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Old 11-16-2018, 08:12 AM   #481
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KSP trooper accused of punching man remains on duty, but investigation remains hidden

http://www.wdrb.com/story/39491542/ksp-trooper-accused-of-punching-civilian-remains-on-duty-but-details-of-investigation-stay-hidden

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Kentucky State Police trooper accused of punching road construction workers is still on the job and facing a federal lawsuit, but state police won’t release details about its investigation of the incident.

The workers say Trooper Anthony Harrison drove too fast toward their work zone near Fort Knox late one night in September 2017, adding that he stopped his personal car abruptly, confronted the workers and started arguing.

They also said Harrison lunged for one of their phones and punched one of them. Four of the workers then pinned him on the pavement until police arrived. Much of the incident was caught on cellphone video.

Two of the workers said Harrison was angry about not seeing the crew and their equipment in a closed-off and marked traffic lane. He was off-duty at the time.

Harrison was not charged with a traffic violation or a crime. Instead, after an internal investigation, Harrison was suspended without pay for four days. He’s since transferred to Bowling Green, where he remains a state trooper.

Earlier this month, WDRB News obtained a memo closing the internal investigation that stated charges of “conduct unbecoming” were substantiated.

In spite of a request under the Kentucky Open Records Act from WDRB News last month for the full internal investigation, KSP only provided the disposition of the investigation and no other details.

“Full IA investigations are not available for release per open records,” KSP Spokesman Josh Lawson said. “The complaint and the final disposition is what is provided.”

Other agencies, such as Louisville Metro Police, do provide full investigative files after the disposition of the investigation.

Harrison is also facing a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by three of the workers involved in the incident. The lawsuit alleges that Harrison punched workers multiple times.

An attorney for Harrison could not be reached for comment.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:32 PM   #482
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U.S. Marshals: Cuyahoga County deprives inmates of food, water and Constitutional Rights amid string of seven deaths

https://www.cleveland.com/expo/news/erry-2018/11/9b3d3f3cc89150/us-marshals-cuyahoga-county-de.html

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County fails to provide jail inmates with the basic necessities they to need live. It withholds food and water and doesn’t provide medical and mental health care for inmates, according to a blistering report released Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals.

The report says that the inmates’ constitutional rights are routinely violated.

The report offers a clear picture of a jail rife with deplorable conditions, described by marshals' investigators as inhumane.

The jail investigation comes after the deaths of seven inmates between June 10 and Oct. 2. Cleveland.com learned of the seventh death during some two months of investigating the jail. Three of those inmates committed suicide. Fifty-five other inmates tried to take their own lives within the past year, the marshals found.

The county doesn’t investigate what led to the deaths, the report says.

Among the findings in the 52-page report made public Wednesday:

· Warden Eric Ivey withholds food as punishment and inmates aren’t fed properly.

· Jail staff shut off water to toilets and sinks.

· Pregnant women are forced to sleep on mats on the floor.

· Vermin infest the kitchen.

· Inmates sometimes are denied toilet paper and toothbrushes.

· Officers decked out in paramilitary gear routinely threaten inmates until they fear for their lives, going so far as to call some prisoners snitches in front of other prisoners.

· Medical staff lack proper licenses to provide treatment.

· Inmates with mental illness are denied care, even while they’re in isolation.

· Children are housed with adults.

· Inmates spend long stretches of time locked in their cells, sometimes up to 27 hours at a time, once for 12 days in a row.

The problems are so egregious that the U.S. marshals say the county won’t be able to fix them in a timely manner.

The marshals’ team that performed the review consisted of U.S. marshals from Washington and Cleveland, and FBI agents who investigate civil rights violations and economic fraud.

“They need to have a strong leader to implement all of these changes,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said of the jail. “They need a strong leader with corrections experience to make it up to standard with other jails. I have full confidence in the sheriff that he’s going to find someone who is able to do that.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish asked for the marshals' review. His top jail official, Ken Mills, resigned last week ahead of the release of Wednesday’s report.

In an interview Wednesday, Budish said he based his previous conclusions about jail safety and conditions on state inspections that never raised the breadth of the issues raised after the marshals' investigation. Budish and Sheriff Clifford Pinkney said they were stunned by the marshals' findings.

The report was made public just days after the former jail director Ken Mills tendered his resignation shortly after the U.S. marshals’ presented its preliminary findings to county officials.

Budish said that fixing the problems in the jail is now his top priority, but both he and the sheriff acknowledged that significant changes in leadership at almost every level is needed.

“We need to make sure that our prisoners and our staff is safe in the jail. That is number one,” Budish said.

The list of findings by the marshals is long, and at times, overwhelming. Cleveland.com is providing the full list so that the public, which foots the bills for the jail, can understand the magnitude of the problems.

Former Jail Director Ken Mills, who resigned last week ahead of a scathing U.S. Marshal report about the conditions of the county jail, talks April 5 about the opening of the Bedford Heights Jail. (Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com)
County doesn’t investigate jail deaths

After seven county inmates died this year, Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said the Sheriff’s Department would investigate what led to the deaths. That never happened, the report says.

The county never performed post-mortem reviews and provided the marshals with insufficient and unclear answers about the recent deaths, including two that remain unexplained today. The county doesn’t review its own policies, procedures or any other possible contributing factors to the deaths.

There are no debriefing reports or mortality reviews, no required documentation, minutes of debriefing, medical summaries, timelines of incarceration, notifications, or autopsy reports in the county’s case files in the medical unit, all in violation of county policy.

The warden kept no files regarding the deaths.

The marshals also found that after every inmate death, someone took the housing unit’s logs, which document routine information, emergencies, and unusual incidents. Someone removed the logs and replaced them with a new one. Those new logs never mentioned why it was necessary to start new logs.

The marshals also had issues uncovering any information about inmates and said their records are stored in various locations throughout the jail, making them difficult to find. The jail has no central place for all inmate records.

Jail officials, along with Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, far right, at an April 5 ribbon cutting ceremony at the Bedford Heights Jail.
Inmates with medical and mental illness don’t get treated

The jail’s most vulnerable inmates, those with chronic and mental illnesses, are denied consistent and proper treatment. Some nurses and medical staff don’t have the necessary qualifications to administer health care.

Medical files provided to the marshals were surprisingly deficient. Of 10 nurses hired in October, no records were available for review. Of the files provided, four medical staff members had expired professional licenses; one nurse had no license on file; one medical staff member was not certified to perform CPR and two had only partial CPR certifications; a medical technical assistant had no diploma, and a nurse and nurse practitioner had board actions against them with no documentation of their disposition.

Inmates with serious mental-health needs, developmental disabilities, physical impairments, or inmates who are frail or elderly don’t get specialized treatment that takes into account their conditions.

Some inmates with mental illnesses who are placed in isolation don’t receive the mental health care they need, and never receive mental-health treatment for the entire time they’re in isolation. They don’t have access to therapeutic activities either inside their cell or outside their cell.

There’s no documentation of mental-health providers making face-to-face contact with isolated inmates, which violates federal guidelines.

Cleanliness and sanitation in mental-health-care unit is “minimally acceptable.”

Medical staff doesn’t maintain lists of patients who need medical care for chronic health issues. Treatment schedules for those conditions aren’t tracked on a patient-by-patient basis.

There’s a quarterly meeting that identifies problems with health care in the jail, but when a recent meeting found that there were problems administering medicine to inmates, nothing was done about it.

Jail staff “pass” on training about administering medication. The method used to track missed medications involves a numerical code without a description of what that code means.

Medical and mental-health appraisals aren’t conducted within the required 14 days after an inmate’s arrival at the jail. The people that Cleveland police arrest and take to the jail never get an initial medical screening . Medical staff are only made aware of those inmates’ health concerns when they become urgent, such as a “diabetic inmate who has not had his/her insulin for four days, or others who become symptomatic due to not having hypertensive or psychotropic medications.”

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish speaks before the swearing in of Carole Rendon as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Joshua Gunter, Cleveland.com
‘Men in Black’ threaten inmates, use excessive force

The Special Response Team, a specialized unit in the jail decked out in riot gear, frequently threatened, harassed and intimidated inmates, sometimes withholding basic necessities as a way to control inmate behavior.

Marshals interviewed 100 inmates who described this team as the “Men in Black” because of their paramilitary uniforms. The marshals also viewed the response team's body cameras to reach their conclusions.

The marshals described a chilling scene where members of the specialized team escorted inmates to interviews with the U.S marshals’ investigators, and officers threatened and intimidated the prisoners and called them “snitches.”

The intimidation was so pervasive that guards bullied inmates in full view of the marshals' investigators. The behavior concerned investigators, prompting them to request that 10 inmates get released from the jail “for fear of SRT members retaliation, and the legitimate fear of detainee/inmate safety.”

The inmates interviewed described the Men in Black as routinely abusive. They placed inmates in isolation or segregation and refused to give them blankets when they were cold. They withheld hygiene products such as toothpaste and toilet paper, forcing inmates to use old towels, rags or clothing.

In one case, a response team officer told an inmate that toilet paper is only handed out on Wednesdays and handed him a paper towel.

The team used excessive force on inmates during cell extractions.

The officers verbally abused the inmates with explicit language and used “prejudice and unofficial authority to dictate and control” inmates.

Child inmates are held in the same areas as adult inmates while assigned to isolation or segregation. This is in violation of federal jail standards.

While child inmates charged as adults are held in the main county jail, they aren’t supposed to mix in with the general adult jail population for their safety.

Those children don’t receive the extra nutrition or exercise they need for development, and don’t receive programs that are educational or aimed at brain development.

They are subjected to the same extreme lockdowns as adults. That means they often don’t have access to hygiene, recreation and time outside of their cells.

