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"I don't like this book because it don't got know pictures" Chief Rhorerer

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”
“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

Police brutality or business as usual

Portsmouth police officer charged with assault
By Gary A. Harki
The Virginian-Pilot
A police sergeant is on administrative duty pending an investigation and the outcome of a court case for simple assault, said Detective Misty Holley, spokeswoman for Portsmouth police.
Sgt. Robert Huntington was served with a summons Tuesday for an incident that allegedly occurred in the parking lot of a business in the 3300 of South Military Highway, said Kelly O’Sullivan, Chesapeake police spokeswoman.
The incident occurred about 11 a.m. Feb. 2 and involved another adult male, she said.

Former sheriff's investigator indicted in police brutality claim
Jonathan Bandler,
Former Putnam County sheriff's investigator Pat Castaldo was indicted Friday morning on three criminal charges Friday related to a July incident in which a shackled prisoner alleged he was beaten.
Former Putnam County sheriff's investigator Pat Castaldo was indicted Friday morning on three criminal charges Friday related to a July incident in which a shackled prisoner alleged he was beaten.
The indictment charges Castaldo, who retired last year as senior investigator, with filing a false instrument, an E felony; and official misconduct; and attempted assault, both misdemeanors.
Castaldo' attorney, Andrew Quinn entered a plea of not guilty. He also asked the court to disqualify Putnam County Adam Levy from prosecuting the case.
Quinn argued that Levy had a conflict because Castaldo is a potential witness in Levy's defamation lawsuit against Putnam Sheriff Donald Smith.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary ordered Castaldo to turn in two firearms. He was then released without bail.
Putnam County paid the suspect, Kenneth DeFreitas, $35,000 last year after he filed a notice of claim alleging police brutality.
DeFreitas was charged with robbery in connection to heists at a supermarket and Putnam County National Bank. On July 3, Castaldo and Gerald Schramek, the chief of investigations for the Sheriff's Office, brought him into the courtroom at Carmel Town Hall. DeFreitas is alleged to have reached for Schramek's holstered gun but was subdued.
According to DeFreitas' notice of claim, he was lying face down, his hands and feet shackled, when Castaldo began kicking and hitting him. He claimed Castaldo at one point lifted him to his feet and punched him in the kidney.
Schramek, the third-highest ranking officer in the Sheriff's Office, was also under investigation in the case but was not indicted. He resigned two weeks ago.
The Sheriff's Office placed the two on "restricted duty" during an internal investigation and referred DeFreitas' allegations to the FBI, which declined to pursue charges against the two investigators.
The DA's investigation and grand jury presentation has played out against a backdrop of continued animosity between Levy and Sheriff Don Smith, who each have $5 million defamation lawsuits pending against the other. The Sheriff's Office has argued that the ongoing feud makes it a conflict of interest for Levy to investigate any sheriff's employee.
Former Putnam sheriff's Investigator Pat Castaldo and Putnam District Attorney Adam Levy head to court Friday morning. David McKay Wilson/The Journal News
Levy recused himself in 2013 as the Sheriff's Office — with Castaldo supervising the probe — brought a child-rape case against the DA's former live-in trainer, Alex Hossu. But the district attorney still funded the defense and challenged the prosecution behind the scenes. Hossu was acquitted.
Castaldo's arraignment is expected to be handled by acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary, who has scheduled it for 9 am so that he can get back to Westchester County Court for the resumption of jury deliberations in the Lacey Spears murder trial.

Who Faced Police Brutality In February
by Carimah Townes  Posted on February 27, 2015 at 2:12 pm
According to Killed By Police, an online database of fatal encounters between cops and civilians, more than 75 people died at the hands of police in February. Many of the incidents involved violent actions on the part of the deceased, yet fatalities come at a time when tensions between officers and civilians is at a fever pitch. Without question, officers who put their lives on the line to ensure public safety are thrust into high-intensity scenarios, and often have to make split-second decisions. But research shows that mentally ill people and minorities are disproportionately killed — and that fact lies at the heart of national outrage.
Over the past few decades, there’s been a widely-criticized dearth of national data on the number of people killed by officers, and in light of protests and and calls for police reform, the website has become one of the most comprehensive lists to date. However, Killed By Police does not include violent but non-fatal interactions with officers who used excessive force.

