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Old 04-25-2019, 08:35 AM   #501
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'Sir, please': Police chief says he's disgusted by video of woman's rough arrest

https://www.kcra.com/article/sir-please-police-chief-says-he-s-disgusted-by-video-of-woman-s-rough-arrest/27266068?fbclid=IwAR2GOEFhPUvDZqAP5H9gTfjgH5ykmKJo DjMsItdIzcrhaIDWATi_QukeplY

Tuscaloosa police have released the bodycam footage of a woman's arrest that ended with her bleeding from her head and two officers on desk duty while they await disciplinary proceedings.

"He made me feel like I wasn't even human. Like I was a piece of garbage. Like I was an animal," said the woman, 22-year-old Jhasmynn Sheppard.

Sheppard was stopped by Tuscaloosa Police on Friday for leaving the scene of an accident, police said. She told CNN that while she was in a small accident, she and the other driver had ironed it out.

She was pulled over as she drove home. As Sheppard looked for her license and registration, the officer asked her to step out of the vehicle and began to handcuff her, according to the video.

At one point, Sheppard said, "Sir, please don't do me like this," and then turns toward the officer and attempts to pull her arm away as he is trying to handcuff her hands behind her back.

An altercation breaks out and another officer becomes involved. Video shows the woman on the ground with the officers on top of her and they can be heard cursing her, calling her "stupid" and threatening to kick her teeth in. One of the officers also appears to hit her with his baton.

"I was thinking this isn't right. This isn't right. All I know I was on the ground. When I looked up he was on the ground too. Next thing I know he tackled me," Sheppard said.

Sheppard said she was arrested for unarming a police officer, resisting arrest and assault. She spent two days in jail and was never given medical attention, though she was bleeding from her head.

Sheppard said no one with the police or the city have contacted her since the arrest, but that she has heard through local media reports that the charges against her may be dropped.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson said he was "disgusted" by the actions of the two officers.

The chief said the officers violated department training throughout the incident, and that both are now on desk duty during disciplinary procedures, according WVTM.

Sheppard saw the footage for the first time Wednesday.

"It kind of hurts my feelings every time I see it," she told CNN.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:03 AM   #502
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We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/04/24/usa-today-revealing-misconduct-records-police-cops/3223984002/

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.

Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.

The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed.

Reporters from USA TODAY, its 100-plus affiliated newsrooms and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago have spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records.

Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported. The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.


Among the findings:

Most misconduct involves routine infractions, but the records reveal tens of thousands of cases of serious misconduct and abuse. They include 22,924 investigations of officers using excessive force, 3,145 allegations of rape, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers.

Dishonesty is a frequent problem. The records document at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witnesses or falsifying reports. There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations, most often when they or someone they knew were targets.

Less than 10% of officers in most police forces get investigated for misconduct. Yet some officers are consistently under investigation. Nearly 2,500 have been investigated on 10 or more charges. Twenty faced 100 or more allegations yet kept their badge for years.

The level of oversight varies widely from state to state. Georgia and Florida decertified thousands of police officers for everything from crimes to questions about their fitness to serve; other states banned almost none.

That includes Maryland, home to the Baltimore Police Department, which regularly has been in the news for criminal behavior by police. Over nearly a decade, Maryland revoked the certifications of just four officers.

We’re making those records public
The records USA TODAY and its partners gathered include tens of thousands of internal investigations, lawsuit settlements and secret separation deals.

They include names of at least 5,000 police officers whose credibility as witnesses has been called into question. These officers have been placed on Brady lists, created to track officers whose actions must be disclosed to defendants if their testimony is relied upon to prosecute someone.

USA TODAY plans to publish many of those records to give the public an opportunity to examine their police department and the broader issue of police misconduct, as well as to help identify decertified officers who continue to work in law enforcement.

Seth Stoughton, who worked as a police officer for 14 years and teaches law at the University of South Carolina, said expanding public access to those kinds of records is critical to keep good cops employed and bad cops unemployed.

“No one is in a position to assess whether an officer candidate can do the job well and the way that we expect the job to be done better than the officer’s former employer,” Stoughton said.

“Officers are public servants. They police in our name," he said. There is a "strong public interest in identifying how officers are using their public authority.”

Dan Hils, president of the Cincinnati Police Department’s branch of the Fraternal Order of Policemen union, said people should consider there are more than 750,000 law enforcement officers in the country when looking at individual misconduct data.

“The scrutiny is way tighter on police officers than most folks, and that’s why sometimes you see high numbers of misconduct cases,” Hils said. “But I believe that policemen tend to be more honest and more trustworthy than the average citizen.”

Hils said he has no issue with USA TODAY publishing public records of conduct, saying it is the news media’s “right and responsibility to investigate police and the authority of government. You’re supposed to be a watchdog.”

The first set of records USA TODAY is releasing is an exclusive nationwide database of about 30,000 people whom state governments banned from the profession by revoking their certification to be law enforcement officers.

For years, a private police organization has assembled such a list from more than 40 states and encourages police agencies to screen new hires. The list is kept secret from anyone outside law enforcement.

USA TODAY obtained the names of banned officers from 44 states by filing requests under state sunshine laws.

The information includes the officers’ names, the department they worked for when the state revoked their certification and – in most cases – the reasons why.

The list is incomplete because of the absence of records from states such as California, which has the largest number of law enforcement officers in the USA.

USA TODAY's collection of police misconduct records comes amid a nationwide debate over law enforcement tactics, including concern that some officers or agencies unfairly target minorities.

A series of killings of black people by police over the past five years in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Chicago, Sacramento, California, and elsewhere have sparked unrest and a reckoning that put pressure on cities and mayors to crack down on misconduct and abuses.

The Trump administration has backed away from more than a decade of Justice Department investigations and court actions against police departments it determined were deeply biased or corrupt.

In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department would leave policing the police to local authorities, saying federal investigations hurt crime fighting.

Laurie Robinson, co-chair of the 2014 White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, said transparency about police conduct is critical to trust between police and residents.

“It’s about the people who you have hired to protect you,” she said. “Traditionally, we would say for sure that policing has not been a transparent entity in the U.S. Transparency is just a very key step along the way to repairing our relationships."

Help us investigate
The number of police agencies and officers in the USA is so large that the blind spots are vast. We need your help.

Though the records USA TODAY Network gathered are probably the most expansive ever collected, there is much more to be added. The collection includes several types of statewide data, but most misconduct is documented by individual departments.

Journalists obtained records from more than 700 law enforcement agencies, but the records are not complete for all of those agencies, and there are more than 18,000 police forces across the USA. The records requests were focused largely on the biggest 100 police agencies as well as clusters of smaller departments in surrounding areas, partly to examine movement of officers between departments in regions.

USA TODAY aims to identify other media organizations willing to partner in gathering new records and sharing documents they've already gathered. The Invisible Institute, a journalism nonprofit in Chicago focused on police accountability, has done so for more than a year and contributed records from dozens of police departments.

Reporters need help getting documents – and other kinds of tips – from the public, watchdog groups, researchers and even officers and prosecutors themselves.

If you have access to citizen complaints about police, internal affairs investigation records, secret settlement deals between agencies and departing officers or anything that sheds light on how agencies police their officers, we want to hear from you.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:40 AM   #503
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Woman With Mental Illness Gave Birth Alone In Florida Jail Cell, Lawyers Say

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tammy-jackson-jailed-woman-gives-birth-cell_n_5cced440e4b04e275d4bb1fe?ncid=tweetlnkushpm g00000067

Behind bars and alone in a Florida jail cell, a pregnant, mentally ill woman complained late at night of contractions and beseeched the prison guards for help. But instead of transporting her to a hospital, the officers chose to phone an on-call doctor who turned out to be uncontactable for hours and ultimately didn’t show up in time to assist in the birth, the woman’s lawyers claim.