A video that a judge ordered Cuyahoga County to release to cleveland.com shows a jail supervisor taking a naked and mentally ill female inmate to the ground and spraying her face with pepper foam.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:18 AM   #483
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Default Another "good guy" with a gun shot dead

REVEALED: Black military man, 21, shot dead by cops in Alabama mall shooting did NOT fire gun as police reveal the gunman is still loose

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6423265/New-video-shows-Alabama-mall-shooters-body-shot-dead-cops-gunning-children.html

- Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., the son of a Birmingham cop and a member of the US Army, was shot dead by officers on Thanksgiving Day
- Police were called over reports of an active shooter at the Riverchase Galleria
- A fight broke out and the gunman pulled out a gun and shot an 18-year-old boy twice, also hitting a 12-year-old girl with a stray bullet
- Cops have now confirmed that while Bradford was involved in the altercation, that he was not the gunman
- It's not clear if Bradford was trying to break up the fight or was involved from the beginning
- Authorities are now warning the real shooter is still on the loose
- Officer involved in the fatal shooting has been placed on administrative leave
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:51 AM   #484
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4 Police Officers Indicted On Federal Civil Rights Charges For Protest Abuses

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/st-louis-police-charged-stockley-protest-crackdown_us_5c005835e4b0d04f48b2516a?tql

Four St. Louis police officers were indicted on federal civil rights charges Thursday in connection with their actions during an unconstitutional crackdown on a protest last year.

A federal grand jury indicted St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers Dustin Boone, 35, Bailey Colletta, 25, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27, on felony charges that included deprivation of constitutional rights, conspiracy to obstruct justice, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice.

Police officers chanted the streets were “our streets” during the crackdown on protests after a judge found former officer Jason Stockley, who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011, not guilty.

The indictment alleges that at least three of the defendants “expressed disdain for the Stockley protesters and excitement about using unjustified force against them and going undetected while doing so.” It features text messages between three of the defendants in which they joked about using force against protesters demonstrating against the Stockley verdict.

“let’s whoop some ass,” Myers wrote.

“it’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these shitheads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart,” wrote Boone. “We really need these fuckers to start acting up so we can have some fun.”

Boone later wrote that it was a “blast beating people that deserve it” and bragged about chanting “OUR STREETS” with other cops after they locked “fools up on prison busses.”

All four defendants were part of the St. Louis Police Department’s Civil Disobedience Team, which led the police response to protests following the verdict against their former colleague.

The victim listed in the indictment is a fellow St. Louis police officer who was acting in an undercover capacity during the protests. The defendants, the indictment says, used unreasonable force against their colleague, a 22-year veteran of the force referred to as “L.H.” The officers allegedly lied about their conduct against the undercover officer, who was wearing a shirt that revealed his waistband so officers would not think he was armed.

Officer Bailey Colletta, who was in a romantic relationship with Officer Randy Hays, allegedly lied to the FBI about what she knew about the takedown of the undercover officer. She claimed he was “brought to the ground very gently” when she knew he was forcefully slammed to the ground.

A federal judge said last year that officers “exercised their discretion in an arbitrary and retaliatory fashion to punish protesters for voicing criticism of police.” Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Mike Faulk, who was arrested and violently assaulted by police while reporting on the protest, filed a lawsuit over police actions earlier this year.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:01 AM   #485
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Grandma mistakenly booked into all-male Florida jail, staff thought she was transgender

https://www.wfla.com/1632904360

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - A woman is suing employees of a Florida jail after they allegedly forced her to spend several hours in a cell surrounded by dozens of men, because they suspected she was transgender.

The Miami Herald reports 55-year-old Fior Pichardo de Veloz had come to Miami from the Dominican Republic to witness the birth of her grandchild in 2013, when she was arrested at the airport on an outstanding drug charge. Her arrest report listed her as female and Pichardo de Veloz was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and processed as a woman. She was even strip searched.

Due to her history of high blood pressure, Pichardo de Veloz was examined by a nurse as a precaution. The nurse saw she had been taking hormone pills and questioned her about her gender.

Despite Pichardo de Veloz's denial of being a man, the nurse added a note to her file that read: "Transgender, male parts, female tendencies."

The nurse notified a doctor, who reclassified Pichardo de Veloz as male without an examination, according to an appeals court opinion.

Pichardo was transferred to the Metro West Detention Center, an all-male jail, and shared a cell with about 40 men, who jeered at her yelling "Mami! Mami!", according to the newspaper. She was there for 10 hours and said she was terrified to go to the bathroom and "urinated on herself instead."

Jail workers eventually realized their mistake once family members went to the facility where she was originally processed and asked why she was moved.

Pichardo de Veloz was removed from her holding cell and given a new examination. During that exam, Pichardo de Veloz claimed several male officers laughed at her and someone took a photo.

Once her gender was confirmed, she was moved back to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Pichardo de Veloz sued the county and jail staff for negligence and "cruel and unusual punishment," but the case was thrown out by a judge who said the jail staffers were protected from a trial for negligence.

In November, the newspaper reports an appeals court ruled the conduct of the nurse and doctor amounts to “deliberate indifference."

"Every reasonable prison officer and medical personnel would have known that wrongfully misclassifying a biological female as a male inmate and placing that female in the male population of a detention facility was unlawful," Judge Frank Hull wrote in an unanimous opinion.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:20 PM   #486
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Police allegedly kicked this drag queen to death. Now they’ve been charged.

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/12/police-allegedly-kicked-drag-queen-death-now-theyve-charged/?fbclid=IwAR0zwpV2QhQhvF9VJiv2D_IGW0LTXrvdcNdjDwgR WM80-cJuqais49PmiT8

Four police officers have been charged with inflicting fatal bodily harm in connection to the death of LGBTQ activist and drag queen Zak Kostopoulos.

Video of Kostopoulos’s death surfaced in September, as he tried to get out of a locked jewelry store in Athens and was beaten by the store owner and a bystander.

Police arrived and handcuffed Kostopoulos who was on the ground and bleeding, and witnesses said that police officers and other bystanders kicked him.

He was taken away in a stretcher but died before reaching the hospital.

Related: Two men were thrown into the sea in a brutal hate crime during Pride

Before the video surfaced, the police officers said that Kostopoulos was a drug addict who was trying to rob the jewelry store. The video showed otherwise, and the store owner was arrested after the video went viral.

The autopsy showed that Kostopoulos died of cardiac arrest as a result of the brutal beating. The toxicology report found no drugs or alcohol in his body.

In court on Monday, the police officers were charged with inflicting fatal bodily harm because they caused the victim injuries that led to his death.

The police officers deny the charges, and they have until December 12 to prepare their defense statements.

Kostopoulos’s family said through their lawyer that they want the charges changed to intentional murder and that they’re planning to sue the police department.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:49 AM   #487
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Default Not allowed to sit on the floor?

Mom screams ‘I’m begging you’ as police yank her baby in arrest tug of war, video shows

https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article222893525.html

Jacqueline Jenkins says she’s still coming to grips with a jarring video that shows police officers tugging away at her daughter’s baby.

“I was devastated to see something like that happen to my daughter and grandson,” Jenkins told WABC. “And how this officer (was) yanking on my grandson to get him out of my daughter’s arms.”

The video shows 23-year-old Jazmine Headley screaming on the floor of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) center in Brooklyn, New York, as multiple police officers try to pry away her 1-year-old son, according to The New York Post.

A spokeswoman for the New York Police Department says it is looking into the “troubling” video, The New York Daily News reported. Headley has an outstanding warrant for her arrest in New Jersey as well, police say, according to NBC New York.

Police say it happened around 1 p.m. on Friday, when officers arrived to the SNAP center because Headley was obstructing a hallway and acting in a “disorderly” manner, The New York Post reported.

Nyashia Ferguson, who goes by Monae Sinclair on Facebook, captured what happened next on video and shared it online, NBC reported.

Ferguson, who recorded on her cellphone, said Headley sat on the floor because there were no seats available — and then things grew hectic, according to CBS New York.

“The security guard, I guess she came over and told her she couldn’t sit there,” Ferguson told CBS New York. “So she’s like, ‘Where am I going to sit?’ (The security guard) was like, ‘I guess you’re going to just have to stand.’

“She said, ‘Well, I’m not gonna stand with my son,’” Ferguson recalled, according to CBS New York. “She was like, ‘What is the crime? What did I do wrong?’ And then it just escalated.”

Staff at the SNAP center called police, who say Headley refused to leave once they arrived, according to CBS New York.

Video shows the 23-year-old screaming, “They’re hurting my son!” and “I’m begging you” on the floor of the SNAP center as a team of police officers yank at her baby boy.

“Oh my God! Look what they’re doing to her!” one person is heard yelling the background.

“She’s got a f------ baby in her hand,” another person shouts as the officers continue to tug at the child and Headley maintains her grip.

A crowd gathers around the chaotic scene, which ends with Headley exiting the building in handcuffs, the video shows. At one point, an officer takes out a stun gun to try to control the onlookers.

Headley was charged with criminal trespassing, acting in a manner injurious to a child, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, reported The New York Post.

She is set to remain in jail until Thursday, when she has a court hearing, according to WABC. Her child is now in the custody of another family member, police say, according to The New York Daily News.

Ferguson’s video has been viewed more than 200,000 times since Friday — and shared nearly 7,000 times.

It caught the attention of Corey Johnson, speaker of the New York City Council, who tweeted that the video is “unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking.”

There are 3 NYPD officers and a sgt. shown ripping a baby out of the hands of a mother in an ACS office. This was the best plan they could come up with? No threat to anyone, no emergency, just brutal disregard for the well-being of mother and child.

New York Attorney General-elect Letitia James told CBS New York that “no mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”

“Being poor is not a crime,” James told the outlet. “The actions of the NYPD in this video are appalling and contemptible.”

In her interview with WABC, Ferguson lamented that the situation didn’t end in a more peaceful way.

“I was just so disgusted and scared,” she told WABC. “I thought the cops supposed to help you — they just straight up came and attacked the lady.”
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:16 PM   #488
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Default

She Says Rikers Guards Raped Her, Then Warned: ‘This Never Happened’

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/14/nyregion/rikers-rape-guards-federal-lawsuit.html

Two correction officers and their supervisor walked the woman from an intake area to an isolated room in an abandoned area of the Rikers Island jail. There, according to a lawsuit, she was stripped of her clothing, handcuffed to a toilet fixture and sexually assaulted for several hours.

