November 19, 2017

Sedans vs. SUVs: What vehicle is right for your agency?

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Derive Systems

By Barry A. Reynolds for PoliceOne BrandFocus

With the variety of law enforcement patrol vehicles now available, some agencies are replacing some or part of their fleets with non-traditional vehicles. NYPD, for example, has been using Smart cars on a limited basis to replace three-wheeled scooters in their fleet. The Los Angeles Police Department uses electric vehicles as part of their unmarked fleet and even received a Tesla on loan to evaluate.

Apart from these examples, however, the vast majority of agencies around the country still need to restock their patrol fleets with traditional, multi-functional vehicles. Selecting the right type of vehicle for your agency requires analysis of the current models available and comparison with the demands of your agency and geography of your jurisdiction.

Most law enforcement patrol vehicles belong to one of two vehicle categories: sedan or the sport utility vehicle.

Sedans: Traditional police cruisers

The sedan category includes four-door vehicles of the traditional car body type. These are generally well-suited for urban and municipal areas in which off-road use or severe weather conditions are less of a concern. Typically these are rear-wheel-drive vehicles with trunk space for equipment and electronic components.

Sedans are the workhorses of police cruisers, with both power and speed. The disadvantage of sedans as patrol vehicles is that they are less suited for situations in which four-wheel drive and higher vehicle clearance are necessary in order to travel over rough terrain or through snow. They also offer less interior and trunk space than SUVs, which can affect driver comfort and restrict the amount of equipment that can be stowed.

Current sedan options include the Chevrolet Caprice, Dodge Charger and Ford Police Interceptor.

The Chevrolet Caprice is offered in a 3.6-liter, 301 horsepower version that provides an average of 21 mpg or a 6.0-liter engine that delivers 355 horsepower but at the cost of reducing average mpg to 18. Both models are rear-wheel-drive and provide 56 cubic feet of front seat interior space and 17.4 cubic feet of trunk space, both of which are leaders in the sedan category.

The Dodge Charger is available in a 3.6-liter, 292 horsepower model, which gets 20 mpg on average. Also available is the 5.7-liter engine, which has 370 horsepower – best in the sedan category. Both models have 55.6 cubic feet of front interior room and 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space. Dodge also offers the 5.7-liter model with an option for all-wheel drive.

The Ford Police Interceptor Sedan comes in a variety of engine options, starting with a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecoboost model that sports an EPA estimate of 28 mpg on the highway. Ford also offers a 3.5-liter front-wheel-drive model and a 3.7-liter all-wheel-drive model, which come in at 240 and 288 horsepower, respectively. Finally, Ford offers the 3.5-liter engine in a turbocharged Ecoboost model with all-wheel drive that features 365 horsepower but reduces overall mpg to 18. The Ford sedan models have 54.8 cubic feet of front interior room and 16.6 cubic feet of trunk space.

It’s important to balance your need for speed and power with the need for fuel economy. The difference in fuel economy may sway your purchasing decision, but applying an aftermarket solution to recalibrate the engine can boost a vehicle’s fuel economy and close the gap between mpg and performance.

Sport utility cruisers: Gaining in popularity

The sport utility vehicle has gained immensely in popularity over the past few years. Once the common patrol vehicle for only the most extreme rural agencies, sport utility police vehicles are now being used by all types of law enforcement agencies for their versatility and ability to maneuver through the worst of on- and off-road conditions.

The sport utility category is dominated by two primary makes and models, the Chevy Tahoe and the Ford Police Interceptor Utility.

The Tahoe features a 5.3-liter engine that yields 355 horsepower with an average 18 mpg. The Tahoe is available in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive models, both of which feature a turning radius of 39 feet and a minimum ground clearance of 8.5 inches – essential when negotiating rough terrain or through heavy snow.

The Ford Police Interceptor Utility comes in a 3.7-liter version or a 3.5-liter Ecoboost model. The 3.7-liter engine has 304 horsepower and an average of 17 mpg, while the Ecoboost model has over 60 more horsepower at the same level of fuel efficiency. The Fords have a turning radius of 38.8 feet and minimum ground clearance of 6.4 inches.

The lower mpg of SUVs may make these vehicles seem less attractive from a budget standpoint, but recalibrating engine settings, especially when idling, can significantly increase a vehicle’s fuel economy and yield savings without sacrificing performance.

Another key consideration is interior space. Sedans and available trunk space continue to shrink even as the amount of equipment officers must carry every day on patrol continues to increase. Aftermarket recalibration can close the mpg gap between sedans and SUVs when cargo space is a priority.

Police vehicle manufacturers have stepped up their games in recent years to meet the increasing and diverse needs of the nation’s law enforcement agencies. Whether your agency patrols the temperate highways of southern states or travels mountainous areas in the worst of winter conditions, you will be sure to find a vehicle that meets your needs.

About the author

Barry Reynolds has over 35 years of experience in the police profession, including 31 years in municipal law enforcement. He is a leadership author and instructor, and owner of Police Leadership Resources LLC, which provides leadership training and consulting to law enforcement agencies. Barry previously served as a senior training officer and the coordinator for career development programs for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Training and Standards Bureau. Barry holds a master of science degree in management and is a certified leadership instructor.


Jurors resume deliberations in Ohio officer’s murder retrial

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Jurors in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist have resumed deliberations.

A court official said they began a second day of deliberations Tuesday morning. Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz sequestered the jurors Monday evening after they had the Ray Tensing case for about three hours.

Tensing's first trial in November ended in a hung jury after about 25 hours of deliberations on the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.

Attorney Stewart Mathews said in closing arguments Monday that Tensing feared for his life when Sam DuBose tried to drive away from the 2015 traffic stop over a missing front license plate. Prosecutors said Tensing had no reason to use deadly force.


2 Tenn. deputies wounded, suspect dead in courthouse shooting

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Rosana Hughes Chattanooga Times/Free Press

COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn. — An inmate shot and injured two Coffee County deputies at a Coffee County courthouse Monday afternoon before shooting himself, reported the Tennessean.

The officers were in stable condition at the time of the press conference. One was transported to Erlanger and the other to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Michael Eugene Bell, 37, was in court facing charges for kidnapping, domestic assault and evading arrest before he attacked Deputy Wade Bassett, grabbed his firearm, shot him once and fled, District Attorney Craig Northcott was quoted as saying at a press conference.

As Bell exited the courthouse, he shot deputy Wendell Bowen, in what Northcott described as a "very unnecessary and cowardly way."

Bell shot himself in the head about two blocks away from the courthouse as officers were in pursuit, Northcott said.

Court records obtained by the Times Free Press show Bell was convicted of methamphetamine-related charges in November 2003, in an Iowa U.S. District Court. He was ordered to be transferred to the Eastern District of Tennessee on March 22 on supervised release probation. It was not clear whether Bell was still on supervised release when he was charged with kidnapping, domestic assault and evading arrest in Tennessee earlier this month.

Lucky Knott, public information officer for the Coffee County Sheriff's Department, said he was not aware of Bell being on supervised release at the time the charges were brought against him.

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©2017 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)


LA County sheriff deploys Narcan to reverse overdoses

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By Susan Abram Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Hoping to stem a national wave of opioid- and heroin-related deaths, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday that deputies from across the region will be equipped with a potentially life-saving nasal spray.

Deputies from the Santa Clarita, La Crescenta and East Los Angeles sheriffs stations along with the parks and community college bureaus will be equipped with 1,200 doses of a nasal spray known on the market as Narcan.

The spray reverses the effects of overdoses related to pain killers, heroin and most recently a synthetic version of fentanyl, a drug that’s up to 100 times stronger than morphine. The pilot program begins on Monday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said while the number of fatal overdoses related to such drugs remain low across the region, he and others noted that the epidemic will likely head West from the East Coast, where such deaths is deemed an epidemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an average of 161 people died across the nation of drug related overdoses in 2015.

“We wanted to be able to get in front of this so we’re not waiting for the epidemic to hit and struggling to catch up with it,” McDonnell said during a news conference at downtown’s Hall of Justice. “I feel like we’re already seeing cases, but we’re on the front end to be ready for what may be coming our way. We’re hopeful we don’t see what other states have seen, but the reality is more than likely we will start to see this.”

Narcan is easy to use and is low risk, McDonnell said, adding that it requires no medical training for deputies.

“Use of Narcan will not cure the addiction epidemic in this county, but using Narcan gives a person an opportunity to make a different life choice,” McDonnell said.

In April, the Santa Clarita Valley saw a spike of overdoses resulting in one death. Within a 72-hour time span, there were eight such overdoses. One person was arrested for heroin possession. The drug contained traces of fentanyl and investigators believed it came from the San Fernando Valley. An investigation that involved four different narcotic operations between May 2 and May 25 resulted in six arrests. At least 20 ounces of heroin, $10,000 in cash and two cars found with hidden traps to conceal the heroin were confiscated, McDonnell said. One pack of heroin was laced with fentanyl, he added.

“I know we’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” McDonnell said. “We need to approach this differently. We must examine what is driving the addictions and equip ourselves with knowledge. We must also gather the means necessary to insulate Los Angeles County from the opioid and heroin-related devastation that we’ve seen in other parts of the country.”

The deaths affect all members of a family, McDonnell added, even those who are in law enforcement.

Holding back tears during the news conference, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Commander Judy Gerhardt told reporters her 23 year old nephew Maxwell “Macky” Baker, who was studying to work in the medical profession, died of a heroin overdose in December, just a few months after he was prescribed pain killers for an injury he sustained in a car accident.

“I stand before you today with mixed emotions,’ she said during the news conference. “On one hand I’m so excited with what we’re doing and the progress we’re making with this project, because I know we’re going to save lives. On the other hand I’m devastated, because I’m the face of what opioid addition does to a family.”

Gerhardt and her daughter, who also works at the Sheriff’s Department, helped work on the Narcan pilot program.

“We can’t bring Macky back, but his death doesn’t have to be in vain,” Gerhardt said. “The message I want to send, on behalf of my nephew is to ask we look at addiction differently. We need to remove the stigma associated with addiction, so that people who are suffering can seek treatment.”

With another grant obtained through a network with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, at least 5,000 more doses will be purchased so that more field deputies will have the medicine, said acting deputy director Dr. John Connolly, with the health department’s, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control Program.

“While we haven’t seen the same rates of addiction and overdose here, we know that in the last decade overdoses are increases,” he said. “We know too many people (who) have died. The good news is these tragedies have sparked action.”

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©2017 the Daily News (Los Angeles)


Pet squirrel that foiled Idaho home burglary returns to wild

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Keith Ridler Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — A pet squirrel named Joey who gained fame as a crime-fighter might be more of the lover type.

Joey, who police credited with scaring off a burglar trying to break into his home's gun safe, made his long goodbyes earlier this month, then scampered up a backyard apple tree at his Meridian, Idaho, home and hasn't been seen since.

"If I had to guess, he found a girlfriend and they're off doing their squirrel thing," said Adam Pearl, who raised Joey in his home for about 10 months.

A University of Idaho scientist said that's probably right for Joey.

"For a lot of mammals, behavior changes once spring comes," said Janet Rachlow, a professor at the school's Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences.

Joey made headlines in February after police went to Pearl's home to investigate the burglary and Joey introduced himself. A few hours later, police nabbed a teen burglary suspect with items from Pearl's home and scratches on his hands. The teen told police a squirrel at one home came flying out of nowhere and kept attacking him until he left.

Like many famous crime fighters, Joey had a rough start in life. He was abandoned after falling out of his nest not long after being born and would have died if Adam Pearl and his wife, Carmen, hadn't taken him in.

"His eyes weren't even open," Adam Pearl said. "He was about the size of a Bic lighter when we first got him."

They bought supplies and set an alarm every two hours to feed him. Joey thrived, and soon had the run of the house, using a litterbox and learning to scavenge from bowls of nuts.

"I wanted him to be able to fend for himself," Adam Pearl said.

Joey did just that, delighting the family with his antics.

"He'd let anybody pet him when he was in the house," Pearl said. "I guess right up until the kid broke in. Right after that is when he started getting aggressive."

About a month ago, Pearl made the decision to leave a sliding door open after Joey seemed extra rambunctious. Joey eventually ventured out, played with wild squirrels during the day and returned to his bed inside at night.

On June 4, he climbed on Adam's shoulder, where he stayed for several minutes getting his ears scratched before disappearing in the apple tree.

"I think that was his goodbye, looking back on it," Adam Pearl said.

Rachlow said Joey might have a little bit of culture shock assimilating into squirrel life, but will likely succeed.

Adam Pearl said Joey liked to chew on items in the house, so there's also relief in being an empty-nester.

"Hopefully, he doesn't bring any little Joeys into the house," he said.


City denies sick time donations to cop fighting cancer

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WACO, Texas — Officers who wanted to donate their sick days to a colleague fighting breast cancer were denied by the city.

Officer Nicki Stone, 34, is missing work due to a double mastectomy and chemotherapy sessions, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Stone, a single mother of two, used up the 480 hours granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act and is currently on short-term disability. The short-term disability allows her to draw 75 percent of her pay.

The city cited a longstanding policy against practices of sick time donations. The officers were also denied when they offered to donate time to a police detective missing work due to his 7-year-old daughter’s cancer battle.

City Manager Dale Fisseler told the publication that the city offered to grant the officers additional sick time, but the officers would have to use up all the other time off they’ve earned first.

“We don’t have a policy that allows that because you earn your own sick leave. If you donate yours to everyone and then you need it, then you can have a problem,” Fisseler said. “Right off the bat, if you get the city to pay for more by donating it to others, it is going to have a negative impact on the city’s costs.”

Waco Police Association President Ken Reeves said he wants the city to look at the officers, and all their employees, as “more than just money.”

“We aren’t even talking about that much money,” he said. “The officers have already earned that money in terms of benefits. It is their money, and they should be able to use that money in any way they want to, especially if it is to help someone sick or dying. The city’s best commodity is its employees, and taking care of them ought to be paramount.”

Officers have taken over Stone’s shift for the month, some of them pulling double shifts, to allow her to draw a salary, the publication reported. Stone hopes to be back at work mid-August. However in the detective’s situation, officers cannot pick up his caseload.


Peelian principles of policing: Seeking the public’s approval

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Tim Barfield
Author: Tim Barfield

In my first article in this series, I laid out the foundations of the principles of Sir Robert Peel. Like so many that came from that period, Peel had a wisdom that seemed to transcend time. His principles were as important then as they are now. The question is not how we got to the point where we need to review these principles but how do we return.

Rights vs. responsibilities

Peel’s principle #2 reads:

"The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect."

His second principle is proving to be difficult. There are many problems in our society that have created a disconnect. Among the problems facing all of us is the current trend to blame other people or groups for things that occur instead of taking responsibility.

All that withstanding, the police also have a responsibility to keep their end of this social contract. Peel was beginning his new London Metropolitan Police Department around the same time as the founding of this country. Like our principles for new government, the London Metropolitan area wanted citizens, not soldiers, to help enforce the laws. It was important to have a person who was a citizen take on this role, someone who had to live by the same rules and understood how to work with the very people who are being served in the neighborhoods.

Earning respect

The major disconnects, as evidenced by reports in the news media and protests in major cities, are not all caused by the police, but there are inherent problems. Recently, I was reminded that "community policing is what big cities call what little cities have been doing all along." We’ve dropped the ball when it comes to driving past people instead of getting out and engaging them. These are the very people from whom we should be seeking approval and respect. We need to get out and meet people where they are and show them that our desire is to serve and protect.

There are a lot of good books that speak to this issue but "Unleashing the Power of Unconditional Respect" by Jack Colwell and Charles "Chip" Huth and "The Ethical Warrior" by Jack Hoban both had a big impact on me. They both speak to the concept of treating people like people and not as objects. It seems like a no brainer but as cops we develop defense mechanisms to deal with the pressures of the job. Very often, we only make it harder as we move away from the reason we took this job in the first place: to help people.

Think about your last encounter with a really bad guy. While there is no need to kiss his backside, he’s just looking for some respect. If we would just start seeing people – in all their needs, anger and desires – as individuals who have hopes and dreams and who feel the world is unfair, maybe we can begin to make that connection.

Police work can be a ministry

It takes work to deal with the negatives all the time. So, change them into positives, begin to serve people again. This job can be a ministry with just a change of perspective by officers who decide to get back to the roots of helping people and meeting them on their level. There is a quote often used when speaking of leadership that says, "They won’t care to know until they know you care." Once you have connected with people and they understand you want to help you will gain their approval and their respect.

Let me close with a question from Jack Hoban. "When you walk into a room do you make people feel safe and respected?"


Why every cop should carry naloxone

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

I have a few questions for you: Do you wear your body armor? Do you practice your DT skills? Do you have confidence in your ability to accurately discharge your service weapon in a deadly-threat scenario?

My hope is that for the overwhelming majority of you, your answers are, “Yes, yes and yes.”

Okay, now another question: Do you carry units of naloxone on patrol?

My supposition is that for a significant percentage of you, your answer is, “Nope, no way and never.”

Here’s why that’s the wrong answer.

Naloxone, also available as Narcan nasal spray, is as important to your safety and survival as your vest, your hands-on skills, or your sidearm.

Self-care for accidental exposure

We’ve seen dozens of headlines on PoliceOne about cops who have suffered near-fatal overdoses from accidental exposure to opioid-based substances. Predominantly this has been caused by exposure to fentanyl.

Fentanyl, which has been blamed in the deaths of thousands of Americans, is also threatening the lives of police officers, forcing changes in long-standing basics of drug investigations, from confiscations to testing and undercover operations.

Fentanyl is hundreds of times more potent than heroin. It is transdermal, meaning that it can be absorbed through the skin. Further, it can be inhaled if it becomes airborne. If an officer comes in contact with anything containing the drug – and it can be added to everything from Vicodin to heroin and has even been found in cocaine coming from Mexico – the potentially deadly drug can be almost immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.

Recently we saw an officer in New Hampshire exposed to an opioid-based powder during a traffic stop. The local authorities said that naloxone wasn’t administered at the scene, but that the officer was transported to a hospital, where we might reasonably conclude naloxone was used to reverse the adverse effects of the accidental exposure.

When an officer is accidentally exposed to opioids like fentanyl, following the “What’s Important Now” philosophy is to quickly give a dose (or more than one) of naloxone. It is a lifesaving antidote to forestall the effects of heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses. Considering the opioid epidemic across the United States and Canada, it seems simply logical that all cops in North America carry two or more doses of naloxone.

Just another officer safety tool

On the Policing Matters Podcast, my partner Jim Dudley and I have discussed this matter. We’ve talked about PoliceOne members’ response to our original segment.

Paraphrasing, I recall members saying, “I’m not a paramedic. I didn’t sign up to be a paramedic. I don’t want the role of a paramedic.”

I totally get that. I agree with it. But policy and procedure can be written in such a way that we cover both bases. Something to the effect of, “Officers shall carry naloxone on their person or in their squad car to assist a fellow officer whom they believe – based on their training, experience and judgement – is experiencing a drug overdose due to accidental exposure to opioid-based drugs in the line of duty.”

Think of naloxone just like you would any other tool used to improve officer safety. In 2015, I wrote about how the Tucson Police Department had issued IFAK (Individual First Aid Kits) to all of its police officers. The contents of the kits included things like QuickClot combat gauze, tourniquets, halo chest seals and Olaes modular bandages. The primary purpose of the IFAK kit is self-care and buddy care. This is the same reason I now recommend naloxone as an officer safety and survival tool.

With the clear and present officer safety risk posed by opioid-based substances such as fentanyl, there is no question that carrying naloxone has become an important officer survival strategy.


Cop captures escaped 1000-pound pig

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

GEORGETOWN, Mass. — When Officer Henry Olshefsky received a call about an escaped pig, he thought of a small, pink pet.

But when he arrived, he discovered a 1,000-pound pig named Bruno hanging in a woman’s front yard, Fox 25 Boston reported.

"Because it is a small town, we were able to locate someone who knew someone who knew where the pig lived,” Olshefsky said.

Owner Frank Martino said everyone knows Bruno and he’s escaped probably three or four times since he was a baby.

"We didn't know how big he was going to get so now we have to think of a new way to lock him in with a padlock, that type of thing,” Martino said.

Bruno the pig likes to run away from home. Tonight on @boston25 - watch @PDGeorgetownMA surprise to find him wandering a neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/f6X0hYOLZg

— Elysia Rodriguez (@ElysiaBoston25) June 16, 2017


PD submits investigation involving off-duty LAPD shooting

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Scott Schwebke The Orange County Register

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Police Department submitted to prosecutors on Friday its investigation involving off-duty Los Angeles Officer Kevin Ferguson, who fired a handgun during a highly-publicized February scuffle with a 13-year-old boy and other teenagers.

Detectives have spent several hundred hours investigating the incident, Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt said in a statement.

“More than 90 interviews have been completed, numerous videos have been collected and viewed, and many items of evidence have been submitted and processed,” Wyatt said. “The investigative case file consists of over 400 pages of reports and approximately 70 CDs and DVDs.”

Numerous videos of the incident surfaced showing many individuals who needed to be interviewed, Wyatt said.

“Only recently have Anaheim Police Department detectives felt confident that everyone who needed to be interviewed had been contacted,” the sergeant added.

Detectives will remain in contact with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as prosecutors determine if charges should be filed against Ferguson, Wyatt said.

The Feb. 21 confrontation with Ferguson and the 13-year-old boy began over ongoing issues with teenagers walking across the officer’s property in the 1600 block of West Palais Road, near Euclid Street, police have said.

The off-duty cop, it appears, confronted the boy and then tried to detained him for allegedly making threats about shooting him, Anaheim’s police chief, Raul Quezada, has said.

Videos quickly surfaced on social media showing Ferguson struggling with the boy and other teenagers before the off-duty officer discharged a handgun into the ground.

It was unclear if he fired on purpose; the shot appeared to go downward, and no one was struck.

The altercation may have started because of a misunderstanding between the boy and the officer, said Gregory Perez, a teenager who has said he witnessed the incident.

“The little kid said, ‘I’m going to sue you,’ and then the guy thought he said, ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ “Perez has said. “That’s when he started grabbing the little kid.”

The incident led to two days of civil unrest in Anaheim.

It is unclear whether Ferguson identified himself as a police officer. However, Anaheim police have said in the past that voices can be heard on video debating whether he was an officer, so “common sense” suggests he had IDed himself as an officer.

The Los Angeles Police Department is conducting its own internal investigation into Ferguson’s actions.

Michelle Van Der Linden, an Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman, said prosecutors will decide whether to file charges after reviewing all of the case materials.

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©2017 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)


PD submits investigation of off-duty LAPD shooting to prosecutors

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Scott Schwebke The Orange County Register

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Police Department submitted to prosecutors on Friday its investigation involving off-duty Los Angeles Officer Kevin Ferguson, who fired a handgun during a highly-publicized February scuffle with a 13-year-old boy and other teenagers.

Detectives have spent several hundred hours investigating the incident, Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt said in a statement.

“More than 90 interviews have been completed, numerous videos have been collected and viewed, and many items of evidence have been submitted and processed,” Wyatt said. “The investigative case file consists of over 400 pages of reports and approximately 70 CDs and DVDs.”

Numerous videos of the incident surfaced showing many individuals who needed to be interviewed, Wyatt said.

“Only recently have Anaheim Police Department detectives felt confident that everyone who needed to be interviewed had been contacted,” the sergeant added.

Detectives will remain in contact with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as prosecutors determine if charges should be filed against Ferguson, Wyatt said.

The Feb. 21 confrontation with Ferguson and the 13-year-old boy began over ongoing issues with teenagers walking across the officer’s property in the 1600 block of West Palais Road, near Euclid Street, police have said.

The off-duty cop, it appears, confronted the boy and then tried to detained him for allegedly making threats about shooting him, Anaheim’s police chief, Raul Quezada, has said.

Videos quickly surfaced on social media showing Ferguson struggling with the boy and other teenagers before the off-duty officer discharged a handgun into the ground.

It was unclear if he fired on purpose; the shot appeared to go downward, and no one was struck.

The altercation may have started because of a misunderstanding between the boy and the officer, said Gregory Perez, a teenager who has said he witnessed the incident.

“The little kid said, ‘I’m going to sue you,’ and then the guy thought he said, ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ “Perez has said. “That’s when he started grabbing the little kid.”

The incident led to two days of civil unrest in Anaheim.

It is unclear whether Ferguson identified himself as a police officer. However, Anaheim police have said in the past that voices can be heard on video debating whether he was an officer, so “common sense” suggests he had IDed himself as an officer.

The Los Angeles Police Department is conducting its own internal investigation into Ferguson’s actions.

Michelle Van Der Linden, an Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman, said prosecutors will decide whether to file charges after reviewing all of the case materials.

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©2017 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)


Standoff with Fla. deputy ends peacefully

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Pat Beall The Palm Beach Post

BOCA RATON, Fla. — In a two-hour long incident this afternoon, roads near Boca Country Club were blocked and a sheriff’s command post set up as Palm Beach and Broward County Sheriff’s deputies tried to talk down a distraught Broward deputy threatening to injure himself.

The deputy’s name is not being released. He is being temporarily admitted to a psychiatric facility under Florida’s Baker Act laws.

According to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Davis, Broward officers first went to see the unidentified deputy at about 11 am. He made enough alarming comments for them to take his service revolver from him.

The deputy then got into his patrol car and drove to the Palm Beach County home of his ex-wife, near the Boca Country Club off Congress and west of I-95. The Broward deputies followed. Once there, the deputy grew distraught again. PBSO was called in to negotiate with the man, who continued to threaten to injure himself. No one else was threatened in the standoff, said Davis.

The deputy agreed to be Baker Acted. Roads re-opened at about 3 p.m.

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©2017 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)


NYPD loses 2 cops to 9/11-related illnesses

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — The NYPD lost two officers within the same week from 9/11-related illnesses.

Officer Kelly Korchak, 38, was laid to rest Thursday. Korchak was diagnosed while she was pregnant, but decided to forego aggressive treatment and give birth to her son Luke Harrison Attarian, the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association wrote on Facebook. She died eight months after giving birth on June 10.

Korchak, who was married to NYC Det. Steven Attarian, became an officer in 2001. She received two “Cop of the Month” awards during her career for her role in breaking up a burglary ring and detaining a murder suspect, Staten Island Live reported.

The Emergency Service Unit that Korchak’s husband worked with started a GoFundMe to help him and the baby she leaves behind with future needs.

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Rest In Peace New York City Police Officer Kelly Christine Korchak. P.O. Korchak died June 10, 2017, from a 9/11 related...

‎Posted by Port Authority Police Benevolent Association Inc on‎ ??? ????? 13 ???? 2017

Officer James Kennelly, 37, died Saturday from an illness related to his recovery efforts as a firefighter during the World Trade Center attacks, the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association Facebook said.

Kennelly began his career in law enforcement with the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department before joining the Port Authority Police. He was also a member of the Port Authority Police Emerald Society and was the 2017 Grand Marshal for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Kennelly is survived by his wife and daughter.

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Rest In Peace Port Authority Police Officer James Kennelly; End of Watch: Saturday, June 17, 2017. It is believed Police...

Posted by Port Authority Police Benevolent Association Inc on Sunday, June 18, 2017


Man arrested in Paris attack on police vehicle

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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UPDATED 9:44 a.m. (CST):

PARIS — The French national gendarmerie service says the driver of a car that rammed a law enforcement vehicle has been arrested and no one was hurt in the incident.

The tweet Monday confirmed an attack had taken place on the Paris' famed Champs-Elysees.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

PARIS — Paris police say a security operation is underway in the Champs-Elysees shopping district and are urging people to avoid the area.

The police department tweeted the warning Monday without providing further details. The high-end neighborhood is popular with tourists.

The reason for the operation remains unclear.

A subway station in the area is closed.

An attacker defending the Islamic State group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation. France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Public told to avoid Champs-Elysees area of Paris as car crashes into police van pic.twitter.com/C5EM8x8px7

— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 19, 2017

The whole of the #ChampsElysees is blocked. #Paris pic.twitter.com/EmaYQmf8oj

— Kevin W. (@kwilli1046) June 19, 2017


Paris police: Man who rammed car carrying explosives into police convoy dead

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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UPDATED 10:48 a.m. (CST):

PARIS — France's interior minister says that a driver who rammed a car carrying explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Elysees avenue has died after the "attempted attack" on security forces.

Gerard Collomb told reporters near the scene Monday that the man's motives weren't immediately clear.

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists. It was the second major incident on the avenue this year.

An attacker defending the Islamic State group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation.

UPDATED 9:44 a.m. (CST):

PARIS — The French national gendarmerie service says the driver of a car that rammed a law enforcement vehicle has been arrested and no one was hurt in the incident.

The tweet Monday confirmed an attack had taken place on the Paris' famed Champs-Elysees.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

PARIS — Paris police say a security operation is underway in the Champs-Elysees shopping district and are urging people to avoid the area.

The police department tweeted the warning Monday without providing further details. The high-end neighborhood is popular with tourists.

The reason for the operation remains unclear.

A subway station in the area is closed.

An attacker defending the Islamic State group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation. France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Public told to avoid Champs-Elysees area of Paris as car crashes into police van pic.twitter.com/C5EM8x8px7

— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 19, 2017

The whole of the #ChampsElysees is blocked. #Paris pic.twitter.com/EmaYQmf8oj

— Kevin W. (@kwilli1046) June 19, 2017


Car rams police vehicle on famed Paris avenue; attacker dies

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elaine Ganley and Lori Hinnant Associated Press

PARIS — A man on the radar of French authorities was killed Monday after ramming a car carrying explosives into a police vehicle in the capital's Champs-Elysees shopping district, prompting a fiery blast, officials said. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.

No police officers or passers-by were hurt, the Paris police department said. It is unclear why the attacker drove into police, though officials said the incident was apparently deliberate.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the man was killed after an attempted attack on a police convoy, saying that shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies a state of emergency in place since 2015. He said he will present a bill Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until Nov. 1.

He says the current situation in France shows a new security law "is needed" and the measure would "maintain a high security level."

Two police officials told The Associated Press that a handgun was found on the driver, who they said was badly burned after the vehicle exploded. They identified the man as a 31-year-old man from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil who had an "S'' file, meaning he was flagged for links to extremism.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal details of the incident, the second this year on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists from around the world.

An attacker defending the Islamic State group fatally shot a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation.

Public told to avoid Champs-Elysees area of Paris as car crashes into police van pic.twitter.com/C5EM8x8px7

— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 19, 2017

On Monday, police cordoned off a broad swath of the Champs-Elysees after the latest incident, warning people to avoid the area.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the incident was apparently deliberate.

Police "pulled an individual out of the vehicle who had struck the car in front (of the convoy, “ Brandet told reporters. "Large numbers of police converged on the scene, firefighters to extinguish the fire."

A man could be seen lying on his stomach on the ground immediately after the incident, wearing a white shirt and dark shorts.

Hours later, access to the avenue remained blocked, while bomb squads combed the area.

The whole of the #ChampsElysees is blocked. #Paris pic.twitter.com/EmaYQmf8oj

— Kevin W. (@kwilli1046) June 19, 2017

Eric Favereau, a journalist for Liberation newspaper who was driving a scooter behind the gendarmes, said he saw a car blocking the convoy's path, then an implosion in the vehicle. Favereau wrote that the gendarmes smashed open the windows of the car while it was in flames and dragged out its occupant. Other gendarmes used fire extinguishers to put out the flames. The account didn't say what happened to the occupant of the car afterward.

Visitors to a nearby Auguste Rodin exhibit were confined inside the Grand Palais exhibit hall for an hour after the incident.

Victoria Boucher and daughter Chrystel came in from the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise for a Paris visit and weren't afraid to go to the famed avenue.

"We were better off inside than outside," Chrystel said. But both agreed as the mother said, "unfortunately we now are used to this."

"The show must go on," the daughter said in English. "They won't win."


Nurse shot after suspect fights with Fla. trooper

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

By Austin L. Miller Ocala Star-Banner

OCALA, Fla. — A nurse was shot in the leg during a struggle between Florida Highway Patrol troopers and a man the troopers had accompanied to a hospital on Saturday.

Several people interviewed by the Star-Banner described the scene as chaotic, frightening and scary as law enforcement officers called to the scene rushed into the hospital.

One woman, Kelly Parker, said that when she went into the hospital, employees told her to turn around and leave. She said that as she was making her way outside, scores of police officers were running into the building.

In a news conference held at West Marion Community Hospital at 4600 SW 46th Court in Ocala, Lt. Patrick Riordan, an FHP spokesman, said the nurse was listed in stable condition. Riordan said the shooter, whose name was not released, was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where charges are pending. The names of the troopers involved in the incident were also not released. The nurse's name was not released. Hospital officials could not be reached for comment.

One nurse was shot at West Marion Community Hospital this afternoon. The shooter is in custody. Turn on @WCJB20 at 6pm for more details. pic.twitter.com/1dv8yM9p5f

— David Jones (@DavidJonesTV) June 17, 2017

Riordan said the unnamed man was a pedestrian on Interstate 75 near Mile Marker 341 and he requested assistance three times. The spokesman did not elaborate why the individual was on the highway and his reason for wanting help.

After the third time, Riordan said the man was taken to West Marion Community Hospital for treatment. The man was treated and while at the hospital failed to obey a trooper's order. A struggle between the man and a trooper ensued and the nurse was shot by a trooper's gun. It is not known if the trooper's gun was in the holster or not.

Riordan said three FHP troopers were involved and they received minor injuries during the struggle.

The shooting is being investigated by the FHP and they are expected to conduct an internal affairs investigation into the matter. Some of the issues FHP investigators will be examining is whether or not policies or procedures were followed.

———

©2017 the Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, Fla.)


Man plows van into crowd by London mosque; 1 dead, 10 injured

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATED 9:01 a.m. (CST):

LONDON (AP) — London's police commander says the van attack near Finsbury Park Mosque was clearly an attack on Muslims.

Commander Cressida Dick, speaking Monday in the London neighborhood of Finsbury Park, says people in Muslim communities will see more of their police protecting them in the coming days.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, meanwhile, paid tribute to the local community who apprehended the attacker near the mosque, especially the religious leader who kept him safe from mob violence.

Khan says all these incidents are attacks on the city's shared values. He vows "we will not allow these terrorists to succeed ... we will stay a strong city." Khan also declared that British officials have "zero tolerance" for hate crimes.

EARLIER:

By Danica Kirka and Paisley Dodds Associated Press

LONDON — In an attack that British Muslims say was aimed directly at them, a man plowed a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday, injuring 10 people. London police are investigating it as a terrorist incident.

Police said another man died at the scene, although he was receiving first aid at the time and it wasn't clear if he died as a result of the attack or of something else.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack "on innocent people" and declared that Britain would stop at nothing to defeat extremism.

"Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed," she said in a televised statement.

Police said the 48-year-old white man who was driving the van that hit those leaving evening prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Police have not released his identity. He has been taken to a hospital as a precaution.

"This is a truly horrific terrorist attack on our city," says London Mayor Sadiq Khan #FinsburyPark https://t.co/3A5ouLb4Ph pic.twitter.com/b3tTyJkpan

— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 19, 2017

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said police are investigating whether the death of the man getting first aid was a direct result of the attack, but it was too early to say for sure.

London police — already stretched by a series of tragedies including a June 14 high-rise apartment fire in which 79 people are presumed dead and a June 3 terror attack near London Bridge that killed seven people — said they are putting more officers on the street to reassure the public. Muslim leaders called for calm.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to serve in that position, urged residents to focus on their shared values and to stand together during this an unprecedented period in the capital's history.

The attack on Monday hits a community already feeling targeted in the fallout from the London Bridge killings and other attacks blamed on Islamic extremists. It also came as Muslims are celebrating the holy time of Ramadan.

"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect," Khan said. "The situation is still unfolding and I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant."

British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased nearly five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain.

Counter-terror officials said they were closely monitoring terror activity linked to far-right groups but most of the recent attacks have been traced to individuals rather than groups.

Sky News reported that the mosque's imam prevented the crowd from beating the attacker until police arrived.

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, speaking to Sky News, said the attack clearly targeted Muslims leaving evening prayers during Ramadan.

"We have a witness saying that the guy who did what he did, the driver of the van, said 'I did my bit,' which means he's not mentally ill," Kacimi said. "This person was conscious. He did what he did deliberately to hit and kill as many Muslims as possible, so he is a terrorist."

But the attack also laid bare the frustrations of a community who believe they've been unfairly equated with extremists who have carried out atrocities in the name of Islam. Early police caution about declaring the incident to be terrorist-related was interpreted by the community as discriminatory.

May attempted to counter that feeling in her speech, declaring that police arrived at the scene within one minute, and that a terror attack was declared in eight minutes.

Ali Habib, a 23-year-old student, said residents are angry that the mosque attack hasn't been portrayed in the same light as the other attacks across the country.

"There has been an outpouring of sympathy for all for the recent terror attacks but hardly a whisper on this attack," he said. "People are both scared and angry. Parents are scared to send their children to evening prayers. I don't think people understand how much these attacks affect all of us."

The Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but it was shut down and reorganized. It has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.

"My message to anyone who is the victim of hate crime, is please report it to the police. Don't think its too trivial," London mayor says pic.twitter.com/QDppFq0Qxj

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 19, 2017

It is located a short walk away from Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal football club in north London.

May said she would chair an emergency security Cabinet session Monday. She said her thoughts were with the injured, their loved ones and emergency officials who responded to the incident.

Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe," meaning an attack is highly likely.

Earlier this month on London Bridge, Islamic extremists used a vehicle and then knives to kill eight people and wound many others on the bridge and in the popular nearby Borough Market area. The three Islamic extremists who carried out the attack were killed by police.

In March, a man plowed a rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing a police officer outside Parliament.

Manchester was also hit on May 22 when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.

Eyewitness tells @jamesrbuk man drove van at pedestrians outside London mosque, then shouted “Kill me, kill me, I want to kill all Muslims” pic.twitter.com/gSgTX05aSQ

— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 19, 2017


LAPD suspends cadet programs at 2 stations

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Richard Winton Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — In a widening investigation of the Los Angeles Police Department’s cadet program, Chief Charlie Beck on Sunday announced he has suspended training for cadets at the 77th Street Division and Pacific Division, where three cadets arrested on suspicion of stealing police cruisers were based.

The move is part of a “top-to-bottom” review of the citywide cadet program following revelations that besides the theft of three cruisers, the cadets may have also stolen other police equipment and posed as sworn officers. The suspensions are in effect pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said.

Two of the accused cadets were assigned to the 77th Street Division and the third to the Pacific Division, said Josh Rubenstein, LAPD public information director.

The teens, ages 15, 16 and 17, were not identified because they are minors. They were booked in connection with the theft of the cruisers and other LAPD property, Beck said. He added that all three were involved in the vehicle thefts but that it was not immediately clear which of them may have been involved in taking the other equipment.

Department officials said the three cadets led officers on car chases through the streets of South L.A. on Wednesday in a pair of stolen police cruisers. The car chases ended in separate crashes.

The thefts and chases sparked an investigation that revealed some of the cadets may have also stolen a bulletproof vest, two stun guns and two police radios, Beck told reporters last week.

Since the arrests, the cadet program has come under intense scrutiny. The captains in both divisions will now meet one on one with every cadet “regarding the severity and seriousness of the recent incidents” along with the need to maintain ethics, the LAPD said in a statement last week. Police officials will also meet with the parents of cadets in those divisions.

Investigators are trying to determine if other cadets were directly involved in the unauthorized use of LAPD patrol cars or knew of the thefts of the vehicles and other equipment.

Currently, about 2,300 teens ages 13 to 20 are enrolled in cadet programs. The programs operate at each of the LAPD’s 21 geographic stations. Only programs at the 77th Street Division and Pacific Division are suspended, officials said.

According to police sources, the cadets involved in the vehicle thefts made themselves unauthorized police uniforms and had driven at least one of the stolen patrol cars more than 1,000 miles.

Investigators are trying to determine what the teens were doing with the vehicles as well as where they went. Police said one of the cars went missing in late May. Detectives want to figure out whether the vehicle was stolen once or repeatedly taken and returned without detection, which would raise even greater concerns about how the LAPD tracks its cars.

Detectives are checking various cameras that read license plates around the Los Angeles area to see if the cruisers might have been logged and want to know when and where the cars were gassed up, according to multiple police sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details about the ongoing investigation.

Sources said police had checked the odometers of the cars and discovered that at least one had been driven a significant distance since it was last used for official business.

Beck said the cadets may have been impersonating officers while driving the stolen cruisers, and he asked anyone living in Central and South Los Angeles or Inglewood who might have information to contact police.

The cadets were able to steal the cruisers in part because one of them used a sergeant’s identity to check out vehicles using a computer, the chief said.

In a statement Sunday, the department said it will inspect all cadet work areas for sensitive materials and unauthorized computer access. The LAPD has already begun a physical inventory of vehicles and equipment after the episode revealed lax oversight at the stations.

Sources told the Los Angeles Times that investigators also plan to examine the recovered stun guns. Data can be downloaded from the Tasers to show whether the devices were fired and if so, for how long. LAPD officials often look at such data when evaluating whether officers were justified in using force against someone.

