St. Louis County Officer Dan Page came to national attention after attempting to shut down the out newscaster's live report from Ferguson, Missouri 01 September 2014 | By James Withers YouTube The St. Louis area police officer suspended after a video was discovered of him disparaging multiple groups, including the LGBTI community, has retired. Dan Page, a 35-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, faced scrutiny after a televised encounter with CNN's out anchor Don Lemon. The gay newscaster was reporting from Ferguson, Missouri, the town embroiled in controversy over the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Lemon charged Page shoved him. The department did not consider the incident assault. Police spokesman Brian Schellman told the St. Louis Dispatch Page retired on Monday, August 25. That was the same day Page faced an internal review concerning a presentation he made to Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Formed in 2009, the group is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as a 'far-right... fiercely anti-government, militaristic group.' Lemon brought the 2012 lecture to the attention of St. Louis County Police Department officials. In the approximately one-hour lecture, the former officer calls retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens a 'homosexual sodomite' and maintains there are now 'four sodomites on the Supreme Court.' Page, as to be expected, is not a fan of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals openly serving in the armed forces. 'In the military right now, you have open sodomy,' the officer explains. 'People holding hands. Swapping spit together. Sick. It's pitiful.' He calls President Barack Obama an 'undocumented president,' repeating the discredited theory Obama was born in Kenya. Page also boasts of his skills as a killer. 'I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I'm also a killer. I’ve killed a lot,' the officer notes. 'And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me, it's that simple. I have no problem with it. God did not raise me to be a coward. 'I'm into diversity. I kill everybody, I don't care,' he offers. Page is expected to receive a full retirement package.
One St. Louis-area police officer resigned and another retired in the continued fallout from questionable police actions in the days after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.
The moves bring to three the number of police officers whose conduct was called into question after the August 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an African-American teen shot multiple times by a white police officer.
The three officers are: Lt. Ray Albers, who threatened and pointed an assault rifle at protesters; Dan Page, an officer caught on camera pushing a CNN correspondent before a video surfaced of him ranting about the Supreme Court and Muslims; and Matthew Pappert, an officer fired after making what his chief called “very … inappropriate” Facebook comments about the protests in Ferguson.
Albers, a 20-year veteran of the St. Ann, Missouri, police department, resigned Thursday, according to City Administrator Matt Conley.
Albers stepped down after the city’s board of police commissioners recommended to the board of aldermen that he be fired or resign, St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez told CNN on Saturday.
“He’s one of my best friends but we have to do what’s best for the city,” Jimenez said. “It doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy, but he made a mistake after 20 years of solving crimes.”
Albers was the officer who pointed a semiautomatic rifle at a Ferguson protester and threatened to kill him on August 19 — a tense moment caught on video and posted online.
A day after the incident, police officials announced that the officer had been “relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely.”
In the video, Albers can be seen walking around with his assault rifle raised, then pointing it in the direction of protesters.
“I’m going to f—ing kill you,” he says. “Get back. Get back.”
Police said the protester involved in what it deemed “a verbal exchange” was “peaceful.”
Another man in the crowd said out loud, “Did you threaten to kill him?”
When the officer was asked for his name, he responded: “Go f— yourself.”
Protesters mocked the officer before was led away by another member of law enforcement.
A CNN crew also saw the officer point his weapon at those around him as he cursed, shouted and threatened people by saying he’d kill them unless they stayed away.
Jimenez said of Albers: “He’s not doing well, but he’s trying to stay positive. He knows over his 20 years, he’s done a lot of good work. You do one thing and it can ruin your career. He recognized what he did was wrong. That’s his first step in moving on. He feels remorse. He said he was scared and wasn’t thinking.”
Page, an officer with the St. Louis County Police Department, retired effective August 25, according to St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman.
Page was caught on camera pushing CNN’s Don Lemon. He was placed on administrative leave after a video surfaced of him ranting about the Supreme Court and Muslims, among other things.
He also refers on the video to Barack Obama as “that illegal alien who claims to be our President.”
This week, officials in the city of Glendale, Missouri, confirmed that Pappert was fired after making what his chief called “very … inappropriate” Facebook comments, according to a city official.
“These protesters should be put down like a rabid dog the first night,” Pappert wrote in one post, according to CNN affiliate KMOV. There were reportedly five inappropriate posts, KMOV said.
Pappert, a six-year veteran of the Glendale force, was originally suspended on August 22 after the comments came to light. An inquiry was initiated that day.
“Officer Pappert was dismissed following the conclusion of the investigation,” City Administrator Jaysen Christensen said. “Our focus at this point is to move past this, and turn the focus back to healing in … Ferguson.”
Glendale, like Ferguson, is a municipality in St. Louis County. The two suburbs are about 15 miles apart.
