The names of Chicago police officers who have had multiple complaints lodged against them were made public Wednesday following a seven-year legal battle.
The names of Chicago police officers who have had multiple complaints lodged against them were made public Wednesday following a seven-year legal battle.
The hundreds of pages of documents include a list of 662 officers who were the subject of more than 10 citizen complaints between 2001 and 2006. The list of names doesn't just include officers who were found to have committed wrongdoing after those complaints were filed, but also officers who were exonerated.
"This is real change. This is real reform. It was a long time coming, and it's a first step. There are other steps that need to be taken," said Jamie Kalven, The Invisible Institute.
Writer Jamie Kalven filed suit to force Chicago police to release the officers' names, as well as the charges against them, which range from excessive use of force, racism, and false arrest.
Among the worst repeat offenders are Jerome Finnigan and Keith Herrera, who were at the center of a misconduct scandal and went to prison, but not before amassing more than 50 complaints each.
Kalven says the documents show a department that looked away.
"They had multiple occasions to stop these guys," said Kalven.
For seven years, the city fought the release of the records in part because the list of names includes exonerated officers.
"There's a lot of allegations there, but it doesn't prove these individuals did anything improperly," said Dean Angelo, Sr., president, Fraternal Order of Police.
But earlier this month, the city ended its legal challenge. Mayor Emanuel said in a statement: "the new policy of making these files available to the public is a proactive step forward in building the trust and partnership between residents and police."
"It's a step toward accountability, towards professionalism of the police department," said Kalven.
For the third time in a few weeks, a new video showing police brutality has surfaced and it's sparking a lot of outrage.
The video from Brooklyn appears to show an NYPD officer step on a suspect's head. Multiple reports say the officer is Joel Edouard.
The suspect, Jamil El-Cuffee, was arrested for allegedly smoking marijuana. While the 55 second video doesn't actually show the officer's foot touch the suspect's head, another officer seems to react to the alleged stomp.
Saturday morning, the tension and frustration was palpable at the National Action Network in Harlem. It was the first time the mother of Eric Garner spoke since the death of her son. "What this is about? Justice, your daughter, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy" she said.
Garner was the Staten Island father of six who died a little over a week ago after an officer put him in an apparent chokehold.
At the scene where Garner was arrested, a rally was held Saturday calling attention to police brutality.
Earlier this week, a video also surfaced out of East Harlem. It appears to show a man being punched in the face while in a chokehold.
He allegedly jumped a turnstile. Right now, his name as well as the two officers' names have not been released.
As for Garner's death, Staten Island prosecutors have now launched a criminal probe. Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, also spoke Saturday. She said her husband was never violent towards anyone.
"He only yelled at me and he was a quiet man, he is making a lot of noise now" she said.
In the meantime, Officer Pantaleo as well as the officer involved in the alleged head stomping have both been stripped of their guns and badges and placed on modified duty.
In the East Harlem incident, those two officers have been put on medical leave.
The NYPD says all of its members will be receiving new training and all of the incidents are being investigated.
Stefano Esposito AND RUMMANA HUSSAIN
A former Chicago cop caught up in a “hare-brained” scheme to plant drugs and a gun in a suburban woman’s car — a scheme that led to a $375,000 city payout — may soon get his job back.
Slawomir Plewa could be back on the streets, even though the Chicago Police Department is fighting the fired cop’s efforts in court.
Plewa’s actions “represent a serious breach of the public’s trust,” says Marty Dolan, the lawyer who sued Plewa in federal court on behalf of the suburban woman. “He violated a sworn oath to protect the public and certainly does not deserve a second chance to serve in any capacity whatsoever.”
But Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane J. Larsen disagreed, ruling in April that the Chicago Police Board went too far when it voted 8-1 to fire Plewa last year. Attorneys for Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy are due back in court later this month, preparing to argue that Larsen got it wrong — that she “usurped” the police board’s authority when she said Plewa deserved a more “lenient” punishment.
“The last couple of years have been a nightmare for me and my family,” Plewa, 35, told the Chicago Sun-Times this week. ““It’s been real tough on us. I’m looking forward to going back to work.”
