By Michael Allen
Judge Geary Kull was reportedly attacked by defendant Michael Ganter in court last Thursday, and accidentally tased by a police officer.
The bizarre incident happened in Maywood, Ill., near Chicago (video below).
Ganter, who was not handcuffed or shackled, was being taken out of the courtroom by two deputies when he allegedly went after Judge Kull and punched him several times.
When a police officer fired a taser at Ganter, Judge Kull was hit by one of the taser’s prongs.
Ganter was in court because he was charged with aggravated battery and attempted murder, but has now been charged additionally with a second count of aggravated battery and resisting arrest.
“The gentleman who struck him, struck him in the head and the face. Judge Kull told me that he was pummeled by this gentleman,” Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans told CBS Chicago.
"[Judge Kull] was struck by one of the taser prongs that went awry when they were attempting to remove the defendant from attacking the judge," Chief Judge Evans told ABC 7 Chicago.
Cook County Jail Executive Director Cara Smith told the Associated Press that Judge Kull was taken to a nearby hospital and released.
By Lauren Walker
On a quiet Sunday in July 2012 in broad daylight, six police officers in Michigan repeatedly shot an African-American man struggling with homelessness and mental illness. While the killing of Milton Hall prompted local outrage and a federal investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in February that it failed to find “sufficient evidence of willful misconduct” to prosecute the policemen.
This Monday, more than two years later, the ACLU released footage obtained from the Hall family’s lawyers and used it as part of its testimony before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an organ of the Organization of American States, in order to put pressure on the federal government. While a bystander video was shown on CNN shortly after the shooting, the newly released dashcam video shows the incident with unprecedented detail.
In the video, Hall, 49, is seen standing in a Saginaw, Michigan, parking lot surrounded by eight police officers with their guns drawn and pointed at him. During the short stand-off, a police dog began to growl and lunge toward Hall, who took out a small pocketknife in response. It was when he turned to the dog, the ACLU says, that police showered Hall with a stream of bullets.
The officers fired 46 shots in a matter of seconds, hitting Hall 14 times. Once on the ground, an officer turned him over, handcuffed him, and put his foot on Hall’s back—with “his blood running down the street like water,” Jewel Hall, Milton's mother, told the ACLU.
Milton Hall was born on April 25, 1963 in Saginaw. His mother told the ACLU that Hall spent his days as a community worker who fought for equal rights. He was an avid reader, researcher, and even received training from Rosa Parks. In his mid-20s, signs of Hall’s mental disability started to appear.
“As long as he was on his medication and all, he did fine. It was when he wasn't on his medication that he was impatient. He'd sometimes become intolerant,” Jewel told the ACLU. “But when he was on his medication, he maintained.
"It's been devastating to our family; it was devastating to the community. And justice still has not been served," she said. "There needs to be a change in how police deal with situations like the one that ended my son's life. Our leaders have to address conditions that allow police to use excessive and deadly force with impunity."
"As a civilian, Mr. Hall had every right to expect that the police would protect his life, but instead, he was the target of what resembled in many ways a firing squad,” Mark Fancher, a lawyer with the ACLU of Michigan, said. "The government cannot act as if the life of a homeless black man has no value. Saginaw deserves justice not only for Milton Hall, but for the entire community that has been devastated by this inexplicable act of police violence."
The hearing, held on Monday, focused on racially biased policing in the United States. While the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has no legal authority, the ACLU hopes the testimony will serve “as a wake-up call for the desperate need to address police misconduct against the black citizens of this country," said Michael Steinberg, the legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. “The power behind these international tribunals is to draw attention to the problem and to put pressure on the United States to abide by human rights principles.”
Donald Nides, a former New Orleans Police Department narcotics officer standing trial this week on federal charges of helping "pill mills" avoid criminal investigation, was found dead at his River Ridge home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, his lawyer said. (Naomi Martin, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
Donald Nides, a former New Orleans Police Department narcotics officer standing trial this week on federal charges of helping "pill mills" avoid criminal investigation, was found dead at his River Ridge home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, his lawyer said.
Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich said he was notified by 911 operators around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 5) that Nides, 64, died of a gunshot wound to the head.
The federal trial was entering its third day, with testimony expected to turn to claims that Nides took sexual favors and cash bribes from Tiffany Gambino Miller, co-owner of pain management clinics in Slidell and Metairie who along with a doctor cut plea deals.
Nides, who was assigned to a DEA task force, was wounded by Tuesday's testimony from former law enforcement colleagues, who defense attorney Arthur "Buddy" Lemann accused of lying on the stand.