In the doctor’s absence, Tammy Jackson, 34, allegedly gave birth to her baby alone in her prison cell — without medical assistance of any kind.

In a scalding letter addressed to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, public defender Howard Finkelstein said officers at the special needs detention facility where Jackson was held were fully aware of her pregnancy and mental illness — and yet failed to “protect either Ms. Jackson or her child.”

“It is unconscionable that any woman, particularly a mentally ill woman, would be abandoned in her cell to deliver her own baby,” Finkelstein wrote in the Friday letter, which was first obtained and reported by The Miami Herald.

According to the attorney, Jackson, who was at full term, was being held in an “isolation cell” on April 10 when she alerted officers at around 3 a.m. that she was having contractions. The guards, Finkelstein said, attempted to contact an on-call doctor but weren’t able to reach him for almost four hours. In the interim, Jackson was allegedly left alone in her cell, without medication or assistance.

At around 7.20 a.m., prison staff finally made contact with the doctor who said “he would check on [Jackson] when he arrived at the jail,” Finkelstein’s letter said. Yet, an hour and 38 minutes later, Jackson reported that she was “bleeding but still … isolated in her cell.”

Finally, at around 10 a.m., a prison employee found Jackson with her newborn infant in her arms, the letter said, noting that six hours and 54 minutes had elapsed since the mother first asked for help.

″[In] her time of extreme need and vulnerability, [the Broward Sheriff’s Office] neglected to provide Ms. Jackson with the assistance and medical care all mothers need and deserve,” Finkelstein wrote.

The sheriff’s office told the Herald in a statement that a medical team, including a physician and two nurses, later attended to the mother and child.

“Child Protective Investigations Section was notified, and the baby was placed with an appropriate caregiver,” a spokeswoman said.

Citing court records, The Hill said Jackson was arrested earlier this year on cocaine possession charges and later released, but was arrested again after she failed to report for pretrial services.

Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes described Jackson’s mental illness as “significant.”

Finkelstein, who demanded an “immediate review of the medical and isolation practices in place in all detention facilities” in his letter, said it remains to be seen how the gross negligence” Jackson endured will affect her “already fragile mental health.”

“Not only was Ms. Jackson’s health callously ignored, the life of her child was also put at grave risk,” he wrote.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:02 AM   #504
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Community furious after Oklahoma officers shot three children in their head and face while firing at suspect in pizza shop robbery

https://meaww.com/oklahoma-police-officers-identified-shoot-three-children-apprehend-man-armed-pizza-shop-robbery

The names of two police officers who had been involved in the shooting of three children in Hugo, Oklahoma, have now been released more than a week after the tragedy occurred. Hugo Police Department detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen were identified as the officers who opened fire on a vehicle that was being driven by 21-year-old William Devaughn Smith, who was under suspicion of robbing a pizza shop. Choctaw County Jail records indicate that Smith was being held on an aggravated robbery complaint. He had been in custody in Lamar County, Texas, after being released from a hospital there.

The officers' bullets ended up hitting three of the four children who were sitting in the back seat. Olivia Hill, the mother of the four children, told KFOR: "My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture. My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets."

A post on the Hugo, Oklahoma, police Facebook page said a man entered the back entrance of the restaurant, pressed an object to an employee's back and demanded money. Police said the worker handed over money and the robber left.

The police officers later intercepted the suspect and claim that they started shooting because Smith had been trying to run them over with his truck, but many are claiming that this is false. Witnesses say that the officers could have just moved out of the way instead of opening fire, especially considering there were children inside the vehicle.

It is also worth noting that the officers were in plain clothes on that day meaning Smith may not have known the two men approaching his vehicle with guns were police officers. According to TFTP, family attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said: "If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things. I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me."

The three children who were shot in the incident have all reportedly been released from the hospital but will continue to deal with "a lot of physical and emotional pain," according to Simmons.

He said: "They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything. The two-year-old keeps asking about 'Am I going to get shot again'. It’s a bad deal. The child who had a bullet in the brain, there’s some question now that she may have a permanent injury. She might be looking at a lifetime injury."
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:53 AM   #505
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Whistleblowers describe culture of racism, abuse and cover-ups at Florida prison

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20190508/whistleblowers-describe-culture-of-racism-abuse-and-cover-ups-at-florida-prison

One former Panhandle prison employee said she filed a written complaint about a correctional officer’s racist behavior, then came into work several days later to another officer dangling a noose made of toilet paper in front of her.

Another former employee said she walked in on a handcuffed inmate being beaten in the medical unit, surrounded by a group of officers. She was suspended one day after filing an incident report about it, and fired within two weeks.

Though both of those employees are now gone, they aren’t alone.

In interviews with the Times-Union, a dozen former and current employees at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution described a culture of abuse, bullying, racism and administrative cover-ups in the mental health dorms. Officers selected inmates they had problems with for unsanctioned forms of punishment: to include physical violence or withholding their food to the point where prisoners lost considerable weight, employees said.

“It frustrates us and makes us angry every time this happens and we report it and these officers are still there working,” said Betty Young, a former activities technician. “They won’t fire them because they’re so short on staff, and they keep them.”

Several employees complained all the way to the top — Warden Walker Clemmons.

There were multiple meetings about the work environment in the mental health dorms between concerned employees and their supervisors, including two with Clemmons in attendance, one as recently as mid-April, according to employees with direct knowledge of the meetings and records obtained by the Times-Union.

The Times-Union isn’t identifying any current employees, who expressed fears of retaliation. It is naming two former employees and used records to corroborate many of the claims.

In interviews with the Times-Union, employees at Santa Rosa also raised concerns about the July 2018 death of Michael Cuebas, which has been ruled a suicide by the Florida Department of Corrections. Specifically, they questioned why Cuebas was allowed to have a sheet in a shower cell, which is against department policy.

Cuebas, who was being housed in the mental health dorm, said he had attempted to hang himself in prison once before in letters to his mother. But he also expressed fear that correctional officers were going to put a hit on him and stage it to look like a suicide.

An inspector with the Florida Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General noted that Cuebas possessed a sheet in the shower cell but did not flag it as improper in a summary report of his investigation.

The Santa Rosa Correctional Institution is a crucial backstop in the Florida prison system. Deep in the Panhandle, the facility is known as the “end of the line,” but not because of its geographic location. Santa Rosa manages several wings of “close custody” inmates — those between maximum and medium security — as well as two mental health dorms.

That means the prison is responsible for some of the state’s most challenging inmates, but also some of its most vulnerable. Employees interviewed by the Times-Union stressed that the facility had seasoned officers who acted professionally as well, but that there was an unwillingness by the administration to hold other officers accountable.

The facility has a capacity of some 2,600 inmates but housed more than 3,300 prisoners from across the state as of the last audit in February 2015. It’s unclear how many of those are from Northeast Florida.

The Department of Corrections said the agency and leadership at Santa Rosa “have zero tolerance for staff who act inappropriately and in contrary to our core values.”

“We do not condone a culture of racism, abuse or coverup,” the agency said in a statement.

Michelle Glady, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said the agency couldn’t comment on Young’s firing because she was a Centurion employee and it was not involved in the decision. Centurion is the private medical contractor at Florida prisons.

The Office of Inspector General is reviewing and investigating the allegations, the department added. Glady said the institution had a “track record of ensuring that any individuals involved in misconduct are held fully accountable.”

