A former suburban Chicago police officer accused of operating a drug ring with two colleagues was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Former Schaumburg Officer Terrence O'Brien pleaded guilty Friday to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, official misconduct, burglary and armed violence before DuPage County Circuit Judge Blanche Hill Fawell.
The 47-year-old O'Brien was arrested last year along with 30-year-old John Cichy and 29-year-old Matthew Hudak for allegedly stealing drugs seized by police and selling them through a street dealer. Among the drugs allegedly sold was marijuana and cocaine.
Authorities became aware of the scheme in January 2013, when an informant told investigators in a neighboring community he had been asked to sell drugs given him by police.
DuPage County prosecutors say cases against Cichy and Hudak are pending.
Sentencing will be held next month for a former Mt Horeb police officer, who carried on a months long relationship with a 14 year old boy. For a time, the youth lived with 45 year old Dennis Jenks. Jenks was in Dane County Court Monday, and pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors. The relationship was uncovered in February of 2013 as authorities investigated another man, James Gillespie of Middleton, about his relationship with the teen. Gillespie is a former church music director and was sentenced last October to a year in jail and 15 years probation.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Albuquerque police officer has pleaded guilty in a federal child pornography case.
Prosecutors say 32-year-old Nelson Begay entered his plea Wednesday.
His sentencing hearing hasn't been set yet, but prosecutors say Begay is facing at least five years in prison and up to a 20-year term.
He also will have to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
Begay was arrested last November on suspicion of receiving and possessing computer images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Shortly before his arrest, Begay resigned from the Albuquerque Police Department.
The New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant at Begay's Albuquerque home last November and seized computers and other files.
Authorities say Begay was sharing child porn on file-sharing networks.
A former police officer and head of security at a school district was arrested for multiple child sex crimes, now spanning two states.
Alexis Robinson, 51, was out on bond for sex assault charges in Kansas, when he was recently arrested by El Paso County deputies.
Robinson served as a police officer in Wichita, Kan. for 22 years. He retired as a sergeant in 2006. Then he signed on as a security supervisor with a school district in that community.
More than a year ago, police in Kansas started investigating Robinson for sexually assaulting several children after a 24-year-old man came forward saying he had been molested a decade earlier.
According to arrest papers obtained by 11 News, during that investigation detectives say an accuser in Colorado came forward, years after the alleged sex abuse. The papers say Robinson visited a family several times at their home in El Paso County in the 1990s. During those visits, the papers allege the suspect made the young boy watch pornographic movies and had him perform sexual acts.
Three victims came forward in Wichita and one has come forward in El Paso County. We are told they were all between the ages of 12 and 15 at the time of those alleged crimes.
Robinson is scheduled to be in court again later this week to discuss his bond. 11 News will stay on top of this case and let you know what happens.
Juan Villa and Luis Hernandez
Tulare Police Chief Jerry Breckinridge was arrested Sunday at his home on suspicion of domestic violence, the City of Tulare reported Monday.
The arrest, which was made by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, is a result of a report filed by his girlfriend after a dispute Saturday night. According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, the department was contacted by the California Highway Patrol, the agency that initially received the complaint.
Breckinridge was released on $50,000 bail. The woman’s name was not released.
On Monday, Tulare City Manager Don Dorman, asked the sheriff’s department to conduct the investigation into the allegations against Breckinridge.
“An arrest is nothing more than an accusation. We’re waiting to see what follows the accusation,” said Dorman, who is also Breckinridge’s supervisor. “… because it’s an accusation there’s really no meaning at this point to the City of Tulare other than it’s something we need to watch and see where it goes. If the case is filed by the sheriff’s department, the district attorney will review it and at that point decisions will be made.”
The Tulare County Supervising District Attorney Anthony Fultz said his office received the case on Monday afternoon, but no charges have been filed. The DA’s office will review the report and make a decision on whether to file charges.
The police chief will continue his regular assigned duties for the City of Tulare, though he did not go to work Monday.
“[Breckinridge] had a late night and took [Monday] off,” Dorman said.
In 2009, Breckinridge took the reins of the police department from Roger Hill, who led the department for 28 years. Breckingridge is a veteran law enforcement officer. He started with the department in 1989, getting hired as a patrol officer.
The City of Tulare didn’t consider putting Breckinridge on leave, Dorman said.
“No, because at this point he’s presumed innocent. Anyone can make any kind of accusation against any of us, so until something more than an accusation comes, there’s nothing for the city to do,” he said. “We have not heard from the sheriff’s department that it was anything that we needed to take action on.” On Monday, Tulare Police Sgt. Darron Altermatt referred questions about the arrest to city administrators. He provided no additional information.
