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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Police Misconduct NewsWatch for 02-19-09

Manufacturing Guilt: Disturbing Video Evidence Shows Medical Examiner Misconduct In Mississippi
Over at ReasonOnline, Radley Balko closes what we hope is the final chapter on corrupt Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne and his supposed bite mark expert Michael West. Radley has doggedly followed their paths of destruction as they have allegedly put person after person behind bars by using faulty bite mark "evidence" and other findings that was later proven untrustworthy.

Some of the people put behind bars by these two have already been proven innocent, but countless people still remain in prison or on death row, put their with the duo's questionable work. In this story Balko slams the lid on these two medical "experts" with stunning video evidence from one of their autopsies that landed Jimmie Duncan on death row.

The video, (be warned, it is graphic), shows how the body of 23 month-old Haley Oliveaux was mutilated by West as he attempted to mark her body with a dental mold taken from Jimmie Duncan's teeth when no such marks were on her body before the examination... showing that this was a case of criminal evidence tampering that sent a potentially innocent man to death row... meaning that the pair essentially conspired to murder Jimmie Duncan.

Even though graphic and disturbing, this story is a must-read for anyone who doubts that innocent people can easily be intentionally convicted of crimes they didn't commit. If you're squeemish about seeing the videos, read a summary of the story at Radley's blog, The Agitator.

Multi-State Chase Ends With Brutal Beating
A cross-border police chase in Kansas City Missouri and Kansas ended when police began repeatedly punching and kicking a suspect after he put his hands behind his head and laid face-down on the ground.

Video of the incident was recorded by a news helicopter following the chase and several witnesses who watched the beating said they had to turn away because the beating was so violent. Both Kansas and Missouri authorities say they are investigating the incident which one ex-FBI agent called a case of "Code 3 Syndrome" where officers stop thinking clearly because of the adrenaline rush they get caused by the chase.

50 Year-Old Man May Be Permanently Blinded After Losing Eye During Police Encounter
Hartwell Georgia police officer Robert Mitchell has been accused of using excessive force during the arrest of 50 year-old Jimmy Lee Blackwell by Blackwell's family members who say that, while Blackwell should have been arrested, the level of force used was inappropriate.

Authorities say that Mitchell used pepperspray before resorting to a baton when Blackwell began to violently resist arrest. They claim that Mitchell was briefly hospitalized with a concussion while Blackwell's left eye had to be removed because facial fractures caused it to dislodge from it's socket and his right eye may also be damaged beyond repair.

Body-Slam Cop Says Video That Indicted Him Was Altered
Yonkers New York police officer Wayne Simoes, who was videotaped slamming Irma Marquez face-first onto the floor of a local bar has filed a motion in US District Court asking that the charges against him in that case be dismissed because he claims the video showing the body slam was sped up to make it look more dramatic.

Even if true, which I can't see as possible upon review of that video, it still doesn't argue against the dramatic injuries suffered by Marquez from the incident which left her with a fractured jaw, two black eyes, and a concussion.

San Fransisco Prepares To Pay Out $350,000 To Doctor Beaten By Police
The city of San Fransisco may have decided to settled a case of brutality brought against them by a Harvard resident physician Mehrdad Alemozaffar for $350,000.

The suit alleges that officers repeatedly smashed Alemozaffar's head against the pavement, injured his shoulder, and shocked him with a taser multiple times on his legs, back, side and wrist after restraining him with nylon ties... all for asking an officer who told him to "stop acting like a little girl" for his badge number.

Criminal Trial Against Connecticut Officer Delayed Almost 20 Times
A trial against Middletown Connecticut police officer Brian Lawlor for assault with a weapon and evidence tampering may finally be close to getting underway after being delayed at least 19 times.

The officer was fired over the incident where dashcam video showed him pistol-whipping a suspect, Alexis Hernandez, who was captured after a police chase. The officer was fired and charged after internal investigators reviewed the tape.

So much for "swift justice"

Top Paid Cop Earns His Pay The... Old Fashioned Way?
Speaking of justice, Scott at Simple Justice talks about the case of the highest paid employee in Schenectady New York who may have been pulling in thousands of dollars worth of overtime while... um... on his back?

You have to read this one to believe it...

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