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Old 09-27-2017, 06:57 AM   #401
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Rocklin PD: Officer arrested for using excessive force

Rocklin PD: Officer arrested for using excessive force

ROCKLIN, Calif. (KCRA) —

A Rocklin police officer was arrested Tuesday for using excessive force while arresting a DUI suspect, the police department said.

Officer Brad Alford, a 15-year veteran of the Rocklin Police Department, was taken into custody around 6 p.m. and booked into Placer County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm, assault under the color of authority and filing a false police report, police said.

The investigation into Alford stems from the arrest of a DUI suspect on Sunday, police said. Officers were in the 5400 block of South Grove Street around 6 a.m. to arrest the suspect.

Police said during the arrest, Alford “used a baton in a manner that appeared to be excessive.”

The officer’s actions were later reported to the police department. Investigators reviewed video footage and then “immediately” reached out to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office to conduct an independent review.

The district attorney’s office determined that Alford’s actions “rose to a criminal level” and decided to press charges against the officer.

Alford, who was on paid administrative leave during the investigation, was arrested Tuesday.

The district attorney’s office will continue the criminal investigation into the case while the Rocklin Police Department will conduct an internal investigation to determine if department policies and procedures were violated.

“This is a sad and unfortunate incident for all of those involved, including the community and our organization,” the Rocklin Police Department said in a news release. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated. As a department, we pride ourselves on working with our community and an incident like this tarnishes the reputation of the hardworking men and women who work here.”

Police Chief Chad Butler said during a news conference Tuesday night video of the incident will not be released per a request by the district attorney's office. The DA's office told Butler the video is part of an ongoing investigation and will not be released to the public at this time.
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:27 AM   #402
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‘You like that?’: St. Louis cops savagely beat handcuffed filmmaker while wife watched, suit says

https://thinkprogress.org/st-louis-filmmaker-beating-556a6d98b229/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_con tent=59cdbe3d04d30111925ef4c8&utm_medium=trueAnthe m&utm_source=twitter

On St. Louis’ most restless night of protests for some time, interim police chief Lawrence O’Toole seemed to embrace a tribal us-and-them attitude toward demonstrators in his city. Hours after reporters watched black-clad riot cops chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” at dispersing protesters, O’Toole boasted to press cameras that “police owned the night,” comments which Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) would criticize days later.

It all may have seemed hollow posturing and harmless banter. But a new lawsuit illustrates the very real abuses that such a domineering mentality from law enforcement can foreshadow. O’Toole’s cops allegedly beat, taunted, and repeatedly maced a handcuffed filmmaker that Sunday night, singling the Kansas City man out from a herd of arrestees to punish him physically for recording them. Drew and Jennifer Burbridge sued the city on Tuesday, alleging the kind of unprofessional, illegal mistreatment at police hands that’s routinely drawn protesters into American streets in recent years.

The Burbridges were present late Sunday night, September 17, when officers suddenly encircled a mix of protesters and reporters in a “kettle.” The tactic involves riot police cutting off all exit routes for a group of people and then arresting everyone. The Burbridges say they were not warned at any point to leave, or to avoid going to the intersection where they were filming protesters and police, before the sudden kettling. With the perimeter established, the suit says, officers began indiscriminately spraying pepper spray into the trapped group.

The couple sat down and held onto one another. Police moved inside the kettle. “One of the two officers…stated ‘that’s him’ and grabbed Drew Burbridge by each arm and roughly drug him away from his wife,” the suit says. Despite being told Burbridge was a member of the media and not a protester, the officers “then purposely deployed chemical spray into his mouth and eyes and ripped his camera from his neck,” according to the suit. Officers beat the man repeatedly, first with hands and feet as they got plastic zip-tie cuffs onto him and then going back for seconds with their batons after his hands were bound.

“Do you want to take my picture now motherfucker? Do you want me to pose for you?” one officer allegedly said to Drew during the beating. When the assault caused him to lose consciousness, Drew “awoke to an officer pulling his head up by his hair and spraying him with chemical agents in the face.”

The officers running the kettle and alleged beating were not wearing name badges on their uniforms and declined to identify themselves to either Burbridge throughout the encounter. Multiple officers seemed to taunt Jennifer as she watched her husband beaten, the complaint says. “Did you like that? Come back tomorrow and we can do this again,” one allegedly told her. Another, the complaint says, asked her, “What did you think was going to happen?”

An hour or so later, O’Toole and Krewson would appear on local television to praise their officers for effectively balancing the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters against the criminality of a small minority of those still present on the streets after dark.

The basis for the police crackdown that night was a handful of smashed windows downtown. But the vandals had been arrested hours earlier by the time the Burbridges arrived and got caught up in the kettle, according to local news reports from the night.

Wide array of unconstitutional tactics alleged in suit over chilling round-up that hit peaceful protesters, journalists, and anarchists alike.

The allegations of collective punishment, targeted brutality against non-resistant arrestees, and a seemingly intentional singling out of media members all echo a separate lawsuit in Washington, D.C., over the city police’s handling of protesters during President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The protests the Burbridges attempted to cover in St. Louis didn’t have anything to do with Donald Trump personally. The city is on edge because another white police officer has been vindicated in the suspicious slaying of a young black man, not because of any acute action from the White House. But the tone and momentum established for police forces around the country by the new administration in Washington has an influence on how both individual officers and whole department cultures view dissent, protest, and civil unrest.

