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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”

St. Louis officer under fire for turning off dashcam video during arrest

Video: St. Louis Cop Turns Off Dash Cam as Officers Kick Driver
In Missouri, a St. Louis police officer has been suspended after turning off a dashboard camera as her colleagues were kicking and tasing an African-American man during a traffic stop. Cortez Bufford has filed suit against police over the April arrest. Video shows police dragging Bufford from the car, then kicking and tasing him. At one point he shouts, "I can’t move." Then, using the slang term "red," to mean the dashboard camera is rolling, Officer Kelli Swinton tells her colleagues to wait while she turns it off.
Kelli Swinton: "Hold up! Hold up, y’all! Hold up! Hold up! Everybody hold up. We’re red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait."
The video then abruptly stops. Police, who had received a call about shots fired in the area, accused Bufford of speeding, making an illegal U-turn and abruptly parking. They say an officer kicked him to prevent him from reaching for a gun, which they say they found in his pocket. But all charges against Bufford were dropped after the prosecutor saw the footage. Police Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he does not believe the officers did anything wrong. In addition to Swinton, he suspended a sergeant who was supervising the scene — for one day.

Man sues police for turning off dashcam during arrest
Technically Incorrect: In St. Louis, the use of cameras offers another controversy. A man claims police tried to cover up alleged rough treatment as they arrested him.
by Chris Matyszczyk
We're all filming each other, a habit that can come in very useful when we encounter officers of the law.
Especially if they insist that the frisbee in our car is a sure sign that we're a pot smoker.
It's not, though, as if injustice only flies in one direction. The police, too, are increasingly using cameras to prove their side of incidents. Recently, police in Arizona released chilling bodycam footage of an incident in which an officer died to show the everyday perils of their job.
The use of cameras, though, remains imperfect. It remains open to abuse. In St. Louis, for example, a man who was arrested is reportedly suing the local police force because footage seems to show the police deliberately turning off their dashcam after they had manhandled him to the ground.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, video from the scene -- the dashcam wasn't the only camera rolling -- has the audio of a female officer saying: "Hold up, everybody, hold up. We're red right now so if you guys are worried about cameras just wait."
The phrase "red right now" is said to refer to the light signal of a camera rolling. The Dispatch identified the officer as Kelli Swinton. KTVI-TV identified Swinton as having been named Officer of the Year in 2013.
The arrest of Cortez Bufford happened last April. His vehicle was stopped, as it was allegedly speeding and performed an illegal u-turn, as well as having some vague resemblance to a car identified as being connected to a shooting.
What ensued was police allegedly smelling marijuana in Bufford's car, his alleged refusal to get out of it, the police's allegedly observing a gun in his pocket and a forcible removal of Bufford from his car, after which he was allegedly assaulted. Police also used their Taser on him.
Bufford's lawyer says that excessive force was used on his client. Moreover, he told KTVI: "The probable cause statement was simply made up." He added: "Our client wasn't speeding, he didn't make an illegal U-turn and he didn't abruptly pull to the curb. Those are all figments of the officer's imagination."
The video that does exist appears to show the police kicking Bufford. Police say they found a 9mm gun on Bufford and live rounds, as well as marijuana.
Oddly, the criminal case against Bufford was dropped last August. The original incident report accused him of "assault of a law enforcement officer (intimidation)," as well as unlawful use of a weapon and marijuana possession.
A spokeswoman for the Circuit Attorney's office told the Dispatch that the case was dropped because "the action of turning off the dashcam video diminished the evidentiary merits of the case."
One can imagine that, in an instance where an officer was seen allegedly trying to influence the evidence that might be presented, any other evidence presented might have a slight odor to it.
I contacted the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to ask for its reaction to the fact that the case was dropped and to wonder just what discipline Swinton might have been recommended for. I was referred to the office of the mayor.
City Counselor Winston Calvert told me: "The officers were confronted with an individual who refused to comply with police officers, and was reaching for a semi-automatic gun. In these circumstances, the officers acted with appropriate force in making the arrest. The officers did what was necessary to protect themselves and to protect the public from a man who was kicking, punching, and reaching for a gun."
However, he added: "The Police Department's policy required that the officers leave the dash camera on. An Internal Affairs Investigation found that an officer violated that policy and should be disciplined. The officer is currently appealing the discipline."
Dashcam units used by the St. Louis Police Department have a 90-second post-event buffer. This means they (should) continue to record after the stop button has been pushed. However, lawyers for the officers contend that nothing more happened than the action visible on the video.
The case brings up many facets regarding the use of cameras in law enforcement.
It took a long time for this footage to even emerge. Some police forces believe that such footage isn't necessarily public property, as there may be privacy issues involved with respect to those who are featured in videos. Moreover, KTVI reported that the Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, is in favor of ensuring that all bodycam and in-car camera footage be kept from public eyes.
As more and more footage is taken, who will be tasked with keeping it all anyway?
This case, though, highlights the possibility of subterfuge. If footage appears to be incomplete, will there be a natural assumption that an officer tampered with it? Very probably.
What's interesting in Swinton's alleged actions here is the sheer normality with which she suggests turning off the camera. It sounds like something that might, just might, have happened before once or twice. She doesn't even seem concerned that her words may be themselves recorded.
Why is it that she might think that the other officers were worried about cameras? Why, if she had any doubt at all, did she still go ahead and turn the camera off?
When it comes to technology, there is always someone who is at its controls. The question is, who should be?