‘YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS’

Ronald Thornton was one week away from his release date, serving a four-year sentence for cocaine possession, when correctional officers called him out from his cell.

Thornton, a black man, had been fighting with several correctional officers who he said used racist language toward him. He had already been badly beaten once before, to the point where his eyes were swollen shut, according to multiple sources at the prison.

But Thornton wasn’t staying quiet. He continued to call out officers for racist behavior.

On April 9, one month ago, a couple of officers told Thornton they had a going-away present for him, he said — then they told him he had to take a tuberculosis test.

The men led Thornton to the medical unit in handcuffs. It’s one of the few areas in the facility that has no cameras, according to several employees.

“They closed the door and put their gloves on and said, ‘You know what time it is,’” Thornton told the Times-Union. “Then they started hitting me.”

Thornton identified Sgt. Lee Peacock Jr. as one officer who beat him, but could not name others. He said violence against inmates was rampant in the prison. The Department of Corrections would not say whether Peacock was under investigation but confirmed that he is still an active employee there. The Times-Union attempted to reach him directly and through the agency but was unsuccessful.

Young, the former activities therapist at the prison, heard what she described as grunting in the midst of Thornton’s beating, and forced her way into the medical office. One officer whistled out a warning, she said, and when she arrived she saw several officers and some nurses were trying to shield Thornton from her view. Young said Thornton leaned away from an officer and looked to her, and she was able to see evidence of physical injury to his face.

Young, who said she had knowledge of Thornton being beaten up once before, said she called out in surprise at the officers that they were beating Thornton again. The officers simply stared at her and said nothing in response, Young said. She went directly to her supervisor to report the incident, she added.

That same day, Young wrote a report about the beating. She identified Peacock and other officers as being in the medical unit surrounding Thornton when she entered.

The incident report would be her last. Young was suspended the day after she filed it, then terminated a week and a half later, she said.

After Young shared her story with the Times-Union, the newspaper interviewed Thornton, whose recollection of the beating included many of the same details shared by Young, details outlined in records later obtained by the Times-Union. Thornton was released from prison on April 16.

‘GHOST TRAYS’

Officers regularly coerced inmates in the mental health unit by withholding or ruining their food, according to a dozen former and current employees.

Because inmates at the mental health unit are kept in one-man cells, officers deliver trays directly to them.

But sometimes, the officers served “air trays” or “ghost trays,” the employees said. The trays have a lid on top, so they appear to be full on video, but contain no food, they said, adding that officers will also position cups of juice to spill into the tray and soak the meal.

Employees said officers used the trays for coercion or retaliation. For instance, Thornton said that after his beating, an officer came up to the back of his cell, off camera, and told him to file an incident report saying he fell. The officers threatened him with ghost trays, he added.

Several current employees and former employees said officers commonly withheld food to get inmates to change their stories for investigations into abuse or to concoct fictional narratives that would cover up the wrongdoing of an officer.

Another form of retaliation is known as “bucking,” according to employees and former prisoners. To attend state-mandated programs such as group therapy, correctional officers must sign an inmate out of their cell after a contraband search, employees said.

Employees added that certain inmates were consistently being blocked from programs if they fell out of favor with the officers for any reason. When the employees asked officers why the inmate didn’t show up, they were told they refused to be searched, claims that employees would later find out to be false, they said.

Not attending the state-mandated programs can result in the loss of privileges for inmates such as time spent in the day room or the ability to possess radios.

Glady, the department spokeswoman, said that under policy, inmates who do not participate in scheduled activities are interviewed by counselors “to encourage him to participate at the time of the refusal.”

She added that the department’s Central Office “recently” assigned an ombudsman to the facility who is monitoring conditions in the mental health dorms.

‘FALL IN LINE’

Lauren Gaylord, a former activities specialist at the facility, said white officers frequently racially harassed her and other black employees there.

Gaylord did what she thought she was supposed to do in the face of harassment, she said, and reported the officers. But that only led to more problems, according to Gaylord.

During a mental health group meeting she was leading, Gaylord said, a correctional officer appeared outside the window holding a noose constructed out of toilet paper.

The noose appeared again, Gaylord said, several days later, when she was walking into work.

“They made sure when I walked in the quad that they had it dangling for me off of a roll of toilet paper that they had just taken out of a different inmates’ cell,” Gaylord said. “They had it hanging for me when I walked in. I knew it was for me because as soon as I saw it, they pulled it up, they all laughed together and then they balled it up and put it in their pockets.”

Gaylord identified Officer Kyle Hollis and Officer Travis Boswell, who she said dangled the noose in front of her that time. She said Officer Hollis then walked past her “and gave me kind of a, ’You fall in line” kind of smirk and said, ‘Did you see that, Gaylord?’”

Both incidents with nooses occurred last year, Gaylord said, but she could not identify specific dates. Gaylord said she reported the incidents, and the Times-Union has requested copies of those reports.

The Department of Corrections confirmed that Officer Hollis is still employed at Santa Rosa.

Unsettled after hearing about the noose incidents, several employees at the facility — many of them African American — complained about what they described as an environment of racial harassment by correctional officers, according to employees and records obtained by the Times-Union.

The newspaper first heard about the noose incidents from current employees. Gaylord then independently shared many of the same details when contacted by the Times-Union. The Times-Union attempted to reach the officers directly and through the agency but was unsuccessful.

‘ZERO TOLERANCE’

Late last year, employees at Santa Rosa voiced concerns in a meeting with Warden Walker Clemmons, Assistant Warden Michael Pabis and other high-ranking supervisors, according to employees with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The employees wanted to know why Officer Hollis was still working there and believed his actions were captured on video, according to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Warden Clemmons said the incident was under review, according to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting. He told them he had a “zero tolerance” policy, they said, and that the department’s Office of Inspector General would open an investigation.

For months, the employees who complained assumed Hollis had been fired.


Then, last month, an employee at the prison observed Hollis in a different part of the facility. That prompted another complaint and another meeting with the warden, this time with several more members of the medical health unit staff attending, according to people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Employees who attended the meeting described it as “punitive” and felt the administration was more upset that they had reported the abuses than they were disturbed about the misconduct by officers.

Glady, the department spokeswoman, said “Warden Clemmons has made diligent efforts to ensure all of his employees, to include contract staff, feel comfortable reporting any perceived misconduct without fear of retaliation.”

A representative from Centurion also defended the administration’s actions during the meeting, saying the “warden’s reputation is beyond reproach,” according to several people with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The Times-Union has left multiple messages with Centurion seeking comment but has not yet heard back from the company.

‘THAT’S WHAT THEY DO’

Phyllis Johnson-Mabery, Cuebas’ mother, said she doesn’t believe her son killed himself.

She shared letters Cuebas had written home, expressing fears that officers were going to hurt him, kill him or hire other prisoners to do the job for them.

“They tell me they are going to brutally murder me and cover it up, then tell my family that I did it to myself, or just make something up, because that’s what they do” Cuebas wrote in a letter to his mother dated about a year before he died.

Johnson-Mabery shared an unredacted report on Cuebas’ death that described trauma to his face and head, but attributed those injuries to “when the ligature was untied and the decedent fell onto the tile floor.”

Cuebas was still breathing when he was cut down, the report also noted.

According to the report, Cuebas was hiding the sheet from correctional officers, but several employees questioned how he could have gotten a sheet there in the first place. Inmates are escorted to the shower cells wearing only their boxers, with guards holding them by their arms, they said.

