to withdraw his guilty plea and was concerned that the exam findings would be used against him at trial. The judge schooled DeCoatsworth that the exam could be used only for sentencing purposes.
"Defendants don't determine which exams are done," Ehrlich said. "Judges determine that."
At the request of defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto, Ehrlich scheduled April 1 as DeCoatsworth's next court date. The defendant at that time must tell the judge if he will take the guilty plea and admit to pimping, simple assault and a drug charge, or if he will go to trial on dozens of charges tied to a May arrest involving his girlfriend and two prostitutes.
In jail since his arrest, DeCoatsworth became addicted to pain medication and then heroin after being shot as a rookie cop in 2007.
Peruto told reporters that he believes DeCoatsworth will go to trial, despite having been offered a "sweetheart deal" that could have allowed him to be released from jail immediately under state sentencing guidelines.
"He wants his day in court, I'm positive of it," Peruto said. "He doesn't want to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit."
Before the hearing, Lynam said that if DeCoatsworth pleaded guilty, she would ask Ehrlich to sentence him to six to 12 years in state prison and five years of probation afterward.
DeCoatsworth retired from the police force in 2011 after a five-year career that included his being named as a defendant in a series of civil-rights lawsuits. The city paid out more than $1.5 million to settle the suits.
A TEMPLE University photojournalism student and his girlfriend are suing two Philadelphia police officers who they say wrongly arrested them in 2012 while he was photographing a neighbor's arrest in Point Breeze.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Common Pleas Court by Ian Van Kuyk and Meghan Feighan, seeks compensatory and punitive damages for assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. The defendants are Officers Samuel Allen and Santos Higgins.
Van Kuyk, 26, made national headlines after his March 2012 arrest on charges of obstructing justice, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct - an arrest that he said resulted from his refusal to stop snapping photos of Allen and Higgins making a traffic stop outside his home on 17th Street near Dickinson. Feighan, 24, also was charged with obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct.
In November 2012, Municipal Judge Felice Stack found Van Kuyk and Feighan not guilty of all charges.
The arrest raised doubts about whether cops were following Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey's 2011 memo advising that civilians are allowed to record or photograph officers in public spaces. The memo followed a September 2011 Daily News story about wrongful arrests of civilians using cellphones to record arrests.
"The police, we don't think, should view someone who is photographing or videotaping their activity as an adversary," said Mark Tanner, an attorney representing the couple in the lawsuit. "If you're a public servant and you're doing your job and doing it well, then video evidence or photographic evidence can only help you."
In November 2012, Ramsey issued a directive about the public's right to record officers as long as they are not interfering with the officer's safety or ability to conduct official duties.
"All officers have been informed of this policy via roll call and other training methods, and each officer has been provided a copy of the policy," said Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman. "We haven't seen any recent issues regarding this policy, but if we are informed of any issues then we will address those issues properly."
Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said some cops are not complying with the directive. The ACLU is suing the city in federal court for allegedly arresting people in retaliation for observing or photographing officers performing their duties.
In January, a police officer ordered a Daily News reporter to stop photographing an arrest outside a jewelry store at 8th and Chestnut streets. When asked for an explanation, the officer said that it was "police business" and that photos weren't allowed.
"We get those complaints," Roper said. "The department, I think, is slow to realize that just because they write something down doesn't mean all of the officers follow it."
Sometimes a camera is the only thing between an innocent person and a jail cell.
In Bloomfield, N.J., recently released police dashboard-camera footage helped exonerate Marcus Jeter, 30, a disc jockey who faced several years in prison for allegedly assaulting an officer and eluding police in 2012.
The footage raises serious doubts about the officers' accounts of the arrest.
After seeing video of the stop, which showed officers hitting Jeter, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. Two Bloomfield officers were indicted last month on misconduct and conspiracy charges.
SAM WOOD, PHILLY.COM
A Philadelphia police officer was suspended with intent to dismiss after being charged with false imprisonment and other counts in a 2013 arrest of an Operation Iraqi Freedom war veteran who had pointed out the officer was driving the wrong direction on a one-way street.
The vet, who served in the U.S. Air Force, has filed a $1 million suit against the city claiming unlawful search and seizure, assault and battery, and multiple violations of Constitutional rights.
The officer, Kevin Corcoran, has been named in other federal suits alleging police brutality.
Corcoran, 33, was on duty about 2 a.m. last Marchg 31 when he encountered a group of people at 13th and Lombard Streets. A man in the group “commented that P/O Corcoran had made an illegal turn,” according to a statement from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office.
Corcoran came closer to the group in his cruiser, got out and yelled at them, prompting several in the party to pull out their cell phones and record the encounter, the D.A.'s office said.
Corcoran, a 9-year veteran of the force, slapped one of the cell phones out of a person’s hand, stating “Don’t f##?!g touch me,” according to the D.A.’s office.
Corcoran pressed on, approaching the man who backed up with his hands up, making no contact with the officer.
The officer shoved the man, “grabbed him by the chest, threw him against the side of his police vehicle, handcuffed him and threw him in to the back of his vehicle. Corcoran then sped off with the victim in the back seat,” said the D.A.’s office.
The entire incident was captured on video.
Corcoran drove north and soon after pulled onto a street off North Broad.
When the victim asked why he was being arrested, Corcoran claimed it was for public intoxication.