Plewa was a “highly decorated” tactical officer based on the North Side, when he crossed paths with a desperate Crystal Lake man in the middle of a nasty divorce. Plewa didn’t know that the man, Bogdan Mazur, had an ulterior motive when he called Plewa anonymously in spring 2007, to offer information about a woman with illegal drugs and a gun in her car, according to Plewa’s lawyer, Dan Herbert.
“He had no idea who this Mazur was and what his relationship was with this woman,” Herbert said. “He simply alerted his team to the tip and they acted on it, just as they had hundreds of times in the past.”
Plewa didn’t know, Herbert insists, that Mazur was trying to frame his estranged wife.
The tip came in on April 1, 2007, with Mazur telling Plewa where he could find the illegal drugs, the gun and Mazur’s then-wife, Sylwia Marcinczyk. The woman was arrested and spent about two weeks in jail, but was later acquitted of all charges.
Prosecutors took another look at the case, charging Mazur with four felonies, including delivering drugs. Prosecutors also charged Plewa, alleging he’d been part of the plan to frame Marcinczyk — although they never charged him with trying to profit from the scheme. Mazur pleaded guilty to filing a false police report and agreed to testify against Plewa. Even so, in August 2010, Cook County Judge Michael Brown found Plewa not guilty of all charges, saying the officer was merely guilty of being a “dupe.”
“There was no evidence that you were involved in the planning of this hare-brained scheme,” Brown said from the bench. “There was no benefit that you got.”
But Brown blasted Plewa for allegedly lying during Marcinczyk’s trial that he’d never met Mazur before arresting his wife. Brown said it was clear from the evidence that Mazur had met the officer.
“You did a very horrible thing, Officer Plewa,” Brown said. “You lied in court. That’s not the kind of thing that we can countenance.”
Plewa says Brown’s decision vindicates him, and he denied this week having any part in Mazur’s scheme.
“It’s obviously not true,” he said.
Despite the not-guilty finding, in June 2012, the city agreed to pay $375,000 to Marcinczyk to settle the lawsuit she filed against Plewa and the city, alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution — among other things. In settling the case, one of the city’s lawyers noted the cellphone records showing “numerous calls between Mazur and Plewa” prior to Marcinczyk’s arrest.
“Plewa also allegedly did nothing to identify his informant or verify his information,” the lawyer, Leslie Darling, said at the time.
And it wasn’t the first time the city has paid out in a case involving Plewa. A 26-year-old man accused Plewa and other officers of falsely claiming to have found drugs in his home in 2008. The city paid a $100,000 settlement in that case, said John Holden, a city spokesman. The city settled for $50,000 in another case, in which a man claimed he, too, had been wrongly accused of having drugs when Plewa and another officer arrested him in May 2008, Holden said.
In July 2013, the police board voted to fire Plewa based, in part , on his alleged lie in court in the Marcinczyk case.
“No police officer, even one as highly decorated as Plewa, can be allowed to remain on the job when he gives false testimony under oath in court,” the board wrote, explaining the decision.
Plewa appealed, and earlier this year, Larsen ruled the police board decided to fire Plewa without considering any significant evidence — including not looking at the transcripts from Plewa’s criminal trial.
Lawyers for Supt. Garry McCarthy head back to court on July 31 to ask Larsen to reconsider her ruling.
Plewa said he has “no idea” why his former employer doesn’t want him back on the force.
“I did the best job I could,” he said. “My record of arrests and commendations should speak for itself.”
A confidential informant gave an investigator in the Athens County prosecutor’s office a tip in late February: This prescription-drug ring? It’s huge.
Now, authorities say, they have dismantled an operation that might have put as much as $3 million worth of painkillers on the streets of southeastern Ohio with the arrest on Friday of a former Detroit police officer. He is accused of being the architect of the business and the supplier.
As if unraveling a sweater, investigators tugged at each lead they came across after that tip, trying to trace the criminal enterprise. They had so far arrested nearly a dozen suspects — including a former Chauncey, Ohio, police chief — but there had been nothing quite like what happened on Friday.
