Rape kit testing helps indict former MPD officer in a 2000 rape
By Jason Miles
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC) - A former Memphis police officer was indicted on aggravated rape charges. A back-logged rape kit finally got tested and helped lead to the indictment which stems from an attack that happened 14 years ago.
Bridges Randle, 40, is accused of raping a woman in her apartment on June 24, 2000. He changed his name, but Memphis investigators still tracked him down to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked for The Boys & Girls Club.
"We've been working very hard to get through this backlog and to make sure all of these kits get tested and get the results we have today," District Attorney Amy Weirich said.
Randle remains locked up at the Shelby County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
He is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint in 2000. Investigators say it happened at a Fox Meadows area apartment.
Police had been there earlier in the day on June 24, 2000 responding to a domestic violence call. The alleged victim told investigators that a man acting like a police officer later returned to ask more questions.
The woman says that man pulled a gun on her, forced her into a bedroom, and raped her.
DNA evidence from an previously untested rape kit identified the suspect as Randle. At the time, he was an officer with Memphis police.
Randle left MPD in 2001 and was most recently an administrator with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, where he went by another name.
"It's a good day for the victim and the community," Amy Weirich said.
Randle will be arraigned in criminal court on Friday.
The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta released the following statement:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta has learned that a staff member has been accused of rape and is being held on bond in the Shelby County Jail in Tennessee. The staff member was stationed at our central office downtown and was not an employee of a specific Club location. To our knowledge, the alleged activity took place more than 10 years ago in Tennessee and does not in any way involve anyone in Georgia or any minors.
We are deeply concerned and alarmed by this allegation, and have taken immediate action. The employee has been terminated and we have prohibited this individual's access to our organization and any of our operations.
The safety and protection of the children we serve is the number one priority of the Boys & Girls Clubs. Our organization is committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity, and does not tolerate inappropriate or illegal activity on the part of any Club staff, volunteer or youth member. As part our commitment to safety, we conduct criminal background checks on all staff. Each background check must verify the person's identity and search all 50-state criminal databases and sex offender registries.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta will continue its full cooperation with the authorities on this matter.
by Michele Kirk
An Oregon man’s life changed the moment he took out his iPad to record local police officers plowing through his girlfriend’s neighborhood at 4 a.m. with armored vehicles, blasting flash grenades into a home and shaking up the whole block.
Within moments of filming the military tanks and officers in GI Joe gear, YouTube user Skylow Production said that the Gresham Police Department homed in on him, according to Photography is not a Crime (PINAC).
After refusing to stop recording and go inside (he knew his rights), the cops “assaulted” and arrested him, according to his description of the video.
Gresham OR 9/2/14 4:00am I was laying in my apartment sleeping an I heard multiple bombs blasting and glass breaking and my entire apartment shook repeatedly. I grabbed my Ipad and ran outside as fast as I could to see what was going on There were 5 or more Tank/Military Trucks just cruising through my neighborhood. 503 Gresham/Portland Oregon right across the street from Mt.Hood Community College. I was assaulted multiple times and I feel like it was Gresham Police Abuse and my rights were violated. I now owe $5000 and i am charged with 2 crimes. 2 CRIMES! At first I was scared to post this video but now I dont care because the Gresham Police Department has already made a copy of it as proof of my crimes. I feel more like this is proof of their crimes or am i crazy?
I was charged $5,000 for two different crimes $2,500 each. The first one i was charged was interfering and the second one I was charged with was Resisting. I did not resist and I was not angry or aggressive at all I simply was woken by bombs going off and my apartment rattling so I ran down the street with my tablet from my house as fast as I could to film whatever what happening. Yes I submitted video evidence they told met it is proof of my crime but I do not see a crime. I am INNOCENT!
By Sky Chadde
Cop-watchers and Arlington police officers at a traffic stop in August, as the tension between them increased.
Three people on a "cop watch" were arrested while videotaping a traffic stop by an Arlington police officer late Saturday night. The people are part of organizations Texas Cop Block and the Tarrant County Peaceful Streets Project, whose members tape police in a effort to hold them accountable for their actions. Until recently, that mostly meant gathering a small group to drive around Arlington in search of traffic stops (not anything else), parking nearby and pointing a camera. In the past several months, they've done this without incident.
