The case for national IQ standards for cops
Las Cruces mother-to-be is Tasered by police then accidentally Tasered again
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Phillip Lopez and his wife Feliz Gonzales are expecting their first child, but they’re worried he or she may not be born healthy.
In January, an officer with the Las Cruces Police Department subdued the couple with a Taser.
Gonzales said, "I can’t even describe the feeling. It was horrible.”
According to a police report from Jan. 9, Officer David Rodriguez was responding to a domestic dispute between Lopez and a neighbor on Court Avenue, near Melendres Street.
Officer Rodriguez said he told Lopez to stop and put his hands up. When he didn’t, the officer fired his Taser. Officer Rodriguez wrote, “The Taser was effective and Mr. Lopez did fall down to the ground.”
According to the report, Gonzales continued walking toward the officer. Officer Rodriguez wrote, “I did feel in danger of receiving an immediate battery from Ms. Gonzales. At that point in time, I did shoot another cartridge at Ms. Gonzales. When I shot her with the Taser it was effective and she did fall to the ground forward.”
On cellphone video from a neighbor, the officer is heard yelling, “Stop talking and keep your hands up or I’ll tase you again.”
A few seconds later, Lopez started to get up but instead of using the Taser on him, Officer Rodriguez sent another cycle to Gonzales.
In the report, Officer Rodriguez wrote, “While I was attempting to tase him, I also did inadvertently send another cycle through to Ms. Gonzales. It was (an) unintentional cycle but due to the (layout) of the Taser.”
Gonzales told KFOX14, “I remember, stop it, stop it! And I’m trying to yell stop it, stop it! And he just kept tasing me. I felt like I was going to die.”
Lopez said he felt helpless and told KFOX14, “All I hear is her screaming and I say, 'Stop shocking my wife. Why are you doing this?' And I don’t know what the cause of it was.”
The Las Cruces Police Department would not elaborate on how the mistake happened.
The police report also stated that Lopez became very disorderly.
“He was banging on the wall, pulling on the handcuffs, trying to stand up, kicking his feet, spitting, (and) just continually being verbally aggressive towards officers," wrote Officer Rodriguez.
After they were booked, Gonzales and Lopez were each charged with assault on a peace officer.
Gonzales said, “I think I was the one that was assaulted. I have bruises from when I was on the floor. I’m all messed up. Cut up. You know, from me hitting the gravel. It was horrible.”
Then on Jan. 9, the couple was arrested by Las Cruces police on a warrant issued by New Mexico State Police for a crime they said they didn’t commit.
NMSP, with help from LCPD, identified the couple as the suspects wanted for stealing $600 worth of merchandise from Walmart on Jan. 3.
Gonzales bonded out of Dona Ana County Detention Center after a couple of days but Lopez, a convicted felon, ended up spending six days behind bars.
Officer accidentally shoots himself at Bridgeview courthouse
By Deanese Williams-Harris and Lauren Zumbach
Chicago cop accidentally shoots self at courthouse; injury not serious.
A Chicago police officer accidentally shot himself at the Bridgeview courthouse Wednesday morning. Authorities said the wound was not serious The officer was in the weapons room at the back of the courthouse when the gun discharged around 9:30 a.m., striking the officer in the upper leg, according to sheriff's officials.
He was taken to a hospital, and his injuries were not life-threatening.
The officer was taking a gun from a locker when it went off, sheriff's officials said.
The officer went to get his gun as the courthouse was being evacuated because a smoke detector had gone off in the law library. The alarm apparently malfunctioned and there was no fire, officials said.
Several bystanders in the courthouse said they did not hear the gunshot and weren't aware of what happened until well after they were allowed back in the building.
"We thought it was just a false alarm. We didn't hear about the officer until later," said Orland Park police Officer Brian Eppolito.
Kathleen Connors and Ryan Smith, both of Oak Lawn, were in a courtroom when the fire alarm sounded.
Smith said he and a number of others in the courtroom smelled smoke, while Connors described an odor like burning rubber.
Cop accidentally shoots his sergeant instead of wild dog
By Matt McNulty
Police remove a crate with a dog in it from 9720 Kings Highway in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where a cop accidentally shot another in the foot. Photo: William Miller
A Brooklyn cop accidentally shot his own sergeant in the foot Tuesday night as the pair responded to a dangerous pit bull in an East Flatbush apartment.
The cop was trying to stop the dog at 9720 Kings Highway at 10:40 p.m. when his gun discharged into his superior officer’s right foot.
The sergeant, 36, was taken to Kings County Hospital and was in stable condition early Wednesday.
The shooting was under investigation, authorities said.
Cop accidentally shoots gun; no one hurt
LAKE ARIEL, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors in northeastern Pennsylvania have launched an investigation after a school police officer accidentally shot his gun inside his school office.
School resource officer Paul Semler fired the weapon around 11 a.m. Wednesday inside the high school building, according to Western Wayne School District Superintendent Clay LaCoe. No one was hurt.
Semler is off the job while the Wayne County district attorney's office investigates.
District Attorney Janine Edwards tells The Times-Tribune of Scranton (http://bit.ly/1vkxxrA ) on Thursday that her probe has not yet discovered what the officer was doing when the gun was fired.
OSHA Recommends ‘Cops’ Makes Changes After Crewman’s Death By Police During Arrest
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A federal agency on Tuesday called for additional training and safety instructions for crew members of the long-running TV show “Cops” in response to the shooting death of an audio technician last summer in Omaha.
Bryce Dion, 38, of Boston, was killed Aug. 26 while filming an attempted armed robbery at a fast-food restaurant when a stray bullet from an Omaha police officer slipped past his bulletproof vest. The robbery suspect was also killed. Authorities later said the weapon he was carrying turned out to be a pellet gun.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the shooting and issued the guidelines but did not issue any citations or penalties.
In the letter to Langley Productions, OSHA recommended teaching employees how to film from a distance when there is gunfire in the area, taking precautionary measures when deciding whether to accompany law enforcement into crime scenes and removing bonus incentives that encourage employees to take risks to capture more action-packed stories.
“We believe these are actions they can take to prevent accidents like this from happening,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha.
Langley Productions released a statement saying the company intends to implement the recommendations and establish “even stricter procedures and policies to avoid any unforeseen tragedy in the future.”
Winingham has requested that the company respond to OSHA by March 31 with a letter outlining how it plans to address the agency’s concerns. The agency will then evaluate any new policies and training methods as they are employed.
“Cops” is a reality TV show that has depicted law enforcement officers in action since it premiered in 1989. According to its website, the show airs on Fox and has been filmed in at least 140 U.S. cities and three foreign countries.
Executives with the Santa Monica, California-based Langley Productions said the incident in Omaha was the first fatal shooting to occur while filming