The woman said her attackers included a correction captain and two officers, who raped her and penetrated her with a flashlight. They forced her to perform oral sex and rub one officer’s genitals. She was also compelled to drink soapy liquid, she said, and the officers pepper-sprayed her genitals.

The next day, she said, a correction officer took her from the isolated area to a housing unit in the jail and warned: “This never happened. If it is being heard upstairs, things are going to be worse.”

The disturbing account of a brutal sexual assault in 2013 at the Rose M. Singer Center — the jail that houses women on Rikers Island — was detailed in a federal civil rights lawsuit the woman filed against the city initially under seal in 2015.

Advocates for prisoners say sexual harassment and assault have long been a problem at the women’s lockup, which is known by the initials R.M.S.C. Sexual assault complaints there are double the national average for correctional facilities but are seldom substantiated, a report found.

The woman, identified in court papers only as Jane Doe, claims that the city’s Department of Correction is to blame because it does not properly investigate complaints. The suit argues the city violated her constitutional rights by allowing a culture of sexual violence against inmates to persist, and in her case failed to supervise a correction captain who was already under investigation for sexual assault. The woman did not file a complaint with the Department of Correction regarding the alleged attack.

The lawsuit remained under seal while the Bronx district attorney’s office investigated the allegations. The office concluded its investigation in late 2015 without making an arrest. No one was charged, and the case was unsealed, but some documents remain sealed or redacted. Patrice O’Shaughnessy, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, declined to comment about the investigation.

In September, a federal judge allowed the case to move forward, ruling there was evidence the city was doing too little to investigate sexual assault allegations at the jail and discipline its staff, according to a court order made public late last month. The judge granted the woman anonymity in court papers because of the nature of the crime.

“The court concludes that a reasonable juror could find that the city exhibited deliberate indifference in its investigation and discipline practices and that this deliberate indifference caused Doe to be sexually assaulted at R.M.S.C.,” wrote Judge Alison J. Nathan of United States District Court in Manhattan.

The judge added that there was “significant evidence” of “a policy of deliberate indifference to the physical and sexual assault of inmates at R.M.S.C.” She also said in her decision that the failure to investigate and discipline people for sexual misconduct had led to more incidents.

A number of similar complaints have landed in the courts. Last year, the city agreed to pay about $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit by two women who claimed they had been repeatedly raped and sexually abused by a correction officer at Rikers.

The Department of Correction said it has taken steps to address sexual violence. It has a division trained to respond to sexual assault allegations that works with the police’s special victims unit. Eight new investigators have been hired and four more will join the agency by January.

The department also has a 24-hour hotline where inmates can report sexual assault, and an electronic screening tool to identify people at risk of sexual assault and to place them in safer housing.

A spokesman for the City Law Department, Nick Paolucci, declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but said the city takes sexual assault allegations seriously.

“At this stage, the court has not determined the credibility of the plaintiff’s claims, but has ruled that a jury must decide whether the allegations are true,” he said.

The correction captain accused in the assault did not respond to requests for comment. The president of his union, Patrick Ferraiuolo of the Correction Captains’ Association, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, would not comment, a spokesman said.

The lawsuit said that the captain was in charge of processing new arrivals and had been accused of sexually assaulting another inmate in 2012. Correction department investigators found that allegation unsubstantiated and removed it from his record, the complaint said.

The captain was also cited by a warden for using excessive force in another case. The warden, however, did not change the captain’s assignment, and the captain retired in 2015. Judge Nathan wrote that the city was on notice that the captain “had a propensity to seriously abuse or sexually assault female inmates.”

Another correction officer named in the lawsuit no longer works in an inmate housing area.

The plaintiff, who was twice detained on Rikers Island, claims that the first sexual assault occurred in October 2013 after she was jailed on a shoplifting charge. She was released that month, but then was jailed again in January 2014 on a charge of credit card fraud, and was again assaulted, her lawyers said in court papers.

“The evidence that was before the court and that we have amassed suggests to us that this conduct was systemic,” said Alan S. Futerfas, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiff.

A report by a former warden, Timothy Ryan, included in the lawsuit said that inmates housed at R.M.S.C. report sexual assault at a level more than double the national average for correctional facilities, but those allegations were rarely substantiated. He concluded that the department’s investigators jumped to “quick conclusions that the assaults could not have occurred exactly as described and thus did not occur at all.”

The Board of Correction also analyzed a sample of 42 investigation reports related to sexual abuse complaints in city jails from January 2010 to December 2017. In an audit released in September, it found significant problems in the investigations, including failure to complete key interviews, review video and testimonial evidence, establish a crime scene and complete investigations in a timely manner.

Mitchell Abramson, a spokesman for the Department of Correction, said the number of sexual assault and harassment allegations that have been substantiated has increased in recent years, reaching 19 this year, up from two in 2015. Of the 44 sexual abuse and harassment complaints substantiated since 2015, 13 include allegations against correction staff, he said.

“It is important litigation like this continues,” said Ellen Resnick, another lawyer representing the woman. “It’s a valuable mechanism to bring public attention to the city’s oversight of Rikers and to compel much-needed reform.”
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:43 AM   #489
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Florida Man Spent 41 Days in Jail for Heroin — But it was Actually Detergent

https://fox40.com/2019/01/30/florida-man-spent-41-days-in-jail-for-heroin-but-it-was-actually-detergent/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_con tent=5c52cf5e04d3015c71101766&utm_medium=trueAnthe m&utm_source=twitter

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Matt Crull, 29, spent 41 days in jail wrongly accused, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. He was locked up over Christmas and New Year’s. But he and 10 others are out now, and the deputy is fired, according to WPTV.

Crull had a white powdery substance that was found in the driver’s side door, wrapped in plastic with a hair tie around it. Crull says it was Tide laundry detergent. Deputy Steven O’Leary said it was heroin — a lot of heroin.

“I just looked at him baffled and confused because I had no idea as to where 92 grams of heroin came from inside my van,” Crull said.

Crull says he bought his Astro van about three weeks prior for $1,400, so maybe the last owner had left it behind. But the street price of 92 grams, according to American Addiction Centers, could cost more than $18,000.

“He wasn’t fit and just to be a cop,” Crull said.

Crull was parked at a Jensen Beach KFC restaurant, asleep the van on Dec. 5. He admits he had taken a sip of a Budweiser that was in the cupholder.

First paramedics arrived, and then deputies, including O’Leary.

Crull has been in trouble with the law before, but he says nothing like this.

“In the past, when I have gone to jail, it’s been something where I knew I wasn’t going to be there forever. It’s a lot different than going to jail and the charge of trafficking of heroin carries a penalty of 25 years in prison,” Crull said.

He was one of 11 people freed from jail because whatever drug O’Leary said it was turned out to be something legal.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder distancing his department from O’Leary Monday.

“No matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, just based on the law of possibilities there’s always a possibility that one bad apple will slip through,” Snyder said.

“I think that’s just their play that they’re doing to keep their name clear,” Crull said.

All the charges for all 11 people have been dropped.

Crull said he wasn’t sure if he was going to sue.
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:30 AM   #490
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Opa-locka police corporal caught on camera failing to stop at scene of fatal crash

https://www.local10.com/news/local-10-investigates/opa-locka-police-corporal-caught-on-camera-failing-to-stop-at-scene-of-fatal-crash

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - Local 10 News has obtained never publicly seen video of what happened the night of a fiery fatal crash in northwest Miami-Dade County in 2017.

In the video, Opa-locka police Cpl. Wuihudson Francois was seen driving away from the crash seconds after impact without rendering any help.

Francis' Buick burst into flames a minute after his car came to rest in front of a transmission shop on Northwest 103rd Street.

"My brother was in the car burning alive," Raymond Francis, Kemar Francis' brother, who is a firefighter in North Carolina, told Local 10 News. "This all could have been avoided."

Authorities said a silver Acura driven by Lanard Gilbert, 21, ran the light at Northwest 103rd Street and 22nd Avenue and slammed into Kemar Francis' car.

Gilbert was apparently trying to get away from Francois, who was pursuing him before the crash occurred.

Francois had spotted Gilbert driving erratically in Opa-locka and followed him out of the city, which is against Opa-locka Police Department rules.

"After the crash, this officer did the exact opposite of what he should have done," attorney Ben Murphey, who has been hired by Kemar Francis' family, told Local 10 News.

Surveillance video from a transmission shop shows Francois' Opa-locka police SUV making a left turn onto Northwest 103rd Street 18 seconds after the massive impact.

He is seen in the video driving away from the crash, like nothing happened.

"It's impossible not for him to see that accident. Why did he turn left?" Raymond Francis said.

"Civilians knew something was wrong. They stopped to help and this police officer didn't? You can't not know," Murphey added.

Kemar Francis' brother said the officer should have stopped and pulled his brother out before the fire erupted.

"Kemar had smoke in his lungs, so we know he was alive when that car was burning," Murphey said. "The police vehicles are equipped with a fire extinguisher."

An eyewitness told a Miami-Dade police officer who arrived at the scene that she was shocked the officer didn't stop.

"We went over there to try to help, but the police didn't try to come over here and help," the witness said.

Video shows the Opa-locka police officer returning to the scene of the crash several minutes later.

Francois told an Internal Affairs investigator that another driver flagged him down to tell him about the crash, but in a deposition he told a different story.

In the deposition, Francois said he was on his way back to the city when the crash call was dispatched out, so he turned around.

Miami-Dade police officers who showed up at the scene raised an eyebrow when Opa-locka officers wanted to leave the scene.

On bodycam video obtained by Local 10 News, a Miami-Dade police officer says, "Opa-locka is about to clear. They ain't tryin' to get none of this."