Immediately upon Trump’s taking office, the administration made clear to law enforcement observers that any protest they deemed to be violent should be met with force. In the months since, the president himself has given aid and comfort to the enemies of civil rights, encouraging cops to knock people around after they are arrested but before they have been proven guilty of any crime or even formally charged with one. In his informal political alliances with men like David Clarke and his own speeches, Trump has repeatedly betrayed an affection for roughing up his critics — something a few optimists in political journalism had hoped he might leave behind on the campaign trail.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:27 PM   #403
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‘You like that?’: St. Louis cops savagely beat handcuffed filmmaker while wife watched, suit says

https://thinkprogress.org/st-louis-filmmaker-beating-556a6d98b229/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_con tent=59cdbe3d04d30111925ef4c8&utm_medium=trueAnthe m&utm_source=twitter

On St. Louis’ most restless night of protests for some time, interim police chief Lawrence O’Toole seemed to embrace a tribal us-and-them attitude toward demonstrators in his city. Hours after reporters watched black-clad riot cops chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” at dispersing protesters, O’Toole boasted to press cameras that “police owned the night,” comments which Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) would criticize days later.

It all may have seemed hollow posturing and harmless banter. But a new lawsuit illustrates the very real abuses that such a domineering mentality from law enforcement can foreshadow. O’Toole’s cops allegedly beat, taunted, and repeatedly maced a handcuffed filmmaker that Sunday night, singling the Kansas City man out from a herd of arrestees to punish him physically for recording them. Drew and Jennifer Burbridge sued the city on Tuesday, alleging the kind of unprofessional, illegal mistreatment at police hands that’s routinely drawn protesters into American streets in recent years.

The Burbridges were present late Sunday night, September 17, when officers suddenly encircled a mix of protesters and reporters in a “kettle.” The tactic involves riot police cutting off all exit routes for a group of people and then arresting everyone. The Burbridges say they were not warned at any point to leave, or to avoid going to the intersection where they were filming protesters and police, before the sudden kettling. With the perimeter established, the suit says, officers began indiscriminately spraying pepper spray into the trapped group.

The couple sat down and held onto one another. Police moved inside the kettle. “One of the two officers…stated ‘that’s him’ and grabbed Drew Burbridge by each arm and roughly drug him away from his wife,” the suit says. Despite being told Burbridge was a member of the media and not a protester, the officers “then purposely deployed chemical spray into his mouth and eyes and ripped his camera from his neck,” according to the suit. Officers beat the man repeatedly, first with hands and feet as they got plastic zip-tie cuffs onto him and then going back for seconds with their batons after his hands were bound.

“Do you want to take my picture now motherfucker? Do you want me to pose for you?” one officer allegedly said to Drew during the beating. When the assault caused him to lose consciousness, Drew “awoke to an officer pulling his head up by his hair and spraying him with chemical agents in the face.”

The officers running the kettle and alleged beating were not wearing name badges on their uniforms and declined to identify themselves to either Burbridge throughout the encounter. Multiple officers seemed to taunt Jennifer as she watched her husband beaten, the complaint says. “Did you like that? Come back tomorrow and we can do this again,” one allegedly told her. Another, the complaint says, asked her, “What did you think was going to happen?”

An hour or so later, O’Toole and Krewson would appear on local television to praise their officers for effectively balancing the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters against the criminality of a small minority of those still present on the streets after dark.

The basis for the police crackdown that night was a handful of smashed windows downtown. But the vandals had been arrested hours earlier by the time the Burbridges arrived and got caught up in the kettle, according to local news reports from the night.

Wide array of unconstitutional tactics alleged in suit over chilling round-up that hit peaceful protesters, journalists, and anarchists alike.

The allegations of collective punishment, targeted brutality against non-resistant arrestees, and a seemingly intentional singling out of media members all echo a separate lawsuit in Washington, D.C., over the city police’s handling of protesters during President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The protests the Burbridges attempted to cover in St. Louis didn’t have anything to do with Donald Trump personally. The city is on edge because another white police officer has been vindicated in the suspicious slaying of a young black man, not because of any acute action from the White House. But the tone and momentum established for police forces around the country by the new administration in Washington has an influence on how both individual officers and whole department cultures view dissent, protest, and civil unrest.

Immediately upon Trump’s taking office, the administration made clear to law enforcement observers that any protest they deemed to be violent should be met with force. In the months since, the president himself has given aid and comfort to the enemies of civil rights, encouraging cops to knock people around after they are arrested but before they have been proven guilty of any crime or even formally charged with one. In his informal political alliances with men like David Clarke and his own speeches, Trump has repeatedly betrayed an affection for roughing up his critics — something a few optimists in political journalism had hoped he might leave behind on the campaign trail.
This is just one of many tragedies occurring in the state of Missouri, but is so heartbreaking because isn't this the same state where the white cop was let off the hook for killing a black man too? There's so many disturbing accounts of horrible violence all over the country, but it seems to me that it's at an all time crisis point , way past the threshold of reported violence, deadly violence in Missouri. It makes me sick at heart to read that deadly violence committed by public law enforcement is occurring in epic proportions. So sad!
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:09 AM   #404
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Brooklyn teen claims NYPD detectives raped her after arrest on drug charge

http://www.nydailynews.com/amp/new-york/nyc-crime/nyc-teen-claims-nypd-cops-raped-arrest-drug-charge-article-1.3530054

A Brooklyn teen claims two NYPD detectives raped her after taking her into custody on a drug charge, authorities said Friday.

The 18-year-old victim’s stunning accusations are now the subject of two investigations by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

“I’m completely brutalized by the rape. My life is in shatters,” the young woman said through her attorney, Michael David. “Now every time I see any police, I’m in a panic.”

No arrests have been made, but the two detectives and their supervisor have been stripped of their guns and shields and forced on desk duty as the investigations proceed.