A week ago, Glendale Police Chief Jeffrey Beaton suspended Pappert and cited what he called the “inappropriate posts on his personal Facebook page,” according to the Webster-Kirkwood Times, an online news outlet in the area.
Police in the area have come under fire for their heavy-handed response to the Ferguson protests following Brown’s death.
An attorney for Pappert said his client was sorry for his online comments.
“Officer Pappert is deeply remorseful about what he posted on social media,” lawyer William Goldstein said. “We ask for (the) same spirit of forgiveness and the opportunity for redemption.”
By Hilary Trenda
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was arrested and charged in Union County Thursday night after an alleged domestic dispute involving a woman, the department said Friday.
Michael Ray Snider, 32, was arrested shortly after 10:30 p.m. Thursday and charged with assault on a female, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office website.
“The charges are related to an incident that occurred at Officer Snider’s residence in Union County,” a CMPD representative said. It was not immediately clear who the woman involved in the incident was or her relationship to Snider.
Snider has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau investigation, police said.
Before being placed on leave, Snider was assigned to patrol in the Independence Division and was hired by CMPD in March 2003, according to the department.
Retired police officer with ALS 'kills wife and sister-in-law' days after ice bucket challenge fundraiser
A retired cop with ALS has been charged with shooting dead his wife and sister-in-law just days after friends raised thousands of pounds for him doing the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Former Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Steele, 39, faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his wife Ashley, 39, and sister-in-law Kacee Tollefsbol, 38.
Prosecutors allege Steele killed the sisters at his home in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, on August 22.
He is then accused of trying to kill himself, but prosecutors have not yet offered a motive for the deaths.
The killings came just days after the victims and Steele’s friends took part in the ALS ice bucket challenge and raised £14,000 towards his medical expenses. The family were reportedly trying to raise £45,000.
The former lawman was diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier this summer after noticing a shaking in his arm and slurred speech.
According to legal documents police were called to the house by Kacee who said she had been shot.
A Swat team arrived shortly after and found the woman in the basement with a gunshout wound to the back. She again claimed Steele had shot her before dying around an hour later.
Officers then found Ashley’s body in the master bedroom. She had been shot in the head and had zip tie wrapped around her throat.
The legal report claims Steele was in the laundry room trying to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning using a charcoal grill that was alight.
In a court hearing last Friday, Steele’s lawyer, Jessa Nicholson, said she plans to investigate her client’s mental state.
Steele, who appeared in court via video conference, faces two life sentences if convicted.
By Andrew Brown
He wasn't the right Jose Alicea but still spent week in jail
When Jose Alicea left work on April 15, he thought that he was going to the last meeting of his 12-month probationary term. He told his boss he would be back shortly.
He was proud of the progress he made since he pleaded guilty to drug paraphernalia charges in May 2013. Alicea had found a good place to live, started a full-time job working for Singh Auto Group, and was spending time with his 3-year-old daughter every week.
But when he arrived at the Northampton County probation office, he was told that a warrant had been issued for his arrest in Lehigh County. He was handcuffed and taken to the Northampton County Prison.
When he asked what he was charged with, he was told that a protection-from-abuse order had been filed against him and that he had failed to appear in court when he was summoned.
Alicea, of Bethlehem, protested. He didn't know anyone who would file a protection-from-abuse order against him, and he knew that he hadn't done anything wrong.
But the arrest warrant didn't lie. It had his name, date of birth and place of residence printed on it. He couldn't understand what was happening.
"As soon as I had my life set up, boom, something like this happened," Alicea said, recounting that day.
As Alicea, 43, sat in jail for a week waiting for his bail hearing, he was racked with worry. He couldn't sleep. The few phone calls he was given were wasted; his former girlfriend, the mother of his child, wouldn't speak with him, believing that another woman had filed a protection-from-abuse order against him.
He worried that he wouldn't be allowed to see his daughter anymore. He was concerned that he would lose his job and apartment. But the worst part was the gnawing anxiety of not knowing how his name ended up on the warrant.
"Mentally, I was stressed out because I had no clue why," Alicea said.
When Alicea was transferred to Lehigh County for his scheduled court date, he still had no answers, but his bail was set at $2,000 and his mother and aunt gathered the $200 needed for his release.
Alicea wasted no time.
He immediately began calling the probation officers in Northampton and Lehigh County. But after those calls provided no information, he went to the Lehigh County Court's Clerk of Judicial Records to request the protection from abuse order that sent him to prison.
When the clerk handed him the order, Alicea was in disbelief. The protection order was proof that Jose Alicea had not violated his probation — at least not this Jose Alicea.
The name on the order matched Alicea's, but the date of birth, Social Security number, residential address and physical identifiers didn't match his own, according to the documents obtained by Alicea.
Alicea said he couldn't believe that a clerical error could put him in prison, and more importantly, that nobody else had realized the mistake.