St. Louis officer under fire for turning off dashcam video during arrest
By AnneClaire Stapleton, Sonia Moghe and Dana Ford, CNN

•           Police say Cortez Bufford refused to get out of his car as ordered
•           Another dashcam video shows officers kicking Bufford as he's on the ground
•           Bufford had a loaded handgun in his pants, police say
(CNN)A St. Louis man has filed a lawsuit alleging excessive force in a case that involves an officer turning off a dashcam that was recording the man's arrest.
At one point in the video from the dashcam, a female officer can be heard saying: "Hold up, everybody, hold up. We're red right now so if you guys are worried about cameras just wait."
The phrase "we're red right now" indicates that a camera is recording.
A second dashcam continued to record.
Video of the April arrest shows officers stopping a vehicle being driven by Cortez Bufford, whose car roughly matched the description of one possibly involved in an area shooting.
As officers approached the vehicle, they ordered Bufford and his passenger to show their hands. They did.
According to the police report, one officer smelled marijuana and saw what looked to be plastic baggies full of a leafy green substance.
The passenger was ordered from the vehicle, and he was handcuffed without incident.
Bufford was also ordered to exit the vehicle, but he refused and became increasingly agitated, according to the report. He was then removed.
While officers attempted to place him in handcuffs, one saw the handle of a handgun sticking out of Bufford's right front pocket. According to the report, Bufford was seen reaching for the weapon.
The video then shows officers kicking Bufford while he is on the ground. According to his suit, Bufford suffered abrasions to his fingers, face, back, head, ears and neck. He was handcuffed after an officer used a Taser on him.
A loaded handgun was later removed from Bufford's pocket.
An attorney representing the city and the police department defended the officers' actions in the arrest, while condemning the officer who turned off the dashcam, which is against department policy.
"The officers were not acting out of line at any time during the arrest. The person involved in this altercation had a semi-automatic gun, and the officers were protecting themselves and the public. They did what had to be done to protect themselves," Winston Calvert told CNN.
He said the use of force and the dashcam issues are separate. The officer who shut off the dashcam video was referred to an internal affairs department, Calvert said.
"The city's Police Department has a policy on the use of dash cameras and other cameras, and the Police Department special order says the cameras should be left on until the event is concluded. When we saw that an officer had violated that policy, it was very disappointing," he said. "The internal affairs recommended discipline for the officer, which is what happened."
Because the case is still open to appeal, Calvert declined to say what the punishment was. He said the officer, who he identified as Kelli Swinton, remains on the job while her appeal is underway. A call to the officer's lawyer was not returned.
Attorney Joel Schwartz, who represents Bufford, is urging reform.
All of the charges against his client have been dismissed. According to a statement from St. Louis prosecutor Jennifer M. Joyce, the "action of turning off the dash camera video diminished the evidentiary merits of the case."
"I don't think an officer on the scene should have the capability to stop the camera from rolling. Otherwise it defeats the entire purpose of having body cameras and/or dashcams," Schwartz said.
CNN's Alina Machado contributed to this report.

St. Louis police officer warns cops to turn off camera during controversial arrest
A St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer calls out, 'Hold up. Hold up, y'all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We're red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait,' just before camera gets turned off in new video released as part of an excessive force lawsuit filed by lawyers for Cortez Bufford.
New police footage catches St. Louis cops hurriedly switch off a dashboard camera recording a violent 2014 arrest that ended with the man racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills, according to an excessive force lawsuit.
Lawyers for Cortez Bufford, 18, went public with the video of officers kicking and tasering Bufford, who cops say was reaching for a loaded gun later recovered by cops.
But after several police officers had Bufford subdued, officer Kelli Swinton warned the group that it was all caught on tape.
"Hold up. Hold up, y'all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up,” Swinton says in the video, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We're red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait."
The video ends seconds later.
New police footage catches St. Louis cops hurriedly switch off a dashboard camera recording a violent 2014 arrest that ended with the man racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills, according to an excessive force lawsuit.
Lawyers for Cortez Bufford, 18, went public with the video of officers kicking and tasering Bufford, who cops say was reaching for a loaded gun later recovered by cops.
But after several police officers had Bufford subdued, officer Kelli Swinton warned the group that it was all caught on tape.
"Hold up. Hold up, y'all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up,” Swinton says in the video, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We're red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait."