Excessive force suit settled for $10,000
A lawsuit filed against the Hanford Police Department alleging wrongful arrest and excessive force has reached a settlement.
The suit, filed by area businessman Michael Hamburger and his wife, Kristene Hamburger, part owners of the Artesia Building in downtown Hanford, was recently settled out of court for $10,000.
The case stemmed from a Sept. 20, 2012, incident that led to Michael Hamburger’s arrest. That night, police received a call regarding suspicious activity at the Artesia Building, located at the corner of Sixth and Irwin streets.
According to police, officers entered the building where they found Hamburger and his wife sleeping in a vacant upstairs office. Hamburger allegedly showed signs of intoxication and refused to provide any identification.
Following a brief struggle, Hamburger was taken into custody and held in the “drunk tank” at the Kings County Jail for six hours. He was later charged with obstructing, resisting or delaying an officer.
A Kings County judge dismissed the charge last February. Hamburger instead pleaded no contest to a lesser infraction of fighting or challenging to a fight in a public place. That charge stemmed from an incident that occurred earlier in the evening at the nearby Sequoia Club.
Hamburger’s ensuing lawsuit included claims of assault, battery, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, false arrest/false imprisonment and violation of constitutional and state rights. It further claims Hamburger suffered injuries, including three dislocated discs in his back and various cuts, bruises and scrapes to his hand, knee and face.
City Attorney Mario Zamora said the initial discovery process for the case included requests for medical reports from the Kings County Jail to verify Hamburger had such injuries when he was booked into the jail.
“That showed basically that he was fine,” Zamora said.
While $10,000 sounds like a lot of money, Zamora said, the settlement guarantees the case is over. According to warrant register documents from the city’s finance department, the city spent about $30,000 fighting the lawsuit since it was filed in September 2013.
Allowing the case to go to trial would likely have cost the city tens of thousands of dollars to interview witnesses and gather evidence in preparation for the proceedings.
The Hamburgers were represented by Visalia-based attorney Derek Wisehart, who could not be reached for comment.
Hanford police officers began using body-worn cameras since last summer, ensuring the department has an unbiased record of traffic stops, arrests and other calls for service. A department-wide camera program was rolled out in late September in an effort to hold both officers and citizens more accountable.
Chief Parker Sever said a number of potential complaints have already been diffused by sitting down with the accusers and having them watch the video of the incident. While it’s difficult to quantify lawsuits that were never filed, Sever said, the average number of lawsuits filed against the department appears to have declined.
“We just got our first complaint since we implemented the program in July,” Sever said Monday. “The video clearly exonerates the officer.”
The cameras cost about $40,000 paid using asset-forfeiture money seized by the department’s K-9. Sever said that investment could pay off if it avoids costly legal fees associated with fighting a lawsuit.
Zamora said claims of excessive force by police often play off ambiguity, where the court must decide whether they believe the police or the plaintiff. Because video removes that ambiguity, Zamora said, the body cameras are likely to deter future lawsuits.
“If we had that in this case — if it’s as we say — this case would never have been filed or would have been over much quicker,” Zamora said.
In recent years, the city has found itself shelling out thousands of dollars for complaints filed against the police department.
In December 2013, the city was ordered to pay $465,000 to Lemoore resident Isaac Miller, whose civil lawsuit claimed he had been wrongfully arrested for an assault that allegedly took place in 2010 in the parking lot outside of a Hanford restaurant.
Several months later, the city paid out a $70,000 settlement to Gunnar Ohnstad, who sued for claims of unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution related to a 2012 arrest.