That’s when, on the order of Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn and armed with a 12-count indictment that includes racketeering, drug-possession and aggravated drug-trafficking charges, authorities arrested Brandon Jorge Allen at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Blackburn, speaking by phone yesterday from Detroit, where he was overseeing the issuance of a search warrant, said that Allen, 29, was trying to leave the country. The U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security helped to stop him.
Federal authorities said yesterday they aren’t sure when Allen will be brought back to Ohio to answer to the charges.
How did an ex-cop from Michigan — one who in 2008 pleaded guilty to extortion charges stemming from an attempt to force a store clerk to pay to avoid arrest — end up in Athens?
“Mr. Allen said Athens County was a gold mine,” Blackburn said.
“For years, he’s been the source of a drug that is ruining the lives of our citizens.”
The indictment says the drug ring dealt almost exclusively in the high-powered painkiller oxycodone, which generally sells for about $1 a milligram on the streets.
Svea Maxwell is prevention coordinator with the
317 Board, which oversees addiction and mental-health services in Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties.
She said these recent high-profile drug arrests are making a difference: “The community is happy to see the action.”
Many agencies are working together to make a dent in the drug business, and that’s great, she said, but she hopes an equal focus is put on treatment in the aftermath of the criminal cases.
“We hope this opens roads and pathways to get people help,” she said. “The crime comes from people trying to feed their own addiction.”
Blackburn said that’s not the case with Allen. He’s a businessman, not an addict, the prosecutor said.
Records show that when Allen was convicted on a federal charge of “extortion under color of official right” in August 2008, he was sentenced to one day in prison and given credit for time served. The Athens indictment alleges that he started trafficking drugs in Athens County in early 2009.
Blackburn said this is the largest narcotics investigation ever undertaken locally. He said the entire operation centered on the village of Glouster but affected the nearby villages of Murray City, Nelsonville, The Plains and Chauncey, as well as communities in Meigs County.
He said locals would meet Allen or his runners in the parking lots of businesses on I-75 in Perrysburg in northern Ohio and carry the drugs back to Appalachia. Allen also sometimes traveled to Athens County himself.
After several Athens County residents were arrested in recent months, the road led to Detroit and Allen, who owns a business there called Star Status Music Group.
The cooperation of the others was critical to Allen’s arrest, Blackburn said.
“I think some people saw this train wasn’t stopping, and they decided to get first-class seats while some were still available,” he said.
Assistant Prosecutor John Haseley said the resources mustered locally for the investigation were unprecedented. Blackburn said that when time is factored in, it’s probably a $100,000 investigation so far, and it isn’t done.
It has taken detectives and prosecutors to West Virginia and South Carolina. Recorded jail calls and social-media accounts have played a key role in deciphering who is involved, Blackburn said.
The indictment shows that authorities are moving to take Allen’s business and personal property in Detroit and a 2004 Buick LeSabre through forfeiture. They also seized a 2014 Mercedes-Benz worth more than $100,000.
The images that emerged of Jah-miel Cuffee's arrest shows him pinned on the pavement by other officers
By Matthew Chayes
NEW YORK — The family of a man who died after a violent encounter with the NYPD on Staten Island, joined by another man shown on an amateur cellphone video getting stomped on the head during an arrest in Brooklyn, appeared at a rally Saturday led by the Rev. Al Sharpton demanding action against police brutality.
The images that emerged of Jah-miel Cuffee's arrest shows him pinned on the pavement by other officers when the accused officer approaches and lowers his foot on Cuffee's head. He was suspected of smoking a marijuana cigarette, police said.
A week earlier, Sharpton preached from the same pulpit at his Harlem headquarters over the July 17 death of Eric Garner, 43, an accused peddler of untaxed cigarettes in Staten Island on whom cops applied a banned chokehold. That incident also was caught on amateur video.
Sharpton said he watched the video of Cuffee's Wednesday arrest after returning Friday from a meeting with federal prosecutors to ask that they, instead of the local district attorney, consider prosecuting the chokehold officer.
"It was almost like, 'Here we go again,' " Sharpton said.