The video ends seconds later.

Austin police review allegation of police brutality on Sixth Street

By Chris Sadeghi

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A YouTube video showing Austin police officers detaining a man downtown has prompted two different reviews for two different officers regarding two different policies.
The video description said the incident took place around 2 a.m. Sunday on Sixth Street. The photographer appears to be walking behind four mounted patrol officers when an officer on foot is seen throwing a man to the ground.
Prior to things getting physical, it appears one of the mounted patrol officers gestures to try and get the man to back away from the horse. Immediately afterward, it looks like the man walks behind the horse moments before the officer grabs and tosses him. That officer initially points for the man to leave the area, but places him in handcuffs with the help of other officers moments later.
APD said they will review the incident with the officer’s Chain of Command to determine if the “response to resistance” was appropriate and within policy.
However, the photographer is heard saying the name and badge number for the officer involved in the physical altercation. A few moments later he asks another responding officer for their name and badge number. The officer responds, “Get a life, dude. Get a life.”
APD policy states officers will provide name and employee number whenever it is requested and that part of the incident will also be reviewed.

Daytona Beach police officer accused of groping woman under arrest, cops say

Officer fired, arrested on battery, false imprisonment, misconduct charges

Author: Sheli Muniz,


Daytona Beach police say an officer has been arrested on accusations of groping a woman he was arresting.
Police say the woman was arrested in a hit-and-run crash but instead of taking her to jail, Officer Larry Jones, 22, touched the woman inappropriately in an incident last week.
The woman told police Jones pulled his patrol car over to adjust her handcuffs because they were hurting her. Police said Jones then told the woman he needed to search her again, put his hand under her shirt and touched her breast.
According to police, Jones also rubbed the woman's leg and groin, pulled down her pants and underwear away from her body and shined his flashlight down her pants.
The department's spokesperson, Jimmie Flynt, said Jones' GPS showed they stopped.
They also said there have been inconsistencies in Jones' story, but Flynt said, "She has not waivered with what she says happened from the day she made these allegations to when they interviewed her maybe three or four days ago."
Jones was on the police force for less than a year. He is now on unpaid leave facing charges of battery, felony false imprisonment and official misconduct.
Jones was booked at the Volusia County Jail on $7,500 bond and bonded out Tuesday evening.

Orlando police officer charged with battery fired

By John W. Davis, Reporter

An Orlando police officer charged with battery and perjury has now been fired from the department.
Officer William Escobar was charged with battery and perjury stemming from an incident that happened last March. He's accused of kicking and punching a man he was arresting and then lying about it.
Cell phone video taken by Refus Holloway's sister shows Escobar allegedly kicking and punching Holloway. Hollaway’s battery against an officer and resisting arrest charges related to this incident were eventually dropped.
Chief John Mina said Escobar violated several department policies, including excessive force and filing false reports.
"The Orlando Police Department takes all allegations of excessive force very seriously. And these matters are thoroughly investigated," Mina said. "The actions of officer Escobar that night do not reflect the overall actions performance and behavior of OPD or our committment and dedication to keeping this community safe."
Charges were announced against Escobar back in January. A trial is set for May 4.

Odessa Police Officer Suspended For Making Racist Comments


ODESSA – An Odessa Police SWAT officer was suspended for 10 shifts for making racial comments back in October 2014.
According to the report released by the Odessa Police Department, supervisors reported that during SWAT practice, a verbal exchange occurred between SWAT members involving unacceptable conduct.
We're told Corporal Jeremy Walsh acted inappropriately and was in violation of two standard operating procedures.
The first incident involved Walsh stating to another officer that he had “Django hands.” Officials say the statement has a direct relation to the recent movie Django Unchained where the lead character is a slave turned bounty hunter and Walsh stated that the comment was meant that the officer, “has rough hands.”
The second incident occurred when Walsh made a statement to an African American officer when he stated he would get an officer to “show me how to pick some cotton.” Walsh said that the comment was a “correlation of slaves picking cotton” and since the officer, “being from Mississippi and being in the south.”
As a result of the internal investigation, Walsh was also suspended from the SWAT Team and ordered to receive diversity and anger management training.
In a statement to NewsWest 9, Odessa Police Chief Timothy Burton, said, “The behavior of one officer should not overshadow the efforts and accomplishments of the men and women of the Department who work hard every day in service to our community. The Odessa Police Department is committed to investigating all incidents of inappropriate behavior as demonstrated by the efforts of the supervisors who brought these allegations to light. The Odessa Police Department is committed to maintaining the highest professional standards and demanding ethical conduct of all employees at all times.”
You may recall Walsh from a story NewsWest 9 did back in 2014 when he made headlines for his generosity. That was after Walsh gave a homeless man water and a pair of boots.