"Yeah. They started it. They the one chasing him," another Miami-Dade police officer said.

"According to them, they ain't. You know how that go," the first officer responded.

According to the results of an Internal Affairs investigation, Francois violated the Opa-locka Police Department's chase policy.

The policy states officers cannot pursue traffic violators, misdemeanor subjects or people committing property crime under any circumstance.

Franciois was 32 blocks outside his jurisdiction. He did not call his superior, had no emergency lights on, had no sirens on and did not tell Miami-Dade police he was following a possible stolen car that entered their jurisdiction.

Opa-locka police Chief James Dobson first recommended that Francois be terminated.

The chief then changed his recommendation to a demotion.

There is no explanation in Francois' personnel file as to why the chief changed his position.

Dobson won't comment due to pending litigation.

Francois is now part of the Opa-locka Police Department's traffic unit.

Opa-locka police Cpl. Wuihudson Francois did not answer any of Local 10 News Investigative Reporter Jeff Weinsier's questions.

He refused to talk to Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier, who confronted him outside the Opa-Locka Police Department.

"I think he fled because he realized that he had caused a horrific crash," Murphey said.

"I would ask him, 'Why did he leave the scene? Was your job more important than my brother's life?'" Raymond Francis said.

Francois told an I.A. investigator that he was not chasing the car and never heard or saw the crash.

He claimed he made the left turn because he thought the driver of the Acura did the same.

"While the loss of life in this case is unfortunate, we believe that Officer Francois acted appropriately based on the totality of events, and expect that he will be exonerated of any and all wrongdoing after all of the evidence is heard," Miami-Dade County Police Benevolent Association attorney Anastasios Kamoutsas said.

Because of pending litigation, no one from the city of Opa-locka would talk to Local 10 News about the incident.

"Their position is that we see no liability on our part whatsoever," Murphey said.

This is not the first time Francois has been the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation.

In 2001, Francois failed to property handcuff and secure an arrestee in the back of his patrol car.

That suspect was able to loosen his handcuffs, get into the front seat of Francois' patrol car and take off.

The suspect led police on a high-speed chase until he crashed and the patrol car burst into flames.

As for the incident in which Kemar Francis was killed, Gilbert was charged with eluding police, vehicular homicide and possession of a firearm.

His trial is still pending.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:12 PM   #491
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EXCLUSIVE: Body cam video shows alleged Hamden police misconduct

https://www-wtnh-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.wtnh.com/amp/news/news-8-exclusive/exclusive-body-cam-video-shows-alleged-hamden-police-misconduct/1757596319?usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#aoh=15 494565521506&amp_ct=1549456621132&referrer=https%3 A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampsh are=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wtnh.com%2Fnews%2Fnews-8-exclusive%2Fexclusive-body-cam-video-shows-alleged-hamden-police-misconduct%2F1757596319

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) - Last February, Hamden police Officer Andrew Lipford tried to pull over a BMW for a red light violation when the driver allegedly took off. Cops say Victor Medina led them on a chase, ending in the man's driveway where Ofc. Lipford threatened to shoot him.

"If you do something that you're not told you're gonna get shot!" yelled Lipford.

Attorney Frank Cirillo represents Medina. "That is shocking to hear and it seems dangerous," Cirillo said.

But it's what the sergeant on scene says to Medina's passenger, which was caught on body cam that has local Hispanic groups outraged.

"Three letters: I-C-E."

"Using that as an intimidation tactic is a disservice to the community that the police department claims to protect and serve," said Jesús Morales Sanchez of the group Unidad Latina en Acción.

The apparent reference to Immigration and Customs Enforcement came after police repeatedly accused the passenger of faking his inability to speak English. Morales Sanchez said the officers' conduct in the video is unacceptable.

"That just takes away a lot of trust from the police," Morales Sanchez told us.

Civil rights expert, Attorney John Williams, reviewed the body cam video for News 8 and found multiple constitutional violations. Williams indicated two specific concerns, including the level of force used on the driver and the alleged unlawful search of the man's trunk.

Acting Hamden police Chief John Cappiello said he first learned of the video from News 8's Mario Boone. The chief released a statement saying, "I only looked at what you pointed out to us in the video and the two specific areas are concerning to me. I am initiating an internal investigation into this incident," referring to the shooting threat and ICE comment.

"I'm relieved that the chief is now taking a look at this case. I think they would be foolish to take this lightly," Attorney Cirillo said.

Medina was charged with multiple traffic violations, including DUI. The passenger was released without charges.

On Wednesday morning, Hamden Mayor Curt Balzano Leng issued the following statement in reaction to News 8's exclusive story:

"Actions taken by some involved were disgraceful, and certainly not representative of Hamden's values.

I do not expect, and will not tolerate, these types of actions by any of our law enforcement personnel. Acting Chief Cappiello has launched an immediate internal investigation into this incident, and I will work closely with the Chief and the Hamden Police Commission to ensure that that the investigation is as thorough as the situation demands and deserves.

Appropriate action will be taken. As many know, I am a strong supporter of our local law enforcement and respect so many of our public safety men and women that work tirelessly for our community every day. Certain actions taken and words spoken in the video shown today have no business being part of Hamden law enforcement. Period.

Connecticut law clearly dictates our State's legal policy, which every local law enforcement agency must follow related to detaining an individual based on their immigration status. It makes detaining unlawful, with few and very specific exceptions, such as a violent criminal actions or known gang activity. Our local Police follow this policy; we follow it because it is law, because it increases the safety of all our residents and because it reflect our values."
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:47 AM   #492
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Video of BSO deputy calling a black father ‘boy’ amid foul language sparks complaint

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article225998300.html

The actions of a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy with a history of making false arrests drew a complaint from the Broward Public Defender’s Office after bodycam video from a July 2017 incident emerged last month.

Deputy James Cady confronts Allen Floyd, an African-American father calmly holding his infant, angrily drops f-bombs and calls Floyd “boy” before appearing to grab Floyd by the throat.

Floyd wasn’t under investigation for any crime. Nor was he being belligerent towards Cady in the video from July 25, 2017.

Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein made the latter point in a Jan. 30 letter to newly appointed Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.

“Deputy Cady’s verbal assault coupled with him choking an otherwise cooperative bystander can only be characterized as unlawful touching,” Finkelstein wrote. “In addition, Deputy Cady’s use of the term “boy” is offensive, condescending and demeaning. It carries racial connotations when used while addressing an adult black male.”

In the official report on the incident, Cady’s presence isn’t even noted, although the video shows he played a key role.

Tony’s response letter said, “Thank you for bringing this matter that occurred in July 2017 to my attention. A cursory search of our system shows that no complaint was made prior to receiving your letter.

“Our Division of Internal Affairs will provide you with a response upon conducting a thorough examination.”

The public defender’s office discovered the video in preparing to defend Johnnymae Dardy, according to the Sun Sentinel. The probable cause affidavit by BSO Deputy Debbra Bridgman said Dardy had been watching Floyd’s baby at the Red Carpet Inn in Dania, where she had a room; the Sun Sentinel said BSO had been called to the motel about Dardy.

The bodycam video picks up with Cady asking Floyd, who is holding his child and sitting on a curb, if he has a separate room at the motel. Then, Cady demands, three times, to see Floyd’s identification. Floyd shows Cady pictures on his phone, apparently to show he’s the child’s father, a gesture Cady disdains.

Finally, after Floyd shakes his head at Cady, Cady says, “OK, fine, I’m going to take her to jail because she’s got a warrant and I’m going to call child services on this kid!” When Floyd starts to say something, Cady says, “Quit f----- with me, boy! You hear me? Get your ID! Now!”

Bridgman’s voice chimes in, “ID!”

Dardy, who had been in the BSO cruiser, appears and Cady says, “Get your ass back in the car! I’m tired of you f----- playing games!”

As Cady angrily repeats his demand for Floyd’s identification, Floyd asks, “Why are you being so hostile?”

Cady answers, “Because you’re giving me s--- and I’m tired of it!”

Eventually Cady says, “I want to know who this baby is going with!” and Floyd replies, “He’s going with me, Allen Floyd.”

Floyd rises from the curb, still holding his child in his left arm. Cady steps toward him. Floyd turns to walk away and says, “Stop calling me ‘boy!’ ”

Cady grabs Floyd by the right arm while Bridgman grabs Floyd’s child from his left arm. Then, the video shows Cady’s left hand holding small papers that, along with Floyd’s torso, partially block the bodycam while his right hand is up in Floyd’s throat area.

When a fuller view is available again, Floyd’s saying, “I ain’t doin’ nothin’!” with his arms spread wide. Bridgman is holding the baby.

The probable cause affidavit doesn’t mention that Cady was among the deputies there. Nor, when later describing Dardy trying to grab the baby from Bridgman’s arms, does it mention how Bridgman came to be holding the child.

Gordon Weekes, executive chief assistant public defender, said that if a person answers a law enforcement officer with his name, as Floyd did several times, he’s identified himself. From that point, officers have many ways to verify identity.

Cady’s personnel file includes previous Internal Affairs investigations for conduct unbecoming an employee (result: unfounded) and use of force (result: exonerated) from a June 2003 investigation; and taking suitable action (result: not sustained) and conduct unbecoming an employee (result: not sustained) from a June 2010 investigation. Despite the result of each investigation, the final recommendation was for a one-day suspension.

The second investigation coincides with the first of two federal lawsuits with Cady as defendant, lawsuits that cost Broward County almost $680,000.

A federal lawsuit for wrongful arrest filed against Cady by Weston resident William Pineiro resulted in Pineiro being awarded $250,000 in total damages, $75,635 in attorney’s fees and $4,183.27 in court costs and interest. Pineiro had been at a party thrown by a Dania Beach couple whose federal lawsuit for false arrest against deputies Cady, Justin Lambert, Randy Villata and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel (as their supervisor) was settled for $350,000.