"There was a certain amount of eagerness about (the testimony) that really crushed him," Lemann said.
Yet Nides seemed confident when he left the courthouse, Lemann said.
"I liked our chances," Lemann said.
Lemann said Nides's wife was devastated by the death of her husband of more than 30 years. The couple had two children and were expecting their first grandchild.
Lemann said he expected the government was close to wrapping up its case, and he planned to put on the testimony of Nides' former partner.
Lemann had painted Nides, a veteran of 40 years in law enforcement, as a hardworking cop who had been deceived by Miller and Dr. Joseph Mogan III, who ran the Omni Pain Management clinic in Metairie and Omni Pain Management Plus in Slidell.a
Miller had yet to testify, but prosecutors said she would testify that she performed oral sex on Nides in his car and at the clinic on multiple occasions from 2007 to 2008, as well as giving him envelopes of cash. In exchange, Nides advised Miller on how the clinics could disguise the fact that the Omni clinics were "pill mills" where doctors would write prescriptions for powerful painkilling medications to patients with little justification.
Mogan testified that the clinics raked in $1.5 million a year, money he split with Miller. Nides, according to court records filed along with Mogan and Miller's plea agreements, received cash payments of $600 to $2,000 on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Nides was free on bail since his indictment in February.
'Very nice guy'
Nides lived with his wife on 3rd Street in River Ridge, a quiet, dead-end block that neighbors said is home to many retirees. Several declined to be named, but described Nides as a friendly, kind person.
The couple's single-story brick house with white shutters sits on a manicured lawn that neighbors said was the result of Nides' daily attention. He was constantly outside working on his front yard landscaping, neighbors said, and would always wave to passing cars and stop to chat to pedestrians.
"He kept his yard immaculate," neighbor Wayne Pritchett said. "He was always out there fooling with his garden and would always wave to you every day."
Nides and his family were living there when Pritchett moved in 15 years ago. They became friendly, but not close, Pritchett said, noting he had seen Nides outside working in his yard on Sunday, the day before his trial started.
"I'm just sad to hear that because as far as I know he's a very nice guy," Pritchett said. "I'm sad for his wife and children."
As word trickled through the road's residents Wednesday morning, neighbors visited on each other's front stoops, discussing the surprising and sudden death of the man they knew as friendly and even-keeled.
"Are you serious?" one woman asked, shocked.
Several neighbors said they hadn't heard of Nides' legal troubles and would have never suspected he would be at the center of lurid allegations -- let alone kill himself over them.
"I'm sorry that it would cause that," Debra Murphy said of his apparent suicide. "I wish that he would've been able to get through it."
A woman at the Nides home declined to speak to a reporter.
Philadelphia Police Officer Charged With Participating In Scheme To Extort Money, Drugs From Dealers
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia cop is charged with participating in a scheme to extort drugs and money from drug dealers and drug buyers while working as a Philadelphia Police officer.
According to the indictment, Christopher Saravello, 37, conspired with others to rob the dealers and buyers of cash and Oxycontin as well as other controlled substances between Nov. 2011 and June 2012.
Saravello’s co-conspirators would allegedly alert him to a drug transaction, which Saravello would then interrupt. At that point, he’d identify himself as a police officer by approaching the interaction in a marked police car, wearing his uniform, and display an official badge or ID or verbally ID himself as a police officer.
Saravello would then reportedly seize the drugs being sold or the money paid by the drug buyer and share the stolen items with his co-conspirators.
The alleged conspiracy resulted in more than $9,800 in drug money as well as quantities of Oxycontin and other narcotics.
Saravello was arrested on Nov. 5, 2014 and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion and five counts of Hobbs Act extortion.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 120 years in prison, a $1.25 million fine, three years of supervised release and a $600 special assessment.
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A Los Angeles policeman has been charged with exposing himself to five people, including an 80-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl.
Orange County prosecutors say Ryan Galliher was charged Tuesday with crimes including indecent exposure and attempted lewd conduct with a child under 14.
Galliher's free on bail but could face four years in prison if convicted.
The LAPD has placed him on leave. Galliher had no public phone listing and it's unclear whether he has an attorney.
Prosecutors say Galliher flashed the 12-year-old in February in the Bolsa Chica wetlands of Huntington Beach and asked her to touch his penis. He's also charged with exposing himself to four women in the same 0area.
The 33-year-old Huntington Beach man was arrested after police allegedly saw him exposing himself last month.