Hundreds Protest Against Police Brutality Following Death of Migrant Worker

People gather to protest police brutality
LOUISVILLE, Ky. —A group of people gathered in front of the old City Hall to bring attention to the death of Michael Brown and others Saturday.
Brown was fatally shot by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer last August.
The group Black Lives Matter organized the event. Hearts were laid on the steps, the building and the sidewalk.
“On these hearts are some of the last words of the police brutality victims, their names, ages, circumstances of their deaths,” said Ashley Belcher, a spokesperson for Black Lives Matter.
Belcher said the demonstration is out of love to remind the community that black lives still matter. She said the movement continues to grow.

Washington Protests 2015: Hundreds Protest Against Police Brutality Following Death of Migrant Worker
By Claudia Balthazar 
Hundreds of children and adults protested against police brutality in Washington Saturday amidst a fatal shooting of a migrant orchard worker in Pasco.
The group demanded justice for Antonio Zambrano-Montes who police killed on Tuesday for allegedly throwing rocks at them, according to The Associated Press.
Some of the large signs during the protest, led by the victim's family, read, "Stop Police Brutality: It was just a rock!!!" "Use Your Training, Not Guns," and "Good Police We Respect You."
The crowd also marched to the location where the shooting took place.
Felix Vargas, chairman of Consejo Latino, a group of primarily Latino business leaders, called for a federal investigation into the shooting while demonstrators demanded a full review of the Pasco police department.
Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel will order an inquest. He said the results will be open to the public.
Meanwhile, the victim's family filed a $25 million claim in damages against the city of Pasco, New York Daily News reports.
Police confirmed Friday that Zambrano-Montes, who is also a citizen of Mexico, was not armed during the shooting.
Officials are still investigating the incident where it has been reported that Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks at the cops before they opened fire. Police say the victim's threatening behavior led officers to shoot him after a stun gun could not calm him.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto reiterated the country is against police using lethal force.
"I have directed the secretary of foreign relations to support his family so they feel the backing and support of the government of Mexico, so they don't feel alone and so there is a close monitoring of the investigation into this regrettable and outrageous occurrence," he said.
Detectives will be interviewing at least 40 witnesses for the investigation and will be reviewing dash-cam video footage.
Three other fatal police shootings in Pasco have been cleared by prosecutors.

Lubbock police officer arrested, charged with paying for sex


A Lubbock Police Officer is now facing criminal charges, charged with a hiring a prostitute. Authorities announced the arrest of Dustin Wayne Hatley on Wednesday morning, following his arrest Tuesday night.
According to police, on Feb. 13, during the course of a separate criminal investigation, authorities received information alleging that an LPD officer was engaging in criminal activity while off-duty. Police say a criminal investigation was immediately opened, and that investigation established probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant.
Police arrested Hatley as he exited a plane around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.  He was taken to the Lubbock County Detention Center and booked on charges of prostitution and official oppression.
Hatley has been placed on Administrative Leave pending further investigation.
According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Hatley is accused of paying for sex in January of this year. He's also accused of sexually harassing a woman while "acting under the color of his office or employment as a public servant, namely, a peace officer".

The thin line between a cop and a common criminal

Jail releases video of Toledo police lieutenant's arrest
Alexis Means
The Lucas County Jail has released video of a Toledo police lieutenant being booked, and Toledo's police chief is also speaking out. He says the arrest of one of his top lieutenants is an isolated incident.
The police chief says, as soon as the department learned one of their own was allegedly connected to the shooting, he took action.
"This isn't a bad barrel syndrome, it's a bad apple," says Toledo Police Chief George Kral.
Toledo's top cop wants the citizens to know he won't tolerate dirty officers. 
"Police officer or not a police officer, the exact same steps are taken for each person, regardless of what they did for a living," says the chief.
     The department released video of Lt. Frank Ramirez being booked in the jail. Ramirez is the third person arrested in a shooting investigation. He allegedly helped to plot the shooting of a witness who testified in two high profile murder trials.
Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub were killed in Springfield Township in 2011. Tiffany Williams testified in the case. She was on the phone with Clarke when someone came in the house. Sources tell 13abc Clarke's parents think Williams set up their son.  
    In December, police arrested Johnny's parents Maytee and John Clarke for shooting at Tiffany Williams.
"Approximately at 10:48 pm Tiffany William was walking in the 1300 block of Colburn street. John Clarke chased and discharged a firearm at Ms. Williams," said Chief Kral. Toledo police are tight-lipped about Ramirez's role.
Ramirez is charged with obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and felonious assault.  His lawyer says Ramirez plans to cooperate with police.
   The chief says the case will be presented to the Lucas County grand jury next week.