Internal Affairs also is looking into the detectives’ prior arrests and questioning confidential informants to see if there are any other victims, according to a high-ranking NYPD source with knowledge of the case.

Brooklyn South Narcotics Detectives Edward Martins and Richard Hall were conducting an undercover buy-and-bust operation in Brighton Beach on Sept. 14 with their supervisor, Sgt. John Espey, when the two detectives for some inexplicable reason drove off in an unmarked Dodge minivan, police sources said.

The pair reappeared at Calvert Vaux Park near Shore Parkway and Bay 44th St. at about 8 p.m. where they found the woman and two friends, both men, sitting in a car.

The cops stopped them “because they weren’t supposed to be in the park,” a friend of the victim who was at the scene said.

The detectives handcuffed the teen after finding marijuana and the anxiety drug Klonopin in a bag next to her and drove her away, according to the friend, who said he was suspicious about the cops from the start.

The two NYPD detectives reappeared at Calvert Vaux Park near Shore Parkway and Bay 44th St. at about 8 p.m. where they find the victim and two friends. Image by: Todd Maisel, New York Daily News/New York Daily News

“I had Prozac on me,” said the friend, who declined to be named. “They said that it’s supposed to be in the bottle but they just gave it back to me.”

They only handcuffed the woman, telling her friends that they were taking her to the 60th Precinct on W. Eighth St. in Coney Island for processing.

Instead, Martins and Hall allegedly took her to a secluded spot about two blocks from the 60th Precinct stationhouse, where she says she was forced to perform a sex act on both cops.

One of the detectives also raped her, David said.

“She’s a teenager and she was basically kidnapped into a police vehicle without any justification,” the attorney said. “She had her handcuffs on when they raped her.”

The detectives then forced her out of the minivan — about 45 minutes after taking her into custody — and drove off.

Her friend went to the 60th Precinct and found the victim nearby.

“She was like ‘They just f----- me,’ ” the friend said. “I couldn’t have done anything but it was definitely just one of those damn moments.”
Not Released (NR)

The friend took the victim to her parents, who rushed her to Maimonides Hospital for an exam. Doctors there found signs of sexual assault and called police who started the investigation, David said.

Internal Affairs hadn’t interviewed the detectives as of Friday as they wait for Brooklyn prosecutors to finish their investigation, but Martins and Hall told colleagues that the sex was consensual, according to the high-ranking police source.

David said his client was outraged by claims the sex was consensual. “She was in shock. She is a very emotional girl,” he said.

David has filed a notice of claim for a lawsuit against the city.

Martins and Hall were put on modified duty because of the allegations. Espey was put on modified duty for failing to supervise the two detectives.

Martins joined the NYPD in July 2006 and became a detective in May 2016. Hall became a cop in 2010 and was promoted to detective in April.

Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said Espey was involved in an arrest at a different location during the incident. He called it “lunacy” for the NYPD to take action against the sergeant.

Espey, 41, has been a cop for 22 years. He was previously assigned to the 67 Precinct.

Michael Palladino, the president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, declined to comment on the probe. “The investigation is ongoing and the information is changing hourly,” he said.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:36 AM   #405
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Convicted, but still policing

http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-police-officers-convicted-of-serious-crimes-still-on-the-job/437687453/

Jared Taylor choked a man until he blacked out.

Steven Brown fired a .38 Special during a confrontation with his fiancée.

Tom Bernardson punched a man so viciously that he put him in the hospital with a concussion.

All three were convicted in Minnesota courts.

And all three still work in law enforcement.

They are among hundreds of sworn officers in Minnesota who were convicted of criminal offenses in the past two decades yet kept their state law enforcement licenses, according to public records examined by the Star Tribune. Dozens of them are still on the job with a badge, a gun and the public’s trust that they will uphold the law.

The cases reveal a state licensing system that is failing repeatedly to hold officers accountable for reckless, sometimes violent, conduct.

In Minnesota, doctors and lawyers can lose their professional licenses for conduct that is unethical or unprofessional — even if they never break a law. Yet law enforcement officers can stay on the job for years even when a judge or jury finds them guilty of criminal behavior.

“The public trusts that we’re not going to act like that,” said former Prior Lake Police Chief Bill O’Rourke, describing an officer who kept his state license despite being fired for a violent outburst. “The public needs to trust that those officers are going to be held accountable.”

Records also show that scores of the convictions stemmed from off-duty misconduct — including brawls, stalking and domestic altercations — that raise questions about an officer’s temperament for a job that authorizes the use of force.

Law enforcement leaders say it’s important for citizens to have confidence that officers are held to the highest ethical standards — on duty or off duty. In fact, Minnesota’s model code of ethics says that officers shall not discredit themselves or their agency either on-duty or off. Yet Minnesota seems to have developed a culture of second chances for those who wear a badge, said Neil Melton, a former Bloomington police officer who ran Minnesota’s licensing board for 16 years.

“Benefit of the doubt. Benefit of the doubt. Benefit of the doubt,” Melton said. “At what point do we say enough is enough?”

Records also show that Minnesota, once a pioneer in professionalizing police work, has fallen far behind other states on police discipline. Among 44 states with comparable licensing, Minnesota ranks 38th in revoking law enforcement licenses, based on numbers compiled by Seattle University criminologist Matthew Hickman. The national average for revocations is 12 times higher than Minnesota’s.

In Georgia, for example, the state board can revoke an officer’s license for committing any act “which is indicative of bad moral character or untrustworthiness.” In Minnesota, revocation almost always requires a criminal conviction.

In Oregon, officers lose their licenses for any criminal conviction with an element of domestic violence. The state, which has fewer police than Minnesota, revokes about 35 licenses each year.