Officer Tracie Medus, a 17-year NOPD veteran, was suspended without pay Tuesday after the U.S. attorney's office charged her with stealing funds from the post-Katrina recovery program Road Home. Her attorney said she is cooperating with investigators. (NOPD yearbook)
By Naomi Martin, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
A New Orleans police officer is charged with stealing $158,700 from the state's Road Home recovery program created after Hurricane Katrina.
Tracie Medus, an officer for 17 years, was suspended without pay Tuesday after federal prosecutors charged her with theft of government funds, authorities said. Her attorney, Townsend Myers, said she is cooperating with prosecutors.
Medus, 39, is accused of taking money between July 2009 and March 2011 from the Road Home's small rental property program. She "knew she was not entitled" to the funds, which were awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to prosecutors. Read the charging papers here.
The program, which is aimed at shoring up more affordable housing for low to middle-income renters, provides small-time landlords forgivable loans to restore rental properties that were destroyed. In exchange, the landlords must agree to rent the property at relatively low, set rates to tenants who meet certain income requirements.
According to a source close to Medus, she restored her properties and rented them out. But prosecutors allege that she overcharged her tenants in rent and at least one of her tenants did not meet the income eligibility rules for the program, the source said.
Medus plans to repay the money, her lawyer says.
"We are working with the United States government and the Road Home program to repay all loan monies received and to achieve a result that is fair both to the government and to Officer Medus," Myers said.
If convicted as charged, Medus faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to twice the amount stolen, prosecutors in U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office said.
During the investigation, the NOPD in August placed Medus on administrative reassignment, or desk duty. She was most recently assigned to the NOPD's 6th District, which covers the Garden District and Central City, said department spokesman Tyler Gamble.
In March 2012, the department suspended Medus for three days for arguing with her supervisor and calling him "ADD--Attention Deficit Disorder," according to a story by
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
The surveillance video starts with a 16-year-old running down a sidewalk in Brooklyn, with the police in pursuit.
The teenager, Kaheem Tribble, then slowed and faced an officer, Tyrane Isaac, who took a wild swing at his head. As another officer, David Afanador, approached, Mr. Tribble raised his hands; Officer Afanador swung his gun at the teenager’s mouth, breaking his teeth, prosecutors said.
The episode on Aug. 29 has led to criminal charges against the two officers, who were arraigned on Wednesday.
Officer Afanador, 33, was charged with felony-level assault, along with criminal possession of a weapon and official misconduct. Officer Isaac, 36, was charged with misconduct and misdemeanor assault.
“We had a 16-year-old boy with his hands up seeking to surrender who was attacked by members of the force who were supposed to protect him,” the Brooklyn district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, said. “When any police officer crosses the line, we have an obligation to hold them accountable.”
Charging an officer with criminal possession of a weapon is unusual, but Mr. Thompson said it was “appropriate” here. “The weapon was used to inflict injury,” he said. Mr. Tribble’s medical records showed at least two broken teeth.
The case was one of several instances in which alleged police violence or misconduct has been caught on video lately.
Prosecutors said they were alerted to the episode by the New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau. According to prosecutors, the officers were on duty in Crown Heights when they saw Mr. Tribble throw out a bag of marijuana and run away.
Mr. Tribble was charged with marijuana possession and disorderly conduct, prosecutors said. The marijuana charge was dropped and he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, which is a violation and not a felony.
The officers, both dressed in dark suits, did not speak at the hearing on Wednesday. They were released without bail.
Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw (KWTV)
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An Oklahoma City police officer was charged with additional counts of rape this week after three more women came forward to say that he forced them to have sex with him while he was on duty.
Earlier this year, prosecutors accused Daniel Holtzclaw of raping at least six women while he was on patrol. He was charged with 26 counts, including rape, sexual battery, oral sodomy, indecent exposure, stalking, and burglary.
Some of the women said that Holtzclaw forced them to have sex to avoid being arrested.
According to The Oklahoman, prosecutors filed six more counts against the officer on Tuesday. The latest charges included three counts of first-degree rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery and second-degree rape.
Court records obtains by KWTV said that Holtzclaw told one of the victims: “You are going to give me some sex…or you’re a** is going to jail.”
“This is what you are going to have to do. I don’t want to take you to jail,” he allegedly warned another one of the women.
Holtzclaw now faces 32 charges related to sex crimes, but he has continued to deny any wrongdoing.
“Daniel denies that he’s done anything wrong and looks forward to his day in court,” Holtzclaw’s attorney, Scott Adams, told reporters. “He’s ready to get back to work at the police department.”