The Department of Corrections faces wrongful death lawsuits not uncommonly, including those that raise questions about deaths that were ruled as suicides by the department’s Office of Inspector General.

Johnson-Mabery said Cuebas “just wanted to do his time, never go back there again, and just get back to his family.”

“I knew he would be different. As a mother, you know,” Johnson-Mabery said. “I knew the Michael I knew was no longer, and that a broken person was coming out. But we were prepared and ready to get him the help that he needed.”
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:48 PM   #506
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Nogales border agent calls migrants 'subhuman,' 'savages' in text messages

https://tucson.com/news/local/nogales-border-agent-calls-migrants-subhuman-savages-in-text-messages/article_f5a5eb6b-f573-5aa6-b139-1f39e155d7bc.html

A Nogales Border Patrol agent called the people he apprehends “disgusting subhuman s--- unworthy of being kindling for a fire” and asked the president to “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!,” federal prosecutors said in court documents.

The statements were made in a text message sent by Agent Matthew Bowen, 39, who is accused of knocking down a Guatemalan man with his Border Patrol vehicle on Dec. 3, 2017, and then lying in a report about the incident, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Prosecutors Lori Price and Monica Ryan are asking a judge to allow some of Bowen’s text messages to be used as evidence of his “great disdain” for the people he apprehends, which could shed light on his state of mind when he hit the man with his truck.

If a jury were to see the texts, defense lawyer Sean Chapman wrote that he would argue certain terms are “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mind-set.”

The language in Bowen’s text messages, some of which “could be perceived as racist or offensive,” would not help a jury determine “whether he, on this occasion, set out to use excessive force to apprehend the alleged victim,” Chapman wrote.

Among the examples the prosecutors cite is an exchange on Dec. 18, 2017, in which an unidentified person asked Bowen: “Did you gas hiscorpse (sic) or just use regular peanut oil while tazing?? For a frying effect.”

Bowen responded, “Guats are best made crispy with an olive oil from their native pais,” using a derogatory term for Guatemalan citizens and the Spanish word for country, pais.

Bowen sent numerous text messages to agent Lonnie Ray Swartz, who was acquitted last year of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Swartz was accused of shooting through the border fence in Nogales in 2012 and killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in Mexico during an alleged rock-throwing incident.

After a rock-throwing incident in November 2017, Bowen sent Swartz a text message calling the rock throwers “mindless murdering savages.”

In several text messages, Bowen references “tonks,” a derogatory term for border-crossing migrants. The origins of the term are unclear, but it sometimes is connected to the sound of a flashlight hitting the back of someone’s head. In another explanation, it is an acronym for “temporarily outside native country.”

The term “toncs” also appeared in text messages sent among Border Patrol agents as they planned to raid a humanitarian aid station in Ajo in January 2018, as the Star reported May 8, 2018.

The agents arrested two men who crossed the border illegally and Scott Warren, a No More Deaths volunteer who was accused of illegally harboring the men by giving them food and shelter. Warren is scheduled to stand trial later this month in Tucson’s federal court.

Striking twice

A federal grand jury indicted Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, on May 30, 2018, on charges of depriving the Guatemalan man of his civil rights under color of law and falsifying records, the Arizona Daily Star reported June 5, 2018.

The following is a narrative of the events that led to Bowen’s indictment, based on a sworn affidavit filed by a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.

Around 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2017, a CBP camera operator in Nogales saw a man who appeared to have just jumped the border fence near the Mariposa Port of Entry, the special agent wrote.

The camera operator followed the man, identified as Antolin Lopez Aguilar, a 23-year-old Guatemalan, as he ran toward a gas station about 100 yards north of the port of entry. Lopez entered an open lot behind the gas station where semitrailers were parked.

Three Border Patrol agents arrived at the lot minutes later. One agent got out of his truck and spotted Lopez hiding under a semitrailer. The agent told him to come out and surrender, but Lopez ran back toward the port of entry.

As Lopez ran away, Bowen quickly turned his truck and “accelerated aggressively into a position behind the running Lopez Aguilar — this maneuver put the front grille of the (truck) directly behind Lopez Aguilar,” the special agent wrote.

As Lopez ran, Bowen “followed closely behind him, striking Lopez Aguilar twice” with the front of the truck.

With the first contact, Lopez “reached back while running and used his hands to ‘push off’ of the hood” of the truck. Seconds later, Bowen accelerated the truck “directly into the back of Lopez Aguilar’s body, knocking Lopez Aguilar to the ground.”

The tires of the truck “came to a full stop within inches of running Lopez-Aguilar over where he lay on the ground,” the special agent wrote.

Bowen jumped out of his truck and handcuffed Lopez. The other two agents arrived seconds later. Bowen handed over Lopez, who still had gravel on his face, to the two agents and drove away.

Lopez was taken to a Nogales hospital with abrasions to his right hand and both knees. He was sentenced the next day to 30 days in federal prison for crossing the border illegally, court records show. The judge recommended he receive medical care as soon as possible.

One of the agents viewed a video of the incident later that day and said he had “never seen anything like that before,” the special agent wrote.

“A little push”

Bowen also is accused of filing a false report about striking Lopez with the Ford F-150 Border Patrol truck.

In a text message to Swartz the day after the incident, Bowen said he gave the man “just a little push with a ford bumper.”

Three days after the incident, Bowen sent a text message to another agent saying if he had tackled the man he still would be doing paperwork.

“I wonder how they expect us to apprehend wild ass runners who don’t want to be apprehended,” Bowen wrote.

After Bowen learned he was being investigated, he sent a memo to the chief patrol agent that offered a different account, prosecutors said.

In the memo, Bowen said he was unfamiliar with the acceleration power of that particular truck and he was trying to get close enough to more easily detain Lopez. He also said he wasn’t sure if the truck struck Lopez.

Prosecutors quoted Bowen stating in the report “in the future, I will adjust my tactics so that accidents like this do not occur.”

Prior accusations

Bowen started working as an agent in 2008 and was placed on indefinite suspension without pay in June 2018 after his indictment, the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector said in response to an inquiry from the Star.

Prosecutors filed a motion saying if Bowen decided to testify, they intended to cite previous accusations that he used unnecessary force while making arrests.

In January 2012, the occupant of a car said Bowen searched the car without probable cause and “caused him injuries when he pulled him from the car, threw him to the ground, and handcuffed him,” prosecutors wrote.

Chapman responded that the occupant refused to get out of the car. The driver argued with Bowen and “gave him ‘attitude.’” Bowen then forced him out of the car and onto the ground. No disciplinary action was taken.

In March 2015, an agent said Bowen used unnecessary force when he “tackled the alien to the ground after the alien had stopped running, resulting in an injury to the alien, specifically, a busted lip,” prosecutors wrote.

Chapman said Bowen tackled the person after a group scattered in the desert. The “busted lip” happened when Bowen tackled him from behind and he hit the ground. Bowen received an oral admonishment from his supervisor.

In April 2015, a migrant said Bowen “pulled the alien up from the ground by his handcuffs after the alien tripped and fell while walking down a hill, resulting in an injury to the alien, specifically, abrasions on his wrists,” prosecutors wrote.

Chapman said Bowen was verbally reprimanded by his supervisor.

In September 2015, an agent anonymously reported that a juvenile migrant “was bleeding from his lip and Matthew Bowen bragged about how hard he took the juvenile down,” prosecutors wrote.

Chapman said “numerous interviews failed to corroborate the allegation of excessive force.”

In October 2015, a migrant said Bowen “transported the alien, while handcuffed, on the front of an All-Terrain Vehicle, and intentionally slammed on the brakes, causing the alien to launch forward and injure himself,” prosecutors wrote.