The sheriff’s department also deferred additional question to the Tulare city officials.
City council member Skip Barwick said he has complete confidence in Dorman’s decision.
It was Breckinridge who informed Dorman of the arrest.
“He kept me informed to what was going on,” Dorman said. “It was very professional. He wanted to make sure the department was taken care of. As his supervisor, he was letting his supervisor know that things were going on that we might hear about in the press.”
The city hasn’t spoken to the sheriff’s department and doesn’t have the facts to know exactly what happened, Dorman said.
Barwick is also supporting Brekinridge until the full story is released and added that the city isn’t taking the accusations lightly, but there’s always two sides to a story.
“I’ve known Jerry for a long time and he’s a good individual and has been an exceptional police chief. I’m kind of waiting to see what happens during the investigation period,” Barwick said. “I have complete confidence in Sheriff (Mike) Boudreaux and I know his department will leave no stone unturned. Hopefully shortly we’ll get answers on the case. It’s serious.”
By Dan Kennedy,
The Hamilton County sheriff's deputy fired for allegedly raping a woman while on patrol may have had more victims.
Attorneys for the first alleged victim said Tuesday they're looking for at least one more woman to come forward.
"What makes this case so egregious is that Officer Greer is charged with protecting the community," said Attorney Bill Speek. "What he did on that day and what we suspect he's done previous times is take advantage of the very people he's charged with protecting."
PREVIOUS STORY | Hamilton County deputy dismissed from force
Attorney Bill Speek represents the woman who said Deputy Willie Greer pulled her over for speeding, handcuffed her, and forced her to perform a sex act.
According to the affidavit, Greer admitted the incident happened but called the act "consensual." Greer was charged with official misconduct and aggravated rape, and fired from his job.
Speek said there's evidence of least one more victim from January 5 and that new information now has multiple agencies investigating. But Greer has not been charged in that.
"We know on the same day there was one, we're looking to learn more information on if there was more in the previous days," Speek said. "What you won't have access to are some of the confidential files that exist for police officers, we're looking into those right now. We have some information that indicates his record is not as clean as you may otherwise think."
"What we're asking for is that any other victim of Officer Greer that day come forward, contact our office, contact Chattanooga police, contact the FBI, but come forward so we can help put behind bars somebody who has taken an oath to protect our citizens but has also abused them in the process."
In January, Sheriff Jim Hammond said Greer had no previous problems. He had been with the county for three months. Our partners at The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported in January he previously worked as a campus officer at Chattanooga State.
"The vetting process was normal, there was nothing to indicate this behavior might happen," Sheriff Hammond said in January. "There's no reason to believe this would occur."
In court Tuesday, Greer told Judge Lila Statom he's hired a new attorney, Johnny D. Houston, Jr. Judge Statom pushed his hearing back to May 13 but warned Greer to be ready come that date. Tuesday was not the first time his hearing has been passed to a new date.
"But you need to do your best to have him hired by this date because that would be a long time that you would be out on bond," the judge told Greer.
Houston had no comment on his new client's behalf Tuesday. Channel 3 will be back in court May 13 for Greer's next scheduled hearing.
by Joseph Mayton
A Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy has pleaded no contest to charges that he raped two women while he was on the job. This is part of an alarming trend.
On Thursday, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pleaded no contest to rape and sexual assault of two women. Jose Rigaberto Sanchez, 29, faces a sentence of eight years and eight months in prison and must register as a sex offender, according the district attorney’s office.
Both crimes occurred in September 2010. The first incident included the forcible sodomizing of a 24-year-old woman in Palmdale after Sanchez offered her sex in exchange for not arresting her. He took her to a desert where the crime occurred.
Two nights later, Sanchez pulled over a 36-year-old woman on drunk driving suspicion and attempted to bribe her with sexual favors, according to the Los Angeles Country district attorney's office.
This is only one of several recent cases of sexual violence where a police officer has been accused or convicted of abusing his power and authority to abuse women while on the job. In January 2012, a Milwaukee jury convicted a policeman of violating the civil rights of a woman by raping her. In November 2013, a Texas police officer was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman. And earlier this month a sheriff’s deputy in Oklahoma was arrested on suspected rape charges at a nursing home.
And in San Jose last week, another police officer was accused of rape after reportedly being sent to protect a woman during a domestic dispute. Geoffrey Graves, 38, a six-year veteran of the force, allegedly assaulted the woman at a hotel where she was staying.