Police, the sources said, already know the teens made several stops for gas, including at least one visit to a city-owned pump at City Hall East.

The department became aware that two LAPD cruisers had gone missing around 5 p.m. Wednesday, resulting in an investigation that Beck said “almost immediately” focused on a 16-year-old female cadet assigned to the 77th Street Division after officials found video of the teen fueling the car at a city gas pump. About 9:30 p.m., two stolen cruisers were spotted near the 77th Street station.

A chase began after the drivers ignored officers’ commands to pull over, Beck said. The stolen cars separated at some point, resulting in two chases that both ended in wrecks.

One cadet taken into custody was wearing a spare bulletproof vest used for training purposes, the chief said. A third car had also been taken by the cadets, but it was quickly located near the 77th Street station, Beck said.

The department said Beck plans to address all cadets during a formal inspection in coming days.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Reduce errors with automated and integrated scheduling: Download the free white paper

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Kronos

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

As more software tools become available to integrate scheduling with payroll, HR, CAD, RMS and timekeeping, it’s easier than ever to automate employee scheduling and improve operational efficiencies.

Automation and integration reduces errors, promotes compliance, eliminates repetitive processes and provides access to information in real time.

Download this FREE white paper to learn more about:

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Please fill out the form below to download the free white paper.

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Day 3 of protests against Philando Castile verdict draws anger, but no violence

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ST. ANTHONY, Minn. — A couple hundred protesters have targeted the Minnesota city where a police officer worked after a jury acquitted him in the fatal shooting of a black motorist last year.

The protesters marched through St. Anthony on Sunday to remember Philando Castile and demonstrate against the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Marchers carried signs reading "Justice for Philando" and "We leave when we get justice."

A jury on Friday found Yanez not guilty of manslaughter for shooting Castile during a traffic stop. After the verdict, St. Anthony announced plans to dismiss Yanez.

It was the third day of protests in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area after the verdict. A rally at the state Capitol on Friday led to a march that shut down a stretch of Interstate 94 and resulted in 18 arrests. On Saturday, people marched in downtown Minneapolis.


Man arrested after police say he tried to run over deputy

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PRESTONVILLE, N.C. — Authorities say an 18-year-old man who tried to run over a deputy in North Carolina has been arrested at his home.

The Stokes County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the officer was trying to pull Logan Bevill over Wednesday night when he sped away.

Authorities say the deputy chased Bevill, who crashed into a ditch on a state highway near Prestonville.

Deputies say the officer got out of his car, recognized Bevill and told him to get out of the SUV.

Instead, authorities say, Bevill drove off, trying to strike the deputy, who fired at the teen. No one was injured.

Bevill is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and other charges. It isn't known if he had an attorney.


Protests continue after cop who fatally shot Philando Castile acquitted

Posted on June 19, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kristi Belcamino Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For a third day, people protesting the acquittal of St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez took to the streets, this time in the city where the officer worked.

On Friday, a Ramsey County jury found Yanez, 29, not guilty of felony manslaughter after he fatally shot Philando Castile, 32, during a traffic stop in July in Falcon Heights.

Shortly after the verdict, the city of St. Anthony announced that Yanez would not be returning to work for its police department.

About 100 people gathered in front of the St. Anthony Police Department about noon Sunday in an event called “Father’s Day for Philando.” The group marched to a shopping center at Silver Lake Road and 39th Avenue Northeast and then spent about 30 minutes shutting down traffic at the entrance.

Local attorney and activist Nekima Levy-Pounds addressed the group with a megaphone.

“We need to keep showing up, we need to keep making sure that our voices are being heard. But the next phase of this system — and our protesting — has to be economic,” she said.

She asked people if they remembered the Montgomery bus boycott, a protest against racial segregation on public transportation that ultimately led to a change in Alabama law.

On Friday, a rally held at the Capitol led to a march that eventually shut down a stretch of Interstate 94 for three hours. On Saturday, people gathered in Minneapolis, marching from Loring Park into downtown Minneapolis.

Sunday’s rally was organized by a recently formed group called New North. It was the first rally the group hosted on its own. The group is headed by Corydon Nilsson, who formerly handled communications for Black Lives Matter St. Paul.

Other cities across the country have held rallies protesting the verdict. The Chicago Demands Justice for #PhilandoCastile rally was held Sunday afternoon at Washington Park in Chicago.

———

©2017 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)


Grand theft avocado: 3 arrested in $300K theft

Posted on June 18, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

OXNARD, Calif. — Police are calling it grand theft avocado.

Three produce company workers have been arrested in the theft of up to $300,000 worth of avocados, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph Valenzuela, 28-year-old Carlos Chavez and 30-year-old Rahim Leblanc were each charged with grand theft of fruit and were being held in jail on bail of $250,000 each. They were arrested Wednesday.

It was unclear whether they have attorneys.

Detectives began investigating the suspects in May after receiving a tip that they were conducting unauthorized cash sales of avocados from a ripening facility in the city of Oxnard owned by the Mission Produce company.

The company estimated the avocado loss at about $300,000, the sheriff's office said.

"We take these kinds of thefts seriously. It's a big product here and in California," sheriff's Sgt. John Franchi told the Los Angeles Times. "Everybody loves avocados."


Mom’s grief spurs NY bill targeting opioid dealers in deaths

Posted on June 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mary Esch and David Klepper Associated Press

COLONIE, N.Y. — Four years after Patty Farrell found her 18-year-old daughter lying cold and blue in bed from an overdose, the former police detective hopes to see heroin dealers charged with homicide when their product kills.

"She was the love of my life, my only child," says Farrell, whose home is like a shrine to her daughter with photos and keepsakes everywhere. "When I lost her, I lost my world."

A bill named for her daughter, Laree, would create a new criminal classification of "homicide by sale of an opiate-controlled substance," punishable by 15 to 25 years in prison. It has passed the state Senate and awaits action by the Assembly as the Legislative session moves into its final week.

Proponents say tougher penalties would help reduce overdoses. But critics say the focus should be on prevention, treatment and saving lives, and that similar "drug-induced homicide laws" in more than 20 other states are a step backward among failed aspects of the "war on drugs."

"We need people to be willing to call for help whenever someone is in trouble," says Kassandra Frederique, New York director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "People don't call for help when they fear criminal justice consequences."

More than 33,000 people died from heroin, fentanyl and other opioid drugs in 2015, according to statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation. New York state was second in the nation for opioid overdose deaths in 2015 with more than 2,700, up from 562 in 2005.

A flurry of legislation aimed at curbing the overdose epidemic has been enacted or introduced in New York and other states. Since her daughter's death in the Albany suburb of Colonie in 2013, Farrell has lobbied state lawmakers on a broad range of measures including addiction-treatment insurance coverage, access to rehabilitation and curbing over-prescription of painkillers.

"They've taken care of some of the issues," says Farrell, who retired after 20 years with the Albany police and took a state job. "But they still haven't done anything enforcement-wise against the big drug dealer who's bringing heroin into our state and selling it to our families and killing them."

Earlier this year, the Legislature and Cuomo inserted $214 million in the state budget to boost treatment and prevention programs around the state.

"We need to take on the heroin epidemic from all sides," says Sen. George Amedore, a Republican who has sponsored the "Laree's Law" bill. "We need prevention, proper treatment and support for those in recovery, and we need to properly punish those that are bringing this drug onto our streets, and into our schools."

Amedore says the measure is aimed at "mid- to high-level" dealers. Language in the bill says it would not be used to prosecute users who share heroin or opioids with an acquaintance who later dies of an overdose.

Farrell says she'll probably never know who sold the lethal dose to her daughter, a high achiever who graduated from her suburban high school with an advanced Regents diploma when she was 16. Laree had only used heroin for four months and tried repeatedly to stay clean after rehabilitation, her mother said.

"Education, awareness, rehabilitation, I'm behind all those things," says Farrell, who has miniature replicas of anti-heroin billboards on her mantel. "We also need strong statutes to stop this scourge."


Milwaukee County sheriff not joining DHS, after all

Posted on June 18, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Department of Homeland Security says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is no longer a candidate for a position in the agency.

The conservative firebrand said last month he was taking a job as an assistant secretary at the DHS, but the agency declined to confirm the appointment, saying it announces such senior appointments once the DHS secretary makes them official.

Craig Peterson, a political adviser to Clarke, said in a statement that the sheriff notified DHS Secretary John Kelly late Friday that he "had rescinded his acceptance of the agency's offer" to join the department. The Washington Post first reported on Clarke's decision.

The tough-talking Clarke, who is known for his provocative social media presence, is an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump. According to Peterson's statement, Clarke said he "is 100 percent committed" to Trump's success and that he "believes his skills could be better utilized to promote the President's agenda in a more aggressive role."

Clarke is "reviewing options inside and outside of government," the statement said.

A DHS spokesman said by email Sunday that Clarke is no longer being considered for a position within DHS.

Clarke has drawn a considerable amount of controversy as Milwaukee County sheriff.

He was hit by allegations last month that he plagiarized content in his master's thesis on homeland security, which he denied.

Seven workers at the county jail he oversees are at the center of a criminal investigation into the dehydration death last year of an inmate who prosecutors say was deprived of water as punishment. Clarke isn't among the seven staffers — prosecutors said he wasn't directly involved in the events that led to the death of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas — but the death happened under Clarke's leadership, which his critics say is enough cause for his firing.


FHP sergeant struck, killed while investigating an accident

Posted on June 18, 2017 by in POLICE

The Gainesville Sun

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was struck and killed on Interstate 75 in Alachua County Saturday evening.

Master Sgt. William Trampass Bishop, a 30-year veteran with the agency, was struck while outside his patrol vehicle, according to an FHP news release. He was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The crash occurred at 6:36 p.m. on I-75 southbound at mile marker 403 near the High Springs exit.

"We all have a heavy heart. Every time we go out there we know this can happen, but we're never prepared for it," said FHP regional commander Chief Mark Brown during a news conference Saturday night.

Our condolences to the family, friends & The @FLHSMV on the #LODD of Sergeant William Trampass Bishop https://t.co/Hp9RKfoRKd pic.twitter.com/xZlurjCIRP

— Dearborn Police (@DearbornPolice) June 18, 2017

"Anybody that has ever been near Trampass knows that he's an amazing man and he's dedicated his life to service and he's going to be sorely missed. He's a wonderful man and he's a dedicated public servant."

Bishop was at the scene of a previous crash involving a Chevy Malibu driven by Steven D. Catanach, 22, of Miami, according to an FHP media release. That car was parked in the inside emergency lane.

At that time, a second crash occurred in the center lane. A 2016 Ford Fusion, driven by Michael T. Korta, 46, of Tampa, was behind a 2007 Cadillac STS when the two collided. The driver of the Cadillac — John C. Sams, 67, of Lady Lake — had minor injuries.

Sgt. Bishop was struck during the secondary collision.

"Every member at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is grieving with Sgt. Bishop's family during this horrific time," said the department Director Terry L. Rhodes and FHP Director Colonel Gene Spaulding in a prepared statement.

"We appreciate all of the support FHP has received and continues to receive. Please keep Sergeant Bishop's wife and son and all members of the Florida Highway Patrol in your thoughts and prayers."

———

©2017 The Gainesville Sun, Fla.


NM shooting rampage spanning hours, 200 miles leaves 5 dead

Posted on June 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Morgan Lee Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. — A man accused of killing three family members and two other people in a shooting rampage that spanned nearly 200 miles in New Mexico was captured after a chase and a crash, authorities said Friday.

After Damian Herrera, 21, gunned down his mother, stepfather and brother, police say, he carjacked and killed a driver before chaos erupted hours later at a general store in a tiny town that artist Georgia O'Keeffe called home for most of her life. That's where the final victim died.

Herrera was arrested Thursday and booked into jail on suspicion of five counts of murder.

The shooting of his family appears to stem from a domestic dispute, police say, but investigators were still piecing together what happened at five different locations with many witnesses.

District Attorney Marco Serna called the shootings horrific and senseless, saying northern New Mexico was rocked to its core. He said his office will request that Herrera be held without bond.

It wasn't immediately clear if Herrera had an attorney. The suspect had no criminal record, only traffic citations in 2015 and one earlier this year, according to court records.

The three family members killed Thursday were Maria Rosita Gallegos, 49; Max Trujillo Sr., 55; and Brendon Herrera, 20, all from the La Madera area, 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) north of Santa Fe and not far from the Ojo Caliente hot springs, a popular tourist destination.

After the killings, police say Damian Herrera headed north to the community of Tres Piedras, where he is accused of killing Michael Kyte, 61, and stealing the man's truck.

Herrera drove into Colorado before finding his way back south into New Mexico, circumventing a rural area dotted by just a few close-knit communities and scenic mountain ranges.

Nearly five hours after the first 911 call came in about the family's slaying, Manuel Serrano, 59, was killed at the general store in Abiquiu, a traditional Hispanic enclave where O'Keeffe lived.

Sheriff's deputies spotted the stolen pickup and began chasing it.

"Herrera was driving so fast that when he came upon a curve, he was unable to maintain his lane of travel and veered into oncoming traffic," state police said in a statement.

The pickup overcorrected to avoid an oncoming police vehicle and crashed into a tree.

Herrera got out and ran toward deputies. He tried to grab one of their guns and it fired, authorities said. A second deputy used a stun gun on Herrera, and he was taken into custody.

An officer injured his elbow during the scuffle but there were no other injuries, police said.

Kyle Frettem, who took classes at the University of New Mexico with Herrera and would go hiking with him, said he had not talked to Herrera in about a year but described him as someone who was into inner peace.

"He was the kind of guy who would go out into the mountains and meditate," Frettem said. "People can change pretty drastically in a year, but someone like this, it's like no way."


Ga. deputy saved by ballistic vest

Posted on June 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Steve Burns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — A Hall County deputy was wounded after responding to an overnight home invasion and three other people, including a child, were injured, the sheriff said.

Just before midnight, deputies went to the 4300 block of Campbell Road in east Hall County, Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a news release Friday.

As deputies walked toward the home, a vehicle with multiple adults and children left the residence and swerved at one of the deputies, Couch said.

Gunfire was exchanged.

A deputy, who was not identified, was hit in the torso and also received a minor head wound, according to the release. The deputy’s ballistic vest stopped the bullet to the torso area. He was treated and released.

Two of the adults in the vehicle were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, Couch said. A child was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for treatment. The child’s injuries were not life-threatening.

The suspects were taken into custody, Couch said. Identities and exact charges were not available.

The GBI was asked to investigate the situation, which is standard with officer-involved shootings.

———

©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)


In Miami, Trump toughens Obama Cuba policy

Posted on June 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Patricia Mazzei And David Smiley Miami Herald

MIAMI — Miami’s hardline Cuban exiles embraced Donald Trump when he was a presidential candidate limping to Election Day.

On Friday, President Trump loved them back, enacting a tougher policy toward Cuba as he basked in celebratory cheers that recalled his campaign rallies.

Casting it as a “great day” for the people of the communist island of Cuba, Trump powered into Miami and announced a sweeping change in diplomatic relations intended to rebuke his predecessor’s executive changes and spur commerce and personal freedoms. Criticizing Barack Obama’s “terrible and misguided deal with the Castro regime,” he promised a brighter future during a relaxed 38-minute speech and signed a new executive policy he said would hold the island’s leaders accountable for human rights violations and push them to open up economic and personal freedoms.

“We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer,” he said.

Forget the investigations into whether his staff colluded with Russia and whether he obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, as Trump himself confirmed in a tweet Friday morning. Friday afternoon in East Little Havana offered Trump his favorite part of politics: praise from people who feel his promise has been kept.

“Last year I promised to be a voice against oppression … and a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people,” he said. “You heard that pledge. You exercised the right you have to vote. You went out and voted and here I am like I promised.”

Trump, plucking at the audience’s heart strings, brought violinist Luis Haza on stage to play the Star Spangled Banner, telling a story about Haza as a boy being forced by soldiers to play music following the execution of his father — so he played the U.S. national anthem.

Trump then stepped away from the lectern to a side table, picked up a pen and signed the policy with a flourish.

He’d wanted the announcement to take place at the nearby Bay of Pigs museum, where the Brigade 2506 veterans endorsed him last October — a moment Trump appeared to cherish, given how many times he’s mentioned it since to South Florida politicians. But the museum proved too small to accommodate the entourage of a presidential speech.

Instead, Trump spoke at the Manuel Artime Theater, a one-time church that offered an intimate atmosphere imbued with exile symbolism: The late Artime himself was a Bay of Pigs veteran. Brigade members, local politicians and activists sat on risers behind him, clad in matching polo shirts with embroidered insignia and sailor-style hats.

Trump, spurring a standing ovation, billed his appearance as a campaign promise kept to Cuban-Americans to take a harder stance on Cuba. He told the crowd he was canceling Obama’s Cuba policies, though in actuality he’s not. Rather, he’s taking a different approach to pressure Cuba to open its economy and eventually its political system.

“To the Cuban government, I say, put an end to the abuse of dissidents. Release the political prisoners. Stop jailing innocent people. Open yourselves to political and economic freedoms,” he said. “Return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard. And finally, hand over the Cuban military criminals who shot down and killed four brave members of Brothers to the Rescue who were in unarmed, small, slow civilian planes.”

Joining Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on stage were the architects of his Cuba policy, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, along with Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Rubio, Diaz-Balart and Curbelo flew from Washington with the president and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, a Miamian, on Air Force One. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was also invited but stayed in Washington, citing family plans.


Amid debate, NY OK’s family-DNA searches for suspects

Posted on June 17, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jennifer Peltz Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York is becoming the latest U.S. state to let police hunt for suspects by identifying their relatives through DNA, after officials voted Friday to allow a practice that authorities call a crime-solver but civil libertarians consider a DNA dragnet.

The technique, known as familial DNA searching, is now expected to be available this fall in New York. The state Commission on Forensic Science voted 9-2 to allow it in murder, rape and some other cases, including times when it could help exonerate someone already convicted.

Spokeswoman Janine Kava says the new policy "will provide law enforcement with a proven scientific tool to help investigate and solve serious crimes."

Authorities have for decades found suspects by matching crime scene evidence to convicted offenders' DNA. Familial DNA testing comes into play when there's no match. It looks instead for people similar enough to be closely related to whoever left the crime scene DNA. From there, investigators can look for family members who fit as suspects and, if they find one, pursue enough other evidence to bring charges.

At least 10 other states and some other countries use familial searching. It has borne fruit in such high-profile cases as Los Angeles' Grim Sleeper serial killings and the 1976 killing of the ex-wife of Righteous Brothers singer Bill Medley, also in Los Angeles.

Proponents see familial searching as a potent source of leads that can be done precisely and fairly.

"The process also helps exclude the innocent, and safeguards are in place so that the searching is done prudently and the information is used discreetly," said District Attorneys Association of New York President Thomas Zugibe, who's the DA in suburban Rockland County. Under New York's new policy, the state criminal justice services commissioner would review every familial DNA searching request, and investigators couldn't see the results without training on how to evaluate them.

While authorities praise the technique, defense lawyers and civil liberties advocates decry it for entangling law-abiding people in investigations because of their family ties. At least two jurisdictions, Maryland and Washington, D.C., have prohibited the practice, and the Legal Aid Society said Friday it was considering legal action or a legislative campaign to stop it in New York.

"Civil rights and privacy lost with today's vote," said Tina Luongo, an attorney with the society.

The commission began considering the issue last fall, when prosecutors wanted to use familial DNA searching in the case of Karina Vetrano, a 30-year-old killed while out running in New York City last August. Ultimately, police zeroed in on suspect Chanel Lewis through other means and then got a DNA sample from him that matched material under Vetrano's nails and at the crime scene, they said. Lewis has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder.

Although familial searching didn't factor in Vetrano's case, her father applauded Friday's vote.

"Many families will benefit, and many criminals will suffer," Phil Vetrano wrote on an online reward-fund page. "We will always be grateful to Karina for this."


Minn. officer acquitted in fatal shooting of Philando Castile

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Karnowski and Amy Forliti Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota police officer was acquitted of manslaughter Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.

Jeronimo Yanez was also cleared of two lesser charges in the July traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb. Jurors deliberated for about 29 hours over five days before reaching the verdict in the death of Castile, who was shot just seconds after informing Yanez that he was carrying a gun.

Yanez, who is Latino, testified that Castile was pulling his gun out of his pocket despite his commands not to do so. The defense also argued Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his actions.

Castile had a permit for the weapon, and prosecutors questioned whether Yanez ever saw it. They argued that the officer overreacted and that Castile was not a threat.

Castile's shooting was among a string of killings of blacks by police around the U.S., and the livestreaming of its aftermath by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, attracted even more attention. The public outcry included protests in Minnesota that shut down highways and surrounded the governor's mansion. Castile's family claimed he was profiled because of his race, and the shooting renewed concerns about how police officers interact with minorities. Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton also weighed in, saying he did not think the shooting would have happened if Castile had been white.

Castile's family reacted angrily to the verdict. His mother, Valerie Castile, stood and swore when it was read. His sister and others sobbed loudly. Family members immediately tried to leave the courtroom, and did so after security officers briefly barred their way.

Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, though sentencing guidelines suggest around four years is more likely. He also faced two lesser counts of endangering Castile's girlfriend and her then-4-year-old daughter for firing his gun into the car near them.

The jury got the case Monday, after just five days of testimony, evidence and arguments. The 12-member jury included two blacks. The rest were white. None was Latino.

Yanez testified that he stopped Castile in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights because he thought the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker looked like one of two men who had robbed a nearby convenience store a few days earlier. Castile's car had a faulty brake light, giving the 29-year-old officer a legally sufficient pretext for pulling him over, several experts testified.

Squad-car video played repeatedly for the jury shows a wide view of the traffic stop and the shooting, with the camera pointed toward Castile's car. While it captures what was said between the two men and shows Yanez firing into the vehicle, it does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez might have seen.

The video shows the situation escalated quickly, with Yanez shooting Castile just seconds after Castile volunteered, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me." Five of the officer's seven shots struck Castile. Witnesses testified that the gun was in a pocket of Castile's shorts when paramedics removed him from his vehicle.

Prosecutors called several witnesses to try to show that Yanez never saw the gun and acted recklessly and unreasonably. But defense attorneys called their own witnesses to back up Yanez's claim that he saw Castile pulling the gun and that Yanez was right to shoot.

After shooting Castile, Yanez is heard on the squad-car video telling a supervisor variously that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Yanez testified, "What I meant by that was I didn't know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area."

He said he clearly saw a gun and that Castile ignored his commands to stop pulling it out of his pocket. His voice choked with emotion as he talked of being "scared to death" and thinking of his wife and baby daughter in the split-second before he fired.

Prosecutors argued that Yanez could have taken lesser steps, such as asking to see Castile's hands or asking where the gun was. After Castile told the officer he had the gun, Yanez told Castile, "OK, don't reach for it then," and, "Don't pull it out."

On the squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, "I'm not pulling it out," as Yanez opened fire. Prosecutors said Castile's last words were, "I wasn't reaching for it."

Reynolds testified that she began recording the shooting's aftermath because she feared for her life and wanted to make sure the truth was known. Defense attorneys pointed to inconsistencies in several of her statements.

Defense attorneys also argued that Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his behavior. But a prosecution expert testified there's no way to tell when Castile last smoked marijuana or whether he was high.


Former dominatrix fights to keep her job as police officer

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A newly sworn-in sheriff's officer is fighting to keep her job after her department learned that she previously appeared in bondage films as a dominatrix.

Hudson County sheriff's officer Kristen Hyman is accused of conduct unbecoming a public employee and faces a disciplinary hearing June 27, The Jersey Journal reported on Thursday. The department says the videos, produced from 2010 to 2012, have sparked ridicule for it.

The department suspended Hyman on May 26, six days before her academy graduation, saying she failed to disclose that she appeared in the films and sometimes saw clients privately for money.

Court documents show that Hyman told investigators she never appeared naked and didn't perform any sex acts in the videos.

Hyman called the videos "stupid stuff I did when I was a kid." She said that violent acts seen in some recordings, including whipping and kicking, were staged and that she was merely an actress. She also noted that she didn't use her real name.

Hyman's lawyers argued that it was wrong to suspend her before a disciplinary hearing. The suspension was rescinded by a judge, and Hyman was sworn in June 8. Her lawyers say she is on modified duty.

Court documents show that Sheriff Frank Schillari concurred with the discipline against Hyman, saying it was necessary to protect the department's integrity and to prevent her from taking an oath of office "for which she is not entitled." Schillari declined to comment to the newspaper, citing the ongoing dispute.

Hyman also declined to be interviewed, but one of her attorneys, James Lisa, said she hopes to remain in law enforcement.

"The videos are clearly inflammatory, but there is nothing illegal," he said.

Lisa said Hyman could be fired at the disciplinary hearing or the matter could be dismissed altogether.

The Hudson County prosecutor's office declined to pursue any criminal charges against Hyman.


Border Patrol agents seize $1.5M in cocaine near Calif. checkpoint

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

TEMECULA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than 100 pounds of cocaine after a driver attempted to elude a checkpoint inspection in Southern California.

Officials say the 46-year-old man sped away when his SUV was referred to a secondary inspection area along Interstate 15 in Temecula.

The suspect led agents on a pursuit into a residential area. He ran from his vehicle but was caught when an agent used a stun gun.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the cocaine has an estimated value of about $1.5 million.

Agents discovered 37 bundles stashed inside a speaker box and plastic container in the SUV’s rear cargo area.


3 keys to buying body armor that’s right for you

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Propper

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Of the 135 police officers killed in 2016, 64 died in firearm-related incidents, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. As criminals with firearms continue to threaten officers on the job, body armor can be a lifesaver.

However, buying the right body armor requires more than simply checking a box and placing an order. Vests are not one-size-fits-all. Many require custom fitting, and it’s important to know the differences between the various armor options and threat ratings. Plus, there’s the challenge of funding.

Here are three key steps to help you prepare for a purchase of body armor:

1. Measure for correct fit

A ballistic vest that doesn't fit correctly might be uncomfortable, or worse, not provide enough coverage. Body armor should protect all vital organs, especially on the sides, where most officers are shot. If a vest isn’t sized correctly, coverage across the sides is often not complete.

In order to get accurate measurements, it’s important to have someone else measure with a soft measuring tape rather than taking self-measurements.

Be sure to take both sitting and standing measurements to ensure that vests fit comfortably whether you are sitting in a cruiser or on foot, says Skip Church, vice president of Propper International’s armor division.

He recommends taking the average of these two measurements so that when an officer sits down, the vest doesn't hit him or her in the throat or interfere with the duty belt but still offers enough coverage while standing.

It’s also important to consider the difference between tactical and concealed armor. Concealed armor is usually custom-fitted, while tactical armor often comes in alpha sizing, which can range from XS-2XL depending on the model.

2. Match the armor to the mission

When deciding what armor to buy, first determine what threats you and your agency anticipate and what your budget will allow.

The National Institute of Justice categorizes ballistic armor based on bullet resistance, with levels I, IIA, II and IIIA in the softer materials, and III and IV for harder armors. The higher the rating, the higher level of protection the vest offers. The higher ratings offer greater protection but often come with heavier and stiffer materials and higher costs.

It’s important to understand the difference between soft, semi-rigid and hard armor. Soft armor is flexible, made to wrap around the wearer and stop handgun rounds. As the majority of firearm threats officers see are from handguns, this is the most popular type of armor.

Semi-rigid plates can offer protection from rifle rounds and absorb blunt force trauma while still remaining lightweight. Hard armor plates made from ceramic or metal must be able to withstand multiple shots from a high-powered rifle, making them generally much heavier and less comfortable. Ceramic plates, which “catch” a bullet, are preferred over metal. Metal (typically steel) plates cause bullets to spall and shatter, putting the officer and those nearby in danger from the shrapnel.

With the exception of an active shooter situation, most patrol officers opt for a soft, handgun-rated vest for daily wear. A SWAT officer generally requires a higher level of protection and tactical capability, so they tend to wear heavier rifle-rated plates.

Deciding between the safety of hard armor and the greater comfort of soft is a constant problem, says Church, and hard plates cover vital organs but may leave gaps in coverage on the wearer’s sides.

“It won't cover the side unless there’s a side plate,” he said. “You could surround yourself with hard armor, but it would be so uncomfortable, so heavy, that you would never want to wear it.”

Armor comes in two basic configurations: two-panel “clamshell” or four-panel wraparound vests with overlapping panels. If you opt for a two-panel vest, be sure any gaps on the sides are closed for full coverage.

3. Find funding for your armor

Body armor doesn’t last forever and generally should be replaced every five years. The materials, especially in soft armor, break down over time, even faster with daily use. The NIJ recommends inspecting in-use body armor at least once a year, and any armor that has taken a hit should be replaced immediately.

While most departments list body armor as a budgeted item, it can be difficult to find the funds to replace old vests and buy new armor. Luckily, there’s a lot of grant money available for departments with smaller budgets. Here are a few programs that offer grants for body armor:

Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program 1122 Program Justice Assistance Grant Program Surplus Property Donation Program

Some manufacturers, including Propper, offer bulk purchasing discounts as well. Ask about this when making your inquiries.

It’s important to be prepared with the right kind of body armor for your mission. Selecting and buying armor that fits correctly and meets your specific needs without breaking the bank can provide protection for years. Consider what kinds of threats you and your fellow officers are most likely to face in the field, match that to an NIJ rating, and then consider what armor best meets your needs.


Policing Matters Podcast: How technology is changing police work

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Body cameras, drones, Shotspotter, analytics, GPS … police work has evolved significantly over the past couple of decades as new technologies such as these have been introduced, adopted, and utilized. In this podcast episode, Jim and Doug discuss some of the top technologies that have helped improve police work, and what may be on the horizon.


Amid violence, Baltimore PD cancels officer leave to prepare for Pride

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin Rector The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis canceled all scheduled leave for officers this Saturday in order to meet the demands of the department's latest anti-violence strategy while simultaneously providing a strong police presence at this weekend's Pride festivities, officials said Thursday.

The decision follows an announcement by Davis on Tuesday, after six homicides in less than 24 hours, that all patrol officers and detectives will be required to work 12-hour shifts, rather than their standard 10-hour shifts, and that all deployable officers will be put on the street through the end of the weekend.

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2016 Baltimore Gay Pride Parade.

Posted by Baltimore Police Department on Saturday, July 23, 2016

For Pride, the commissioner and other top commanders want to provide a particularly strong presence this year, given last year's attack at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando and last weekend's protests at the Pride parade in Washington, D.C., said T.J. Smith, a police spokesman.

Protesters briefly disrupted the Washington parade, arguing the event had become too corporate and didn't serve the LGBT community, and police there helped reroute the parade. The Pulse attack, in which a gunman killed 49 people and wounded many others, renewed conversations around public safety at LGBT gatherings.

"The LGBT community has been targeted and we have responsibility to ensure appropriate levels of staffing for this event and for the increased presence on the streets in general," Smith said. "In addition, we are still responding to the increased violence we saw last weekend."

Members of Baltimore's LGBT community and leaders in the Old Goucher neighborhood, where the Pride events are planned, said they welcome police this weekend — if the officers are there to support the LGBT community and understand that Pride is an inherently political environment where demonstrations may occur.

Ian Parrish, one of the owners of the Baltimore Eagle, a leather bar in the neighborhood, said he is particularly sensitive to the safety concerns as a bar owner following the Pulse attacks. He said he knows a lot of police officers in the city — including some who are members of the LGBT community — and appreciates the department's commitment.


Dashcam video released in Milwaukee lakefront shooting

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office released dash-camera video Thursday of a pursuit that ended in a driver's death, with the video appearing to show that a deputy on foot fired into the vehicle as it headed straight at him.

Sheriff David Clarke told WISN-TV it was "the best angles that we have" on the shooting Sunday night near the city's crowded Lake Michigan shoreline.

Terry Williams, 19, was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead Tuesday. Deputy Michael Truax, 32, has been placed on leave.

The newly released video shows the SUV going off-road as it was pursued by a sheriff's vehicle, eventually mounting a median. From the pursuing vehicle's camera, puffs of smoke are seen from in front of the SUV and Truax appears, dodging the SUV as it veers around him.

Clarke said earlier Williams was being pursued for failing to obey a traffic sign.

Milwaukee police say Williams was wanted for questioning in an incident a day earlier in which two men exchanged gunfire with another man, but it wasn't clear if that was a factor in Sunday's pursuit.

Clarke's office didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press. The shooting is being investigated by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office; state law requires officer-involved shootings to be investigated by an outside agency.

The death of Williams, who was black, has sparked at least two demonstrations. It came just as a black former Milwaukee police officer is going on trial in the fatal shooting of a black man, 23-year-old Sylville Smith, last August that sparked two nights of violence on the city's north side.


Dashcam video released in fatal Milwaukee pursuit shooting

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office released dash-camera video Thursday of a pursuit that ended in a driver's death, with the video appearing to show that a deputy on foot fired into the vehicle as it headed straight at him.

Sheriff David Clarke told WISN-TV it was "the best angles that we have" on the shooting Sunday night near the city's crowded Lake Michigan shoreline.

Terry Williams, 19, was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead Tuesday. Deputy Michael Truax, 32, has been placed on leave.

The newly released video shows the SUV going off-road as it was pursued by a sheriff's vehicle, eventually mounting a median. From the pursuing vehicle's camera, puffs of smoke are seen from in front of the SUV and Truax appears, dodging the SUV as it veers around him.

Clarke said earlier Williams was being pursued for failing to obey a traffic sign.

Milwaukee police say Williams was wanted for questioning in an incident a day earlier in which two men exchanged gunfire with another man, but it wasn't clear if that was a factor in Sunday's pursuit.

Clarke's office didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press. The shooting is being investigated by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office; state law requires officer-involved shootings to be investigated by an outside agency.

The death of Williams, who was black, has sparked at least two demonstrations. It came just as a black former Milwaukee police officer is going on trial in the fatal shooting of a black man, 23-year-old Sylville Smith, last August that sparked two nights of violence on the city's north side.


Police, colleagues at loss to find reason for UPS shooting

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paul Elias and Janie Har Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Jimmy Lam had his troubles: a drunk driving conviction, a grievance against his company, a struggle with personal issues and depression a few years ago.

But colleagues and investigators say none of it helps explain why the UPS driver showed up at his San Francisco workplace and gunned down three colleagues, wounding two others.

Lam, an 18-year veteran of UPS, appeared to single out the three slain drivers but investigators have yet to determine a motive for Wednesday's attack, an official in the San Francisco Police Department said.

The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The violence ended when the 38-year-old Lam turned the gun on himself and took his own life as workers ran from the packing facility and police closed in.

Shaun Vu, a senior UPS driver, said Lam had seemed to be on friendly terms with the three men he killed.

Lam had struggled with depression and had personal troubles a few years ago that involved a dispute with a girlfriend over visitation rights for their young child. Vu said he encouraged Lam to seek counseling.

"I told him, 'You have a problem or feel bad about yourself or your life, the best thing to do is get professional help,'" he said.

Lam told Vu that he would speak with management and then took off work for several months. He seemed fine when he returned to work but Vu noticed a few weeks ago that Lam looked troubled.

"I just saw him passing by and asked how he was doing," Vu said. "He said something like, 'I'm hanging in there.'

"I don't think he had anybody he could talk to and it got worse and worse," Vu said.

Lam also had a history of off-duty driving violations.

He was convicted twice of driving on a suspended license in 2013 and 2014, according to DMV records. His license was also suspended in 2014 for negligently operating a vehicle.

Lam also had a run-in with the law in 2010, when he was convicted in San Francisco of driving under the influence and sentenced to three years' probation.

There was no indication that Lam's driving record affected his ability to work at UPS.

UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg said she did not know details about Lam's driving record and would not comment. She added, however, that UPS drivers are expected to be able to drive legally.

In March, Lam filed a grievance claiming he was working excessive overtime, said Joseph Cilia, Lam's friend and an official with the union that represents UPS drivers. Cilia said Lam was upset with managers whom he accused of forcing him to work overtime.

But none of the men who were shot were managers, Cilia noted.

Lam was a U.S. citizen who emigrated to the United States as a baby from Thailand, said Sharon Rummery, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services. She declined further comment.

The shooting occurred during a morning planning meeting before drivers set out on delivery routes.

Cilia said witnesses told him that Lam walked up to driver Benson Louie and shot him during the meeting. As his co-workers frantically fled the room, he shot Wayne Chan in the back and then walked up and "finished him," Cilia said, citing witnesses.

Victim Mike Lefiti was fleeing from the building when Lam went to a street and shot him, he said.

Lefiti, 46, and Louie, 50, had each worked for UPS for 17 years, according to the company. Chan, 56, had 28 years of service.

UPS employees paid respects to the victims at a memorial erected at the packing facility where the shooting had occurred a day earlier. People said prayers and signed a poster honoring their three longtime colleagues.

Vu described Chan as an expert handyman who would come over at any time to help him build a fence or repair an electricity outlet. Chan leaves behind a wife and two children.

Tributes also poured on social media for Louie, who was considered a legend in nine-man volleyball, a version of a game brought over by Chinese immigrant laborers who played in the streets. He left behind a wife and two daughters.

Mamie Wong said she had known Louie since they were in junior high school.

"He had a big, generous heart," she said. "He'd bend over backward for you. If you needed a place to stay, he would give you a place. If you needed a car to drive, he would give you a car.

"He's left a big hole in our hearts."


Off-duty Ga. deputy fatally shot in domestic dispute

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Nefeteria Brewster The Augusta Chronicle

AUGUSTA, Ga. — An off-duty Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot Thursday afternoon in south Augusta, according to the sheriff’s office.

The officer, Cpl. Gregory Cooke, 43, was a road patrol deputy hired in December 2014. He was taken to AU Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 4:52 p.m, Coroner Mark Bowen said in a news release.

Bowen said Cooke was shot at least one time in what authorities are calling a domestic dispute. The shooting occurred in the 2400 block of Lennox Road off Windsor Spring Road.

Paul Jones, who lives four doors from the residence where the officer was shot, told an Augusta Chronicle reporter that he heard about five or six shots fired.

“We were going to Walmart up here but after the shots we just held up for awhile,” he said. “I have never seen anything like that on this street.”

Four people surrendered to a Burke County Sheriff’s deputy who they said they knew, according to Burke County Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard. Two of the suspects who turned themselves in were cousins, he said. All four were turned over to Richmond County, Blanchard said.

Two people, Naheem Rashad Caldwell, 17, of 3410 Aspen Court, who is out on bond after being indicted on a charge of theft by taking – accused of possessing a stolen 2004 Dodge Ram, and Donnelle Osborne,18, were arrested in connection to Cooke’s death, according to Lt. Allan Rollins of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. No charges had been filed as of late Thursday.

Earlier in the afternoon authorities from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office filled the parking lot of Skateland, located on Windsor Spring Road as helicopters flew above in search of suspects, who fled the scene.

Richmond County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said the shooting involved a domestic situation between the officer and a couple and their two children. Cooke was not related to the suspects but was acquainted with them, he said.

Caldwell’s first cousin, Latisha Lewis, who came to the scene on Lennox Road later in the evening, said he had become different person.

“He wasn’t raised that way, he was brought up well-mannered, but at some point he got into this world and made a horrible decision.”

Trina Roverson, who lives near the home where Cooke was shot, said she saw the officer in the street near the home with wounds to his right chest or shoulder.

“We couldn’t really tell because there were so many cops around him,” she said.

“We usually don’t have stuff like that happen on our street because it’s very quiet — this never happens.”

Roverson also said she is familiar with Caldwell as he would frequently walk around the neighborhood and would always say hello.

“He looked like a good kid,” she said.

The suspects were transferred to the Richmond County Detention Center. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the investigation because it is an officer-involved shooting.

Cooke started as a jailer and worked his way to field operations, Rollins said in the statement.

“The entire Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of Deputy Cooke and offers our deepest condolences and support to his family,” Rollins said in the release.

The last sheriff’s deputy killed was Sgt. Greg Meagher, 57, on Feb. 5 when he was overcome by fumes boiling from liquid nitrogen at Xytex, a sperm bank on Emmett Street. The longtime Richmond County sheriff’s deputy went in to save Anita Wylds, an employee who was trying to turn off the valve.

The last Richmond County officer fatally shot was Deputy J.D. Paugh on Oct. 23, 2011, by Christopher Hodges, a Tennessee National Guardsman stationed at Fort Gordon, during a shootout on Bobby Jones Expressway.

Staff writers Tom Corwin and Sandy Hodson contributed to this article.

———

©2017 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)


Teen police cadets steal, wreck LAPD cars, lead police on pursuit

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Three teenagers in a program for those who may want to become officers stole three Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and went on patrol around the city before leading authorities on wild pursuits that ended with crashes, Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

The trio — two boys and a girl ages 15, 16 and 17 — "gamed the system" and used a vacationing sergeant's name to sign out stun guns and radios and drive the cars right out of a stationhouse parking lot, Beck said. Police are investigating whether the teens impersonated officers and pulled over drivers.

The three were arrested Wednesday after two pursuits ended with crashes in South Los Angeles. A third police car was later recovered around the corner from a police station.

Beck said he had ordered a thorough review of the department's cadet program and policies for managing inventory.