Chapman said officials interviewed witnesses, and the allegation was determined to be not sustained.

Two weeks before the incident with the Ford F-150 in Nogales, Bowen texted to Swartz that he was fed up with the Border Patrol and planned to quit.

“This is a failed agency,” Bowen texted. “Its sad bc BP does really important work but we are treated like s---, prosecuted for doing what it takes to arrest these savages and not given appropriate resources to fully do our job.”

Bowen said he would miss certain parts of the job, such as “the chase of hunting down s---bags with your crew, defeating somebody who thought they were faster than you.”

The Tucson Sector did not address a question about whether the language Bowen used in text messages was common or accepted among agents, but said agents are “held to the highest standards, and any action of misconduct within our ranks will not be tolerated.”

Chapman declined to comment.

Bowen’s trial is scheduled to start Aug. 13 before Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:54 AM   #507
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Video Shows New Jersey Man Being Choked and Punched in the Face by Police

https://fox40.com/2019/05/20/video-shows-new-jersey-man-being-choked-and-punched-in-the-face-by-police/

A New Jersey town’s police department is under fire after video was released that appears to show officers choking a 19-year-old and punching him the face multiple times during a violent arrest.

The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is under investigation, Dover Mayor James P. Dodd told reporters Monday.

The incident took place around 2 a.m. Sunday morning in Dover, about 30 miles northwest of Newark, when Cyprian Luke and his friends were on their way to get a tattoo, according to CNN affiliate WABC-TV.

“The Dover Police Department responded to a report that a fugitive wanted for aggravated assault was present in the town of Dover,” Dodd said. “The Dover PD positively identified the suspect as Cyprian Luke. Mr. Luke resisted police efforts to take him into custody.”

The video shows two officers on top of Luke; one appears to be choking the teenager with one hand and punching him repeatedly in the head with the other.

“You gonna roll over on your stomach?” one officer yells.

Luke was charged with two counts of violating a restraining order, one count of criminal mischief and one count of contempt and one count of simple assault. Luke is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility.

CNN has reached out to Luke and the Dover Police Department, but has not heard back. It is not clear if Luke has obtained an attorney.

Luke spoke with WABC briefly about what happened.

“I know that there was multiple blows, there was multiple macings, after that they was dragging me to the ambulance, because I couldn’t walk,” said Luke.

His younger brother, Christopher, told WABC police didn’t tell Luke they had a warrant for his arrest.

“They just tackled him to the ground. They pepper sprayed him,” Christopher said. “He wasn’t resisting at all. He was trying to cover his face, because they kept punching him.”

Luke’s mother, Mary, said she was devastated and emotional after viewing the video.

“I don’t wish that upon nobody to be put through something like that because we know the police are supposed to help. I know that they do their job, but then again, I don’t know. It’s not supposed to be with force like that,” she told WABC.

Dodd said the investigation of the incident has been turned over to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office who is working in conjunction with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I understand that we live in the age of social media where there is a tendency to rush to judgment; however, given the independent investigation now ongoing, I urge everyone to show restraint until all of the facts come out and the independent investigation is completed,” Dodd said.

Dodd said he’s proud of the “great strides” the Dover police have made under its current leadership and that he will “continue to stand by them.”

“I will not let this incident blemish the reputation of the entire force,” he said.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:45 PM   #508
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Video Shows Cop Shooting Unarmed Man Through Police Car Window

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/panhandler-shot-philly-officer_n_5ce6ac5ce4b0db9c299423aa?section=politic s&utm_source=politics_fb&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg0000001 3&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&fbc lid=IwAR35JFgT_zb8T0V6ZclxizBLqtFxSjGx0N9m5NSouSod bERhTq0HXGMYSaw

A Philadelphia man is in critical condition after a plainclothes police detective shot him through a car window, authorities said.

The unidentified Philadelphia officer fired his gun four times at the man Monday night after he said the man approached his unmarked police vehicle with his arms extended forward and his hands together. According to the police, the detective thought the man was an armed carjacker.

“The detective indicated he believed that the male was going to rob him,” authorities said in a statement to the media. Investigators did not find a firearm at the scene.

Surveillance video taken from a nearby business captured the incident just before 9 p.m. in Kensington. It shows the man passing several cars stopped in traffic before a puff of smoke appears and he collapses to the ground.

Local outlets have identified the man as 28-year-old Joel Johnson. His family told ABC station WPVI that he has special needs and often panhandles for change.

Johnson is known to extend his arms and rub his fingers together while asking for change, locals told The Philadelphia Inquirer, suggesting that that is what he was doing before being shot.

Brian Cardoza, 24, who lives near the scene, told WHYY-FM that he was drawn outside to what he first thought were fireworks.

“We ran over, and it was the homeless guy we always seen asking for quarters — not for much,” he told the local radio station.

Cardoza said after the man was shot he was immediately handcuffed, searched and put inside of a police car while bleeding from his stomach.

“They pick him up, take him to the sidewalk, drop him on the sidewalk, open the door, and throw him inside the police car like he was garbage,” he said.

Johnson was taken to Temple University Hospital and last listed as being in critical but stable condition, police said. A hospital spokesperson declined to comment on Thursday, citing a request from the victim’s family.

The officer has been placed on desk duty amid an investigation into the shooting. He is only described as 29 years old and a member of the city’s police force since October of 2011.

Monday’s shooting is the fifth police shooting in the city this year, NBC Philadelphia reported.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:05 PM   #509
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Another Family Says Chicago Police Pointed Guns at Children During Raid, Handcuffed 8-Year-Old

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/05/28/another-family-says-chicago-police-pointed-guns-at-children-during-raid-handcuffed-8-year-old/#.XO9RfMsnHCd.twitter

Just before they began to get ready for school on a Friday morning, 8-year-old Royal Wilson, his siblings and his mother said they woke up to flashing lights and the sound of a bullhorn.

A swarm of heavily armed Chicago Police and SWAT officers surrounded their house, they said. They were there to execute a search warrant. It was just before 6 a.m. on March 15.

The family was terrified.

“They had their guns pointed at me and my children,” said Royal’s mother, Domonique. “I was very, very scared. Nervous.”

The Wilson family is one of many who have told CBS 2 Investigators that Chicago Police raided their homes and pointed guns at children.

At the time, the Wilson family didn’t know why police ordered them out of their home – in a single-file line with their hands up high. They did their best to obey every command.

“And [the officers said] ‘Walk, walk, walk toward the streets, keep up your hands,’” Domonique added. As she spoke, she and her children demonstrated how police ordered them to exit their home.

It got worse, they said. They saw police officers take out handcuffs.

First, Domonique was cuffed.

Then, police clasped cuffs around Royal’s wrists too.

“They made me stand up straight and hands just behind my back, and they had [the handcuffs] tight,” Royal said. “My mom and my brother told them, I’m a little kid, can you please take them off?”

The children, including Royal, his 9-year-old brother and 6-year-old sister, were crying. Domonique’s adult sons, their girlfriends and a grandchild were also there.

It was 37 degrees, windy and drizzling as the family stood outside in the street – Royal and his mom, with their hands behind their backs, remained handcuffed.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was just scared, my legs were shaking. I was worried about my sister most because she was only 6 years old. I thought that my family was going to get taken away from me.”
–Royal Wilson

Domonique struggled to describe how much it pained her to watch her child in handcuffs. As her children cried, she said she tried to keep her composure for their sake.

“It took the breath out of me, the life out of me,” she said. “I had to be strong in front of my children. You have to be the leader to be strong to tell your children to just stand and be still while I’m being embarrassed, humiliated.”