"The officer gained information and location of her hotel room and then went up there approximately 15 minutes later and knocked on the door," Santa Clara County deputy district attorney Carlos Vega said. "Unbeknownst to her, he opened the door. She was asleep, and that's when he let himself in and forcibly pushed her on the bed."
According to reports from Next Door Solutions, a San Jose agency that helps survivors of rape and domestic violence, the victim did not report the incident for three weeks, fearing reprisal if she reported the crime. She chose to report the rape to the California Highway Patrol and not San Jose police, highlighting the growing social problem of reporting rape to police when officers are involved.
Kathleen Krenek, executive director of Next Door Solutions, said this is common in many rape cases, where fears of further violence play a key role in whether a woman reports the incident.
Statistics concerning sexual crimes by police against women are hard to come by, but the recent surge in incidents has left many questioning whether police departments are sending a strong enough signal over "improper" behavior while on duty.
Sanchez was on paid leave from the time the report of rape occurred until he was arrested in July 2013, leaving many women's rights organizations and activists questioning the role of police in investigating and holding its officers responsible for crimes committed on the job.
The victim did not report the incident for three weeks, fearing reprisal if she reported the crime.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not comment on Sanchez's current status with the force when questioned as to whether he had been officially fired from his position following the felony conviction, saying they would not comment on the case until a later date. Normally, police officials said, a felony conviction is the basis for dismissal.
The San Jose Police Department is also embroiled in controversy because Graves, who turned himself in on March 10 and was released the next day on $100,000 bail, also continues to receive paid leave while the investigation continues.
"This is difficult for everybody because it reflects on our job and what we do every day, so I know that the officers are troubled by it,” said San Jose police spokesperson Sgt. Heather Randol. “But we are resilient, and we have been through other hard times, and we've pulled together to rebuild the trust of the community, and that's what we're going to work on doing."
The two cases have put the specter of rape and sexual violence by police at the forefront of conversations in California, with many women coming forward to demand more justice for victims of police abuse of power.
Maria Jesus Gomez, 22, a cashier at a Bay Area Safeway, said that she narrowly avoided being assaulted by a Bay Area police officer earlier this year as she was walking home from work late one evening.
"I was walking home in my quiet neighborhood when a police officer pulled up and demanded that I get in the vehicle or face arrest," she said. "I immediately began running away from the officer and hid behind a home until he left. I didn't know what to do."
She added that she did not report the intimidation and feels that other women in the area face similar abuse by police, who she said "go after the immigrant women because we are more vulnerable than others and don't have the means to fight back."
Fighting back is key, say observers and organizations working with sexual violence survivors. If those who are supposed to be protecting women from violence are the ones perpetrating the crimes, it makes reporting much more difficult.
"I think a lot of people in so-called developed countries do not give rape and sexual violence enough thought," said a former UN Women official now working as a consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area and who spoke on condition of anonymity. "What we are witnessing here in California and elsewhere across the country is a floundering of media reporting and discussion on the role of authority and sexual violence. The two are linked here in the U.S. and abroad. It is time that we as a society accept this and start to make efforts to criminalize to the fullest these perpetrators as a sign that there is no place for rape or abuse."
By Pauline Repard
SAN DIEGO — One of the several women who have accused former San Diego police Officer Christopher Hays of sexual misconduct filed a claim for damages Monday against Hays and the Police Department.
The woman said that when several officers arrested her boyfriend on suspicion of assaulting her in June, Hays lingered at her home and committed a sex act in front of her, her attorney, Dan Gilleon, said.
The woman’s name is not being used because she claims to be the victim of a sex crime.
Allegations against Hays, 30, a married father of two, first arose in December when a woman reported to police that he had given her a ride home, then frisked her in an inappropriate, sexual manner.
Investigators then began contacting other women Hays had given rides to in his four-year career. They found three others who complained about similar pat-down incidents going back to Nov. 12, 2012.
The District Attorney’s Office charged Hays with sexual battery and false imprisonment in connection with the four cases. Hays, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, resigned from the Police Department last month.
Hays' defense lawyer said after the arraignment that Hays was adamant he had done nothing wrong, and that he was "extremely upset" with the Police Department for not supporting him in light of the allegations.
Police Lt. Kevin Mayer said investigators found a fifth alleged victim, the woman involved in the June incident. He said that case has since been forwarded to prosecutors.
Gilleon said the woman’s claim against the city alleges that several officers went to her home on June 12 after her boyfriend had beaten her. The attorney described her as a long-time domestic violence victim.
