The mayor of Chicago, Illinois is attempting to issue $900 million in bonds to save the fiscally-faltering Windy City, but a big chunk of that will likely be spent settling police misconduct cases waged against local law enforcement.
Chicago’s City Council voted on Wednesday this week in favor of borrowing a combined total of roughly $1.9 billion in area projects — $1 billion towards the Chicago Midway International Airport and another $900 million on a general obligation bond.
“At the same time, the city would take on between $90 million and $100 million in debt to pay off legal settlements made last year,” Hal Dardick and Jason Grotto wrote for the paper. “The bulk of those settlements were made in connection with police misconduct cases.”
The Oakland Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the arrest of an off-duty police officer who is accused of flashing a gun at a server at a San Francisco restaurant over the weekend, officials said Thursday.
Officer Kevin Kelly was cited by San Francisco police and released for allegedly showing a gun to a server in an attempt to impress her about 2:40 a.m. Sunday at the 24-hour IHOP Restaurant at 2299 Lombard St. in the city's Marina District.
"Apparently, a young lady he was talking to, it appeared that he was trying to impress her by letting her know he was a police officer," said San Francisco police Sgt. Eric O'Neal, a department spokesman. "He brandished a gun. He briefly pointed it in her direction and he pointed the weapon in an upward position, pointing it at the ceiling of the restaurant. That caused the young lady some concern, enough to call SFPD officers."
A police officer who chased and then smashed a pensioner's car window has won £440,000 after a tribunal found he left his job after becoming a "laughing stock" among his colleagues when a video of the incident appeared online.
Mike Baillon, who has now left the police, said he was ridiculed by fellow officers on a daily basis after video of him smashing the window of a car driven by 74-year-old disabled pensioner Robert Whatley went viral.
He took his former force, Gwent police, to a tribunal saying he had been constructively dismissed and had been removed from front line duties after the incident. The tribunal awarded him £430,000 for the loss of pension he would have got had he retired after 30 years service, plus £10,000 for the wages he lost since leaving the force.
In training materials, the department even encourages a willful ignorance by field agents to minimize the risk of making intelligence practices public.
DEA analysts have access to unprecedented streams of classified information that might prove useful to investigators, but entering classified evidence in court risks disclosing those sensitive surveillance methods to the world, which could either end up halting the program due to public outcry or undermining their usefulness through greater awareness.
An undated slide deck released by the DEA to fleshes out the issue more graphically: When military and intelligence agencies “find Bin Laden's satellite phone and then pin point [sic] his location, they don't have to go to a court to get permission to put a missile up his nose." Law enforcement agencies, on the other hand, “must be able to take our information to court and prove to a jury that our bad guy did the bad things we say he did.”
The trainer’s notes continue, “In the old days, classified material was poison. In some ways, it still is… because if treated incorrectly, it can screw up your investigation."
A tactic known as “parallel construction” allows law enforcement to capitalize on intelligence information while obscuring sensitive sources and surveillance methods from the prosecution, defense and jury alike. DEA training documents suggest this method of reconstructing evidence chains is widely taught and deployed.
DALLAS A Central Texas man who shot and killed a sheriff's deputy entering his home will not be charged with capital murder, attorneys said Thursday.
A local grand jury declined Wednesday to indict Henry Goedrich Magee for the Dec. 19 death of Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders, who was part of a group of investigators executing a search warrant for Magee's rural home.
Sowders and other officers entered the home about 90 miles northwest of Houston without knocking just before 6 a.m. Authorities were looking for guns and marijuana.
Magee's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said his client thought he was being burglarized, reached for a gun and opened fire.
DeGuerin has acknowledged his client had a small number of marijuana plants and seedlings, as well as guns he owned legally. The grand jury did indict Magee for possession of marijuana while in possession of a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony.
Cops frequently act as if they are above the law. However this new report out of Denver shows something much more disturbing. Just in the last 3 years, Denver area police have been involved and found to be “at fault” in over 700 crashes, many of which resulted in injury.
In the majority of these crashes in which the cops have been at fault, almost every time, they were NOT given a ticket. In the instance below, the department even had the audacity to send a ticket to a woman that a cop hit on a bicycle.
A 21-year-old man is considering legal action against the Metro Transit Police in Washington D.C. after he was hit in the face with a chemical spray in November for panhandling at the Dupont Circle Station, Fox 5 reported.