There was a usual script: These people would record, and the cops would do their thing, or the watchers would cause the cops to stop doing what they were doing. At a recent cop watch, I was in the car when we pulled up to one traffic stop. The man was on the ground with had his hands behind his back. As soon as cop-watcher Joseph Tye got out of his car, the two officers let the man go. He got in his truck and drove away, and so did the officers. However, as the group has gotten more publicity, notably a Fox 4 report that got the word out and garnered them their largest attendance yet, the interactions between officers of the Arlington Police Department and the cop watchers have grown heated.
On the past three cop watches before the one Saturday night, several Arlington officers have formed perimeters around each traffic stop the cop watchers attended. But Saturday was when the tension seemed to boil over. As about 20 cop watchers gathered around a traffic stop in a parking lot on Cooper Street, a busy six-lane road, about 10 police cars and more than 20 officers joined them.
The first cop watcher arrested was Joseph Tye. He was standing in the parking lot filming at his usual distance, but apparently that was too close now. As the others filmed, Tye was arrested. Then, three cop watchers -- Jacob Cordova, Kory Watkins, who is also the head of Tarrant County Open Carry, and Watkins' wife -- attempted to walk down the sidewalk to record, which they did normally at traffic stops before this one.
An officer told them to stop, but the watchers continued to walk, getting within about 30 feet of the traffic stop. A squad car drove up behind the three watchers, who were standing in the area where vehicles drive into the parking lot. The car, moving at a slow speed and trying to get in the lot, almost hit Watkins' wife, and Watkins yelled at the officer driving. He and his wife were then arrested.
All three were out of the city jail by 2 a.m. after being bailed out by the other watchers. They were charged with interfering with police duty and obstructing a highway. Their phones and cameras were confiscated and they haven't got them back yet. They all have court dates.
"They probably did that to kill our cop watch," Cordova said.
Although the Supreme Court has never ruled on recording the police, filming public officials in a public space doing their public duty, as long as you don't interfere with their job, seems to fall under the First Amendment. In July, an Austin judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by Antonio Buehler, who films the Austin police and allegedly was arrested for it, could continue for that very reason.
Ron Pinkston, the president of the Dallas Police Association, told us in July that Dallas officers don't mind being filmed, as long as those filming do not get in the way.
Cop Block is a national, decentralized organization. The Peaceful Streets Project was started by Buehler.
BY TANYA SINKOVITS
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - A 12-year veteran of the Harbor Police Department is accused of misusing fuel cards.
Terry Javery had been charged with 1 count of malfeasance in office; 18 counts of access device fraud, 8 counts of attempted access device fraud, 18 counts of theft, 8 counts of attempted theft, and 2 counts of possession of stolen property (two fuel cards).
Officer Javery has been placed on suspension pending the outcome of the administrative investigation.
The spokesman for the Port of New Orleans, Matt Gresham, said NOPD and JPSO were notified because the alleged fraud spanned into other parishes.
Javery was arrested Monday evening.
– The Princeton Police Department has placed an officer on administrative leave following his arrest on a domestic violence charge.Police chief J.W. Howell tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that West Virginia State Police arrested officer Charles Mullins last week.Howell says Mullins will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. The police department is conducting an independent internal investigation.State police Sgt. D.W. Miller tells the newspaper that Mullins was arrested after his wife obtained a domestic violence petition. -
The epidemic of mentlaly unstable cops in America. Walnut Creek police officer charged with beating woman with baseball bat
MARTINEZ, Calif. —
A Walnut Creek police officer has been charged for allegedly donning a mask and beating a woman with a baseball bat in Richmond last month, a Contra Costa County prosecutor said Monday.
Gregory Thompson, a 54-year-old Martinez resident and 30-year Walnut Creek police veteran, was charged with felony assault likely to cause great bodily injury, felony vandalism and being armed in the commission of a felony, Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove said.
Thompson's arraignment on the charges was scheduled in Contra Costa County Superior Court Monday afternoon.
Richmond police said officers arrested Thompson in the early morning hours of Aug. 16 after several residents called around 2 a.m. to report a woman screaming and a man with a bat in the 4000 block of Clinton Avenue in Richmond.
As officers arrived on the scene, witnesses pointed out Thompson, who was sitting nearby in his parked car. He wasn't wearing his police uniform or in a patrol car at the time, police said.