The complaint described Cady saying, “Shut the f--- up!” when Pineiro said, “Excuse me, officer. That is my truck” as Cady ticketed it. Later, after the couple was arrested and the husband Tasered, Pineiro asked Cady why they were being arrested. The complaint says Cady answered with a curse, (“What the f---, you want to be arrested, too?”), a running tackle and the arrest of Pineiro for obstruction of justice.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:48 AM   #493
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Two Miami-Dade cops charged after video catches sergeant slapping a handcuffed teen

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article226772714.html

The home surveillance video was jarring: A Miami-Dade police sergeant suddenly slapping a handcuffed teenager in the face as he is about to be led away to a patrol car.

Prosecutors have now charged the sergeant — and another officer who is suspected of trying to destroy the video surveillance system that captured the slap.

Miami-Dade Sgt. Manuel Regueirowas charged Tuesday with misdemeanor battery, prosecutors announced. Officer Alexander Gonzalez was also charged with a count of third-degree felony tampering with evidence, and misdemeanor petty theft.

“It’s infuriating. This is happening at a time when police and community relations are already stressed,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told the Miami Herald.

Prosecutors plan to detail the case at an afternoon news conference.

The teen was Bryan Crespo, then 18, who was being investigated in March of 2018 for allegedly dealing in stolen airbags.

Miami-Dade police raided his Allapattah home, which had a surveillance camera rolling inside his living room. The footage shows Crespo, shirtless and cuffed, being led away when he was slapped by Regueiro.

Miami-Dade internal-affairs investigators uncovered additional footage, from a home across the street, that appears to show Officer Gonzalez stealing an object covered up in a pillowcase. Investigators believe the item was a battery pack he believed was the recording unit.

A Miami-Dade police lieutenant involved in the case has also been suspended with pay pending an internal affairs investigation. Another officer seen in the video, Jennifer Alvarez, was relieved of duty on Tuesday as investigators probe her role in the incident.

When the footage first emerged last year, Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said: “The actions depicted in the video are extremely disturbing and in no way represent the core values of our agency.”

Crespo’s attorneys have said they plan on filing a lawsuit against the officer.
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:17 AM   #494
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GEORGIA WOMAN ENDURED ARREST, MILLION-DOLLAR BOND, AND MONTHS OF JAIL OVER ‘METH’ THAT WAS ACTUALLY COTTON CANDY

https://theappeal.org/georgia-woman-endured-arrest-million-dollar-bond-months-of-jail-over-meth-that-was-actually-cotton-candy/?fbclid=IwAR11DFeFpbz8ovgj4B_WGksdfy_NVPsOytV-H3y3TVfYN9xO3KqZ926hkAc

On Dec. 31, 2016, sheriff’s deputies in Monroe County, Georgia, pulled over David Maynard Morris Jr. His girlfriend at the time, Dasha Fincher, sat next to him in the passenger seat. The deputies told the pair that they initiated the stop because the vehicle’s window tint was too dark. They then said the tint was not in violation of the law but asked to search the car regardless.

Morris consented to the search. Among the trash on the passenger-side floorboard, deputies found what they described as a “blue crystal like substance” inside an open plastic bag. The deputies removed the substance from the bag, sniffed it, and analyzed it with a narcotics field test called Nark II. Fincher insisted that the substance was simply cotton candy—but moments later the test produced a positive result for methamphetamine. She was charged with methamphetamine trafficking as well as possession with intent to distribute the drug. “I was shocked,” Fincher told The Appeal. “I really thought I’d get down to the jail and they’d just have to turn around and let me go.”

On Jan. 11, 2017, Fincher appeared for her first bond hearing where the judge ordered a $1 million cash bond based on the arresting officer’s testimony even though the deputy who had conducted the test, Cody Maples, acknowledged in court that he had no training in drug recognition. Fincher was unable to pay the seven-figure bond and remained incarcerated pending a more sophisticated test of the substance by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). On March 15, 2017, a Monroe County grand jury returned an indictment against Fincher for trafficking methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. But just days later, on March 22, she was cleared in the case: The GBI issued a report finding that there were no controlled substances in the blue material. It was, as Fincher maintained all along, cotton candy.

But the conclusion in Fincher’s case did not erase the injustice she suffered: She sat in the Monroe County jail for three months and endured profound trauma while incarcerated. She also joined a long list of people who have been wrongfully incarcerated because of the Nark II tests which have returned false positives for everyday substances such as vitamins, breath mints, and headache powder. Manufactured by forensic kit maker Sirchie, the roadside drug tests were responsible for at least 145 false positives in Georgia in 2017, an investigation by Atlanta’s Fox affiliate found. Nark II produced the highest number of false positives—64—in methamphetamine tests, according to the Fox investigation. “That to me tells me there’s something wrong with this product,” Fincher’s attorney, James Freeman, told The Appeal.

On Nov. 15, Freeman filed a civil rights lawsuit on Fincher’s behalf in a Georgia federal court against the deputies, Monroe County, and Sirchie, claiming that she was wrongfully arrested and jailed, and maliciously prosecuted. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is also facing a federal civil rights lawsuit from Micka Martin, a Georgia woman who says a sergeant struck, punched, and kicked her while she was handcuffed in a booking area at the jail in 2016. The sheriff’s office referred questions from The Appeal about the training that officers receive to the county attorney, who did not immediately respond. Neither Deputy Maples or Sirchie responded to a request for comment.

Fincher also claims in her lawsuit to have suffered emotional distress from her case. The day before her January 2017 bond hearing, Fincher’s daughter-in-law gave birth to twin boys. Later, Fincher’s son visited her at the Monroe County jail to introduce her to her grandsons. During the visit, officers arrested him for a failure to appear bench warrant; a frustrated Fincher then broke her hand on a concrete wall. The next day, it was determined that no warrant existed for her son, and he was freed. A doctor, meanwhile, told Fincher that her injured hand could only be fitted with a brace because of severe swelling. She was advised to return in a week for a full cast, but the jail never transported her for the follow-up visit, according to her lawsuit.

In another incident, Fincher alleges that she was taken to the emergency room for a cyst on her ovaries but was not permitted by jail officials to follow up with a gynecologist as recommended. According to her lawsuit, a female jailer told her to “get over it” because she’d had an ovarian cyst before. Fincher’s daughter also suffered a miscarriage, and she was unable to support her because she was behind bars.

Heather Harris, an expert in forensic analytical chemistry who has consulted with public defenders in Georgia on Nark II tests, told The Appeal that in Fincher’s case the blue food dye was most likely responsible for the false positive result. The reagent in the Nark II test is designed to color react with secondary amines in methamphetamine; a dark blue color indicates a positive result. Harris adds that the tests include a warning that their results must be confirmed by an independent laboratory but that law enforcement has repeatedly relied on the tests to jail people. “It’s not a confirmatory test,” Harris said, “so the problem is the human beings who are misusing the results of the test.”

The March 22, 2017, GBI report that exonerated Fincher didn’t result in her immediate release: She wasn’t freed until April 4, and prosecutors from the Towaliga Judicial Circuit did not nolle prosse (decline to prosecute) the case until April 18. Freeman, her attorney, said he’s not sure why there was such a long period between the lab results and her release but expects an answer to emerge during discovery in the lawsuit. “The very idea that when they pull out this big loose bag, that this is somehow this mass quantity of methamphetamine these great drug dealers are carrying around is just ludicrous,” he said. “Common sense went out the window on this arrest.”

Fincher said she hopes that her lawsuit will result in stricter policies for officers who use roadside drug tests. But most of all, she wants Monroe County to apologize to her. “They just didn’t care,” she said.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:17 AM   #495
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8 Colorado Cops Detain Black Man At Gunpoint For Picking Up Trash On His Lawn: ‘This Is My House’

https://thegailygrind.com/2019/03/06/8-colorado-cops-detain-black-man-at-gunpoint-for-picking-up-trash-on-his-lawn-this-is-my-house/?fbclid=IwAR0qltxF_OKDEmVNmObLeEPNpGD1dKltNC8wMIcj 67xCmIVVoun_8rSz-Cw

Boulder police on Monday launched an internal investigation after video surfaced of multiple officers confronting and detaining a black man at gunpoint who was picking up trash at his own house.

Boulder police said one of their officers approached a man sitting in a partially enclosed patio area behind a “private property” sign in the 2300 block of Arapahoe Avenue at 8:30 a.m. Friday and asked him if he was allowed to be there, reports The Denver Post.

The man reportedly informed the officer that he lived and worked in the building, and handed the officer his school identification card, but the officer instead detained the man while he “investigated further.”

The Denver Post reports:

The officer then made a request over the radio for additional assistance to respond, saying the man was uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object. Several other officers, including a supervisor, responded. Police found the object the man was holding is a device used to pick up trash.

Police found the object the man was holding is a device used to pick up trash, and officers left the area.

A roommate began recording the encounter and later shared the video online. The 16-minute video shows his roommate trying to explain that he lives in the building and that he did not have a weapon.

“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash,” the man can be heard saying. “I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”

“I’m not sitting down and you can’t make me,” the man says as additional officers arrived on the scene. “This is my property, this is my house — I live here.”

The person recording the video can be heard saying eight officers responded to the scene, some with their guns drawn or their hands on their weapons.

During Tuesday’s Boulder City Council meeting, audience members held aloft trash grabbers and clacked them as Police Chief Greg Testa briefed council members about the incident.

“This is an extremely concerning issue, and one that we are taking very seriously,” Testa read from a prepared statement.

Testa noted that an internal affairs investigation is ongoing, and the initial responding officer is on administrative leave. The probe is expected to take 60 to 90 days, reports Daily Camera.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:52 AM   #496
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PARTY GUESTS SUING OVER MASS ARREST FOR LESS THAN AN OUNCE OF MARIJUANA

https://theappeal.org/party-guests-suing-over-mass-arrest-for-less-than-an-ounce-of-marijuana/?fbclid=IwAR1Uxf2FNHzznol2A3-xiCCUtbPrIVzvkSeyxIALEm6Yrggj9nKT2dRUGMo

On Dec. 31, 2017, Nija Guider finished her waitressing shift and headed to a friend’s 21st birthday party in Cartersville, Georgia. She had been at the party for less than an hour when, suddenly, the police arrived. Without a warrant or permission, they entered the house and detained everyone inside. Guider and more than 60 other guests’ wrists were zip-tied.

