Los Angeles County Sheriff's sued for $50 million for killing 80-year-old man in "meth raid" that found no meth

Brian Doherty of Hit & Run: "As I've written before, even law-and-order types should be concerned with reckless and murderous police tactics that lead to innocent citizens' deaths, because they can be expensive for local governments (that is, for local taxpayers) when aggrieved citizens fight back their only legal way: with lawsuits."

On the morning of June 27, detectives raided the couple’s home in unincorporated Littlerock, serving a search warrant granted because the property allegedly smelled of the ingredients used to make methamphetamine, according to sheriff’s department officials.

Police found no meth, nor evidence of a meth operation, inside the house. They did find marijuana — in Pate’s son’s room.

The sheriff’s department insists that the marijuana vindicates the raid.

“There was a drug operation that was certainly going on in this house,” said Whitmore.

All in all, it was a bad week of press for Los Angeles cops. One L.A. police lieutenant was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, and another officer has been temporarily relieved of duty after firing his gun in an effort to scare some kids who were bothering him.

Widow to Sue Over Fatal Shooting of Husband, 80, by Sheriff’s Deputies

Gent in a Ghostbuster costume backflips over a cop and gets arrested

This badge sums it up. They also threaten the videographer with arrest. (Via 22 Words)

How Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology works

An officer from the Long Beach Police Department shows how automatic license plate recognition technology works. He demos a system installed in a patrol car equipped with four cameras. "Each camera is recording at all times, so no matter what mode you're in, it'll be recording off all four of the cameras… it shows you a picture the car, it shows you a picture of the plate that it caught and then what it does is it takes that image and using optical character recognition it will compare it to a database. In our case we are running multiple databases -- we have 'wanted felony vehicles,' 'be on the lookout,' '24 hour hotsheet,' 'wanted by detectives,' 'LA County warrants,' and our 'gang unit.' In addition to this we have 'stolen vehicles,' which are available to everybody in the state. Currently in our database we have 24,000,000 plus reads."

They also have a "parking scofflaw" database. "If a car has five or more outstanding parking tickets, state law allows us to tow it. And that turns into a revenue generator for the city… we have generated in excess of $3 million dollars."

The cheerful music licensed to accompany this promotional video is there to assure you that this technology is being used for public safety. (Via Doobybrain)

NYPD officers beat homeless man to a pulp

Radley Balko says: "And it wouldn’t be a police beating without the obligatory charge against the victim for assaulting the police officer’s fist with his face."

Two officers from the 71st precinct, one male and one female, arrived and woke the man. Confused as to why he was being accosted by police, the man refused the officers’ attempts to escort him outside, insisting that he had permission to be there and asking that they allow him to prove it.

His pleas fell on deaf ears, and they proceeded to place him under arrest.

When he resisted arrest, the male officer flew into a rage and began to beat the defenseless man. As can be seen in the video below, the officer assumed a boxing stance and then lurched towards his victim, pummeling him from all sides.

Over the next couple of minutes the man is also pepper-sprayed and beaten with a truncheon by the female officer, all while posing no threat to the officers’ well-being whatsoever.

Cops Beat Homeless Man

Police pull over woman for rolling through stop sign then strip search her and "forcibly" pull tampon out of her, lawsuit alleges

"A passing cop pulled a u-turn, flashed the lights, and rolled up behind her. Tarantino claims that the cop immediately drew his weapon, pulled her from the car, and refused to explain why he pulled her over ... Then, in a gruesome twist, a female officer 'forcibly removed' a tampon from Tarantino." She's suing.

Police recruitment videos from different cities reveal astonishing differences in attitude



Police recruitment videos from Decatur, Georgia (top), and Newport Beach, California (Bottom). I wonder if the differences in attitude here reflect real differences in the quality of police service.

Two Videos, Two Cities, Two Attitudes

Police were reluctant to release video that shows handcuffed and hog-tied woman being tased


Two years ago, police officers in Chariton, Iowa handcuffed and hog-tied a 34-year-old woman (The police had pulled her and her boyfriend over because they thought the woman might be the victim of domestic abuse). After being placed in the squad car, Police Sergeant Tyler Ruble then shocked the shackled woman with a taser while Lucas County Sheriff Jim Baker held her down.

The woman never filed a complaint because she figured it would have been her word against the sergeants. But when it was discovered that the tasing had been videotaped, a TV station requested the tape. The police department refused to hand over the video, explaining that they were bound by regulations to protect the medical privacy rights of "non-City personnel." The TV station got hold of the tape anyway and ran it.

When the video aired, the Lucas County Law Center issued a statement, saying that the tasing was necessary to prevent the handcuffed and hog-tied woman from leaping from the squad car and injuring "children present at the scene."

VIDEO PROOF: Tasing Victim Speaks Out (Via Reason)

Police officer fired for driving 143 mph while drunk gets his job back

In June 2010 Denver police officer Derrick Saunders was sentenced to 5 days in jail for driving 143 mph while drunk. The manager of safety fired Saunders, but yesterday the Civil Service Commission overturned the decision to fire him, based on "discretion and precedence."

This is not good news for slow-moving McDonald's employees:

NewImageSaunders previously had been cleared of pointing a gun at a McDonald's employee in Aurora in 2009. The employee said Saunders, an officer assigned to Denver International Airport, grew impatient when his order wasn’t filled fast enough. He was in the drive-thru with another off-duty officer when he pulled the gun on them on May 2009, according to the McDonald's workers.

Saunders denied pointing the gun and a jury cleared Saunders of felony menacing and weapons charges in April 2010.

Cop Fired For Speeding 143 MPH While Drunk Gets Job Back (Via The Agitator)