"If I wouldn't have made bail, I never would have been able to resolve this," Alicea said.
While Alicea's case is troubling, it is far from uncommon. Wrongful arrests and convictions occur throughout the United States — often the result of clerical errors.
In August, the Clay County Sheriff's Office in Florida settled a lawsuit for $67,000 with a woman who was wrongfully arrested twice, according to the news website WKRG.com.
Ashley Nicole Chiasseon of Louisiana was extradited and spent four weeks in jail on charges of grand theft and writing bad checks. The woman authorities sought was named Ashley Odessa Chiasseon, according to the website. Four deputies were suspended without pay for the mistake.
In May, WFAA.com reported that the Dallas Police Department's Internal Affairs Division had investigated six cases of wrongful arrest in the year preceding the news article, including that of Shantel Johnson, who was picked up on a domestic violence case. The woman police sought had a similar name but was 20 years younger.
In many wrongful arrest cases, like Alicea's, the people who are wrongly accused often have prior criminal records that open them up to mistakes by law enforcement. In 1993, Alicea pleaded guilty to drug charges in addition to his 2013 arrest.
"Having any prior criminal record — essentially being known to law enforcement — is a factor that is linked to wrongful conviction," said Jon Gould, an American University criminal justice professor.
In 2013, Gould and his colleagues at American University published research funded by the National Institute of Justice that identified several factors associated with wrongful convictions, including the age of the defendant, wrongful eyewitness identification and an individual's criminal history.
"Knowing nothing else about the case," Gould said of Alicea's arrest, "the thing that jumps out at me is that this is someone who has a prior criminal record."
From his experience, Gould said he believes that someone eventually would have recognized the mistake during Alicea's court proceedings. But Alicea was able to do that for himself, acting as his own defense attorney, Gould said.
"In terms of what the lessons are for law enforcement and for prosecutors," Gould said, "it's to sweat the details."
But even when criminal justice employees realize their mistakes before conviction, the wrongful arrests can cause serious problems for the accused. And in some cases, records are never corrected, leaving room for future confusion and mistakes by law enforcement.
When Alicea was released from jail, he had no money, no apartment and no job — in Alicea's absence, his boss hired another employee.
"I got out with nothing," Alicea said, "and all I got was: 'I'm sorry.'"
Alicea said that the Lehigh County probation office apologized when they realized its mistake.
But for Alicea it was a little too late.
"They were trying to do anything possible to make it better for me," Alicea said, "but it's already done. What can they do?"
According to Lehigh County District Court Administrator Bill Berndt, the mistake was made when the probation office received the civil court listing and mistakenly matched Alicea's name with the man who had the protection-from-abuse order filed against him. Berndt said he did not know of any similar mistakes made by probation officers.
"The employee who checked it was not as diligent as they should have been," Berndt said.
Berndt said the mistake had been fully investigated, but would not say whether any disciplinary action had been taken against the staff member that made the mistake.
But Berndt emphasized the fact that Alicea never would have been arrested if he had shown up at court when he was summoned. Berndt said that since protection-from-abuse orders are a civil matter, the only reason Alicea was arrested was because he had failed to appear in court for the protection-from-abuse order.
"His failure to appear compounded our mistake," Berndt said.
Alicea said that he never received a letter summoning him to appear in front of a Lehigh County judge. But even if he had, Alicea said the court administration is missing the point. He said if they wouldn't have mixed up his name, he never would have been summoned to court in the first place.
Since April, Alicea has found another place to stay. He's back doing detail work at Singh Auto Group again, but his hours have been limited because he can't find a ride to work everyday.
Alicea said he's upset and frustrated that his life was disrupted by someone's mistake. He said he would like to seek some type of compensation for being wrongly accused, handcuffed, strip-searched and jailed. He has sought consultation from lawyers specializing in false arrests.
According to lawyers who specialize civil rights cases, not all wrongful arrest cases can lead to winnable lawsuits.
"It sounds like they dropped the ball in this case," Robert Magee, a partner at the law firm of Worth, Magee & Fischer in Allentown, said after being told details of Alicea's case.
But Magee, who litigates civil rights cases, said winnable civil suits focusing on wrongful arrests don't come along every day. He said it often depends on in what jurisdiction the arrest occurred and whether the victim can prove that law enforcement officials didn't operate in a professional manner.
Alicea said the point of seeking civil action isn't about retribution; it's about principle.
"That's a week out of my life that I'll never get back," he said. "Some people may not think it's a lot, but it is for me."
OKLAHOMA-- A police officer and former football star in Oklahoma City is facing some serious charges from his own police department.
According to CBS Affiliate KWTV, the allegations came to light after a 57-year-old grandmother made claims that Holtzclaw forced her perform oral sex in June. The officer was placed on leave and the investigation started.