“Boom, we were all going to jail,” Guider, then 21, recalled.

Each guest was charged with possessing less than an ounce of marijuana that had been found in the home. Some spent days in jail, held under harsh conditions, Guider and other party guests allege. The district attorney’s office would eventually drop charges against everyone. But many of those swept up at the party say the arrest cost them jobs and hurt their reputations.

While Guider was still in jail, her mugshot and those of others arrested were posted on the Bartow County jail website, in violation of Georgia state law, according to their attorneys. By the afternoon of Dec. 31, their mugshots were on the news, underneath headlines about a Cartersville drug bust.

“Everybody was treated inhumanely and talked to like they should expect this,” said Atteeyah Hollie, senior staff attorney at Southern Center for Human Rights.

Now Hollie and her colleagues, along with attorneys from The Merchant Law Firm PC, are helping the arrestees fight back. Today, they filed suit against the city of Cartersville, as well as members of the Cartersville Police Department, Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, and Bartow County sheriff’s office, alleging that the search and mass arrest violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini told The Appeal in an email that because the incident may involve litigation, he could not comment. The Cartersville chief of police and Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force did not respond to requests for comment. Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap declined to release information without a public records request. That request is now pending.

Sun Choy, who is representing the city, said over email that he could not give an interview “in light of the anticipated litigation.” However, he added, “I am comfortable in saying that we believe that any plaintiff will have to overcome some significant legal hurdles if he/she pursues a claim.”

In addition to recovering financial damages for their clients, the plaintiffs’ attorneys hope to draw attention to the department’s warrantless search practices, which they consider unconstitutional. Nationwide, unlawful searches disproportionately impact people of color, heightening concerns over their use. In this case, according to jail records, more than 50 of those arrested were Black.

‘Exigent circumstances’
Here’s the police account: At about 2 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2017, Cartersville Police Officer Joshua Coker was responding to a report of gunfire in the area when he drove down Cain Drive. Even with his car windows rolled up, he smelled marijuana, according to his testimony at a subsequent hearing.

He then saw four men in front of the home where Guider and others had gathered. Coker requested two other officers in the area join him.

The officers asked the men what was occurring inside; they explained it was a party. The officers then entered the home and announced everyone was being detained, according to police testimony. The majority of the guests were in their late teens or early 20s, according to booking reports.

“I had exigent circumstances to go inside and clear the residence … and make sure of no destruction of evidence prior to the Drug Task Force arriving,” testified Coker.

The exigent circumstance, he said, was that he smelled marijuana. He further explained that it is police department policy to enter a home without a warrant if marijuana is smelled inside or outside the home, “clear the residence for any occupants,” and contact the Drug Task Force, which was formed in 2008 to combat drugs and violent crime in Bartow County.

But, the partygoers and their attorneys say the police response was degrading and unconstitutional. While detained in the house, some of the guests were forbidden from using the bathroom while others, including Guider, were permitted to go only with the door open, according to the complaint. A search warrant for the home was signed at 4:19 a.m., about two hours after the police arrived.

Each guest was then searched—no drugs were found during the pat-downs—put into Bartow County sheriff’s vans, and taken to the county jail, where they sat in the jail garage for “upwards of an hour,” according to the complaint. One person who was denied permission to use the bathroom was told to “just piss on yourself,” the complaint alleges; he urinated on himself inside the van.

When people spoke up about their mistreatment, they were threatened with Tasers, or sent to “isolation cells” for roughly five to seven hours, according to the complaint.

Once inside the jail, they were held for one to three days in crowded cells that felt unheated, and some lacked sleeping pads or blankets, according to the complaint. Each person was strip-searched, including some as young as 17 years old. Some people with medical conditions were denied care, according to the suit.

“One person who experiences seizures informed a jail nurse of her condition but did not receive her anti-seizure medication until the third day of her detention,” the complaint reads. “A pregnant woman was denied prenatal pills and received no care when she vomited repeatedly in a holding cell garbage can.”

When people spoke up about their mistreatment, they were threatened with Tasers, or sent to “isolation cells” for roughly five to seven hours, according to the complaint. The isolation cells did not have beds or blankets.

“Some wrapped toilet paper around their arms, torsos, and feet because they were so cold,” the complaint alleges. “Others exercised to stay warm.”

Sheriff Millsap declined to address these allegations.

Police recovered less than an ounce of marijuana from inside the home, according to the complaint. Outside, they found two plastic bags that allegedly contained cocaine and marijuana, according to police field reports. One person was charged with possession of those bags, but the charge was later dropped after a judge ruled the search was unconstitutional.

‘Scar on their records’
For Guider, the arrest and jail time ruined what was meant to be the start of an auspicious new year. A mother to a 1-year-old, she had struggled with postpartum depression and finding stable housing. But on the cusp of 2018, she felt hopeful. She had a new home and a new job at a Mexican restaurant.

“I was able to buy all my son’s Christmas [presents] and then some on my own for the first time,” said Guider.

She said she was not allowed to make any phone calls while incarcerated. According to the complaint, many of the arrestees were denied phone access.

“I didn’t get to speak to my mom at all when I was in jail,” said Guider. “I just was sending messages through my friends that were bonded out.”

On Jan. 2, 2018, Guider was released on a $1,000 bond. But her new job was already lost. She said her employer told her she was fired because, “Y’all on the news.” Two and a half months later, she found another job. While she was unemployed, she went to food pantries to feed her son, according to the complaint.

“Each of our clients has had their life turned into a nightmare in a lot of ways,” said Gerry Weber, one of the attorneys. “They’ve got this scar on their records that will never disappear.”

Several plaintiffs faced professional repercussions as a result of the wrongful arrest, according to the complaint. One person had to take a drug test when he returned to work to keep his job. A military recruit’s enlistment date was delayed. A high school senior who hoped to attend college on a basketball scholarship was no longer allowed to play on his school’s team.

Robert (not his real name) lost his new job at a window supply company. The position could pay up to $60,000 a year—about $40,000 more than his previous job. While incarcerated, he missed three days of work, according to the complaint.

After he was released, he said he was fired after his employer saw his mugshot.

“That could have been a really good opportunity to make a lot of money,” said Robert, now 23. “I have a son and a girlfriend that I’m trying to marry, so I was looking forward to advancing up in the company.”

It took him more than a month to find another job.

“I just had to start over,” said Robert, who is now a truck driver. “Find a new career.”

Guider hopes the case holds the city and county responsible for what she considered a devastating ordeal. “It’s a different type of hurt when you get arrested for something you didn’t do,” said Guider. “On top of that [you’re taking] losses because of something you didn’t do.”
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:31 PM   #497
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Police release body-cam video of Willie McCoy killing, showing him asleep in car

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/29/willie-mccoy-police-shooting-video-vallejo

Vallejo police have released footage of the killing of Willie McCoy at a Taco Bell, showing six officers shooting the 20-year-old who was sleeping in his car.

The disturbing body-camera videos show the young rapper had moved his hand to scratch his shoulder before officers opened fire. The footage is consistent with key claims of McCoy’s family, who watched footage earlier this month and said the officers “executed” him while he was not alert or awake. The videos, released after significant pressure, show:

The officers did not try to wake McCoy up or talk to him after they spotted a gun in his lap, and instead pointed their firearms at his head directly outside the car as he slept for several minutes.
One officer said: “I’m going to pull him out and snatch his ass.”
The officers then realized the firearm did not have a magazine in it, noting to each other that if it was loaded, it would have a single bullet in it: “He’s only got one shot if he shoots.”
The officers then appeared to make a plan to fire at him, with one saying: “If he reaches for it, you know what to do.”
McCoy eventually started to move, scratching his shoulder and not yet appearing alert or saying anything to officers, and several seconds later, all six officers fired at him.

Vallejo police officials slowed down the video in the final seconds before the shootings, adding a caption that said “hand reaches to gun on lap”. The videos of the 9 February incident, however, are blurry in that moment and show McCoy’s body moving slightly, but do not capture his hand moving to the firearm, which is not visible in the footage.

Marc McCoy, Willie’s older brother, told the Guardian on Friday that he was glad the public would finally see the video, but was not confident it would lead to justice.

“There’s a thousand videos on YouTube that show police misconduct, whether it’s beatings of citizens or killing them,” said Marc, 50. “It gets dismissed … The Vallejo police saw the video, and they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it or that the officers did anything criminal.”

The police department in Vallejo, 30 miles north-east of San Francisco, has repeatedly claimed that the six officers fired out of “fear for their own safety”. The footage, however, shows some of them talking somewhat calmly for nearly five minutes before they opened fire. Two officers began shooting almost immediately after they arrived on scene as backup.

After the officers stopped shooting, they all kept their guns pointed at the car, shouting: “Let me see your hands! Put your hands up!” One said: “Officers are OK.”

Police hit Willie with an estimated 25 shots, including in his face, throat, chest, ear and arms. John Burris, the family’s lawyer, showed reporters graphic photos of Willie’s body at a news conference Friday, saying: “He was shot to pieces.”

He said he plans to soon file a civil rights lawsuit against the officers and police agency.

“They were never trying to be peaceful or de-escalate the situation. It’s about being rough and tough,” said Marc, adding that the police’s plan seemed to be “‘If he moves, I’m gonna kill him’”.

Police also released audio of the 911 call, which came from a Taco Bell employee, who did not express concerns about the driver being threatening or having a gun, but simply said a man was “unresponsive” in his car in the drive-thru: “I’ve already had people try to knock on the window. I have no idea what’s going on.”

His family has said police should have treated this like a medical emergency.