Sharpton suggested he wants to see Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration roll back the so-called "broken-windows theory" of policing — championed by Police Commissioner William Bratton — in which officers focus on small offenses to deter bigger crimes.
"The challenge for this mayor is that you ran on transforming the Police Department," Sharpton said. "You have the opportunity now to show you said what you meant and you meant what you said."
Esaw Garner, the dead man's widow, said she wanted the officers involved in his arrest to be arrested. "He was a quiet man, but he's making a lot of noise now," she said.
Cuffee, 32, who has been charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and evidence tampering, had a bruise on his forehead that he says was sustained in the stomp.
"I just want it all to stop. I just want justice," he said.
Cuffee's sister, Rashida Rahim, said her brother was defenseless. "This has to stop," said Rahim, 39, of Englewood, New Jersey. "We need to have justice."
Both officers — Joel Edouard in the Cuffee case and Daniel Pantaleo in the Garner case -- have been stripped of their badges and guns and put on desk duty, the NYPD said.
The officers' union president said videos "present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario."
Also attending Sharpton's rally Saturday was Nicole Bell, whose fiance, Sean Bell, was unarmed when he was shot dead by undercover police officers who fired 50 shots outside of a Jamaica, Queens, strip club in 2006. Bell said she felt a kinship with the Garners — "like looking in a mirror."
Sharpton said he and the Garner family are scheduled to meet Monday with Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan Jr. With Robert Brodsky
By Doug Ireland
SALEM — Less than two days after an MBTA sergeant allegedly struck several cars and a bank after assaulting a woman in Salem, he was arrested Monday on additional charges in Methuen.
David Jaime, 29, of Methuen, was apprehended by police yesterday after a brief pursuit on Berkeley Street in Methuen about 7 a.m., according to Lt. Greg Gallant.
He was charged with violating a restraining order and failure to stop for a police officer, Gallant said.
Methuen police received a call that Jaime ignored a restraining order put in place after he allegedly assaulted a woman Saturday, Gallant said.
Police pursued Jaime in his vehicle for about three blocks before he finally pulled over, Gallant said. Jaime was then taken to Lawrence District Court to be arraigned, he said.
The arrest in Methuen followed Jaime’s arrest in Salem on multiple charges Saturday night, Salem police Lt. Robert Morin said.
He was free on $1,500 personal recognizance when he was charged with violating the restraining order, police said.
Jaime, an MBTA officer since his graduation from the police academy in 2008, was placed on paid administrative leave, MBTA spokeswoman Kelly Smith said. He earned $89,479 last year, she said.
“We were notified of his arrest and he is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” Smith said.
Salem police responded to 16 Meadow Lane at approximately 11 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call about an unwanted man at a party, Morin said.
The caller told police the man was drunk and threatening to hit people at the party. Police also received multiple calls from people who said the man, later identified as Jaime, may have passed out in the street, according to a police report.
When Salem officers arrived at the home, they learned Jaime had left in a black sport utility vehicle and struck several parked cars. Witnesses also said he assaulted a woman at the party.
Photos of a pregnant woman in a chokehold by a New York police officer is getting a lot of attention. Seven-months pregnant Rosan Miller and her family were accused Saturday of illegally grilling on the sidewalk. Someone used a cell phone to snap the pictures. The footage shows a NYPD officer with his arm round the 27-year-old woman’s throat while he arrested her.
The New York Post reports that cops arrived at Miller’s house on Bradford Street in East New York at about 7:30 pm when they saw her husband, Moses, grilling on a public sidewalk and asked him to move everything to their backyard. Mr. Miller didn’t provide his ID as requested by police and walked off. As police were in the process of arresting Mr. Miller, Rosan’s brother, John Miller, got involved by slapping police in an effort to stop the arrest.
Rosan Miller found herself getting arrested as well, but resisted against officers as they tried putting cuffs on her. The pregnant woman was placed in a chokehold position as police subdued her physical protest. The video shows the whole situation unfold with the couple’s 7-year-old son watching
Barron claims at least one of the officers called Miller’s husband the N-word.