Corcoran did not fill out any documents citing the man for public intoxication and had no evidence that could prove the man was intoxicated, the D.A. said.
The man, who had never been arrested before, told Corcoran he was vet. Corcoran had a change of heart and returned the man to 13th and Rodman Streets, where he uncuffed the man and released him without charges.
Corcoran surrendered himself to Internal Affairs this morning. In addition to the false imprisonment count, Corcoran was charged with obstructing the administration of law and official oppression.
Previously, Corcoran was sued in U.S. District Court for allegedly entering a home on 1630 S. Taney Street without a warrant in Nov. 2008 and beating up a resident, leaving the man with two broken vertebrae, a broken nose and a broken eye socket.
Corcoran was sued in federal court for the Nov. 2009 beating of a South Philadelphia man who Corcoran and another officer "kicked, stomped, beat, punched and otherwise assaulted" leaving the man with broken bones and requiring stitched; in May 2011, Corcoran allegedly arrested a man without probable cause at 21st and Latona Street and "violently man handled" the man.
The 2008 and 2009 cases were dismissed with prejudice by federal judges and the 2011 case remains open.
In addition, at least two civil lawsuits have been brought against Corcoran in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
In one suit, filed in June 2009, Corcoran was accused of striking a Grays Ferry man in the face, causing a “blowout” fracture of the his orbital bone, then falsely accusing the man of assault and possessing a controlled substance.
In a second, unrelated suit, filed six months later, Corcoran was accused of beating a Willow Grove man and throwing him headfirst into a newspaper box during a disorderly conduct arrest.
In each case, the defendant was eventually cleared in court of criminal charges.
Both suits were settled for an undisclosed amount in 2010, before they went to trial.
BY MENSAH M. DEAN
HIS FIVE-YEAR career with the Philadelphia Police Department was drama-filled - and so, too, is his fall from grace.
Richard DeCoatsworth, who survived a shotgun blast to the face as a rookie cop in 2007 and was invited to Washington by Michelle Obama in 2009, today is scheduled to be sentenced in criminal court for promoting prostitution and for drug and assault charges.
But the drama may not be over. Sources yesterday said DeCoatsworth, 28, refused to submit to a mental-health evaluation, which Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich ordered when he pleaded guilty Feb. 26.
There was also speculation that the former cop was waffling on going through with the guilty plea, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Criminal Justice Center.
His attorney, A. Charles Peruto, declined to comment on the speculation or on whether his client refused to cooperate with the court system's attempt to evaluate his mental state.
Peruto said that under state guidelines, DeCoatsworth is entitled to be sentenced to the time he has already served and then be released.
DeCoatsworth, who retired from the police force in 2011, was arrested last May and has been held on multimillion-dollar bails ever since.
He was charged with more than 30 crimes related to his alleged beating of his girlfriend in May and his role as a pimp for two prostitutes.
All of the charges were dropped except simple assault, a misdemeanor, and two felonies: promoting prostitution and intent to possess or distribute narcotics.
On Twitter: @MensahDean
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter March 12, 2014 12:58PM
Nina Pilacoutas looked Chicago Police Officer Michael Bergeson in the eye Wednesday and branded him a “coward” for nearly “killing” her and leaving her bleeding on the streets after ramming his truck into her bicycle in Logan Square.
“Shame on you,” Pilacoutas said to Bergeson before he was sentenced to a year of court supervision — similar to probation — and 30 days of community service at a rehabilitation center for his role in the off-duty hit-and-run crash.
As an officer trained in high-octane situations, Bergeson should have known better when he fled and called 911 three times without identifying himself or admitting what he had done at the intersection of California and Wabansia avenues on Aug. 13, 2010, Pilacoutas said.
“He is a coward and does not deserve to wield a badge,” the 27-year-old sculptor and bartender told Cook County Judge James Linn.
Bergeson, in turn, told Pilacoutas that he was sorry. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart,” the 34-year-old father said in a cracking voice.
Bergeson, who has been placed on administrative duties, also told Pilacoutas that he prays for her every night.
Linn convicted Bergeson last month of misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident without giving aid.
Bergeson was acquitted of the more serious charges of felony leaving the scene of an accident, filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.
Bergeson’s license plate fell off his Ford F-150 when he hit Pilacoutas who was cycling, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Freeman said.
Police were able to trace the license plate to Bergeson’s home in the 1800 block of North Whipple Street, but once officers arrived, he didn’t answer the door, and the truck was nowhere to be seen.
Two days later, Bergeson filed a police report in the 25th District, stating that he was traveling northbound on California when Pilacoutas disregarded a stop sign at Wabansia and hit him, prosecutors said.
Pilacoutas suffered a concussion, several broken bones and blunt trauma to her head after she flew over Bergeson’s truck’s hood and landed on the pavement.
Pilacoutas’ mother, a nurse, told Bergeson that he, like her, should be held to a higher standard.
“Society expects more from us,” Therese Fitzpatrick told Bergeson before he was sentenced.
Bergeson was in the “wrong” but is an otherwise “outstanding” police officer, Linn said after defense attorney Thomas Breen described his client as a “wonderful” man who has received 114 commendations during his career.
Linn also ordered Bergeson to pay $2,250 in restitution to Pilacoutas.