“We all have to come together in some way and put pressure on the politicians to hold police accountable,” added Marc. “It’s crazy that police still have these jobs. It’s crazy that as a country we are not outraged by this conduct.”

One of the officers who fired at Willie had previously shot and killed an unarmed man and is the subject of an ongoing excessive force lawsuit. A second officer was previously sued in a police brutality case. The officers have not commented on the shooting.

Melissa Nold, another attorney for the family, told the Guardian the video made clear that police had no plan to safely handle the situation.

“There’s no attempt to preserve human life,” she said. “It’s terrible to watch … Everyone’s takeaway is he should not have died.”

Police had repeatedly refused to release the video, only giving a private viewing to three relatives and barring their attorney from watching it. But the department published it Friday following a records request and intensifying backlash.

Police officials did not give the family or their attorney a heads-up about their decision to release the video, said Nold, saying it caught them off-guard.

“It’s just a continuing of the insult to injury, the continuous disrespect,” she said. “They’re having to relive it without warning. It’s cruel.”

Willie was a beloved rapper in the Bay Area, whose career was on the rise when police killed him.

He had recently returned from a tour with his group and was likely fatigued that evening, said David Harrison, Willie’s cousin. The video, he said, made clear that Willie was a “sitting duck in that car” and police “didn’t want to give him a chance”.

He added: “This was a racist act.”
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:18 AM   #498
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LMPD handcuffed a black teen for a wide turn, then told him to 'quit with the attitude'

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/investigations/2019/04/04/louisville-kentucky-police-stopped-frisked-handcuffed-black-teen-for-wide-turn/3210229002/

He was homecoming king at Central High School and had just graduated with several scholarships.

He had never been arrested or in trouble before and had a steady job selling new cars at a major dealership.

But 18-year-old Tae-Ahn Lea is black and lives in Park Duvalle, in Louisville’s West End. And when he borrowed his mom’s car to go get a slushie one day last August, he found himself being pulled over by the Louisville Metro Police Department's Ninth Mobile Division for the most minor of traffic violations — making a "wide turn" onto another street.

Before he was let go 25 minutes later, he was pulled from his car, frisked and handcuffed. His car was searched by a drug-sniffing dog, then by police officers who went through his wallet and even looked under the lid of his drink for contraband.

He was forced to stand on the street, embarrassed, as traffic drove by, with the cuffs chafing his wrists, as one officer asked him, "Why do you have this negative view towards the police?"

Nearly 1 million people have since viewed a video of the traffic stop on YouTube, and more than 17,000 have commented on it. Many said it shows exactly why minorities distrust law enforcement.

"Cops have a habit of making citizens enemies for life," one commentor said.

Police experts who viewed the video for the Courier Journal say that while the stop — except for the frisk — was legal, it was disturbingly disproportionate to the alleged offense and it showed the kind of bad policing that undermines the department's need to be effective.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad has said that aggressive policing in high-crime areas reduces violent crime. He declined to comment on Lea's stop last Aug. 9, citing a pending investigation of the officers involved.

A police stop turns contentious
"Do you know why I stopped you?" Detective Kevin Crawford asked Lea after pulling him over.

Lea had no idea, he said.

"When you turned … you turned in to the far left lane," Crawford said. "You’re supposed to turn in the right lane."

Lea, expecting to get a citation, followed orders, even asking for permission to reach into his pocket to get his license. But the officer grabbed him by both wrists and pulled him from the car.

"Mama, they are taking me out of the vehicle," he cried out to his mother, who had called on his cellphone.

Three times Crawford asked Lea if he had any drugs or weapons. Three times Lea told him no.

Crawford frisked him, though Lea had done nothing to indicate he was "armed and presently dangerous," as the U.S. Supreme Court requires before such a search.

"Put your hands on the car and spread your feet," Crawford demanded.

"What are you checking me for?" Lea asked. "I told you I didn’t do anything. … Why'd you f------ took me out of the car?”

"We are allowed to," Crawford's partner, Detective Gabe Hellard, said.

"This is some bulls---," Lea said.

"Quit with the attitude," Hellard told him. "Stop the clenching-your-fist thing. We’re here for you. There's a shooting every day. Ain't nobody been nasty to you at all."

Police found nothing on Lea, so they asked permission to search the car. Lea declined, as is his right.

Then they brought in a police dog that they said "alerted" them to contraband inside Lea's mother's 2011 Dodge Charger, although it is not apparent on the body camera footage from the officers who came to the scene.

But it gave police probable cause to search the car.

And to place Lea into handcuffs.

"You're not under arrest, but you are not free to go," Hellard told him. "I'm not going to fight you and I’m not going to chase you. I had to chase some guy last night, and I haven’t recovered from it."

'They approach this young man as a threat'
Experts on policing, including some former officers, used words such as "deplorable" and "depressing" to describe the stop.

They said the officers were doing what they were told — trying to find guns in a high-crime area to cut down on violent crime.

But as former Tallahassee Police Department Officer Seth Stoughton, now a law professor at University of South Carolina, puts it, it is "an excellent example of the difference between lawful policing and good policing."

"They approach this young man as a threat — as a criminal,” said Stoughton. "And that is different than the way we want officers to interact with people."

The authorities also say traffic stops don't work as a crime-fighting tool. A study released in November of nearly 2 million traffic stops in Nashville, Tennessee, for example, found they failed to reduce crime in the short or long term.

'What did you pull him over for?'
Seven minutes had elapsed, but the stop was far from finished.

By now, Lea was handcuffed on a busy street, standing in front of a police cruiser and worried that somebody might see him.

He watched as the police dog jumped from seat to seat and as police tore through the vehicle.

One officer used a plastic crowbar to pry off the cover on the electric window buttons.

A second rifled every item in Lea's wallet after the dog allegedly showed an interest in it.

"Sir, have you had anything in your wallet like narcotics — anything that could have touched your wallet?" canine officer Jeff McCauley asked.

Lea shook his head no.

His mother, Tija Jackson, a juvenile probation officer and private investigator, arrived at the scene, where the three white officers were holding her son.

"What did you pull him over for?” she asked Crawford, who threatens to take her to jail if she doesn't stay back. "There is nothing in there. It's my car."

"I am the detective who pulled him over," Crawford said. "He committed a traffic violation. He conducted an improper turn on to 18th Street.

"Luckily for you, ma'am, everything was captured on body camera," he added.

"Luckily enough for you," Jackson said.

"Oh, really,” the officer replied.

As the search continued, Hellard tries to engage Lea in conversation.

"Have you been in trouble before?" the officer asked.

"None,” Lea shook his head, shifting nervously from one foot to the other.

"Anything as a juvenile at all?" Hellard asked.

No, Lea said.

Hellard asked where Lea works. "You say you sell cars at Oxmoor Ford Lincoln?"

"That’s good money," Hellard said. "You actually like a car salesman?"

'If it's a wrong turn, give him a ticket'
Police found nothing in the car.

McCauley announced he was going to try to calm Lea's mother down, but they ended up in a confrontation.

"Are you Mom? Are you doing all right?" he asked.

"I'm pissed off, for real," she said.

"What you pissed off for?" McCauley asked.

"My son … is a working young man," she replied. "He doesn't cause no problems. And they took him out of the car. And he asked, 'Why you taking me out of the car?' And he said, ‘Cuz I can.’

"If it's a wrong turn, give him a ticket," she said.

"That’s not what we’re out here for," McCauley responded. "We are a violent crimes unit.

"We don’t pick and choose where we work. We are told by our commanders, by the chief’s office, where to patrol, and all that is based off criminal violence statistics. The 18th Street corridor, Victory Park, Park Hill, they are the areas we are told to patrol. That’s why we are here.

“We are just doing our jobs to try to make the city a little safer,” he said.

"I don’t want the history,” she interrupted. “I just want to know why my son …”

He cut her off. “I’m trying to explain, but you don’t want to hear it.”

"I'm not here that for that,” she said. “I don’t need the sass. I appreciate you being out here for violent crime. My son is not a violent nothing. He’s never been in JCYC (the Jefferson County Youth Center) — nothing. He got a job.”

“I’m not saying he is a violent criminal."

"So, why is he out of the car in handcuffs?"

"I came over here to try to explain it to you, but you don’t want to hear it. You don’t want to hear the truth."

"If it doesn't have nothing to do with my son, I don’t want to hear it,” she said before walking away. “I am dealing with my son right now."

'Why do you have this negative view towards the police?'
Meanwhile, Lea was still standing on the street in cuffs, which were pulling at his wrists. He’d been out of the car for nearly 20 minutes, as traffic passed by, with him in plain sight.

Hellard was still talking to him.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” he said, “why do you have this negative view towards the police? What has ever happened in your life personally where you can give me a good explanation?"

"Absolutely nothing," Lea said.

"So, why are we in this situation?" Hellard asked.

"You!" Lea responded, his voice rising. "F---ing you!"

"We don't know who you are," Hellard said. "I don’t know that you graduated and got several scholarships and have a good job. You can continue with your negative view towards me, I guess. I just figured I would try to understand."

"You will never understand," Lea said.

The stop was winding down.

Driving while black: Lawyer says he was racially profiled in luxury car

Out of the hearing of the mother and son, McCauley complained to other officers that Jackson would "make stuff up" and "spill that over the internet. She’ll get a thousand likes. It’s a disease.”

Then he got in his car to leave. “Good girl, Ripley,” he said to his dog.

Hellard asked Lea, “If I take you out of these handcuffs, are you going to fight me? I know you’re mad.”

The young man, who stands 5 foot 8 and weighs 140 pounds, answers no, and his arms are freed.

Twenty-four minutes after Lea was stopped, Crawford finished writing the citation and handed it to him.

“Have a wonderful day,” he said.

'Nothing about this kid suggested he was a gangbanger'
Two months later, a judge dismissed the traffic citation against Lea.

Neither Crawford nor Hellard, who issued the ticket, showed up in court to defend it.