Fresno police officer charged in stolen car investigation
By Corin Hoggard

FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) --
Criminal charges have been filed for a crime allegedly committed by a Fresno police officer.
Action News reported about Alfred Campos last year when his fellow officers served a search warrant at his house. It was actually the second time Fresno police investigated him for a crime, but this is the first time he's been charged, and he was arrested Tuesday night.
For the second time in twelve months, an Action News reporter found himself knocking on the door of Alfred Campos' home. For the second time, someone was home, but nobody answered.
Campos served 15 years as a Fresno police officer, but between our last visit and now, he lost his job. An arrest warrant filed this week shows the stolen car investigation that brought ABC30 to his door in 2014 led to criminal charges in 2015.
Fresno police arrested Campos Tuesday night and the warrant details why. It all started when Campos took a stolen pickup truck for repairs and mechanics noticed the vehicle identification number (VIN) was bogus. Officers say Campos knew it was a fake because he checked on it twice using the special access he had as a police officer. Legal analyst Michael Aed says that evidence could really hurt.
"That's a really tough hill for Campos to climb if that can be established," Aed said.
Investigators say Campos denied knowing the truck was stolen, despite the fact that he checked the VIN, and he owns an auto repair shop in Central Fresno. The warrant says he told officers he bought the truck from Brian Cruz. Police arrested Cruz Sunday and he admitted stealing the truck in Virginia. He said Campos knew it was stolen and they were working together to buy and sell stolen vehicles. Cruz is also charged with burglary in another case and Aed says Campos may use that as a defense.
"When you're relying on a witness who has some problems with their credibility, that always becomes a problem," Aed explained. "It always raises suspicion as to whether Brian Cruz is a credible witness."
When police served a warrant and found four pounds of meth at Campos' home in 2006, he was not charged with a crime. This time, he had to post a $25,000 bond to stay free. He's scheduled to enter a plea in court next month.

Houston Police Officer Charged With Shoplifting Ammo, Still Has a Job
Was only on the force two months before being caught allegedly stealing ammo, and won't be disciplined until the internal investigation's over.
Ed Krayewski|
DStephen Sargent, an officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD) for less than three months and still considered probationary, was arrested on charges of shoplifting. He's accused of stealing $60 worth of ammunition from a sporting store.  He's been "relieved of duty" but remains employed by the HPD. In fact the department reportedly won't decide how to discipline him until after the internal investigation is complete.
Police officers are entrusted with the power of life and death; they're granted the privilege of using force on behalf of the government and, through that status as government employees granted protections for when they abuse their powers.  Rarely are police officers held accountable for their use of force in questionable circumstances. And even when victims of police brutality win settlements from the police department or city government, such settlements don't affect the police officers. Often they come with specific denials of responsibility for any wrongdoing.
When a police officer has shot and killed someone under questionable circumstances,  even a fair and thorough investigation that might lead to charges won't bring back the dead. Neither can any social movement or hashtag do so, nor does it have the ability to definitively prevent future killings. And the more the problem of police violence is personalized, the harder it is to combat.
If he remains on the force will Sargent ever kill someone in the line of duty? It's impossible to say. But getting caught shoplifting ammo suggests an incredible defect of character, and when the privilege to use deadly force with little accountability hangs in the balance, a zero tolerance approach to bad behavior by cops saves lives and helps ensure we can all get home safe at night.
Ed Krayewski is an associate editor at Reason.com

Former NYPD officer sentenced to prison for fraud, ID theft
NEW YORK - A former officer with the New York City Police Department was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 28 months in prison for credit card fraud and identity theft.  John Montanez, 28, of the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty in August 2014 to one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.  In addition to his prison term, he was sentenced to two years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $2,500, and pay a $200 special assessment.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “While a Police Officer, John Montanez engaged in credit card fraud and identity theft. As Montanez said on tape, ‘I am not the cop you think I am.’ For certain, he was not the cop the public deserved and not one who deserved to carry an NYPD badge.  By breaking the law, John Montanez not only threatened the safety of others, but also undermined the position of law enforcement as a pursuer of justice. We will continue to actively prosecute cases of police corruption.” 