Damian Barnes had just begun a new job in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood when on his way home via the Metro, he put his smarTrip card into the machine to discover he only had 15 cents left on the card.
After adding the dollar bill in his pocket to the card value he learned he was still a nickel short, caught by video footage, so he began asking customers for a coin.
“Knowing that it’s only five cents, I’m quite embarrassed to even ask. So I’m keeping my distance away from people, ‘Do you think maybe you can spare a quarter or five cents, so I can get home?” Barnes told Fox 5 he asked.
The video surveillance than shows a Metro Transit Police officer arriving on the scene and having a brief conversation with Barnes. The officer then is seen applying chemical spray to Barnes’ face and tackling him to the ground.
In a police report, the officer claimed that he was attempting to escort Barnes out and that the young man was in a "combative stance". However, the security video clearly shows the contrary.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Deborah Franz feels violated. She claims the SWAT team went into her southside home without her permission during a standoff involving her neighbor Sunday afternoon.
Franz said it all started shortly after overhearing a fight at her neighbor's house across the street Sunday. A short time later, the SWAT team swarmed her neighborhood.
"The cop goes 'You all need to leave, you can't be in your house,'" said Franz.
That happened around 1 p.m. About six hours later, deputies cleared the scene and she went back home. But something was off when she walked through the door.
"I stopped, I froze because I realized somebody had messed with my TV," said Franz.
Franz said her blinds were opened, her Xbox and TV were disconnected, and a drape over her bedroom window was thrown on the floor.
At first she thought it was a burglar but then realized nothing was missing.
"They were the last people I saw, was the police, so I'm assuming it had to have been them," said Franz.
Franz said she called the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to complain.
"He did call me back and he said 'Yeah Ms. Franz my men did come in your house,'" said Franz.
Wyllie Hodges, who now heads First Coast Crime Stoppers, is a 34-year law enforcement veteran, and he said it doesn't surprise him.
"A SWAT call out is just not a normal police call out. It's just different and the circumstances are mandated or dictated by the situation as it progresses," said Hodges.
While law enforcement generally needs a warrant to enter someone's home, criminal defense attorney Miguel Rosada Jr. said exceptions do exist.
Rosada said what is considered "reasonable" is not always clear.
"It seems they only entered into the home to gain a tactical advantage. I think if there's any violation that would probably be it," said Rosada.
For Franz, it's a matter of principle.
"If you're going to come in my home and use my home, at least let me know or at least try to contact me," said Franz.
On Wednesday, Ankeny’s police chief explained why he felt it was necessary to have a SWAT-style raid on a Des Moines home on a search warrant related to a stolen credit card.
He said one of the people named in the warrant, 35-year old Richard Adair, has a history of drug use and was staying in a home where another person had a legal handgun. The chief argues, that made Adair a threat, even though Adair has no violent criminal history for more than ten years.
“I’m worried less about violent history as I do about the fact that people on methamphetamine are not real predictable,” Chief Gary Mikulec said.
Here’s what the chief did not say in the press conference – the victim of the credit card theft is a former Ankeny police officer who now teaches at the Iowa law enforcement academy.
So they see nothing wrong with how the raid was handled, and the department has no stated policy for executing warrants. All of that is troubling enough. (The lack of a written policy also suggests a lack of training.) As is the “officer safety” justification, as if that in itself trumps the rights of the people inside the house.
But citing the fact that one of the occupants in the house — Justin Ross — had applied and was approved for a gun permit is probably most disturbing of all. First, hardened criminals who are a threat to kill cops tend not to be the sort of people who bother with permits, or to register their firearms with the government. I don’t think that point needs more elaboration.
Second, Ross was not one of the suspects for whom the police were looking. It seems highly, highly unlikely that had the police knocked on the door, announced themselves and waited for someone to answer it, a law-abiding citizen like Justin Ross would be a threat to suddenly decide to kill some cops. But it’s much more likely that Justin Ross might feel the need to defend himself upon hearing unidentified parties break down two doors, followed by the sight of several armed men in his home. Indeed, that’s very nearly what happened.