Watch the video below from KWTV, broadcasts Nov. 5, 2014.
CHICAGO - A Cook County, Ill. sheriff's spokeswoman says an officer committed suicide in a federal lockup after he and his partner were arrested during a corruption sting.
Cook County sheriff spokeswoman Cara Smith says 45-year-old Stanley Kogut was found Tuesday hanging from a bed sheet in his cell in Chicago's federal Metropolitan Correctional Center. Kogut's partner, 44-year-old Robert Vaughan, later appeared in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiracy.
It wasn't immediately known if Vaughan has an attorney.
Smith says the officers were assigned to the federal High Intensity Drug Task Force. A federal complaint says they were arrested Monday in Bedford Park after allegedly ripping off an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer.
Authorities say they took about 70 pounds of marijuana from an undercover FBI agent's vehicle.
Kogut was a member of the Cook County Sheriff's Department since 1977, according to Smith, who called his death "a tragedy on multiple levels."
Federal prosecutors allege Vaughan and Kogut and another man, 44-year-old Jimmy Rodgers, a former Lyons police officer, conspired to use their positions as cops to rob people of marijuana, contraband cigarettes and money, reports CBS Chicago.
Rodgers reportedly pleaded guilty to extortion earlier this year as part of a plea agreement in which he was sentenced to five years in prison.
Arizona cop secretly taped 21 women as they undressed at tanning salon: police
Jeffrey Streeter, 44, was arrested after a 20-year-old woman saw a camera phone on a wall of a changing room, police said. Authorities said they found 21 videos of women changing and evidence that Streeter had tried to erase his phone's memory.
BY RACHELLE BLIDNER
MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICEGoodyear, Ariz., police officer Jeffrey Streeter was arrested Oct. 29 for illegally taping women at a tanning salon, Avondale police said.
An Arizona police officer was arrested for secretly recording more than 20 women on his phone while they changed at a tanning salon, Avondale police said.
Jeffrey Streeter, a nine-year veteran of the Goodyear Police Department, was charged with 21 counts of surreptitious recording and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
A 20-year-old female customer at Desert Escape Tanning Center noticed a camera phone on the top of a changing room dividing wall as she undressed Oct. 15, according toazcentral.com. Streeter, 44, was in the stall next to her, police said.
Streeter told authorities he put his gun on top of the 8-foot wall, not a phone. But police said that was improbable.
When investigators searched Streeter's phone, they found video recordings of 21 women, police said. They said they also found evidence the phone's memory card had been formatted to try to erase its contents.
"He was reaching over on some of the videos and attempting to record the females while they were undressing or getting dressed," Sgt. Mathew Hintz toldKPHO. "There were also some videos where he was recording through the partition door."
The recordings were most likely taped over a time frame of one to three months at the same salon, Hintz told the Daily News.
Streeter was arrested Oct. 29 and has been placed on administrative leave pending the result of an administrative investigation, Goodyear Police Chief Jerry Geier said.
"This is not the type of behavior that we expect or tolerate from members of the Goodyear Police Department," Geier said.
Tanning salon owner Tony Gilbert said he was upset by what happened and planned to raise the height of dividing walls.
November 5, 2014 2:09 PM
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An anti-police brutality protest Wednesday shut down a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, police said.
More than 100 protesters took part in the march along Hollywood near Cahuenga Boulevard around 1:45 p.m, according to LAPD Media Relations.
Some protesters were seen wearing masks and carrying signs. The protest was believed to be linked to other “Million Mask March” protests in dozens of cities across the U.S. and internationally.
Some LAPD officers were seen in images posted to social media lined up outside the Dolby Theater.
Various other protests were recorded in Washington, D.C., London, Argentina, and other locations.
Police closed down a section of Hollywood Boulevard to traffic and urge drivers to avoid the intersection near Las Palmas.
NYPD officers charged after video catches teen getting pistol whipped
DA says cops "hit a defenseless unarmed young man in the mouth and attacked him."
by David Kravets - Nov 7 2014, 12:
"The video speaks for itself, doesn’t it?" Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Wednesday about a brief video recording that led to two New York Police Department cops being charged in connection to the pistol-whipping assault of a 16-year-old Brooklyn boy. The boy, who was arrested for marijuana possession, ended up with broken teeth and bruises.
The officers charged in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday are David Afanador, 33, and Tyrane Isaac, 36, both nine-year veterans.
The 82-second video of the teen's August 29 beating—widely available on the Internet—was captured by a local Crown Heights business. The tape shows the boy running before eventually stopping and raising his hands, after which he is pummeled and taken to the ground.