The woman claims Hays stayed behind when other officers left, and he got her into a room, closed the door, unzipped his pants and committed a sex act. When she objected, he left, angry.
Gilleon said the claim was filed with the city Monday, along with a petition for leave to file a late claim because the incident occurred more than six months ago. If the city rejects it, a lawsuit would likely follow.
Two other women hired Gilleon without going to police first. One, Gilleon said, claimed Hays threatened to arrest her if she didn’t perform a sex act in his patrol car after he gave her a ride home in 2012.
The other woman said Hays pulled her over in 2012, chatted with her for half an hour, asked personal questions, then followed her part-way home. Gilleon said both of those clients later talked to the District Attorney’s Office.
The Police Department has been under fire for the alleged crimes ranging from rape to drunken driving of at least nine officers since 2011. Then-Chief William Lansdowne requested City Council approval of an outside audit of the department’s hiring, training and discipline policies, then retired as of March 3.
BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) -- A grand jury in Meade County has indicted two officers after finding they had an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
The grand jury returned a True Bill Monday after hearing about four hours of testimony.
Stratford Young, a former Kentucky State Police trooper is now charged with one count of rape and two counts of sodomy; Todd Matti, a former Brandenburg officer, is now charged with two counts of sodomy. Both men have entered not guilty pleas regarding their charges.
A special grand jury comprised of six men and six women started listening to two Jefferson County prosecutors assigned to the case at 9 a.m. A KSP investigator and a KSP sergeant assigned to special investigations was assisting prosecutors.
Special prosecutor Thomas Wine told us all of the accused officers had a chance to testify during Monday's proceedings, but chose not to. He also said at this time, they decided not to present the case against the other accused officers. He says he doesn't want to comment on that decision because it could affect the cases. The other accused officers are former Trooper Jerry Clanton and former Breckinridge Deputy Chris Woosley.
"It is disappointing for several families for our agency. We feel like we still do a really good job and we are proud of who we are," said Kentucky State Trooper Jeff Gregory.
It has been six months since WDRB News uncovered information about the four officers being accused of an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Young and Clanton claimed they thought she was 18. Court documents show Clanton admitted to sexual relations with the girl and called it a moral mistake.
The attorney for former trooper Clanton says he and his client are relieved the grand jury did not indict him Monday
Clanton lost his job as a state trooper and unsuccessfully appealed to win it back during a hearing earlier this year.
Court documents show Clanton had four sexual encounters with the alleged victim.
His attorney says there is one important element to Clanton's involvement that may prevent his indictment.
"It's abundantly clear that Officer Clanton didn't know that this woman was underage, and I think the decision not to present him to the grand jury was the correct one," attorney Brian Butler said.
Butler says the alleged victim has given recorded statements saying she lied about her age to Jerry Clanton.
With two indictments, KSP says the case is far from being over.
Trooper Gregory also said, "The investigation is still on-going. Investigators anticipate presentation to other grand juries in the surrounding future."
Bonds for both Matti and Young were set at $10,000, but each man only had to post 10 percent of that amount.
The judge has ordered both men to have no contact with females under the age of 18, excluding family members.
Young posted bond and opted to make no comment as he left the Meade County Courthouse. Matti also posted bond, and he too declined to comment.
The two men's next court date is in May to allow time for attorneys to look over the evidence which will be sealed and kept from the public. Officials say this is being done to protect the victim.
BY EYDER PERALTA
A federal grand jury has indicted five San Francisco police officers on charges ranging from extortion to dealing drugs to illegally intimidating suspects.
The AP reports that the cases stem from the release of surveillance videos in 2011. They showed officers walking through "low-income" hotel rooms, illegally searching them and stealing property from suspects.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
"According to indictments unsealed Thursday, Officers Arshad Razzak, 41, Richard Yick, 36, and Raul Eric Elias, 44, all formerly assigned to the Southern police station at the city's Hall of Justice, are accused of conspiring to threaten and intimidate residents of single-room occupancy hotel rooms by entering them without legal justification by using a master key.
"Razzak and Yick also allegedly falsified police incident reports.
"Sgt. Ian Furminger, 47, Officer Edmond Robles, 46, and former Officer Reynaldo Vargas, 45, of Palm Desert, engaged in 'multiple criminal conspiracies,' including dealing marijuana, stealing money as well as a $500 Apple gift card and other items from suspects, and stealing money, drugs and other valuable items that were seized on behalf of the city, the indictment said.
"Vargas, who according to records had served 13 years on the force when he was fired in May 2012, used the Apple gift card to buy an iPhone and an iPod Nano at an Apple store in San Francisco, authorities said. Elias has been with the department for 12 years, Robles for 22 years."