2 stolen LAPD cruisers crash during chase across L.A.; officer in 3rd cruiser also crashes, police say https://t.co/RXlKVBKS6b pic.twitter.com/RgwJHqpWbE

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 15, 2017

"We are going to take this apart top to bottom," Beck said at a news conference. "We're going to see what we can do better and we're going to do it."

The three were part of a program for teen volunteers who work in police stations and go through an academy to learn about the criminal justice system.

Authorities are still trying to figure out exactly when the cars were taken, but Beck said investigators were looking into the possibility that at least one of the vehicles had been missing since May 28.

Police first grew suspicious when a sergeant who was conducting a routine inventory noticed a patrol vehicle was unaccounted for. Investigators later reviewed surveillance video that showed a young woman with the vehicle at a gas pump, he said.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Press Conference regarding stolen LAPD vehicles

Press Conference regarding stolen LAPD vehicles

Posted by LAPD Headquarters on Thursday, June 15, 2017

An officer who was patrolling in South Los Angeles on Wednesday saw two of the stolen police vehicles driving together and tried to pull them over. The teens behind the wheel refused to stop and led police on pursuits that ended with two separate crashes.

A woman suffered a minor injury at the end of one of the pursuits, said Josh Rubenstein, a police spokesman. She was "an innocent bystander in a separate vehicle," he said.

The third car was recovered later when one of the teens revealed its location to officers, Beck said.

The teens were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and other charges. One was wearing a bulletproof vest that had been taken from a police station, the chief said.

Beck said there was no indication any actual police officers were involved in the thefts.


P1 Photo of the Week: Beware of fog

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Officer Saul Velazquez, who's assigned to the Altadena area office with the California Highway Patrol, snapped this eerie photo while patrolling the Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest last month.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Bodycam shows fatal Milwaukee OIS that sparked protests

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Ivan Moreno Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — A former Milwaukee police officer on trial for killing a black man fleeing a traffic stop repeatedly commented how quickly the fatal encounter unfolded as his body camera captured the chaotic scene after the shooting.

Jurors saw the video Thursday — the first time the public has seen the events surrounding the shooting that sparked two nights of riots last year in a predominantly black neighborhood.

The bodycam video from Dominique Heaggan-Brown, 25, and another officer on the scene have been the focal point of the trial. Heaggan-Brown is facing 60 years in prison if he's convicted of first-degree reckless homicide for the death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith.

"It happened so quick, like we just," Heaggan-Brown said, snapping his fingers twice as he sat in a police cruiser talking to a supervisor several minutes after the shooting Aug. 13.

Heaggan-Brown was fired in October after being charged with sexual assault in an unrelated case.

Unlike other police shootings that have given rise to a national debate over how officers interact with African Americans, Smith and Heaggan-Brown are both black and from the same neighborhood where the shooting occurred.

In Heaggan-Brown's bodycam video, he begins chasing Smith immediately after stepping out of his patrol car.

Heaggan-Brown's camera shows Heaggan-Brown briefly pointing the gun at Smith as he begins running after him. He puts his gun back in his holster as Smith, who is holding a gun, turns into a path between two houses.

Smith slips and falls near a fence, dropping his gun. He begins reaching for it as he stands up, his left hand holding the fence.

When the video is slowed frame by frame, Smith is seen holding the gun by the barrel to throw it over the fence. Prosecutors argue that shows Smith no longer posed a threat.

The two shots by Heaggan-Brown came in quick succession — within two seconds of each other — striking Smith once in his right arm as he threw away his gun and then in the chest as he hit the ground on his back.

It was about 12 seconds from the moment Heaggan-Brown exited his vehicle to when he was standing over Smith with his firearm pointed at his body, which lay still.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has told jurors that second shot was unnecessary because Smith was defenseless. But Heaggan-Brown's attorneys say the officer was making split-second decisions and feared for his safety.

As Smith appears motionless on the ground immediately after the second shot, Heaggan-Brown yells "stop reaching" and moves Smith's right hand away from his stomach.

Moments later, Heaggan-Brown checks to see if Smith is still alive.

"Hey man, you still there?" he says, before touching Smith's neck to check for a pulse. After pumping Smith's chest with his hands a few times, Heaggan-Brown looks down at his hands and asks for gloves from the arriving officers as police sirens blare.

Heaggan-Brown and two other officers had approached Smith's rental car because it was parked more than a foot from the curb, and a man standing by Smith's passenger door led police to believe a drug deal was happening.

"We started right off with a foot pursuit," Heaggan-Brown told a supervisor after the shooting.

Heaggan-Brown also said Smith "looked like a known dude that fled from us plenty of times before, possibly."

The trial is expected to conclude by the middle of next week.


Teen police cadets stole, wrecked LAPD vehicles, led cops on pursuit

Posted on June 16, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Three teenagers in a program for those who may want to become officers stole three Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and went on patrol around the city before leading authorities on wild pursuits that ended with crashes, Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

The trio — two boys and a girl ages 15, 16 and 17 — "gamed the system" and used a vacationing sergeant's name to sign out stun guns and radios and drive the cars right out of a stationhouse parking lot, Beck said. Police are investigating whether the teens impersonated officers and pulled over drivers.

The three were arrested Wednesday after two pursuits ended with crashes in South Los Angeles. A third police car was later recovered around the corner from a police station.

Beck said he had ordered a thorough review of the department's cadet program and policies for managing inventory.

2 stolen LAPD cruisers crash during chase across L.A.; officer in 3rd cruiser also crashes, police say https://t.co/RXlKVBKS6b pic.twitter.com/RgwJHqpWbE

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 15, 2017

"We are going to take this apart top to bottom," Beck said at a news conference. "We're going to see what we can do better and we're going to do it."

The three were part of a program for teen volunteers who work in police stations and go through an academy to learn about the criminal justice system.

Authorities are still trying to figure out exactly when the cars were taken, but Beck said investigators were looking into the possibility that at least one of the vehicles had been missing since May 28.

Police first grew suspicious when a sergeant who was conducting a routine inventory noticed a patrol vehicle was unaccounted for. Investigators later reviewed surveillance video that showed a young woman with the vehicle at a gas pump, he said.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Press Conference regarding stolen LAPD vehicles

Press Conference regarding stolen LAPD vehicles

Posted by LAPD Headquarters on Thursday, June 15, 2017

An officer who was patrolling in South Los Angeles on Wednesday saw two of the stolen police vehicles driving together and tried to pull them over. The teens behind the wheel refused to stop and led police on pursuits that ended with two separate crashes.

A woman suffered a minor injury at the end of one of the pursuits, said Josh Rubenstein, a police spokesman. She was "an innocent bystander in a separate vehicle," he said.

The third car was recovered later when one of the teens revealed its location to officers, Beck said.

The teens were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and other charges. One was wearing a bulletproof vest that had been taken from a police station, the chief said.

Beck said there was no indication any actual police officers were involved in the thefts.


5 things to know about the cops who stopped the Va. congressional baseball shooting

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Gunfire erupted Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia during a practice round for the annual congressional charity baseball game. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was critically wounded, and two Capitol police officers, a lobbyist and a legislative aide were also injured in the attack. The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, was killed. Here are five things to know about the three brave officers – David Bailey, Crystal Griner and Henry Cabrera – who stopped the assault and prevented further tragedy.

1. The LEOs prevented a potential massacre at an event not usually attended by police.

In most cases, the practice isn’t attended by Capitol Police, but because Scalise is in a position of leadership, he’s one of nine members of Congress with a security detail and the only one of the nine who was on the baseball field Wednesday.

“Our lives were saved by the Capitol Police. Had they not been there I think it would have been a massacre,” Sen. Rand Paul told CNN. “The field, I mean, was basically a killing field.”

The presence of Scalise, who underwent a third surgery Thursday, was a stroke of luck in a tragedy that could have been far worse.

2. Griner and Bailey engaged the shooter while wounded.

All three officers immediately sprang into action after the first shots rang out. Displaying the true warrior and guardian spirit inherent in all those who don the uniform, Griner and Bailey continued to engage the suspect even after they were wounded in the gunfire exchange.

"The problem is that he's got a rifle and they've got handguns, and it's not a fair fight at that point in time," Rep. Mike Bishop told CBS News. "They knew they weren't going to probably hit him. They just were trying to give us cover."

While Griner and Bailey returned fire at Hodgkinson from the field, Cabrera shot from behind the first-base dugout. The LEOs faced a barrage of gunfire - Griner suffering from a gunshot wound to the ankle and Bailey injured by shrapnel – and prevailed.

Thankful for @CapitolPolice agents Crystal Griner & David Bailey. Agree w/ @SpeakerRyan. Their courage and bravery saved lives pic.twitter.com/PpOXFktzF8

— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) June 15, 2017

Griner and Bailey were both treated at a hospital and released.

3. Griner and Bailey are LE veterans, and their heroism is no surprise to those who know them.

Griner and Bailey are both veterans of Capitol Hill. Before they were assigned to Scalise, they worked security detail for former House majority leader Eric Cantor.

Bailey has served as a US Capitol Police Officer for over nine years. Prior to that, he worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He attended college at North Carolina Central University. NCCU Interim Chancellor Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye had this to say about Bailey:

"This example of “Truth and Service” comes as no surprise to his professors who knew him to be an engaged and empathetic student who was committed to excellence."

“He always had a passion for law enforcement,” Bailey’s friend, Adams Jones, told the Daily Beast. “He refers to the other officers as his brothers and sisters.”

Before she served, Griner was a “woman to be reckoned with” at Hood college – a basketball star who was a top scorer in her freshman year, according to the Daily Beast.

Special Agent Crystal Griner (at right) from college Basketball days at Hood College. -photo credit Marny Malin, Frederick New Post pic.twitter.com/xSGNEE1IO5

— The Skeptic (@TheSkeptic21) June 14, 2017

“[Griner’s] an incredibly able and professional individual who always takes her job and responsibility seriously,” Cantor told the publication. “It is not surprising to hear of her heroism and bravery during this horrible attack.”

During his visit to the hospital where Griner was being treated, President Donald Trump met with the officer and her wife, Tiffany, and gave them flowers.

4. Government officials were quick to praise the heroes.

Politicians were quick to heap praise on the LEOs who saved many lives that day.

"We are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Police," House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

"We're especially thankful for the brave police officers that ran into danger without regard to their personal safety," Vice President Mike Pence said. "The courageous actions ... saved lives and prevented an even greater tragedy, and the American people are grateful."

Karen & I just left @MedStarWHC. Thanked docs & staff. Keep @SteveScalise, Officer Griner & all involved & their loved ones in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/JcKwTMLPDH

— Vice President Pence (@VP) June 15, 2017

"Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault," Trump said. "Our brave Capitol Police perform a challenging job with incredible skill, and their sacrifice makes democracy possible."

5. A day after being wounded, Bailey threw out the first pitch at the Congressional Baseball Game.

Going out to the pitcher’s mound on crutches, Bailey surprised the crowd at the Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday and threw out the first pitch.

David Bailey, 1 of 2 officers who prevented ‘massacre' in Virginia, threw out the first pitch before tonight's Congressional Baseball Game. pic.twitter.com/UQ2ivvLSeM

— ABC News (@ABC) June 15, 2017

Injured Capitol Police Officer David Bailey throws out the first pitch. What a moment #CBG17 pic.twitter.com/gaY9dwql86

— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) June 15, 2017


Judge releases suspect who allegedly ran over cop

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

HOLYOKE, Mass. — A suspect who allegedly ran over a police officer at a local mall on June 9 has been released by a judge.

According to WGGB, a judge released Charles Moran, 25, on his own recognizance Wednesday.

Officer Eric Martin was in the mall when he responded to a domestic dispute between Moran and his girlfriend. Moran allegedly walked into the building with a bat.

The dispute moved to the parking lot where the girlfriend told Martin she was afraid of Moran. Moran then grabbed her and put her in the car. A child was also inside the vehicle, the news station reported.

Moran fled and struck Martin with his car. Martin was taken to the hospital and treated for a sprained ankle and torn tendons in his wrist. He remains out of work while he recovers.

Moran was pulled over shortly after fleeing. He faces multiple charges including assault and battery with a deadly weapon, intimidation of a witness, breach while armed, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, failure to stop for police, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment of a child, use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, and domestic assault and battery.


Man ‘acting like a bull’ stabs Calif. K-9

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A K-9 is recovering after a suspect pulled a knife and stabbed the dog during a foot pursuit.

Police responded to calls of a man running between cars in the middle of the street Tuesday, NBC Los Angeles reported. Witnesses said the suspect was “acting like a bull” and behaving oddly.

When officers approached, the suspect pulled a knife and fled. K-9 Max was deployed and bit the man. Police told the news station the suspect then stabbed Max twice.

The suspect fled again, but was detained shortly after. He was treated at a local hospital and released to police custody.

Max was transported to a local veterinary hospital where he was treated and released on Wednesday. He is recovering at home.


Va. officer found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SUSSEX, Va. — A Sussex County sheriff’s deputy was found dead one day after the police department laid Sheriff Raymond Bell to rest.

Capt. Ernest Giles told the Sussex Surry Dispatch that Deputy Corey Fox was found dead Sunday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 24.

Fox joined the department in 2014 while working as a corrections deputy at the local jail and volunteering as firefighter with the county.

“Fox will be missed,” Giles told the publication. “He was a hard worker and he was truly dedicated to his department.”

Giles said grief counselors have been brought in to speak with those who are struggling with the loss of Fox and Bell.


Man who robbed bank to avoid wife sentenced to home confinement

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Katy Bergen The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A remorseful 71-year-old man who robbed a Kansas City, Kan. bank last September and told police he hoped to land in prison to escape his wife told a federal judge Tuesday that heart surgery had left him depressed and unlike himself when he committed the crime.

Though Lawrence John Ripple pleaded guilty to bank robbery in January and could have spent up to 37 months in prison, his attorney and federal prosecutors asked a U.S. District Court Judge for leniency, a request supported by the vice-president of the bank and the teller whom Ripple frightened, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania said.

U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia sentenced Ripple on Tuesday to six months of home confinement after public defender Chekasha Ramsey and Catania cited Ripple’s health issues, remorse and unlikeliness to reoffend as justification for reducing his sentence.

Ripple will also serve three years of supervised probation, including 50 hours of community service. He was ordered to pay $227.27 to the bank he robbed — the amount representing the billable hours for bank employees that were sent home on the day of robbery — and $100 to a crime victims fund.

Ripple’s story gained national attention last fall when he walked into the Bank of Labor, located a block away from the Kansas City, Kan. police headquarters, and gave a note to the teller. It read: “I have a gun, give me money,” according to court documents.

After the teller gave Ripple $2,924, Ripple sat down in the bank lobby to wait for police, and later told authorities that he had written out a robbery note in front of his wife and told her he would rather be in jail than at home.

Ripple’s attorney Chekasha Ramsey told a judge Tuesday that before the September incident Ripple had lived a law-abiding life. He had no criminal record, was a dutiful father to four step-children and was in a stable relationship with his wife.

He suffered from depression after undergoing a quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2015, Ramsey said. The depression remained undiagnosed and manifested as irritiability, so Ripple didn’t think to report his symptoms to a doctor.

Calling the robbery a “cry for help,” Ramsey said that Ripple has since been properly diagnosed, is on proper medication and feels like his normal self again.

“Mr. Ripple understands what he did and he respects the law as indicated by his past behavior,” said Ramsey, who told the judge that Ripple had also been attending mandated counseling sessions with his wife.

Accompanied by his wife and several family members on Tuesday, Ripple appeared remorseful and apologized to both Bank of Labor and the bank teller. He declined to talk to The Star.

“It was not my intention to frighten her as I did,” Ripple said in court Tuesday.

Ripple said that he felt better after finding the right medication and said prison would be more of a punishment for his wife than for him.

“I feel great now,” Ripple said. “I feel like my old self.”

Both Murguia and Catania said that it was extrememly uncommon for a person convicted of bank robbery to receive a sentence that doesn’t involve prison time. Catania said she had only requested the court to consider other sentencing options in two other occasions throughout her career.

“What’s got lost in the news reports is that Mr. Ripple went to a bank, robbed it and never left,” Catania said.

When a bank security guard and police found him, Catania said, he immediately returned the money. Though he had threatened the bank teller with a gun, the only items found on his person were nail clippers and a hair brush.

———

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)


NH officer exposed to opioid powder during traffic stop

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, N.H. — Police say an officer in New Hampshire has been exposed to an opioid-based powder during a traffic stop and was taken to a hospital.

WMUR-TV reports the officer in Alexandria experienced some symptoms, but was expected to be OK and be released later Tuesday. Police said Narcan wasn't used on the officer.

Police said the officer pulled the car over because it was being driven erratically.

Further information was not immediately available.


Fla. police commander to be fired after therapist’s shooting

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. — A Florida police department is firing the commander in charge when an officer shot a therapist who was protecting an autistic man.

The Miami Herald reports that North Miami Police notified Cmdr. Emile Hollant on Wednesday that he will be fired. Hollant was in charge when SWAT team member Jonathan Aledda shot Charles Kinsey in the leg last July 18. Kinsey was protecting 27-year-old Arnaldo Rios, a severely autistic man who was sitting in the street with a toy truck.

Aledda says he mistook the truck for a weapon. He is charged with attempted manslaughter.

An internal affairs investigation concluded that Hollant falsely told Police Chief Gary Eugene he had gone to get binoculars when Aledda fired.

Hollant's attorney, Michael Joseph, said his client will be exonerated.


No 1. courthouse problem: People urinating in the elevator

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

JONESBORO, Ark. — Officials in an Arkansas county have a plea for courthouse visitors: Please stop urinating in our elevator.

Craighead County officials hope new security cameras will deter the steady stream of culprits who have been relieving themselves in the courthouse elevator in Jonesboro, a college town about 115 miles northeast of Little Rock.

Maintenance workers say the problem has persisted for years — even though the restrooms are only about 25 feet from the elevator.

Officials tell The Jonesboro Sun that the cameras, installed last fall, have caught three men in the act, one of whom has been cited for disorderly conduct and fined $105. A third instance was recorded Monday, and county officials say they plan to issue a citation.


Courage on canvas: How a forensic artist’s portraits give fallen cops new life

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by 5.11 Tactical.

By Cole Zercoe for PoliceOne

In March 2015, a 30-year-old Philadelphia police officer entered a GameStop to purchase a video game for his son’s birthday — a gift he would never deliver. Officer Robert Wilson III was shot and killed during a gun battle with two would-be robbers who came into the store while Wilson was at the counter.

As with every line of duty death, the officer’s passing rocked his department and the law enforcement community at large. As the first anniversary of Wilson’s death approached, his colleague, Philly Officer Jonny Castro, reached out to Wilson’s family for some personal photos to use as reference. He wanted to give Wilson an opportunity he never had while he was alive — to proudly wear the sergeant’s uniform he had earned posthumously. Carefully decorating the uniform with intricately detailed depictions of the Medal of Honor and Medal of Valor the sergeant also earned after his death, Castro painted a portrait of a man who died a warrior.

From art school to Iraq

Growing up, Castro never imagined himself becoming a cop. His mind was on art; he got into sketching at an early age because of his father, who also had a knack for drawing. He admired illustrators — from the animators behind classic Disney films to the iconic movie poster work of Drew Struzan — and at 18 decided to further hone his skills by going to art school for graphic design. Then, early in his freshman year, Castro watched along with the rest of the nation as the Twin Towers fell.

Like many young Americans, the devastating attack that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people galvanized a need deep within Castro to serve his country. He dropped out of school in his second year and joined the Army, serving as a military police officer in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. Upon returning home from overseas, he joined the police academy and worked patrol for nine years before transferring to the department’s graphic arts unit to work as a forensic artist. For Castro, who wasn’t sure he’d ever make a career out of drawing, the marriage of his passion for art and passion to serve was an unlikely stroke of luck in an already unusual career path.

Courage on canvas

When Castro posted the portrait of Wilson to social media, along with a detailed caption in tribute to the fallen officer, it garnered a massive response from both police and the public. It was the first of over 80 portraits (and counting) that Castro has painted to honor and humanize those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their communities.

“I do it to get their stories out there,” Castro said. “A lot of times it’ll [the death of an officer] just pop up in the news, but you really don’t know what happened, you just see it [the headline] on Facebook. I do it to let people know that it wasn’t just a cop that was killed; it was somebody’s father, somebody’s husband — it was a human being.”

With a digital tablet, Castro captures these stories of bravery in brushstrokes. The constable stabbed to death while stopping a terrorist attack. The detective fatally ambushed while sitting in his patrol vehicle. The master sergeant shot and killed while confronting a homicide suspect. Every portrait of valor comes with its own tragic backstory, but through Castro’s work these officers live on — immortalized in digital ink, their lives discussed, shared and honored far and wide through social media.

https://readymag.com/795447

Upon completion of a portrait, Castro also reaches out to the fallen officer’s police department and ships copies of the prints to the agency and the officer’s family. He pays for all of it out of pocket, funding the project through occasional commission work.

“They’ve very grateful,” Castro said. “I’ve gotten thank you cards from their departments, their chiefs of police. I’ve got one from the mayor’s office of Cleveland. I hear from them a lot and I keep in contact with them. Sometimes they’ll send me pictures of their prints hanging up in their houses or their family members with the prints that I gave them.”

While Castro will never forget any of his interactions with the people who knew and loved the subjects of his portraits, one series of “thank yous” that stick out for him in particular are those that came from the families of the three Baton Rouge officers slain in a targeted attack last year.

“The three Louisiana officers were some of the earliest I’ve done,” Castro said. “I remember watching it [the ambush] live as it was happening. At the time I didn’t think I was going to do all three. But after I posted the first one, Matthew Gerald, I saw his wife had commented on the post, then one of the other officer’s wives commented … I felt like I had to do the other two. I’ve spoken with probably all of their family members — their wives, their sons and daughters. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s cool to know I actually reached them all the way from Philadelphia.”

A burden worth bearing

For many officers around the country, one of the hardest aspects of the job is coming to terms with the reality that donning the badge and uniform comes with a potentially deadly risk. Given the nature of Castro’s work — around 8 to 10 hours of painting per portrait — his immersion in that difficult truth is arguably deeper than most.

“A lot of times you’ll read these stories about how they’re walking up to a house and they’re ambushed or they’re sitting in their car and they don’t even know what’s coming,” Castro said. “It’s crazy to think that … I don’t work in patrol anymore, but there’s hundreds of thousands of cops that still do it every single day, and they don’t know what they’re walking into. It’s difficult to know that these were the stories behind what happened to them — that was their last moment. It’s tough to think about while you’re painting.”

But for Castro, it’s a burden worth bearing.

“There’s a lot of tension going on between police officers and the general public. This is a way for people who aren’t police officers to see these officers as people too,” Castro said.

Another grim reminder of the dangers cops face every day: the sheer number of officers killed on duty means that despite his best intentions, Castro, who works on the portraits in his spare time and can only do two per week, is having trouble keeping up. He entered 2017 with the goal of painting a portrait of every fallen officer killed this year. He even set up a “Wall of Heroes” bulletin board in his office, where he hangs 3'x5' prints of each cop. But by March, he was already behind in double digits.

“It’s not like I’m picking and choosing what I want to do. If an officer is killed and I see the funeral is coming up, I’ll try to get it done in time,” Castro said. “I get a lot of requests and it’s not that I’m choosing not to do it; I just don’t have the time to.”

Despite this backlog, Castro hopes that he can meet his goal by the end of the year. And the work doesn’t stop there. In addition to law enforcement officers, Castro has also paid tribute to other first responders and members of the military. He’s even expanded his tributes to include civilians. Earlier this year, Castro honored Robert Godwin Sr., the 74-year-old man who was brutally gunned down at random while he was walking home on Easter Sunday.

In memory of

While Castro’s work has received a lot of attention, he doesn’t do it for the recognition or praise. He made it clear that his mission is to honor these heroes and share their stories — he wants the attention on them, not himself.

“I’m not really doing anything other than portraying these officers the way they would want to be remembered,” Castro said.

The only thing he asks in return for his work is that people share these stories — that they spread the word and remember these lives taken far too soon.

If you have a Quiet Warrior story that you'd like us to feature, tell us about it here.

About the author

Cole Zercoe is the Associate Editor of PoliceOne, responsible for writing and editing news articles, original columns, product articles, and trade show coverage. From the latest police technologies and innovations to the emerging threats cops face in the digital age, his features focus on the complexity of policing in the modern world.

Contact Cole Zercoe


UPS employees return to work at warehouse after 3 killed

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paul Elias and Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — United Parcel Service trucks started rolling again Thursday at a warehouse in San Francisco where an employee a day earlier shot and killed three colleagues and wounded two others before he killed himself in front of police officers.

Investigators were trying to determine what prompted Jimmy Lam, 38, to open fire during a meeting with co-workers.

Lam, a UPS driver, had filed a grievance claiming that he was working excessive overtime and appeared to specifically go after the three drivers he killed before fatally shooting himself.

He filed the grievance in March complaining of too much overtime and requesting that the package delivery company relieve him of working extra hours going forward, Joseph Cilia, an official with a Teamsters Union local that represents UPS workers in San Francisco, told The Associated Press.

During a Wednesday morning meeting, Lam walked up to driver Benson Louie and shot him. As his co-workers frantically fled the room, he shot Wayne Chan in the back, and then walked up to him and "finished him." Mike Lefiti was fleeing from the building when Lam went out onto the street and shot him, Cilia said witnesses told him.

"It's senseless. I can't think of anything. Why him? Why them?" Cilia asked. "I can't put it together."

Officials late Wednesday confirmed San Francisco residents Louie, 50, and Chan, 56, and 46-year-old Lefiti, of Hercules, were killed in the shooting.

Two other UPS employees were wounded, but Cilia said both were released from the hospital.

Amid a barrage of gunfire, some workers sought refuge on the roof of the four-story facility, while others ran outside and pounded on the windows of a public bus, witnesses said.

"They were screaming, 'Go! Go! Go!'" said Jessica Franklin, 30, who was riding to work when the bus made a regular stop in front of the UPS facility. "As they got on the bus, they were all ducking."

Auto shop owner Robert Kim said he saw "a mob of UPS drivers" running down the street screaming "Shooter! Shooter!"

The shooting prompted a massive police response in one of the city's industrial neighborhoods, about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from downtown San Francisco, Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin told reporters.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said the shooter was a company employee. A San Francisco Police Department official identified Lam, 38, and said he's from San Francisco but had no immediate details on his background.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Lefiti's cousin, Mack Toia, told KGO-TV (http://abc7ne.ws/2sch61d) he was at the UPS facility waiting to pick up Lefiti when shots rang out. He left his van and saw his cousin sprawled on concrete behind a gate, Toia said.

"The police officers were right on the scene just like that. I got to touch him, but I couldn't hug him," Toia said. "They just pushed me away because they were trying to resuscitate him."

Co-worker Isaiah Miggins said he saw Lefiti, known as "Big Mike," as he arrived for work just before 9 a.m., a few minutes before the shooting started. "He was a joyful man. Always happy," Miggins said.

On social media, heartbroken family members of Lefiti recalled him as a warm-spirited man devoted to his children and family. A photo on his Facebook page shows Lefiti in his brown UPS uniform holding a trophy. He also posted photos of his UPS truck and an award for 15 years of service to the company in 2015.

A 30-year-old tech worker who lives across the street from the warehouse said he heard up to eight gunshots.

"They were all in rapid succession," said Raymond Deng. "It was like tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat."

Deng watched from his window in the Potrero Hill section of San Francisco as workers fled the building. He said another group of about 10 people gathered on the roof and held up their hands waving for help.

"I saw police officers go up from the ramp and then storm the buildings," he said. "It's crazy."

Officers found two victims outside and others inside and pulled the wounded to safety as they confronted the gunman, who was armed with an "assault pistol," Chaplin said.

"The suspect put the gun to his head and discharged the weapon," Chaplin said, adding that police did not fire any shots. Two guns were recovered at the scene, he said.

The shooting happened the same day a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia, wounding U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others.


Police: ‘Sovereign citizen’ takes bite out of officer’s thumb

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Travis Dorman Knoxville News-Sentinel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A separatist calling himself a "sovereign Hebrew Israelite citizen" bit off the end of a Knoxville Police Department officer's thumb during a fight on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

KPD Officer Trey Lane was in surgery for his thumb as of 4:30 p.m., according to a police news release. A second officer, Tim Edwards, was taken to a hospital with a leg injury following the fight.

Alexander Ray Johnson, 29, of Knoxville, was driving an Acura MDX on Woodbine Avenue just after 1:15 p.m. when the officers pulled him over at Milligan Street for speeding, according to the release.

The car had no legal license plate — only a "Sovereign Hebrew" plate that purported to be issued by the "Royal Tribe of Judah," police said.

When the officers began arresting Johnson, he allegedly resisted and bit off the end of Lane's thumb.

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Officers Injured in Assault by Proclaimed Sovereign Hebrew Israelite Citizen On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at...

Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Johnson, who was not injured in the fight, was arrested and is being held in the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility on traffic charges. He will be charged this evening with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

A woman in the car was detained for questioning and is expected to be released.

Sovereign citizens reject federal, state and local laws and typically deny the legitimacy of government agencies, including local police departments. They often refuse to pay taxes and issue their own versions of driver's licenses and other documents.

In February, a grand jury in Davidson County indicted 10 self-proclaimed sovereign citizens on charges of filing fraudulent liens against city and county mayors, police officers, deputies and other government officials. Those bogus claims totaled more than $2 billion, according to the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office.

Also in February, another sovereign citizen, Lee Cromwell, was convicted on one count of vehicular homicide and eight counts of aggravated assault for driving a truck into a crowd gathered to watch fireworks at A.K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge on July 4, 2015.

Various factions of sovereign citizens, white and black, hold various and contradictory racial beliefs. Hebrew Israelite sovereigns believe black people are the true descendants of Israel.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that classifies hate groups, wrote in 2008 that although most Hebrew Israelite sovereigns aren't explicitly racist, anti-Semitic or violent, an extremist sector believes "Jews are devilish impostors" and that white people are evil and deserve "only death or slavery."

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©2017 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)


Wounded Capitol officers hailed as heroes after shooting

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By David Lauter, Lisa Mascaro and Brian Bennett Tribune Washington Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A rare act of apparent political violence disrupted one of Washington’s few remaining bipartisan traditions Wednesday when a gunman — believed to be targeting Republicans — wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and three other people as members of Congress took part in an early morning baseball practice for a charity event.

Scalise, 51, the third-ranking Republican in the House, and one other victim were listed in critical condition after surgeries.

The gunman, identified by law enforcement officials as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., a suburb of St. Louis, died in custody of wounds he suffered in a shootout with members of Scalise’s security detail and local police.

Hodgkinson, described by his lawyer as a “very irascible, angry little man,” had a history of minor run-ins with the law and a long trail of social media posts denouncing President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

He staged the attack at a suburban baseball diamond in a quiet neighborhood of Alexandria, Va., where Republican lawmakers have practiced for years for an annual congressional charity ballgame against Democrats.

Shortly before the shooting began, the gunman asked Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., if the team on the field was made up of Democrats or Republicans, DeSantis later told reporters.

Thankful for @CapitolPolice agents Crystal Griner & David Bailey. Agree w/ @SpeakerRyan. Their courage and bravery saved lives pic.twitter.com/PpOXFktzF8

— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) June 15, 2017

The attack was the first on a member of Congress since the shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a meeting with constituents in Arizona in 2011 and the first in the Capitol area since 1998, when a gunman shot and killed two Capitol Police officers while trying to enter the Capitol building.

Trump and leaders of both parties called for national unity and denounced violence.

“We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country,” said Trump, whose 71st birthday was Wednesday.

He praised the heroism of Capitol Police officers — the members of Scalise’s security detail — who were wounded responding to what he called “a very, very brutal assault.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., also called for unity in a brief address to his chamber hours after the attack.

“We are united. We are united in our shock. We are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” Ryan said.

But, as if to underscore the political divide that contrasts with such appeals, some conservative media pundits said Democratic political leaders were to blame for the violence because of the intensity of their anti-Trump rhetoric.

Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner, who was shot in the ankle, and David Bailey, who was not shot but sustained a minor injury, were in “good condition,” Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said.

In addition to Scalise and Griner, the other two wounded by gunfire were identified as Matt Mika, a former congressional staff member who now works for Tyson Foods, and Zachary Barth, a staff aide to Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas.

Barth was in good condition, according to Williams’ office. Mika, who was shot several times, according to witnesses, including at least once in the chest, was in critical condition, according to a statement from his family.

During the 2016 presidential race, Hodgkinson was an outspoken campaign volunteer for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for the Democratic nomination.

Sanders, reading a statement on the Senate floor, said he was “sickened” by the shooting, which was carried out by “someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign.”

“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society,” he said.

Facebook messages that appear to have been posted by Hodgkinson regularly supported Sanders and criticized his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and, with increasing vehemence and profanity, Trump.

One post, written March 22, read: “Trump is Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Hodgkinson also was a member of Facebook groups with names including “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans” and “Terminate the Republican Party.”

He was arrested in Illinois on an assault charge in 2006, but the case was dismissed after witnesses failed to show up at hearings, said his lawyer, Lyndon Evanko. His social media posts do not appear to have advocated violence.

Since March, officials said, he has been living out of his white cargo van in Alexandria, a suburb of Washington, spending much of his time at a YMCA near the ball field, according to witnesses who saw him there.

Tim Slater, the FBI special agent in charge of the Washington field office, who is leading the investigation, cautioned reporters that it was “too early” to know Hodgkinson’s motivation for the shooting.

Authorities “continue to actively investigate the shooter’s motives,” Slater said at a brief news conference Wednesday afternoon.

But DeSantis, the Florida congressman, said photos of Hodgkinson matched the appearance of the man who approached him and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., as they were leaving the baseball practice and asked “whether it was Republicans or Democrats that were out there.”

The encounter seemed odd, DeSantis said in an interview on CNN, but he did not consider it threatening until he arrived back at Capitol Hill and heard about the shooting.

Several dozen people — members of Congress, staffers and others — were at the practice. The location and the fact that members of Congress used the field were well known in the area, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said.

The gunman “was going after elected officials,” Brooks said on CNN shortly after the shooting.

As news of the attack spread, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the House and Senate canceled their official business for the day.

In a briefing with security officials before the House convened at noon, members of Congress from both parties talked of receiving death threats, including some since the shooting, and pleaded for additional security.

“Everyone’s getting a bunch of death threats right now,” Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., said as lawmakers exited the closed-door briefing. “A lot of members were asking for changes.”

Members of the House and Senate leadership have armed officers assigned to protect them, but rank-and-file members do not routinely have security details.

Ryan, in his speech to the House, said that despite differences on issues, and “for all the noise and all the fury, we are one family.”

There were many images they will want to forget from the day, Ryan said, “but there is one image in particular that this House should keep” in its memory: “Our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer” when they heard the news.

Many lawmakers were near the dugout when the first shots cracked through the muggy morning air shortly after 7 a.m.

The shooter could be seen standing with a rifle outside the chain-link fence that surrounds the field as shots were fired, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told reporters.

“Fifty would be an understatement,” he added, referring to the number of shots.

Scalise was standing on second base, fielding balls, when he was shot in the hip, Flake said.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said he was walking down the third-base line toward home plate as practice was winding down.

Suddenly, he heard a loud pop, “and then there was a pause, and then there was just a barrage of gunshots,” Fleischmann told reporters.

“We hit the ground behind home plate,” then “ran, and we jumped into the dugout,” he said.

“There was a real fear” that the gunman would come into the dugout, where members of Congress and others would have been “sitting ducks,” he said.

The two Capitol Police officers in Scalise’s security detail returned fire with pistols, Fleishmann said, engaging in what witnesses described as a brief but intense gunfight.

While they were shooting, Alexandria police arrived and killed the gunman. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said that the first report of gunfire was received at 7:09 a.m. and that his officers arrived on the scene two or three minutes later.

“It seemed like an eternity. In reality, it was probably just a few minutes,” Fleischmann said. “The fear factor was horrific. We did not know when it would end. He kept firing and firing and firing.” It was, he said, “sheer and utter chaos.”

If police had not been at the scene “it would have been a massacre,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who was jogging around the field when he heard the first shot. “As terrible as it is, it could have been a lot worse.”

The charity ballgame, played off and on since 1909, is sponsored by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call and raises money for three Washington-area charities. It is scheduled to take place Thursday evening at the Washington Nationals ballpark.

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©2017 Tribune Co.


Source: NY officer dragged by car still in coma

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — An NYPD officer from North Baldwin, dragged nearly three blocks by a stolen car in Brooklyn before falling and hitting his head, remained in a medically induced coma Monday, a law enforcement source said.

Officer Dalsh Veve, a nine-year veteran working in the 67 Precinct, attempted to sidestep the fleeing Honda Civic with a 15-year-old driver and three passengers before grabbing the car's center post between the driver-side doors, said the source, who didn't want to be named. Veve hit his head on the pavement, the source said, and remained in critical condition Monday at Kings County Hospital Center.

Doctors put Veve in a medically induced coma last week to relieve swelling on his brain, officials said at the time.

Veve, born in Haiti and married with a young daughter, responded with other officers from the precinct at about 11:50 p.m. June 3 to a report of shots fired in Flatbush near Tilden Avenue and East 53rd Street, police said.

Officers soon concluded the gunshot sound was actually fireworks set off at a party. As the Honda sat parked across the street at a fire hydrant, Veve approached to question the occupants, police said. The car sped off, dragging Veve for two-and-a-half blocks, police said, before be broke free. As the car dragged Veve, he fired at least one shot, hitting the driver in the face, police said.

The teenager, who police said has a significant criminal history, later turned up at Brookdale Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the face. He remains hospitalized but faces charges with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said last week.

Two other teenagers were charged with hindering prosecution, Boyce said. The car involved in the incident was stolen last month in Valley Stream, police said.

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©2017 Newsday


Court oversight of Chicago police reforms sought in lawsuit

Posted on June 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Tarm AP Legal Affairs Writer

CHICAGO — Several leading community groups, including a local Black Lives Matter organization, filed a class-action lawsuit against Chicago on Wednesday in a bid to bypass or even scuttle a draft agreement between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice that seeks to reform the nation's second largest police force without federal court oversight.

The 132-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago argues that an overhaul of Chicago's 12,000-officer force in the wake of a damning civil rights report in January can't work without the intense scrutiny of a court-appointed monitor answerable to a judge.

"Absent federal court supervision, nothing will improve," the lawsuit says.

The civil litigation is also a signal that longtime advocates of far-reaching police reforms don't trust President Donald Trump's administration.

While Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has expressed skepticism about court involvement, President Barack Obama's administration saw it as vital to successful reforms. Obama's Justice Department typically took a city reform plan to a judge to make it legally binding in the form of a consent decree.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of seven groups and six individuals asks for a court to intervene to end what the plaintiffs describe as "abusive policies and practices undergirding the alleged constitutional and state law violations."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration said earlier this month that a draft deal negotiated by the city and the Justice Department — one that foresees a monitor not selected by a court — is being reviewed in Washington.

Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and one of the more than a dozen plaintiff attorneys involved in the legal action, said reports about the draft agreement — which he called "a backroom deal without any teeth" — influenced the decision to sue now.

"This is the community stepping up when the government refuses to act and when it has long been clear that the city is incapable of acting on its own," he said.

Emanuel's chief city lawyer, Edward Siskel, said Chicago officials would have preferred court oversight but were left little choice because the Trump administration didn't favor it.

"We wish the Department of Justice would have followed through with their commitment to a consent decree — but we are not there," he told reporters Wednesday. He contended that reforms outside of court supervision had "a proven track record of success."

Futterman said the city does have a choice now that the lawsuit is filed: Emanuel could give up on the Justice Department altogether and decide to hammer out a court-enforced reform plan with the groups that are suing.

Even if the city sticks with the Justice Department, the judge presiding over the new lawsuit could side with the community groups and mandate reforms via a court order.

"This is a real test for the mayor as to whether he is truly committed to police reform in Chicago," Futterman said.

Before Trump's inauguration in January, the Justice Department issued a scathing 161-page report that found deep-rooted civil rights violations by Chicago police, including racial bias, excessive use of force and a "pervasive cover-up culture" among officers. Emanuel committed to a consent decree in a joint statement with Justice Department officials at the time.

The Justice Department launched its civil rights investigation in 2015 after the release of police dashboard camera video showing a white officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, 16 times. The video of McDonald's 2014 death prompted protests and demands for sweeping reforms. The officer who shot the 17-year-old was charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting trial.

Since then, Emanuel has said repeatedly that Chicago will push ahead with reforms, no matter what. His administration has established a new police oversight agency and adopted other practices to hold officers accountable.

Addressing reporters Wednesday, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also cited the decision to fit all patrol officers with body cameras.

"I'm not a lawyer, so I won't speak about the litigation," he said. "I'm just a cop trying to make this police department better."

Using lawsuits to prompt overhauls of police departments is rare. A lawsuit filed by community groups in Cincinnati in 2001 did play a central role in kick-starting police reforms that eventually were overseen by a federal court.

Chicago officials point to Washington, D.C., as a city that enacted successful police reforms without a judge. But another plaintiff attorney in the Chicago case, Sheila Bedi, said successful reforms without court scrutiny are "very, very rare." Only judges, free of political pressure, can rule that police aren't complying with agreed-to reforms and force them to do so, Bedi said.