While the family was outside, they said officers searched their home and tore apart their ceiling in search of illegal weapons and firearm paraphernalia. Nothing was found.

A confidential informant, listed only as “J. Doe” on the complaint for search warrant, claimed one of her adult sons who was visiting had guns in the home. “J. Doe” also told police he “interacted with” the individual “over the past year at [the Wilsons’] residence.”

But police didn’t find any guns, nor did they make an arrest.

Police also wrote in the warrant, obtained three days prior to the raid, that their background search showed the person was last known to be living at a different address.

The family said police left Royal in handcuffs for 30 minutes.

“And when they let go, I had a bruise on my arm,” he said, pointing to the area where police handcuffed him.

Domonique, her adult sons and their girlfriends, who also say they were handcuffed, were held outside for two hours, they said.

Chicago Police told CBS 2 it “makes every effort to ensure the validity and accuracy of all information used to apply for and execute search warrants.” They also said it is not protocol to handcuff children and that initially police did not know Royal’s age. Once they determined his age, they said they removed the handcuffs. You can read their full statement here.

For nearly a year, CBS 2 Investigators have uncovered an alarming pattern of police traumatizing children during wrong raids by screaming and swearing in their presence, pointing guns at them and handcuffing innocent parents and relatives in front of them.

During CBS 2’s mayoral debate in March, Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to CBS 2’s investigative findings and called for accountability within the police department.

“Obviously, the fact that police officers are breaking into the wrong homes – and we’ve seen across the country that can lead to deadly consequences – that frankly is totally unacceptable,” Lightfoot said. “And that’s something the superintendent [Eddie Johnson] has to own and take responsibility for.”

Attorney Al Hofeld Jr. plans to file a lawsuit against the city on behalf of the Wilson family. It will be his fifth case involving a raid by Chicago Police where families allege guns were pointed at children, traumatizing them.

“They just have a modus operandi where they come with excessive force from the very beginning. It’s a strategy,” Hofeld Jr. said of the police department. “Hopefully, we’re showing the public need for meaningful reform and re-training and new policy.”

CBS 2’s ongoing investigation into how wrong police raids affect children has led to proposed legislation. House Bill 51, proposed by Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-District 16), passed the Senate with a unanimous vote May 28 and is now headed to the House for a vote. It outlines steps officers would have to take when children are present during police activity to ensure they’re safe from harm, both physically and psychologically.

The proposed bill is called the Peter Mendez Act, named after a 9-year-old CBS 2 interviewed in August of 2018. He said Chicago Police officers pointed guns at him when they raided the wrong home. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident.

Domonique said her children are also dealing with emotional trauma after what happened to them.

“[Royal] wakes up every night crying, asking, ‘Why?’” Saying he can’t sleep, thinking they’re going to come back here. Saying he had dreams that they shot us.” —Domonique Wilson

Domonique also said no one from the city came back to fix the smashed drywall in her hallway and bedrooms.

“They violated my home,” she said. “They violated my constitutional rights. It’s not fair at all.”

But it’s the treatment of children in these cases, she said, that angers her the most.

“Nobody should get treated the way that me and my family and all these other families got treated,” Domonique said. “These are children that are being traumatized – being woken up out of their sleep to guns pointed at them, thinking that they’re about to get shot down.”

For months, CBS 2’s investigative unit has been asking the department for data on how often and where raids, including those that are executed at the wrong address or involve children, happen. But they have refused to turn over complete records in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. Supt. Johnson has also declined CBS 2’s repeated requests for an interview.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:42 AM   #510
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A Timeline of the Phoenix Police Department's Worst Misconduct Scandals

https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/timeline-of-the-phoenix-polices-worst-misconduct-scandals-11309123

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams is doing damage control after hundreds of questionable Facebook posts from Phoenix police officers surfaced last week.

The 282 posts from 97 current and former Phoenix cops showed officers frequently referred to black people as "thugs," called for violence against protesters, denounced Muslims as rapists, and joked about refusing to help citizens who criticized the police.

On Wednesday, a Phoenix New Times investigation found four of the officers whose posts were included in the database had also been accused of killing people. While the head of the Phoenix police union dismissed the criticism as a "hunt for negative spin" that failed to mention officers' positive posts, it's far from the only scandal to hit Maricopa County's biggest police department in recent years. Here's a rundown of some of Phoenix PD's worst misconduct:

2007: Phoenix cop Richard Chrisman shot and killed a man and his dog for no reason.

Richard Chrisman, a nine-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, shot and killed 28-year-old Danny Rodriguez and Rodriguez's dog for no good reason in 2007.

Responding to a 911 call by Rodriguez's mom, Chrisman went haywire when questioned by the suspect, pulling out his gun, putting it to Rodriguez's head and yelling, "I don't need no warrant, motherfucker." The confrontation ended with Rodriguez and his dog dead on the floor. Chrisman's partner, who was at the scene and watched Chrisman murder Rodriguez, testified at the trial. Chrisman received a seven-year prison sentence.

(Chrisman had previously admitted to planting a crack pipe on a mentally ill homeless woman in 2005.)

March 2010: Homicide detective David Barnes fired after being indicted for perjury.

David Barnes, a onetime homicide detective with the Phoenix Police Department who is now under criminal indictment on perjury charges, was fired this afternoon.

Sergeant Trent Crump, a spokesperson for the city agency, said Barnes learned of his termination from a supervisor during an in-person visit to his home.

"Mr. Barnes is no longer an employee of the Phoenix Police Department," Crump says.

Barnes had been on suspension — with pay — for almost exactly a year. (Yes, taxpayers, the guy collected an estimated $65,000 for sitting on his butt as investigations against him proceeded.)

The ex-cop also faces a misdemeanor charge for allegedly harassing two of his former colleagues, a supervisor, and the supervisor's wife (a homicide detective).

June 2010: Phoenix police officer James Wren charged for shaking down drug dealers.

The Avondale Police Department contacted the Phoenix PD last week to say one of its officers, 23-year-old James Wren, of the Maryvale Precinct, was using traffic stops to steal money from drug dealers.

Avondale police got a tip from an informant who claimed he had conducted two "operations" with Wren where the informant would lead the officer to the cars of drug dealers after a deal had been made.

Wren, according to the informant, would then pull over the car and steal the money.

In one instance, according to court documents acquired by New Times, Wren pulled over a drug dealer, stole his money, and then threw his car keys into the desert before releasing him.

Last night around 10, Wren stopped somebody he thought was a drug dealer who had $40,000 in the car in the 6300 block of West McDowell Road.

The alleged drug dealer was actually an undercover Phoenix police officer.

November 2010: Twenty-five officers investigated for fraud.

Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris insisted this afternoon that the Phoenix Police Department is not a "corrupt organization," as he explained the department's role in the investigation of three Phoenix police officers — and one former officer — indicted for fraud.

In total, 25 officers within the department were investigated by the Attorney General's Office for what basically boils down to a time-theft scam. The scam cost several businesses that hired off-duty Phoenix police officers to act as security guards about $16,000. Included in those investigated by the AG's Office are the department's killer cop, Richard Chrisman, and Sergeant Sean Drenth, who was mysteriously found shot to death near the State Capitol last month. (Four Phoenix cops were later indicted for theft.)

March 2011: A detective who had worked for the department for 12 years stole thousands of Oxycontin pills.

According to police, the detective would steal Oxycontin that was scheduled to be destroyed. As if nobody would notice, the detective would replace it with the over-the-counter pain reliever Aleve.

