Cop arrested on felony warrant has uniform cut off with scissors

According to studies in the early 1990s, up to 40% of police officer families experienced domestic violence, a figure that includes officers themselves. Recent studies focusing on officers' behavior suggest a far higher rate of abuse than the general population, exacerbated by underrporting and favorable treatment by colleagues in law enforcement.

Officer Jeffrey Wharton, however, is out of uniform--literally removed from him with scissors. He arrived at work to find there was a felony warrant issued out for his arrest after his girlfriend was hospitalized earlier that day.

When Officer Wharton arrived for his shift at an area substation Rio Rancho Police officers were waiting for him armed with a felony warrant. At one point you'll see they removed his duty belt and searched him. After the search they are seen on lapel video cutting off his fully marked uniform shirt. Wharton was lead out of the substation to a waiting cruiser.

He was booked into the Sandoval County Detention Center on charges of Kidnapping (First Degree) (NO Intent to Commit Sex Offense), Aggravated Battery (great bodily harm) (household member), Aggravated Battery Against a Household Member (Strangulation or Suffocation), Aggravated Battery (great bodily harm) (household member), Tampering with Evidence (Highest Crime a Capital, First or Second Degree and Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon (Unsafe Handling).

In the video, the deshirting commences 3 minutes in.

Wharton didn't get bailed and awaits his trial in the slammer.

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Man asks cops the same nosey questions they ask us

In this amusing video, a man deliberately attracts the attention of police so that he may ask them the same nosy questions they ask of motorists, etc, in hopes of finding probable cause. Read the rest

A new study further confirms that most crime TV shows are good PR for cops

Color of Change, a nonprofit founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and dedicated to social justice advocacy, and the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center just completed a new study about representation and messaging in police and crime TV shows. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results backup the revelations from the Washington Post's 2016 investigative series, "Dragnets, Dirty Harrys, and Dying Hard: 100 years of the police in pop culture" — that police department PR machines have long collaborated with Hollywood executive powers-that-be to utilize TV to influence public perceptions of law enforcement.

The report is based a data crunch of 353 episodes from 26 crime-related scripted television shows that aired in the 2017-2018 season. They analyzed the race and gender breakdowns of the writers, showrunners, and consultants involved in the shows, as well as the on-screen representation of criminal justice, persons of interest, and victims. Overall, the study identified 5,400 variable data points across the shows, focusing on such questions:

Do crime procedurals and other crime-focused series produced in the U.S. accurately depict the reality of the criminal justice system, accurately depict racial disparities (e.g., racially biased treatment by authorities, the disproportionate targeting of people of color communities, disproportionate punishment or other outcomes based on race) and depict reforms and other solutions for correcting racial disparities in the criminal justice system? If present, do series portray any specific actions or attitudes of criminal justice professionals as directly resulting in those racial disparities? Do they portray any of the routine practices of the criminal justice system as resulting in racial disparities?
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Knives vs Cops

The best part of this video showing cops tangling with knife-wielding maniacs is it's at least three layers of cultural recapitulation deep: the posed 80s-era "original", the implicitly late-20th-century comic milieux implied by its ironic presentation, the 2000s upload, and its recurring virality in 2020.

Thanks to Everything is Terrible, of course.

Previously: Chinese police explain how to deal with a knife-wielding attacker Read the rest

West Virginia governor wants Nazi saluting corrections cadets fired

Granted anonymity somewhere along the line from shutter to public exposure, cadets in the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation's basic training program offer the camera a Nazi salute in a photo that emerged earlier this month. Two academy trainers and one cadet have already lost their jobs; the state's governer says he wants the whole class fired. [ht Thom]

A third staff member who failed to report the contents of the photograph will also be fired, bringing the total number of staff terminations to three. Additionally, four academy instructors who are known to have seen the picture and failed to report it will also be suspended without pay.

In the image, nearly all members of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation Basic Training Class #18 — 31 cadets — are giving what appears to be a Nazi salute. The others are posing with a clenched fist in the air.