The Chicago Police Department is the largest in the U.S. to be investigated by the Justice Department, so court-enforced reforms could end up costing the city more than a deal cut with Trump's administration.

But Andrew Stroth, another plaintiff attorney, said a police force with deeply engrained problems that aren't fixed will see more unjustified shootings and more lawsuits that cost city taxpayers. According to the lawsuit, more than 1,600 people have been shot by Chicago police since 1996, more than 90 percent of them black. And lawsuits that alleged police abuses have cost Chicago more than $640 million on settlements.

"Chicago will save money and save lives by having federal judicial oversight," Stroth said.


Civilian self-defense vs. police excessive force: It’s not that simple

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ed Flosi

Does a person being detained or arrested by a police officer have the right to self-defense if the person feels the officer is using excessive force? The answer to this question as written is obviously "no," but with the current climate of resisting officers becoming more prevalent and socially acceptable by certain groups the question needs deeper exploration.

The follow-up question that is not as simple is: "Does a person have the right to self-defense if the officer uses excessive force?" Notice the subtle difference in the two questions: The first includes the subject’s subjective belief while the second is more generic and definitely needs clarification if asked.

First, it is important to understand that every person has the ancient and esteemed right to self-defense in general. But even this does not fully answer the question.

The Model Penal Code, developed in 1962, eliminated the right to resist an unlawful arrest on two grounds. First, there were better alternative means of resolving the issue; second, resistance would likely result in greater injury to the citizen without preventing the arrest. By 2012, only 14 states allowed a citizen to resist an unlawful arrest. These states are Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In California, there are several pertinent penal code sections that shed some light on the not-so-easy topic that some want a simple yes or no answer for.

The first section is an unknown section to those it applies to, California Penal Code Section 834a. This section clearly places a statutory duty and obligation upon a person to not physically resist an officer’s arrest.

Note that the section does not specify lawful arrest as a condition but only arrest. I believe this is due to the fact that the lawfulness of an arrest is not to be argued in the street but in a court of law. If the subject feels like the arrest is unlawful, there are other remedies that the subject can seek. In a civilized society, resorting to force or violence to argue the validity of an arrest - during the arrest - is not acceptable.

The next section is directly related to the first. California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) is the punitive section that covers the situation when a subject resists an officer in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office, including trying to arrest a subject. From these two sections, it is clear that there is no right to physically resist or assault an officer during an arrest.

What if the officer is using excessive force?

So back to the question: What if the officer is using excessive force? Some experts will point to other statutory laws to support their view that a person can resist if they feel the force is excessive. They look at California Penal Code Sections 692 and 693.

While these sections are self-defense protections for citizens primarily related to situations outside of "police brutality" claims, some experts will claim the public offense (crime) is related to an assault/battery under color authority type of crime. Note that in section 692, the resistance must be in response to the actual commission of the public offense.

An officer’s force response in the grand majority of arrests falls far from this standard and the published statistics bear that out as well. It is a rare circumstance when this assault/battery under color of authority actually occurs and an officer is charged, not because of some great law enforcement driven conspiracy but because it rarely happens.

Section 693 requires that even if the officer were committing a public offense (crime), only that "self-defense" force that is sufficient to prevent the offense may be used. In other words, the subject may only use force to simply stop the assault/battery under color of authority and never any more than that.

Quite honestly, physically resisting an officer that a subject "feels" is using excessive force is a dangerous game of chance in most cases. If the force is found to be reasonable (as it is in the majority of cases) but the subject continued or increased his resistance because he believed the force was excessive, that subject will not prevail in his claim of self-defense and most likely exposed himself to more injury.

In order for a claim of self-defense to be valid, a finding of excessive force must be made by the trier of fact first. That is the jury (jury trial) or judge (bench trial). The excessive force must be to a degree that the trier of fact would believe it is excessive, not just the subjective belief of the person in the field resisting the officer at that moment. Only after a finding has been made that the force was excessive can the "self-defense" actions of the subject be excused as not being a criminal act. In other words, the physical resistance can be "forgiven" as self-defense only if the force is found to be excessive after the fact and not the other way around.

Reasonableness is viewed from officer's perspective

Another way to examine this is to understand that the evaluation of the reasonableness of an officer’s force response must be made from the perspective of the officer and the totality of the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time. It is not made from the perspective of the subject. It would be impossible for the subject to fully understand the officer’s perspective and therefore impossible to determine if the force is excessive.

I do not believe the majority of society is willing to accept the idea of a subject with a mere singular and subjective belief (and honestly a self-serving and in most cases an uninformed belief) that somehow an officer’s force response is excessive and therefore the subject has the right to defend him/herself with force. This thinking is clearly a "putting the horse before the cart" type of rational. If society were to accept this thought, every person being arrested in the future could freely physically resist with impunity from criminal culpability on charges of battery on an officer by simply stating, "I felt the force was excessive."


Civilian self-defense vs. police excessive force: It’s not that simple

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ed Flosi

Does a person being detained or arrested by a police officer have the right to self-defense if the person feels the officer is using excessive force? The answer to this question as written is obviously "no," but with the current climate of resisting officers becoming more prevalent and socially acceptable by certain groups the question needs deeper exploration.

The follow-up question that is not as simple is: "Does a person have the right to self-defense if the officer uses excessive force?" Notice the subtle difference in the two questions: The first includes the subject’s subjective belief while the second is more generic and definitely needs clarification if asked.

First, it is important to understand that every person has the ancient and esteemed right to self-defense in general. But even this does not fully answer the question.

The Model Penal Code, developed in 1962, eliminated the right to resist an unlawful arrest on two grounds. First, there were better alternative means of resolving the issue; second, resistance would likely result in greater injury to the citizen without preventing the arrest. By 2012, only 14 states allowed a citizen to resist an unlawful arrest. These states are Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In California, there are several pertinent penal code sections that shed some light on the not-so-easy topic that some want a simple yes or no answer for.

The first section is an unknown section to those it applies to, California Penal Code Section 834a. This section clearly places a statutory duty and obligation upon a person to not physically resist an officer’s arrest.

Note that the section does not specify lawful arrest as a condition but only arrest. I believe this is due to the fact that the lawfulness of an arrest is not to be argued in the street but in a court of law. If the subject feels like the arrest is unlawful, there are other remedies that the subject can seek. In a civilized society, resorting to force or violence to argue the validity of an arrest - during the arrest - is not acceptable.

The next section is directly related to the first. California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) is the punitive section that covers the situation when a subject resists an officer in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office, including trying to arrest a subject. From these two sections, it is clear that there is no right to physically resist or assault an officer during an arrest.

What if the officer is using excessive force?

So back to the question: What if the officer is using excessive force? Some experts will point to other statutory laws to support their view that a person can resist if they feel the force is excessive. They look at California Penal Code Sections 692 and 693.

While these sections are self-defense protections for citizens primarily related to situations outside of "police brutality" claims, some experts will claim the public offense (crime) is related to an assault/battery under color authority type of crime. Note that in section 692, the resistance must be in response to the actual commission of the public offense.

An officer’s force response in the grand majority of arrests falls far from this standard and the published statistics bear that out as well. It is a rare circumstance when this assault/battery under color of authority actually occurs and an officer is charged, not because of some great law enforcement driven conspiracy but because it rarely happens.

Section 693 requires that even if the officer were committing a public offense (crime), only that "self-defense" force that is sufficient to prevent the offense may be used. In other words, the subject may only use force to simply stop the assault/battery under color of authority and never any more than that.

Quite honestly, physically resisting an officer that a subject "feels" is using excessive force is a dangerous game of chance in most cases. If the force is found to be reasonable (as it is in the majority of cases) but the subject continued or increased his resistance because he believed the force was excessive, that subject will not prevail in his claim of self-defense and most likely exposed himself to more injury.

In order for a claim of self-defense to be valid, a finding of excessive force must be made by the trier of fact first. That is the jury (jury trial) or judge (bench trial). The excessive force must be to a degree that the trier of fact would believe it is excessive, not just the subjective belief of the person in the field resisting the officer at that moment. Only after a finding has been made that the force was excessive can the "self-defense" actions of the subject be excused as not being a criminal act. In other words, the physical resistance can be "forgiven" as self-defense only if the force is found to be excessive after the fact and not the other way around.

Reasonableness is viewed from officer's perspective

Another way to examine this is to understand that the evaluation of the reasonableness of an officer’s force response must be made from the perspective of the officer and the totality of the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time. It is not made from the perspective of the subject. It would be impossible for the subject to fully understand the officer’s perspective and therefore impossible to determine if the force is excessive.

I do not believe the majority of society is willing to accept the idea of a subject with a mere singular and subjective belief (and honestly a self-serving and in most cases an uninformed belief) that somehow an officer’s force response is excessive and therefore the subject has the right to defend him/herself with force. This thinking is clearly a "putting the horse before the cart" type of rational. If society were to accept this thought, every person being arrested in the future could freely physically resist with impunity from criminal culpability on charges of battery on an officer by simply stating, "I felt the force was excessive."


San Francisco UPS shooting leaves 4 dead, including gunman

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paul Elias Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A UPS employee opened fire at a San Francisco package delivery facility on Wednesday, killing three employees and then himself as officers closed in, police and the company said.

San Francisco assistant police chief Toney Chaplin said at a news conference that two others were wounded in the shooting that prompted a massive police response in an industrial neighborhood near downtown.

Police have not determined a motive. Chaplin said that the shooter was armed with an assault pistol and put the weapon to his head and pulled the trigger when police found him.

A UPS statement said the shooter and all the victims were employees. Spokesman Steve Gaut told The Associated Press that the gunman opened fire inside the facility before the drivers were sent out for their daily deliveries.

Neighbors said they heard up to eight rapid gunshots.

"It was like tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat, tat," said Raymond Deng, who lives across the street from the warehouse.

After the gunfire, auto shop owner Robert Kim said he saw "a mob of UPS drivers" running down the street screaming "shooter, shooter."

Deng, 30, a data scientist for a start-up company, also saw workers fleeing and another group of about 10 who gathered on the roof and held their hands up as police arrived.

"I saw police officers go up from the ramp and then storm the buildings," he said. "It's crazy."

Scores of officers, something awful apparently has happened at Potrero Hill UPS. Avoid area. At 17th and Utah pic.twitter.com/lJSDyBzJkD

— Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) June 14, 2017

Police responding to the facility in the Potrero Hill area on the city's eastern edge encountered wounded victims and pulled them to safety. Then they found the gunman, who killed himself.

Investigators recovered two firearms from the scene.

Uniformed UPS employees were later led out in a line by officers next to a highway. They walked away calmly with emergency vehicles nearby and gathered nearby outside a restaurant.

It came the same day a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice, wounding U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others.

These UPS employees were rescued by Police with guns drawn pic.twitter.com/i3BIRgM8UP

— Kevin Wood (@megakwood) June 14, 2017


La. police officer sues Black Lives Matter over protest injuries

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — Black Lives Matter is a movement, not an organization that can be sued by a Louisiana police officer who was injured at a protest after a deadly police shooting, a prominent activist's attorney claims.

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday about whether to dismiss a Baton Rouge police officer's lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and DeRay Mckesson, a Baltimore-based activist. Mckesson was one of nearly 200 protesters arrested after the July 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot and killed by a white officer during a struggle outside a convenience store.

Mckesson's attorney, William Gibbens, said in a court filing that Black Lives Matter doesn't have a governing body, dues-paying members, bylaws, "or even a central location." At best, the lawyer argued, it's a "community of interest."

"However, even as a community of interest, it would be nearly impossible to ascribe a single common purpose or interest to the hundreds of thousands of different people, many with different goals and motives, who have protested, posted online, or acted under the 'Black Lives Matter' banner," Gibbens wrote.

The unidentified officer claims a piece of concrete or "rock like substance" struck him in the face during a July 9 protest over Sterling's death. The officer's lawsuit says he lost teeth and received injuries to his jaw and brain.

The suit doesn't accuse Mckesson of throwing anything, but it claims he "incited the violence" on behalf of Black Lives Matter. The suit also claims Mckesson "was in charge of the protests" and he was seen and heard giving orders.

The officer's attorneys sued Mckesson individually but also served him and others with the suit as alleged "agents" of Black Lives Matter.

Donna Grodner, an attorney for the officer, is urging U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson to deny Mckesson's requests to dismiss the case. Grodner describes Black Lives Matter as a "thriving, if not very wealthy, unincorporated association" that solicits donations and sells T-shirts for profit.

"If Black Lives Matter does not exist, it should not be raising money or collecting millions in donations," she wrote in a court filing.

Mckesson, who declined to be interviewed Wednesday, has described himself as a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"No organization started the movement," he said during an interview last year.

The officer suing Mckesson is identified only as "Officer John Doe" in the suit, saying the anonymity is "for his protection." A court filing last year cited the July 2016 sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers and a shooting 10 days later that killed three law-enforcement officers in Baton Rouge as reasons for concealing the officer's identity.

Mckesson was arrested near Baton Rouge police headquarters on a charge of obstructing a highway. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office wouldn't prosecute roughly 100 protesters who were arrested on that same charge, including Mckesson.

Mckesson and other protesters sued the city of Baton Rouge and local law enforcement officials over their arrests, accusing police of using excessive force and violating their constitutional rights. Last month, a federal judge preliminarily approved a proposed settlement of the class action. Mckesson is one of nearly 80 arrested protesters who are eligible for cash payments ranging from $500 to $1,000 if the settlement gets the court's final approval.

Mckesson and Black Lives Matter also were named as defendants in a federal lawsuit that Larry Klayman — founder of the conservative group Freedom Watch — filed last year in Texas after the sniper attack on Dallas police officers. Klayman also sued former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other political figures, accusing the defendants of inciting a "race war" against police officers.

Mckesson's lawyers argued Klayman should have known his claims were frivolous. A judge's ruling on June 2 said the plaintiffs didn't provide the court with any support for their "proposition" that Black Lives Matter is an entity capable of being sued. All of Klayman's claims against Mckesson and Black Lives Matter have been dismissed or withdrawn.


Man charged with capital murder in Ark. officer’s death

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An 18-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a decorated Arkansas police officer.

Arkansas State Police said Tyler Calamese shot Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford Monday as he investigated a vehicle break-in in Newport, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock. Weatherford died at a hospital that night.

Police said Calamese fled the scene when officers arrived, who then pursued him on foot. Calamese allegedly turned and fired shots during the pursuit, striking Weatherford.

Calamese appeared in Newport district court Wednesday morning. His family maintains that he is innocent. His grandmother, Janet Reynolds, told KATV-TV Tuesday that her grandson turned himself in to police to clear his name.

"Tyler is an easy-going person," Reynolds told KATV. "He didn't meddle with people, he didn't start fights, and for them to say that he did this is just not — that's not true. That's not Tyler."

Calamese's next court appearance is scheduled for June 20 and he has been assigned two public defenders. Attorney Gina Reynolds declined to comment on the case.

Weatherford, 41, had served with the Newport Police Department for 15 years and was honored last year as the Jackson County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at a Wednesday news conference that he has asked for $10,000 to be allocated to a fund for fallen officers, so Weatherford's family may get $5,000 in immediate relief.

Weatherford is the second Arkansas police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year.

Last month, Yell County Lt. Kevin Mainhart was fatally shot while making a traffic stop in rural western Arkansas, and a suspect was arrested after an hourslong standoff.


Can Black Lives Matter be sued? Federal judge to decide

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Ed Flosi

Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — Black Lives Matter is a movement, not an organization that can be sued by a Louisiana police officer who was injured at a protest after a deadly police shooting, a prominent activist's attorney claims.

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday about whether to dismiss a Baton Rouge police officer's lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and DeRay Mckesson, a Baltimore-based activist. Mckesson was one of nearly 200 protesters arrested after the July 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot and killed by a white officer during a struggle outside a convenience store.

Mckesson's attorney, William Gibbens, said in a court filing that Black Lives Matter doesn't have a governing body, dues-paying members, bylaws, "or even a central location." At best, the lawyer argued, it's a "community of interest."

"However, even as a community of interest, it would be nearly impossible to ascribe a single common purpose or interest to the hundreds of thousands of different people, many with different goals and motives, who have protested, posted online, or acted under the 'Black Lives Matter' banner," Gibbens wrote.

The unidentified officer claims a piece of concrete or "rock like substance" struck him in the face during a July 9 protest over Sterling's death. The officer's lawsuit says he lost teeth and received injuries to his jaw and brain.

The suit doesn't accuse Mckesson of throwing anything, but it claims he "incited the violence" on behalf of Black Lives Matter. The suit also claims Mckesson "was in charge of the protests" and he was seen and heard giving orders.

The officer's attorneys sued Mckesson individually but also served him and others with the suit as alleged "agents" of Black Lives Matter.

Donna Grodner, an attorney for the officer, is urging U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson to deny Mckesson's requests to dismiss the case. Grodner describes Black Lives Matter as a "thriving, if not very wealthy, unincorporated association" that solicits donations and sells T-shirts for profit.

"If Black Lives Matter does not exist, it should not be raising money or collecting millions in donations," she wrote in a court filing.

Mckesson, who declined to be interviewed Wednesday, has described himself as a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"No organization started the movement," he said during an interview last year.

The officer suing Mckesson is identified only as "Officer John Doe" in the suit, saying the anonymity is "for his protection." A court filing last year cited the July 2016 sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers and a shooting 10 days later that killed three law-enforcement officers in Baton Rouge as reasons for concealing the officer's identity.

Mckesson was arrested near Baton Rouge police headquarters on a charge of obstructing a highway. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said his office wouldn't prosecute roughly 100 protesters who were arrested on that same charge, including Mckesson.

Mckesson and other protesters sued the city of Baton Rouge and local law enforcement officials over their arrests, accusing police of using excessive force and violating their constitutional rights. Last month, a federal judge preliminarily approved a proposed settlement of the class action. Mckesson is one of nearly 80 arrested protesters who are eligible for cash payments ranging from $500 to $1,000 if the settlement gets the court's final approval.

Mckesson and Black Lives Matter also were named as defendants in a federal lawsuit that Larry Klayman — founder of the conservative group Freedom Watch — filed last year in Texas after the sniper attack on Dallas police officers. Klayman also sued former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other political figures, accusing the defendants of inciting a "race war" against police officers.

Mckesson's lawyers argued Klayman should have known his claims were frivolous. A judge's ruling on June 2 said the plaintiffs didn't provide the court with any support for their "proposition" that Black Lives Matter is an entity capable of being sued. All of Klayman's claims against Mckesson and Black Lives Matter have been dismissed or withdrawn.


Police: 4 NC officers injured by explosive device in targeted attack

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Investigators said four officers were injured after a blast went off while they were on foot patrol.

The officers were patrolling an apartment building Saturday when they noticed sudden movement, WLOS reported.

Investigators said a blast followed and went off nearly a foot away from the officers. They were taken to the hospital to have metal shrapnel removed from their skin, the news station reported.

Officials said they believe the attack was intentional.

"This is concerning, however it will not deter us from continuing that foot patrol in that community," Sgt. Brien Griffin said.

Two officers said they initially drew their guns because they thought the blast might’ve been gunshots. Griffin said police are searching for one suspect and the explosion was likely from a commercial-grade firework.

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On Saturday, June 10 at approximately 9:45 p.m. Housing Unit officers were conducting foot patrol in Livingston...

‎Posted by Asheville Police Department on‎ ??? ??? 12 ???? 2017


Video shows shooting at congressional baseball practice

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Erica Werner and Chad Day Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday, wounding House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others as congressmen and aides dove for cover. The assailant, prepared with "a lot of ammo," fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died.

Scalise dragged himself off the infield leaving a trail of blood as colleagues rushed to his assistance.

A government official identified the shooter as James. T. Hodgkinson of Illinois. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Shortly after the shooting, Bernie Sanders, the former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said on the Senate floor that the shooter apparently was a volunteer for his campaign last year. Sanders said he denounced the violence "in the strongest possible terms."

Video Shows Shooting at GOP Baseball Practice, Rep. Scalise Remains In Critical Condition After Emergency Surgery pic.twitter.com/7o4oOfy2eJ

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 14, 2017

Capitol Police officers who were in Scalise's security detail wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody. The attacker later died of his injuries, President Donald Trump told the nation from the White House.

"Everyone on that field is a public servant," Trump said. "Their sacrifice makes democracy possible."

Scalise, 51, the No. 3 House Republican leader first elected to the House in 2008, was in stable condition and undergoing surgery. The popular and gregarious lawmaker is known for his love of baseball and handed out commemorative bats when he secured the No. 3 job of House whip several years ago.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams, who coaches the GOP team, said that one of his aides, Zack Barth, was shot, but "is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery." Two Capitol Police officers were also injured but were expected to recover, along with a former congressional aide who was hospitalized.

Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said he had just left the practice and encountered the apparent gunman in the parking lot before the shooting. The man calmly asked which party's lawmakers were practicing and Duncan told him they were the Republicans. The man thanked him.

The gunman had a rifle and "a lot of ammo," said Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was at the practice.

The shocking event left the Capitol horrified and stunned. The House canceled proceedings for the day. Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California both spoke on the floor issuing calls for unity. "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," Ryan said.

The shooting occurred at a popular park and baseball complex in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican lawmakers and others were gathered for a morning practice about 7 a.m. They were in good spirits despite the heat and humidity as they prepared for the congressional baseball match that pits Republicans against Democrats. The popular annual face-off, which raises money for charity, is scheduled for Thursday evening at Nationals Park across the Potomac River in Washington, and will go forward as planned.

“We could see Steve Scalise out in the field, he had dragged himself after he was shot,” Sen. Flake says https://t.co/TMJLmj8HPc pic.twitter.com/lXzxm7BiNF

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017

The team was taking batting practice when gunshots rang out and chaos erupted.

Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot, according to lawmakers present, then dragged himself into the outfield to get away from the gunman.

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said his colleague "crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood."

"We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip," Brooks said.

Texas Rep. Joe Barton, still in his baseball uniform, told reporters a shooter came out to the practice and opened fire, shooting at Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., who plays third base.

"He shot at Steve Scalise, our second baseman. He hit Steve Scalise," Barton said, "Scalise's security detail and the Capitol Hill police immediately returned fire, and Alexandria Police also immediately came and began to return fire. They shot the shooter. The security detail saved a lot of lives because they attacked the shooter."

Barton said the shooting lasted 5-10 minutes, and there were dozens or more of shots fired.

"It was scary," Barton said.

Lawmakers took cover in the dugout. Barton said his son, Jack, got under an SUV.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was at the game, described what sounded like an explosion, then lawmakers scattering off the field as police roamed in search of the gunman and engaged him.

"The guy's down to a handgun, he dropped his rifle, they shoot him, I go over there, they put him in handcuffs," Conaway said, adding that if the shooter had "gotten inside the fence, where a bunch of guys were holed up in the dugout, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel."

“Fortunately, Secret Service was here because Steve Scalise was here,” Rep. Wenstrup says on Rep. Scalise’s security detail taking action pic.twitter.com/RhFtHySHSt

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017

FBI special agent in charge Tim Slater said it was "too early to say" whether it was an act of terrorism, or whether Scalise was targeted.

Speaker Ryan identified the wounded Capitol Police officers as David Bailey and Crystal Griner. Also wounded was former congressional aide Matt Mika, who now works for Tysons Food in its Washington office. Mika was hospitalized, his condition unclear.

After the gunfire stopped, Sen. Flake, of Arizona, said he ran onto the field and also tried to come to Scalise's aide. After medical personnel arrived, he said he retrieved Scalise's phone and made the first call to Scalise's wife to notify her of the shooting. He said he did so to ensure that Mrs. Scalise would not find out about the shooting through the media.

Falisa Peoples was just leaving the YMCA next to the ball field when she saw the shooter open fire.

"He was just very calm. He was just walking and shooting," she said of the man, whom she described as white and wearing a T-shirt and shorts. She said he was using a long gun and exchanging fire with law enforcement officers, one of whom yelled for her to get down.

Lawmakers were stunned in the aftermath of the event, which raised questions about the security of members of Congress. While the top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and regularly appear in public without protection. The last time a lawmaker was shot was when Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona was hit in the head and grievously injured while meeting with constituents at a supermarket parking lot in 2011.

Following the Giffords shooting, lawmakers have held fewer open town halls and have been advised to increase security at such events.


Multiple people wounded in San Francisco shooting

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 12:42 p.m. (CST):

SAN FRANCISCO — A UPS spokesman says four people were injured in a shooting at a package delivery facility in San Francisco and that the shooter was an employee.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said Wednesday that he believed the shooter "turned the gun on himself" but did not have additional information.

He said the four victims were taken to a hospital but didn't know their conditions.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A shooting Wednesday at a sprawling UPS warehouse and customer service center in San Francisco sent multiple victims to a hospital, officials said.

Brent Andrew, spokesman for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, said the hospital had received the victims, but he did not know exactly how many people or their conditions.

These UPS employees were rescued by Police with guns drawn pic.twitter.com/i3BIRgM8UP

— Kevin Wood (@megakwood) June 14, 2017

San Francisco police confirmed a shooting at the facility in the Potrero Hill neighborhood but didn't release information on injuries or the shooter.

Auto shop owner Robert Kim said he heard about five to eight rapid gunshots. The next thing he knew, he said, "there's a mob of UPS drivers" running down the street screaming "shooter, shooter."

Scores of officers, something awful apparently has happened at Potrero Hill UPS. Avoid area. At 17th and Utah pic.twitter.com/lJSDyBzJkD

— Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) June 14, 2017

Uniformed UPS employees were led out in a line by officers next to a highway. They walked away calmly with emergency vehicles nearby and gathered nearby outside a restaurant.

The shooting led to a massive police response and a shelter-in-place warning for the surrounding area.

The building is on the eastern edge of San Francisco, about 2.5 miles from downtown San Francisco.

Police are advising people to avoid the area.

#SFPD is asking people in the area to shelter in place. SFPD will advise when the shelter in place has been lifted.

— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) June 14, 2017


4 dead, including shooter, in San Francisco UPS shooting

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 2:05 p.m. (CST):

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities say the shooter who opened fire at a San Francisco UPS warehouse was armed with an assault pistol when police found him.

San Francisco Assistant Police Chief Toney Chaplin told reporters that officers found wounded victims and brought them to safety Wednesday. When they found the gunman, he put the weapon to his head and shot himself.

Three people were killed as well as the shooter. Two others were wounded.

EARLIER:

By Paul Elias Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A UPS employee opened fire at a San Francisco package delivery facility on Wednesday, injuring four and prompting a massive police response in a neighborhood near downtown, officials said.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut told The Associated Press that an employee fired inside the facility before the drivers were sent out to do their normal daily deliveries. Gaut said four people were injured and that he believed the shooter "turned the gun on himself."

Gaut and hospital officials did not have immediate information about anyone's condition.

Scores of officers, something awful apparently has happened at Potrero Hill UPS. Avoid area. At 17th and Utah pic.twitter.com/lJSDyBzJkD

— Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) June 14, 2017

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital received the victims, spokesman Brent Andrew said, but he did not know exactly how many people.

Auto shop owner Robert Kim said he heard about five to eight rapid gunshots. The next thing he knew, he said, "a mob of UPS drivers" was running down the street screaming "shooter, shooter."

Police confirmed the shooting at the facility in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, about 2 ½ miles from downtown San Francisco but didn't release further information.

These UPS employees were rescued by Police with guns drawn pic.twitter.com/i3BIRgM8UP

— Kevin Wood (@megakwood) June 14, 2017

Uniformed UPS employees were later led out in a line by officers next to a highway. They walked away calmly with emergency vehicles nearby and gathered nearby outside a restaurant.

The shooting led to a massive police response and a shelter-in-place warning for the surrounding area.

It came the same day a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice, wounding U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others.


Church hands out opioid reversal drug at family festival

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Some people have questioned an Ohio church's decision to hand out the opioid reversal drug naloxone at a family festival.

WLWT-TV reports Holy Family Catholic Church in Cincinnati's East Price Hill neighborhood partnered with the Ohio attorney general's office to distribute nearly 70 overdose kits last weekend.

Parish operations manager Jeremy Bouer said providing the kits was the right thing to do because people need to be equipped to save lives when someone overdoses.

Not everyone agrees. One woman at the festival said it was an inappropriate setting and sends the wrong message to drug users. Another woman said the church should help those in need.

Naloxone has become widely available in recent years as the opioid epidemic has taken root in Ohio, killing thousands of people.


Police: 6 dead, 74 injured in London high-rise blaze

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Gregory Katz and Danica Kirka Associated Press

LONDON — A deadly overnight fire raced through a 24-story apartment tower in London on Wednesday, killing at least six people and injuring 74 others, police said. Witnesses reported seeing residents throw babies and small children from high windows to people on the sidewalk in a desperate effort to save them from the flames.

The inferno lit up the night sky and spewed black smoke from the windows of the Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, where more than 200 firefighters battled the blaze. A plume of smoke stretched for miles (kilometers) across the sky after dawn, revealing the blackened, flame-licked wreckage of the building, which was still burning over 12 hours later.

People trapped by the quickly advancing flames and thick smoke banged on windows and screamed for help to those watching down below, witnesses and survivors said. One resident said the fire alarm did not go off.

"The flames, I have never seen anything like it, it just reminded me of 9/11," said Muna Ali, 45. "The fire started on the upper floors ... oh my goodness, it spread so quickly. It had completely spread within half an hour."

"This is an unprecedented incident," Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton told reporters. "In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never, ever seen anything of this scale."

She said she feared more victims would be found still inside the building.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze, but angry residents said they had warned local authorities about fire issues at Grenfell Tower. The subsidized housing block of 120 apartments was built in 1974 and was recently upgraded at a cost of 8.6 million pounds ($11 million), with work finishing in May 2016, according to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Samira Lamrani, a witness, said one woman dropped a baby from a window on the ninth or 10th floor to people on the sidewalk.

"People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming" and one woman indicated she was going to drop the baby, Lamrani told Britain's Press Association news agency. "A gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby."

Joe Walsh, 58, said he saw someone throw two children out of a window from the fifth or sixth floor. Tiago Etienne, 17, said he spotted about three children between the ages of four and eight being dropped from an apartment around the 15th floor.

Police commander Stuart Cundy gave the death toll of six but added the figure was likely to rise "during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days."

Paul Woodrow, head of operations for the London Ambulance Service, said 20 of the injured were in critical condition.

The London Fire Brigade received the first reports of the fire at 12:54 a.m. and the first engines arrived within six minutes, Cotton said.

Witnesses described a white, polystyrene-type material falling like snow from the building as it burned. Some feared the charred tower block might collapse, but a structural engineer said the building was not in danger, according to the London Fire Brigade, which added "it is safe for our crews to be in there."

Ruks Mamudu, 69, escaped from her first floor apartment wearing only her purple pajamas and bathrobe. She and her grandson sat outside the building and watched people trapped on higher floors cry desperately for help.

"I sat there watching my house burn down and watching people cry for help who couldn't come down," she said.

People at the scene spoke of being unable to reach friends and family inside. Others saw people inside using flashlights and mobile phones to try to signal for help from higher floors.

Nassima Boutrig, who lives opposite the building, said she was awakened by sirens and smoke so thick that it filled her home as well.

"We saw the people screaming," she said. "A lot of people said 'Help! Help! Help!' The fire brigade could only help downstairs. It was fire up, up, up. They couldn't stop the fire."

The disaster occurred 10 days after a terror attack at London's Borough Market. Some residents initially feared the fire was also terror-related, though authorities discounted that possibility.

Edward Daffarn, a 55-year-old who lived on the building's 16th floor, said the fire alarm didn't ring. Daffarn said residents had complained for years to London City Council about building safety, to no avail.

"I'm lucky to be alive. A neighbor's smoke alarm went off and another neighbor phoned and told me to get out," he said. "I consider this mass murder."

The Grenfell Action Group, a community organization formed to oppose a nearby redevelopment project, has been warning about the risk of fire at Grenfell Tower since 2013. The group has raised concerns about testing and maintenance of firefighting equipment and blocked emergency access to the site.

"All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time," the group said after the fire broke out.

A July 2014 newsletter for residents said the tower building was designed "according to rigorous fire safety standards" and recommended that in case of a fire residents should stay inside their apartments.

The British company that carried out the tower's 2016 refurbishment, Rydon, said in a statement that its work "met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said many questions now need to be answered about the scores of tower blocks around the city.

"There will be a great many questions over the coming days as to the cause of this tragedy, and I want to reassure Londoners that we will get all the answers," Khan said.

Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said she was "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in the Grenfell Tower and is being kept constantly updated on the situation."

This man has lost everything in the London fire. He was on 7th floor & says he's lucky to be alive https://t.co/mcezh9S5b7 #GrenfellTower pic.twitter.com/wM2mZZckru

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 14, 2017


Police: 12 dead, at least 74 injured in London high-rise blaze

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Ed Flosi

By Gregory Katz and Danica Kirka Associated Press

LONDON — With smoke still swirling around the charred remains of Grenfell Tower in west London, residents and community leaders demanded to know Wednesday how a ferocious fire could have swept through the high-rise apartment block with such speed that it killed at least 12 people.

The anger was particularly strong since activists had warned just seven months ago that fire safety procedures were so lax that only a catastrophic blaze would bring the scrutiny needed to make the building safe.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Fire and police officials have not specified what went wrong, but extensive video footage shows the flames climbing the exterior of the building at a remarkable pace.

"I've never seen a fire like that in my life," said Joe Ruane, the former deputy chief fire officer for U.S. Air Force bases in Britain. "I've never seen that in a residential block."

The 24-story public housing complex is owned by the local government council in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea and was completed in the 1970s. It is managed by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization, which spent 10 million pounds ($12.8 million) refurbishing the building over the last two years.

The renovation project included installation of insulated exterior cladding, double-glazed windows and a communal heating system. Investigators need to look at what materials were used in the project and who approved their use, Ruane said. But he said the speed with which the fire spread suggests that more than one fire protection safeguard failed.

"It's not just one thing," Ruane said. "It's multiple issues."

WHAT WAS THE FIRE PROCEDURE AT THE BUILDING?

Some residents suggested that Grenfell Tower's policies were to blame for the disaster.

A newsletter put out by the building's tenant organization told tenants to follow a "stay put" policy and remain in their apartments during a fire unless the blaze was inside their apartment or in their hallway or until they were told to evacuate by officials.

This policy is in place "because Grenfell was designed according to rigorous fire-safety standards," according to the 2014 newsletter about the renovation project. New front doors in each apartment could withstand a fire for up to 30 minutes, "which gives plenty of time for the fire brigade to arrive," the newsletter said.

That policy, often followed in high-rise hotels, may be effective in lesser fires. In this case, however, the fire seemed to climb the exterior of the tower so quickly that it overwhelmed protective systems like fire doors. People who initially remained in place may have been unable to escape later because the hallways and fire escapes were filled with heavy smoke and flames.

The London Fire Brigade said crews were on the scene within six minutes of the first reports of the fire, but they were unable to reach people on higher floors to prevent fatalities.

WHO IS TO BLAME?

While investigations are underway to determine what went wrong, tenants said repeated complaints were ignored. Survivor Edward Daffarn said the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization, or KCTMO, which manages the Grenfell Tower as well as other buildings in the area, is responsible because it ignored numerous warnings.

The management organization's annual accounts for the year ending March 31, 2016, indicate that the company has been cited for fire-safety issues in the past.

Following an October 2015 arson fire at one of the buildings it manages, the 14-story Adair Tower, the London Fire Brigade issued an enforcement notice to install self-closing devices on the front doors of all 78 apartments and to improve fire safety in staircases used for escape, the organization said in the report.

The Fire Brigade issued a similar notice for another KCTMO-managed building, Hazelwood Tower. The upgrades were scheduled to be completed by 2016, the report said.

The Grenfell Tower disaster is uncomfortably similar to a fast-moving blaze at another London-area public housing project, Lakanal House, that killed six people, including three children, eight years ago. In that July 2009 fire, smoke and flames quickly engulfed the 14-story building. A coroner's inquest found that a series of failures contributed to the loss of life and made a number of recommendations to help prevent future disasters.

Investigators probing the Grenfell Tower fire will have to look at which of those recommendations were implemented in the building and which were not, said Jim Fitzpatrick, a former firefighter who now serves in the House of Commons.

"These will be matters for the scientists and the engineers ... to find out exactly how the fire started, why it spread so quickly and what could have been done to prevent it," Fitzpatrick told Sky News.

A local community organization, the Grenfell Action Group, had warned about fire dangers at the building since 2013. In a series of blog posts, the group raised concerns about testing and maintenance of fire-fighting equipment and blocked emergency access to the site.

"All our warnings fell on deaf ears, and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time," the group said in a blog post Wednesday.

KCTMO said it is cooperating with investigators and that it was aware of tenant complaints. "We always take all concerns seriously and these will form part of our forthcoming investigations," it said in a statement.

The Kensington and Chelsea Council promised a full investigation into Wednesday's tragedy and a public accounting. The UK government also ordered checks at tower blocks that have had or are going through similar renovations as those at Grenfell Tower.

This man has lost everything in the London fire. He was on 7th floor & says he's lucky to be alive https://t.co/mcezh9S5b7 #GrenfellTower pic.twitter.com/wM2mZZckru

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 14, 2017


Suspect being held in connection with Ark. officer’s death

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEWPORT, Ark. — An 18-year-old suspect is being held in connection with the killing of a decorated northeast Arkansas police officer who was fatally shot while responding to a call of a vehicle break-in, police said.

Arkansas State Police said Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford, 41, died at a hospital Monday night after the shooting in Newport, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.

"Obviously our hearts are broken today," Newport Police Chief Michael Scudder said Tuesday. "We're grieving the loss of one of our own."

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said an 18-year-old suspect is being held in connection with Weatherford's death, but he did not release the person's name because no charges have been filed yet. A bond hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday morning. He said that others in Newport may be questioned as well in the investigation.

"There should be no fear in this community," Sadler said. "Residents should move on with their business and not have to worry about something else happening."

Police declined to provide many details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation. But officers and public officials praised Weatherford, a 15-year-old veteran of the Newport Police Department who'd been honored last year as the Jackson County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

"Lt. Weatherford was known for routinely preventing incidents and altercations from escalating into crisis, and I have no doubt that Lt. Weatherford began his watch today with the same mission to protect and serve the community he loved so much," Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement Monday night.

Weatherford is the second Arkansas police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year. Last month, Yell County Lt. Kevin Mainhart was fatally shot while making a traffic stop in rural western Arkansas, and a suspect was arrested after an hours-long standoff.

"Lt. Weatherford's 15-year career at the Newport Police Department demonstrates his bravery, selflessness and commitment to serving his community," Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. "He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to serve and protect the people in and around the Newport area."


2 LEOs, top House GOP leader shot at congressional baseball practice

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Erica Werner and Chad Day Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday, wounding House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others as congressmen and aides dove for cover. The assailant, prepared with "a lot of ammo," fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died.

Scalise dragged himself off the infield leaving a trail of blood as colleagues rushed to his assistance.

A government official identified the shooter as James. T. Hodgkinson of Illinois. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Shortly after the shooting, Bernie Sanders, the former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said on the Senate floor that the shooter apparently was a volunteer for his campaign last year. Sanders said he denounced the violence "in the strongest possible terms."

Capitol Police officers who were in Scalise's security detail wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody. The attacker later died of his injuries, President Donald Trump told the nation from the White House.

"Everyone on that field is a public servant," Trump said. "Their sacrifice makes democracy possible."

Scalise, 51, the No. 3 House Republican leader first elected to the House in 2008, was in stable condition and undergoing surgery. The popular and gregarious lawmaker is known for his love of baseball and handed out commemorative bats when he secured the No. 3 job of House whip several years ago.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams, who coaches the GOP team, said that one of his aides, Zack Barth, was shot, but "is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery." Two Capitol Police officers were also injured but were expected to recover, along with a former congressional aide who was hospitalized.

Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said he had just left the practice and encountered the apparent gunman in the parking lot before the shooting. The man calmly asked which party's lawmakers were practicing and Duncan told him they were the Republicans. The man thanked him.

The gunman had a rifle and "a lot of ammo," said Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was at the practice.

The shocking event left the Capitol horrified and stunned. The House canceled proceedings for the day. Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California both spoke on the floor issuing calls for unity. "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," Ryan said.

The shooting occurred at a popular park and baseball complex in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican lawmakers and others were gathered for a morning practice about 7 a.m. They were in good spirits despite the heat and humidity as they prepared for the congressional baseball match that pits Republicans against Democrats. The popular annual face-off, which raises money for charity, is scheduled for Thursday evening at Nationals Park across the Potomac River in Washington, and will go forward as planned.

The team was taking batting practice when gunshots rang out and chaos erupted.

Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot, according to lawmakers present, then dragged himself into the outfield to get away from the gunman.

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said his colleague "crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood."

"We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip," Brooks said.

Texas Rep. Joe Barton, still in his baseball uniform, told reporters a shooter came out to the practice and opened fire, shooting at Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., who plays third base.

"He shot at Steve Scalise, our second baseman. He hit Steve Scalise," Barton said, "Scalise's security detail and the Capitol Hill police immediately returned fire, and Alexandria Police also immediately came and began to return fire. They shot the shooter. The security detail saved a lot of lives because they attacked the shooter."

