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Friday, October 17, 2008

Police Misconduct NewsWatch for 10-17-08

A Shirt Printed and Sold By A Denver Police Union To Celebrate How They Handled Protesters At The DNC

Will Denver Police Print Shirts To Celebrate This Too?
A Denver Colorado Police officer accused of beating handcuffed teen until he broke his ribs, lacerated his spleen, liver, and kidneys may have cost the city nearly $900,000 in a lawsuit settlement over the incident. The officer in question still faces criminal charges of first degree assault over the incident. Just who don't they beat in Denver?

Seattle Parole Officer Charged With Assault After Testifying Against Police
Weeks after a Seattle parole officer testified in an NAACP press conference (see Racism Rising In Seattle) about an incident of racial profiling she witnessed by the Seattle Police Department, the Seattle police officers she accused of racial profiling charged her, over a month after the initial incident, with assault in an apparent attempt at retribution for her filing a complaint and going public about it.

Riverside Police Officer Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Homeless Women
A Riverside California police officer has been arrested for sexual battery under color of law against at least three victims over a two-month period. The police have been tight-lipped about the details and are requesting help from the public for more information about incidents of sexual misconduct by the officer in question. (link is to the Five Before Midnight blog which has much more details than the local news coverage of the incident).

Sexual Harassment Instructor Sues Police For... Sexual Harassment

Lawsuit filed by sexual harassment trainer claims harassment is wide-spread and tolerated at the Tennessee Highway Patrol and that she was a victim of that harassment as well and that the department and city refused to do anything about it.

No Means No, Officer!
A Stillwater Michigan police officer Has been charged with felony sexual assault against a motel registration desk worker. The victim in the case alleges that even after multiple demands to be left alone that the officer came back, finally relenting after failing to force her to put her hand on his crotch.

Officers Accused Of Detaining Woman For Sex
Two Cedar Grove West Virginia officers are being sued for allegedly kidnapping a woman and detaining her without charges unless she agreed to have sex with them. The same officer faces another suit and this is the fourth suit filed this year against officers in Upper Kanawha Valley WV.

Police Officer Convicted For Assaulting Detainee
Maywood California police officer sentenced to 18 months in jail for slamming a detainee's head into a wall which broke his nose, knocked him unconcious, and temporarily left his face paralyzed.

Sheriff Sentenced For Using His Authority To Punish Critics
Seneca County New York Sheriff Leo Connolly was sentenced to two years in jail and a $1,000 fine for official misconduct concerning charges that he used his official office to intimidate and punish people who criticized him on the internet. Four of his deputies also face various charges as well.

And You Thought I Was Paranoid For Thinking The TSA Took My Camera?
A TSA Agent at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey was caught stealing at least $200,000 worth of stolen goods including digital cameras, laptops, and specially made cameras for CNN and one from an HBO employee worth over $50,000. The agent had taken the goods from passenger's luggage that he would check in a back room but was caught when a CNN employee spotted their stolen camera being sold by the agent on E-bay. (As I reported a few months ago, my camera ended up missing after a recent flight back from a business trip, or it was mysteriously transformed into a note from the TSA telling me my bags were checked for my safety.)


Five Before Midnight said...

The story behind the conviction of the Maywood Police Department officer was a very interesting one, but it was apparently a struggle to get the L.A. D.A. to refile on Singleton. It's likely that there will be more criminal cases coming out of Maywood, a police department where two interim police chiefs were both convicted criminals and over one-third of the officers hired had been fired and/or arrested while working at other L.E. agencies.

As for Riverside, not surprising about the guy getting arrested. The arrest was surprising but the guy not so much.

Packratt said...

It just serves as a reminder of just how widespread the problem is these days, and it is surprising that the DA filed in the first place, let alone refiled after a deadlocked jury. It's just so rare that police officers get charged, let alone convicted, which is likely part of the reason the problem of police misconduct is so damn prevalent in the US.

As for the Riverside case, it's sad to think about how terrifying it must be as a victim of sexual abuse by a police officer, especially for those who are the most vulnerable and unable to access the justice system themselves. I can only hope all those victims find justice, peace, and the help they need to rebuild their lives... the perpetrator behind bars would be a start.

Thanks for the comments and for your work tracking these cases, it is appreciated!

Karl Mansoor said...

What is interesting/disappointing in the Denver case, is that according to the Rocky Mountain News article of June 9th, the City of Denver defended the officer's actions. It said:

"Defendant's actions were at all times privileged on the basis of self-defense of others, use of reasonable force in effectuating an arrest . . . privilege to detain for investigation, privilege to arrest without a warrant, and/or other applicable privileges," according to the document submitted Friday by Assistant City Attorney Thomas G. Bigler."

The same article also said:

"The police department has suspended the 12 - year veteran without pay."

If the officer, Charles Porter, according to the City of Denver, was justified in his actions, then why in the world did they suspend him without pay?

It is maddening when government officials blatantly speak with forked tongues. It is venomous to society and extremely frustrating that more people won't get off their butts and take a stand.

Packratt said...

I agree entirely, and very well put. This seemingly standardized line of CYA that public officials take when confronted with cases of police misconduct is infuriating as it undercuts the seriousness of such charges and hampers efforts to address these issues in a positive way.

By attempting to pass off such mischaracterizations they compound the damage done to the public trust in their government that was already damaged when people are made aware of such incidences of misconduct. As you say, it's venomous as such statements only serve to further erode confidence in our government and those who are supposed to serve the social good, not serve themselves.

Thank you very much for the comment and for following cases like this so closely and thoughtfully, it's truly appreciated.

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