Cops are prohibited from using chokeholds on suspects. According to police the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is reviewing the incident. Police officers are restricted from using chokeholds on suspects.
Miller wasn’t injured in the ordeal and she received a summons for disorderly conduct. Her brother-in-law, John Miller, is charged with obstruction of justice and harassment. Moses Miller is charged with resisting arrest.
Huffington Post adds that NY police officers have been prevented from using chokeholds for 20 years. Reuters is cited in their report as revealing the department currently has a “backlog” of complaints about this very thing being done by police. This news about the pregnant woman being in a chokehold comes just after a Staten Island man died after NY police subdued him the same way. The NY cop who used the move on Garner could face murder charges for the incident.
Garner was arrested and charged for the illegal sale of cigarettes. After Garner’s death, activist Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for a nationwide ban on chokeholds. The latest incident involving a pregnant woman, will make that message louder. Sharpton says:
“We cannot just depend — and this is important — on police policy to stop the choke hold. We need a federal precedent.”
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer was arrested today on drunken driving charges for the second time in nearly a year.
Officer Kevin Edward Brown, a 16-year veteran of the department, is accused of driving his marked police vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in Morgan County, said IMPD spokesman Sgt. Kendale Adams. Brown, 42, was off-duty at the time of his arrest, according to a release from IMPD.
Last August, Brown also was arrested in Morgan County on suspected drunken driving. Police pulled over a gray Chevrolet Tahoe that Brown was driving after he failed to signal a turn, according to a release from the Mooresville Police Department at the time.
Brown was suspended from IMPD at that time pending an internal investigation. Adams said at the time of his arrest today, Brown had fulfilled the terms of that suspension and was back on the police force.
Brown was booked into the Morgan County Jail and will remain there without bond until his initial hearing, according to jail officials. It was unclear this afternoon when that hearing was scheduled.
Additional details were not available this afternoon. Brown was suspended without pay pending an internal investigation.
Weirton, W.Va. – A single vehicle accident around 5 a.m. on Saturday at the intersection of Weir Avenue and Cove Road involved a Weirton police cruiser. Officials say the cruiser is just about totaled.
During the crash investigation, officials found out that the officer behind the wheel was driving on a suspended license.
That officer is Patrolman Robert J. Ryan.
Ryan was cited for driving suspended through Weirton Municipal Court.
By Ken Daley, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
A New Orleans police officer was placed on emergency suspension without pay and booked with two felony charges of domestic violence after police said she tried to run down a man with her car early Sunday morning in the Esplanade Ridge neighborhood of the Seventh Ward.
Stephanie Caldwell, a 10-year veteran NOPD officer assigned to the department's Special Operations Division tactical unit, was booked with one count each of domestic abuse aggravated assault and domestic abuse battery.
Police said Caldwell, 33, argued with a 47-year-old man around 3:30 a.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of North Broad Street, and attempted to strike the man with her car, a silver 2000 Jaguar.
Police said the man fled on foot westbound down Broad Street as Caldwell pursued in her car, driving against traffic on North Broad and Onzaga streets before hitting a parked car. Investigators said Caldwell continued her pursuit onto Rousselin Drive until she lost control turning the wrong direction onto Lapeyrouse Street. It was at that intersection that she drove head-on into a wooden power pole, cracking it nearly in half and disabling her car, police and witnesses said.
Police said that after Caldwell underwent alcohol and drug testing and received medical clearance, she was arrested and booked by the NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau.
The man was not injured and refused medical treatment, police said. NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune does not identify victims in domestic violence cases.
"I heard a loud crash, and when I looked out my window, the police were out there already," said Carl Mutin, a nearby resident of Lapeyrouse Street. "As soon as I heard the boom, it seemed like there were flashing lights at the corner right away."
The NOPD did not say whether officers already were in pursuit of Caldwell when the crash occurred. One witness who did not wish to be named provided a photo of the crash scene showing the Jaguar's driver's side air bag had deployed on impact.
"Almost immediately, it seemed like there were at least half a dozen cops there," the witness said.