I count five closed fists among the Nazi saluters. Read the rest

Cop "fired" after fabricating story of insulting McDonalds coffee cup

An anonymous police officer in Herington, Kansas, claimed he was given a coffee cup with "fucking pigs" written on it by staff at McDonalds. The story went viral, uncritically laundered by local media and spread by outraged conservatives on the internet. But it turned out he was lying. McDonalds had the receipts—video surveillance of the purchase—and forced the Herington P.D. to admit that it didn't happen. The cop "is no longer employed" by Herington Police Department, says Chief Brian Hornaday

"In (our) investigation we have found that McDonald's and its employees did not have anything whatsoever to do with this incident, this was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed with our agency," Herington Police Department Chief Brian Hornaday said in a news conference Monday.

The incident, the chief said, has been an "obvious violation of ... public trust."

"Our job is solely to do this job with the utmost integrity because if you can't trust the cops, who can you trust," he said.

It was Hornaday himself who first posted the photos to social media, which is why we don't know the name of the cop, because he is refusing to tell anyone. "If you can't trust the cops, who can you trust," he adds. Read the rest

Starbucks apologizes after two cops claimed they were ignored by the baristas

Starbucks has apologized after two Riverside County sheriff's deputies reported that baristas ignored them when they waited to place an order. This comes just a couple weeks after an Oklahoma Starbucks employee was fired for printing the word "PIG" on a police officer's hot chocolate order label (above). And back in July, a Starbucks barista in Tempe, Arizona requested that six cops leave the store because their presence made a customer "not feel safe." From CNN:

(Of the Riverside County incident,) Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told CNN the deputies were ignored for nearly five minutes -- and there's no excuse for that.

"We are deeply sorry and reached out to apologize directly to them. We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement on whom we depend every day to keep our stores and communities safe," Borges said.

The deputies were "laughed at" and "completely ignored," (Riverside County Sheriff Chad) Bianco said in a video. "They tried to get served, they asked if anyone was going to help them," he said.

Eventually, they left, Bianco said.

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Top Florida Cop instructed officer to act like a "white supremacist" when engaging Black suspect

The Miami Herald reports that a high-ranking officer in the Monroe County Sheriff's department instructed another officer to act like a "white supremacist" and a "Neo-Nazi cop" when detaining a black suspect. The officer, named as Capt. Penny Phelps, was recorded and "relieved of her command."

Phelps was removed from her post as head of the major crimes and narcotics units on Wednesday, according to paperwork released to the Miami Herald Saturday. Ramsay said it is too early in the investigation to comment on whether Phelps could lose her job.

“We have to have all the facts first,” he said Saturday, adding Phelps has been with the sheriff’s office about 18 years and makes about $110,000 a year.

Reached by phone Saturday, Phelps said policy prohibits her from talking about the case.

The Herald has the tapes.

Photo: Monroe County Sheriff Read the rest

LA police union will not defend cop accused of sexual assault on a corpse

Finally, a police union has identified a form of misconduct it will not defend: necrophilia. Read the rest

Police sad over spilled donuts get sweet surprise ending

“The final resting spot of the once glorious glazed donuts.” Read the rest

Just look at this bananamobile that a cop pulled over because he wanted to give the driver $20.

Just look at it. (Thanks, Jack Buffington!) Read the rest

Dog stuck on fence makes a new friend

Bodycam footage involving cops and dogs is rarely pleasant viewing, but this one--featuring an officer rescuing a dog snarled in a wire fence--has a great twist ending. I shalln't ruin it for you. Read the rest

"Man's neck breaks during arrest," reports newspaper

Cops in Warrnambool, Australia, broke Chris Karadaglis' neck when they arrested him. But The Age reports this as "man's neck breaks during arrest" because they're afraid of identifying the breakers, even in an article that's supposedly about their failings.

Barrett told The Age that while he can’t talk about the specifics of the ongoing investigation into Chris’s arrest, he immediately concedes what in the past may have been shrouded in police speak: no innocent Victorian should be so seriously injured after an interaction with police.

Barrett describes Chris’s interaction with the three uniformed officers as a ‘‘life-changing experience, devastating for the family of that individual.’’