During a court hearing Friday, the judge set Holtzclaw's bail at $5 million.
Investigators said so far seven victims have come forward, but they believe there are more.
According to an affidavit obtained by Associated Press Friday, Holtzclaw was arrested on charges of serial sexual assault preyed on women in the rundown neighborhoods he was assigned to patrol - picking some up off the street, pulling others over at traffic stops and in one case taking a woman to a nearby school.
"They're retracing all of his contacts, as many as they can, especially traffic stops," said police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson.
The investigation began - and Holtzclaw was immediately placed on leave - when police said a woman complained in June that Holtzclaw had sexually assaulted her during a traffic stop on a boulevard about two miles north of the state Capitol. The alleged incident prompted police to check other contacts Holtzclaw had with the public since beginning street patrols about 18 months ago.
Officers identified seven victims and eight incidents before accusing Holtzclaw of crimes including rape, sexual battery and indecent exposure. Police Chief Bill Citty published Holtzclaw's photograph with the hope that other women would step forward. District Attorney David Prater said formal charges could be lodged by Aug. 29. Holtzclaw had not previously been disciplined in his three-year tenure with the department.
Police reports said the victims were all black women between the ages of 34 and 58. Holtzclaw, who played college football at 6-foot-1, 246 pounds, would come across the woman while on patrol. Three were assaulted in his car. One victim was taken to a school in the Spring Lake Division where he worked, according to the affidavit.
"Did he feel that these people were so disenfranchised that they could be thrown away because no one would care about their safety?" asked state Rep. Connie Johnson, who represents the area in the state Legislature.
Police said it wasn't clear if Holtzclaw targeted victims because of their race.
"All of this victims were black, but that is probably because the area where he worked," Nelson said, referring to the mixed race neighborhood of black, Hispanic and Vietnamese residents as well as some gentrification drawing more whites into the area.
Holtzclaw joined the force after parlaying a stellar high school and college football career into a criminal justice degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Holtzclaw was an all-state football player in his senior year at Enid, leading the team with 123 tackles. The Eastern Michigan football media guide in 2008 featured him at the top of its roster page - touting his weightlifting abilities and his starting in every game since his arrival on campus in 2005. He tried out for the Detroit Lions after he was not taken in the NFL draft, but was cut from the team.
His former high school football coach, Tom Cobble, said the allegations were "absolutely a shock."
"It's so totally out of character. It's unbelievable." said Cobble, who retired from coaching at Chickasha, Oklahoma last year.
"We need to reach out to him and make sure he knows he's loved," Cobble said.
A feature article in the Enid News & Eagle newspaper last year quoted Holtzclaw as saying he wanted to join the police department's anti-gang unit "where you knock and go in screaming."
"The gang unit reminds me most of playing football," Holtzclaw was quoted as saying. It reminds me of that adrenaline rush. You are going, going ... chasing bad guys."
Nelson said Holtzclaw's colleagues were upset at the allegations against a police officer.
"Most of us see it as a black eye to our profession and our department," he said
By Jay Korff, ABC 7 News
SPRINGFIELD, Va. (WJLA) - The family of a Springfield man shot by police during a standoff last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Fairfax County Police Department.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Fairfax County Circuit Court, asks for $12 million for the wrongful death of John Geer, as well as $350,000 in punitive damages against the officers involved.
The lawsuit and claims all stem from an incident that took place on Aug. 29, 2013.
On that date, Fairfax County Police responded to a reported domestic dispute in a home on the 7900 block of Pebble Brook Court. Whoever reported the incident claimed that Geer had weapons, prompting a large police response, as well as SWAT teams entering the usually quiet neighborhood.
Police said they negotiated with Geer, who was standing in the doorway of the home, for about 40 minutes. Geer reportedly had his hands up, resting on the door jamb above his head.
However, when Geer reportedly started lowering one of his arms, police opened fire and shot him. Rescue teams that entered the home reported that Geer was dead.
A few days after the incident, police announced that their investigation revealed that Geer had not been armed, after all.
Now, Geer's widow, Maura Harrington, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit that names the Fairfax County Police Department, Chief Ed Roessler, and three as-yet unnamed police officers who were involved in the shooting as defendants.
In the wrongful death claim, Harrington cites "solace, mental anguish and solace," loss of Geer's income and funeral expenses, asking for $12 million in compensation, as well as interest dating back to Aug. 29, 2013, when the incident took place.
Harrington also requests the return of "personal property wrongfully seized and now retained" by the police department.
A Fort Wayne Police Officer, Mark Rogers, has pleaded guilty to raping a woman during an OWI arrest.
As part of his plea agreement, Rogers pleaded guilty to a Class B-felony charge of rape, as well as one charge of sexual misconduct and another charge of official misconduct.
According to the terms of the plea deal, Rogers will not serve any more than six years in prison, home detention, or work release.