Officers approached the suspect and noticed a mask lying on the car's floorboard. A search of the car turned up a baseball bat, two guns and zip ties, police said.
Police said the victim was taken to a hospital for injuries suffered in the beating and was expected to recover.
Officers learned the woman had been walking in the area looking for assistance after her car ran out of gas when she was attacked.
Police last month were also attempting to locate a second woman who was also apparently wounded when she stepped in to try to stop the attack.
Thompson, who identified himself as a police officer, was arrested and taken to county jail in Richmond and released on bail the following day.
He has remained out on bail but is expected to surrender at the county jail in Martinez Monday afternoon, Grove said.
Walnut Creek police have said Thompson was placed on administrative leave soon after his arrest and that the department is conducting its own investigation.
He was working most recently as a patrol officer, according to Walnut Creek police Capt. Mark Perlite.
Detroit— An off-duty Detroit Police officer was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly went to his estranged wife’s home in Ferndale and pistol-whipped a man who was with her.
The officer, whom The Detroit News is not identifying because he’s not been formally charged, has been suspended with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation, Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said.
“Michigan State Police made the arrest,” Woody said.
The victim’s condition was unclear.
According to the police contract, officers accused of wrongdoing are placed on paid suspension pending an investigation. The police chief can petition the Board of Police Commissioners to suspend the officer without pay and the board hears arguments before rendering a decision.
The epidemic of mentlaly unstable cops in America. Radnor Police Officer Commits Suicide Outside Police Station
BY VICTOR FIORILLO
In the early evening hours on Tuesday, tragedy stuck at the Radnor Township Police Station when a young Radnor cop committed suicide in his personal car.
According to a witness who arrived outside the police station at 6:45 p.m., emergency vehicles were on the scene at that time, and police had cordoned off the officer’s pickup truck in the employee parking lot with crime scene tape.
Multiple sources indicate that the Radnor police officer has died. His name has not been released at this time.
The Radnor cop's suicide comes less than two weeks after a police officer committed suicide in his vehicle outside of the Lower Providence police station in Montgomery County.
Troopers suspect Slidell cop was drunk when he caused fatal crash The cop crime wave in America continues
Dave Cohen Reporting
The Slidell Police Department is reacting to the deadly crash involving an off-duty policeman who troopers suspect was drunk and not wearing a seat belt when he flipped his Jeep and a passenger died.
"This situation has devastated the entire Slidell Police Department," Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said in a news release. "All we can ask for, at this time, are prayers for the friends and families of those involved with this tragic accident."
The officer, 31-year-old John Cole, was driving on LA 433 east of I-10 in St. Tammany Parish around 4:30am Sunday.
Louisiana State Police Trooper Greg Marchand said, "The preliminary investigation revealed that Cole, an off-duty Slidell Police Officer... failed to maneuver a left curve in the roadway causing the Jeep to run off road to the right. Upon leaving the roadway, Cole overcorrected to the left and lost control of the vehicle resulting in the Jeep entering a ditch and overturning. "
He says Cole's passenger, 31-year-old Daniel Hanlon, was pronounced dead on the scene
"Cole was not properly restrained at the time of the crash and was transported to the Interim LSU Hospital in New Orleans with serious injuries," according to the trooper.
Seuzeneau said that Cole is currently listed in critical condition.
"Impairment is suspected on Cole's part and a blood sample was collected for a toxicological analysis. Those results and charges are pending as this crash remains under investigation," Marchand said. "Making poor decisions in a vehicle such as driving impaired, driving while distracted, or not wearing a seat belt leads to serious injuries and deaths every day across the state. Making the responsible decision can mean the difference between life and death. And remember, the only designated driver is the person who has had NO ALCOHOL."
By AREK SARKISSIAN
HALIFAX MEDIA SERVICES
WALDO | Waldo Police Chief Mike Szabo resigned Friday evening after two weeks of controversy that began with a criminal investigation over a secret record¬ing.
"The following comes with a heavy heart," Szabo wrote in his resignation letter. "Due to the current situation and the current state of the police department, I, as the chief, feel that at this point in time it is in the best interest in the City of Waldo for me to tender my request to resign/retire as your police chief effective this date at 5 p.m."