Policing experts who viewed the video for the Courier Journal, including Margo Frasier, the former sheriff of Travis County, Texas, said it was a "chickens---" violation and obviously a pretext for making the stop.

That itself wasn’t illegal, said Frasier, who later monitored the Austin, Texas, police department and now serves as the federally appointed chief monitor for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana.

And she said police had the legal right to make Lea get out of the car. But she said there was no basis for searching him after he was removed from his car, which made the frisk illegal.

Both the Supreme Court and Louisville police say a pat down may be conducted only on reasonable grounds that the subject is armed and dangerous.

"Nothing about this kid suggested he was a gangbanger who had three AK-47s in the car," she said.

The officers also violated LMPD policy, as set out in its standard operating procedures, by failing to identify themselves and failing to ask if there was a legitimate reason for what the driver did.

Traffic stops have been controversial in Louisville.

The Courier Journal reported in January that black people are cited at six times the rate of white people for possession of marijuana, and that most are charged after being stopped for minor violations.

Lea's stop came about a month before the Rev. Kevin Cosby, senior pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church, was stopped at the corner of 22nd Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard for an alleged traffic violation.

Cosby, who is also president of the historically black Simmons College, later said he was treated like a criminal during the stop, although Conrad announced last month that an investigation found no evidence of racial profiling.

'If I were him, I would have had an attitude too'
In Lea's stop, Frasier and other experts said he showed remarkable patience and restraint.

"If I were him, I would have had an attitude too," she said.

Stoughton, the former Tallahassee officer, said the overarching problem with the stop was not that it was illegal, but that it was inappropriate and counterproductive.

“People obey and cooperate with police when they trust them,” he said. “That view is undermined when they are seen as abusing their authority.”

Even in high-crime areas, most people aren’t criminals, he said, "so it can really rub community members the wrong way when they are all viewed as targets for investigation."

Frank Baumgartner, a University of North Carolina political science professor and author of “Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us About Policing and Race,” said hot-spot policing like that practiced by Louisville police is a "standard practice" but a "bad idea."

He said his study of 20,000 stops in North Carolina found that most came up dry — that police rarely found guns or other contraband.

"Go to a high-crime area and find a man of color in a nice car," is how Baumgartner described the strategy. "It’s a needle in the haystack approach that isn’t paying off, given it alienates tens of thousands of people a year."

In the Louisville stop, he said, "Obviously it alienated that young man and infuriated his mother, and it didn’t lead to anything. It is one little nick taken out of community relations and the trust the community of police."

In an email, Jessie Halladay, a Louisville Police spokeswoman, said "we see examples of cooperation between police and the community every day."

But, she said, "there is always room for improvement" and the department understands "tension exists between the police and community, particularly as it relates to traffic stops."

She said the agency is "developing a public engagement effort" to be announced in coming weeks “that will lean into our relationship with the community.”

But she said the department won’t reconsider its tactical use of traffic stops because it is "an effective strategy to help control crime."

Lea, who now attends Tri-City Barber College in Louisville and is selling cars again part time, told the Courier Journal the mayor and police chief need to put a stop to such stops.

"They could go wrong very easily, with somebody who had a little more of a temper than me," he said.

Jackson said such pretextual stops only create more friction between the community and police.

She and her son have retained a lawyer, Lonita Baker, and expect to file a lawsuit.

"We want to let people know what they are doing — and not just to my son," Jackson said.
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Shocking viral video appears to show deputy slamming teen's head into the ground

https://www.kcra.com/article/shocking-viral-video-appears-to-show-deputy-slamming-teen-s-head-into-the-ground/27222755?fbclid=IwAR227ZE3XA7oy_1Qg9YzrWNvQ4BrQq00 R2K18a_1WDcSAdL690S7xUjbb2o

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (video from WPLG) —
A Broward County sheriff's deputy is on "restricted administrative assignment" after a video surfaced that appears to show him slamming a teenage boy's head into the ground and then punching the teen in the head.

The video of the Thursday incident appears to show one Florida deputy spraying pepper spray in the face of a teen boy. As the teen appears to walk away with his hands on his face, the deputy follows him, grabs him and slams him to the ground.

Another deputy then jumps onto the boy's back, slams his face into the pavement more than once and punches the teen in the head.

In the background, bystanders can be heard yelling "What are you doing?" and "He's bleeding."

The video, which has since gone viral on social media, has sparked outrage over the deputy's conduct.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony released a video statement Friday saying there would be a "thorough investigation" into the incident.

"We will look at this as a fact-finding measure to ensure that we hold folks accountable," said Tony, who was appointed to his position about three months ago. "I was appointed to this position exclusively about accountability and that accountability will be held not just for sake of when we are right, but in the cases where we may be wrong."

The Broward County Sheriff's office said on its website that the Division of Internal Affairs is investigating the incident.

Deputy says he 'had to act quickly'

An arrest report from the sheriff'spffice says detectives with the Tamarac Crime Suppression Team were on "proactive patrol" at the Tamarac Town Square Plaza because of recent student fights at the strip mall. The day before the deputies' encounter, the report says, there had been a large fight that resulted in damage to property and a bystander's vehicle.

The officer writing the report, Christopher Krickovich, said a fight Thursday stopped before he and other deputies walked up. As the crowd dispersed, the deputies saw a teen who had been involved in Wednesday's fight. Krickovich wrote he and another deputy -- identified as Sgt. LaCerra -- approached the teen and put him into custody because he was trespassing.

Krickovich said as he was detaining the teen, he noticed another boy wearing a "red tank top" reach down and try to grab the phone of the teen being detained, the report says. LaCerra told the boy to stay back because Krickovich was on the ground with his back turned, Krickovich wrote in the report.

"At this point, the male with the red tank top, took an aggressive stance towards Sgt. LaCerra," Krickovich wrote. "The male with the red tank top bladed his body and began clenching his fist."

That's when LaCerra sprayed the boy with pepper spray, the report says.

Krickovich wrote in the report that he saw the big crowd of 200-plus students "converging on the two of us," so he jumped on the boy with the red tank top.

"With the crowd closing in and the loud yelling and threats towards us, I pushed down the male to ensure my weight was full on his person so he could not attempt to take flight or fight against us," Krickovich wrote, adding that it felt as though the boy in the red tank was trying to push up while he was pushing down.

"I had to act quickly, fearing I would get struck or having a student potentially grab weapons off my belt or vest," Krickovich wrote.

Krickovich said he punched the boy in the head "as a distractionary technique to free his right hand" from under his face.

The 15-year-old boy, who has not been identified, was taken to Coral Springs Medical Center, cleared and then taken to Juvenile Assessment Center. He was charged with assault, resisting arrest and trespassing, according to CNN affiliate WFOR-TV. He appeared in court Friday morning and was released to his parents.

Mayor says deputy should be fired

Broward Mayor Mark Bogen released a statement Friday condemning the actions seen in the video.

"The behavior of these Broward Sheriff's Office deputies was outrageous and unacceptable," Bogen said. "The officer who jumped on the student, punched the student and banged his head to the ground should be fired immediately. There is no excuse for a law enforcement officer to harm a teenager who was on the ground and who gave no resistance."

Bogen said he also had a problem with the deputy who threw the boy on the ground after pepper spraying him.

"After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away," Bogen said. "If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground. I hope the appropriate authorities investigate this conduct and take the appropriate action."

Celebrities also reacted to the video on social media Saturday.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers wrote on Twitter: "So wrong!! Hurts me to my soul!! To think that could be my sons. Scary times man."

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wondered on Twitter "What the hell is wrong with our country? This is insane yet routine. So demoralizing."
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Moment cops open fire on unarmed black couple near Yale campus as they sat in car singing along to R&B singer Avant because police wrongly believed their vehicle had been involved in a robbery

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6946347/Police-officers-open-fire-unarmed-African-American-couple-Connecticut.html

Protest erupted along the streets of Connecticut after video surfaced of a police officer opening fire on a vehicle being driven by an unarmed black couple last Tuesday

Stephanie Washington, 22, and her boyfriend Paul Witherspoon III, 21, were shot at by Hamden police officer Devin Eaton and Yale police officer Terrance Pollack as they sat unarmed in their car near Yale university's campus in New Haven.

Authorities believed that the vehicle that the couple was driving had been involved in an armed robbery of a newspaper delivery person at a local Hamden gas station around 4am, CBS News reports.

The two departments then caught up with the vehicle - which was being driven by Witherspoon.

Surveillance footage shows the moment the responding officers jumped our of their SUV and fired multiple rounds at the couple last Tuesday.

During the shooting, Washington was shot in the face and has since been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, according to university officials.

Witherspoon was left unharmed.

During the CCTV video, police officer Devin Eaton is seen leaping out of the police car and raising his gun towards the vehicle.

He then begins to fire multiple shots at the unarmed couple after Witherspoon abruptly gets out of the vehicle before running away from the car towards the end of the street.

Video from inside the couple's vehicle shows that prior to the shooting, they had been enjoying each other's company and were singing songs to each other.

Officer Eaton has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Pollock was also placed on leave, as standard protocol for any instance when a Yale officer discharges their weapon.

The shooting has led to an outpouring of peaceful demonstrations along the streets from groups such as the Black Lives Matter movement and Yale University students, with protesters claiming the black couple were unfairly targeted.

On Thursday, hundreds of protesters took the streets and blocked traffic near the university as community organizer Kerry Ellington addressed more than 200 students outside Yale University's Woodbridge Hall.

Witherspoon's uncle, Rodney Williams, told CBS News that the incident also sheds light on how police in the country are trained.

He said: 'You need to look at what's really going on with the police ... really look at how the police look at residents period.

'The police could be black, white, Puerto Rican ... it's just a police issue ... I think we need to be respected as human beings and I feel like they really don't.'

The two police officers have now been placed under administrative leave.

Connecticut State Police have said they will release further information on their investigations later this week.

The Mayors of Hamden and New Haven have teemed up with the various police department for a joint Wednesday conference where they worked on curbing such incidents from taking place again.
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