“We could see Steve Scalise out in the field, he had dragged himself after he was shot,” Sen. Flake says https://t.co/TMJLmj8HPc pic.twitter.com/lXzxm7BiNF

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017

Barton said the shooting lasted 5-10 minutes, and there were dozens or more of shots fired.

"It was scary," Barton said.

Lawmakers took cover in the dugout. Barton said his son, Jack, got under an SUV.

Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was at the game, described what sounded like an explosion, then lawmakers scattering off the field as police roamed in search of the gunman and engaged him.

"The guy's down to a handgun, he dropped his rifle, they shoot him, I go over there, they put him in handcuffs," Conaway said, adding that if the shooter had "gotten inside the fence, where a bunch of guys were holed up in the dugout, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel."

“Fortunately, Secret Service was here because Steve Scalise was here,” Rep. Wenstrup says on Rep. Scalise’s security detail taking action pic.twitter.com/RhFtHySHSt

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017

FBI special agent in charge Tim Slater said it was "too early to say" whether it was an act of terrorism, or whether Scalise was targeted.

Speaker Ryan identified the wounded Capitol Police officers as David Bailey and Crystal Griner. Also wounded was former congressional aide Matt Mika, who now works for Tysons Food in its Washington office. Mika was hospitalized, his condition unclear.

After the gunfire stopped, Sen. Flake, of Arizona, said he ran onto the field and also tried to come to Scalise's aide. After medical personnel arrived, he said he retrieved Scalise's phone and made the first call to Scalise's wife to notify her of the shooting. He said he did so to ensure that Mrs. Scalise would not find out about the shooting through the media.

Falisa Peoples was just leaving the YMCA next to the ball field when she saw the shooter open fire.

"He was just very calm. He was just walking and shooting," she said of the man, whom she described as white and wearing a T-shirt and shorts. She said he was using a long gun and exchanging fire with law enforcement officers, one of whom yelled for her to get down.

Lawmakers were stunned in the aftermath of the event, which raised questions about the security of members of Congress. While the top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and regularly appear in public without protection. The last time a lawmaker was shot was when Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona was hit in the head and grievously injured while meeting with constituents at a supermarket parking lot in 2011.

Following the Giffords shooting, lawmakers have held fewer open town halls and have been advised to increase security at such events.


NYC police officer uses lifeguard skills to save 2 people

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A New York city police officer who once worked as a lifeguard put the training from his former career to work, saving two people who were struggling in water off a boardwalk in Queens.

Twenty-three-year-old Officer William Lauria used to work at a swimming pool lifeguard. He answered a radio call Monday night to rescue a woman who was in distress about 50 feet (15 meters) from the shore at Rockaway Beach.

The Daily News reports another man who jumped into the water to try to save the woman also ended up in distress.

Lauria saved them both, directing a nearby surfer to pick up the man while he guided the 25-year-old woman to shore.

He says his training just "kicked in" when he needed it.


Dog-poop dispute ends with 1 man jailed, 1 with wounded hand

Posted on June 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Police in Florida say an argument between two men over dog poop has left one in jail and another with a knife wound to the hand.

The Palm Beach Post reports 33-year-old Ricardo Garcia Sanchez was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. A police report says he's a property maintenance worker at an apartment complex in West Palm Beach and fought with a resident who he believed allowed his dog to defecate without cleaning up afterward.

Garcia Sanchez admitted to confronting the man about the pet but denied having the knife, which police didn't find. He said he didn't know how the man was injured.

He's being held in Palm Beach County Jail. It's unclear if he has an attorney.


Photos: Taiwan’s newest police puppy recruits ready to take bite out of crime

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TAIWAN – Taiwan’s National Police Agency recently added six new cops to its force, and they’re ready to take a bite out of crime.

According to Mashable, these puppies are all around a month old, and will eventually serve in the NPA’s K-9 Anti Bomb and Drug unit.

The mother of the young officers, Yellow, is already a member of the K-9 team.

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???? ???!? ? ??,???????:????????????AJ??????????????,??????????????,????????????????????????,???????????????????????,???...

Posted by NPA ??? on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"We hope that in the future the puppies can be like their mother Yellow, that they can pass through training successfully and enter the police force," the NPA wrote on Facebook.

The puppies are named Lucky Star, Schumann, Feida, Brother, AJ and Full Moon, according to the report.


Maine police chief’s BWC captures massive propane tank explosion

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Nick McCrea Bangor Daily News

LIMESTONE, Maine — A volunteer firefighter suffered facial burns when a propane tank explosion engulfed him in flames last week.

Limestone police Chief Stacey Mahan posted the dramatic video of the explosion, which was captured on his body camera, Sunday on social media.

Firefighters went to a property on Main Street on Thursday afternoon, where a fire had broken out in a wooded area near propane tanks.

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This is a clip from my body camera at the fire that occurred here in Limestone on 06-08-2017. This video is of when the explosion took place. Those who choose to be a firefighter whether full time or as a volunteer know the hazards of the job. I commend those that want to, "put the wet stuff on the red stuff" and lay their lives on the line each and every time they head out. This incident is a prime example of how things can change in an instant. Limestone Police Chief Stacey J. Mahan You know the old saying, "Why did God make Firefighters?"....."so cops could have heroes."

Posted by Limestone Police Department on Sunday, June 11, 2017

Firefighter Scott Patten was trying to keep the blaze under control when one of the tanks exploded, sending flames shooting toward him. The blast sent Mahan and another firefighter standing next to a nearby firetruck to the ground. Patten was able to walk away from the blast on his own.

Patten was taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou. He was released the next day, after being treated for first- and second-degree burns to his face, according to the fire department.

©2017 the Bangor Daily News


‘This is war’: Fla. sheriff urges citizens to carry guns

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sandra Nortunen The Palm Beach Post

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida sheriff is calling on citizens to arm themselves in preparation for the next attack.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey posted a four-minute video on Facebook stating his case after a workplace shooting in Orlando on Monday took the lives of five people.

“Folks, now more than ever is the time for our citizens to be prepared to serve as the first line of defense, not only for them, but for their families when the attack happens,” Ivey said in the video.

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WE CAN'T AFFORD TO SIT BACK AND WAIT FOR THE NEXT ACT OF TERRORISM

Posted by Sheriff Wayne Ivey on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After calling himself “one of the most politically incorrect sheriffs in the country” he continued urging those who legally can carry a gun to do so. And, he adds, if you’re uncomfortable with a gun, carry a Taser.

The video also shows Ivey criticizing Britain's Run, Hide, and Tell technique that was used in the recent London attacks, according to Fox35 Orlando.

He says doing nothing to protect yourself is not going to save your life.

“This is war, and you better be prepared to wage war to protect you, your family and those around you if attacked,” he said.

Most people on Twitter were expressing support of his message.

This isn’t the first time Ivey has made this plea. In December 2015 following a mass shooting in California he did the same. That video ended up with over 4 million views.

©2017 The Palm Beach Post


Man gets 15 months for Facebook threat to blow up Detroit cop’s funeral

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ann Zaniewski Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A man was sentenced to 15 months in prison Friday for threatening on Facebook to blow up the funeral of a slain Detroit police sergeant.

Deshawn Maurice Lanton, 21, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to conveying false information and hoaxes, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch.

Lanton posted the threat on a livestream video of Sgt. Kenneth Steil's September funeral that was on the Facebook page of WXYZ (Channel 7), authorities said.

"During the funeral procession at St. Joan of Arc Church in St. Clair Shores, Lanton wrote 'Maybe I should drop a bomb on that building to get rid of the rest of y’all' on the Facebook live page as hundreds of officers marched into the church to pay their respects to the fallen officer," reads a press release from Lemisch's office.

Other Facebook viewers saw the post and contacted police, authorities said.

Lemisch's office said Lanton has several prior felony convictions, including for violent crimes and theft.

According to court records, authorities discovered during the investigation that Lanton posted multiple videos on his Facebook page of police officers getting injured. He then commented that he was pleased they were injured.

The FBI and the Detroit Police Department investigated the case.

Steil was shot Sept. 12 during a manhunt for a suspect in Detroit. He died five days later.

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Judge orders DUI defendants to download ride-hailing apps

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — An Ohio judge known for handing down unusual sentences is requiring convicted drunken drivers to download ride-hailing apps on their phones as part of their punishment.

Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti in Painesville in northeastern Ohio also requires defendants to enter a credit card number on the Uber and Lyft apps as a condition of probation.

Cicconetti tells the Willoughby News-Herald it's common sense to take advantage of the technology, which is safer than driving drunk and a cheaper alternative to thousands of dollars spent after a drunk driving arrest.

In the past Cicconetti has told a drunken driver to view crash victims' bodies at a morgue.


Vegas officer charged with manslaughter in UOF incident

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ken Ritter Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A suspended Las Vegas police officer accused of using an unapproved chokehold on an unarmed man he was trying to arrest became the first in the department in 27 years to be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Officer Kenneth Lopera's on-duty actions in the May 14 death of Tashii S. Brown outside a Las Vegas Strip casino amounted to criminal conduct, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Monday. The prosecutor also filed a charge of oppression under color of office against the 31-year-old officer.

"The bottom line is, a police officer who crosses the line and commits crimes should be charged," Wolfson said.

The filing had been expected after police arrested Lopera a week ago. He posted $6,000 bail and was freed pending arraignment Aug. 21.

Lopera remains suspended without pay and could face up to eight years in state prison if he's convicted of both charges.

The Clark County coroner said Brown was intoxicated by methamphetamine and had an enlarged heart. But he died from lack of oxygen, or "asphyxia due to police restraint." His death was ruled a homicide.

Three Las Vegas police officers were indicted on involuntary manslaughter and oppression charges following the July 1990 chokehold death of 39-year-old Charles Bush. Their trial ended when a jury deadlocked, and they were not retried.

Lopera's police union legal representative, Steve Grammas, said Lopera will plead not guilty and fight the charges against him.

Police officials say Lopera violated several departmental policies when he chased Brown out a rear entrance at The Venetian, zapped him with a stun gun seven times, punched him more than 10 times and put him in the chokehold for a minute and 13 seconds.

Lopera is heard on body camera audio describing the arm-around-the-neck restraint as a "rear naked choke."

The chase began when a sweaty and agitated Brown approached Lopera and his patrol partner in a casino coffee shop, said he thought people were after him, and ran down employees-only hallways.


Feds: Neo-Nazi plot targeted civilians, nukes and synagogues

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Federal prosecutors say a neo-Nazi arrested after agents found bomb-making materials in his Florida apartment while investigating the slayings of his two roommates planned to use the explosives to harm civilians, nuclear facilities and synagogues.

Court documents filed Monday say a third roommate arrested in the killings told authorities that 21-year-old Brandon Russell had been targeting the sites.

The murder suspect, Devon Arthurs, was arrested last month after telling police he fatally shot 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk because they were neo-Nazis who disrespected his recent conversion to Islam.

Arthurs told police Russell was not involved in the shootings, but that he was planning a bombing.

The documents also state that police found two rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a skull mask in Russell's car.


Cops: Woman at anti-Shariah rally attacked police horse

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Philadelphia woman is jailed on charges she attacked a police horse during a weekend demonstration against Shariah law in Pennsylvania's capital city.

Twenty-three-year-old Lisa Joy Simon was jailed Tuesday on charges including aggravated assault and taunting a police animal. Harrisburg police say she hit a state trooper's horse in the neck with a flag pole that had a nail protruding from it. Neither the horse nor the trooper was badly injured.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Simon, who faces a preliminary hearing July 6.

Simon was one of several dozen people who gathered for the demonstration Saturday against Islamic law. The event was organized by ACT for America, which staged similar rallies in several other states. Some Muslim groups have said the protesters unfairly distort their beliefs.


Police: Officer shot while serving warrant in Va.

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — An officer has been shot while serving a search warrant in Virginia but is expected to recover.

Media outlets report that Virginia Beach Police spokeswoman Master Police Officer Tonya Pierce says the officer was shot Tuesday morning while serving a search warrant and someone is barricaded inside the home.

Pierce says authorities announced that they were entering a home and the officer was shot as they entered. She says the officer's injury is not considered life-threatening.

Pierce says police are working to get the person to come out of the home. She says authorities have asked neighbors to stay inside their own homes.


Ark. officer fatally shot, suspect arrested

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEWPORT, Ark. — A suspect has been arrested in the killing of a decorated northeast Arkansas police officer who was fatally shot while assisting another officer with a traffic stop, police said.

Arkansas State Police said Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford, 41, died at a hospital Monday night after the shooting in Newport, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.

Condolences to the Weatherford family, Newport Police Department and each life touched by Lt. Weatherford pic.twitter.com/mDaYo7Ktwk

— Little Rock Police (@LRpolice) June 13, 2017

Newport police told Jonesboro television station KAIT that a person was in custody, and that more information will be released Tuesday morning. Police said Weatherford had been assisting another officer with a traffic stop when he was shot.

KAIT reported that a dive team is searching for the gun used in the shooting, but did not say where.

"We're in shock," Newport Mayor David Stewart told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette late Monday. "We are trying to put the pieces together right now."

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Weatherford was recognized last year as the Jackson County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He was a 15-year veteran of the Newport Police Department.

"Lt. Weatherford was known for routinely preventing incidents and altercations from escalating into crisis, and I have no doubt that Lt. Weatherford began his watch today with the same mission to protect and serve the community he loved so much," Rutledge said in a statement Monday night.

Weatherford is the second Arkansas police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year. Last month, Yell County Lt. Kevin Mainhart was fatally shot while making a traffic stop in rural western Arkansas, and a suspect was arrested after an hours-long standoff.

RIP Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, Newport (AR) Police Department https://t.co/5wX6sa8JfI pic.twitter.com/7Lk5g49hfY

— NLEOMF (@NLEOMF) June 13, 2017


Due to budget cuts, Milwaukee could lose 84 police officers

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mary Spicuzza Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee could be forced to cut 84 police officer positions in next year's budget, Mayor Tom Barrett said.

"I do not want to have fewer police officers in this city," Barrett said Friday in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. "I'm trying to do everything I can to find a way to avoid this."

Barrett also warned that Milwaukee may be forced to eliminate 75 firefighter positions, six public health nurses and 10 code inspector jobs — and close two libraries — in the 2018 budget.

"I view all of this in the context of public safety and, actually, crime prevention in many respects," Barrett said.

Barrett said the budget cuts would have an immediate effect on the number and sizes of recruit classes next year.

The 2018 budget request was $26.9 million higher than the 2017 budget, he said. One of the areas that will see a significant increase is pension payments, especially to police and firefighters.

That's partly due to a wave of retirements linked to a surge in officer hirings in the early and mid-1990s. That wave has been larger than expected this year, and by the end of May, 90 sworn police officers had already retired in 2017.

"We are facing a more daunting horizon than we have in the past," Barrett said.

Bracing for a budget cut to his department totaling as much as $7.3 million, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn proposed "eliminating recruit classes for 2018."

"This proposed budget would reduce sworn strength of the Milwaukee Police Department to 1,748, the fewest officers in this century," Flynn wrote in a Friday letter to Mark Nicolini, the city's budget and management director.

The current average sworn strength is 1,888. Flynn's letter was referring to the projected 2018 year end number for sworn strength.

On Friday, Barrett again raised concerns that the Police Department budget is now greater than the tax levy for the entire city, and has been since 2016.

The mayor also has been urging Gov. Scott Walker and state lawmakers to increase shared revenue payments to the city. That has not happened.

"We have been working to try to have people understand that this is just a fiscally unsustainable arrangement," Barrett said.

Tom Evenson, a Walker spokesman, did not respond to a request for comment.

Barrett again pointed to the money Milwaukee sends to the state, insisting it's a "powerful economic engine" that helps drive the state's economy. But he warned Milwaukee's growth could be hampered by steep public safety cuts.

"I don't know that anybody thinks it's good to have a significant reduction in the size of the Milwaukee Police Department," Barrett said. "I certainly don't, and will do everything I can to make sure that we don't."

Barrett said he was open to having the Legislative Fiscal Bureau review his numbers to confirm that they're accurate.

Some of Barrett's comments Friday echoed those in his annual "State of the City" address in March, when he pushed back against the idea that Milwaukee is draining resources from the rest of Wisconsin.

The amount of revenue generated in Milwaukee exceeded the amount of state aid paid to the city, county and Milwaukee Public Schools by more than $460 million in 2015, he has said. He has called it the "Milwaukee Dividend," noting that the city gets back only about 66% of what it sends to Madison.

———

©2017 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Snapchat photos help police nab fugitive

Posted on June 13, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Megan Guza The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

KENNYWOOD, Pa. — Snapchat photos of a family outing to Kennywood led Allegheny County Sheriff's Office deputies to a Munhall woman who was wanted on an assault charge and awaiting trial in an attempted homicide case, according to police.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant last month for Kimberly Dolan, 19, because a woman accused Dolan of hitting her and breaking her nose during a dispute about a fender-bender, according to Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus.

On May 7, the victim of the assault told police a man driving a van ran a stop sign on Ninth Avenue in Munhall and hit her car. The woman and van driver exchanged information, and the van driver left.

Kraus said that while the woman was waiting for police to arrive, Dolan drove up and accused the woman of hitting her grandfather's van.

“As the woman attempted to explain the incident, Dolan struck the victim,” Kraus said. The woman was diagnosed with a broken nose and multiple other facial fractures.

When police arrived to scene of the fender-bender and alleged assault, Dolan was gone.

Dolan was already awaiting trial for a January 2016 attempted homicide charge. Police said Dolan argued with two people at a Munhall gas station and then ran over one of them, causing serious injuries.

Dolan confessed to police, saying “she could hear the victim stuck under her vehicle,” Kraus said.

Shortly before 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dolan began post photos to Snapchat showing her at Kennywood amusement park in West Mifflin, Kraus said. Deputies saw the photos and headed for the park, alerting West Mifflin police along the way.

Dolan was arrested inside the park without incident, he said. She is charged with aggravated assault, harassment and disorderly conduct in connection with the May 7 incident. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 12.

A jury trial for the attempted homicide charge is scheduled for June 26.

———

©2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)


Photos: Police, community mourn on 1st anniversary of Pulse nightclub shooting

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Police officers and the community came together Monday to mourn the 49 people shot and killed in last year’s devastating attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Below is a collection of photos capturing a city still shaken by the mass casualty incident.

As we remember and honor the victims of that horrific attack, now is a good time to review key tactics for responding to this type of active shooter incident, as well as how to maintain officers' physical and mental health in the aftermath of a mass casualty incident.


4 NJ officers suspended after video shows police kicked burning bystander

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By David Porter Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Four Jersey City police officers, including a lieutenant with 24 years experience, have been suspended indefinitely in the wake of an auto chase and fiery crash in which a video showed police kicking and dragging a bystander, the city's mayor announced Monday.

The June 4 video showed Miguel Feliz exiting his car before being kicked by the officers. The officers had been chasing a different man whose car resembled one used in a shooting several days earlier.

Feliz, of West New York, several miles from Jersey City, underwent surgery for burns last week and remains hospitalized.

All four officers are suspended indefinitely without pay, Mayor Steven Fulop said Monday. He deferred questions about a criminal probe into the incident to the Hudson County prosecutor's office, which is conducting the investigation.

"We have a strong track record here of supporting our police officers and acting swiftly with discipline when appropriate," Fulop said. "We're taking swift actions within our ability to do so, and residents should know we want to have a balance between resident concerns and policing concerns, and we feel have that balance here."

JUST IN: 3 Jersey City police officers suspended without pay amid outrage over a video showing them kicking a burning bystander pic.twitter.com/LsRUfQ9qoF

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 12, 2017

Suspended were: Lieutenant Keith Ludwig and Officers M.D. Khan, Erik Kosinski and Francisco Rodriguez.

Public Safety Director James Shea said Ludwig, a 24-year veteran of the force, has an "excellent" record, and that the four officers, one of whom has been on the force for a year, "are average police officers." He didn't say if any had had previous disciplinary violations.

Shea wouldn't say if any of the suspended officers were the ones seen on video kicking Feliz.

"We repeat our call for a full and impartial investigation into this incident," Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said in an email. "Unfortunately Mayor Fulop continues to indicate that he has no intention of allowing this to be the case."

Feliz wasn't the only person injured in the chase. Suspect Leo Pinkston suffered a leg injury after officers fired shots at his moving vehicle. They had initially stopped the car because it matched the description of a car that had been used in a shooting several nights earlier, Shea said.

Shea said at least 20 officers were involved in some aspect of the response to the high-speed chase, which lasted for several miles. Several protocols were violated, he said, including the length of the chase, the firing of shots at a moving vehicle and the placing of a car as a roadblock without approval from a supervisor.

Ludwig "was the supervisor of the officers who started the chase, he was involved from the beginning and he allowed it to go on long after the point where, under the attorney general's guidelines, he should have called it off," Shea said.


4 NJ officers suspended after video shows police kicking burning bystander

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By David Porter Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Four Jersey City police officers, including a lieutenant with 24 years experience, have been suspended indefinitely in the wake of an auto chase and fiery crash in which a video showed police kicking and dragging a bystander, the city's mayor announced Monday.

The June 4 video showed Miguel Feliz exiting his car before being kicked by the officers. The officers had been chasing a different man whose car resembled one used in a shooting several days earlier.

Feliz, of West New York, several miles from Jersey City, underwent surgery for burns last week and remains hospitalized.

All four officers are suspended indefinitely without pay, Mayor Steven Fulop said Monday. He deferred questions about a criminal probe into the incident to the Hudson County prosecutor's office, which is conducting the investigation.

"We have a strong track record here of supporting our police officers and acting swiftly with discipline when appropriate," Fulop said. "We're taking swift actions within our ability to do so, and residents should know we want to have a balance between resident concerns and policing concerns, and we feel have that balance here."

JUST IN: 3 Jersey City police officers suspended without pay amid outrage over a video showing them kicking a burning bystander pic.twitter.com/LsRUfQ9qoF

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 12, 2017

Suspended were: Lieutenant Keith Ludwig and Officers M.D. Khan, Erik Kosinski and Francisco Rodriguez.

Public Safety Director James Shea said Ludwig, a 24-year veteran of the force, has an "excellent" record, and that the four officers, one of whom has been on the force for a year, "are average police officers." He didn't say if any had had previous disciplinary violations.

Shea wouldn't say if any of the suspended officers were the ones seen on video kicking Feliz.

"We repeat our call for a full and impartial investigation into this incident," Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said in an email. "Unfortunately Mayor Fulop continues to indicate that he has no intention of allowing this to be the case."

Feliz wasn't the only person injured in the chase. Suspect Leo Pinkston suffered a leg injury after officers fired shots at his moving vehicle. They had initially stopped the car because it matched the description of a car that had been used in a shooting several nights earlier, Shea said.

Shea said at least 20 officers were involved in some aspect of the response to the high-speed chase, which lasted for several miles. Several protocols were violated, he said, including the length of the chase, the firing of shots at a moving vehicle and the placing of a car as a roadblock without approval from a supervisor.

Ludwig "was the supervisor of the officers who started the chase, he was involved from the beginning and he allowed it to go on long after the point where, under the attorney general's guidelines, he should have called it off," Shea said.


DUI suspect injured after jumping off bridge to evade police

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOOVER, Ala. — Police said a 27-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries after he jumped over a bridge to evade police.

An officer responded to a stopped car in the center lane of an interstate Sunday when they discovered the driver, who appeared intoxicated, passed out behind the wheel, WIAT reported.

The driver became aggravated while the responding officer waited for backup and refused commands. He then fled on foot, jumped over the bridge railing and fell nearly 25 feet.

Officers performed first aid until paramedics arrived. The suspect was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

"This is certainly a tragic situation and, first and foremost, we hope this individual is able to make a full recovery. Our officer who was the first on the scene, found herself in an extremely dangerous situation,'' Capt. Gregg Rector told AL.com. "It's not uncommon for us to respond to calls where DUI suspects are passed out at the wheel, but when it involves a stopped vehicle in the middle of the interstate, it really increases the chances for a terrible outcome."


Videos: 2 suspects shot, wounded during Milwaukee pursuit

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MILWAUKEE — A sheriff’s deputy wounded two suspects during a police pursuit Sunday night.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it’s unclear why the pursuit was initiated, but Facebook video shows the vehicle driving on a grass median where a deputy was standing. The officer opened fire into the car.

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Watch: Video shared with FOX6 News by a viewer shows the moments when law enforcement officers opened fire along Milwaukee's lakefront Sunday. Warning: This video may be disturbing, and is not appropriate for all audiences. via.fox6now.com/tfASH

Posted by FOX6 News Milwaukee on Sunday, June 11, 2017

The suspect’s car struck another car before it came to a stop. Deputies surrounded the vehicle and ordered the occupants out. The driver and a woman passenger were removed and treated by medical. The publication reported the driver appeared to be seriously injured.

A man in the backseat was removed from the vehicle as well and handcuffed. He did not appear to be injured.

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MILWAUKEE LAKE FRONT SHOOTING! 5 white cops gun down black man and his girlfriend. This is the after math. Please share!! ALL VIDEO UNDER COPY RIGHT! #Milwaukee

Posted by Ricky Saenz-Witt on Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sgt. Timothy Gauerke said police are “determining to what extent, if any, the vehicle or occupants that fled from deputies was involved in any other recent incidents.”

The medical examiner’s office told the Journal Sentinel that the woman and man were seriously injured and are currently in the hospital.

An investigation is ongoing.


Detroit police: Reported robbery was music video shoot

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Elisha Anderson Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Detroit police responded to a robbery report on the city’s west side Saturday night and fired shots before discovering the people involved were filming a video.

It started when officers received information that people in a black Jeep were robbing people in the area of West McNichols Road and Southfield, Detroit police spokesman Officer Dan Donakowski said today.

Police arrived around 7 p.m. and saw a black Jeep and a man getting out of it approaching an Aston Martin, he said.

“That individual is armed," Donakowski said. "And it appeared as though he is attempting to rob the person in the Aston Martin.”

He said police approached, a suspect pointed a weapon at an officer and the officer fired three shots. None of them hit anybody.

Further investigation revealed that people in both the Jeep and Aston Martin were shooting a video, Donakowski said, adding those individuals didn’t have any proof of permission to shoot the video.

Police arrested three men involved with the video, but didn’t have additional information about those people.

“That’s the only information I have right now,” Donakowski said.

It’s unclear if any charges will be issued in connection with the incident.

———

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


Chicago police asked to design new patrol cars

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jeremy Gorner Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department, seeking a fresh look for its patrol vehicles, is asking officers for proposals to redesign the layout of the words, images and colors on the outside of its newer cars.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, in a memo to his 12,000 officers on Friday, said their design ideas will be considered by review panels in each of the 22 patrol districts. Each district will send one idea to a department-wide panel of police officers and residents from the communities.

The panel will select five finalists, and Johnson will pick the winning design.

"The iconic design of marked CPD vehicles has been a staple on the streets of Chicago since the 1970s," Johnson said in the memo. "As we make investments in our Department to be a better agency for officers and residents alike, it is also appropriate to update our vehicles to reflect the next era of CPD's history."

The new design will only be applied to 500 new police cars that are expected to hit the streets in the next few months, police spokesman Frank Giancamilli said. The vehicles now being used will keep the current design.

Giancamilli said redesigns on squad cars are "a fairly common practice" as police departments get newer vehicles. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, for example, the New York City Police Department applied a new design to their squad cars when receiving new vehicles, Giancamilli said.

Johnson's announcement for the redesign is the latest proposed change to a department that has grappled with some of the worst violence the city has seen in years, all while the department is in the midst of reforming some of its policies following an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

"Our core focus is to make Chicago safer, and as we continue to work hard to drive down violence, these new cars will be a welcome addition to your neighborhood beat patrols," Giancamilli said of the 500 new police vehicles.

Johnson wants to change the design layout on Chicago's squad cars to give the vehicles a fresh look at a time when his officers are working to improve its relationship with the communities, the department said.

The new design is required to include certain elements.

The base color of the vehicle must be white, and the dominant color of the design must be the "existing blue" on the current squad cars, Johnson said in the memo.

Also, every design must include the four-digit identification number on both sides of the front quarter panels and on the back of the vehicles, he said in the memo. The words "Chicago police" must be part of the design and applied to both sides of the vehicle, as should the phrase "We Serve and Protect."

Johnson also said the word "police" should be on the back of the vehicle, and the phrases "Emergencies dial 911" and "Non-Emergencies dial 311" should be part of the design. The department's Twitter handle, @Chicago_Police, also must be included.

Giancamilli said the department's new anonymous crime reporting website, cpdtip.com, will also likely be included in the redesign.

While the current design includes the logo of a star with the term "CAPS" emblazoned on it, a nod to the department's community policing program, it's unclear if the logo will be a requirement for the new design.

Officers will have until June 30 to submit their ideas. Giancamilli said the officer whose design is selected as the winning entry will earn "bragging rights," but no award.

The department hopes to start applying the winning design to new vehicles in late summer, Johnson said.

———

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


2 Ky. deputies shot in ambush while serving warrant; suspect dead

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. — Two sheriff’s deputies were shot Monday while serving a warrant.

According to the News Journal, the deputies were serving an indictment warrant when the suspect began shooting at them from his home.

The deputies were transported to local hospitals. One is in serious condition and the other is stable, a police spokesperson said during a news conference.

The shooter died, but it’s unclear if the deputies returned fire.

An investigation is ongoing.


2 Ky. deputies shot while serving warrant; suspect dead

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KNOX COUNTY, Ky. — Two sheriff’s deputies were shot Monday while serving a warrant.

According to WYMT, Deputy Claude Hudson and Deputy Keith Liford were serving an indictment warrant when John Wesley Bays began shooting at them from his home.

Liford was shot multiple times and underwent surgery. He is expected to recover. Police officials said Hudson was shot in his badge and ballistic vest. He was treated and released.

Bays was shot and killed on the scene, the news station reported. Bays had an extensive criminal history dating back to 1999. All charges involved drugs, theft and burglary.

An investigation is ongoing.


Texas police buy struggling vet new AC unit

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas — Julius Hatley woke up to a broken AC unit in the middle of the summer heat in Texas. The 95-year-old was unsure of what to do, so he called 911.

Officer William Margolis and Christopher Weir responded to his call June 8 and decided to take matters into their own hands.

“I talked to my partner and I talked to the gentleman and said, ‘Look, we’re going to help you out. I'll be back in just a little bit. I promise you,’” Margolis told Fox 29.

Margolis and Weir went and purchased an AC unit for Hatley and installed it with the help of another officer. When the manager of Home Depot found out about the officers’ gesture, he covered $150 of the purchase price.

The officers told the news station they’re working on getting Hatley’s AC system fixed, but they’re happy they could provide a temporary solution.

“This is what we do the job for. We don’t do it to issue citations and arrests, we do it to help people,” Weir said. “We got to see some humanity today and makes all of us feel good.”

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Ft. Worth Police Department Officer's William Margolis and Christopher Weir used their own money to buy a window air...

Posted by Lauren Przybyl on Friday, June 9, 2017


Woman claims cop profiled her during traffic stop, video shows otherwise

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GREENDALE, Wis. — A woman who said an officer profiled her during a traffic stop has dropped her complaint after police released footage of the encounter.

Katherine Torres said she was pulled over on May 31 while driving back to work from her lunch break, Fox 6 Now reported.

Torres said the officer asked if she was a U.S. citizen, for her Social Security number, license and registration. The department said they began investigating the claims after Torres filed a complaint on June 2.

A statement said per state law, police officers are allowed to collect social security numbers to assist in the collection of unpaid forfeitures. The officer pulled Torres over for a missing front license plate and issued a citation for failure to fasten seat belt, Fox 6 Now reported. The department said four officers were participating in the “Click it or Ticket” program and 35 citations were issued to drivers with a variety of different ethnic backgrounds.

Authorities said the officer “asked Ms. Torres for her contact information, insurance information and verified address, consistent with proper procedure. He never questioned her citizenship or immigration status, as alleged by Ms. Torres.”

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Posted by Village of Greendale Police Department on Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Torres has since dropped her complaint.

Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant advocacy organization, released a statement saying Torres was threatened with criminal charges if she didn’t drop her complaint. The statement also says that due to video hiccups and audio cutting out, the footage “in no way disproves Ms. Torres’ allegations.”


Coroner to first responders: Throw away your latex gloves when responding to ODs

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MARTINS FERRY, Ohio — A local coroner’s office is warning first responders that their latex gloves could be putting them at risk for an overdose.

The coroner’s office told WTOV that the latex gloves don’t provide enough protection from deadly substances like fentanyl and may allow absorption into the responder’s tissue, putting them at risk for an overdose.

Fire and EMS Assistant Chief Jack Regis said his department is switching from latex to nitrile, which is thicker than latex and provides more protection.

"We need to take all the protections necessary to protect ourselves, because at the end of the day, we want to go home to our families and not become a victim ourselves," Regis said.

According to the news station, Ohio has the most Carfentanil seizures in the United States.

Officials are suggesting first responders wear masks in addition to the gloves to provide extra protection.


Hundreds reflect on anniversary of Pulse nightclub shooting

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Mike Schneider and Terrance Harris Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — At 2:02 a.m. Monday, the names of 49 people killed in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history were read out loud outside the Pulse nightclub, marking the exact time a year ago when a gunman started firing during "Latin Night" at the gay club.

"I realize that gathering here in this place, at this hour, is beyond difficult," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told survivors, victims' families, club employees and local officials during the private service. "But I also know that the strength you've shown over the past year will carry you through today and in the future."

The service began what would be almost 24 hours of observations to remember the victims and the dozens of Pulse patrons who were wounded when Omar Mateen opened fire and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. He was eventually killed by police after a three-hour standoff on June 12, 2016.

Later Monday morning, hundreds of people dropped off flowers, drawings and cards at a memorial near Pulse. Another midday service was held, followed by an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando and a final, music-filled late-night service at the nightclub.

"It still hurts, it's still very raw," said Erin Anderson, a friend and former co-worker of Pulse victim Xavier Serrano Rosado.

Jeannine Williams used to live within walking distance of Pulse and was a frequent visitor. She had made plans to be there the night of the shooting but decided to go another night club.

"A year later I think the thing that is most important is this community and why I live here and why I'm so happy to live here," Williams said through tears. "The support we not only have from our city government, it's not fleeting support, it's not support on certain days. It's the way the community is. This is Orlando. This is why I just love living here."

At noon, church bells throughout the Orlando area were set to ring 49 times. Gov. Rick Scott ordered U.S. flags around Florida to be flown at half-staff and a giant rainbow flag would be unveiled at the Orange County government building.

Monday's services culminated several days of events aimed at turning the grim anniversary into something positive. A foot race was held over the weekend, and eight gay and lesbian students were awarded $4,900 toward their college studies by a local businessman. Local officials have declared the one-year mark as a day of "love and kindness," and they are encouraging residents to volunteer or perform acts of compassion.

An exhibit of artwork collected from memorial sites set up around Orlando after the massacre will be shown at the Orange County History Center. The club's owner, Barbara Poma, is developing plans to build a memorial at the Pulse site.

Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, is facing charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction in federal court. She has pleaded not guilty to helping her husband.


Some parents upset by purchase of rifles for school officers

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Some parents of Shawnee Mission School District students in eastern Kansas aren't happy to learn the public school district has bought eight semi-automatic rifles for its school resource officers.

The rifles were bought in 2015, but parents only recently learned of them, the Kansas City Star reported Saturday.

Some parents, like Lisa Veglahn, were unnerved and angered by the discovery.

"I don't fully believe one person with a bigger, badder gun is really going to make a huge difference in an active shooter situation in a school," Veglahn said. "Why did they feel it was necessary over other types of weapons?"

Other parents, like Melissa Patt, said the nearly $6,000 purchase was excessive at a time when school budgets are tight.

"It's pretty offensive to me as a taxpayer to feel like you don't have any voice and you are being excluded from decisions that could harm your child or kill them," said Patt, who has three students in the Shawnee Mission district.

But John Douglass, the district's director of safety and security, and some other parents say a rising threat of active shooter situations in schools makes the high-powered guns necessary.

"This weapon is a very serious weapon for some very limited circumstances," said Douglass, a former Overland Park Police chief. "You are never going to see it unless something really, really bad is happening."

Each of seven district resource officers and a supervisor received the rifles. The district's resource officers have operated separately from municipal police forces since 1972.

Most other local school districts have partnerships with police departments, which arm campus police officers with weapons that any patrol officer might carry, including assault-style weapons.

But the newspaper said the Shawnee Mission School District appears to be the only one in the Kansas City metropolitan area that has purchased assault rifles for its resource officers.


Videos show rescue of rape victim, serial killer confessions

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jeffrey Collins Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After hearing a woman's screams inside a large metal container, investigators sawed and pried open the bin, rescuing the woman who had been chained inside for about two months by a serial killer, according to new videos released by prosecutors.

The videos also show Todd Kohlhepp, in cold and emotionless detail, confessing to killing seven people in South Carolina. He pleaded guilty two weeks ago to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison. On Friday, prosecutors released several videos, dozens of pictures and hundreds of pages of evidence against him.

In the rescue video, once the container was opened after the 10-minute operation, officers walked in carefully with their hands on their guns and found a clothed Kala Brown, sitting on the floor with a chain around her neck stretching to the wall.

"Do you know where your buddy is?" an officer said.

"Charlie? He shot him," she said quietly.

"Who did?"

"Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp, put him in the bucket of the tractor, locked me down here. I've never seen him again. He says he's dead and buried. He says there are several bodies dead and buried out here," she said.

Investigators found three bodies on the rural Spartanburg County property. They had gone to the land on Nov. 3 to look for Brown and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver. The couple had been missing for two months, and Brown's cellphone indicated she might have been in the area when she vanished.

Kohlhepp also pleaded guilty to raping Brown. The Associated Press typically doesn't identify victims of sexual assault, but Brown has spoken publicly about her traumatic experience, appearing on Dr. Phil's television show in February.

Authorities say on the way to the hospital, Brown told them about how Kohlhepp confessed to killing a married couple before she was captured, and about killing four people at a Spartanburg County motorcycle shop — murders that were unsolved for 13 years.

After authorities let Kohlhepp talk to his mother and promised to give her money from his accounts, he confessed in several other videos released by prosecutors.

Kohlhepp bragged in one video about wearing gloves when loading his gun to assure no fingerprints were on the casings. He also told authorities he pulled the gun apart and threw the components into different trash bins, putting the barrel into a bag of used kitty litter.

Even though it had been 13 years, Kohlhepp detailed each shot he fired at the Superbike shop, including final shots to the forehead of 30-year-old Scott Ponder; 52-year-old Beverly Guy; 30-year-old Brian Lucas; and 26-year-old Chris Sherbert.

"That was one big building. I cleared that building in under 30 seconds," Kohlhepp said. "I'm sorry, but you guys would have been proud."

The investigators asked if anyone begged for their lives or said anything to him.

"I don't remember any of that. I will tell you that once I engaged, I was engaged. It was almost like a video game. It's not a game — you've been there, sir, you know what I am talking about," Kohlhepp said.

Kohlhepp also killed 29-year-old Johnny Coxie and 26-year-old Leigh McCraw-Coxie in December 2015. They, like Carver and Brown, were lured to Kohlhepp's land after he promised them work.

Kohlhepp killed Coxie immediately and tried to keep McCraw-Coxie locked away, but he said he killed her after several days because she tried to burn the container after he gave her cigarettes.

"She wanted Little Caesar's pizza. I hate that (expletive). It gives me heartburn," Kohlhepp said. "Dr. Pepper, cinnamon rolls and freaking Newports. If you go down to that building, you'll find an unused package of Newports that I bought for her."

Kohlhepp denied killing anyone else. He did say he shot a man in Arizona when he was 14, but could give few details. Authorities have not charged him with any additional crimes in other states.

Kohlhepp moved to South Carolina in 2001 after 14 years in prison for a kidnapping in Arizona. Authorities there said the then 15-year-old Kohlhepp forced a 14-year-old neighbor back to his home at gunpoint, tied her up and raped her.


Ohio K-9 dies after being struck by car in off-duty accident

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Merri Hanjora The Lima News

ADA, Ohio — The Ada Police Department lost a valuable member of its department Thursday morning when its sole -9 officer, Jaeger, was struck and killed by a vehicle. He was not on duty at the time of the accident.

According to the Ada Police Department press release, Jaeger’s handler, Sgt. Matt Purdy, had taken Jaeger out to relieve himself. Jaeger pulled away from his handler, slipping his collar and went after a motor vehicle. The vehicle struck and killed Jaeger. The driver was not at fault. The incident was out of character for Jaeger.

“The question might be asked, how can this happen with such a well-trained dog. K9s know when they’re on duty. We put a certain collar on our K9 and that dog knows okay, now I’m searching for drugs. If we put a different type of harness on the dog, that dog knows, now I’m searching for a bad guy or I’m searching for a missing person. If we put another collar on that dog, now I might be used in handler protection. And K9 Jaeger was not on duty. He had none of those collars on him. He had a regular collar on that meant, ‘hey I got to go out and use the restroom.’ And this also is just so very not like Jaeger to do what he did yesterday,” said Michael Harnishfeger, chief of the Ada Police Department.