Finally, think of the implications if this were the policy everywhere. It would mean that if you’re a gun owner, the police could cite that fact in and of itself as justification for them to violently tear down your door, rush your house with guns and point those guns at your family — even if their warrant is for a nonviolent crime, even if it’s for a white collar crime, even if you’ve dutifully registered your gun with the government. In fact, given that Ross’s permit is how the police knew he was armed in the first place, especially if you’ve dutifully registered your guns with the government. If I were a gun owner in Des Moines, I’d be asking some questions.
Covering or disabling cameras is standard procedure for officers executing a search warrant or raid to ensure people inside can’t monitor approaching officers, Moulder said.
I don’t know that this is true. It might be reasonable to cover an outside camera as they approach if they had a no-knock warrant. But this wasn’t a no-knock raid. They had a knock-and-announce warrant. The entire point of a knock-and-announce warrant, at least in theory, is to give the occupants of the home the opportunity to answer the door peacefully, thus avoiding damage to their property and violence to their persons. (As I pointed out in the previous post, in many jurisdictions the knock and announcement have become perfunctory, but at least we’re supposed to have that protection.)
Even conceding the point, I’m not sure how it justifies ripping a camera from the wall, or covering a camera once they’ve already broken into the house. That suggests more that they didn’t want an independent account of how the raid was conducted. And with good reason.
A Miami-Dade Metrorail security guard violently attacked a commuter Thursday night after handcuffing him for no valid reason, jamming a gun into his ribs, smashing his face into the platform and punching him in the face and head repeatedly – the third time since last year that armed 50 State security guards proved to be completely out of control and an endangerment to the general public.
Not that anybody from the county is making an issue about it.
In fact, Michael Valencia, 21, who ended up with three broken teeth, one black eye and a busted lip is grateful the Miami-Dade police officer who responded to the scene did not take him to jail, but instead dropped him off at a bus stop, ensuring him that the incident will be fully “investigated.”
But that also means he could face felony battery charges against the guard, he said.
Valencia attempted to pay for Nichols and himself with his monthly fare card that contained about $20 of credit but the turnstile locked when Valencia tried to use it a second time for himself after Nichols had already entered.
That was when the 50 State security guard confronted them in an angry tone.
“‘Hey ******, we see what you’re doing, go get your *** another ticket,’” Valencia described the guard as saying.
Valencia walked to the outside ticket vending machine and bought a single ticket to get inside. As he went up to the second-floor platform, they discussed how rude the guard had been, which made the guard even angrier.
“He comes after us with a brisk face and says, ‘if you want to say ****, say it to my face,’” Valencia said.
“I was like, ‘I’m not really here to start problems.’
“He says, ‘take that ******* smirk off your face.’
“I’m like, ‘I’m not smirking, that’s just my face.’”
The guard then asked if they had been drinking, pulling out his flashlight and shining it at the unopened 12-pack of beer.
“Are you going to throw a bottle at me?’” Valencia quoted the guard as asking.
The guard then ordered them out of the station.
The two walked up US 1 to the Vizcaya Station about a couple of miles up the road, paying for their fare and making their way upstairs to the train platform.
To their dismay, the same security popped out of the shadows and confronted them.
“‘I told you guys to stay off the ******* rail,’” Valencia described the guard as saying.
The guard pulled out his handcuffs and began wrestling with Valencia.
“He slammed Mike’s head into a trashcan,” Nichols said. “He reached back and started punching him in the face.”
Nichols managed to shove the guard off Valencia and the two started running for the stairs, but the guard pulled out his gun, pointed it at them and ordered them to stop.
Valencia stopped, fearing he would be shot as Nichols continued running.
“I get to the bottom of the stairs and see another security guard,” Nichols said. “I told him the other guard just punched my friend and pulled a gun on us.”
But that security guard moved in to detain him, so Nichols took off running.
The complaint describes Johnson's father as a 58-year-old disabled man who walks with a cane and often drops things because of nerve damage in his hands.
LA Sheriff's "Deputy Abdulfattah," as named in the complaint, explained to Johnson he was giving his father a $1,000 ticket and community service for littering.
Johnson offered to pick the cigarette up from the ground, when Abdulfattah told Johnson, "I can write you a ticket too if you want," according to the complaint.
"I asked if it would be possible for me to just pick it up," Johnson told NBC4. "We don't have $1,000 to pay that ticket."