DPD investigator suspended, subject of TBI investigation
A member of the Dyersburg Police Department has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The officer, Sgt. Cara Johnson-Peckenpaugh, was placed on administrative leave late on Friday, Feb.13 after DPD Chief Steve Isbell was informed by the TBI a criminal investigation was to be launched regarding theft.
"I was informed the TBI was going to begin a criminal investigation into an incident regarding one of our investigators. I placed Sgt. (Cara) Johnson-Peckenpaugh on administrative leave on Friday night," said Chief Isbell. "She will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of their investigation. At this point, I have to refer saying anything else to the TBI regarding this situation."
When contacted concerning the possible investigation, the TBI did confirm to the State Gazette they were asked to open a criminal investigation involving theft by Obion County District Attorney General Thomas A. Thomas, but couldn't provide any other details.
Johnson-Peckenpaugh has been a member of the DPD workforce since July 8, 2002.

Greensburg police chief faces theft, misconduct counts
GREENSBURG, Ind. (AP) —A former Greensburg police chief who investigators say has a gambling problem was arrested Tuesday after an audit found nearly $73,000 in cash missing from a police department
Former Chief Stacey L. Chasteen surrendered Tuesday at the Decatur County Jail in the community about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis, according to Indiana State Police. She faces one charge of theft and one count of official misconduct.
Chasteen, 49, was released on bond but could not be reached for comment Tuesday. A phone number listed in her name was disconnected.
Citing personal reasons, Chasteen resigned in November after three years as chief and 21 years on the force.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a police department employee noticed nearly $73,000 missing from the property room a couple of weeks after Chasteen resigned. The money had been placed into evidence in September 2012 as part of an investigation into an illegal massage parlor.
An Indiana State Police audit of the property room uncovered 13 property receipts indicating that money stored in the evidence room was no longer there, including the $73,000 from the massage parlor case, court documents show.
Investigators say Chasteen's husband, Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen, told them his wife had a serious gambling problem that had caused them to file for bankruptcy in 2010. He told police his wife informed him in June 2013 that she had taken money from the police department's evidence room and need $60,000 to $70,000 to repay it.
He said the couple borrowed $57,000 from relatives and used personal funds to come up with $70,000 for his wife to replace the missing money.
Stacey Chasteen told investigators she didn't replace the money and instead gambled it away. She also acknowledged taking the money from the massage parlor case, the court documents show.
Decatur County Prosecutor Nathan Harter has said previously that the missing money could impact 16 cases.
Harter said in a statement Tuesday that his office has reached out to attorneys whose cases might be impacted but will let the courts determine whether Chasteen's case affects those outcomes.