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It is with great sadness that I report the death of K9 Jaeger. Early this morning while with his handler, Sgt. Matt...

‎Posted by Ada Police Department on‎ ????? 8 ???? 2017

Jaeger, who was almost 3 years old, had served the Ada Police Department since October 2015. He was responsible for numerous drug and criminal arrests in Ada and throughout Hardin County. Sgt. Matt Purdy with K9 Jaeger was named the 2016 Ada Employee of the Year.

“Jaeger and the K9 team was an important part of the Ada Police Department and very effective. Probably one of the most impressive dogs that I had seen in action in detecting drugs. Very, very good at that,” said Harnishfeger.

The Ada Police Department will assess the future of its K9 program. Jaeger was the first K9 unit at Ada.

“A K9 program is easily going to cost $10,000. And so it is an expensive proposition. When we consider the future, we have to consider all aspects. We have to consider the money, we have to consider the time, we have to consider the training. It’s just a tremendous amount of effort to maintain a K9 unit. But, in my view, a very important and positive thing to do,” said Harnishfeger. “They are valuable, absolutely.”

Copyright 2017 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)


Off-duty police detective dies in skydiving accident

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ELLINGTON, Conn. — An off-duty Massachusetts police detective has died after a hard landing while parachuting at a Connecticut airport.

Authorities say 62-year-old Springfield resident James Hansmann was reported seriously hurt around 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Ellington Airport. He was flown to Hartford Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police say Hansmann's parachute was functioning properly, and there is no criminal aspect to his death.

Hansmann was a detective lieutenant with the Leyden Police Department in Franklin County, Massachusetts.

Leyden Police Chief Daniel Galvis says the department is devastated by the loss. Galvis says Hansmann had been with the department since 2003.


One of the first officers on the scene describes London Bridge attack

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON — One of the first police officers on the scene of the London Bridge attack says he was met by pandemonium, as people fled in panic and the wounded lay on sidewalks.

But he also described how, within minutes, police had killed the attackers, ushered bystanders to safety and begun treating and evacuating the wounded.

Inspector Jim Cole, who was scrambled from his south London police station, said the response was "like something out of a Battle of Britain film" as officers piled into vehicles and raced to the scene.

In an account of the June 3 attack released by the Metropolitan Police, Cole said he arrived at Borough Market to find "casualties on the pavements."

"I asked my officers to form a cordon to stop the public from going into the market, and that's when the shooting started just behind us," he said. "We had no idea what was going on. We didn't know if it was us shooting or if that bad guys had guns."

Armed officers fired almost 50 rounds, killing three attackers who had plowed a rented van into pedestrians on the bridge, killing three, then jumped out and stabbed Saturday night revelers in Borough Market, an area packed with bars and restaurants. Five people died of stab wounds, and almost 50 people were wounded in the attack.

Cole said he set up a triage area inside a pub to treat the wounded, including a man who had been stabbed in the stomach.

"I then heard more shouting and a stream of people came out of the market screaming and panicking. I got them into the pub's basement as a place of hard cover," he said.

He said that on his police radio "I could hear officers on London Bridge desperately calling for ambulances," and got a police cruiser to take the man who had been stabbed in the stomach to a hospital.

All of the 48 wounded people who were taken to hospitals survived.

Cole said that soon the situation "began to stabilize," with the attackers dead and the immediate threat contained.

"I felt that it had only been a few moments, but it had actually been about 10 or 15 minutes," he said.

Cole said that when he told the 200 people sheltering in the pub's basement that they were safe and would soon be evacuated, "I got a big round of applause."

"That was a really nice, unexpected moment," he said.

Cole, 41, said the attack was "the most challenging, most intense situation I've dealt with" in an 18-year police career.

"I've dealt with a lot of death and I've been to some pretty horrific scenes in my career, but nothing has ever been on that scale," he said. "It's going to stick with me for a long time."

Police are questioning seven suspects over suspected links to the attackers, Pakistani-born British citizen Khuram Butt, Moroccan Rachid Redouane, and Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent.


Police: Headless body located after severed head found

Posted on June 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — A headless body has been found after the head of a young black man was discovered on the front steps of a Mississippi home.

Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance told WAPT-TV that a resident discovered human remains in an open field around 3 p.m. Saturday. The remains were located about a mile (1.5 kilometers) from where the severed head was found hours earlier that day.

Police say the body was severely burned and the man couldn't be immediately identified.

Cmdr. Tyree Jones says authorities do not yet have a motive for the killing. Asked whether it might be gang-related, he refused to speculate. He had previously said just finding the head earlier wasn't typical of a homicide scene.


Mich. House panel passes legislation prohibiting sanctuary cities

Posted on June 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chris Ehrmann Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation passed in a Michigan House committee aims to prohibit cities from becoming "sanctuary cities" that don't cooperate with immigration authorities and punish those that do.

The House Local Government Committee sent bills to the full House that would prohibit cities and counties from becoming sanctuary cities and force them to cooperate with federal officials on matters concerning immigration. Additionally, it would render any law or ordinance that violates the act unenforceable.

Tense testimony was given during a committee meeting last week about why the legislation was wrong and could lead to racial profiling, litigation against police officers and departments, and higher costs. No one testified in favor of the bills.

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor said the legislation seeks to address a problem that doesn't exist and is anti-American.

"We have an outstanding police department in Ann Arbor, and for years AAPD has worked to promote relationships of trust among our immigrant neighbors and by gutting these relationships these bills will hamstring our ability to protect and serve, violent crime will go unreported, violent criminals they will go free," Taylor said. "The short of it is this, I oppose these measures because they are at odds with core American values and they threaten public safety."

Taylor said the bills would make Michigan a "show me your papers" state.

Republican State Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake rejected that claim.

"No law enforcement is permitted to walk up to an individual and say show me you papers. It's preposterous, something out of a movie from the '40s," Runestad said. "The reality is you have to be stopped for something else, and then if you've committed a crime, and you've served your time in jail or prison, then they have the option to respond to the ICE detainer or not."

Chris Hackbarth, director of state and federal affairs for the Michigan Municipal League, which represents over 522 cities, villages and urban townships, also testified in opposition.

"From a public perspective, we have had three communities, roughly three communities in Michigan that have seen this label applied to them," he said.

Hackbarth said for more than 10 years the communities have had rules or policies on the books dealing with immigration — for example, a police officer would not ask for legal status at a traffic stop — and they have not had any problems. He also said the legislation is a poorly-crafted solution in search of a problem.

Cedar Lake Republican state Rep. James Lower, committee chairman, said the testimony was emotionally charged, but he believes it is common sense legislation. He said lawyers who have looked at the bills do not see problems of racial profiling or litigation.

"We frankly disagree with those," Lower said. "We've had many, many attorneys, you know how the legislative process works, review the legislation to make sure that wasn't an issue. It simply wasn't an issue."

The bills were voted 7-4 along party lines out of committee, with all amendments proposed by Democratic members failing. It now goes to the full House but it is still to be determined on whether it will come up for a vote next week. It may not be taken up until after lawmakers come back from summer break.


Paris prosecutors charge Notre Dame attacker

Posted on June 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sylvie Corbet Associated Press

PARIS — The hammer-wielding man who attacked police officers patrolling in front of Notre Dame Cathedral appears to have radicalized himself through the internet and was unknown to French police and intelligence services, the chief prosecutor in Paris said Saturday.

The Paris prosecutor's office said the 40-year-old Algerian doctoral student was given preliminary charges Saturday of attempted murder of a police officer in connection with a terrorist enterprise and crime of terrorist conspiracy.

One police officer was slightly injured in Tuesday's attack.

The assailant - crying out "This is for Syria!"- was shot by police. He received hospital treatment for a shotgun injury to the torso.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference Saturday that the man had the "profile of a neophyte" that counterterrorism services fear as much as extremists who are trained to carry out attacks.

"Today, the terrorist threat today is shape-shifting. And this time we have been confronted by an internal threat ... individuals who want to carry out projects here when they have difficulties joining the war zones," Molins said.

The assailant was identified as Farid Ikken this week by a nephew in Algeria, lawyer Sofiane Ikken, and a friend, Algerian journalist Kamal Ouhnia.

Molins, who hasn't identified the suspect by his full name, confirmed that he was an ex-journalist born in Akbou, a town in northern Algeria, who was legally living in France as a student working on his doctoral thesis.

Investigators who searched a student residence where he lived in the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise found a declaration of allegiance to the Islamic State group he filmed on the morning of the attack. He presented himself as a "soldier of the caliphate," prosecutors said.

They have also found a laptop and four USB sticks that included Islamic extremist propaganda, photos and videos referring to attacks in London, Paris, Brussels and at a church in the French region of Normandy, and images of the war in Syria.

The man described himself as a Sunni Muslim who started a "quite radical" religious observance about 10 months ago, Molins said.

The suspect bought the hammer and two kitchen knives, which were found on him after the attack, in a supermarket on March 27.

Molins said his family and friends didn't notice signs of radicalization. He described the man as socially and psychologically "isolated."

Investigators haven't established the existence of any contact between the man and people living in Syria and Iraq.

The youngest of a family of 12 children, the assailant moved to Sweden in 2001, where he studied journalism. He returned to Algeria in 2011, establishing an online newsletter and working as a journalist, before moving to France for doctoral studies in 2013, Molins said

His brother and a cousin, both living in France, have described a "solitary, serious, discreet" man from a not very religious family. His thesis supervisor, who last saw him in June 2016, described him as a "strong advocate of Western democracy," the prosecutor said.


Off-duty NM border agent found assaulted near road

Posted on June 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

DEMING, N.M. — A Border Patrol agent assigned to the Deming, New Mexico, border patrol station is recovering after authorities say he was assaulted while he was off-duty and was found alongside a road.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release that a motorist found the agent on the side of a road late Friday.

The release said the agent suffered "multiple, serious injuries" to his head, chest and hands. Emergency responders transported him to a hospital where he's listed in stable condition.

Customs and Border Protection says it's working with the FBI, the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office, and the El Paso, Texas, Police Department in the ongoing investigation.


Lowest pay in the nation leads to Fla. trooper manpower shortage

Posted on June 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Linda Robertson Miami Herald

MIAMI — Drunks weaving in and out of lanes on highways. Drivers texting and paying little attention to the road. Cars drag racing at high speed.

And white-knuckled, frustrated motorists who ask: Why don’t we see Florida Highway Patrol troopers stopping these people?

Answer: Because there are not as many as there should be on our state roadways.

FHP is struggling with chronic manpower shortages and high turnover because Florida troopers’ pay ranks dead last in the nation. The ripple effect is being felt by drivers who rarely observe troopers on patrol and must wait longer for a response if they are involved in a crash.

The FHP is currently operating with 201 vacancies in a workforce that is supposed to be 1,946 at full capacity.

Starting salary for a Florida rookie trooper is $33,977 — the lowest among the 49 states that have a state patrol. (Hawaii does not.)

California’s starting troopers earn the highest starting wage, at $74,700. In Texas, it’s $73,000. In Alabama, at No. 48, it’s $35,590.

“They are in a dire situation and it’s a disgrace,” said Charles Miller, a retired Miami-Dade police officer who worked as an auxiliary FHP trooper for the final three years of his 37-year career. “Where are the troopers? You can drive a considerable distance and never see one. There’s extreme speeding and more and more horrific crashes. It’s a demanding job and they often have no backup. It’s a shame for the men and women who put their lives on the line for Floridians.”

Of the 226 law enforcement agencies in Florida, the highway patrol ranks 174th in starting salary, according to an Office of the Inspector General report. That puts FHP ahead of such small towns as Chipley and Chattahoochee, but far behind Miami-Dade County ($54,090), Broward County ($47,482), Palm Beach County ($51,312) and such local cities as Pinecrest, which ranked No. 1 at $64,708 and Lighthouse Point ($60,000), Boca Raton and Sunrise ($57,000), Miami Shores ($54,038), Miami Gardens ($47,800) and Miami ($45,929).

FHP is battling an 8.83 percent turnover rate. Plus, the academy that would typically have 80 recruits per class currently has only 25. Sixty-three recent graduates are in field training.

“Due to attrition and retirements, the FHP has experienced a steady shortage of sworn members over the past few years,” said FHP Capt. Jeffrey Bissainthe. “FHP uses a proven staffing model to determine minimum staffing requirements for each of the FHP troops, but when there are fewer troopers on the road, it may mean a slower response time for drivers involved in a crash or disabled motorists who are stranded on the side of the road.”

Higher pay in other states and municipalities is luring Florida troopers away, said Matt Puckett, executive director of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

“We think salaries should be in the mid-40s in order to be competitive,” he said.

Drivers have reason to worry. Compare data from 2011 to 2016. The number of licensed drivers in Florida has increased by 1 million during that time and the number of annual crashes has increased from 229,000 to 395,000. Yet the number of traffic citations issued by the FHP has decreased, from 947,000 to 742,000. Speeding tickets are down 18 percent. Response time should be 30 minutes or less, but has increased. As a consequence of lower trooper numbers, local police and sheriff’s officers are working more crashes on state roads — almost 50 percent of accidents statewide.

“It used to be if I needed help from a trooper late at night, I could count on a quick response,” said Miller, the ex-Miami-Dade captain who often found that during the three years he patrolled for the FHP he would be the only trooper on duty in the entire north end of Miami-Dade County. “They used to be our pursuit cars on a robbery. They don’t do that anymore. There can be a major rollover wreck on I-95 and no trooper available.”

DUI arrests can take two hours or more to process, which further exacerbates troopers’ lack of presence on the road.

Some relief is on the way. Included in the state budget passed by the Florida Legislature and awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature is a pay increase, to $36,223 for starting salaries, and a 5 percent raise for all state law enforcement officers. The PBA had lobbied for a $10,000 across the board raise and incentives or a step pay plan that would reward troopers for longevity.

“If you hit certain benchmarks, you should earn increases in pay,” Puckett said. “We will have to revive bills on career development. People are happy with the 5 percent raise but we need to deal with the retention problem.”

———

©2017 Miami Herald


Severed head found at Miss. home; body missing

Posted on June 10, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — The severed head of a young black man was found on the front steps of a Mississippi home and police are working to identify him.

Jackson Police Cmdr. Tyree Jones says the rest of the man's body has not been located.

The head was found Saturday about 9 a.m. Jones says authorities do not yet have a motive for the killing. Asked whether it might be gang-related, he refused to speculate. He did say that finding just the head was not a typical homicide scene.

Officials say the cause of death, at this time, appears to be severance.


Texas’s tough pension laws may not apply in other states

Posted on June 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claudia Lauer Associated Press

DALLAS — One by one, Pete Bailey, Clint Conway, Julian Bernal and a half dozen other retired police officers and firefighters stood up in December and told the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board that they had been counting on their deferred retirement accounts to supplement their pensions. They had medical bills. They had mortgages. They had college tuition to pay. And they had played by the rules of the fund.

Now they faced severe restrictions on fund payments after a number of officers retired and fears spread that a generous provision allowing retiring workers to take a large lump sum payment would be stopped. In about four months last year, more than $500 million — or about 20 percent of the fund — was withdrawn, pushing it within a decade of insolvency. Dallas police staffing fell below 3,000 officers even though there is funding for 3,600 positions.

A run on a bank, when account holders rush to withdraw funds, occasionally happens during economic distress. But a run on public pension fund is "very unusual," said Caroline Crawford, assistant director of state and local research at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. This is because pension funds rarely allow so much of assets eligible for withdrawal in deferred retirement accounts — 56 percent for Dallas.

The Dallas pension fund is a worst case example. But experts say the crisis was no surprise amid a national malaise of public pension funds. The unfunded liability — amount that pension fund assets fall short of commitments to workers — surpasses $1 trillion, according to several recent studies.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, 74 percent of state pension plans and 57 percent of the largest local plans had cut some type of benefits or raised employee contributions, according to a January study by the Center for Retirement Research.

That's exactly what the state of Texas did with the Dallas plan, passing bills through the Legislative session that just ended to stabilize the fund and another in Houston. The bills decrease benefits to future retirees and reduce access to deferred retirement funds accumulated for retirees such as those who stood up at the December meeting. The bills boost the contributions employees must make to the plan and increase the retirement age.

"We had to be sure that we saved those pensions. No one should work for 10, 30, 35 years believing they had a pension and then have it not be there," said Republican state Rep. Dan Flynn, chairman of the House Committee on Pensions.

The tough cure applied by Texas may not be possible in many other states. Only Texas and Indiana can adjust past and future benefits for current employees, according to the Boston research group. The state constitutions of Alaska, Illinois and New York specifically prohibit past or future changes to current employee benefits. Sixteen other states prevent such changes through contract, property or other laws. All other states bar reductions in past benefits, and some have ambiguous language about reducing future benefits in their laws.

"The most common and easiest change to accomplish from a legal perspective is to lower the benefit for future or newer employees," said Tom Aaron, vice president and senior analyst at Moody's Investor Services. "For some states that is effectively the only option. Texas has more flexibility legally."

Illinois has the worst-funded public pension system of any state, with an unfunded liability approaching $127 billion. Like Texas, legislators tried to create a plan that sought to reduce benefits, put a cap on pensions for the state's highest paid employees and limit future cost of living increases. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the changes violated a state constitution provision that benefits cannot be diminished. So the state's pension system limps on while lawmakers there try to figure a way out of the dilemma.

States and cities may be able to learn from some major errors Dallas made in designing and managing its pension fund. The pension invested in risky real estate ventures that didn't pan out — this week its board voted to sell several properties in Idaho and Napa Valley. The Dallas pension also approved unsustainable benefits including a guaranteed 8 percent return on deferred retirement funds. Deferred Retirement Option Plans, commonly called DROPs, allow employees eligible to retire to continue working but accumulate benefits as if they are retired. When they decide to retire they get the money plus interest on top of the benefits they would otherwise get. During the rush to withdraw money from the Dallas fund, some beneficiaries were able to take out millions of dollars each in DROPs earned over time, with interest.

"I think most of the younger officers see it as the old plan was a Ferrari that was unaffordable," said Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association, the city's largest police union.

Mata said that because of the benefit cuts, some members who retired early have told him they are going back to work in the private sector and some current officers are planning to work more years. Others are considering quitting the force.

"It's the steps we had to take to fix this," he said.


Ala. officer saved by ballistic vest

Posted on June 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Marty Roney Montgomery Advertiser

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — A Prattville police officer’s bullet-resistant vest is being credited with saving his life after he was shot Thursday afternoon answering a fight call.

“His vest saved him,” Police Chief Mark Thompson said.

Two officers responded to a domestic violence call in the 100 block of Patrick Street just before 2 p.m., the chief said. As they approached a group of people in the driveway, a man fired at least three rounds from a handgun, with one round striking the officer in the upper chest, Thompson said. The officer’s vest stopped the bullet.

“He’s a little bruised a little sore, but it’s a minor wound considering,” Thompson said. “He gets to go home tonight.”

The officers did not return fire, he said.

Thompson declined to identify the officer, other than saying he’s a “senior” officer on first shift, holding the rank of sergeant. The suspect fled into the home after the shooting, and the two officers heard a “pop” coming from the home.

“The U.S. Marshals were among those who responded and they have a robot,” Thompson said. “We sent the robot into the house and found the suspect, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

Thompson would not identify the suspect, pending notification of next of kin. There was a woman in the home when the suspect went into the house but she wasn’t injured, Thompson said.

Dozens of local, state and federal law enforcement officers from throughout the River Region raced to Prattville when the call of “Officer down” went over the radio. Portions of the neighborhood were cordoned off, as an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency helicopter clattered overhead.

“We had the response begin in seconds,” Thompson said. “When the call goes out an officer has been shot; it’s a brotherhood, you always have help coming.”

Before sending in the robot to check out the situation in the home, SWAT teams put up a perimeter around the house. The situation was deemed “secure” about 2:50 p.m.

Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr drove to the scene early on in his personal pickup truck. He was driven to the home by a Prattville officer.

“It’s a good day and a sad day in Prattville,” he said, about two hours after the incident. “It’s good that our officer was wearing his vest, and that he will be okay. It’s sad that we lost a life. This man obviously was wrestling with problems.

“But we are very thankful our officer wasn’t hurt any more seriously than he was. And we are very appreciative for the response from all the law enforcement agencies in our area.”

All officers on the force are issued bullet-resistant vests and are required to wear them while on duty, Thompson said.

"This shows the importance of being aware on every call," Thompson said. "It shows the importance of wearing your vest and making sure you know where peoples’ hands are all the time"

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©2017 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)


Mass. lawmakers wrestle with ‘sanctuary’ bill

Posted on June 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Bob Salsberg and Steve LeBlanc Associated Press

BOSTON — Lawmakers wrestled Friday with a proposal to sharply limit cooperation between federal immigration officials and state and local law enforcement agencies.

While some say the bill would make Massachusetts a so-called sanctuary state, backers including the American Civil Liberties Union argue the measure dubbed the Safe Communities Act would not violate federal law nor prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials from doing their jobs.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of the measure crowded a public hearing, amid heightened concerns in some immigrant communities about Republican President Donald Trump's deportation policies.

An executive order issued by Trump to cut funding to sanctuary cities has been blocked, at least temporarily, by a federal judge.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker called for lawmakers to defeat the bill and not make Massachusetts a sanctuary state.

"The legislation would "prevent the Massachusetts State Police from upholding our policy to detain individuals for federal authorities that have been convicted of heinous crimes, like murder and rape," Baker said in a written statement.

Supporters of the bill said it would improve public safety by reassuring those in the state illegally that they can communicate to local police — either as victims of crime or as witnesses — without fearing deportation.

"We know that when police act as immigration agents, immigrant victims and witnesses become afraid to talk to them," Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said during the hearing.

Ronnie Millar, head of the Irish International Immigrant Center, said some Irish immigrants are also particularly concerned about calls for a Muslim registry, given the long, and sometimes troubled, history of Irish immigration in Boston.

"As Catholic immigrants since the late 1800's, we remember well that the 'No Irish Need Apply' signs hung in the windows of Boston businesses," he said. "We Irish know what it's like to be treated as a threat and to be dehumanized and to be kept under special surveillance."

Opponents say the bill could harm public safety.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who has offered to send inmates to the U.S.-Mexico border to help Trump fulfill his Republican campaign promise to build a wall, said it makes no sense to restrict the ability of Massachusetts to work with federal law enforcement agencies.

"Why should we share less information," he said. "Why is ICE cherry-picked as the one law enforcement agency that we can't partner with particularly given the escalating terrorist attacks, human and sex trafficking, gang violence and drug smuggling that's going on?"

Maureen Maloney, whose son Matthew Denice was killed in 2011 after being struck and dragged by a driver in the country illegally, also testified against the measure.

Maloney said her 23-year-old son survived an initial crash.

"Tragically, the unlicensed drunk criminal alien made the fatal decision to flee. He ran over Matthew and knowingly dragged him a quarter mile to his death," she said. "My son is dead because our lawmakers have put illegal aliens ahead of Americans."

Although dozens of legislators signed on as cosponsors of the bill, passage is far from assured. Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo, like Baker, has indicated a preference to leave sanctuary status up to individual cities and towns.

The proposed law would also bar creation of a Muslim registry; prohibit state and local agencies from entering into agreements with the federal government that call for "deputizing" employees to act as immigration officers; and require that anyone in detention be informed of their right to decline an interview with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The House recently put off action on a more narrowly-focused bill that would prevent state funds from being used to implement agreements between ICE and county sheriffs to provide training for correctional officers in immigration law enforcement. Bristol and Plymouth counties have entered into such partnerships.


Australian K-9 rejected from police academy gets job with governor

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

QUEENSLAND, Australia — A K-9 deemed too sociable for the police force has found a job with the governor.

Police said Gavel “did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line,” the BBC reported.

Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey began fostering Gavel at six weeks old and decided to give him the job of official dog of the governor’s residence.

He welcomes guests and tour groups to the grounds and participates in special ceremonial occasions, complete with a uniform featuring Queensland state emblems.

"He has outgrown four ceremonial coats, undergone a career change (his official title is now Gavel VRD, 'Vice-Regal Dog'), and brought untold joy to the lives of the governor, Mrs. de Jersey, Government House staff, and the thousands of Queenslanders who have since visited the estate," the governor's office said. “We hope Gavel’s with us for a long, long time.”

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There were lots of comments from people at Open Day on the weekend expressing how much they enjoyed following via social...

Posted by Governor of Queensland on Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Man dies after jumping in river to evade police, video released

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Police released video of a May 22 foot pursuit that ended with the drowning of the suspect.

According to the Steamboat Today, police responded to disturbance at a bar and found Arman “Jack” Qureshi, 22, intoxicated in an alley. A woman told police Qureshi was inside the bar and took a woman’s jacket with her belongings inside. His roommate and parents said Qureshi could have thought the jacket was his.

When the woman approached him, he grabbed the jacket and fled to the alley where two men confronted him. Bar employees called police when they saw the disturbance behind the building, the publication reported.

Police were attempting to arrest Qureshi and decided he needed to be medically cleared. As he walked toward the ambulance, he then broke into a sprint and fled police.

Officer Jeff Malchow pursued him and discovered Qureshi had crawled into a river. He noticed him making noises clinging to rocks and told him “you’re going to kill yourself for a misdemeanor. Come on. Take my hand.”

Malchow took off his gear and entered the river in an attempt to save Qureshi. He briefly had a hold of him until Qureshi pushed back into the river.

Qureshi was discovered further down the river face down without a shirt. Firefighters attempted to grab him, but were unsuccessful. His body was recovered the following day near a local golf club.

An investigation is ongoing.


Video shows police fatally shooting London Bridge attackers

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LONDON — Surveillance footage shows London police arrive on the scene shortly after the attackers stabbed a man and fatally shooting the three suspects.

The suspects are seen on video attacking a pedestrian in Borough Market Saturday night, the BBC reported. The suspects mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge, killing eight, before heading to the markets with knives and fake suicide vests. Twenty-nine people remain hospitalized, 10 in critical condition, hospital officials said.

When police arrived on the scene seven seconds after the stabbing, the attackers charged at police and were fatally shot, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Independent Police Complaints Commissions told the BBC that 46 shots were fired at the suspects.

The suspects were identified as Youssef Zaghbam, 22; Khuram Butt, 27; and Rachid Redouane, 30. A total of 17 people were arrested in connection with the attack, five remain in custody, the BBC reported.


Use-of-force expert: Cop who fatally shot Philando Castile justified in shooting

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Karnowski Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A use-of-force expert testified Friday that a Minnesota police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of a black motorist moments after the man told him he was carrying a gun, and said his tests found the motorist could have pulled the weapon in a fraction of a second.

Emanuel Kapelsohn was the second such expert in two days called by attorneys for Officer Jeronimo Yanez. He's charged with manslaughter for shooting Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July that drew widespread attention because Castile's girlfriend streamed the aftermath on Facebook.

Prosecutors say Yanez's actions were unreasonable. Castile, a 32-year-old cafeteria worker, had a permit for the weapon and prosecutors have sought to portray him as being cooperative when he volunteered to Yanez early during the stop, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me." Yanez's attorneys say the St. Anthony police officer made a reasonable split-second decision in the presence of a gun and fearing for his life.

Yanez, who is Latino, was expected to take the stand later Friday. The defense's case is expected to stretch into next week.

A key issue in the trial is what Yanez saw before he fired seven shots into Castile's car. Squad-car video recorded him telling a supervisor afterward that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, but also that he told Castile to take his hand off it. Yanez's partner testified that Yanez told him later he saw the gun. Witnesses have testified that the gun was in a pocket of Castile's shorts when paramedics removed him from his vehicle.

Kapelsohn says if Yanez believed he saw a gun, he was justified to shoot.

"He's trained to do so. He's justified in doing so. He'd be remiss in not doing so," Kapelsohn said.

Prosecutors have sought to show Yanez could have taken lesser steps, such as asking to see Castile's hands or asking where the gun was. After Castile told the officer he had the gun, Yanez told Castile, "OK, don't reach for it then," and, "Don't pull it out" — a response Kapelsohn described as "moderate."

Kapelsohn, a firearms instructor to police for 37 years, said the situation escalated when Castile reached for something. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was a passenger in the car, has said he was reaching for his wallet or seat belt.

On squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, "I'm not pulling it out," as Yanez opened fire. Castile's last words were, "I wasn't reaching for it."

Kapelsohn said tests he conducted showed it would take less than three-tenths of a second to draw a gun like Castile's from a holster in the pocket of shorts like Castile was wearing. Kapelsohn said that's faster than an officer could react.

Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen, on cross-examination, asserted that "the ultimate question" in the case was whether Yanez saw a gun. Kapelsohn disagreed, saying the central question to him was whether Yanez "reasonably believed that Castile was pulling out a firearm."

Paulsen also displayed autopsy photos that showed a graze wound to Castile's trigger finger. Paulsen noted the absence of a bullet hole in Castile's shorts or bullet damage to his gun — evidence, the prosecutor said, that showed he wasn't reaching for the gun when shot.

Kapelsohn said it was possible Castile didn't have his hand in or near his pocket at that point.


Ariz. officers cleared in shooting case, video released

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BUCKEYE, Ariz. — A review board of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has cleared two Buckeye police officers in a shooting case last year.

Buckeye police on Thursday released body camera footage of the June 25 shootout with a heavily armed man who eventually killed himself.

The footage had been withheld until the county attorney's office completed its independent review of the shooting.

Two police officers went to a Buckeye home after family members said 30-year-old William Ferguson had fatally shot his wife.

Police say Ferguson began shooting at the officers with an assault rifle with bullets breaking a window of the patrol vehicle.

Authorities say Ferguson suffered a shoulder wound in the shootout and took his own life.

Police entered the home and found 36-year-old Breanne Ferguson dead from multiple gunshot wounds.


9 cyberattacks that threatened officer safety and obstructed justice

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chris Meyer, PoliceOne Contributor

Cyberattacks directed at law enforcement have a breadth of negative implications. From lost evidence needed to protect communities, to more personalized attacks which put the safety of our officers and their families at risk - these attacks need to be addressed.

Look to these notable cyberattacks to find ways technology can leave you and your department vulnerable.

Doxxing after the Ferguson shooting

Cyberattacks, particularly doxxing—when personal information is made public—puts the safety of our officers and their families at risk.

In the wake of the Ferguson shooting, the international collective of hackers, Anonymous, released personal details about police Chief Jon Belmar. The group also posted photos of his family, his home address, and phone number.

When considered in the context of a substantial rise in police killings from 2015 to 2016, doxxing presents a serious threat to our officers’ safety. NBC News, in an article published at the end of 2016, reported that there had been “an increase in total officers shot and killed — a 56 percent spike since last year — and a 250 percent rise in ambush fatalities.” Nearly one-third of the 64 officers shot in the line of duty in 2016 were victims of ambush attacks.

As the personal information of our police officers becomes more widely available to the public, it becomes easier for agitators to take violent action for perceived injustices. It also becomes more important for LEOs to protect themselves.

Doxxing and DDoS attacks following Occupy Wall Street

Cyberattacks are nothing new, but as technology evolves, the threat intensifies, becoming more sophisticated and harder to prevent. Compare the doxxing that occurred after Occupy Wall Street protests (2011) to the doxxing after Ferguson (2014).

As a response to the Occupy Wall Street movement and the arrests from its protests, a DDoS attack was launched against the International Association of Chiefs of Police. (A DDoS attack aims to knock an online service offline. This is accomplished by sending a massive amount of traffic to the online service which overwhelms the system.)

The goal of this particular DDoS attack against IACP was an effort to deliberately knock down communications leading up to their annual conference held in Chicago.

Just as in Ferguson, Anonymous was behind this attack. They claimed to be protesting perceived police brutality with their cyber attacks after the Occupy Wall Street protests.

DDoS attacks hit Denver, Albuquerque and San Jose

DDoS attacks are often used as a form of protest. After officer-involved shootings in Denver and Albuquerque, divisions of Anonymous launched DDoS attacks to shut down the online service of both police departments.

The motives behind these attacks, however, are not always clear. With DDoS attacks costing $50 to $400 or more, virtually anyone with a bone to pick can present a cyber threat. San Jose was hit with a DDoS attack that kept its system offline for several days. There was no obvious motive for that attack.

In an increasingly online world, maintaining online systems is integral to helping officers track down and put away criminals. When these systems are down, vulnerabilities in law enforcement are exposed which put our communities at risk.

Ransomware hits Cockrell Hill, Collinsville, and Durham police departments

Ransomware, in contrast with DDoS attacks, is typically the work of sophisticated hackers. And if you followed the WannaCry attack that made headlines worldwide, you know how damaging these attacks can be.

Ransomware usually starts when someone opens a malicious email attachment or link disguised as a regular email. When the link or attachment is opened, the malware is installed and it freezes everything. Then the software demands a ransom in exchange for a key to unlock the frozen files. If the ransom isn’t paid, and even sometimes when it is, the files may be lost forever.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. In the first three months of 2016 alone there were ten times more ransomware attacks than the entire year of 2015.

Departments in Durham, N.H, Cockrell Hill, TX and Collinsville, AL have all been hit by cyberattacks. The police chiefs heading those departments decided not to pay the ransom demanded when they were hit. All of them lost files. In the case of Cockrell Hill, documents, videos, and photos from the previous 8 years were lost. Ongoing cases and investigations during the time of the attack were at risk of losing essential pieces of evidence.

Our justice system rests on the assumption that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty. That puts the burden of proof on the investigative power of the state to put criminals away. When troves of evidence face elimination from cyberattacks, our entire justice system is compromised.

Ransomware presents a dilemma there are no easy answers to. Paying the ransom encourages more attacks. But failing to do so risks losing evidence that may be essential to keeping hardened criminals off the street. Additionally, evidence that may have been altered in an attack may become inadmissible in an investigation.

Old systems are most vulnerable

As you might imagine, outdated systems generally make the best targets. This puts smaller departments with less budget to allocate towards cyber security at heightened risk. One of the best, most affordable ways to avoid an attack is to just stay vigilant, and use common sense when opening strange emails.

By doing so, you decrease the chance of a cyberattack and help your department stay focused on putting bad guys in jail. The Department of Homeland Security published some simple things you can do to avoid certain cyber attacks.


9 cyberattacks that threatened officer safety and obstructed justice

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Chris Meyer, PoliceOne Contributor

Cyberattacks directed at law enforcement have a breadth of negative implications. From lost evidence needed to protect communities, to more personalized attacks which put the safety of our officers and their families at risk - these attacks need to be addressed.

Look to these notable cyberattacks to find ways technology can leave you and your department vulnerable.

Doxxing after the Ferguson shooting

Cyberattacks, particularly doxxing—when personal information is made public—puts the safety of our officers and their families at risk.

In the wake of the Ferguson shooting, the international collective of hackers, Anonymous, released personal details about police Chief Jon Belmar. The group also posted photos of his family, his home address, and phone number.

When considered in the context of a substantial rise in police killings from 2015 to 2016, doxxing presents a serious threat to our officers’ safety. NBC News, in an article published at the end of 2016, reported that there had been “an increase in total officers shot and killed — a 56 percent spike since last year — and a 250 percent rise in ambush fatalities.” Nearly one-third of the 64 officers shot in the line of duty in 2016 were victims of ambush attacks.

As the personal information of our police officers becomes more widely available to the public, it becomes easier for agitators to take violent action for perceived injustices. It also becomes more important for LEOs to protect themselves.

Doxxing and DDoS attacks following Occupy Wall Street

Cyberattacks are nothing new, but as technology evolves, the threat intensifies, becoming more sophisticated and harder to prevent. Compare the doxxing that occurred after Occupy Wall Street protests (2011) to the doxxing after Ferguson (2014).

As a response to the Occupy Wall Street movement and the arrests from its protests, a DDoS attack was launched against the International Association of Chiefs of Police. (A DDoS attack aims to knock an online service offline. This is accomplished by sending a massive amount of traffic to the online service which overwhelms the system.)

The goal of this particular DDoS attack against IACP was an effort to deliberately knock down communications leading up to their annual conference held in Chicago.

Just as in Ferguson, Anonymous was behind this attack. They claimed to be protesting perceived police brutality with their cyber attacks after the Occupy Wall Street protests.

DDoS attacks hit Denver, Albuquerque and San Jose

DDoS attacks are often used as a form of protest. After officer-involved shootings in Denver and Albuquerque, divisions of Anonymous launched DDoS attacks to shut down the online service of both police departments.

The motives behind these attacks, however, are not always clear. With DDoS attacks costing $50 to $400 or more, virtually anyone with a bone to pick can present a cyber threat. San Jose was hit with a DDoS attack that kept its system offline for several days. There was no obvious motive for that attack.

In an increasingly online world, maintaining online systems is integral to helping officers track down and put away criminals. When these systems are down, vulnerabilities in law enforcement are exposed which put our communities at risk.

Ransomware hits Cockrell Hill, Collinsville, and Durham police departments

Ransomware, in contrast with DDoS attacks, is typically the work of sophisticated hackers. And if you followed the WannaCry attack that made headlines worldwide, you know how damaging these attacks can be.

Ransomware usually starts when someone opens a malicious email attachment or link disguised as a regular email. When the link or attachment is opened, the malware is installed and it freezes everything. Then the software demands a ransom in exchange for a key to unlock the frozen files. If the ransom isn’t paid, and even sometimes when it is, the files may be lost forever.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. In the first three months of 2016 alone there were ten times more ransomware attacks than the entire year of 2015.

Departments in Durham, N.H, Cockrell Hill, TX and Collinsville, AL have all been hit by cyberattacks. The police chiefs heading those departments decided not to pay the ransom demanded when they were hit. All of them lost files. In the case of Cockrell Hill, documents, videos, and photos from the previous 8 years were lost. Ongoing cases and investigations during the time of the attack were at risk of losing essential pieces of evidence.

Our justice system rests on the assumption that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty. That puts the burden of proof on the investigative power of the state to put criminals away. When troves of evidence face elimination from cyberattacks, our entire justice system is compromised.

Ransomware presents a dilemma there are no easy answers to. Paying the ransom encourages more attacks. But failing to do so risks losing evidence that may be essential to keeping hardened criminals off the street. Additionally, evidence that may have been altered in an attack may become inadmissible in an investigation.

Old systems are most vulnerable

As you might imagine, outdated systems generally make the best targets. This puts smaller departments with less budget to allocate towards cyber security at heightened risk. One of the best, most affordable ways to avoid an attack is to just stay vigilant, and use common sense when opening strange emails.

By doing so, you decrease the chance of a cyberattack and help your department stay focused on putting bad guys in jail. The Department of Homeland Security published some simple things you can do to avoid certain cyber attacks.


Texas grand jury indicts deputy, husband in death of man

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HOUSTON — A Houston-area sheriff's deputy and her husband accused of murder in the killing of a man during a late-night confrontation have been released from custody.

The Harris County sheriff's office said Friday that Chauna and Terry Thompson have posted bail and that they have a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

They surrendered to authorities late Thursday after a grand jury that day handed up separate indictments against them.

The Thompsons are accused of causing the May 28 death of 24-year-old John Hernandez outside a Houston-area restaurant.

Authorities say Terry Thompson confronted an intoxicated Hernandez after seeing him urinate in public.

Chauna Thompson, who was off-duty, arrived later to help her husband subdue and restrain Hernandez.

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BREAKING: Deputy Chauna Thompson and her husband Terry Thompson, both indicted for murder in the death of Johnny Hernandez, turned themselves in moments ago. STORY: fox26houston.com/news/258876692-story

Posted by FOX 26 Houston on Thursday, June 8, 2017


Australia decides to toughen parole laws after fatal siege

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rod McGuirk Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian government leaders on Friday agreed to toughen parole laws in response to a siege this week in which a gunman who once trained with Muslim extremists killed an apartment building receptionist and wounded three police officers months after being released early from prison.

Federal and state government leaders agreed at a summit to change Australia's laws so that extremists were less likely to be freed on bail when charged or on parole after serving a minimum prison sentence.

"There will be a presumption that neither bail nor parole will be granted to those who have demonstrated support for or have links to terrorist activity," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters.

"This presumption is a vital element in keeping these people who are a threat to our safety, and our safety of our families, off the streets," Turnbull said.

Yacqub Khayre, 29, shot and killed the receptionist, a Chinese-born Australian man, Kai Hao, 36, at an apartment building in the Melbourne's suburb of Brighton on Monday. He took a woman hostage in two-hour siege before police shot and killed him.

The hostage was not hurt, but one officer was shot in the neck and ear and two others suffered hand wounds. Two of the officers remained hospitalized Friday, but Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said their injuries were not life-threatening.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the violence. Police called it a terrorist act but said there was no evidence Khayre had planned the violence or had accomplices.

Khayre, a Somali-born refugee, was released from prison in December on parole after serving part of a sentence for violent crimes including aggravated burglary. While those crimes were unrelated to extremism, he had been acquitted in 2010 of plotting a suicide attack at a Sydney army base a year earlier. Turnbull said that during that trial, it was established that Khayre had trained with extremists in Somalia.

"With the changes that we have agreed to implement today, it is inconceivable that he would be given parole," Turnbull said.

The states toughened their laws last year so that prisoners convicted of terrorism offenses who were not rehabilitated could be kept behind bars after serving their sentences.