Florida cop suspended for slapping homeless Fort Lauderdale man 
Video showed Fort Lauderdale cop Victor Ramirez push a homeless man and slap his face at a bus station.
 Ramirez told the man he wasn't allowed to be at the bus station before he smacked him. The video continued as Ramirez handcuffed the man and led him away from the terminal.
Video showed Fort Lauderdale cop Victor Ramirez push a homeless man and slap his face at a bus station.
A Florida cop slapped a homeless man after the man asked to use the restroom, video showed.
Fort Lauderdale Police suspended Officer Victor Ramirez after video caught him trailing the man at a bus station before knocking him to the ground and hitting him.
Ramirez is the second South Florida officer this week to be investigated for misbehavior caught on camera: On Monday, a Broward County deputy dragged a mentally ill woman through a court, video showed.
Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman called the footage of Ramirez “clearly disturbing,” WSVN reported.
The man who took the video — only identified as “Alex” — said he started recording when he sensed tension between the cop and homeless man Bruce Laclair.
The five-minute clip showed Ramirez follow Laclair at the terminal. Just a few seconds in, the cop took Laclair by the arm and shoved him to the ground.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” Ramirez said.
Laclair explained he was looking for the bathroom. Ramirez ordered the man to get up. Then, he slapped Laclair across the face, the video showed.
“I’m not f---ing around with you. Don’t f---ing touch me,” Ramirez said.
The video — partially obstructed by a bench in the foreground — did not appear to show the man touch the cop.
The video rolled as Ramirez handcuffed Laclair, explaining he wasn’t allowed to be at the bus station and leading him away from the stop to his police cruiser.
Rameriz, a nine-year force veteran, has three other complaints on his file, the department said.
"He's evil. I don't know what his problem is," Laclair told the TV station. "For the way he treated me, I think he should be out of the force. He should not be a law enforcement officer. He's not like the rest of them."
He continued: “I think most of law enforcement are very good and they're very generous about letting you go on little things.”

San Francisco Police Officer Hits Homeless Man With Baton, Uses Pepper Spray
By Lisa Fernandez
A San Francisco police officer was caught on Muni video striking a homeless man with a baton and pepper spraying him when the 36-year-old rider wouldn’t get off the bus at the end of the line. Christie Smith reports. (Published Thursday, Feb 26, 2015)
A San Francisco police officer was caught on Muni video striking a homeless man with a baton and pepper spraying him when the 36-year-old rider wouldn’t get off the bus at the end of the line.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi released the roughly 4-minute video Thursday showing the Feb. 11 event at Cabrillo and La Playa streets near Ocean Beach.
Its release comes two days after a Fort Lauderdale police officer was suspended without pay after being caught on camera slapping a pushing a homeless ground to the ground.
Adachi, who has been releasing a string of proactive videos of police officer conduct, said this officer “dramatically” escalated his use of force and was “overreacting to a minor conflict.”
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr defended Officer Raymond Chu, basing his conclusion on the video, the police report and the bus driver's statements.
"I'm comfortable since it has been held over for trial and viewed by the District Attorney that they’re not seeing anything as shocking as Mr. Adachi would have anybody believe," Suhr said.
Suhr added that Chu, a 10-year veteran of the police department, was simply responding as he was trained.
The District Attorney's Office also did not immediately back down from Adachi's assertions.
“We are reviewing all the evidence to make sure the case was handled appropriately,” San Francisco District Attorney’s spokesman Max Szabo said. “The court has ordered the defendant to seek mental health treatment.”
It was nearly two weeks ago that Chu responded to a report of a person sleeping on a 5-Fulton about 11 p.m.
The video shows Chu trying to rouse 36-year-old Bernard Warren for more than 30 seconds before Warren awakens, disheveled and disoriented. At first, Chu is gentle. “Hey buddy,” Chu is heard saying several times.
When he finally wakes up, Warren appears to have trouble standing and walking. Chu begins pushing him toward the exit. On his way off the bus, Warren, who Adachi said has a slurred speech impediment, slowly mumbles over his shoulder to Chu, “Don’t touch me. I could beat your a--.”
Chu becomes enraged. He can be heard yelling: “Dude, f---king what did you say?” and shoves and kicks Warren off the bus, as the homeless man staggers in the street. At another point, he shouts at Warren, "Get off the f---ing bus."
As Warren walks away, Chu brandishes his police baton, yelling “We done here? We done here? Yeah, keep walking.”
Chu then follows Warren and strikes him with the baton as Warren continues to stumble in the street, all of which is captured on video.
Chu wrote in his police report that Warren approached him with clenched fists and that he hit Warren in the legs five times with a baton before deploying his pepper spray into Warren’s eye, which can be seen at minute 2:32 in the video.
Warren was arrested for threatening an executive officer. After two weeks in jail, Warren was released, said his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Andrea Lindsay.
A jury trial is scheduled for March 6. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.
Adachi called Chu's response to Warren the second case of excessive police force this year. In January, a private citizen released footage of an officer trying to dump a paralyzed man from his wheelchair.
 NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

