Stories about people who have the right to remain silent... but choose not to exercise that right—including police officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who secretly recorded his supervisors telling officers to manipulate crime statistics and make illegal arrests. The Village Voice series that broke Schoolcraft's story, written by Graham Rayman, is here.
A Chicago-area woman arrested in May for drunk driving is now suing county police for what she says was an illegal, humiliating strip search by four officers that was all caught on video.
Dana Holmes was nearly three times over the legal blood alcohol limit when she was pulled over and taken to county jail, where surveillance footage shows her being pulled to the ground by a female officer and three male officers.
The 33-year-old was stripped completely of her clothes and left naked in a cell alone, where she cried on the floor for several minutes before police tossed her a ‘padded suit.’
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has fired an officer who shot at a man during a traffic stop, citing excessive use of force. Officer Justin Boehm pulled over James Barton near Airport Blvd. and 12th Street during the morning rush hour of May 8. According to police, Barton got out of his truck and approached Boehm. Barton then reached inside his shirt and Officer Boehm fired at him. He missed. Barton has a heart condition and was taken to the hospital with chest pains. In August the Texas Civil Rights Project sued several Austin officers over the incident seeking $12,000 in medical bill expenses. A grand jury cleared Boehm on criminal charges. Still, Barton is glad to see justice served with the officer's indefinite suspension.
Police are investigating the random killing of a man’s pit bull. Carol Nix reported to Fox that the dog was not aggressive or bothering anyone when a police officer arrived and shot the dog from his squad car. I said ‘you just shot him?’ and he said ‘oh yeah,’”
Last month Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Department of Public Safety officials arrested nine people for allegedly stealing and selling airport employee parking passes. That number is now up to 22, airport officials said Tuesday, and all but one are Transportation Security Administration workers.
The other is American Eagle Airlines worker Terry Jermine Nettles, who has been charged with the Class A misdemeanor charge of theft. Matt Miller, spokesman for American Eagle’s parent AMR, says Nettles “is no longer employed by American Eagle Airlines.”
Most of the TSA employees have been charged with Class A and Class B misdemeanors for theft of service. But one has been charged with a felony, according to airport officials: Yvonne Anderson, who was arrested for theft of service higher than $1,500. Anderson is accused of selling the parking placards to fellow TSA workers.
According to affidavits, the investigation into the stolen parking passes began on March 12, when officers were notified by American Eagle that 129 employee parking passes had been stolen from the office. The affidavits say that Nettles confessed to the theft, and that investigators soon learned that some of the stolen placards had been sold for $100 each to TSA employees, who used them to park in lots designated solely for airport employees...
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A former western Pennsylvania police officer who spent a year in prison after pleading guilty and no contest to charges in a fatal 2007 hit & run accident is now facing drug possession charges.
Forty-2-year-old Donnie Breeden, of Green Tree, was arraigned Wednesday on charges he possessed cocaine, marijuana, and anabolic steroids when police searched his Pittsburgh-area home last week.
GREENLAND, NH — A no-knock raid conducted over suspected possession of pills took a turn for the tragic when the homeowner fought back against officers as they battered down his door. Three dead and four injured bodies later — including the chief of police — leaves us wondering whether all the blood spilled in the name of enforcing prohibition laws is worth the cost.
Cullen Mutrie, age 29, was not exactly a model citizen, but he was also not victimizing anyone through his dealings with prescription pills. But pills would be the catalyst for a raid that would ultimately result in great cost to the community.
On the night of April 12, 2012, Mutrie’s home was surrounded by the Greenland Police Department with the intent of capturing both Mutrie and his girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts. Officers of the small seven-man department took a battering ram to the front door, which took time due to numerous locks. By the time they got through the door, Mutrie was ready and waiting. Intent on not going to prison, he shot and wounded four officers before fatally shooting Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney from a basement window. This led to an eight hour standoff, including helicopters and federal agents.
As the tragic events of the night unfolded, more and more agents arrived, to no avail. The battle was already over. By the time officers were ready to storm the house, Mutrie and Tibbetts were already dead in the basement in what was ruled to be a murder-suicide; as was the police chief, just days away from retirement at age 48.
An objective look at the Drug War would conclude that it costs — not saves — lives. Lots of lives. No one had to die that day. Mutrie didn’t go into the situation as a murderer. But when cornered by police intending to lock him away for untold years because of his petty pill business, Mutrie chose to go down fighting rather than surrender. This is why imposing prison sentences as a punishment for victimless crimes is a deadly idea. People don’t take losing their freedom lightly.