Thompson, the district attorney, told the New York Daily News that the two officers, who remain free and are scheduled to appear in court next month, "hit a defenseless unarmed young man in the mouth and attacked him while he tried to surrender." The cops' attorney, Stephen Worth, said there's more to the tape than meets the eye. "We’ve tried these cases in front of juries and we won these case in front of juries and I expect this to happen here as well," the New York Daily News quoted him as saying.
The officers' indictment follows a nationwide string of police brutality incidents caught on tape, some of which have had severe repercussions for the arresting officers. As the surveillance society blossoms—with the growth of surveillance cams, mobile phone cameras, and YouTube—the authorities can no longer turn a blind eye to police brutality.
A Staten Island grand jury, for example, is considering police brutality charges in connection to the death of a New York man who died while police arrested him for selling unlicensed cigarettes in July. Immediately following 42-year-old Eric Garner's arrest, the NYPD said the victim "went into cardiac arrest and died." But footage captured from an onlooker's mobile phone told a different story. As several offers subdued Garner, one allegedly using a choke hold, he is overheard yelling, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe."
In September, a South Carolina highway trooper was charged with assault and battery in connection to the unprovoked shooting of a motorist pulled over for a seatbelt violation—an incident that was videotaped by the officer's own dashcam.
Police misconduct in general has hit the limelight following the August 9 shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
That incident—which was not videotaped—sparked massive protests and widespread calls from politicians and the public for police to wear body cams. Ferguson police started using them a month after the shooting, as have other departments. The Minneapolis Police Department announced Friday that it had begun deploying the devices.
More alleged victims come forward in misconduct case of former Casselberry police chief Lawyer: More victims have come forward
Published 8:56 PM EDT Oct 31, 2014
CASSELBERRY, Fla. —The number of people leveling misconduct allegations against Casselberry's former Police Chief Bill McNeil continues to grow. Casselberry Police Chief Bill McNeil resigns amid an internal investigation into accusations of misconduct. Casselberry Police Chief Bill McNeil resigns amid an internal investigation into accusations of misconduct.
The attorney for three former subordinates accusing McNeil of lewd behavior and verbal abuse said they have evidence to back it up. McNeil resigned when the allegations came to light earlier this week.
"We have a dozen or so photographs and a videotape," said Carlos Burruezo, the claimants' attorney. "They're traumatized. This has been going on for years. It's not a one or two-week thing or a six-week thing. This has been open, and notorious and known for some time."
A spokeswoman for the city of Casselberry, Sara Brady, said no complaints against McNeil were ever received through the normal complaint process. They don't know who the alleged victims are.
"We have no victims. We have no formal complaints. Nothing's been filed through the proper channels within the city," Brady said. "Any kind of issue with an employee is always taken seriously."
The alleged victims' attorney said the three women were too scared of reprisals to go the official route. He claims the city was informed by someone speaking on their behalf three weeks ago.
"I can tell you my clients are very fragile and it's taken a lot of courage to come forward," Burruezo said.
Burruezo said the number of possible complainants could grow from three to five based on information received Friday.
The decision to file suit he said will depend on how the city of Casselberry reacts to these allegations.
Brooklyn D.A. Kenneth Thompson charged NYPD officers with police brutality. Eagle file screenshot from YouTube
By Charisma L. Troiano, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Two New York City police officers were charged on Wednesday with police brutality, stemming from the beating of an unarmed teen in Bedford-Stuyvesant this summer.
Officer David Afanador was charged with felony assault and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon and official misconduct and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Officer Tyrane Isaac was charged with misdemeanor assault and official misconduct. If convicted, Isaac faces a significantly shorter prison term of one year behind bars.
"By beating a 16-year old boy with their gun and fist after he raised his hands apparently to surrender, these police officers not only violated his rights but also trampled on their sworn oath to serve, protect and uphold the law,” D.A. Kenneth Thompson said in a released statement.
In early October, video footage was released of a police officer hitting a 16-year-old suspect in the face with a gun. The footage captured via surveillance video shows Kahreem Tribble apprehended by police after a chase in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Aug. 29. It is unclear what transpired between the police and Tribble, but an officer is clearly seen punching Tribble in the face. It does not appear from the video that Tribble had a weapon. After the initial punch by the officer, Tribble is then shown with his hands in the air retreating backward and eventually collapsing to the ground. As the video progresses, two officers are seen attacking Tribble, who is on the ground, and one officer is seen putting his gun back into his waist holster.
