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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Police Misconduct NewsWatch for 12-02-08

In Local News:

Remember This The Next Time An Officer Tries To Blame The Victim

A Bellingham Washington police officer's police cruiser was apparently stolen when he left it running in an alleyway while responding to a call. The police car was later recovered... minus some pricey equipment apparently.

National News:

Bridgeport Connecticut Finds Officers Innocent But Then Offers To Settle Brutality Suit
In 2004 Carlos Diaz accused Bridgeport police officers of beating and kicking him in the middle of a grocery store he worked at after he purchased a cell phone from someone that allegedly belonged to one of the officers. While the investigation into the complaint found Diaz's story more credible than that of the officers, the city still cleared the officers of excessive force charges.

Well, now the city is now offering Diaz $40,000 as a settlement for his civil rights case, which he is likely to accept, say his lawyers. As a side note, one of the accused officers, Douglas Bebko, was later fired over a different incident where he allegedly beat his girlfriend outside of her own home.

Ongoing Florida Police Corruption Probe Nets Another Arrest
A second Avon Park Florida police officer has been arrested as the result of an ongoing corruption investigation into that department. This officer was accused of extorting bribes from hispanic drivers that he would stop for minor traffic infractions.

15 Chicago Officers Busted In FBI Sting
Blue Must Be True reports that the FBI set up a sting operation in Cook County Illinois due to the high level of corruption complaints in the Chicago area and they ultimately charged 15 officers with conspiracy to possess and distribute narcotics... which gives me a good segue for this next story:

Chicago Paid $229,000,000 For Failing To Keep Corruption Under Control
The City of Chicago has payed out over $229 million in the last three years due to lawsuits against the city. Of those suits, 44% are due to police misconduct, which means police corruption and misconduct cost taxpayers over $100,000,000... and the report states it looks like it's only going to get worse. Maybe some other cities who try to hide police corruption instead of dealing with it should pay attention... maybe like New Haven?

New Haven Officer With History Of Brutality Facing Federal Civil Rights Suits
A New Haven Connecticut police officer who is facing federal lawsuits accusing him of multiple incidences of brutality and one case of an illegal strip search apparently has a long history of excessive force complaints, at least 8 that have been recorded, though some of the people now alleging brutality said their complaints were reported as being "lost" by the police department.

Another New Haven officer was recently convicted of planting drugs and stealing money from crime scenes. The current suit alleges that the city has been negligent in failing to pursue complaints of misconduct against the police, which served to encourage more egregious misconduct.

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