Cops became hip to the detective's scam after conducting a routine audit of stored evidence. They suspect that in total, the detective tampered with 83 evidence bags, and stole about 2,400 pills. Authorities say it's unclear how long the detective's been ripping off evidence rooms, but say the investigation is ongoing.

Police say it's unlikely the tampered evidence will impact any criminal cases because the drugs were scheduled to be destroyed.

The detective was arrested yesterday after handing in his letter of resignation to his superiors. He faces charges of evidence tampering, theft, and drug possession.

May 2011: Phoenix police officer Patrick Larrison caught on camera body slamming a 15-year-old girl into a wall.

In January, Larrison responded to a call about a fight between the 15-year-old and her mother in the parking lot of the Ombudsman Charter School near 40th Street and Thomas Road.

The girl was drinking in school and had become belligerent before assaulting a teacher. Her mother called police and showed up at the school where the two got into a physical altercation in the parking lot, and the mother apparently tried to restrain the girl until police arrived.

When police showed up, the girl started to walk — slowly — away from the officers.

Larrison, seemingly unprovoked, charges the girl, slams her into the side of the building, knocking her off her feet.

August 2011: Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's son, Phoenix police officer Jeff Gordon, received a four-day suspension for having oral sex while on duty.

Phoenix Police Officer Jeff Gordon, son of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, received a four-day suspension after an internal affairs investigation revealed the junior Gordon was giving and getting oral sex and engaging in other sexual acts on several occasions in 2007 and 2010, while on duty.

Gordon admitted to some incidents, but there are other allegations that remain unresolved, according to police reports.

Among them are that on December 1, 2010, he had nonconsensual sexual contact with a city employee. The allegation is that he slipped his hands under the blouse of a Phoenix employee and actually touched her breasts as he was giving her a massage — while he was on duty — and also sent her two pornographic video texts.

Gordon told investigators that he and the female employee were talking about how stressed out she was, and he started giving her a massage. He admitted that his hands moved from her neck and shoulders to her "upper chest" around her "clavicles" because "he believes it feels good when done to him and would serve as a good de-stressor."

2012: Phoenix detective Chris Wilson sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexually assaulting teenage boys.

Former Phoenix police officer Christopher Wilson was sentenced to 23 years in prison and a lifetime of probation Monday after pleading guilty last month just moments before his trial was slated to begin.

Wilson, who had served for the Phoenix Police Department for 13 years and also served in the U.S. Navy, acted as the department's community liaison to the Valley's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He was arrested in August 2012 and charged with sex crimes involving minors he had met through the department.

Wilson pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of attempting to commit sexual misconduct with a minor. The victims, a 17-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy, did not attend Wilson's sentencing in Maricopa County Superior Court.

January 2013: Phoenix police arrest about 10 people a day for marijuana possession, a felony in Arizona, and a scandalous waste of police time and manpower.

Phoenix police alone arrest an average of about 10 people a day on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

Phoenix police arrested 2,972 adults and 600 juveniles on suspicion of marijuana possession from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. That's nearly 3,600, or about 9.8 a day, each day of the year.

The Phoenix arrest figures show that despite the movement toward freedom for marijuana users seen in states with medical-pot laws, like Arizona, and states in which it's legal for adult use, namely Colorado and Washington, local police are still expending an enormous amount of resources on small pot busts.

August 2013: Phoenix police lieutenant Dalin Webb admits to choking his son.

Dalin Webb, a Phoenix police lieutenant who works with teens, admitted to Mesa police on Sunday that he may have choked his teenage son during a domestic dispute.

Webb, 41, was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault-impeded breathing, a felony, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct-fighting.

Making this case even more egregious: Webb is a police supervisor in the Mountain View precinct who once oversaw the Phoenix School Resource Officer Program.

The father-and-son fight at the Webbs' Mesa home on Sunday started off with a lot of yelling, a booking sheet shows. When the 17-year-old boy's mom came into a bedroom to find out what the "commotion" was about, his dad gave her a good shove out the door, causing her leg to buckle, the boy told police.

The teen "cursed" at his father for pushing his mom. Webb threw him on a bed and pinned him down. Webb choked him by placing two hands around his neck, limiting his breathing, the teen reported.

2014: Phoenix cop Jeremy Sweet arrested for pulling a gun on people during a road-rage incident.

Jeremy Sweet, 51, has worked for the department's Central Booking Unit for about seven years. On Monday at about noon, he was transporting several prisoners in an unmarked vehicle when he became involved in a "traffic altercation" at about Central Avenue and Lincoln Street, police say.

During the altercation, Sweet is alleged to have pulled out his handgun and pointed it an the occupants of another vehicle. Some of the prisoners in Sweet's vehicle were said to have witnessed the incident. A citizen who also saw what happened called 911 to make a report.

An investigation led to today's arrest, according to Sergeant Trent Crump, Phoenix police spokesman. Crump later told a reporter that Sweet had "lectured" the other driver while pointing his gun.

Police are seeking one count of felony aggravated assault in the case.

June 2015: Phoenix cop Timothy Morris arrested on kidnapping and sexual assault charges.

Jane was still in the backseat crying when Morris leaned down to remove the handcuffs. He re-cuffed her wrists in front of her body and made her get out of the car to perform oral sex.

Afterward, she spit Morris' semen on the ground and wiped her mouth with her shirt. He told her to get back in the car because he was taking her home.

En route, he "told her to say the computer was down if anyone asks her why she was not taken to jail," according to the police report.?

He parked in front of her house a little after 4 a.m. and uncuffed her.

"Maybe I'll see you around," she remembers him saying as he watched her walk to her front door.

July 2015: Ex-Phoenix cop Justin LaClere pleads guilty to sexually exploiting a minor.

Disgraced former Phoenix police officer Justin LaClere changed his plea this week and admitted he was guilty of both luring a minor for sexual exploitation and then having sexual intercourse with her.

Scottsdale Police arrested 32-year-old LaClere, a seven-year veteran of the force, in January 2014 after receiving information that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl at her house while her parents were out running errands.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, the two met on the social media site Whisper, which allows users to upload pictures anonymously and then privately message one another. On January 13, 2014, the high school girl “uploaded a picture of a baby with the text ‘I want to get pregnant but I’m only a teen’ written across it.”

September 13, 2016: Phoenix cops forced a 19-year-old to eat weed, leading to a $100,000 lawsuit.

In the early hours of the morning on September 13, 2016, Castro was driving his BMW through Maryvale when he was pulled over by Phoenix police officers. They found a gun and roughly a gram of marijuana inside his car.

According to the complaint filed in Maricopa County Court, Officer Jason McFadden asked Castro, "Do you want to go home tonight?"

At that point, the lawsuit says, McFadden told him to eat the marijuana or else he would be going to jail.

Castro, who was 19 at the time, also claims in the lawsuit that he tried to record the incident, but McFadden told him that he would get shot if he reached for his phone.

June 2017: Phoenix settles lawsuit with family of unarmed black man killed by Phoenix police for $1.5 million.

Rumain Brisbon had just pulled into the parking lot of his North Phoenix apartment complex on a December day in 2014 and gotten out of the car when a police officer confronted him.

What happened next is disputed. The Phoenix officer, Mark Rine, has claimed that Brisbon reached for his waistband after being told to put his hands up, then started to run away. A struggle ensued, and Rine, who said that he thought that he felt a gun in Brisbon's pocket, fired two shots in self-defense.

Two witnesses — Brisbon's friend Brandon Dickerson, who'd been sitting in his car, and Dana Klinger, his girlfriend — tell a different story, which was reflected in a lawsuit filed in May 2015. It argued that Rine had no probable cause to detain or arrest Brisbon, who had gone out to pick up food at McDonald's for his girlfriend and their 18-month-old daughter.

Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council approved a $1.5 million payment to Brisbon's family, settling claims filed on behalf of his mother, girlfriend, and children.

2018: Phoenix police shot a record number of people last year — more people than the NYPD or the LAPD, the two biggest police forces in the country. The high number itself may not constitute misconduct, but reasons for the deadly trend remain unknown in spite of a later study.

The Phoenix Police Department on Friday released an independent report on last year's extraordinary number of officer-involved shootings, which more than doubled the 2017 number and ranked among the highest in the country.

Those who want a clear answer on why the police shot so many more people will be disappointed.

The report did not point to any definitive cause for the 44 police shootings in 2018 — 23 of which were fatal — but identifies a significant increase in shootings involving armed individuals and people assaulting cops with deadly weapons.
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A Distraught Woman May Have Saved A Black Man From Being Shot By Police

https://blavity.com/a-distraught-woman-may-have-saved-a-black-man-from-being-shot-by-police

A distraught Black woman may have saved a young man's life on Friday when she began filming video of his arrest at a gas station in Hawthorne, California.

The woman, who called herself 'Skye,' was in tears as she begged police not to shoot 24-year-old William Ewell. More than 10 officers were at the scene and all of them were pointing their guns at Ewell as he knelt.

The harrowing five-minute video footage was shared on Instagram Live, who spoke to Ewell as he knelt and implored officers to just arrest him instead of shooting him.

"Can somebody put your guns down and please come get him?" she asked.

"Why are your guns pulled on this young man? He has no weapons on him."

While telling Ewell to stay calm and stay still, she told police that her boyfriend, Leroy Browning, was shot to death by police in 2015.

Browning's case was highly publicized because he was shot after he was already in police custody. As Skye describes her own experience with police shootings, she begins to audibly cry and beg the officers not to kill Ewell.

At one point in the video, you can see two officers pointing their guns at Skye while other officers tried to explain why they were arresting Ewell.

Eventually, police approached him and handcuffed him before speaking to Skye about what was happening. In the video, you can hear an officer saying Ewell matched the description of a suspect police were looking for.

In a statement, police say Ewell was allegedly involved in a robbery-assault at the gas station. However, they did not explain why so many officers were needed for the arrest. Furthermore, they did not provide an explanation as to why officers were threatening to use such force against both the suspect and bystander.

They defended their actions by claiming that Ewell was possibly armed, which he was not.

On Twitter, Skye's video sparked outrage. Many questioned why police officers needed to point their guns at Ewell when he was already kneeling and ready to be arrested.

They had the entire police force draw guns on this one black man for "fitting the description" of an "armed robber"

Imagine the everlasting trauma this would have on an innocent person because they "fit the description"

"Can Yall just put your guns away and somebody get him. Don't move. Don't move." 💔

"We're not saying he's a suspect, but we have to figure out what's going on, all right? So try and relax."

That wasn't a figure-out-what's-going-on squad. That was a death squad.

"Can Yall just put your guns away and somebody get him. Don't move. Don't move." 💔

"This happened in the city of Hawthorne, which was a sundown town until the middle of the twentieth century," said Rebecca J. Kavanagh, a public defender in New York City and well known activist.

"Thinking about all of this, it hits me that what while what Skye did is remarkable, and it's incredible that she happened to be there at that exact same time, it's not incredible at all that she lived through a horribly similar experience with her boyfriend."

The video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter and Instagram. Many users praised Skye for stepping up to help someone she does not know personally. In the video, an officer asks her why she was speaking up.

Through her tears she said, “I don’t even know him, but I care that much.”
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Parents say police pulled guns on them after 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store in Phoenix

https://www.kcra.com/article/10m-claim-says-phoenix-police-violated-family-s-rights/28041287?fbclid=IwAR3Qrrh4GMjhyZ5mnk656nC3k692seMH X6cvwUP1NrhbIFw2-ZJ-15_Y-MU

PHOENIX —
A Phoenix couple is seeking $10 million from the city after a video showed police officers drawing a gun on them after their 4-year-old daughter allegedly stole a doll from a Family Dollar store.

Dravon Ames and fiancee Iesha Harper said they didn't notice when their daughter walked out with a Barbie from the store last month. They've filed a notice of claim against the city for $10 million, which serves as a precursor to a lawsuit.

Soon after they left the store, Ames said the couple pulled into an apartment complex to drop their daughter off at a babysitter. Then an officer began banging against their window, yelling and threatening to kill them.

"Our hands are up, we're just trying not to get shot, trying to stay calm," Ames said. "He had a gun drawn."

Officer did not identify himself, family says

Ames said there were no sirens or lights to indicate that they were being pulled over beforehand and the officer who was pointing a gun at them did not immediately identify himself as an officer.

The incident took place on May 29, the family said. Police said they were made aware of video on June 11.

In the 12-minute blurred-out video posted on the department's Facebook page, one officer can be seen handcuffing Ames, first on the ground and then against a police car. The officer kicks Ames and can be heard yelling multiple times, "When I tell you to do something, you [expletive] do it."

Another officer appears to be pulling a gun on the passenger side of the couple's vehicle before Harper exits the car, holding a small child, with a second child by her side.

An officer is seen attempting to yank the child from her arms before a bystander offers to take her children.

Harper, who was five months pregnant at the time, said she was terrified.

"I I really thought he was gonna shoot me in front of the kids," she told CNN by phone Friday. She chose to give her two children to a "complete stranger because I didn't trust the police to have her."

During the video, officers can be heard telling her to get her hands up.

The city has 60 days to respond to the notice of claim and the next step is filing a lawsuit, said Thomas Horne, the family's attorney. In his notice, he says the officers committed battery and unlawful imprisonment, among others, and both the police department and city are liable because of "inadequate policies, training, supervision."

The department is investigating

Authorities said the incident is under investigation.

"The Phoenix Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is currently being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau," the department said.

It is not clear who recorded the video or what transpired beforehand. There is no body cam footage of the incident, Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Tommy Thompson told CNN.

Thompson said they cannot provide additional information due to pending litigation.

He told KNXV that the officer who is seen sweeping Ames' leg is now on a nonenforcement assignment. The police department has not named any of the officers involved.

Thompson also told the affiliate there was more to it than the claim of the stolen doll, but would not expound on it. The affiliate reported that police said there were other stolen items in the vehicle besides the doll.

While the family's claim said the incident happened "on or about May 29," the police statement said it was May 27.

Police chief 'disturbed' by officer's action

In a video posted to the department's Facebook page Friday, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said she was "disturbed by the language and the actions of our officer."

"I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city," Williams said.

The chief said she began an "immediate internal investigation" as soon as she became aware of the video.

"I wish investigations could be handled instantly, but each one takes time and deserves the due diligence before we can discuss specific details," she said.

Harper and Ames say both their daughters are traumatized, and their 4-year-old has been having nightmares and wetting the bed since the incident.

Their second daughter, just a year old, suffered "dead arm," after the officer tried to yank her from her mother.

The couple is still shaken up too. Ames said he was worried about his children and felt helpless during the incident.

"I'm supposed to protect my family, I'm cuffed up ... I'm hearing my daughter screaming, my fiance being handled. It broke me down so much," he said.

Reverend Jarrett Maupin, a spokesman for the family, told CNN Ames is lucky to be alive.

"He was totally compliant, submissive even still not enough to save him from the ferocious violence of the police department," Maupin said.

The couple says they were both released shortly after the arrest and were not charged.
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