A Fort Worth deputy police chief has been arrested for cruelty to an animal for fatally shooting a dog that may have mauled the chief’s cat to death.
Deputy Chief Kenneth Flynn turned himself in Monday night at the Tarrant County Jail, then was released on $1,000 bond.
A witness told authorities she saw Flynn, gun in hand, near a German shepherd last week. She says he told her the dog killed his cat in the neighborhood, then waved her away. She heard gunshots a few minutes later and called 911. She also called police later and was upset that a report hadn’t been made.
Flynn’s attorney tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the shooting of a dangerous dog is legal and his arrest “reeks of politics.”
By TRISTAN HALLMAN
Dallas Police Chief David Brown has fired an officer who drove away from a woman who tried to flag him down after her children had been kidnapped at gunpoint.
Senior Cpl. Les Richardson, a 28-year department veteran, was one of two officers fired Wednesday. Brown suspended another officer for 45 days.
While Richardson, 61, was on his way to a burglary call Aug. 25, dispatchers announced that shots had been fired and a suspect had rammed a woman’s car in the area where Richardson was driving, police said.
He then drove past a woman who was shouting, “That’s him, that’s him, right there.”
“Right here what, baby? I’m on a call,” Richardson said before quickly driving off. The exchange was captured on dash-cam video, which was released Wednesday. It also shows him smoking a cigarette in the patrol car.
The woman was referring to her ex, Steven Douglas, who had rammed her car with his pickup and taken two children out of her car at gunpoint.
Hours later, Douglas led police on a car chase. He hit a van and then fled on foot. Witnesses and an officer who caught up to him said Douglas pointed a gun at the officer. The officer fatally shot Douglas, 29.
The children, who were with a family member, were unharmed.
Richardson was placed on administrative leave after the woman told investigators what happened.
His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brown also fired patrol Officer Leroy Sharp for missing 121 days of work without permission last year. Sharp left work early March 21, 2013, saying he was sick. He later said he needed to be off for a while.
Sharp’s initial leave of absence was approved through July 2013, but his commanders denied a subsequent request. Sharp still didn’t show up to work.
In the suspension case, Officer Doyle Wynn was disciplined for failing to fill out a domestic violence report Nov. 5, 2013, for a woman who had “visible injuries,” police said. Wynn took the woman to her home while the suspect was there and the officer waited as she retrieved her personal property, police said.
While Wynn was under investigation, a supervisor caught him sleeping in his squad car Dec. 20, 2013, after he had been dispatched to a call. The supervisor tapped on the window and told him to go to the call, which he arrived at 37 minutes after he had been dispatched.
All three officers have the right to appeal their discipline under civil service rules.
By Kate White, Staff writer and Rusty Marks
Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants has ordered a review of all pending criminal cases that involve suspended Charleston police Lt. Shawn Williams, but Charleston Mayor Danny Jones thinks Plants should stay out of the way of the police department’s investigation.Plants’ office issued a news release Thursday afternoon stating, “Any time a law enforcement officer is under an investigation for misconduct, the reliability of their testimony is an issue.” Jones said the Charleston Police Department has a handle on the investigation and pointed out bad blood between Plants and CPD officers.Williams was suspended with pay last month, pending an investigation by the CPD’s Professional Standards Division. Police Chief Brent Webster has said he will not discuss the investigation because of personnel laws.However, sources familiar with the investigation said it involves racially insensitive videos allegedly found on Williams’ home computer. Two people who have seen the videos said they depict Williams’ young daughter dressed in what appears to be articles of a police uniform and dancing to a song about the Ku Klux Klan. A man purported to be Williams can be heard asking the girl questions, in which racially derogatory language allegedly can be heard.Plants’ office has reviewed the investigation of Williams “related to allegations of racial discrimination,” according to the news release, which was issued by assistant prosecutor James Bailey. During Plants’ investigation into Williams, the officer will not be relied upon as a witness in criminal cases, the release states. The mayor made clear his disdain for the prosecutor’s inquiry.“Mark Plants is not smart enough, when the negative light is cast in another direction, to stay out of that negative light,” Jones said. “He just has to involve himself in something that has nothing to do with him.“We are investigating this. The Charleston Police is going to handle this. We don’t condone any kind of activity that is being alleged.” He said the city will move to keep Plants from getting involved. Plants is facing two misdemeanor domestic violence-related charges. Kanawha County commissioners are waiting to hear if a three-judge panel will remove him from office. The commissioners say that, because of the case against him, the prosecutor isn’t able to do the job he was elected to do. After Plants was charged with domestic battery for striking his 11-year-old son with a belt and violating a domestic violence protection order that required him to stay away from his ex-wife and their two sons, a judge barred his office from handling charges similar to the ones Plants faces. Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom took that action after the city of Charleston filed a petition requesting Plants’ removal.Additionally, Plants is now married to the ex-wife of a Charleston police detective, and city officers have publicly criticized him. “Everyone knows there’s no good feelings between him and the Charleston Police Department,” Jones said.Charleston officials took their investigation of Williams to the Prosecutor’s Office at the request of Plants’ chief of staff, Charles Miller, Jones said.“Plants wanted to be involved, and we’re not going to involve ourselves in anything with Mark Plants,” the mayor said. “We are handling it.”Until recently, Williams was head of the police department’s Patrol Division, and orchestrated a series of well-publicized raids on the city’s West Side and the downtown transit mall. Williams told reporters at the time he was trying to help clean up the city’s “riffraff.”Plants said, “Although this investigation is ongoing, racism or prejudice of any kind is completely unacceptable, especially concerning law enforcement officers who we entrust with protecting our liberties.”Webster said he does not know how long the police department’s internal investigation will take.In response to Jones’ comments, Plants said he’s not investigating Williams, he’s investigating the cases in which Williams has played a part. “By law, prosecutors are required to disclose instances of substantiated misconduct by law enforcement officers. Mayor Jones should understand the facts and law before saying that this has nothing to do with my office,” Plants said. “Every criminal case that involves Lt. Williams will be impacted.”Reach Rusty Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-1215 or follow @rusty_marks on Twitter. Reach Kate White at email@example.com, 304-348-1723 or follow @KateLWhite on Twitter.
By MARK MARONEY Williamsport Sun-Gazette
City Patrolman Jonathan Deprenda was paid $37,832 in the 10 months that he was on paid suspension following a fiery two-vehicle accident Jan. 12 that resulted in the death of a city man, according to the city finance department.
Bucks pays $85,000 to Bristol Twp. couple claiming false arrest By James McGinnis Staff writer
Bucks County will pay $85,000 to settle the federal lawsuit brought by a Bristol Township couple claiming false arrest and imprisonment by a county sergeant.
A payout approved Wednesday by the county commissioners ends the case brought by Samantha Doneker and Philip Romanek. Details of that settlement were revealed to the press in early September. The payout amount was first disclosed this week.
SCHWENKSVILLE, Pa. – The Pennsylvania state trooper killed Tuesday during a firearms training exercise in suburban Philadelphia was fatally wounded when another trooper’s gun accidentally discharged, Capt. James Raykovitz announced Wednesday afternoon.
“Preliminary evidence indicates that Trooper (David) Kedra was struck by a bullet accidentally discharged by another member of the Pennsylvania State Police,” Raykovitz said in a news release. “However, more specific information regarding the investigation will not be released at this time.”
State police did not disclose any further information on the accident, which the agency is investigating with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Risa Ferman did not return a message about the case.
Kedra, 26, was shot in the chest Tuesday during a yearly training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex in Plymouth Meeting. He was airlifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Kedra is the second trooper to be fatally shot this month following Cpl. Bryon Dickson’s death in an ambush on Sept. 12.
A 2010 graduate of Temple University, Kedra was originally from northeast Philadelphia but recently moved to Chester County, Lt. James Fisher said during a news conference outside the Skippack barracks Wednesday morning. He enlisted in the state police in June 2012 and was assigned to the Skippack barracks in January 2013 following his graduation from the academy.
Colleagues said Kedra was an enthusiastic and motivated trooper who knew he wanted to get into law enforcement.
“He was extremely proud to be a Pennsylvania state trooper and he showed it,” said Trooper Derik Frymire, who worked on Kedra’s squad. “He wanted to see everything, he wanted to be a part of everything, he wanted to learn everything and those kind of qualities make an outstanding patrol trooper.”
Joe Alkus, a criminal justice professor at Temple, said his former student had visited to speak at one of his introductory classes. Alkus recalled once asking Kedra what he thought was the best day of his career.
“He says, ‘Every day is my best day because I love being a trooper,’” Alkus said.
State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said it was with “an extremely heavy heart and deep sorrow” that he announced the death of Kedra, the 96th member of the state police to be killed in the line of duty.
“He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” Noonan said.
Gov. Tom Corbett ordered Pennsylvania flags to fly at half-staff at the state Capitol and in Montgomery County.