The AP reports that the misconduct has forced prosecutors to drop about 100 criminal cases the officers were involved with.
Police Chief Greg Suhr said his department is "shaken."
"This is not only a betrayal of the public's trust," he said, "but also a betrayal of all the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department who work hard every day to do what they can to keep San Francisco safe."
Suhr said he would seek the immediate termination of those officers found guilty of the charges against them.
By Philip Weiss -
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -
A Charleston police officer has been placed on administrative leave after blowing a .19 on a breathalyzer following a wreck early Sunday morning, according to authorities.
Officer Jovon Bonneau, 28, was arrested by North Charleston police Sunday around 2:42 a.m. and charged with driving under the influence.
According to an incident report, Bonneau crashed his Dodge Ram pickup truck into the back of a Toyota Corolla near the intersection of Ashley Phosphate Road and Mazyck Road.
A North Charleston officer who was working off-duty at a nearby restaurant responded to the scene, along with the North Charleston Fire Department and EMS. The two occupants inside the Toyota were transported to a hospital.
The report states a strong odor of alcohol was coming from Bonneau, and he was swaying side to side. Officials say Bonneau admitted to having "a few" drinks at a nearby bar, but then clarified he only had two drinks.
Officials say Bonneau was given a field sobriety test, which he had trouble completing and failed to follow rules. He was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
According to the report, a breathalyzer test revealed Bonneau had a blood alcohol concentration level of .19.
The legal limit in South Carolina is .08.
Bonneau was taken to an emergency room for evaluation. Once cleared, he was booked at the Charleston Count Detention Center.
CPD spokesperson Charles Francis says Bonneau, who has been with the department since June 2010, was off duty and in his personal vehicle at the time of his arrest.
Bonneau has been placed on administrative leave without pay, according to Francis.
While performing an inventory on the Toyota, police say a pack of cigarettes containing 20 small bags of methamphetamine weighing approximately 6.7 grams was located in the vehicle's glove box. The cigarette box was searched due to a plastic bag sticking out from its opening.
The driver of the Toyota, 32-year-old Lashaun White, was arrested at the hospital and charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
by Ned Berke
Would you risk perjury for this? (Source: WhiteCastle.com)Two men are suing the NYPD over a 2012 incident, in which they claim the cops roughed them up and took their White Castle burgers.
Danny Maisonet and Kenneth Glover have filed suit in Brooklyn Federal Court against the police department, saying that cops falsely arrested them because they wouldn’t hand over their sliders on Halloween 2012.
Daily News reports:
They were getting out of a taxicab, carrying a bag of the burgers, when they walked into cops rounding up a group of men suspected of looting a supermarket on Neptune Ave., lawyer Robert Marinelli said in the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
The cops — it’s unclear if they were kidding or starved out of their minds — demanded the bag of food. The plaintiffs refused to turn over the burgers.
With the long journey necessary to obtain White Castle burgers, a trip well-documented by Obama administration officials, the pair were not feeling particularly charitable to the officers, and declined their solicitations.
According to the lawsuit, the cops then “struck [them] with flashlights and handcuffed” them. The two were charged with obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct. Officer Angelo Pizzarro’s report of the incident claims they were standing in his way, forcing him to walk all the way around two people and a bag of hamburgers to get to the alleged supermarket looters.
The charges against the two were dismissed. They did not go to Guantanamo Bay, as one might expect.
Two defendants in a Romulus police corruption case will find out their sentences after being found guilty by a Wayne County Circuit Court jury last Friday.
Former Romulus police detective Larry Droege was found guilty of misconduct in office and neglect of duty, and Jeremy Channells was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in office and neglect of duty. They could face sentences of up to five years in prison when they are sentenced on March 31 by Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway.
The two men are the latest defendants to be found guilty in the case. Last month, Sandra Vlaz-St. Andre, the wife of former Romulus police chief Michael St. Andre, was sentenced to 7-20 years for acquiring and maintaining a criminal enterprise, criminal enterprise conspiracy, failure to file taxes by filing a false return and receiving and concealing stolen property over $20,000.
In addition to the St. Andres, Droege and Channells, former detective sergeant Richard Balzer and former detectives Richard Landry and Donald Hopkins were charged in the case that stemmed from an investigation by the Michigan State Police into allegations of misconduct, corruption and embezzlement of drug forfeiture funds by members of the Romulus Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit.