OPD Officer Peter Delio used excessive force in 2014 arrest, probe finds
By Desiree Stennett Orlando Sentinelcontact the reporter
Handcuffed man sues after spleen ruptured by cop during arrest
Officer Peter Delio suspended for 40 hours after excessive-force investigation
OPD: Excessive force will not be tolerated, discipline will be severe
An Orlando police officer used excessive force when he kneed a handcuffed man so hard in the abdomen that the man's spleen was ruptured during an arrest last year, an internal investigation found.
OPD officer hit handcuffed man so hard his spleen ruptured, lawsuit alleges
Officer Peter Delio was orally reprimanded and suspended for 40 hours without pay for his actions during the August 12 arrest. Robert Liese, the suspect who was injured, has filed a $75,000 federal lawsuit against Delio. His spleen had to be surgically removed.
According to the internal affairs investigative report, Liese was struck while inside a holding cell at a downtown police substation on Washington Street after he was arrested at a bar.
Liese smelled strongly of alcohol and had trouble keeping his balance when police arrived. He had ordered 12 shots of Jack Daniels whiskey at the Underground Public House on South Orange Avenue but could not pay his $60 tab, according to the report.
He told police he had offered to wash dishes to cover the tab but the manager refused.
Although Liese didn't fight off Delio as he was handcuffed, Liese's arrest report said he first refused to pull his legs into Delio's patrol car and after Liese was pushed inside, "he began head butting the inside of the patrol car while yelling and screaming."
Liese told police that he was hurt in a car accident the day before the arrest. He said he tried to tell Delio that he was in pain and needed time to get inside the car, the internal investigative report said.
He said he thrashed around in the back of the patrol car because being pushed inside aggravated his pain. Liese didn't remember anything that came next.
When he was put in the holding cell, police say, Liese was still irate, his arrest report said.
"Once inside, Liese then walked up to the window and head butted the glass," Delio wrote in Liese's arrest report.
The reinforced 1/4 inch thick safety glass was shattered causing $500 in damage.
After the glass broke, police say, Liese walked away from the door. That's when Delio entered the room and delivered the blow to Liese's stomach as the man was attempting to sit down, investigators say.
"Sgt. Michael Faulkner disapproved Officer Delio's response and stated that Liese did not present a level of resistance requiring the response that was provided," the internal investigation found.
Faulkner, who viewed surveillance video the night of the incident, filed the complaint that same night.
"The Orlando Police Department has had a few incidents that have been covered extensively in the media lately," spokeswoman Sgt. Wanda Ford said in a written statement. "It is very unfortunate the great work done by so many of our other officers are being overshadowed by these cases.
"Excessive force of any kind or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and the discipline will be severe. The Orlando Police Department expects more from our officers and certainly our citizens expect more as well."

Justice Department Finds Pattern of Police Bias and Excessive Force in Ferguson
Police officers in Ferguson, Mo., have routinely violated the constitutional rights of the city’s black residents, the Justice Department has concluded in a scathing report that accuses the officers of using excessive force and making unjustified traffic stops for years.
The Justice Department, which opened its investigation after a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed a black teenager last summer, says the discrimination was fueled in part by racial stereotypes held by city officials.
The report’s findings were summarized by a federal law enforcement official. The full report is expected to be released on Wednesday. A separate report is expected to clear the officer, Darren Wilson, of any civil rights violations in the shooting of Mr. Brown.

Officer Charged In Fight Fired From Memphis Police
Memphis Police said they have fired Officer Craig Brewer, who was involved in a Christmas Eve bar brawl.
The 36-year-old Brewer was fired Feb. 20. Brewer was charged with aggravated assault and simple assault after a fight Dec. 24, 2014, with several men outside at TJ Mulligan's in Cordova.
Police said the fight took place just before 1:30 a.m. Dec. 24 outside the TJ Mulligan's establishment in the 2800 block of Houston Levee Road. Three male victims told police that while inside the restaurant they were involved in a verbal altercation with three male suspects.
All six men left the restaurant and the verbal altercation escalated into a fight in the parking lot, police said. The suspects -- Brewer; Johannes Vosloo, 35; and Charles Williams, 33 -- fled in a black Ford Taurus.
Police said a witness was able to get a car's tag number and provided the information to the officers on the scene.
Officer Brewer has been relieved of duty and is currently on non-enforcement status. He has been employed with MPD since October of 2010 and is assigned to Mt. Moriah Station.
Brewer, who is out on bond, is due in court March 9 for a preliminary hearing.