Thompson’s investigation contends that Isaac swung the first punch to Tribble’s head as he places his empty hands in the air and falls back against a storefront gate. It is believed to be Officer Afanador who runs up to the teen with his service weapon drawn and allegedly strikes Tribble in the mouth with his gun. Officer Isaac, the D.A.’s Office asserts, is captured on video allegedly punching the teen several times in the face while he was on the ground.
The longer video clip, the investigation further revealed, allegedly shows that Afanador was locating and retrieving a bag of marijuana that Tribble allegedly tossed before running away, approaching the teen with the bag and allegedly striking him in the face with it.
As previously reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tribble was suspected of a crime involving marijuana. According to court records, Tribble was seen tossing a black canvas bag when he saw officers Afanador and Isaac along St. Johns Place in the early morning of Aug. 29. The bag was recovered, and Tribble was charged with possessing 17 small bags of marijuana and with disorderly conduct. Tribble plead guilty to a violation.
“Clearly, [NYPD] Commissioner [Bill] Bratton has seen the video and reacted very aggressively in the sense of saying there have to be consequences when anything is done the wrong way,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Officer Afanador has been suspended without pay; Officer Isaac was placed on modified duty and stripped of his badge and gun.
“What’s depicted on this video is troubling and warrants a thorough investigation,” Thompson said last month.
A third officer, Christopher Mastoros, who is seen on the film but did not take part in the attack, has not been included in the criminal investigation.
Afanador and Isaac surrendered to authorities Wednesday and were arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court before Justice Danny Chun.
Both officers were released without bail. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 8.
According to the D.A.’s investigation, Tribble allegedly suffered broken teeth as a result of the incident.
In the past few months, at least five videos have been released purporting to show acts of police brutality, specifically in Brooklyn. In addition to the Tribble video, a police officer is alleged to have punched 17-year-old Marcel Hamer — accused of smoking marijuana in public view — in the face with such force that the teenager was allegedly knocked unconscious. The video does not capture the alleged punch, but witnesses are heard reacting, and the video next cuts to Hamer on the ground and unresponsive. “Turn around,” the officer is then heard telling Hamer. Hamer does not move.
Additionally, in July, an officer is seen stomping on the head of an arrested individual; in August, a video was released showing a naked woman being dragged out of her apartment in Brownsville; in September, video surfaced of a police officer throwing a pregnant woman — belly down — onto the ground.
The D.A.’s Office is currently investigating two additional incidents of purported police abuse.
“I expect more indictments to come out,” said civil rights attorney Amy Rameau, who represents Tribble and a number of other victims of police attacks.
According to the New York Daily News, the last time a police officer was brought to trial on charges of police brutality was in 2008, when three Brooklyn police officers were accused of sodomizing a man with a baton. The officers were acquitted.
The Mobile Justice app, which can be downloaded free from the ACLU of Missouri website, has several capabilities:
A "record" feature allows citizens to capture a police interaction and send the file instantly to the ACLU.
A "witness" feature sends out a location alert to others, enabling them to come to the scene and observe.
A 'report' feature makes it easy to send an incident report to the ACLU.
The app also has a section informing citizens on their rights during police stops.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY • People who feel their rights are being violated by police will be able to record and instantly send a video of it to the ACLU using a new smartphone app available here.
It also permits the user to summon others to the scene to observe, to file an instant complaint to the ACLU and to review constitutional rights.
Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, said Thursday the idea is to help ensure that police stops are conducted properly — and to provide evidence for court if they’re not.
“We know most police are very consistent in doing their jobs properly,” Mittman said at a press conference. “But for those few bad apples, this puts them on notice.”
He said complaints of police harassment have spiked significantly since the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, and resulting protests. But the underlying issues aren’t new, he said, citing an annual state report that suggests some police forces stop a disproportionate number of blacks.
“This is a problem throughout our country that we all know about,” he said.
His organization joined ACLU affiliates in three other states — Mississippi, Oregon and Nebraska — in the app’s roll-out. It is currently available only for Android phones, with plans to offer it ultimately for iPhones as well.
Mittman said instant transmission of the video means an officer cannot just seize a phone and delete it. But he urged people to obey if police order them to stop recording.
In a statement reacting to the ACLU’s announcement, St. Louis County Police Sgt. Brian Schellman said his agency “agrees with the ACLU that everyone should know what their rights are when interacting with police, and this app is another way for them to do so.”
Ferguson and St. Louis police did not respond to requests for comment.
This is the same technology the ACLU used to address concerns of racial profiling in stop-and-frisk policing in New York. The ACLU said that app has been downloaded more than 30,000 times since its release in 2012. In the same time period, he said, street stops by police declined by more than half.