Earlier on Friday, 150 police and secret service agents raided three Melbourne homes and detained three men suspected of supplying Khayre with two shotguns, including a sawed-off weapon that he fired in Monday's violence.

A 32-year-old man had been arrested but not yet charged, and a 31-year-old man and his 51-year-old father had been detained for questioning, a police statement said.

The men are not suspected of posing a national security threat, Patton said. "We do not have any links between them and terrorism," he told reporters.

The raids aimed to "ensure there is no continued threat to the Victorian public in regards to terrorism," he added.


2 young boys cry for help, save overdosed parents

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

UPPER DARBY, Pa. — Police say 4-year-old and 1-year-old boys saved a Pennsylvania couple who overdosed by yelling out a window for help.

Upper Darby police say the children yelled out the window, crying that their parents were locked in the bathroom and wouldn't come out.

Neighbor Kendra Outen called 911, and she and others cared for the children as police and paramedics arrived to revive the couple from heroin overdoses on Wednesday. Neighbors say the children clutched the leg of one of the responding officers.

The couple, 32-year-old Sean Dolhancryk and 31-year-old Sandra Dicianno (dee-SEE'-ahn-oh), were in a county jail Friday on drug possession and child endangerment charges.

They don't have attorneys listed in court records.

Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says, "This addiction is more powerful than love of your children."


2 DC officers seriously injured after being struck by truck

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The driver of a pickup truck who police say hit two bicycle patrol police officers and a transportation worker in Washington is charged with assault with intent to kill.

Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said in an email Friday that 22-year-old Brandon Figures-Mormon of Disputanta, Virginia, and his passenger, 23-year-old Dwayne Taylor of Prince George, Virginia, also face weapons charges. Details of the crash aren't yet available.

Police Chief Peter Newsham says the truck was traveling "at a high rate of speed" Thursday night when it struck the officers and a traffic control aide in a popular night life area. Two men inside were arrested.

Brown says one officer is in critical but stable condition and the other is in stable condition. Newsham said the traffic control aide's injuries weren't life-threatening.


Policing Matters Podcast: How Terry v. Ohio became Stop and Frisk

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

The 1968 Supreme Court Decision in Terry v. Ohio held that a person’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when a police officer stops a subject and frisks him as long as the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person may be armed. However, some civil rights organizations contend that a number of agencies took advantage of this ruling to inappropriately stop and frisk people without being able to articulate that reasonable suspicion. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss the fact that officers must be able to report in detail (in a narrative form, not just check boxes) what led them to stop and frisk an individual.


Blue Alert warns cops about violence, threats

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet President

The National Blue Alert Network allows information about violence against police to be shared as quickly as possible through the Emergency Alert System.

Blue Alerts, like dangerous weather alerts and Amber Alerts for missing children, may be used by local and state authorities to provide early warnings of violent threats against police and to help apprehend suspects. Blue Alerts may be issued when:

An officer is killed or seriously injured on duty; An officer is missing in connection with official duties; There is an imminent threat to kill or seriously injure officers; or There is actionable information known about a suspect.

(Photo/COPS Office)

Blue Alert, part of the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services, was created in 2015 when Congress passed the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act, in honor of two NYPD police officers killed in an ambush attack on Dec. 20, 2014. The law established a voluntary nationwide system to give an early warning of threats against police, and to help apprehend suspects.

Also, the National Blue Alert Network maintains a secure data repository exclusively for law enforcement with resources such as examples of legislation, policies, forms and a directory of state Blue Alert officials. Already, 27 states have created plans for participating in the Blue Alert Network.

Improving public safety communications

I had the honor of attending an interagency event about Blue Alert in our nation’s capital during Police Week 2017 with representatives from the FCC, APCO International, IACP, the National Sheriff’s Association and the Fraternal Order of Police, and many federal law enforcement agencies.

(Photo/DOJ)

The rollout of Blue Alert is special to me for a couple of reasons. First, as a former state and local law enforcement officer, I know how important it is for our men and women in blue to have the resources to keep themselves and the public safe. Second, like FirstNet – the First Responder Network Authority, Blue Alert is a nationwide effort to improve public safety communications, which is key to any police involvement.

Also, like Blue Alert, the FirstNet was created by Congress to help law enforcement serve their communities and to keep officers safe and secure. FirstNet is developing a nationwide broadband network that will put life-saving technology into the hands of police, fire and EMS personnel so that they will have a reliable mobile broadband connection at all times. This will enable them to use video, data and any other technologies to enhance situational awareness and improve rapid decision-making.

For too long, public safety has been in the slow lanes of the Information superhighway because of non-mission critical broadband connections. FirstNet will open up the fast lanes and usher in a new era of technological capabilities — such as Blue Alert — to law enforcement and all of our nation’s first responders.


About the author TJ Kennedy, who serves as FirstNet’s President, originally joined the agency in 2013 as one of the founding leadership team members. He has broad-based experience in public safety having served as a Utah state trooper serving on the SWAT/Special Operations team. TJ has also served as a flight paramedic and a firefighter. Prior to joining the FirstNet senior leadership team, TJ was the Director, Public Safety and Security for Raytheon Company, and was President of its JPS Communications subsidiary, focused on radio interoperability solutions. To learn more about FirstNet’s work with law enforcement, visit https://firstnet.gov/Police.


With synthetic opioids on the rise, feds look to protect first responders

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Erica Martinson Alaska Dispatch News

WASHINGTON — Some chemical agents used to process illicit drugs are so toxic that even non-users and emergency responders are at risk of an overdose, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned police departments across the United States this week.

In Alaska, where the governor has labeled heroin and opioid abuse an epidemic, police are heeding that advice.

The new dangers arise from the influx of fentanyl into the drug market, a synthetic opioid used to "cut" heroin and other opioids. Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, and has recently popped up across Alaska, particularly in a spate of recent overdoses.

In new guidance released this week, the DEA details the dangers police officers face from coming into contact with fentanyl, be it through undercover operations, processing evidence or coming to the aid of drug users. The new hazard for law enforcement and first responders is even a danger for four-legged officers; K-9 dogs could be killed on the job from contact with fentanyl.

Now Alaska's state troopers and health and human services workers are making plans to adjust trainings for officers, first responders and members of the general public who may come into contact with people who have overdosed on opioids or heroin that is laced with fentanyl.

"Something that looks like heroin could be pure fentanyl — assume the worst," said Chuck Rosenberg, acting head of the DEA.

In 28 years working in law enforcement, "this is the first time I can remember dealing with a substance that was capable of not only harming" the people who willingly inject it, but also "the public at large and first responders," said Capt. Michael Duxbury, who runs the Alaska State Troopers' statewide drug enforcement unit.

It could happen to anyone — you come across a car in a ditch and "all of the sudden they've gotten some of this powder on them," Duxbury said.

Fentanyl is so dangerous that just coming into contact with a small amount could send a police officer or other emergency responder into an overdose. It has happened across the country, harrowing stories of police officers accidentally touching a bit of powder and ending up in the hospital, just barely brought back from the brink of death.

"Just 2 milligrams — the equivalent of a few grains of table salt — an amount that can fit on the tip of your finger — can be lethal," said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at an event in Virginia this week, announcing the DEA's new guidance for first responders.

Rosenstein described how an Ohio police officer recently "nearly died from exposure to an extremely potent opioid" he encountered during a traffic stop.

"The officer took precautions by putting on gloves and a mask for personal protection," Rosenstein said. "When the officer returned to the police station, another officer pointed out that he had powder on his shirt. Instinctively, he brushed off the powder while not wearing gloves. About an hour later, he collapsed. That officer had to be treated with four doses of naloxone. Luckily, he survived and is recovering."

Similar incidents have occurred in New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Maryland and elsewhere.

As far as Alaska State Troopers know, there have been no overdoses in Alaska by people who unwittingly, accidentally ingested drugs, Duxbury said in an interview.

Currently, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is leading trainings for troopers and others on how to use naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, a nasal spray that acts as an antidote for people who have overdosed on opioids. The agency is also working to get overdose-reversal kits with Narcan in the hands of those who may be around people who overdose, not just medical and law enforcement professionals.

The current plan is to soon update training to make sure that first responders — both professional and man-on-the-street early intervenors — are aware of the risks posed by contact with fentanyl. "We have worked on a policy to deal with this problem and it should be finalized soon," Duxbury said.

"It has become increasingly more obvious we may need to save the lives of first responders," Duxbury said.

The troopers have also obtained several portable devices that can help police identify substances that they encounter in situations — without having to touch it and carry it elsewhere. The "TruNarc" instruments aren't cheap; they ring in at $23,000 each, Duxbury said.

The state troopers plan to distribute their four TruNarc machines to "hubs" where they can be of most use: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Palmer and perhaps Southeast Alaska, Duxbury said. The department is looking for ways to get a few more of the machines.

There are also trainings going on in public forums for people who could come into contact with users. Duxbury said he's planning on introducing Narcan to his Rotary club in the near future.

The new DEA guidance recommends expanded protections for first responders.

Kits shouldn't just include Narcan, but also gloves, masks, eye protection, paper coveralls and shoe covers, the DEA told police this week. Law enforcement shouldn't take samples or even touch powdered substances, the agency warned.

First responders will be trained on signs that fentanyl could be involved in an overdose, both in the patient's physical reactions and in items around in the area. They are advised to be aware of overdose clusters — like the recent spate of fentanyl-related deaths in Anchorage.

In Alaska, 41 deaths involved fentanyl or another synthetic opioid other than methadone, according to Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services.

While he didn't want to raise unnecessary alarms, Duxbury said he's worried about a new type of risk from fentanyl contamination: on planes. Given major use of planes for transportation in Alaska, it could just be a matter of time before someone unknowingly brings such a dangerous substance on a flight, he said. To that end, the police are hoping to develop a closer relationship with the Transportation Security Agency, which is in charge of travel security.

To find out where to get Narcan, check www.opioids.alaska.gov and www.heroin.alaska.gov.

———

©2017 the Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, Alaska)


Mass. police, fire departments receive IT grant

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Wicked Local Georgetown

GEORGETOWN The Georgetown police and fire departments have received a $69,000 grant that will enable them to better share information and enhance their quality of service to the community.

The grant, awarded through the state’s Community Compact Cabinet Information Technology Grant Program, will provide the departments with the funding they need to transition toward a shared incident reporting software.

Following the upgrade, the departments will have an integrated software platform that will give both agencies access to the same information regarding building layouts, target hazards and infrastructure that is essential when responding to calls.

Full story: Georgetown police, fire departments receive IT grant


P1 Photo of the Week: Ticketed for being too cute

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Capt. James Storey pulled these troublemakers over earlier in May. He let them go, but not without issuing a citation for being too cute!

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Colo. marijuana market funds busts of illegal growers

Posted on June 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Kristen Wyatt Associated Press

DENVER — The first recreational pot market in the U.S. was set Thursday to notch another marijuana first when Colorado approves using marijuana taxes to fund police efforts to crack down on illegal growing operations.

A measure scheduled to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper sets aside nearly $6 million a year in Colorado marijuana tax revenue to reimburse police for investigating black-market marijuana activity that authorities say has increased since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.

The fund was backed by police groups who complain that marijuana legalization has attracted illicit marijuana growers along with legal ones.

The bill was also backed by Colorado's nascent marijuana industry amid complaints that illegal growing operations undercut prices of pot grown legally and give legalization a bad name.

Oregon sets aside 20 percent of its pot taxes for "local law enforcement" in cities and counties, plus another 15 percent for state police. But Oregon does not direct police to use that money to investigate black-market pot operations.

Colorado's fund is the first in any state designated to specifically combat the black market. Colorado gave law enforcement about $1.7 million last year for other marijuana-related enforcement activities, such as training officers to spot stoned drivers.

The black-market grants are aimed at rural communities, where there may be no pot dispensaries and no local tax benefit from legalization.

Rural communities have also attracted some high-profile illicit drug operators accused of trying to exploit Colorado's pot law to produce marijuana for sale out of state. The small towns where this has happened have limited police resources and their officials have said they cannot thorough investigate some sprawling marijuana growing operations.

"An investigation like this can be very time-consuming and expensive," said Michael Phibbs, head of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.

The U.S. government allowed Colorado's marijuana legalization experiment on the condition that state officials act to prevent marijuana from migrating to other states where it is still outlawed and ensure that criminal cartels are kept out of the growing business.

The pot industry acknowledges the criminal activity and insists it is doing all it can to prohibit legally grown weed from crossing state lines. Among other safeguards, Colorado law requires growers to get licenses and use a "seed-to-sale" tracking system that monitors marijuana plants from when they are grown to when the finished product is sold in retail outlets.

"The black market certainly hurts the regulated industry," said Kevin Gallagher, head of the Cannabis Business Alliance, a Colorado group representing the sector.

A dozen raids across southeast Colorado in 2016 led federal authorities to seize more than 22,000 pounds (10,000 kilograms) of marijuana they said were intended for out-of-state sale.

There have been debates in some states over racial disparities in drug arrests after legalization. But the Colorado bill's sponsor said the extra funding for police is not meant to jail more people. Instead, it is aimed at helping rural areas ill equipped to investigate possible multinational drug operations, she said.

In Colorado, "to my knowledge there is no evidence that illegal growing disproportionately affects minority communities," said Sen. Irene Aguilar, a Denver Democrat who sponsored the bill.

Hickenlooper was also scheduled to sign a bill Thursday that limits the amount of marijuana that can be grown in most homes to 12 marijuana plants no matter how many people might be living there. Current state law allows adults over 21 to possess six plants each and more if doctors recommend a higher plant count.

The 12-plant residential limit is already required by local zoning laws in most of Colorado's larger communities, including Denver. That makes it unclear how many people would be affected by the statewide limit. The statewide limit takes effect in 2018.


Zombies help bike officers train for unruly street crowds

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Megan Henry The Columbus Dispatch

DELAWARE, Ohio — Arms full of empty water bottles, Courtney Pickett tossed them one by one at police officers on bikes Wednesday as they weaved their way through cones while dodging projectiles — and insults — from the zombie horde.

Smoke had just been set off in the controlled obstacle course to mimic the tear gas that officers might experience out in the streets. In this exercise, the streets were the scene of a zombie apocalypse.

Pickett was among a couple of dozen volunteers dressed as zombies at Delaware County Fairgrounds, part of the crowd-management course of the 27th International Police Mountain Bike Association Conference. The course focused on how to maintain a crowd during events such as festivals and civil disorders, with the zombies serving as the unruly crowd.

In one scenario, the officers used their bikes as a fence to push the crowd back. In another, the zombies pounded on the doorways of buildings, trying to gain access before officers peeled them off the walls.

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It was a great day of training with the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) yesterday. Many thanks to our volunteer "Zombie" crowd!

Posted by Delaware, Ohio Police Department on Thursday, June 8, 2017

Halloween is Pickett's favorite holiday, so she jumped at the opportunity to dress as a zombie in the summertime. Her favorite part of the afternoon was throwing the water bottles at the officers.

"You don't get that opportunity out there (on the streets)," said Pickett, 28, of Delaware.

Founded in 1992, the bike association is a nonprofit group committed to encouraging the use of bikes for public safety, providing network opportunities for cyclists and offering training for public-safety cyclists.

An advantage for a police officer on a bike is the ability to go places not reachable by car.

"If there's a crime occurring in a place where you can't drive, you're going to see it easier and you move tools with you," said Andrew Humes, an IPMBA instructor from Texas.

The Delaware Police Department is hosting the annual event this week. The conference began on Monday and will wrap up Saturday.

Delaware Police Officer Bob Hatcher, who has been a member of the association since 2000, put in a bid for the city to host the conference two years ago.

"It was kind of like the Olympics," Hatcher said.

Between instructors and attendees, nearly 300 people have registered for the conference, which is primarily at Ohio Wesleyan University. This is the first time a college campus has hosted the conference.

The weeklong conference includes a range of training and certification courses as well as a series of workshops, including Bike Handling Skill Development, Street Survival and Technical/Off-Road Skill Building.

This is not the conference's first time in the Buckeye State. Cincinnati and Dayton were hosts in 2001 and 2006, respectively.

———

©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)


Boy battling brain cancer becomes honorary cop, gets own police motorcycle

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A 7-year-old boy who has been battling brain cancer since he was two was honored by his local police department in a surprise swearing-in ceremony.

Sgt. Christian Antunez made Jake “The Tank” Honig an honorary Howell Township police officer and even gifted him his own police motorcycle last week, Inside Edition reported.

Jake befriended officers after he visited the police station last year and received a tour of the department and went on a ride-along. This year, the department took time to visit him.

"Jake and his family are role models for everyone and the officers were humbled and honored to be a part of it," Antunez said. "All of the officers involved did this on their own personal time because they wanted to be involved."

Jake is currently cancer-free, but his parents told Inside Edition there’s no treatment for the disease and they expect it to come back.

Although Jake wants to be a basketball player when he’s older, Police Chief Kudrick said “There’s a police officer application set aside” with Jake’s name on it.

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DEPARTMENT RECOGNITION Jake "The Tank" Honig I am honored to introduce to you Jake "The Tank" Honig. Jake is a 7 year...

Posted by Howell Township Police Department on Friday, June 2, 2017


Chief: Calif. man killed by officers had ‘death wish’

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — Police described a dramatic and scary scene as they explained their decision Wednesday to shoot and kill a heavily armed man they said was bent on dying.

The 21-year-old suspected gang member had fired dozens of rounds from three weapons, including an assault rifle, from the backyard of a home with six children and four adults inside, police said.

Some shots striking the home came from within a shed where the man had lived for some time, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said in a news conference.

A neighbor heard the man pacing the backyard saying he "wanted to end it all," and a woman in the home who dialed for help said the gunman announced he wanted to go see his deceased grandmother, Dyer said.

The woman also urged police to hurry, fearing they would all die, said Dyer, who identified the man as 21-year-old Salvadro Lopez.

Officers were first called to the home at 3:30 a.m. after receiving several reports of gunshots. Officers surrounded the home, hearing bullets shoot past them, police said.

The officers escorted everybody inside to safety in an ordeal lasting nearly an hour, the chief said.

Dyer said the man tried to come from a backyard to the street and was blocked by two officers, who shot and killed him. No police officers or civilians were hit or injured.

Police recovered between 75 and 100 casings at the scene. The man was also armed with a handgun and a shotgun, and more ammunition was found in a backyard shed, police said.

Police showed photos of holes from bullets exiting the shed and hitting the home. A video from an officer's body camera showed the man firing toward him as he hunkered behind his patrol car.

Dyer said the man had a "death wish" and may have wanted to kill others. Officers opened fire to protect themselves and others in the neighborhood, Dyer said.

The Fresno County District Attorney's office will investigate the shooting.

The violence came just a day after a gunbattle at a Fresno home left three men dead and another wounded in what may have been a home-invasion robbery or a drug deal gone bad, police said.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office identified the intruders as Xavier Williams, 23, and Elijah Monroe-Mays Sr., 27, both of Sacramento. Mays and Williams are half-brothers. Also killed was Chong Yang, 69, of Fresno. Yang's adult son, who was armed, was also shot in the gunbattle and survived.


New video of controversial Texas arrest released

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAMPASAS, Texas — Police released new video Wednesday of a May 25 traffic stop where a deputy repeatedly punched a man during the arrest.

Deputy Logan Jones received a call of a reckless driver and pulled over a Mustang driven by Quinton Cruce, 18, KCEN reported. Jones said he noticed a “strong odor” of alcohol and marijuana coming from the car and asked the occupants to exit the vehicle.

Cruce refused, stating he would not exit without a search warrant. Jones told him he’d be charged with interference and told passengers Gage Blackwell, 18, and Sydney Joy, 17, to exit the vehicle. They complied, and soon after, Cruce complied as well.

An affidavit obtained by KCEN says Cruce struck Jones in the chest and kicked him several times as he was being arrested, prompting Jones to use force. Video shows Jones attempt to arrest Cruce, then placing him in a chokehold and repeatedly punching him on the ground. Cellphone video was previously the only video the public had seen.

The affidavit claims Blackwell attempted to help Cruce and shoved Officer Joshua Watson when Watson went to remove Blackwell to prevent further injury.

Cruce was arrested for resisting arrest, assault of a public servant, driving while intoxicated and interfering with public duties, KXTX reported. Blackwell was arrested for assault of a public servant, resisting arrest, interfering with public duties and minor in consumption of alcohol. Joy was not arrested.

Per department policy, Jones has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. An outside law enforcement agency has been brought in to investigate.


Video shows shootout between Ohio police, suspect

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE, Uncategorized

By PoliceOne Staff

CINCINNATI — The Green Township police released body camera and dash cam footage Wednesday of a May 28 shootout between officers and an armed suspect.

A neighbor called 911 after Brendan MacDonald, 51, spoke about “killing demons” and fired a shot into his neighbor’s yard, Fox 19 reported.

When the Green Township Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office responded, MacDonald opened fire on officers from his porch. Officers returned fire as MacDonald fled into the house.

Video shows officers taking cover as they return fire and negotiating with MacDonald.

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On May 29th Green Township Police Officers and Hamilton County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to Jessup Road for a report of a subject firing a gun into a neighbor’s yard. When responding units arrived on scene, they were met by an armed defendant who pointed a gun at them. The defendant fired several rounds at the responding units who returned fire. After an exchange of gun fire, the defendant went back into his house and units were able to contain the scene and call in the Hamilton County Special Response Team. After an approximately 5 hour stand off the Hamilton County SRT was able to take the suspect into custody without injuries. This was a very dangerous call for the responding officers. The Green Township Officers and Hamilton County Sheriff Deputies that responded to this call should be commended for the courage and professionalism. They relied on their training and kept their composure in an extremely stressful situation. I would also like to thank the members of the Hamilton County Special Response Team for their role in seeing this incident to its successful conclusion. This was a great example of two departments working together in a cooperative manner to achieve a desired result. That result in this case was taking the individual into custody without any loss of life or bodily injury. As a result of this incident, Brendan MacDonald was indicted yesterday by a Hamilton County Grand Jury for multiple counts of Attempted Murder and Felonious Assault. Chief Jim Vetter ***Additional videos from the incident are posted on our page***

Posted by Green Township Police Department on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After a five-hour standoff, police took MacDonald into custody without injury, Police Chief Jim Vetter wrote on Facebook.

Vetter praised both departments, saying they should be “commended for courage and professionalism.”

MacDonald was charged with two counts of attempted murder and five counts of felonious assault. According to WLWT, he pleaded not guilty.

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Additional body camera video from the incident on 5/28/17 on Jessup Rd.

Posted by Green Township Police Department on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Police: No cocaine found in restaurant toy vending machine

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BELL GARDENS, Calif. — Officials say that a false positive led them to believe that powder found inside a toy was cocaine.

Police were called to a Bell Gardens restaurant Monday after a toy from a vending machine ruptured and white powder came out, KABC reported. Investigators recovered 17 toys with balloons containing the white powder.

Authorities said a false positive showed the powder was cocaine, but follow-up tests showed a resemblance to baking powder or talcum powder, KTVU reported.


Suspect dead, Calif. officer injured; toy gun found

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Richard Winton and Matt Hamilton Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police officials are investigating how officers killed a man in Wilmington, first shooting him before their cruiser ran over and pinned him, authorities said Wednesday.

The officers had responded about 9 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a man with a handgun, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department.

A toy gun was found at the scene by investigators, police said in the statement.

When officers arrived, they saw a lone man in his mid-20s and the deadly encounter unfolded — but authorities provided a vague account of what transpired.

“Believing this may be the suspect from the radio call, they directed their attention toward him; at that time there was an officer-involved shooting,” the department said in the statement.

LAPD officials did not say whether officers saw the toy gun before opening fire or whether the man aimed it at police.

Police said several shots were fired and the man fell to the ground. Then the officers’ cruiser “traveled forward” and struck the man, pinning him underneath it, police said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The exact cause of his death — gunshot wounds or the weight of the cruiser — has not been determined.

Ed Winter, a deputy chief of investigations for the L.A. County coroner’s office, said the man has not yet been identified.

During the deadly encounter, one of the officers suffered an injury to his arm and was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Police have not explained how the officer was injured but said he was released Wednesday after treatment.

The incident may have been caught on video as police cruisers in the LAPD’s South Bureau are equipped with dash cameras.

The initial police radio call of an “officer down” overstated the extent of the officer’s injury, and a dispatcher described the officer as having been shot in the arm.

“Shots fired; can you help,” an out-of-breath officer is heard saying into his radio. The officer then advised where to approach the scene from on Wilmington Boulevard.

“Suspect down by vehicle; possible gunfire,” the officer said shortly after to a dispatcher. Another officer’s voice interjected, “We’ve got an officer down.”

A dispatcher then tells officers over the radio that one of the officers at the scene was shot in the arm, and directs all units to Denni Street and Wilmington Boulevard.

Once the LAPD’s specialized shooting investigators arrived, they determined that the officers were not fired at and that the item recovered at the scene was a toy gun.

Initially, a police spokesman had said another suspect was in custody. But as the investigation evolved, LAPD Communications Director Josh Rubenstein said only one suspect — the man who was fatally shot — was involved in the incident.

A multi-agency investigation is underway, which is standard procedure for all LAPD officer-involved shootings. It will be reviewed by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the Police Commission and its inspector general.

A white shade tent covered the police car’s front end on the sidewalk into early Wednesday morning when coroner’s investigators entered the area to remove the man’s body.

Tuesday night’s shooting is two blocks away from where 17-year-old Fabian Nunez was gunned down earlier that same day.

———

(Staff writer Joseph Serna contributed to this report.)

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Maine officer dies from river rescue injuries

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sun Journal

FRYEBURG, Maine — Fryeburg police officer Nathan M. Desjardins, 20, died Tuesday from injuries sustained when a police boat crashed enroute to rescue canoeists in the Saco River last month, Police Chief Josh Potvin announced in a news release Wednesday.

Desjardins joined the department three months earlier, and it was his first water rescue, Potvin said.

Desjardins had been listed in critical condition at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after he and a fellow officer, Dale Stout, 51, crashed their patrol boat while responding to help three people whose canoe had overturned May 27.

On May 30, Maine Warden Service divers found the body of 38-year-old Jennifer Bousquet of South Berwick roughly 350 yards downstream from where the canoe flipped. Bousquet, her boyfriend, Brian Day, 54, also of South Berwick, and Wayne Demers, 62, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, had lost control of their canoe. Day and Demers made it to shore.

Stout was also injured and taken to Central Maine Medical Center and released May 29.

“In the course of a police officer’s responsibilities, they expose themselves to very real risks and dangers every day," Potvin said in the written statement. "Members of the Fryeburg Police Department are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our colleague. We offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family, fellow colleagues and friends of Nathan.

"During this extremely difficult time of mourning the loss of one of my own, I have to find the words and strength to inspire my officers, to motivate them and reassure them that together we will be OK and still have a job to do," Potvin wrote. "I ask that you keep Officer Desjardins' family in your thoughts and prayers as well as our law enforcement and first-responder community during this extremely difficult time.”

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©2017 the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)


Mass. police receive grant to combat underage drinking

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Dan Desrochers WWLP

WESTFIELD, Mass. — The city’s police force has been given the OK by the city council to utilize a grant aimed to help quell underage drinking in the city.

The grant, which was previously rewarded to the Westfield Police Department through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is for just under $5,000, and had to be voted on for execution by city council last night. The grant will allow the department to increase activities related to liquor license compliance in the city.

“It’s intent is to curb both underage drinking and underage procurement of alcohol,” Westfield Capt. Michael McCabe said.

Full story: Westfield Police receive grant money


Mich. House committee passes anti-sanctuary city legislation

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan House committee is looking to stop local governments from becoming "sanctuary cities" that don't cooperate with immigration authorities.

The House Local Government Committee approved two bills that would ban local units of government from calling themselves sanctuary cities. It would also prohibit local governments from enacting laws that limit cooperation with federal officials.

Tense testimony was given in opposition, with concerns that the bills would lead to racial profiling and lawsuits against police. Republican state Rep. James Lower of Cedar Lake is chairman of the committee. He counters that many attorneys have looked at the bills and found that would not happen. Several amendments from Democrats on the committee were defeated.

The bills were approved 7-4 along party lines and now go to the full House.


Deputy uses police training, instincts in MMA cage

Posted on June 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Rick Wright Albuquerque Journal

CLOVIS N.M. — When Harvey Park reports to his job each morning as a Curry County Sheriff’s deputy, he has no idea how his day might unfold.

Catching bad guys? Ticketing speeders? Lending aid at the scene of a car crash? Helping change a flat tire? Assisting the elderly in crossing a street? All the above?

“You’re there to help,” Park said in a recent phone interview. “It feels good to help people.”

As an MMA fighter, Park wants to present the same unpredictability to an opponent that he faces in his job.

Well, except he’s not trying to help.

Fists? Feet? Elbows? Knees? Stand-up? Ground-and-pound? Submission holds?

“I can do it all,” said Park (7-1). “Not one (phase) more than the other.”

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If you're a fighter in New Mexico, you know the feeling of waiting on @elrevgomez fight photos lol. Here's one showing a...

Posted by Harvey Park on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Saturday at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Pojoaque, Park is scheduled for what likely will be his sternest test thus far in the form of Brazil’s Robert “Corvo” Amorim (7-2). The lightweight (155-pound) fight is the main event of Jackson’s MMA Series XXII.

“I know he’s a jiujitsu black belt,” Park said of Amorim, who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink MMA. “But I’ve seen he says he wants to strike and likes to strike. … He’s well-rounded as well, so it’s gonna be a good fight.”

Park’s professional fight-by-fight record does, in fact, suggest he’s a versatile fighter: three wins by submission, two by knockout, two by TKO. His only loss, by second-round knockout, came against an opponent who outweighed him by 30 pounds.

Fans who saw Park land devastating leg kicks in defeating Albuquerque’s Brandon Trujillo by TKO in February, on a Fresquez-Winkeljohn card at Isleta Resort & Casino, might have come away thinking Park specializes as a kickboxer.

Not so. It was, he said, simply a matter of choosing the right weapon.

“Don’t fight your opponent at their strongest, but at their weakest,” he said. “(Trujillo) was a wrestler, and I thought he’d want to wrestle. So I decided to strike with him.

“That’s what’s good about being well-rounded is, that you can kind of pick how you’re going to fight.”

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Weigh ins at 1. Clovis civic center. #forceofone #clovisnm #clovisnm #fo1 #fo1fc @jl.visuals_ @force_of_one.martial.arts

Posted by Harvey Park on Friday, November 18, 2016

Unlike many MMA fighters, Park came to the sport with no background in the martial arts. Growing up in Melrose, some 25 miles west of Clovis, he played football and basketball for the Melrose Buffaloes.

During a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy, Park began his career in law enforcement in a program called Master at Arms. After his discharge at age 23, he came home to Curry County and signed on as a sheriff’s deputy. He lives and trains in Clovis.

At approximately the same time, he began training toward an MMA career.

Not having a specialty in the martial arts, he believes, has been far more a blessing than a curse.

“When mixed martial arts first started,” he said, “People would (come from) 15 years of wrestling or 15 years of boxing and say, ‘Now I’m gonna learn how to do these other things and fight.”

In starting with a blank slate, he said, “you learn them all. … They’ve all kind of developed at the same speed.”

At age 31, Park continues to develop as an MMA fighter. But law enforcement pays the bills for him and his family, and he has no plans to compete and train full time.

“I love MMA and I love being a cop,” he said. “The good thing about what I’m doing is I don’t have to fight. … I have a career.”

That feeling of security, though, vanishes when he steps into the cage. He wants to win, he said, as much as someone who’s fighting for his rent money or his next meal.

“I’m very competitive,” he said. “I don’t want to lose at anything.

“Fighting for me is about ‘I trained hard, I put in the work. Let’s see how much work you put in, and let’s see who’s better and who wants it more.'”

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©2017 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)


Pa. PD receives first K-9 unit

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Nicole Hymovitz National Police Dog Foundation

SNYDER COUNTY, Pa. — Snyder County Sheriff’s Office, PA was proud to welcome K-9 Leo, a 1.5-year-old German Shepherd, on April 17, 2017. Leo was purchased in February, and he underwent 10 weeks of extensive training in narcotics detection and human tracking before he was joined by Chief Deputy Lucas Bingman in handler school.

Chief Deputy Lucas Bingman, Leo’s handler, says that training with Leo was “definitely a learning experience. As a dog owner, you think you know a lot about how dogs work. After taking a handler’s course, you find out that you didn’t know as much as what you thought you did.”

Now that he has completed training, Leo has spent his first month in the newly enacted K-9 Unit successfully assisting officers in the field with drug detection. “Leo has a very high work drive,” says Bingman. “He definitely knows when it’s time to go to work.”

Full story: Snyder County’s First K-9 Unit


Why the British ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ terror attack response is flawed

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

As a result of the reporting on the London Bridge terror attack, we've become aware of the British public awareness campaign to "Run, Hide, Tell" in the wake of an active killer event.

Tell? Tell who, the unarmed policeman?

Certainly, in this modern age of terrorism, we need to rethink this strategy.

Limitations of citizen response models

These public awareness campaigns are not as influential as we might think or want them to be. However, if we're going to spend the money, time and resources to promote them, then we owe the public the best that we can give them. I don't think "Run, Hide, Tell" is adequate.

I've previously discussed my reservations about the "Run, Hide, Fight" model that is popular in the United States. It suffers from several flaws, one of which is that it doesn't give the user permission to choose to fight early in the decision cycle, when the tactical circumstances demand it.

Run and hide are frequently the best options for unarmed and untrained people, but the grim reality is that sometimes they are the worst options and only an immediate fight response is appropriate.

While I have issues with the way that the fight option is prioritized and timed in the "Run, Hide, Fight" model, at least it's in there. I advocate for "Move! Escape or Attack!", but would greatly prefer "Run, Hide, Fight" to the British model. In that model, a fight or attack option is completely absent, and that's unacceptable.

Cultural differences in the use of force

If you subscribe to the theories of Natural Rights and Natural Law, then you believe that life is precious and every man is justified in using force to defend his life against unwarranted aggression. Our Founding Fathers were heavily influenced by these classic, liberal philosophies and enshrined them in the documents which created and govern our nation, discussing "unalienable rights" such as "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," and recognizing a right to keep and bear arms to achieve these ends.

While we sometimes struggle with these concepts in America today, our culture predominantly recognizes a right to self-defense, including armed self-defense. Sadly, these values are not held in the same esteem in contemporary English society.

The average British citizen has long since been disarmed by his government and the use of force in self-defense is treated with such hostility by the legal system that even legitimate and moral uses of force are immediately suspect. In recent years, numerous high-visibility cases have demonstrated that the British legal system is biased against those citizens who would take up arms in their own defense, including improvised arms, even under justifiable circumstances.

This extends to British law enforcement, as well. The majority of British police officers are not trusted with lethal force tools and the officers who are actually equipped with firearms operate in a culture where their use is highly discouraged by authorities. In comparison to the discretion that American police are given to use lethal force, the British police seem handcuffed.

The nation which gave us men like Hobbes and Locke, the English philosophers most responsible for promoting the theories of Natural Rights and Natural Law, has turned its back on the notion of armed defense. The result is that even in a model that's intended to promote survival in the wake of a violent, armed attack, the British government and police still can't quite bring themselves to use the word fight.

Winston Churchill, in a 1940 address "We Shall Fight on the Beaches", told the House of Commons, "We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

Imagine what Winston Churchill, who exhausted the use of the word fight, would think of a government that was afraid to say it now.

Fighting back allowed others to run, tell

With "Run, Hide, Tell," the British government and police have withheld their approval for the public to consider the use of force in their own defense. They have tacitly declared that the government maintains a monopoly on the use of force and that only government personnel should be allowed to use force to stop an attack. Additionally, they have promoted the fiction that they can respond quickly enough to stop an attack, if only they are notified by the public.

Yet, in the end, there may be no other alternative for the public but to fight. Running and hiding may work, depending on the circumstances and a person's proximity to the epicenter of an attack, but for some people, there will be no suitable alternative but fighting. Telling the police may eventually result in a suitably-armed response, but in the intervening minutes, approximately eight, in the most recent London Bridge attack, the unopposed threat will continue to murder and maim.

Individual police officers and citizens figured this out in the opening moments of the latest London Bridge attack. A policeman armed only with a club confronted the three knife-armed killers and was badly injured. Another unarmed, off-duty officer tackled an attacker and was also badly injured in the process.

Many courageous citizens threw objects or grappled with the attackers, using all the tools at their disposal to stop the killers. Some of these brave defenders were also badly injured by the attackers with their superior arms.

Yet, despite the fact that these defenders were unable to completely stop the attackers, they bought precious time for others to escape, barricade and summon help. Because some people fought, others had the opportunity to run, hide and tell. Why won't the British acknowledge this in their public safety model?

Words have consequences

The recent attack at the London Bridge is the latest in a string of terror attacks that have plagued the United Kingdom. Less than two weeks ago, an attacker detonated a bomb outside a concert in Manchester, killing 22 and injuring 119. Just ten weeks prior, an attacker used a vehicle to run over pedestrians at London Bridge, and then stabbed an unarmed policeman outside Parliament. This latest trio of attackers must have taken notes on that previous London Bridge attack and improved the plan with the addition of more personnel and fake bomb vests to enhance their chances of success.

In the wake of these events, the British need to ask themselves if adopting a public policy and safety model that openly displays their aversion to the use of force in self-defense is a wise move. Is it possible that "Run, Hide, Tell" is not only inadequate as a safety model, but also an encouragement to evil people looking to harm innocents? Is it possible that the British are emboldening these attackers by failing to demonstrate their resolve and their commitment to confronting evil with force?

I know what Churchill would say.


4 ways LeadsOnline is helping departments do more with less

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Mike Wood

The following is paid content sponsored by LeadsOnline

By PolceOne BrandFocus Staff

Few in public safety haven’t heard the dreaded words “do more with less.” As departments face smaller budgets and greater responsibilities, it has become a fact of life that officers must maximize their resources in order to do their jobs. Part of that is looking for inventive ways to use the resources that are available.

LeadsOnline, for example, is an online investigation system used by departments across the country to track transactions from secondhand dealers, pawnshops and gold buyers, as well as scrap metal dealers.

In addition to tracking stolen property, the departments that use LeadsOnline have found creative ways to leverage the information. Here are the top four ways LeadsOnline is being used to amplify its users’ reach.

1. Build LE relationships nationwide

Subscribing to a nationwide service like LeadsOnline connects your department with many other agencies, both in your state and across the country.

Detective Wilbur O’Neil of the Raleigh, North Carolina, Police Department observed that through working with officers from other departments on cases that had crossed jurisdictional lines, he was able to build relationships within those departments, as well as in federal agencies. This improved future collaborations and aided all parties in clamping down on property crimes.

2. Build relationships with community business owners

Community policing is a hot topic in law enforcement these days. Having the cooperation and support of local business owners is an undeniable asset when investigating crime

O’Neil said that business owners were much more willing to help out in investigations when they could put a face and name to the police department, particularly the unit tasked with investigating property crimes.

Having citizens who can support your investigations or tip you off to suspected illegal activity can be priceless.

3. Recognize predictable patterns of criminal behavior

Detective O’Neil uses the LeadsOnline database to determine what he calls “predictive retail behavior.” If he suspects, based on investigation, that a certain person is a suspect in a theft and likely to sell the merchandise, he can use the system to determine where and when they’re likely to try selling the illicit goods.

“They know they can get the best deal from this clerk and this pawn shop, so they’ll likely go there when that person is on shift, making it easy for us to just wait and pick up the suspect,” he said.

4. Use investigative resources consistently across many types of cases

Perhaps the most important way to maximize your department’s use of resources is also the simplest: Be consistent. The Raleigh Police Department used the data collected by LeadsOnline not just for preventing property theft, but on a whole litany of crimes.

While it may be difficult to identify suspects in robberies and violent crimes if the victim did not get a good look, remember that the suspects are likely to sell the stolen merchandise from the crime, leaving a trail. O’Neil has had success using the database to locate these suspects. With the timeline and the general location, investigators can get a list of people who have sold similar items to pawn shops in the area. Cross-referencing that list with jail records, looking for those who have committed similar crimes in the past, might yield a match. The same is true for identity theft, embezzlement and organized retail theft.

The key to maximizing resources is to use them in as many ways as possible. By taking advantage of the ability to build relationships within and outside your community and analyzing available data to yield new insights, investigators can multiply the effects of their efforts, getting more from their time and effort and saving the department money.


Fla. agriculture officer killed in fiery crash

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. — An agriculture officer who was driving on duty died after his car caught fire.

Joshua Montaad, 25, was driving Tuesday when his car veered off the road, struck a tree and caught fire, WTXL reported. Montaad was pronounced dead on the scene.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said in a statement that “with heavy hearts we mourn the loss of such a dedicated and vibrant man who chose to make selflessly serving others his life’s work.”

“I pray for Officer Montaad’s family, loved ones and colleagues during this time of sorrow, and may God be with us all as we grieve.”

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We love you and will miss you! You are in our hearts forever! Joshua is now with The Lord in his loving arms, no more...

Posted by Leila Grace Montaad on Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Police: Cocaine found in restaurant toy vending machine

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

BELL GARDENS, Calif. — A boy who won a toy from a restaurant vending machine discovered cocaine inside of it.