Today, Minnesota revokes one or two.

Andrea: Clink link for rest of article.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:37 AM   #406
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Michigan trooper resigns as ATV probe widens

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/10/03/trooper-atv-probe-widens/106253324/

The Michigan State Police trooper accused of using his stun gun on a 15-year-old ATV driver has resigned, while two other state cops involved in the fatal incident have been suspended, a state police official said Monday.

Meanwhile, Detroit police are investigating a state police sergeant who allegedly discarded evidence from the scene, three Detroit police sources involved in the case told The Detroit News.

Before Detroit and state police launched separate criminal investigations into Damon Grimes’ Aug. 26 death, the sergeant, a supervisor who had responded to the scene, collected one of the stun gun’s wires and prongs and later threw them into a trash can at a state police post, the sources said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the sergeant was trying to cover up evidence, or was simply being careless by throwing the wire away, the sources said. The other wire used in the incident was left at the scene and taken into evidence, the sources said.

Detroit police detectives plan to submit warrant requests to prosecutors seeking charges against the sergeant, the driver of the state police cruiser and the passenger who deployed the stun gun, the sources said.

The passenger, trooper Mark Bessner, has resigned from the state police, MSP spokeswoman Shanon Banner said Monday. She added two other state cops have been suspended in connection with the incident, although she would not identify them or what they did.

“We have started submitting our reports to the prosecutor’s office, and now we want to respect them and let them carry out their role in this process,” Banner said. “We have conducted a thorough investigation and we want to be as transparent as possible, but we need to let prosecutors review our investigation report.

“As a result of our investigation, we thought it was appropriate to suspend two other employees,” Banner said. “Another (Bessner) has chosen to resign.”

Bessner was suspended Aug. 28, and resigned Sept. 22, Banner said. The two others were suspended Sept. 26, she said.

Bessner’s attorney Richard Convertino did not reply Monday to a phone call seeking comment. A message left with the Michigan State Police Troopers Association was not returned.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office received a warrant request from the state police Friday and returned it Monday to the agency for further investigation, assistant prosecutor Maria Miller said.

Miller would not say what name or names were on the MSP warrant request.

As state police submit their reports to prosecutors, Detroit police investigators are still weighing which charges to seek against the three men, according to the Detroit police sources. If it’s determined the MSP sergeant was merely careless, investigators might seek a misdemeanor charge against him, the sources said.

Police Chief James Craig declined to comment. “It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Stun guns deliver up to 50,000 volts of electricity by firing a pair of barbed electrodes attached to conductive wires. The cartridge containing the electrodes and wires is replaced after each use. For a stun gun to work effectively, both barbed prongs must lodge into the target’s skin to complete the electric circuit.

Stun gun wires and prongs could contain important evidence in a court case, legal experts said.

“If the Taser prongs go into the body, there could be DNA evidence to show (the Taser) actually hit the target,” said Curt Benson, a professor at the Cooley School of Law. “Police would want to save and conserve every conceivable piece of evidence at a scene.”

University of Michigan law professor David Moran agreed. “If the Taser prong is embedded in someone’s body, you’d expect their DNA to be present, and that could be evidence that could be used in a criminal prosecution.”

DNA from stun gun prongs has been used in trials, including a 2007 Monterey County, California, case in which police linked a man to a rape by extracting DNA from a Taser’s barbs after the stun gun was used on him in a separate incident. Some stun gun manufacturers list DNA extraction as one of the benefits of the devices.

State police say Grimes was illegally driving the ATV in the streets of his east side neighborhood when he was ordered to stop. Grimes didn’t comply before Bessner deployed his stun gun, police said.

The stun gun’s electrically charged barbed prongs hit Grimes, who crashed into a flatbed and died from blunt-force head injuries, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Bessner was suspended two days after the incident for allegedly violating department policy by using his stun gun while in a moving vehicle. Bessner was previously accused of excessive force in two separate lawsuits, although the cases against him were dismissed.

All three suspensions related to the case were paid, Banner said. “If they are charged with a crime, we can move to an unpaid suspension,” she said.

In the wake of the incident, investigations were launched by state police and Detroit police. On Friday, officials with both agencies said the respective probes are winding down.

“We’re waiting on forensic analysis to come back from evidence items, although I won’t say what those evidence items are,” Craig said.

“The investigation is moving along like we’d hoped it would but when you talk about forensic analysis, those things don’t come back in a few days,” Craig said.

The chief added Wayne County prosecutors have been working with Detroit police investigators on the case.

Banner said the MSP investigation into the incident also is coming to a close. She said an internal investigation will be conducted after the criminal probe is finished.

“There are still some pieces that are outstanding that we continue to work on, and we fully expect the prosecutor’s office may request additional follow-up once they have the opportunity to review our reports,” Banner said.

The incident has sparked several protests, and prompted state police to temporarily pull troopers out of the 9th Precinct to avoid stoking animosity in Grimes’ neighborhood. Troopers had been assigned to the precinct as part of the state’s Secure Cities Partnership initiative.

Geoffrey Fieger, attorney for Grimes’ family, has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the state.

State police changed the agency’s policy in the city after the incident to match Detroit’s edict that officers refrain from high-speed chases unless they’re pursuing someone perceived to be a danger to the community. Prior to the change, state police routinely chased traffic violators and others committing nonviolent crimes.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:26 AM   #407
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Cleveland police officer attacked woman and then arrested her on false charges, court records say

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/10/cleveland_police_officer_charg_12.html

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland police officer is accused of attacking a woman and having her arrested under false pretenses.