Mittman said the announcement’s timing is unrelated to an impending decision from a St. Louis County grand jury on whether to issue any charges against Wilson. But if protests do erupt, as many have suggested, he said he expects the new app to get heavy use.
Based on an ACLU suit, a judge recently ordered the Missouri Highway Patrol and St. Louis County police to stop arresting people who do not keep moving during demonstrations. On Wednesday, the city of Ferguson agreed not to enforce the so-called “five-second rule.”
The “failure to disperse” charge authorities used applies “at the scene of an unlawful assembly, or at the scene of a riot.” The ACLU argued that police were using it to quell free speech.
“These violations of constitutional rights must stop,” Mittman said.
The ACLU earlier reached a federal court agreement with the same agencies over the right to record police interactions. That suit was on behalf of a journalist with the Argus Media Group who was ordered over a loudspeaker to stop filming Ferguson protests.
The agreement says public events may be recorded “without abridgement unless it obstructs the activity or threatens the safety of others, or physically interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties.”
Many of the demonstrators have used live streaming video and Twitter from their phones as a way to organize, communicate and keep pressure on authorities.
Julia Ho, of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, a grass-roots group, said any tool that helps connect protesters to legal advocacy is a plus.
“We definitely fully support all the efforts of the ACLU, and more specifically, any tool that allows grass-roots organizing to occur around police brutality,” she said.
They are not the only ones to grasp the power of video. St. Louis County police have been spotted recording the protests.
“Filming is a way our department can hold everyone on scene accountable, police and citizens,” Schellman said. “Oftentimes, videos used, such as Vine, are shown in quick clips, with no context. Filming interactions between police and citizens helps us put then entire scope of a contact between police and citizens in context.”
BY THEO KARANTSALIS
A veteran Miami Springs police officer who once served as union representative has quietly resigned from the force after authorities accused him of fraudulently billing his city-issued medical insurance.
While on active duty, Oscar Garcia, 43, was arrested last year and charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft. He submitted his resignation to the city last month.
Garcia’s case is expected to be resolved once he pays back restitution.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Garcia declined to comment. His lawyer did not return repeated calls for comment.
“I have enjoyed 17 years as an employee with this great city and will always cherish,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I will continue to have lifelong friendships with all of you, however, this time, I have goals and plans that no longer allow me to continue my journey and I must move on.”
His arrest was unusual for a department of 40 sworn officers in the the small city just north of Miami International Airport. Garcia had been a representative for the Police Benevolent Association and was particularly vocal during contract negotiations in 2012.
His legal troubles stem from paperwork he filled out in October 2010.
According to an arrest warrant, Garcia filled out an Aetna health insurance form, listing a woman named Rosario Noa as his wife, and her daughter as his stepdaughter.
“Wife kept maiden name,” he wrote on the form, according to authorities.
Noa later gave birth to Garcia's son — a pregnancy for which Aetna paid $14,313.54 in medical bills. The company also paid out several hundred dollars in other claims.
But according to North Miami police, which investigated, Garcia was actually still married to another woman: Olga Garcia, whom he had never divorced because of disagreements over child custody.
Noa, Garcia admitted the city, was his live-in girlfriend and he mistakenly believed he could list her and her daughter as dependents.
Miami Springs later determined that it had wrongfully paid over $6,500 for Noa and her daughter because they were never eligible for coverage through the city.
No criminal charges will be filed against Sgt. Amy Young in the shooting death of her boyfriend, Officer Luis Monroig, who shot her and then himself
By Jessica Lipscomb, Ryan Mills
Naples Daily News
NAPLES, Fla. — No criminal charges will be filed against Naples police Sgt. Amy Young in the shooting death of her boyfriend, Officer Luis "Dave" Monroig, the State Attorney's Office announced October 30.
Monroig was fatally shot July 9 during a domestic dispute at Young's Estero home. Young was shot in the face but survived.
Officer involved in fatal cop couple shooting to get gun backOfficer involved in fatal cop shooting still in ICUFla. cop couple's dispute leaves 1 dead, 1 wounded "After our review of the investigation and consideration of applicable Florida law, we have determined that no charges will be filed in this matter," State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen said in a statement.
Monroig shot Young then killed himself, a State Attorney's Office investigation found. Still, investigators said "why he fired the shot that wounded Young is unknown."
From early on, Young's attorney, Donald Day, has said Young committed no crime.