Punk on the city payroll

Caught on Camera: JPD officer suspended after seen dragging unresponsive man

By Keli McAlister
By kmcalister@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- An assault by a Jackson police officer caught on camera, that’s how Milan attorney Tim Crocker describes surveillance video captured at U.S. Donuts on North Highland Avenue in Jackson.
Crocker represents a 58-year-old man who suffered scrapes and abrasions in an Oct. 1, 2014,  encounter with police officers. The man, who asked we not use his name, says he does not remember what happened. But after the man’s daughter saw his injuries, she called the Jackson Police Department, ultimately prompting an internal investigation.
The reason for his lack of memory — the man had lapsed into a diabetic coma, according to his attorney. The man said he remembers getting tired and asking to sit inside the doughnut shop to rest.  Unable to get him to leave as closing time came and went, the owners called police for help.
The time stamp on the surveillance video showed the first two officers — Brandon Bankston and Kyle Cupples — arrive at 2:48 p.m. A few minutes later a third officer, Kenneth Reeves, arrives.
As with the owners, the man would not respond to officers’ questions or their request to stand up. That is when the officers said they decided to pick him up and take him outside.  Video shows Bankston and Cupples take an arm each and carry him out. The man appeared to stay in a seated position with his feet dragging on the floor.
As they are carrying him out the door, the video shows Reeves kick the man’s feet three separate times. He told internal investigators, even after watching the video, he did not recall doing that. Once outside, Bankston and Cupples placed the man on the concrete sidewalk. 
"The most striking thing is the fact that he's totally helpless and without any provocation of any kind," Crocker said. "He was assaulted."
Minutes later when the owners tried to leave, they were unable to open the door because the man was lying in front of it. The video shows one of the owners go to the window and appear to talk with Reeves, who is standing the closest.
Reeves is then seen walking over to the man, picking up one of his feet and dragging him several feet across the concrete sidewalk. The man never spoke or came out of the tense position he had been in since being placed on the ground. Before learning about the surveillance video, Reeves told investigators he had only pulled the man about six inches.
After several more minutes of the man lying unresponsive, the officers said they decided to call for an ambulance. After medics arrived, the officers reported finding a medic alert necklace around the man's neck denoting he is diabetic.
In the ambulance, EMTs were able to regulate his blood sugar level. The report shows one of the EMTs even bought him a piece of pizza at the neighboring Little Caesar’s. The man declined to be taken to the hospital, instead agreeing to let Officers Bankston and Cupples take him home.
On Oct. 1, Bankston was questioned about the incident by an internal affairs investigator. Cupples was questioned Oct. 2, and Reeves spoke with the investigator Oct. 3. An official internal investigation into Reeves was launched on that same day. The inquiry was into whether he had violated the department regulation regarding personal conduct and the general order regarding use of force.
Reeves was formally interviewed Oct. 7 as part of the investigation. That is when he learned there was surveillance video of the incident, and he was allowed to view it.
On Nov. 10, Capt. Rick Holt found Reeves had violated the personal conduct policy, and Reeves was suspended without pay for 12 days. He also was assigned to non-law enforcement status, or desk duty, for three months. 
Reeves’ suspension ran from Nov. 11 to Nov. 25. However, his desk duty was cut short. On Dec. 5, an internal memo shows Interim Chief Julian Wiser terminated that portion of his punishment, effective immediately.
Wiser declined our request for an interview, instead referring all questions to legal adviser Major Thom Corley.
"I just wish folks wouldn't make some type of an assumption that there's a discrepancy or that there's an assumption that there's a weak investigative process, because that's far from the truth," Corley said.

Since his hiring on Aug. 27, 2007, this is the first negative mark on Reeves’ record. Still, the man’s attorney argues the punishment was not harsh enough. Crocker argues not only should Reeves have been fired, but he believes he should face criminal charges as well.

The national issue of mentally ill cops in America

Judge refuses to throw out criminal charges against Orlando police officer
By Rene Stutzman

Orlando police officer charged with “wantonly” firing at driver asks judge to toss case
OPD's David Johnston, who fired 23 times at moving vehicle, wants criminal charges dropped
A judge Thursday refused to throw out criminal charges against an Orlando police officer accused of needlessly firing 23 shots at the driver of a car headed his way in a downtown parking garage.
David Johnston, 25, of Ocoee, a two-year department veteran, is charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a gun in public.
He says he's not guilty.
He was not in the courtroom for Thursday's hearing but was in the Orange County Courthouse.
Defense attorney David Bigney asked Circuit Judge Wayne Wooten to dismiss the case, arguing that because Johnston fired the shots in the course of his duty, he should be given sovereign immunity.
Assistant State Attorney Linda Drane Burdick called that "absurd."
Wooten listened to more than an hour of argument and evidence then made his ruling: He refused to throw out the charges.
"One unjustified shot," said the judge, "is one shot too many."
Wooten said he had expected Johnston to testify and explain "what he heard, what he saw, what his reactions were," the judge said.
That didn't happen. Instead what he got was an argument from Bigney that Johnston was in fear of his life and had the right to use any amount of force to stop the suspect.
The night of the shooting, Feb. 24, 2014, Johnston grabbed his AR-15 rifle from his patrol car and stood at the foot of an exit ramp to a multistory parking garage not far from Amway Arena as other officers tried to arrest Derrick Lattimore, accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend earlier in the evening.
When other officers confronted Lattimore on the fifth floor of the City View garage, he sped away in his Pontiac Firebird toward Officer Anthony Watts, who opened fire. So did another officer.
Johnston was four floors below, near the exit and was separated from Lattimore's car and all vehicles in the garage by a closed steel gate, according to police records.
When he saw Lattimore's car approach, Johnston opened fire, according to a video-recording of the incident.
Lattimore was not hit. His vehicle crashed into a wall.
An Orange County grand jury indicted Johnston concluding that Lattimore was no longer a danger to officers when Johnston opened fire and that he "wantonly" shot at the suspect.
Bigney suggested Johnston was panicky and believed the suspect was armed.
"The official duty was to stop the suspect," Bigney said. "We know this suspect was fleeing. He was a fleeing felon."
If the officer was wrong, Bigney said, Johnston should face an internal police department investigation — not criminal charges.
That internal investigation has not yet started. The police department placed him on paid leave. A department spokeswoman said the internal investigation would begin once the criminal case had concluded.
Wooten set a tentative trial date of May 4.
Bigney offered a single piece of evidence at Thursday's hearing: Eight minutes of radio traffic leading up to the shooting. On it, you can hear officers say, "Put your hands up. … Shots fired."
Also there was a warning that the suspect's car was headed toward Johnston.