Another neighbor, Penny Irving, said she noticed two NOPD officers standing watch over the wrecked car until the vehicle was towed away Sunday afternoon. The damaged utility pole already had been replaced by midday on Monday.
A press release issued by the NOPD said Caldwell also was booked with reckless operation of a vehicle, hit-and-run, and driving against traffic. However, those additional charges did not appear on her court record Monday morning.
Caldwell's bond was set Monday at $2,000. As part of her bond obligation, she had to sign a protective order ensuring that she has no contact with the man involved in the incident. The next hearing in her case is scheduled for Sept. 24 before Criminal District Court Judge Julian Parker.
Caldwell is the third NOPD officer booked in the past 2 1/2 weeks in connection with violence against someone in a personal relationship.
Detective Robert Hurst was booked July 11 with simple battery -- after initially being charged with attempted murder -- in connection with an argument last December with a woman he did not co-habitate with. That relationship did not meet the state's requirements for a domestic violence charge, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said.
Hurst pleaded not guilty and is free after posting a $5,000 bond. He is scheduled for an Aug. 27 judge trial before Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson.
A second SWAT team member, NOPD Officer Christopher Carter, was suspended July 14 in connection with a domestic violence complaint lodged in January. Carter was charged with domestic abuse battery and domestic abuse battery involving strangulation in a bill of information filed by the DA's office.
Carter pleaded not guilty and is free after posting a $32,500 bond, court records show. His next hearing is set for Aug. 28 before Landrum-Johnson.
Both Hurst and Carter were placed on emergency suspension without pay by the NOPD.
By Debra Bogstie and Ari Mason
Police sources say the allegations involve the officer's actions at a Walmart in Hartford a whether he stole merchandise while working a private-duty job there.
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 • Updated at 6:20 PM EDT
Hartford police are investigating one of their own, who’s been forced to turn in his gun and badge and stay away from police headquarters.
The allegations involve Officer Luis Feliciano’s actions at the Walmart on Flatbush Avenue in Hartford. Police are investigating claims that he stole merchandise while working on a private-duty security job, according to police sources.
One source told NBC Connecticut some of the questionable conduct was caught on tape.
Police sources said Feliciano has been suspended as a criminal investigation gets underway. Police have not made an arrest in the case.
“Yesterday we suspended an officer with pay as a part of an administrative protocol and there is an ongoing criminal investigation right now,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.
Police union president Sgt. Richard Holton declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Walmart also declined to comment.
This incident comes about a year and a half after Hartford police confirm Feliciano’s department-issued gun was stolen in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hartford police released no other details about that incident.
By Claudia DoCampo and Alexandra Leon
A judge revoked officer Ryan Robinson's bond related to DUI charges for receiving additional charges while out on bail. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports from the Miami-Dade Courthouse.
A Miami-Dade Police Officer charged with DUI is back in custody for driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident while out on bond.
A judge revoked 41-year-old Ryan Robinson's bond at a Tuesday hearing. Robinson was charged with DUI in April after
Then four weeks ago, officials said he was caught driving with a suspended license. Authorities said Robinson hit car that had a person inside it in a Palmetto Bay parking lot, then drove away, but he hit another parked car that was empty. The person in the first car called police and he was charged with driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
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"I do have serious concerns regarding the safety of the community," Miami-Dade Judge Maria Ortiz said.
Robinson, a 12-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department, was arrested in April on charges of DUI, DUI property damage and DUI causing serious bodily injury in the incident that happened at the Publix parking lot at 20425 Old Cutler Road.
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The off-duty officer was driving his 1997 GMC truck and was first involved in a traffic crash causing property damage, police said. As he tried to leave the scene, he struck the grocery cart with the two children inside, police said.
The impact caused the cart to fall on its side and Geah Garcia, 3, and Meah Garcia, 6, to fall into the roadway. The girls were treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Seven years ago, Robinson and another officer faced a lawsuit and civil federal trial after the two allegedly fired their weapons 27 times and killed two people. Robinson and the other officer were cleared of all charges.
Following the latest traffic-related charges, Robinson has been placed on house arrest and given a SCRAM bracelet to monitor his alcohol intake. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending his trial, which begins Sept. 8th.
BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore police officer has been charged with hitting a 14-year-old boy while he was in custody after allegedly leading law enforcers on a car chase.
The State's Attorney's Office said Tuesday that Officer Serge Antonin had been charged in a criminal information with assault and misconduct.
Prosecutors say Antonin, a 14-year veteran of the department, hit the teenager after he was pulled out of a car on July 29, 2013. Authorities say the teenager had stolen a car and led police on a chase.
By Bryan Fitzgerald
A veteran Troy cop was arrested Wednesday for allegedly tipping off a suspect in a drug ring that investigators were about to raid his home.
Officer Brian Gross has been charged with felony evidence tampering and other charges. Before a courtroom full of Troy police, Gross pleaded not guilty in Troy City Court. Some of the Gross’ colleagues that were in court were reportedly upset they did not receive any warning of Gross’ pending arrest. The case is being handled by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.
Gross was assigned to assist with the State Police’s narcotics unit. Gross’ arrest stems from a State Police investigation of a Rensselaer County drug ring that began last year.
From the story on our main page:
One of the suspects whose residence was raided allegedly told State Police investigators that he’d been tipped off that a search warrant would be executed. The person who told the suspect allegedly admitted receiving this information from Gross, who arranged in-person meetings using text messages, according to the complaint.
The Attorney General’s office said that the person who tipped off the suspect, after learning of the raid from Gross, had been told by the officer to “watch [his] back” because he had come to the attention of the State Police, according to the Attorney General’s office.
A week before the raids, Gross again warned the person not to have drugs inside the residence because “there was a good chance the police would be getting a warrant,” according to the complaint.
The mayor of Houston, Texas, apologized last week to a woman whose beloved family dog died when a police officer forced her husband to leave it on the side of the road after a traffic stop. The helpless little 14-year-old chihuahua was already mostly blind from cataracts and didn’t stand a chance when the officer arrested Josie Garcia’s husband — on a charge that was quickly dropped anyway — and refused to let him call anyone to pick up the dog.
Josie Garcia appeared at a Houston City Council meeting on July 22 to tell her story.
On July 14, she said her husband gave a friend a ride home from a family gathering when a Houston police officer pulled his truck over, saying that he made a turn without using his turn signal.
The cop then searched the car and found, according to court records, that the friend was in possession of the drug PCP. The officer then took the two men into custody. But Garcia said her husband pleaded with the officer to let someone come and pick up Guero, the lovable chihuahua who enjoyed riding in the truck and was along for the trip.
But the Houston officer refused, telling the man to leave the dog by the side of the road, but according to Garcia, the arresting cop said it wasn’t his problem, that the dog would be fine.”
What makes the story even more unbelievable is that the arrest happened close by to Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. But in addition to refusing to allow the man to call someone to get Guero, the officer didn’t even bother to call animal control to collect the dog.
Charges against Garcia’s husband were dropped and they put up “lost dog” posters, hoping someone had picked Gero up and they would see the dog again. Instead, they got a call from a Good Samaritan who said he saw Guero wandering up a freeway ramp near where the officer forced him to be abandoned.
The Good Samaritan said he tried to get the dog, but traffic was too heavy. Before he could reach Guero, the dog was struck and killed.
“Let me give you a public apology right now on behalf of the city of Houston,” Mayor Annise Parker said at the council meeting. “I don’t know what airhead — there’s another word in my mind but I’m not going to say it — would throw, you wouldn’t put a kid on the side of the road. You shouldn’t put someone’s pet on the side of the road.”
The report is one of many recently involving family dogs killed by police officers, seemingly for no reason.
The Houston Police Department says an investigation into what happened and why Guero was dumped on the road could take an astounding six months.
By Susan Weich
ST. CHARLES • A reserve officer with the Pine Lawn Police Department has been charged with raping his former girlfriend at an apartment in St. Charles in May.
Rico L. Frazier, 23, of the 5900 block of San Simeon Drive in south St. Louis County, was charged Thursday with burglary, rape, felonious restraint and two counts of sodomy.