"We found out about the investigation earlier today, but of course it was no surprise to us because we knew what happened," he said Thursday.
A three-page memo gives the following account of the hours leading up to the shooting:
On Tuesday, July 8, Young returned to her home in the Lakes of Estero community after a night out with friends. A witness told the Lee County Sheriff's Office that Young had driven home and appeared to be intoxicated.
Upon Young's return, she and Monroig were involved in an altercation in the front yard. It's unclear from reports if the altercation was verbal or physical.
Both Young and Monroig had been drinking. Young tested positive for alcohol and benzodiazepine, which can be found in anxiety medications, and Monroig had been drinking while at home.
Young said as the argument escalated, she was pushed to the ground, hit her head and passed out. After regaining consciousness, Young said Monroig was still upset with her. She said she became afraid and grabbed her police-issued gun from the nightstand.
Young said Monroig yelled, "Really, Amy!" and sometime after that, shots were fired. Young could not recall how she was shot but remembered waking up on the bedroom floor next to Monroig, who was dead.
Young eventually was able to drag herself out of the bedroom and out the front door, where she was found by her daughter, who called 911. Six of the couple's children from previous marriages were at the home that night.
Investigators found that Monroig, who was left handed, had gunshot residue on his left hand and suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of his head. Dr. Robert Pfalzgraf, the Lee County medical examiner, ruled the death a suicide.
A crime scene investigation found Young was shot on the left side of her head, with the wound showing a downward trajectory from above her left ear to her chin.
Monroig's police-issued Walther PPS 40-caliber semi-automatic firearm was the only weapon in the home that had been fired that night, investigators said.
Records show Monroig had been secretly recording his phone calls, including those the night of July 8. State Attorney's officials said they could not release the recordings because of Florida law but said it was clear "that Monroig sounded angry and became increasingly irate as time passed."
Had Monroig lived, there was evidence that could have led to an attempted murder charge, according to the Sheriff's Office. In light of his death, the case has been closed.
Young allowed herself to be interviewed only once before invoking her right to an attorney. After that, she refused requests for interviews and for walk-throughs of the crime scene, according to reports.
After her first statement, Young was "medically incapacitated" and still recovering from the shooting, Day said.
"We didn't feel it was appropriate to have her give a second statement," he said. "She'd already given a full statement and fully cooperated."
But Ray Bass, an attorney representing Monroig's ex-wife Nina Diaz-Monroig, said he found it concerning that Young refused to be interviewed more than once.
"I do know this: When someone stops involvement with a police investigation, that's a red flag," he said. "Whether that person has a lawyer or not, it's a red flag, and that flag's still waving as far as I can tell."
Bass raised the possibility that Monroig fired his weapon in self-defense, stressing the State Attorney's conclusion that it was unclear why Young was shot.
Bass, a former Collier County Sheriff's Office investigator, said he was unable to get in touch with Diaz-Monroig October 30. Attempts to reach Diaz-Monroig for comment at her Marco Island home were unsuccessful.
No one answered the door October 30 at Young's Estero house. Neighbors said Young has been back in her home for a couple of months.
"She still feels terribly about this," Day said. "They lived together as a family and she's worried about what impact this will have on the children."
Naples Mayor John Sorey said it has not been good having a cloud of suspicion hanging over Young for the better part of four months.
But he said he respects the Sheriff's Office's and the State Attorney's Office's process.
"I would have liked to have it a lot sooner to get this behind us, but it is what it is," Sorey said.
He said he is concerned about allegations in the report that Young had been drinking and driving before the shooting.
"Obviously we don't have as a society any tolerance for drinking and driving," Sorey said. "Hopefully the hospital did a blood alcohol analysis."
Day said the witness's depiction of Young driving while intoxicated is inaccurate. Any medications found in her system were legally prescribed, he said.
Naples Police Chief Tom Weschler reviewed the State Attorney's Office memo and said he stands behind the Sheriff's Office investigation, although he had not seen a full report.
"The next step for us will be to actually get a copy of the report and review that," he said. "We'll be looking to see if there are any administrative issues in that report that need to be addressed."
Young remains on leave from the department. Weschler said he hasn't spoken to her since before the shooting. The city's human resources department is continuing with its fitness for duty examination, he said.
Day said he expects Young will be fully reinstated.
"There were a lot of negative things said and people jumped to a lot of conclusions, but it turns out she was in fact the victim here," Day said.
The announcement is an opportunity for the department and its officers to start putting the shooting behind them, Weschler said.
"There's no win in this," he said. "It's all about the families and their hopefully having the ability to move forward."