According to a Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office press release, St. Andre directed a probe of liquor license violations, prostitution and narcotics trafficking at the Landing Strip Bar in Romulus and Subi’s Place in Southgate, but during the investigation officers embezzled drug forfeiture money, solicited prostitutes and made false police reports.
Still awaiting trial are Michael St. Andre, Hopkins, Blazer and Landry.
St. Andre, a 28-year veteran of the police department, has been charged with conducting a criminal enterprise, acquiring/maintaining criminal enterprise, criminal enterprise conspiracy, embezzlement by public official over $50, uttering and publishing, misconduct in office, failure to file/false return, obstruction of justice, witness-bribery/intimidating/interfering in a case and receiving and concealing stolen property over $20,000.
Balzar and Landry have been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, criminal enterprise/conspiracy, embezzlement by public official over $50, uttering and publishing, misconduct in office and neglect of duty, while Hopkins has been charged with all but the neglect of duty charge.
Their trials have been scheduled for July 7, and if convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison.
ANNISTON, Ala. (CN) - A police officer was fired for talking to the media about corruption in the department, including officers pulling over a mail truck and destroying mail to cover up an arrest, the officer claims in court.
Jason White sued the City of Athens, Mayor William Marks, Police Chief Floyd Johnson, ex-Police Chief Reed Wayne Harper, and police Officers Tracy Harrison and Trevor Harris, in Federal Court.
White began working for Athens as a police officer in April 1999, and rose to the rank of sergeant and lead investigator within a few years. He supervised several officers and was lead investigator in more than 1,500 cases, according to the complaint.
White says his downfall came from talking to a newspaper reporter about "unsavory secrets" he had learned about police employees during his work as an investigator.
"It was widely reported in the summer of 2009 that defendant Tracy Harrison, who was then a Captain in the Athens Police Department, had covered up a DUI arrest made by the department," the complaint states.
"After receiving a phone call from a DUI arrestee's attorney, defendant Harrison deleted police department records, logs, and notices to the state of the DUI arrest, including what is referred to as an 'AST60 mail log.'
"In order to stop the eventual prosecution of the DUI, defendant Harrison, accompanied by then-Lt. Pressnell, used a police vehicle to pull over an on-duty postal worker driving a U.S. Mail vehicle.
"After stopping the mail truck, defendant Harrison intercepted, retrieved, and destroyed important documentation about the DUI arrest before it arrived at the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
"Defendant Harrison then requested that Officer Jason Threet not swear to the arrest.
"Thereafter, Jason Threet was the next officer promoted to sergeant."
Pressnell and Threet are not parties to the lawsuit.
An anonymous complaint about the cover-up of the DUI arrest triggered an attorney general investigation of Harrison and the department, according to the lawsuit.
White says that during the investigation he spoke with a Decatur Daily reporter about the DUI arrest scandal and about another incident in the department.
Sometime after the investigation began, White claims, he met with Mayor William Marks, then the Athens Council president, and told him corruption in the police department was a serious problem.
"During that meeting, defendant Marks responded to Plaintiff: 'I don't feel as sorry for the person who called the AG's Office as I do for whoever called the media,'" the complaint states. "'That person is looking at serious trouble.'"
Two weeks later, then-Chief Harper began to interview all of the investigators in the department, to find out who had reported Harrison to the attorney general and the media, according to the lawsuit.
White says that during his interrogation by the defendants he voiced his support for the reporting of the Harrison incident to the attorney general's office.
He claims Harper immediately removed him from his supervisory position over the department's Honor Guard, which White had formed in 2004.
In January 2011, the department transferred White out of the investigations division, assigning him as a patrol sergeant on the day shift, although Harper confirmed that White's performance had been satisfactory, according to the complaint.
Later that year, White claims, the department began a disciplinary investigation against him, after his ex-wife reported that he had used his status as a police officer against her during divorce proceedings.
He claims the defendants asked his ex-wife about his involvement with the Harrison scandal and the newspaper reporter, and retaliated by opening the investigation.
Although Harper told White that his ex-wife's allegations had little merit, the department fired White in May 2012, according to the complaint.
The department claimed White could not perform his duties as a police officer because his access to the National Crime Information Center system had been suspended after the investigation.
But White says the department was retaliating for his protected speech.
The department never investigated or fired officers who were accused of running tags for non-law enforcement purposes, White claims. And he says it failed to fire officers who had committed much more serious offenses than White's alleged misconduct, such as having sex with prostitutes in custody and doubling hours on their time sheet.
White seeks an injunction, reinstatement and punitive damages for First Amendment retaliation.