A 17-year old boy has been left badly bruised after an altercation with a Louisiana police officer at a Mardi Gras parade in an incident captured on cell phone by a friend of the victim.
Footage shows Brady Becker, 17, being punched repeatedly in the face by plain clothed detective Nicholas Breaux in the incident which occurred on Friday night at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie.
Becker was arrested and charged with inciting a riot, resisting an officer, battery of a police officer and being in possession of alcohol while under the age of 21.
According to the arrest report Becker is alleged to have shouted 'f*** the cops' multiple times at the detectives, but friends of the boy who were present deny that and say the attack was unprovoked.
Becker's friend, Jacob Jenson, 16, said the incident started when one of the detectives walked up and told him, 'If I punch you in your face, would I still be a f****** cop?'
Jensen said neither he nor anyone else in his group had yelled at the men, who they were aware were police, reports
He said he told the detective he wanted no trouble, but then the man asked him again in an even more aggressive fashion.
At this point Becker decided to defend his friend.
'I said, 'What the F is going on,' trying to find out why he's getting in his face. That's when he starts beating me up,' Becker said.
The detective then tackled Becker to the ground and beat him quite severely.
Becker suffered a cut to his left eyebrow, a fractured right cheek and jaw and black eyes. He was detained overnight and his vision still remains blurry.
At a press conference on Thursday Becker denied that he had done anything wrong.
'I felt like I was just sticking up for my friend,' he said.
He said his arrest has caused him and his friends to look differently at police officers.
'We look at cops like they are our enemies,' he said.
How Becker and his family are calling for the detective to be stripped of his duties.
'He just threw me on the ground and started beating me like that, and I really feel like he was committing a crime,' said the teen.
The boy's family say they have already filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office, but the department claims it has not received a formal complaint, which would trigger an internal investigation. 

Case against officer charged with assault set for trial, judge denies motion to revoke bond
By Theresa Ghiloni    

Case against officer charged with assault set for trial, judge denies motion to revoke bond
Circuit judge reviewing lower court ruling in case of public safety officer charged with felonious assault
Blackman-Leoni officer accused of felonious assault pointed gun at floor while giving fellow officer 'eerie stare', testimony reveals
Blackman-Leoni public safety officer charged with felonious assault against co-worker

JACKSON, MI - The case against a Blackman-Leoni Public Safety officer charged with felonious assault is expected to go to trial in May.
During a pretrial hearing for Brent Doxtader on Friday, Feb. 13, Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson set a trial date for May 18 and also denied a prosecutor's request to revoke Doxtader's bond after a recent violation.
The felonious assault charge against Doxtader was issued in July by a special prosecutor, assigned at Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka's request.
Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Dianna Collins, who was filling in for Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Brenda Taylor at the pretrial, asked Wilson to detain Doxtader after he recently violated a personal protection order taken out against him by his ex-wife.
"There's not enough here to revoke his bond," Wilson said of the police report. "Not based on the statement I'm reading in here. They've got the child that they are sharing. It's got to be very difficult to not be able to communicate and still have to jointly raise a child."
Collins said there was also an earlier violation when Doxtader contacted a union representative and another officer from the Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety, which was not brought before the court.
"The concern is that the defendant is not complying with court orders," Collins said.
Doxtader faces up to four years in prison for the charge that stems from a January incident when Doxtader entered the living quarters at the Leoni Township fire station on Fifth Street and allegedly threatened other officers.
During a preliminary examination in September Blackman-Leoni Public Safety detectives David Lubahn and Robert Shrock testified Doxtader entered the headquarters, shook Shrock's hand and then "bear-hugged" Lubahn, knocking off his glasses.
Lubahn testified Doxtader stepped back about 6 feet, unholstered his gun and pointed it at the ground. After staring at Lubahn for several silent moments, Doxtader announced he was there to "f--- something up."
Lubahn testified he felt as if Doxtader's "unusual" gestures were a form of "saying goodbye and he was going to kill us."
In January Wilson denied a motion filed by Doxtader's attorney, Michael Vincent, overrule a lower court's decision to proceed with the case, finding probable cause to believe Doxtader committed the crime.
Before the pretrial concluded Feb. 13, Vincent asked for a copy of Doxtader's bond conditions to hopes to avoid future infractions.
Doxtader has been free on a $2,500 bond since July 24, according to court documents.