Johnson's mother came outside as Johnson began to walk away, until the other deputy, named in the complaint as "Deputy Russell," allegedly grabbed Johnson from behind and tried to slam him against the patrol car and into a concrete post, the complaint states.
Johnson's parents asked the deputies to "leave him alone" because he "hasn't done anything wrong."
Russell, according to the complaint, allegedly put Johnson in a "full nelson hold" with his arms under Johnson's armpits and hand behind Johnson's head.
At the same time Russell then allegedly took Johnson to the ground, Abdulfattah allegedly hit Johnson's father in the face, according to the complaint.
While Johnson was held to the ground by Russell, Abdulfattah used a Taser on Johnson's genitals multiple times, the complaint stated.
"He was definitely point blank," Johnson said. "He was right above me as he Tased me, so there's no mistake that he was trying to Tase me in my genitalia."
His mother said the deputy stared at her while she screamed.
"He's looking directly at me every time he pulls that trigger, and at one point my son says, 'Mom, I'm OK," Johnson's mother, Rose Gonzales, told NBC4. "So at that point, I realize this guy is doing this because I am reacting."
Johnson could "smell his flesh burning from the tases" and was screaming in pain, according to the complaint.
Johnson told NBC4 he begged the deputies to stop and repeatedly told them he was not resisting. He was eventually arrested for battery on a police officer, though he maintains in the complaint he never engaged in any physical contact with the deputies.
Another staff member at the Forest City Police Department learned from Mike the dog was missing. Mike had filed a report and also offered a reward for Raccoon's return.
On Thursday afternoon the staff member put the case together and Mike was called to meet police officers in a wooded area near his house. Mike said he met them about 150 yards from his house.
Raccoon was in a bag.
"I asked them if that was my dog. They told me he had been shot between the eyes," Mike said. "Why would somebody shoot this kind gentle soul? There is no reason for this."
"He was an off duty officer, used his own personal weapon and said the dog was aggressive with him . . . he never came to us to tell us he had to shoot my dog," Mike said.
Raccoon went missing at about 3 p.m. Wednesday after she and the family's other bulldog, Dufus, had been playing outdoors. Raccoon didn't return when she was called, Mike explained. He said that was very unusual so the search for her began.
The dogs had just received a bath and Mike did not put their electronic collars on them because they were still wet.
For the next 24 hours the dog was missing.
Mike said he and others combed their neighborhood covering about 200 acres searching and calling for Raccoon.
"The worst part is we went right past them and never once did they tell us," Mike said of Brooks' family.
"We spent a lot of time looking for our dog," Christy Packett said.
Jackson said since the case deals with a personnel policy within his department and also a criminal matter, he could not discuss any details of the shooting. He is awaiting further review with Greenway's office.
According to Jackson, Brooks admitted shooting the six-year-old boxer and said it was "in self-defense of his family and wife."
However, there was no police incident report of any dog being aggressive and no police report was filed of shooting an animal inside city limits, which is unlawful.
Off-duty Miami Police Sergeant Javier Ortiz came upon the car crash scene that ended up killing two University of Miami graduate students, Ying Chen and Hao Liu, according to WFOR-TV.
With medical equipment in his car, Ortiz jumped into action to try and help the victims.
“I immediately started CPR on the female. It was just me. I had no one to work on the male and I was waiting for help to arrive,” Ortiz told WFOR.
Authorities did arrive but it was the help part that was still missing.
“I got no response. She just stood there,” told the news station.
“I said it again and again and again,” Ortiz said. “There were people, civilians, yelling at her to please do something and she did absolutely nothing.”
The Miami Herald noted that she did get a pair of gloves from her cruiser and gave them to Ortiz, who the newspaper described as “the oft-controversial police union chief.”
A recording of Carrasco’s statement says, “I actually made a visual assessment on the male facing down. I didn’t see him breathing I didn’t see his lungs or chest expanding or any signs of life.”
Later she said, “Based on my training, education, experience I was concerned flipping the male victim over. I was concerned it could cause cervical or spinal injury and maybe kill him. I don’t know if he’s dead or not. I run back to my car to see if I have more gloves to see if I can search for any vital signs at that time rescue arrived.”
The punishment recommended in the report was a week suspension without pay, which has Ortiz fuming over what he considers a “lenient” punishment.