Sgt. Christopher Graham, 38, is charged with assault, unlawful restraint, both first-degree misdemeanors. Graham was arrested on Thursday. Cleveland Municipal Judge Ronald Adrine set a personal bond for Graham.

Graham, who was hired as an officer in 1996, will be arraigned Friday.

Graham has twice been the subject of civil lawsuits filed by people who accused him of similar behavior. Both lawsuits resulted in cash settlements, and Graham was allowed to return to the street.

The most recent incident happened Sept. 12 at the Sunoco gas station on Lorain Road near West 136th Street, according to court records.

Graham attacked the woman, had her arrested and booked into the city jail on a charge of assaulting a police officer, court records say. He filed a false police report that led to the woman being charged with a felony, according to court records.

Court records do not say what provoked the attack. Cleveland police officials have not responded to messages Thursday seeking more information regarding the incident.

Cleveland Fraternal Order of Police President Brian Betley did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Graham twice has been the subject of lawsuits filed by people who accused him of abusing his police power.

In 2003, he had two patrolmen arrest his then-live-in-girlfriend on a trespassing charge after an argument despite the fact that the woman lived at the Oak Park Avenue home.

The city settled that lawsuit for $14,000.

Two years later, Graham issued a man a traffic citation shortly after arguing with him over a parking spot outside a coffee shop in the city's Collinwood neighborhood.

The two argued again and Graham told him: "You're assaulting me." The two fought and the man initially slipped away from Graham and ran.

Graham chased him down inside the coffee shop, tackled him and cracked him on the back of the head with his metal flashlight. He then threw the man into a rack of coffee mugs, which fell to the ground and shattered, and beat him again over the head with his flashlight, until he bled, according to the lawsuit.

The man said the officer pinned him to the floor with a knee in his chest and his hands around his neck until other officers arrived.

Graham handcuffed and arrested the man on charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where they treated him for his head injuries and stapled shut his wounds before releasing him back to police custody.

A grand jury declined to indict Graham on Dec. 12, 2005.

The city paid $7,500 to settle that lawsuit in 2007.

It is unknown if Graham was disciplined for the two incidents.
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:54 PM   #408
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Bodycam footage shows Utah police shoot man as he runs away

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/08/us/patrick-harmon-utah-police-shooting/index.html

The Salt Lake City Police Department is the latest US police department to come under scrutiny after bodycam footage shows an officer shooting and killing a man, even as the man appeared to be running away.

An officer shot and killed Patrick Harmon, a 50-year-old black man, as he was being arrested on the evening of August 13.

On Wednesday, after a seven week investigation, the Salt Lake County district attorney concluded the officers' use of deadly force was justified because the officers said they feared Harmon was going to hurt them, according to a letter the district attorney sent to the Salt Lake County Sheriff and the city's police chief detailing his investigation into the incident.

Bodycam footage shows Harmon running away from police before he is shot by Salt Lake City police Officer Clinton Fox. The officers later said Harmon threatened them with a knife.

"That video is horrifying. It is just not right," Antionette Harmon, Patrick's older sister, told CNN. "I'm not understanding none of this, how it was justified or anything. It's not fair."

Harmon said her brother was bipolar, schizophrenic and possibly homeless.
Police claim Harmon had a knife.

Harmon was stopped by a police officer on the evening of August 13 after he rode a bicycle across six lanes and a median, according to a narrative laid out by the district attorney, Sim Gill. Harmon was required to have a "red rear tail light on his bicycle," the officer told him.

The officer called for backup after Harmon provided "a couple different names" when he was asked for identification, according to Gill. The officers discovered felony warrants were open for Harmon's arrest -- one of which was for aggravated assault, Gill's report says. As they tried to put handcuffs on him, he ran. The officers chased after him.

In the bodycam footage, of which there are three angles for each of the officers, released by the Salt Lake City Police Department, Fox can be seen shooting Harmon three times as he runs in the opposite direction.

The officer who initially stopped Harmon, Kris Smith, fired his Taser, according to the district attorney's report.

Fox later told investigators that as Harmon was running away, he stopped and turned back toward the officers with a knife in his hand, yelling, "I'll f***ing stab you."

"Officer Fox said he feared if he didn't immediately use deadly force, Mr. Harmon was going to stab him and/or the other officers," Gill's report says.

In his investigation, Gill weighed the testimony of all three officers present -- Fox, Smith and Scott Robinson.

Smith and Robinson's accounts of what Harmon said before being shot vary slightly from Fox's. Smith told investigators he heard Harmon say, "I'm going to cut ..." the report says. Meanwhile, Robinson said he heard Harmon say, "'I stab' or something to that effect," according to the report, though he said he "couldn't remember Mr. Harmon's exact words."

Gill's report says Harmon can be seen in the bodycam video with a knife in his hand, and that investigators took photographs of the knife at the scene.
Ultimately, the district attorney's office found the shooting was a "'justified' use of deadly force," and chose not to pursue criminal charges against Fox.

Harmon's death is the latest to revive concerns into police officers' use of deadly force against black men throughout the United States, as other officer-involved shootings have done in recent years.

"Really, black people don't matter, homeless people don't matter," Antionette Harmon said.

Adriane Harmon, Antionette's daughter, described the video as "heartbreaking" and "horrifying," and vowed to seek justice on behalf of her uncle.

"I want to fight the decision," she said. "I don't believe that (DA decision) was justified. (We're) looking at attorneys now."

In a statement sent to CNN on Sunday, Jeanetta Williams, the president of the Salt Lake City chapter of the NAACP, said the organization was investigating Harmon's death.

"It seemed like more could have been done by the police officers to apprehend Mr. Patrick Harmon than shooting him in the back as he ran," Williams said, adding Harmon was simply afraid.