It was too early to ponder his permanent replacement, Waldo City Manager Kim Wor¬ley said.
On Wednesday, Worley signed a 30-day contract with Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell to provide a temporary commander for Waldo police. For $2,421 a week, Darnell provided the city of about 1,000 residents with the services of Alachua County sheriff's Capt. Steve May¬nard.
Worley said the contract would give her time to find a permanent candidate who does not work for the depart¬ment.
"We would definitely need to bring in a professional from the outside," Worley said.
Szabo was suspended from his job with pay on Aug. 12 after FDLE agents began to investigate an allegation that he secretly recorded an in-office conversation with another officer.
About a week after Szabo's suspension, five Waldo police officers told the Waldo City Council they were under an unlawful ticket quota.
Szabo's interim replacement, Cpl. Kenneth Smith, also was suspended after officers alleged that he enforced the ticket quota and used city-owned video cameras to secure the parking lot of his Waldo apartment.
Szabo was hired by the Waldo Police Department in 2000 and was appointed to lead the agency seven years ago.
By AMARIS CASTILLO
BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Police Department's No. 2 officer was suspended Monday amid criminal allegations and is now at the center of an investigation by Manatee County Sheriff's Office internal affairs investigators.
Deputy Chief Warren Merriman III was placed on administrative leave with pay Monday, Police Chief Michael Radzilowski confirmed.
"Legally, all I can do is acknowledge that there is an investigation," Radzilowski said Monday. "There were some allegations made and I thought it was best to make sure that it was a fair and impartial review of the allegations. The sheriff's office is taking a look to see if there's any validity to the allegations."
Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow was unable to provide many details on Monday. He said he could only confirm that the sheriff's office was asked by the Bradenton Police Department to conduct an investigation.
As for the allegations surrounding his department's second-highest ranking officer, Radzilowski said he was "caught off guard."
"I was surprised by the allegations because the deputy chief, for me, has done an outstanding job as the deputy chief," he said. "I'm reserving any judgement until the sheriff's office gets done with its investigation."
Radzilowski emphasized that he wants an unbiased look to be fair to both Merriman and the city of Bradenton.
Merriman, who is a U.S. Navy veteran, has worked for the Bradenton Police Department since 1997. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, holds an associate of applied science degree from the State College of Florida and a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Leo University.
According to the Leadership Manatee Alumni Association's website, Merriman serves on its 2014-2015 Board of Directors. In his biography, he's described as having a "reputation of being a problem-solver by working with citizens, local non-profits, and business owners to make the city of Bradenton a safer place to live, work, and visit."
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.
By Heather Nolan, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Two Covington police officers will be suspended without pay after an investigation into the use of confidential informant funds found they violated several department policies, Chief Tim Lentz said Monday. No criminal acts were committed, Lentz said.
Effective Sept. 10, Lt. Stephen Culotta will be suspended without pay for 28 consecutive days, equivalent to two pay periods totaling 160 hours. Officer Bart Ownby will be suspended without pay for 14 consecutive days, equivalent to one pay period totaling 80 hours.
Lentz launched a surprise audit of the confidential informant fund in May, after hearing officers might not have been using the funds in the way they were intended.
He said he found the money was being used to buy things like big-screen televisions and iPads for the office. Confidential informant funds are supposed to be used to purchase narcotics and information, he said.
Lentz also said the "documentation was horrendous," noting officers who signed money out from the account could not provide documentation for their expenses.
Culotta and Ownby were the only two officers that received confidential informant funds in 2013, the year Lentz conducted his audit, he said.
Information on how much money was involved was not immediately available Monday evening.
Lentz asked the Mandeville Police Department to conduct the investigation to remain impartial.
Mandeville police found Culotta and Ownby were in violation of several department policies, including accountability, fund management and case file management to the payment of informants.
Lentz said both officers were cooperative and admitted their faults during the investigation. Culotta and Ownby said they had not read the department's policy on confidential informant funds, Lentz said.
Lentz said when deciding their punishment, he took into account the validity of the charges, the seriousness of the violations, and investigative reports among other things.
"I appreciate the assistance of the Mandeville Police Department with this investigation," Lentz said. "The Covington Police Department holds our officers accountable for their actions and will continue to work everyday to create a professional environment for our employees, while continuing to earn the public's trust and respect."