The woman, 22, a student at Lindenwood University, reported the attack just before 4 a.m. on May 1. It happened about two miles from campus at the Time Centre Apartments, 901 Time Centre Drive. The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Frazier had been a volunteer reserve police officer with the Pine Lawn Police Department for three months at the time of the assault. He graduated from the Eastern Missouri Police Academy in November 2013.
Pine Lawn Police Lt. Steven Blakeny said Frazier was with the department as a reserve until the end of June when he told officers he was taking a paying job with another department. It could not be determined Thursday whether another department hired him. Blakeny said Frazier did not volunteer with the department after the attack.
“This kid on paper appeared to be stellar,” he said. “He was one of the standout students at the academy.”
Frazier and the woman dated until October 2013, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said and remained friends afterward. The two had spoken as recently as the day before the assault, and the conversation had been cordial, he said.
Police gave this account of the attack:
Frazier smashed in the sliding glass door of the woman’s apartment about 3 a.m., while she was sleeping. Frazier then sprayed her in the face with law enforcement-grade pepper spray, temporarily blinding her.
He tackled the woman and repeatedly beat her face into the floor as he pulled her hair. The woman fought back and was able to rip a necklace off Frazier, but he overpowered her and raped her.
Frazier then forced her to go downstairs where he sexually assaulted her a second time on a futon in the living room. While Frazier was going through her dresser drawers, the woman called 911. When Frazier heard her on the phone, he fled the scene.
Photographs of Frazier were located on social media that showed him wearing the necklace left behind at the apartment. The pepper spray, which also was left behind, matched the make and model of the spray Frazier was issued as a reserve officer, police said.
DNA evidence from the victim, pepper spray can, necklace and bedding matched Frazier’s DNA, according to court documents.
Lohmar said although police suspected Frazier early on in the investigation, the victim initially didn’t think the attacker was Frazier because for much of the 45-minute attack, she couldn’t see clearly because of the pepper spray. In addition, Frazier apparently disguised his voice, Lohmar said.
Though police were able to gather significant DNA evidence, they did not have Frazier’s DNA for comparison until just recently, Lohmar said.
Frazier’s bail is set at $200,000 cash only.
Kim Bell of the Post-Dispatch contributed information to this report.
NEW ORLEANS -- Suspended Officer Willie A. Gant, Sr., was bonded out of Orleans Parish Prison late Wednesday afternoon.
The 26-year veteran on the New Orleans Police Department faces two counts of indecent behavior with juveniles and two counts of sexual battery on a juvenile.
According to arrest documents, a 12-year-old girl claims Gant molested her on two separate occasions at his house in the 1500 block of Marigny Street in the St. Roch neighborhood. His attorney Patrick Giraud says Gant denies the charges.
"We haven't had a discussion as to where he believes these charges originated from," said Giraud. "He just denied them."
Police executed a search warrant at Gant's home after his arrest. His attorney wouldn't say what, if anything, was taken during the search. A judge set Gant's bond at $50,000.
"The main concern was making sure he got a livable bond, which we believe we were successful with," said Giraud. Willie Gant has a troubled past with the NOPD A check of his civil service record showed multiple suspensions for Neglect of Duty and traffic accidents. He was also accused of punching a French Quarter tour guide in 2008.
Gant is the fourth NOPD officer arrested in July.
Sunday, police booked Stephanie Caldwell with two felony charges of domestic violence. On July 14, police booked officer Christopher Carter with domestic abuse battery. On July11, Detective Robert Hurst was booked with attempted murder and simple battery, following an argument with his former girlfriend. The attempted murder charge was later dropped.
New Orleans Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson said the recent spate of arrests is troubling.
"We have a number of issues coming out, domestic violence incidents, a lot of those lately, alcohol related issues and now this incident involving minors," said Hutson. "Those are very disturbing allegations."
Hutson said it's now up to the NOPD to put a program in place to address the issues.
"The consent decree does require the NOPD to have a health and wellness program for it's officers," said Hutson. "So you have to look at what can be done to make sure you're helping officers before they kind of flame out in these situations."
The arrested officers were all suspended from duty.