The statement points out the officers "were a lot younger" than Harmon, and they could have easily tackled him. "He was never given the time to heed the officers' command before they shot him," she said.

Lex Scott, founder of The United Front civil rights organization, called for police accountability.

"District Attorney Sim Gill has denied the people of Salt Lake City justice repeatedly. At this time he needs to hold police accountable or we need a new district attorney," she said.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:03 AM   #409
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Sevier deputy suffered panic attack while armed, couple charged with causing it

http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2017/10/16/sevier-deputy-suffered-panic-attack-while-armed-couple-charged-causing/759465001/

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn., — A Sevier County Sheriff’s Office deputy opened fire without warning in a mobile home park, suffered an apparent panic attack four minutes later and was forcibly disarmed by a paramedic, body camera footage shows.

Deputy Justin Johnson did not mention the panic attack in his report on the December 2016 incident, and he remains on active duty, court records show.

Brian Keith Mullinax, 41, and his girlfriend, Tina Carrie Jo Cody, 37, spent 42 days in jail on felony charges, accused of causing what was described in court statements as a "panic attack" and which a detective called "some type of cardiac event." They remain under prosecution on misdemeanor charges, court records show.
Gunfire, panic

A spokesman for Sevier County Sheriff Ron “Hoss” Seals did not return a phone message. It’s not clear from court records whether the sheriff’s office conducted an internal investigation, ordered psychological testing for Johnson, or required him to undergo counseling or additional training.

Cody was unarmed and being held on the ground by Johnson and paramedic Blake Gregg when Johnson fired four shots toward a set of mobile homes, paused and fired three more, the video obtained by the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee showed. He ran away from Cody and Gregg toward Sharp Road.

“Shots fired,” he told dispatchers. “We need help.”

Four minutes later, Johnson was kneeling over Cody, who had remained on the ground, with his gun still in his hand when the video showed he began hyperventilating and running backward away from the mobile homes and Cody.

Paramedic Michael O’Connor ran toward Johnson.

“Pull it together,” O’Connor told Johnson. “Look at me.”

Johnson continued to hyperventilate while pointing his gun toward Cody, Gregg and the mobile homes.

“Give me your gun,” O’Connor repeatedly said. A still hyperventilating Johnson continued to grip the gun. O’Connor eventually wrested it from his hand.

“Let go of it,” O’Connor said.

Johnson continued to hyperventilate.

“Easy, buddy,” O’Connor said as he trained Johnson’s gun toward the mobile homes. “I got it under control. Calm down. It’s OK.”

One minute and 30 seconds after Johnson began hyperventilating, his breathing slowed.

“I’m OK,” he said. “I’m OK.”

O’Connor handed Johnson his gun back. He had hyperventilated so strongly one of his contact lens popped out of his eye, the video showed. He tossed it away as he trained his gun toward the mobile homes, where an unarmed Mullinax was facedown on the ground with his arms extended.

The video showed Mullinax obeyed Johnson when – after Johnson had fired seven shots and ran away – the deputy ordered him to the ground, and he never moved from that position during or after Johnson’s panic attack.

Mullinax is set to stand trial in Sevier County Criminal Court on Tuesday on a charge that he assaulted Johnson. A lower court judge already dropped felony charges against both Cody and Mullinax, and a grand jury refused to indict Cody for causing the panic attack. She remains charged with resisting arrest.

The couple spent 42 days in jail because they were too poor to post bond and did not get a preliminary hearing within 10 business days as the law requires, records showed. It’s not clear why from those court records.

Records and video showed the following:

Johnson was called to the mobile home park at 794 Sharp Road by paramedics. A “morbidly obese female” had fallen inside one of the homes and was complaining about landlord Robin Sutton – Cody’s mother – and Cody, Johnson wrote in his report.

The woman was disoriented, he wrote, and “didn’t know what day or time it was that she had fallen.” Sutton was on the front porch, the video showed. Cody was in the yard. She and Mullinax lived in a neighboring mobile home.

Among the woman’s claims was that Sutton and Cody had stolen her purse. As the woman was still talking, Cody walked to a fence and climbed through it into a field. Johnson drew his gun but ran away from the field, around a mobile home and onto Sharp Road. Cody was standing in the field facing Sharp Road.

“Don’t move,” Johnson yelled.

Cody turned and ran, pulling off her jacket. Johnson, gun in his right hand, used his left hand to pull her onto the ground, and paramedic Gregg helped Johnson hold her down.

'I heard a male voice'

Mullinax walked onto his porch with a cell phone in his hand. The porch was facing Johnson. But Johnson wrote in his report he heard a noise behind him.

“I heard a male voice coming from a short distance behind me shout, ‘I’ve got a gun, (expletive),’” Johnson wrote. “I turned to notice (a suspect) pacing wildly on the porch of a nearby mobile home and then squat while aiming an object at me that appeared to be a firearm in his hand. I immediately discharged my weapon.”

Johnson issued no warning and fired over Gregg’s head.

Mullinax, records show, did not say he had a gun or threaten to harm Johnson. He had a cell phone and yelled at Johnson that he was filming the deputy’s handling of girlfriend Cody.

Johnson immediately ran away after firing the shots. When he returned to the location in the field where Gregg still had Cody on the ground, he yelled at Mullinax, “You drop that (expletive) thing. Do it now.”

Mullinax dropped the phone and got on the ground. He yelled a complaint but did not threaten violence.

“You shut the (expletive) up,” Johnson said.

The deputy told dispatchers everything was fine.