“She has no business wearing a badge and a gun,” Ortiz told WFOR. “Somebody that wears a badge and gun takes an oath, and part of that oath on or off duty is to save lives and she didn’t do it.”
Pinecrest Police Chief Samuel Ceballos told WFOR in a statement that he could override the punishment recommendation, but the news station noted that any disciplinary action will need to be approved by the Pinecrest village manager.
Two men behind bars for more than half their lives over a triple murder walked free this week after DNA evidence tore holes in their convictions.
Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson were teenagers when prison doors clanked shut behind them.
Now, in their late 30s, they can hardly believe they're out.
"I was asked to come down to the precinct," he said. Officers said they wanted him to tell them who might have killed his family, he said.
"Before you know it, I had this photograph shoved in my face, and I was being threatened and slapped around, and they wanted me to sign a false confession. And I wouldn't," Yarbough said.
Police also took in Wilson and questioned him separately from Yarbough. But he got similar treatment, he said.
"I was scared, afraid; I was lied to, manipulated into believing that I was going to go home, if I do tell ... what they said happened." Wilson said.
Faced with a life behind bars, the young boy cooperated for the promise of lighter treatment.
Then, last year, the right shred of evidence came along in the form of a DNA sample from a rape-murder committed in 1999.
It matched DNA found under the fingernails of Yarbough's mother, indicating that the same killer probably committed both crimes. In 1999, Yarbough and Wilson were in prison and couldn't have committed the second murder.
Margulis-Ohuma called Yarbough in prison to tell him that he was going to be free.
"When I heard about it, I was extremely overwhelmed," Yarbough said. "I was happy."
And the DNA was not the only thing that matched. The m.o. was the same, Yarbough said. The victim was stabbed and strangled.
Don't talk to police, better yet, don't falsely confess.
Albuquerque police said the dispatcher on the other end of a 911 call where Omaree Varela, 9, was being verbally abused is understandably upset that the officers chose not to listen even though she urged them to.
Target 7 broke the story of a 911 call where Omaree was being verbally abused by two adults and the police response, or lack of response, to that call. Six months later, Omaree was killed in his home and his mother was charged with the crime.
Shortly after the call, the dispatcher traced the call to the home of Omaree Varela on Comanche Road. She makes the call a priority one, meaning it's urgent.
The 911 dispatcher told the officers that what she heard on the call was bad. She said, "You need to hear the 911 call to hear how bad it was. I can play it for you over the phone."
Albuquerque Police Department Chief Allen Banks said the dispatcher was upset.
"Our dispatcher actually tries to reach out to the officer and say, 'Hey, listen to this 911 tape. It's disturbing. (It) sounds like verbal abuse.' And the officer never listened to the 911," Banks said.
Banks said the officers went to the home where the call came from but several mistakes like not listening to the 911 call, not contacting child protective services and spending only 15 minutes at the home when they were logged out on the call for nearly two hours.
The officers, Scott McMurrough and Gill Vigil, are on leave during an internal investigation.
Even after the visit to the home, the dispatcher again told the officers this wasn't just a man who snapped at his stepchildren; it was abuse.
According to the log sheet the dispatcher said, "Can you call me and listen to the tape so that when you talk to CYFD you can actually tell them how bad it was. If you want to."
Omaree's mother, Synthia Varela Casaus, has been charged with her son's death.
Stopped on a bike for no light on the sidewalk, refused to identify. Started showing laws, and the cop actually listened and didn't interrupt, which is unusual in my experience.
He also called me a jackass.
again, both parties are retarded beyond belief.
"The best way to not be detained is not be a jackass."
I didn't see that clause in brown vs ohio.
I love this:
shows cops the laws they dont know.
"you're not one of the constitutionalist are you?!"
“It appears that Sgt. Hines’ injuries may have been sustained from friendly fire,” Alexander said. “These kind of things happen occasionally when you have bullets flying. Bullets can ricochet off cement.”
A retired Florida police captain said he feared for his life when he shot and killed a man after an argument about texting in a movie theater, according to an interview played at a court hearing on Friday to determine whether he should be released on bail.
Doing things out of fear, the classic way for police to legally commit murder.
This one-hour, primetime documentary wrapped up a two-year NewsChannel 5 investigation into civil forfeiture laws that let Tennessee police take cash from drivers -- without charging them with a crime.
NEVER consent to any searches and ALWAYS film police interactions.