BRIDGEPORT -- A 29-year veteran of the police force, who shot himself in the leg while examining a gun in a crowded restaurant, has been granted entry to a special probation program.
Following a short hearing Tuesday morning, state Superior Court Judge Earl Richards granted accelerated rehabilitation to 56-year-old Juan Santiago.
The program is for first-time, nonviolent offenders. Santiago -- who was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, a misdemeanor -- did not plead guilty to the charge, but was placed on six months' probation. If he commits no other crimes during that probation, the original charge against him will be dismissed.
"He has given up his job, he injured only himself. This is the appropriate disposition of the case," said Assistant State's Attorney Marc Durso.
"He wasn't given preferential treatment," said Santiago's lawyer, John Gulash. "He was charged following an investigation ... He has had a distinguished career with the Bridgeport Police Department and has led an exemplary life, including being involved in the community."
Since his arrest in February, Santiago has retired from the Police Department.
On Dec. 17, police said Santiago was examining a handgun in the Bagel King restaurant on Main Street when the gun went off, wounding him in the leg and shattering a window in the crowded restaurant.
In his statement to police, Santiago said that after taking the pouch containing the gun from another officer, he unzipped the pouch and grasped the gun.
"I immediately pointed the firearm downward. In an attempt to make the weapon safe, I pulled the slide to the rear in order to check the chamber for any live rounds. As I did so, the slide slid forward. At this time, I observed that the hammer was pulled to the rear of the firearm. I placed my thumb on the hammer in (sic) attempt to safe guard the firearm, the hammer slipped from my thumb, hitting the firing pin, accidentally discharging the firearm. I was struck in my left thigh. I was transported to St. Vincent's Hospital for treatment."
The shooting incident sparked protests when Santiago was not immediately arrested.
Instead, Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett turned the investigation over to State police
Oklahoma City homicide investigators have not decided whether to charge Sgt. Ryan Stark in the death of Mark Salazar, a robbery suspect who was shot six times while fleeing from a robbery during an Aug. 24 incident that left Kye, a German Shepherd police dog, dead from several stab wounds.
BY NICOLE HENSLEY
The autopsy report on an Oklahoma City robbery suspect who stabbed a police dog does not match the law enforcement department’s initial report on the officer-involved shooting.
The death of Kye left Sgt. Ryan Stark distraught over the loss of his German Shepherd K-9 partner. During a funeral service with police honors, the sergeant gave the 3-year-old dog one last pat on the head.
The pair had spent two years together with the Oklahoma City Police Department as partners tracking and taking into custody an array of criminals.
The agency is currently reviewing a medical examiner report that suggest Mark Salazar was gunned down while running away during the Aug. 24 incident.
It’s not clear if homicide charges will be filed against Stark, who reportedly opened fire after failing to pull the dog and 22-year-old suspect apart as he fled the scene of a robbery, according to the Oklahoman.
The Oklahoman reports Salazar was gunned down while running away, citing a medical examiner report. He was shot four times in the back and punctured his lungs, liver, stomach and pancreas. He was also shot in the left arm and left thigh.
In addition to the six gunshot wounds, Salazar had puncture wounds on his body, but it’s not clear if they were dog bites from when Kye caught up to the suspect and tackled him during the case.
“Decedent ignored the police warnings to stop and surrender,” the report stated, according to the Oklahoman. “Decedent got up and ran away from the officer, when shots were fired. Decedent dropped to the ground, lying prone.”
The report was compiled by a medical examiner investigator who went to the scene of the crime after the shooting.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --
A Philadelphia police officer has been charged with assaulting a female police officer on four different occasions. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has charged 24-year-old Kenneth Allen with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Criminal Mischief and Possession of an Instrument of a Crime.According to the DA, Allen and the other officer were in a relationship at the time of the assaults. Allen was arraigned overnight, and his bail was set at $20,000.
By Charing Ball
According to this report on the website Firedoglake.com, at least twenty-three people have been killed in the United States while in police custody in the past week.
This list includes:
• Charles Smith, who according to published reports, was shot by an officer after handcuffed, placed in the back of the patrol car in Savannah, Georgia. According to reports, cops allege Smith was able to somehow move his arms to the front of his body, kicked out the patrol car window and reached for a gun. That’s why the cop had to shoot him four times, including a shot in the leg, head and back.
• Kimberlee King, an African-American woman, was arrested in Pagedale, Missouri for traffic warrants and was later found hanging in her cell. Police said she did it herself however her family, who found out she was dead upon arriving to bond her out, say” King was not suffering from any sort of depression and had no history of mental illness.”