“I’ve got him on the ground,” he said, adding Mullinax was unarmed. “I don’t know what he did with it (the object in his hand).”

A short time later, Johnson’s panic attack began.

Court battle brewing

Johnson wrote in his report that he opened fire “in defense for my life” and the safety of the paramedics.

SCSO Detective Johnny Bohanan later added notes to Johnson’s report about the panic attack. They were brief.

“Because of the assault on Johnson and the fact that he was taken to the hospital with injuries and may have suffered some type of cardiac event as the result of this assault by both the male and female and all the statements and evidence, I charged” Mullinax and Cody with aggravated assault, Bohanan wrote.

Prosecutor Ron Newcomb has declined comment. It’s not clear if the trial will take place Tuesday. Several are set. Defense attorneys were not immediately available for comment.

Attorneys John S. “Stan” Young III and Cameron Bell confirmed this week they are investigating the incident to determine if there are grounds to file a lawsuit on behalf of Mullinax and Cody.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:05 PM   #410
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Police used a Taser on a grandfather, who's now in intensive care. They say it was for his safety.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/21/police-used-a-taser-on-a-granddad-whos-now-in-intensive-care-they-say-it-was-for-his-safety/?utm_term=.239c6fca43a0

Albert Chatfield has good days where he’s clear-eyed and lucid, quick with a joke and more than capable of taking care of himself in his home just north of Charleston.

But his family had begun to worry about the 86-year-old’s bad days. They fear it’s the earliest stage of dementia — blocks of time where he’s foggy about who or where he is, afraid of nonexistent dangers and wary of strangers.

Police encountered him on one of those bad days, his family’s attorney said, and their early-morning encounter in Kingstree, S.C., left Chatfield hospitalized in intensive care, bleeding from the brain and breathing only with the help of a ventilator.

Chatfield’s family is hoping for optimistic news from his doctors, who worry he won’t survive his injuries.

From the police, they simply want answers.

“They messed up big time,” their attorney, Justin Bamberg told The Washington Post, adding that he believes officers in Kingstree need additional training.

“This is a case of a mental-health issue, and officers not being properly trained to handle these situations. Not everyone that you run into that isn’t listening to you is a danger. Maybe they need help. Instead of helping, they put him in intensive care.”

Last weekend, Bamberg said, Chatfield had been confused, and called 911 several times. The subject matter was unclear, but authorities were worried enough to call his family. They made arrangements to take him to the doctor the next day.

Something went wrong before then.

Early Monday, someone called 911 saying a driver was behaving erratically, preventing a vehicle from turning. The wayward driver was Chatfield, and things got worse when officers arrived, according to the Kingstree News.

Chatfield sped away from police, running red lights, making turns at random.

His erratic behavior continued after he finally stopped at Main and Brooks streets. Officers ordered him to the ground, but he wouldn’t comply. Instead, he took what officers described as a fighting stance, according to a police report obtained by the Charleston Post & Courier. Then he started jogging backward.

One of the responding officers shocked him with a Taser, which uses a jolt of electricity to seize a person’s muscles.

Chatfield crashed to the ground, hitting his head and injuring his nose. Pictures sent to The Washington Post showed him with gashes on his face as well.

Police Chief James Barr could not be reached for comment on Saturday. He told news outlets that Chatfield’s adversarial nature was the ultimate reason for the use of force.

“You have an elderly man still charging and he wants to fight the police so they got the [Taser] pulled on him to try and calm him down so they could talk to him,” Barr told the Kingstree News. He said Chatfield continued to resist officers after they handcuffed him and led him to the sidewalk.

“After we got the medical report now we understand why he was doing what he was doing,” Barr added. “But for officers’ safety and his safety, that’s why he was tased, because he was in a rage and trying to fight in the middle of the highway. We didn’t want the man to get hit.”

On Saturday, Bamberg said he took issue with the department’s rationale for using force. Chatfield wasn’t a danger to officers or other people — and he was outnumbered by police officers much younger than him.

“They are saying that due to traffic in this tiny town, we tased him for his own safety, and I find that extremely problematic,” Bamberg told The Post. “If traffic is what you were concerned about, why would you completely incapacitate an individual so he can’t get out of the way of traffic.

“It’s a clear lack of Taser training — a clear lack of understanding Constitutional restraint to use force on an individual. I think it is inhumane.”

The incident comes as police departments are under intense scrutiny for their use of force against suspects, particularly minorities.

Chatfield is black. The officer who shocked him — Stephen Sweikata who’d worked in Kingstree since April — is white. Bamberg said he didn’t think race was explicitly at play, although they have not received dash cam footage and other evidence.

In 2015, 995 people were shot dead by police officers. Of those, 259 were black — more than one in four, according to a Washington Post database on police shootings. So far in 2017, 782 people have been shot and killed by police, 183 of whom were black.

Family members told the Post & Courier they were shocked to find themselves members of the fraternity of families who’ve had violent encounters with police. They have not ruled out a lawsuit, Bamberg said, but for now the focus is on Chatfield’s health.

And they were trying to reconcile the jovial, funny patriarch of their family with the police description of a man so threatening an officer had to pull out a Taser.

“He wouldn’t hurt anybody,” his daughter, Jodi Mack, told the Post & Courier. “He would only make you hurt laughing.”
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Old Yesterday, 10:54 AM   #411
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How Rikers Island and the failing justice system killed this public defender’s young, opioid-addicted client

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/rikers-island-justice-system-killed-young-opioid-addict-article-1.3579406

He was incarcerated, caged, stripped of his family, friends, and dignity. And just four days before his 28th birthday, he was dead.

When Selmin Feratovic died early Thursday at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island, he had been incarcerated for nearly seven months but had not been convicted of a crime.