He is represented by John Saxon of Birmingham.
Mayor Marks declined comment on the lawsuit. The Athens Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington police officer admits to his neighbors, he shot and killed their family dog.
The neighbor tells WKYT he plans to take civil action because the officer won't face charges.
"You've killed one of my children. I said that's how I feel. That you've just murdered one of my children," explained Scott County resident Brian Geary.
Angel had been a member of Geary's family for 12 years. He says she roamed outside with their chickens, and he was surprised to hear his neighbor, a Lexington police officer, accuse Angel of trying to kill his.
"As a police officer, he should have been able to use a little bit more common sense and a little bit more tact than what he did," noted Geary.
Officer Jeff Brangers told us off camera he's sorry for what happened. He says she's the fifth dog he's shot at, and if any others go near his coop, he'll shoot them too. Under Kentucky law, if an animal is pursing his livestock, he can shoot.
"Everybody around here has dogs. People on this street are worried because dogs get loose," said Geary.
The Scott County Sheriff's Office told WKYT that there was no criminal intent from either party, and that the issue is considered a civil matter. They will no longer investigate.
Geary can't save Angel, but he's trying to keep Officer Brangers from shooting another like her. He is consulting attorneys, and may pursue further legal action
By Greg Kocher
A Lexington police officer faces an internal investigation and might be charged later this week with animal cruelty, authorities said Tuesday.
The Scott County Sheriff's Office said deputies had asked the Scott County Attorney's Office to review the case, in which officer Jeff Brangers shot and killed a neighbor's black Labrador Saturday as it walked away from his property. Brangers, a Scott County resident, keeps chickens on his property about five miles east of Georgetown.
Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton said Tuesday that Brangers might be charged with second-degree animal cruelty later this week.
Conflicting statements attributed to Brangers caused the sheriff's office and the county attorney's office to consider filing a charge, Hampton said.
State law says, "Any livestock owner or his agent, without liability, may kill any dog trespassing on that owner's property and observed in the act of pursuing or wounding his livestock."
Brangers initially told a sheriff's deputy that the dog was in a crouched position and looking at his chickens. But he later said that he shot the dog as it was walking away.
In that instance, if the chickens were not being pursued or wounded, Brangers would not have been within his rights to shoot the dog.
"When the dog's walking away, that changes that," Hampton said.
Dog owner Brian Geary must sign a complaint, which must also be signed by a judge. Once that is done, Brangers would be served a court summons to appear in Scott District Court, Hampton said.
Geary said Tuesday that he intends to press charges. Second-degree animal cruelty is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.
Also Tuesday, the Lexington Division of Police said it has started an internal inquiry into the dog's shooting.
Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts confirmed the inquiry Tuesday afternoon.
Brangers, 39, joined the Lexington police force in 2012.
Geary, who also raises chickens on his property, said in an interview on Monday that Angel, a 12-year-old Labrador, had never bothered poultry in the past. Geary said Brangers told him, "I have a right as a property owner to protect my property from threats, and I perceived her as a threat. ... Your dog was on my property. I eliminated the threat."
"If he didn't catch her chasing chickens, he had no grounds to the shoot the dog," Geary said Monday. "That's my whole premise."
NEW ORLEANS -- A New Orleans Police Department officer was placed on emergency suspension. He is accused of multiple traffic violations, including flight from an officer and leading Louisiana Department of Public Safety Police on a high-speed chase, according to the NOPD.
Sgt. Charles Miller, a 26-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, was pulled over by a DPS officer around 8 p.m. after the officer saw Miller speeding on US 90-B westbound near Claiborne Avenue. Miller's truck also didn't have a license plate, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
"Miller took the St. Charles Avenue exit, and pulled over for the officer at Calliope Street and St. Charles. He allegedly turned over his driver’s license and registration to her, but minutes later, aggressively took back his documents from the officer, and in the process, allegedly injured her wrist," said a statement from the NOPD.
Miller then took off in his truck and led the officer on a high-speed chase, disregarding a stop sign, driving through a red light, hitting speeds near 90 miles per hour, according to the NOPD. The officer broke off her pursuit after determining the chase was a serious threat to the public’s safety.
Miller turned himself in Friday at the Public Integrity Bureau. He was booked with speeding, no license plate, expired driver’s license, battery on an officer, aggravated flight from an officer, disregarding a stop sign, disregarding a red light and reckless operation of a vehicle, according to police. He was placed on emergency suspension without pay, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Miller was most recently assigned to the Central Evidence and Property Division.