The final victim of the debacle is Cullen’s mother Beverly Mutrie, who is now being sued by the four officers who were wounded in the botched raid. According to Seacoast Online, the lawsuit claims that, as owner of the property, Beverly Mutrie “wantonly and recklessly” allowed criminal activity to occur. The officers are alleging that Mutrie knew about her son’s criminal activity, paid his legal expenses, and provided him firearms prior to the shootout. Mutrie maintains that she is innocent and was not aware of her son’s activities. Yet over a year and a half later, she is still fighting legal battles as the scapegoat for her son’s actions.
A bill that would punish potty-mouthed cops with a pink slip goes before a State House committee today, and it’s already drawing a polite, but firm response from law enforcement.
“Take a model officer, a 10-year veteran. One arrest and he drops an ‘F’ bomb. And we’re going to fire him? I think that’s over the top,” said Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie, president of the Major City Chiefs. “Police departments wouldn’t tolerate any of that behavior anyway. ... But I think it’s extremely difficult to legislate civility.”
The legislation, dubbed “An Act to prohibit in-appropriate language use by sworn law officers,” is a proposal by state Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield) that makes the use of “name-calling” or profanity by cops in the line of duty “grounds for dismissal.”
“These folks, they’re public servants. It’s unprofessional and beneath the dignity of any public servant to use that language toward the people they’re representing,” said state Rep. Paul Heroux (D-Attleboro), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “I think this bill is reinforcing good police practice.”
Wayne Sampson, executive director of Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, said the “radical” legislation is broadly written, with no exceptions, even for undercover cops.
A Sunrise police officer resigned his position after he and his live-in girlfriend were accused of selling marijuana from their home.
The officer, Joseph Rodriguez-Santiago, 27, was cited last week for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and quit his job of six years after he was placed on administrative leave.
His girlfriend, Paige Nicole Merritt, 21, is facing two felony charges after she allegedly sold marijuana to a confidential informant on two different occasions, including once in front of Rodriguez-Santiago.
Sunrise police officials declined to comment beyond the complaint affidavit filed in the case, citing an ongoing criminal case and an ongoing internal investigation.
According to the affidavit, police received a tip from a confidential informant indicating the couple was selling pot from their Sunrise home.
A Shelby County deputy on Sunday afternoon conducted a bogus traffic stop in the latest example of harassment my wife and I have encountered since I began reporting on U.S. Judge Bill Pryor and his ties to 1990s gay ****.
The incident almost ended with a physical confrontation between me and Lt. Mike DeHart, after I called the officer a "fraud"--plus a few other choice words--and he threatened me with arrest. I'm not sure what would have happened if my wife (we call her Mrs. Schnauzer here) had not been with me and made it clear that Officer DeHart was going to have to physically deal with her if he took his bullheadedness any further. It appeared that DeHart saw his career flash before his eyes--suddenly becoming conscious of how bad it would look to physically confront a woman in the parking lot of a public library--and thought better of what he was doing.
(For details about the incident, check out the video at the end of this post.)
For 17 months, New York police officer Adrian Schoolcraft recorded himself and his fellow officers on the job, including their supervisors ordering them to do all sorts of things that police aren't supposed to do. For example, downgrading real crimes into lesser ones, so they wouldn't show up in the crime statistics and make their precinct look bad. Adrian's story first appeared as a five part series in the Village Voice, written by Graham Rayman. (41 minutes)
Irvington Police Chief Michael Chase hasn’t worked a single day in the past nine months, but a series of legal fits and starts has allowed the town’s suspended top cop to take home roughly $115,000 so far this year, leading to a state investigation, officials said.
Chase was suspended in December 2012 after an investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office accused him of quashing a probe into alleged misconduct by his police officer nephew and charged him with failing to properly supervise his department’s Internal Affairs Unit. Accused of more than 130 violations of Attorney General’s Office guidelines and police department rules, Chase was suspended — with pay — indefinitely.
Chase is scheduled to make $154,272 this year and he's collected three-fourths of that from the sidelines. Why? Because his lawyer has filed for extension after extension, which have prevented disciplinary hearings from taking place -- something that should have happened within 30-45 days according to state guidelines. Chase's lawyer is definitely working harder than Chase, digging himself out from under the "thousands of pages of documents" that 130+ violations bring with them...
Under a series of Supreme Court rulings we have lost the rights to protect ourselves from random searches, home invasions, warrantless wiretapping and eavesdropping and physical abuse. Police units in poor neighborhoods function as armed gangs. The pressure to meet departmental arrest quotas—the prerequisite for lavish federal aid in the “war on drugs”—results in police routinely seizing people at will and charging them with a laundry list of crimes, often without just cause. Because many of these crimes carry long mandatory sentences it is easy to intimidate defendants into “pleading out” on lesser offenses. The police and the defendants know that the collapsed court system, in which the poor get only a few minutes with a public attorney, means there is little chance the abused can challenge the system. And there is also a large pool of willing informants who, to reduce their own sentences, will tell a court anything demanded of them by the police.