I was Selmin’s public defender. When I met him, the first thing I noticed was his shy smile. He seemed like a kid with his messy hair, soft voice, and a grin that would unexpectedly snake across his face and then disappear as suddenly as it appeared.

He was unfailingly polite. I was always “Miss Anisha.” He always asked me how I was doing, if I was okay. And when we were finished talking — after I told him, again, that he wasn’t going home on this court date either — he would thank me for trying to help.

“I’m sorry, Selmin, I just wish I could get you out,” I would say to him.

“What are you sorry for, Miss? You didn’t put me here,” he would reply.

It’s true, I didn’t put him there. But I couldn’t get him out. And now he’s dead.

Thus far, the New York City Department of Correction, which governs Rikers, has refused to provide Selmin’s lawyers or his family with his cause of death. But they don’t have to, because I already know what happened.

Selmin was killed by a system that overcharged him, incarcerated him, ignored him, and ultimately failed to protect him. He was a victim of the opioid epidemic, the war on drugs, and anti-immigrant policy. His tragic death is an entirely predictable consequence of the criminal justice system as it currently dysfunctions.

In March, Selmin was accused of entering an apartment laundry room and trying to pry open the coin machine. Nothing was actually taken, and no one from the apartment identified Selmin as the person seen in the laundry room. But based on surveillance video, police believed he was responsible and arrested him.

In a gross example of overcharging, the Bronx District Attorney’s office charged Selmin with burglary in the second degree; a class “C” violent felony, carrying a minimum prison sentence of 31/2 years. At his arraignment, the judge set Selmin’s bail at $50,000, refusing to lower the amount requested by the prosecution for this young man whose previous involvement with the criminal justice system resulted in no convictions, but made it abundantly clear he needed help, not incarceration.

The bail that was set was not a reasonable amount that would ensure his return to court, as the law requires, but an amount designed to keep him incarcerated.

It amounted to a death sentence.

For months, his social worker, his immigration lawyer and I labored to get Selmin out. We knew that guilty or not, his struggle was drugs. He needed treatment because, like so many others, Selmin was trapped by opioid addiction.

In 2011, he was grievously injured in a motorcycle accident, underwent surgery and was hospitalized. Doctors prescribed oxycodone. It wasn’t long before Selmin became dependent. Still in pain, he learned that heroin had the same effect as oxycodone, and before he knew it, he was spiraling.

With the support of his partner, Nicole, Selmin fought to get into treatment, but his addiction was indomitable. There were countless trips to the hospital, late-night ambulance rides, and emergency phone calls.

Selmin’s battle with drugs was well known to the DA’s office. They knew he was going through more heroin a day than the heaviest users, and was dangerously close to an overdose. They knew he wanted help and was willing to take a plea involving inpatient treatment.

They also knew that Selmin — who came from Montenegro to the U.S. legally as a child — was a lawful permanent resident, not a citizen. Pleading guilty to felony burglary could result in deportation and permanent separation from his family.

Still, the DA’s office was intransigent. They offered drug treatment, but insisted that Selmin plead guilty to a felony charge. However, that felony plea could trigger deportation proceedings, landing him back in the country he had left as a child, away from the drug treatment program and family whose support he would need to rehabilitate himself.

Selmin’s choices: on the one hand, he could plead guilty and get out of jail, only to be put in ICE detention and deported. On the other, he could plead not guilty and stay in the only country he’s known, but remain caged as he fought his case. Incarceration or deportation.

I begged for an alternative. What about misdemeanor criminal trespassing with mandatory inpatient treatment? Or what about releasing Selmin into a program without forcing him to plead guilty? Then, if he succeeded, he could plead to a lesser charge and avoid deportation?

The DA was unmoved.

I tried to persuade different judges to release Selmin into a program and let him fight his case while getting the treatment he needed.

They replied that this would only be possible if the DA is on board.

No matter how hard we tried to explain this catch-22, the prosecutor and the judge refused to act.

If Selmin were a U.S. citizen, he could have taken their offer, gotten out of jail six months ago, and received the help he was desperate for. If Selmin were rich, he could have paid bail and fought this absurdly overcharged case from the safety of his home.

Nicole was notified of Selmin’s death not by jail officials, but by another prisoner who called to convey his sympathies. For hours, his family couldn’t even get confirmation from the DOC of his passing. Even in death, this system is unwilling to show Selmin the basic human decency he and his family deserve.

Selmin was so much more than the charges he faced, and he deserved none of the pain he endured. He was a father to two cherubic babies, a son to hardworking immigrant parents, a big brother to siblings who adored him, and a partner to a girlfriend who never gave up on him.

His death should be a clarion call for accountability, systemic change, and true justice.
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Old Today, 09:56 AM   #412
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I've been following the oxycontin crises back in NYC via other media outlet news sources and it's just terrible!

To me, it's an dirty shame that this crises is not only an tell tale sign (red flag) about police brutality, but it's an indictment
On the justice system, the law system, the medical industry and pharmaceutical industry and the way that even the FDA seems to turn an blind eye on an multi-stakeholder issue between multiple agencies nation wide.

Also, it would appear that whistle blower organizations seem to not be able to blow up the triangulation of multiple parties who are getting rich off this 'Madoff' type rip off. That makes me think that even Wall Street is part of this problematic social crime, as well as citizens who won't rise up against this willful and intolerant type of ignorance, when really, imho, it's not ignorance driving the process, but corruption at every level of social agencies and the judicial system.

If it's left unaddressed, then it seems to me that social justice will never be employed as an social corrective. Which, if true, then shame on everyone for not ....doing the right thing.
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