The "stingray" is a surveillance device that mimics a cell tower and can be used to track a person's location or access data on their cellular device. Several California police agencies are utilizing the technology, but how they obtained it or what they are using it for is, at best, shadowy.
According to documents uncovered by the ACLU, the technology was procured under the pretense of combatting terrorism. But now "mission creep" has led to it being used for routine policing.
[Some agencies] have used its stingray(s) for ordinary law enforcement purposes, such as investigating guns, drugs, and gangs. While these are legitimate law enforcement purposes, they don't justify suspending the Fourth Amendment or bypassing ordinary democratic processes.
How the departments acquired the technology is uncertain, and the ACLU says there is scant evidence in the heavily redacted invoices provided by law enforcement.
The [Oakland Police Department] unit that used the stingray, the Criminal Investigation Division, focuses its investigative resources on guns, drugs, and gangs. OPD produced a lone invoice pertaining to the stingray - " $13,425 spent in 2009 for "Maintenance Services." How it acquired the device remains a mystery.
The report sees the legal grey area around stingrays as part of a larger "disturbing trend" and urge official regulations for the use of such powerful tools, saying that "as with too many other surveillance devices, law enforcement is writing its own guidelines."
The following agencies already have stingray technology or have applied for grant funding to purchase it:
• Alameda County District Attorney's Office
• Fremont Police Department
• Los Angeles Police Department
• Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
• Oakland Police Department
• Sacramento Sheriff's Department
• San Diego Police Department
• San Francisco Police Department
• San Jose Police Department
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer accused of beating a teenage relative over poor grades and behavior has been charged with child abuse and causing corporal injury.
The Orange County District Attorney's office says 39-year-old Daniel Hun Chun was charged with the two felony counts Friday.
Prosecutors say Chun was off-duty on March 13 when he allegedly confronted the boy about his poor grades and other behavior issues. Chun is accused of striking him with a variety of household items on the shoulders, back and butt. A school counselor noticed welts and bruises on the teen and reported it to police.
Chun is out on $100,000 bail. His scheduled arraignment on Friday was continued to May 6.
He faces up to six years in prison if convicted.
SAN JOSE -- A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge today ordered a San Jose police officer charged with forcible rape to turn over his firearms and not come within 300 yards of the alleged victim, a prosecutor said.
Judge Hector Ramon ordered Geoffrey Evatt Graves to surrender any gun he has to the San Jose Police Department and issued a protective order preventing him from communicating with Graves' female accuser, Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega said.
Graves, who is free on $100,000 bail, was formally arraigned today on a charge of forcible rape in an alleged sexual assault last Sept. 22 of a woman whom Graves had just dropped off at a hotel to separate her and her husband who had been in a domestic dispute.
The officer, a Gilroy resident who is on administrative leave from the Police Department, appeared in court dressed in a dark suit and had his attorney Darlene Bagley speak on his behalf to Ramon.
The judge set a hearing for Graves to enter a plea to the felony charge for April 14 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
The protective or "stay away" order prohibits Graves from being within 300 yards of the victim, who is not being identified, Vega said.
At about 2 a.m. last Sept. 22, Graves responded while on duty with a second officer to an argument between the victim and her husband, who both had been consuming alcohol, at their San Jose residence, according to police.
The woman told officers she wanted to spend the night at a hotel where she once worked and Graves drove her there at about 2:30 a.m.
But according to prosecutors, he returned about 15 minutes later, knocked on the door, went into the room, threw the woman on the bed, took off parts of his uniform and her clothing and raped her.
The officer earlier had called his position in to police and then left for about 35 minutes, according to information from gathered satellite technology, Vega said.
The woman reported the incident to police on Oct. 15 and after a five-month investigation, police developed enough evidence corroborating her story to justify issuing a warrant for Graves' arrest on suspicion of forcible rape on March 10, according to police.
Graves, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail, posted his bail and was released later that day.
If Graves is convicted of the charge, a judge could sentence him to three, six or nine years in prison under state sentencing guidelines, Vega said.
Based on the facts in the case, the district attorney's office would have prosecuted the case to the fullest regardless of who the defendant was, Vega said.
"However, there is a public factor involved," Vega said. "You have a member of our society who has been entrusted to follow the law, to enforce the law and ever since you are born and raised you were told to always obey the police and to do what you were told and they'd be there to help you, and in this case it hasn't."
The Police Department "has been very cooperative" and professional with prosecutors but "isn't happy" about the case, Vega said.
"I know our office and I think the community isn't happy about it," he said. "But I want to assure the community that everything is going to be above board and we are going to handle this like we would any other case."