"Precisely what police did to cause his injury that November day two years ago has been blurred in a sea of pain and terror," write Nick McKenzie and Grace Tobin, whose story remedies this lack of clarity by suggesting Karadaglis' neck broke itself.

It's interesting they mention "police speak" because that's what the headline is. I covered cops for a while as a young reporter and this is the language of arrest and incident reports. Cops are trained not to describe themselves in the active voice, which makes them appear responsible for their actions. Instead they are mere observers, there when things did happen. The gun did fire. The bullet did enter the suspect's body. The suspect did die at that time.

This example is particularly grim because The Age's story is supposed to be a heartfelt investigation into the victim's plight and police misconduct—one subverted from the outset with that mangled, servile headline. Read the rest

Boston cops clocked 9,000 hours of overtime at the "Straight Pride" parade — and none of it with body cams

The "Straight Pride" Parade that was held in Boston in the end of August was just another example of thinly-veiled alt-right trolling. Unfortunately, it also worked. A hateful parade of a hundred-or-so people managed to divert hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars into overtime police coverage and shutdown streets during the busiest weekend in the city (Labor Day + college move-ins = hell).

Thanks to WBUR, we now know that that cost included 9,000 hours of overtime work for local police officers—the equivalent of 4 years of full-time policing service. And none of it was officially caught on film, despite the police aggressions caught on social media and the 3 dozen counter-protestors who were arrested during the parade.

(Coincidentally, the Massachusetts State Police Union was also embroiled in an overtime scandal in the months leading up to this parade.)

There are plenty of pros and cons to debate around the use of body cameras for police officers. In this case, it means that the public only has access to choppy, not-necessarily-reliable videos that arguably paint a picture of excessive police aggression against protestors. Read the rest

Killer cop Amber Guyger convicted of murder

An off-duty Dallas cop who killed a man in his own home was convicted today of murder. Amber Guyger, armed with a gun, claimed she thought she was in her own apartment—a floor down—when she shot Botham Jean, armed with a bowl of ice cream. At trial she availed herself of a stand-your-ground defense: that even the mistaken belief he was the intruder justified shooting him dead. Jurors disagreed ... or simply didn't believe her story.

The jury has found former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder in the killing of Botham Jean.

The jury deliberated less than two days on the killing.

The sentencing phase will resume at 1 p.m.

His home was not her castle. Read the rest

Video of UK cops ramming suspect's scooter, then the suspect

British cops have an (unearned?) reputation for restraint. So it's always wild to see them do things that even the rootin'-tootin' murderers of America's thin blue line would balk at. Here's one simply ramming a suspect with his cruiser, on foot: "There's a myth that if they take their helmet off or take to the pavement, we won't pursue them," says officer lawnmower.

Met police use "tactical contact" to take down a moped rider who escaped by riding at speed through a park and down pavements. Officers also sprayed DNA identification spray in the incident in case the offender escaped and then potentially could be identified later. Rider arrested for failing to stop for police, theft of motor vehicle, possession of Class-A drug with intent to supply, failing a road-side drug test, and dangerous driving.

Police have gotten in trouble for 'tactical contact', but the sands are shifting underfoot thanks to Brexit rage, the normalizing effect of documentaries such as this one, and of course to posts like this one, inevitably experienced as facile entertainment irrespective of any sentiment or framing I might apply to it.

"We recovered your stolen scooter, sir! What's that, sir? No, actually you'd best come get it in your car." Read the rest

Security camera shows Detroit cop causing serious road accident then detaining his victim

As Michigan State Police have it, 27-year old Carlos Martinez was at fault when his vehicle and one driven by an officer collided at a Detroit intersection. But security footage from a nearby porch has made a liar of the officer, showing him driving through a stop sign, causing the accident, then treating Martinez like a criminal.

The Drive:

"The police officer say [sic] 'you're 27 years old, you're old enough, you don't need no parents, and plus you don't have no rights right now.'"

Maria Martinez told the channel that her son is a U.S. citizen without any criminal history or involvement with gangs.

Fox News:

MSP says after reviewing both the black box from the officer's undercover vehicle, and security camera from a nearby homeowner, police confirm the officer failed to stop at the stop sign. MSP is currently investigating both the crash and the arrest the officer made.

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