In this Vice video we meet Daniel Rushing, the Florida man who was arrested in 2016 on felony charges when police thought crumbs of donut glaze found in his car were methamphetamine. Daniel says he does not take drugs, does not drink, and does not smoke, but eats one Krispy Kreme donut every other week, and admits that they are as "addictive as cocaine." He received $37,500 from the City of Orlando because the police officer had never been trained in using a field drug test, but his arrest record still hasn't been cleared. Read the rest
The city of San Antonio agreed to pay a woman $205,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that a police detective pulled down her shorts in public and conducted a drug search in her vagina in front of other male officers. The detective accused of conducting the illegal vaginal cavity search, Mara Wilson, was never reprimanded by the police department. She has since retired.
From San Antonio Current:
According to the allegations in the suit, Wilson, a 32-year force veteran, slid down [the woman's] shorts and examined her vagina in view of the street while male officers were present. The officer also pulled a tampon from Simms’ vagina and held it up, inspecting it in front of the other cops.
The suit references video footage taken from a squad car camera that appears to show Simms raising objections when it appeared Wilson was ready to probe her anus to continue the search.
Image: Tomás Del Coro/Flickr. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Read the rest
A white Arizona sheriff's deputy is under investigation and has been placed on administrative leave for pulling over a black driver because he had an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. The deputy, named Eli Max, made the driver get out of the car and began interrogating him for a half an hour about drugs and weapons. Deputy Max asked the driver where he was going. Deputy Max also accused the driver more than once of being "nervous" and asked to search the car since nervousness was a sign of "deception." He also gave the driver a sobriety test. Fortunately, the driver recorded the encounter.
When the news department of ABC15, an Arizona TV station, asked La Paz County Sheriff's Office for a comment, the sheriff's office replied:
"Yes, we obviously are looking into the complaint; we are taking this matter very seriously. Deputy Max has already been placed on administrative leave and our detectives are in the process of investigating the complaint. If we determine that the Deputy was at fault, we will look into the training methods to determine if this was a training issue or possibly an officer making up his own methods. When the investigation is complete, I plan on providing a press release that will detail our findings."
Image: La Paz County Detention Facebook page Read the rest
Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, the two former New York detectives who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and nine counts of "official misconduct" for having sex with a handcuffed 18-year-old woman in the back of their unmarked van while she was in their custody, will get no prison time, reports CNN.
Read the rest
State Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun said the men didn't deserve prison time because the "credibility of the victim, or the complainant, in this case was seriously, seriously questionable, at best."
"These defendants engaged in a shocking abuse of power, which they finally acknowledged," [Brooklyn District Attorney Eric] Gonzalez said. "While I would have preferred to see them serve prison time, they are no longer members of our police department and with today's plea are convicted felons."
The district attorney said the case resulted in New York passing a law prohibiting police officers from having sex with people in custody, closing a loophole that allowed police to claim the sex was consensual.
"We could not apply the new law retroactively, and serious credibility issues in this case precluded us from proceeding on additional charges, yet we remained committed to holding these defendants accountable," Gonzalez said.
The woman's attorney, Michael N. David, said the sentence was unacceptable and sent a bad message to victims about police violence.
"We're outraged. It's complete injustice what happened today. You can't consent when you're 5'3, 100 pounds and they're both over 6 feet and very muscular. They had her in handcuffs. These cops got a free pass," he said.
One of the reasons most law enforcement organizations favor drug prohibition is that it gives them a reason to arrest (or in some cases, shake down) people who pose no danger to society. Busting someone for drug possession is such an easy way to nail a person that some cops even plant drugs on people.
Yesterday a Florida judge set a former Florida deputy's bond at $1 million. Steven O'Leary is being held on charges of "official misconduct, making false statements, tampering with evidence, false imprisonment, petit theft, and battery."
Over the 11 months he was working as a deputy in Martin County, O'Leary made 86 drug arrests, according to a 47-page investigative report. Some of those, the report said, were people being wrongly arrested and held in jail for several days.
In January, a crime lab found that substances from three cases that O'Leary submitted as evidence were not drugs. According to the report, investigators found a "broken figurine" that appeared to be a religious statue in the trunk of a sheriff's office vehicle O'Leary had used. The figurine was made from a similar substance to that which O'Leary had identified as crack cocaine in two cases, according to the report. A lab test found that the "statue was comprised of gypsum," the report said.
Read the rest
In January, investigators said O'Leary claimed to find illegal drugs during traffic stops when he was employed as a deputy with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
While on duty, O'Leary made three narcotics-related arrests in which the substances involved were not actually narcotics.
Portsmouth, Virginia police officer Eric Rodgers' blood alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit when he crashed his car into Mashia Williams, leaving her severely injured. He was driving at night but his car's headlights weren't on. Seven months after Rodgers ran into her with his car, Williams has not fully recovered and hasn't worked. A judge just let Rodgers off scot-free.
Rodgers' attorney Thomas Hunter argued evidence showed his client passed all the field sobriety tests without showing any signs of being drunk.
Hunter argued the only reason why his BAC was taken was because Portsmouth Police didn't want any bias towards one of its own. Anyone else would have been cut loose.
"Everybody knows that alcohol affects bodies differently, so a reading in itself, if you just went on a reading, science has also proven that that's false," Hunter said. "It's not completely accurate. It's an indicator."
The judge agreed, and found Rodgers not guilty.
Image: Wavy.com Read the rest
A duo of grimly determined New Jersey cops were so certain that a man was in possession of marijuana that they went on a lengthy and energetic roadside expedition into his anus to find some. They were disappointed when they discovered the man's anus was empty, but they placed the man under arrest anyway, for having "the odor of marijuana." In the video, the suspect expresses his disbelief at what's happening in a performance worthy of Jeff Spicoli.
Read the rest
In a dashcam video published by open government advocate John Paff, two State Police officers are seen ramming their hands down the pants of Jack Levine during a traffic stop. The officers were searching for marijuana after smelling the drug on him.
"If you think this is the worst thing I'm going to do to you right now, you have another think coming my friend," one of the troopers, identified on the video as Joseph Drew, tells Levine before beginning the cavity search.
Police blotter sites aggregate only the saddest reports of meth-addled America. A better way to consume local police news: unedited dispatch logs.
Dogs are lost, then found a few hours later. Little old ladies are outraged by skateboarders. In such circumstances, it's the reader who must provide narrative continuity between entries, but it's honest work and always rewards the day with a little Mayberry bump.
The following are recent 911 calls to a small-town Massachusetts police department:
"5:27 p.m. Caller reports group of juveniles sliding down a mound of snow.
7:27 p.m. Caller reports a possum on her patio she believes is sick or lost.
9:32 a.m. Caller complaining that someone dumped snow in her driveway.
10:24 a.m. Caller reports message left on voicemail from the IRS.
12:16 p.m. Caller reports person is going door to door asking to shovel driveways for money.
12:28 p.m. Report of black pick-up truck doing donuts in school parking lot, Main St.
12:30 p.m. Caller wants to speak with officer regarding a company stealing emails from his website and taking customers away from him, Maple Brook Dr.
12:31 p.m. Caller reports large duck in yard; Has put duck in crate until owner is found." Read the rest
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 Read the rest
Do not taunt the happy fun police.
An officer from the Long Beach Police Department shows how automatic license plate recognition technology works.
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.
"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. Read the rest
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 Read the rest
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) Read the rest
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:
Saunders 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) Read the rest