• Cameron Tillman, a 14 year old Black teen from Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana, who was shot and killed by a policeman while playing in an abandoned home. According to reports, Tillman answered a knock at the door when he was shot point blank by the officer, upon him opening the door. The cops say he had a BB gun, which looked like a real weapon. However His brother, who was with him at the time, said Tillman had no toy or real weapon in his hand at the time the officer gunned him down.
It’s hard to tell if these killings were justified; but in the wake of a number of highly publicized questionable police actions, it’s also very understandable (and advisable I might add) if these incidents give one pause. And at the very least, we have to acknowledge that there are way too many police killings period – “justified” or not.
There is some debate about whether police brutality is on the rise again. It’s especially hard to figure out considering the Department of Justice or FBI does not keep and provide stats on departmental conduct. Some argue that it’s the availability of cellphone cameras and other recording equipment that have made us more aware of what have been some massive breaches and violations of both constitutional and civil rights against the citizens, particularly Black people. And that is a good thing.
The not so good thing is that while modern technology has done wonders to open our eyes about just how pervasive police brutality and misconduct is in this country, the reality is that you can videotape, audio record, take a picture, write it down, and have all the evidence you want against the police, and Internal Affairs, the grand jury, and the rest of law enforcement will conclude that the offending officer did nothing wrong. That your harassment or even death was just a result of procedure.
As noted in this article from a couple of months ago in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, cops accused of using questionable, deadly force are rarely convicted. And in fact, an expert tells the paper that the reason behind the poor conviction rates is that the Supreme Court specifically gives police “wider discretion” in self-defense claims than would the average citizen.
Well as an average citizen, I say that is pure malarky. I am a firm believer that cops should not have a wider discretion but rather as enforcers of the rule of law, police should have an even greater responsibility of caution Likewise, those who violate laws they are bound to uphold should be prosecuted worse than the average criminal. And since it seems that a sizable chunk of addressing police brutality and misconduct is a matter of some paperwork (and by that I mean policies, procedures and existing laws), then obviously it is the rules and procedures which need changing and monitoring.
And that brings me to my question: why hasn’t the issue of police brutality been a major stump issue, particularly for the Black political community?
SEATTLE — A Seattle police oversight office says the department wasted more than $1 million on loosely controlled overtime last year as officers trained to comply with a Justice Department agreement to curb excessive force.
Office of Professional Accountability Director Pierce Murphy reported Tuesday the spending produced little of value.
The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/ZrOVw1) instances of officers taking overtime while on vacation and one case of more than 31 hours of overtime in a single 24-hour period.
New Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole promised Tuesday to take immediate steps to correct problems.
Prince George's Officer Suspended for Theft Charge A Prince George's County police officer has been suspended after being charged with theft in Anne Arundel County. The Prince George's County police department said Saturday the officer was suspended after being charged Friday. The officer was off duty at the time of the alleged theft. Anne Arundel County police said the officer, Temitope Asaya, 30, and another suspect, Tykina Anderson, 24, were arrested after allegedly stealing an iPad from a customer at the Apple Store in Annapolis. Video surveillance showed the suspects pick up the iPad from a table where the customer left it. Police were able to track down the suspects and arrested them Friday. Prince George’s County police say the officer has been employed by the police department for four years.
A Prince George's County police officer has been suspended after being charged with theft in Anne Arundel County.
The Prince George's County police department said Saturday the officer was suspended after being charged Friday. The officer was off duty at the time of the alleged theft.
Anne Arundel County police said the officer, Temitope Asaya, 30, and another suspect, Tykina Anderson, 24, were arrested after allegedly stealing an iPad from a customer at the Apple Store in Annapolis.
Video surveillance showed the suspects pick up the iPad from a table where the customer left it. Police were able to track down the suspects and arrested them Friday.
Prince George’s County police say the officer has been employed by the police department for four years.
by the Grio |
A member of the Elgin Police department in suburban Chicago was fired Monday because of Facebook posts he allegedly made regarding the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Jason Lentz, a 17-year veteran, allegedly posted that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed the unarmed 18-year-old, “did society a favor,” according to NBC Chicago.
Local police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda spoke about the dismissal, explaining that the officer was fired after his recent conduct, which would “undermine the credibility of the city or employees.”
Brown’s death sparked weeks of unrest in Ferguson and protests nationwide.
Lentz was the first police officer to be placed on administrative leave after investigation into his actions last month. This is not the first time he has been stripped of police powers; he has had them stripped three times already prior to this incident.