The boy purchased the putty toy from the 25 cent vending machine Monday when it ruptured and a white powder came out, KABC reported.

The boy’s mom called the police, who tested the powder. Tests determined it was cocaine.The boy was not harmed by the powder.

Police discovered 136 grams of cocaine from 17 toys in the vending machine, the news station reported.

Authorities have not located the company, Snack Time Vending, yet. Police are asking any restaurants that have the machine in their buildings to remove it and call authorities.


Baltimore officer finalist in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegan’ contest

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore police officer could soon have a new title to add to his resume: sexiest vegan.

Coppin State University Officer Michael Baysmore is one of the 10 male finalists in the running for a free vacation to Hawaii, WJZ reported.

In his bio, Baysmore wrote that he became a vegan to make the “world a kinder, safer place for all, including animals.” He believes that with so much violence in the world, “eating vegan is one easy way to help protect ourselves, animals and the planet.”

The winner is chosen based on several factors, including the vote count. The male and female winners will be announced on June 21.


Ann Coulter calls NYPD ‘little girls,’ praises Paris police after Notre Dame attack

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Conservative media personality Ann Coulter is facing backlash on social media after calling the NYPD “little girls” on Twitter following the terror attack in Paris.

Coulter tweeted that Paris police were “very macho, unlike the little girls on NYPD,” after a man attacked an officer with a hammer outside Notre Dame Tuesday. The officer is recovering and the suspect is being treated at a hospital while under police surveillance.

Paris police very macho, unlike the little girls on NYPD: Only 2 shots fired, one hit the Muslim in the thorax. https://t.co/29QpaRBijJ

— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 6, 2017

She followed up by tweeting “Why can’t we be like the French on hiring large, strong men as cops?”

We're hectored to be like the French on adultery & global warming. Why can't we be like the French on hiring large, strong men as cops?

— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 6, 2017

Twitter users responded with support for the NYPD, criticizing Coulter for her statements.

One user tweeted: “I wear my badge and do my job like any strong man does & at times do it better.”

I wear my badge and do my job like any strong man does & at times do it better.. walk in my shoes before you talk this B.S. talk!

— Amabile_uno (@amabile_uno) June 6, 2017

Another said: “Sympathies for the French, and glad they got their guy. Ours do well too! No competition.”

The NYPD has not commented on the tweets.

Conservative, Ann Coulter, describing our very own. Sympathies for the French, and glad the got their guy. Our's do well too! No competition https://t.co/zX2HRPtXCv

— eastvillagetwt (@eastvillagetwt) June 6, 2017


Police: Woman fed toddler meth at local park

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By George Kelly East Bay Times

BERKELEY, Calif. — A woman was in county jail after her interaction with a toddler at a Berkeley park led to her arrest on suspicion of attempted homicide this week, UC Berkeley police said.

Just after 3:30 p.m. Monday, a woman approached a 2-year-old boy at a People’s Park play structure with his nanny, police said.

When the woman reached out and put something in the boy’s mouth, the nanny immediately went to check his mouth but found nothing. The nanny called UC Berkeley police, and officers and paramedics responded within minutes.

After officers took the woman into custody for a psychiatric evaluation, she told paramedics she had given the boy methamphetamine. The boy was immediately taken to a hospital, where tests revealed the drug’s presence in the boy’s system. The boy was recovering at a hospital Tuesday, police said.

The woman, identified as Sayyadina Thomas, 36, was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, as well as additional charges related to assaulting officers and resisting arrest, and was eventually booked into Santa Rita Jail. Thomas is expected to be arraigned 9 a.m. Wednesday for the attempted homicide charge and Thursday for charges related to the assault on an officer, at René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

Police said anyone with information about the case should call UC Berkeley police’s criminal investigations bureau at 510-642-0472 during business hours and 510-642-6760 at other times.

Campus members who feel unsafe in public situations should call 510-642-3333 on a cellphone or use any of several nearby Blue Light emergency phone on campus to call 911, police said.

———

©2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)


Calif. police kill suspected gang member who fired 75 rounds at them

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — Central California police say a suspected gang member was shot and killed after he fired a least 75 rounds at officers with a high-powered rifle.

The Fresno Bee reports that the incident occurred in Fresno early Wednesday. No police officers or civilians were hit or injured.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the man, who he described as a 21-year-old gang member, didn't appear to be targeting anyone. His name was not released.

BREAKING: Dakota in Central Fresno to be shut down for several hours. PD investigating poss shooting. Neighbor says he heard 30shots. @ABC30 pic.twitter.com/66H9RCz6vy

— Vanessa Vasconcelos (@VanessaABC30) June 7, 2017

Police recovered between 75 and 100 casings at the scene.

Dyer described the shooting as an isolated incident.

The violence comes nearly two months after another Fresno random shooting.

Authorities say three white men were killed April 18 in a racially motivated attack. Prosecutors have charged Kori Ali Muhammad, who's black, in the attacks and with killing a fourth white man.

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LIVE: Officer involved shooting in NW Fresno. Chief Jerry Dyer set to give more information: http://bit.ly/2sSvvz2

‎Posted by FOX26 on‎ ??? ????? 7 ???? 2017


If he only had a driver: Tin Man actor charged with DWI

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SULLIVAN, N.Y. — A man hired to portray the Tin Man in "Wizard of Oz" author L. Frank Baum's upstate New York hometown was still in his character's makeup when his mug shot was taken after a drunken driving arrest.

State police say troopers responded Sunday to a report of an intoxicated man on private property in the Madison County town of Sullivan, just east of Syracuse. The homeowner says a man had driven to the home with another person and was asked to leave.

Police say the 31-year-old driver Nicholas Sherman told troopers he had just left a business in the nearby village of Chittenango, where he was hired to portray the Tin Man character from "The Wizard of Oz" during last weekend's Oz-Stravaganza event.

Troopers say the man's blood-alcohol content was 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving while intoxicated. Court officials didn't know if he has a lawyer.


Trump announces FBI director pick

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sadie Gurman and Catherine Lucey Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Christopher Wray, a lawyer with a strong law enforcement background who represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Bridgegate scandal, was announced Wednesday as President Donald Trump's pick to head the FBI.

In an early morning two-sentence tweet, Trump said he intended to nominate Wray, a high-ranking official in George W. Bush's Justice Department. That word came one day before the FBI director that Trump fired last month, James Comey, was to testify in public on Capitol Hill for the first time since that dismissal.

Trump called Wray "a man of impeccable credentials," but offered no more information about the selection, except to end the tweet with "Details to follow."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wray seemed like "the perfect kind of person" for the important job. Ryan said he favored a "career person" and that Wray "certainly seems to fit that bill."

Wray rose to head the department's criminal division in the Bush administration and oversaw investigations into corporate fraud, at a time when Comey was deputy attorney general. Wray took charge of a task force of prosecutors and FBI agents created to investigate the Enron scandal.

Given his background, Wray was a traditional choice for the FBI post. Trump had entertained current and former politicians for the role, including former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. Though favored by Trump, Lieberman would have faced a challenging confirmation process; he pulled his name from consideration.

Comey, during his upcoming appearance before the Senate Intelligence committee, is expected to describe his encounters with Trump in the weeks before his May 9 firing. Comey could offer new details regarding discussions with Trump about the federal investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

The White House and its allies have been looking for ways to offset that potentially damaging testimony and have been working on strategies aimed at undermining Comey's credibility.

Wray works in private practice for the King & Spalding law firm. He was the personal lawyer for Republican Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation, in which two former Christie aides were convicted of plotting to close bridge lanes to punish a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie.

Christie and Wray met when Christie was the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey in the Bush administration. Christie said at a news conference last week that he worked together with Wray "a lot."

"I have the utmost confidence in Chris. He's an outstanding lawyer. He has absolute integrity and honesty, and I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director," Christie said.

Christie, who has informally advised Trump, was not charged in the bridge case.

One of the questions hanging over Christie was about a dozen text messages he exchanged with a former staffer during legislative testimony by officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the bridge, in 2013.

It's not known what was in those messages and a judge rejected defense attorneys' attempt to subpoena the phone last summer. After that ruling, Christie's office revealed that Wray had the phone.

Christie had previously said he "gave it to the government" a while earlier, but the U.S. attorney's office said it never had the phone.

The law firm that Christie's administration hired to review the scandal said it "returned" the phone after reviewing its contents in response to a government subpoena.


Fire department removes blue stripe stickers from fire trucks

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma fire department is removing blue stripe stickers from their fire trucks.

News on 6 reported that Tulsa Fire Department Chief Ray Driskell said he believes the stickers might be giving the wrong impression to the community.

"It hit me in my heart that this was the right thing to do for the City of Tulsa and for the citizens," Chief Driskell said.

The symbols were added after the Dallas police shooting to show solidarity with law enforcement.

Driskell said after the acquittal of Officer Betty Jo Shelby in the shooting of motorist Terence Crutcher, citizens believe the symbols are in support of her. He decided to remain neutral and remove the stripe stickers.

"I don't need a blue stripe on my fire truck to show solidarity with the police department, they know that we support them. I have weekly meetings with them. I have firefighters who work out with them," Chief Driskell said. "Had it not been for the Officer Shelby thing that happened I don't know that we would be doing this either. I don't know that there would be the perception that it means two different things to people. It only means one to me."


Video emerges of Notre Dame ‘terrorist’ hammer attack

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PARIS — The man who attacked police officers patrolling in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, crying out "This is for Syria!" was a former journalist who was working on a doctoral thesis and had not been suspected of radicalization, according to university officials and the French government's spokesman.

Christopher Castaner told RTL radio on Wednesday that police were quickly able to classify the hammer attack as a "terrorist act" because of "the words he said."

Surveillance video emerged Wednesday showing the man lunging at officers on the plaza outside the cathedral, then being shot, according to the footage provided to The Associated Press.

Surveillance video provided to AP shows a man attacking Paris police outside Notre Dame Cathedral https://t.co/XiCOjgtuqS pic.twitter.com/aCVTtO37oD

— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) June 7, 2017

An officer was slightly injured in the Tuesday attack and the attacker remained hospitalized after being shot by police. Police have not released his name.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but police searching the man's residence outside Paris found a declaration of allegiance to the Islamic State group, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.

A student identity card showed he was from Algeria and 40 years old.

The university of Lorraine's president, Pierre Mutzenhardt, told France Bleu radio that the man was enrolled as one of its students and had been working since 2014 on a thesis about North African media. He said the man previously worked as a journalist for North African media.

"There'd been no difficulties with him. Nothing strange had been detected," he said.

His thesis director, Arnaud Mercier, told broadcaster BFM that the suspect spoke Swedish, Arabic and French and that his resume mentioned that he had worked as a journalist in Sweden and Algeria.

"He was someone who believed a lot in democratic ideals, the expression of free thinking, in journalism," Mercier said on BFM. "Nothing, absolutely nothing, foretold that one day he'd be a jihadi who'd want to kill a policeman in the name of I don't know what cause."


NC deputy hurt after bullet hits windshield

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ELLENBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina sheriff's deputy has been hurt after a bullet hit the windshield of his patrol car during a chase.

The Rutherford County sheriff's department says the officer is recovering after the shooting about 11 p.m. Tuesday near Ellenboro.

Sheriff Chris Francis told news outlets a Forest City police officer was trying to make a traffic stop when a pickup truck drove away. Deputies took up the chase and Francis says someone in the truck fired at the officers.

One shot hit the windshield of Deputy Jeffrey Burgess, who was hit by fragments. Burgess was treated and released from a Shelby hospital.

Francis says investigators think a man and woman were in the truck. They have not been found.

Ellenboro is about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Charlotte.

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Anyone with information on the vehicle and/or its occupants are asked to contact Crime Stoppers (828) 286-8477. https://local.nixle.com/alert/5993293/?sub_id=1000000151

Posted by Forest City Police Department on Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Texas governor signs texting-while-driving ban into law

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Vertuno Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Texting while driving will soon be illegal in Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the ban into law Tuesday, ending a decade-long effort by safety advocates to reduce potentially deadly driver distractions on the road.

Texas will become one of the last states to adopt some kind of texting while driving ban when the law takes effect Sept. 1. Texting would be punishable by a fine of up to $99 for first-time offenders and $200 for repeat offenses. According to the Governor's Highway Safety Association, Arizona, Missouri and Montana will be the only states without a texting while driving ban.

Dozens of Texas cities already ban texting while driving. The state law covers texting only and prohibits the use of hand-held phones to "read write or send an electronic message" while driving. Other Internet use for navigation or music programs is allowed.

Abbott said Tuesday that when lawmakers meet in special session in July and August, he wants them to pass a state law that will roll back any local ordinances that ban mobile device use beyond texting while driving. "We don't need a patchwork of regulations," across the state, Abbott said.

Safety advocates have been pressing for the texting ban for years. Lawmakers passed a ban in 2011, only to see it vetoed by then-Gov. Rick Perry. The issue gained new momentum after a March church bus crash killed 13 people. Federal investigators have said the driver of a pickup truck that hit the bus said he was checking for a text when the crash happened and had taken prescription drugs.

Some lawmakers have worried the ban will be difficult and confusing to enforce, and will give police new powers to pull over people who might be doing something legal if they mistake the presence of a phone or mobile device for texting.


Fla. death penalty-prosecutor fight heads to high court

Posted on June 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott and a Florida prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty will square off against each other before the state's high court.

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a June 28 hearing so justices can question attorneys representing the Republican governor and State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

The Orlando prosecutor is fighting Scott's orders to transfer almost two dozen cases after she said her office wouldn't pursue the death penalty. Ayala has said the process is costly and it drags on for the victims' relatives.

Ayala announced her decision in March as her office was starting to build a case against Markeith Loyd in the fatal shootings of an Orlando police lieutenant, and his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Scott reassigned the cases to a prosecutor in a neighboring district.


Sergeant finds 1-inch bolt in Arby’s sandwich

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An officer found a dangerous ingredient inside his roast beef sandwich: a 1-inch bolt.

Sgt. Patrick Cosby told AL.com that he was driving his patrol car in uniform when he ordered his meal at Arby’s Thursday. After returning to his police department, he took a bite of the sandwich, right into the metal.

"I pulled back and spit it out and looked into the sandwich,” Cosby said. “There's a massive bolt laying there. I'm kind of in shock."

He took pictures then went back to the restaurant and confronted the manager, the publication reported. She informed the employees and told the officer she would “like to think that it was not intentional, but I don’t know.”

After contacting Arby’s customer complaint line, a regional supervisor called Cosby and told him they believe the bolt’s inclusion resulted from a malfunctioning meat cutter. The company vice president also believes it was an accident.

Cosby has filed a report with the Birmingham police and the health department. The health department was also told the bolt was from a faulty cutter the restaurant has had previous problems with.

"I feel like it was intentional. What are the chances it was an officer that got the 1 -inch bolt in his sandwich?'' Cosby said. "If I were making a sandwich at home, I'd know if a 1-inch bolt was in there. They're not owning up to it."

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Be safe out there brothers and sisters. AD

Posted by Nightshift LEO on Saturday, June 3, 2017

The restaurant is currently investigating the incident.

"We take this matter very seriously and conducted an immediate investigation,” Arby’s said in a statement. “After reviewing video footage from our kitchen speaking with our team members, we are confident no one was targeted in this instance. We have a long-standing tradition of supporting our men and women in uniform, and we are currently working with the guest to resolve the matter."


NY standoff, OIS captured on Facebook Live

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — A three-hour standoff that ended in gunfire after the suspect pointed an object at police from a second-floor porch was captured on Facebook Live.

Police responded to a domestic disturbance call Monday when Anthony Logan, 23, appeared on the second-story porch with something in his hand, The Daily Gazette reported.

A witness said the object looked like a gun.

Officers opened fire and hid behind patrol cars during the three-hour standoff. The video, captured on Facebook Live by Robert van Outlar, shows police with a loudspeaker demanding Logan drop the object in his hand.

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????

Posted by Robert van Outlar on Monday, June 5, 2017

Logan made a quick movement with his right arm and was shot and wounded by police. He was taken to the hospital where he is in stable condition, News10 reported.

Records obtained by The Daily Gazette show Logan is on parole in connection with possessing a loaded pistol in 2012. After serving two years in prison for those charges, Logan was released until he was arrested again on a parole warrant and resisting arrest in 2015.

An investigation is ongoing.


Man attacks 3 cops, bystander in court

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KOKOMO, Ind. — A man punched a trooper and attacked two other LEOs and a bystander in court after a judge’s ruling.

Jacob Gallegos, 21, was representing himself on drug-related charges Thursday when the judge ruled he should be handcuffed and held in jail, FOX 59 reported.

“You could see it in his eyes that he was not wanting to go to jail and that he was going to do whatever it took to make sure he did not go,” Trooper Matt Moon said.

Gallegos punched a bailiff in the face and Moon in his eye. He then attacked a DEA agent and a person sitting in the courtroom, the news station reported. It took five people to stop him from attacking others.

All the victims were treated and released. Moon received three stitches under his eye.

Gallegos faces charges for contempt of court, resisting arrest and battery resulting in bodily injury.

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An Indiana state trooper had to get stitches after a 21-year-old reportedly punched him in the face inside a court room....

‎Posted by CBS4 Indy on‎ ??? ????? 6 ???? 2017


Man attacks Paris police with tool at Notre Dame ‘for Syria’

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Philippe Sotto and Elaine Ganley Associated Press

PARIS — An assailant wielding a hammer attacked Paris police guarding Notre Dame Cathedral Tuesday, crying "This is for Syria" before being shot and wounded by officers outside one of France's most popular tourist sites, authorities said.

At least 600 people were blocked inside the iconic 12th century church, while others fled in panic from the sprawling esplanade outside as police combed the area in the center of the French capital.

The assault was the latest act of violence targeting security forces at high-profile sites in France, which remains under a state of emergency after a string of Islamic extremist attacks.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters that a police officer in a three-person patrol was lightly wounded in the attack, and the assailant was shot and wounded by a fellow officer. The attacker's condition was being evaluated.

"A person came up behind the police officers, armed with a hammer, and started to hit the police officer," he said.

The man cried "This is for Syria!" but said nothing else indicating a motive or a link to extremist groups, Collomb said. No group immediately claimed responsibility, and Collomb said he appeared to have acted alone.

A hammer and kitchen knives were found on the assailant, as well as documents suggesting he was an Algerian student, Collomb said. He said authorities were working to verify his identity.

"We have passed from a very sophisticated terrorism to a terrorism where any instrument can be used for attacks," he said.

The incident happened around 4:20 p.m. (1420 GMT). A large number of police cars descended on the Ile de Cite island in the Seine River, where the celebrated cathedral is located.

Authorities told people to stay away from the area and some took refuge inside the cathedral. People inside Notre Dame, the nearby Sainte-Chappelle cathedral and area bars and cafes were told to stay inside while the police operation was underway.

Among the several hundred people ordered to remain inside the cathedral was former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg. She was admiring the church's stained glass windows when a French announcement came on urging those inside to stay calm as police dealt with an incident outside.

The visitors got nervous when they were told soon after that the doors were closing and everyone had to stay inside, Soderberg told The Associated Press from inside Notre Dame.

"It was really scary, we had no idea if there were any accomplices inside," she said.

They were being released Tuesday evening one by one after careful police searches.

Witnesses described a dramatic police operation in the tourist-filled area.

Lawrence Langner, a 73-year-old American visiting the neighborhood just across the Seine River from the cathedral, told The Associated Press that he suddenly heard a commotion and two detonations like gunshots.

Journalist David Metreau, who said his office overlooks the square that fronts Notre Dame, tweeted that there were two blasts that sounded like shots. Looking down from his office, he saw a man inert on the square.

"The police didn't seem interested in him at the beginning," Metreau said. "I thought he was dead."

Notre-Dame: de nombreux effectifs se dirigent vers le lieu pic.twitter.com/FWWAGJzoW0

— David Perrotin (@davidperrotin) June 6, 2017

Officers then checked the man's pulse, while medics eventually came and took him away on a stretcher.

Soderberg said those inside the cathedral remained calm and orderly throughout despite not knowing what was happening, though "everyone was very quiet and very scared" when police came in to check the cathedral's pews row by row.

She tweeted a photo from inside the Notre Dame showing those locked inside putting their arms in the air as instructed by police.

"We will remember this for the rest of our lives," she said. "Now everyone just wants to go home."

The attack came the day before new President Emmanuel Macron unveils his first efforts against terrorism, which Collomb called the president's top priority.

Paris remains under high security after a string of Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, including several targeting police officers and security personnel.

In April, an attacker opened fire on a police van on Paris' Champs Elysees, killing one and gravely wounding two others. The attacker was shot dead by police.

The incident recalled two other attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport in March.

#BREAKING: Police officer shoots at attacker near Notre Dame in #Paris; Suspect tried to attack police officer with a hammer pic.twitter.com/G1IwXanyW3

— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) June 6, 2017


911, lemonade emergency! Officers visit young aspiring cop’s stand

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dozens of thirsty police officers responded to an "emergency" call to visit a lemonade stand run by a 3-year-old aspiring cop in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Kansas City Star reports that Hannah Pasley set up her lemonade stand last Friday and Saturday to raise money to buy her own police uniform. After buying the uniform Saturday morning, Hannah returned to her stand — wearing police coat and hat — that afternoon.

When the flow of customers thinned, Hannah's aunt, Ashly Rooks, and her friend Sierra Moore took to Facebook to encourage officers to visit.

Rooks says the street was soon packed with squad cars. Moore says "50 plus" officers responded, and a police helicopter buzzed overhead.

They gave Hannah a Kansas City Police Department patch and a Clay County Junior Deputy badge.


Paris officer attacked with hammer outside Notre Dame

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By Angela Charlton Associated Press

PARIS — An unidentified assailant attacked a police officer near Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday, and the officer then shot and wounded the attacker, Paris police said.

A police union official, Cedric Michel, said a man armed with a hammer went after the police officer, who was patrolling the esplanade in front of the world-famous cathedral known for its gothic architecture and gargoyles. Michel said the attacker was "neutralized" by police.

Notre-Dame: de nombreux effectifs se dirigent vers le lieu pic.twitter.com/FWWAGJzoW0

— David Perrotin (@davidperrotin) June 6, 2017

A police spokesperson told The Associated Press that the officer used his weapon to shoot the assailant. The spokesperson was not authorized to be publicly named. He said the attacker was being taken to a hospital.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Large numbers of police cars filled the area on the Ile de Cite island in the Seine River in the center of Paris as authorities urged people to stay away from the area.

Paris remains under high security after a string of Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, including several targeting police officers and security personnel.

#BREAKING: Police officer shoots at attacker near Notre Dame in #Paris; Suspect tried to attack police officer with a hammer pic.twitter.com/G1IwXanyW3

— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) June 6, 2017

In April, an attacker opened fire on a police van on Paris' Champs Elysees, killing one and gravely wounding two others. The attacker was shot dead by police.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport in March.

#NEW: Paris police operation ongoing at Notre Dame Cathedral, urge people to avoid area. https://t.co/lILU0Y2ygz pic.twitter.com/OSU1GgX1mZ

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 6, 2017


Police shoot, injured attacker near Notre Dame

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 10:09 a.m. (CST):

PARIS — Paris police say an unidentified assailant has attacked a police officer near the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the officer then shot and wounded the attacker.

A police spokesperson told The Associated Press that the officer used his weapon to shoot the attacker in Tuesday's incident. The spokesperson, who was not authorized to be publicly named, said the attacker was being hospitalized.

A police union official, Cedric Michel, said a man armed with a hammer went after the police officer who was patrolling on the esplanade in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. Michel said the attacker was "neutralized" by police.

It is unclear whether the attacker was acting alone.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

PARIS — Paris police say a security operation is under way near Notre Dame Cathedral and are urging passers-by to stay away from the area.

The police department tweeted about the operation on Tuesday afternoon but did not provide any details. A police official would not provide further information.

Large numbers of police cars filled the area on the Ile de Cite island in the River Seine in the center of Paris.

Paris is under high security after a string of Islamic extremist attacks in recent years.

Notre-Dame: de nombreux effectifs se dirigent vers le lieu pic.twitter.com/FWWAGJzoW0

— David Perrotin (@davidperrotin) June 6, 2017

#BREAKING: Police officer shoots at attacker near Notre Dame in #Paris; Suspect tried to attack police officer with a hammer pic.twitter.com/G1IwXanyW3

— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) June 6, 2017

#NEW: Paris police operation ongoing at Notre Dame Cathedral, urge people to avoid area. https://t.co/lILU0Y2ygz pic.twitter.com/OSU1GgX1mZ

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 6, 2017

More: Paris police say suspect tried to assault an officer outside the cathedral and the police fired at the attacker.

— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 6, 2017


Vegas officer arrested on manslaughter charge in in-custody death

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ken Ritter Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A police officer was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter for placing a neck hold on an unarmed man who died outside a Las Vegas Strip casino, authorities said.

Kenneth Lopera, 31, posted $6,000 bail and was released from jail with an August court date in the May 14 choking death of 40-year-old Tashii S. Brown after a chase through back hallways of a Las Vegas Strip casino.

Lopera will plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a second charge of oppression under color of office, Las Vegas Police Protective Association official Steve Grammas said. He could face up to up to eight years in state prison on the two charges.

"Officer Lopera did nothing criminal," Grammas said. "We prepared him for the worst-case scenario, and it came true."

Lopera's arrest came at the same time county Sheriff Joe Lombardo announced to the media that Lopera had been suspended without pay and would be charged following the county coroner's ruling that Brown's death was a homicide.

Brown also used the name Tashii Farmer. He was intoxicated by methamphetamine and had an enlarged heart, but Coroner John Fudenberg said Brown died of lack of oxygen, or "asphyxia due to police restraint."

Lopera also zapped Brown with a stun gun seven times and punched him in the head and neck several times after the chase through employee-only hallways into a rear driveway to a parking area of The Venetian resort, police have said.

The incident began when Brown, appearing sweaty, agitated and disoriented, approached Lopera and his patrol partner in a casino coffee shop and said he thought people were after him.

Grammas said Lopera, who lost his partner during the chase, emerged alone in the driveway thinking he faced a combative man trying to commit a carjacking.

Lombardo said departmental investigations are continuing, and they could take a couple of months to complete.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson didn't immediately respond to messages.

A lawyer for Brown's mother, Trinita Farmer, said she had hoped the officer would face a murder charge.

Attorney Andre Lagomarsino said family members from Hawaii and Las Vegas mourned Brown at his funeral last Saturday.

"There will be a time for justice. That time is coming soon," Lagomarsino said. "At this time the family wants to absorb the information that is coming out" from the coroner and Las Vegas police.

Lagomarsino said Trinita Farmer also wants The Venetian held responsible for the actions of casino security officers who helped Lopera subdue Brown.

A spokesman for the casino declined to comment.

Clips of video from Lopera's police body-camera and casino security cameras that have been made public show Lopera using a Taser, punches and what a top police official described as an unapproved chokehold for more than a minute.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Lopera continued using the Taser despite policy calling for officers to stop after three bursts if it doesn't have an apparent effect.

Local NAACP leader Roxann McCoy said she wasn't surprised by the coroner's ruling.

"After seeing what we saw on the video, I suspected they would find it was a homicide," McCoy said. "They did choke the man."

Grammas said experts he has consulted believe the officer employed a carotid artery hold that is the same as a lateral vascular neck restraint that Las Vegas police authorize for officers to use.

Lopera, who identifies his racial heritage as Colombian and Puerto Rican, trains in Brazilian jiu jitsu, the police union official said. He is an Army veteran who deployed twice to Afghanistan and worked as a jail guard for three years before becoming a police patrol officer in January 2016.

"The reference of a 'rear naked choke,' which is a mixed martial arts hold that the officer said he used, is identical to the LVNR that Metro practices," Grammas said. "Both are a carotid blood choke that cuts off blood flow to the brain. It's not a windpipe choke that cuts off the air."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada is calling for Las Vegas police to quit the practice.


Vegas officer arrested on manslaughter charge in in-custody death

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Ken Ritter Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A police officer was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter for placing a neck hold on an unarmed man who died outside a Las Vegas Strip casino, authorities said.

Kenneth Lopera, 31, posted $6,000 bail and was released from jail with an August court date in the May 14 choking death of 40-year-old Tashii S. Brown after a chase through back hallways of a Las Vegas Strip casino.

Lopera will plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a second charge of oppression under color of office, Las Vegas Police Protective Association official Steve Grammas said. He could face up to up to eight years in state prison on the two charges.

"Officer Lopera did nothing criminal," Grammas said. "We prepared him for the worst-case scenario, and it came true."

Lopera's arrest came at the same time county Sheriff Joe Lombardo announced to the media that Lopera had been suspended without pay and would be charged following the county coroner's ruling that Brown's death was a homicide.

Brown also used the name Tashii Farmer. He was intoxicated by methamphetamine and had an enlarged heart, but Coroner John Fudenberg said Brown died of lack of oxygen, or "asphyxia due to police restraint."

Lopera also zapped Brown with a stun gun seven times and punched him in the head and neck several times after the chase through employee-only hallways into a rear driveway to a parking area of The Venetian resort, police have said.

The incident began when Brown, appearing sweaty, agitated and disoriented, approached Lopera and his patrol partner in a casino coffee shop and said he thought people were after him.

Grammas said Lopera, who lost his partner during the chase, emerged alone in the driveway thinking he faced a combative man trying to commit a carjacking.

Lombardo said departmental investigations are continuing, and they could take a couple of months to complete.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson didn't immediately respond to messages.

A lawyer for Brown's mother, Trinita Farmer, said she had hoped the officer would face a murder charge.

Attorney Andre Lagomarsino said family members from Hawaii and Las Vegas mourned Brown at his funeral last Saturday.

"There will be a time for justice. That time is coming soon," Lagomarsino said. "At this time the family wants to absorb the information that is coming out" from the coroner and Las Vegas police.

Lagomarsino said Trinita Farmer also wants The Venetian held responsible for the actions of casino security officers who helped Lopera subdue Brown.

A spokesman for the casino declined to comment.

Clips of video from Lopera's police body-camera and casino security cameras that have been made public show Lopera using a Taser, punches and what a top police official described as an unapproved chokehold for more than a minute.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said Lopera continued using the Taser despite policy calling for officers to stop after three bursts if it doesn't have an apparent effect.

Local NAACP leader Roxann McCoy said she wasn't surprised by the coroner's ruling.

"After seeing what we saw on the video, I suspected they would find it was a homicide," McCoy said. "They did choke the man."

Grammas said experts he has consulted believe the officer employed a carotid artery hold that is the same as a lateral vascular neck restraint that Las Vegas police authorize for officers to use.

Lopera, who identifies his racial heritage as Colombian and Puerto Rican, trains in Brazilian jiu jitsu, the police union official said. He is an Army veteran who deployed twice to Afghanistan and worked as a jail guard for three years before becoming a police patrol officer in January 2016.

"The reference of a 'rear naked choke,' which is a mixed martial arts hold that the officer said he used, is identical to the LVNR that Metro practices," Grammas said. "Both are a carotid blood choke that cuts off blood flow to the brain. It's not a windpipe choke that cuts off the air."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada is calling for Las Vegas police to quit the practice.


UK police name third attacker as new search gets underway

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paisley Dodds and Lori Hinnant Associated Press

LONDON — British police on Tuesday named the third London Bridge attacker as an Italian national of Moroccan descent, and Italian officials said they had passed on their concerns about him to British intelligence officials last year.

Police said 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba lived in east London and that his family has been notified, adding that he had not been considered to be a "subject of interest" to either police or the intelligence services.

The other two attackers were named Monday as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.

The three, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead late Saturday after ramming a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then slashing and stabbing people in nearby Borough Market. During the attack, seven people were killed and dozens more were wounded.

An official at the Bologna chief prosecutor's office said Zaghba was stopped at the city's airport after arriving on a flight from London 2016.

An Italian interior ministry official told The Associated Press that British and Moroccan intelligence and law-enforcement authorities were informed that Zaghba had been flagged as someone "at risk" — but no other details were released.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss details of the case.

Italian news reports said authorities sequestered Zaghba's cell phone and passport when he was stopped at the airport, but that he successfully got them back after a court determined there wasn't enough evidence to accuse him of any terrorism-related crime.

Italy has expelled more than 40 people in the past two years who were suspected of radicalization activities but for whom there was insufficient evidence to bring formal charges. Zaghba's Italian citizenship prevented such an expulsion, Italian daily Repubblica said.

Zaghba was reportedly working in a London restaurant and had not been seen in Italy since 2016.

A British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation confirmed the details of the Italian report, and said the man had not been considered a "person of interest," meaning they had no reason to think he was violent or planning an attack.

Police on Tuesday carried out a new search in a neighborhood in east London near the home of two of the London Bridge attackers. The search in Ilford, just north of Barking, is seeking to determine whether the group had accomplices.

London police have said all 12 people from the Barking neighborhood held since the attack have been freed.

The attack, the third in Britain in three months involving suspects who had been on the radar of British authorities, has raised questions over the government's ability to protect Britain following cuts to police numbers in recent years. All three attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group.

Security has become a key issue in the run-up to Thursday's general election. In particular, there are questions over whether investigators had the resources to look into complaints such as those leveled by Butt's neighbors about his attempts to radicalize children and whether crucial opportunities were missed.

Butt had appeared in a documentary, "The Jihadis Next Door," and was known to investigators, but police said he was not believed to be plotting an attack. Redouane had not aroused any suspicions.

The Islamic gym where Butt worked out said Tuesday they had seen nothing of concern during his time there. In a letter posted outside Tuesday, the Ummah Fitness Centre said staff would "help the police in any way we can."

Neighbors described Butt as an avid weightlifter. Transport for London confirmed he worked for London Underground in customer services before leaving last October.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said questions would need to be asked about what the police knew about Butt. He has said cuts in the number of police officers have had an impact on the ability to prevent attacks.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the snap election in hopes of strengthening her mandate for discussions over Britain's exit from the European Union, has come under fire for the cuts to police numbers over recent years. A string of opinion polls over the past couple of weeks have pointed to a narrowing in the gap between her Conservative Party and the main opposition Labour Party.

The number of police officers in England and Wales fell by almost 20,000 between 2010 and 2016 — years when May, as home secretary, was in charge of policing.

The area around Borough Market is not expected to reopen Tuesday. Much of the area around London Bridge remained cordoned off as commuters struggled to work in the driving rain.

A minute's silence was observed in Britain at 11 a.m. local time (1000 GMT) in memory of those killed during the attack.

The country's official terror threat level remains at "severe," one notch down from the highest.

It had been set at "critical" in the days after the Manchester concert bombing on May 22 that killed 22 people — reflecting a judgment that an attack might be imminent because accomplices with similar bombs might be on the loose.

It was lowered once intelligence agencies were comfortable this wasn't the case. Authorities have said the London attack was apparently unconnected to the Manchester bombing.


3 Australian officers injured in terror attack

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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dpa

SYDNEY — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked Tuesday how a known criminal "with a long record of violence" was out on parole, a day after the man killed one person and injured three police officers in what police termed a terrorist attack.

The incident took place Monday evening at an apartment in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. The hostage-taker - identified by authorities as Yacub Khayre, a 29-year-old Australian born in Somalia - was killed by the police in a shootout.

Khayre shot dead a man who was working at the apartment complex and held a woman hostage.

"The terrorist attack by a known criminal, who was only recently released on parole, is a shocking, cowardly crime," Turnbull said.

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We're live with Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton for an update regarding the Brighton hostage/siege incident.

Posted by Victoria Police on Monday, June 5, 2017

Police confirmed the gunman had been of some interest for security agencies. He had faced court over a plot to attack a Sydney army barracks in 2009, but was acquitted.

Since November, Khayre had been on parole after serving jail time for a violent 2012 home invasion.

"There have been too many cases of people on parole committing violent offences of this kind," Turnbull said in Canberra, adding he had raised issues with the premier of the state of Victoria, where the incident occurred.

"How was this man on parole? He had ... a very long record of violence. He had been charged with a terrorist offence some years ago and had been acquitted. He was known to have connections, at least in the past, with violent extremism," Turnbull told reporters.

Dan Andrews, the Victoria premier, said the gunman had been compliant with the terms and conditions of his parole, including drug testing and a curfew.

Police were called Monday after an explosion was reported in the Bay Street apartment complex in Brighton.

They found the male employee dead in the lobby with a gunshot wound, while Khayre was holding hostage a prostitute he had hired through an escort agency.

He forced her to call Channel Seven news in Melbourne during the stand-off with police, then said: "This is for IS (Islamic State). This is for Al Qaeda."

After police tried to negotiate with Khayre, officers stormed the building and shot the gunman dead.

Three policemen sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said earlier Tuesday that the incident was being treated as "a terrorist attack."

"We believe that this person was there with those sorts of intentions, albeit we don't know whether it was something planned at this stage," Ashton said.

The incident is not believed to be part of a wider plot, he said.

Ashton also said police were aware of an alleged claim of responsibility by the Islamic State militant group.

"We are aware of, online, them having claimed responsibility, but then they always tend to jump up and claim responsibility every time something happens," he said.

The claim will be part of the investigation, police said later in a statement.

Australia is facing "a growing threat from Islamist terrorism," Turnbull said. Monday's incident "underlines the need for us to be constantly vigilant, never to be deterred, always defiant, in the face of Islamist terrorism," he said.

"What is clear here is that we face a growing threat from Islamist terrorism in Australia in our region and around the world," he said. "We will continue to defy it and we will continue to defeat it."

———

©2017 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)


Chicago mayor defends proposed independent monitor of police

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says having an independent monitor oversee reforms of the city's police department is the next best thing to court oversight.

Emanuel said Monday he is not backing away from his January commitment to negotiate a court-enforced consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. However, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions oppose consent decrees.

Emanuel says an independent set of eyes will help the city implement reforms discussed with the Justice Department.

The department in January issued a scathing report on civil rights abuses by Chicago's police over the years. An investigation began in 2015 after the release of dashcam video showing an officer shoot black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.


Karaoke fan sees Fugitive of the Week singing at bar

Posted on June 6, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — Authorities say a man wanted by New Hampshire authorities for failing to register as a sex offender and named Fugitive of the Week has been arrested after an alert karaoke fan spotted him singing at a Massachusetts pub.

Police say Ron Duby Jr. was a contestant at a karaoke event at the pub in North Chelmsford on Saturday night.

The 43-year-old Duby was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant in Hillsborough County for not appearing in court on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender. He was named the U.S. Marshals Service's Fugitive of the Week on May 31.

He was scheduled to appear in Lowell District Court on Monday. He was in custody and couldn't be reached for comment. It's unknown if he has a lawyer.


Family of woman fatally shot by Minn. police wins $1.75M, videos released

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Tad Vezner Pioneer Press

CHASKA, Minn. — The family of a woman who was shot and killed by a Chaska police officer after a high-speed car chase on U.S. 212 two years ago has agreed to a $1.75 million settlement — some of which the city will have to pay on its own.

“This was a bad shooting. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it,” said Minneapolis attorney Robert Bennett, who is representing the family of Dawn Marie Pfister, killed along with her boyfriend on the Eden Prairie highway in February 2015.

Bennett has also released two uncut dash camera videos of the shooting, which were used to parlay the settlement.

“Nobody shot at the woman except (Chaska police Sgt.) Brady Juell. Ten people made a ‘no shoot’ decision, and one person did. Who do you think’s objectively reasonable? That’s the calculus under which they lose this case,” Bennett said.

Chaska City Administrator Matt Podhradsky referred calls about the case to the attorney who handled it, Jason Hiveley, who was actually retained by the League of Minnesota Cities, which insures cities in such suits. Both Juell and the city were defendants in the suit.

Hiveley did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday afternoon.

Podhradsky confirmed that Chaska has a $1.5 million policy on such settlements through the League. The remaining $250,000 would have to come from Chaska. He added that the city council will have a closed session Monday to discuss the matter.

Juell is still employed by the city. In February, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune article earlier this year, Chaska’s police department awarded Juell a distinguished service medal, citing his work in leading “use of force” training.

The fatal incident began on Feb. 7, 2015, with a hit-and-run report at 7:30 a.m. in Chaska. The suspect in the crash, driving a stolen red Saab, led police on a chase on U.S. 212, at times reaching 90 mph and with the car’s hood popped open against the windshield.

The chase ended in Eden Prairie when the driver, Matthew Vincent Serbus, 36, of Maple Grove, veered to the shoulder and hit a retaining wall.

Originally released video of the incident — redacted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension because they believed it would be “offensive to common sensibilities,” a provision to withhold data under state law — shows the chase, but cuts to black when police start firing.

Bennett released two unredacted videos Thursday, one from the dashboard camera of a Minnesota State Patrol car, the other from a Carver County sheriff vehicle. Only the trooper’s video has sound.

SHOOTINGS CAPTURED ON VIDEOS

That video shows a law enforcement officer — identified by Bennett as the State Patrol trooper in charge of the scene — yelling at the couple after the car has crashed.

Serbus gets out of the car, leans into it and pulls Pfister — originally in the passenger seat — out in front of him, her back to officers.

“He’s going for a gun, he’s got her as body armor,” the trooper yells to other officers, repeating, “He’s (unintelligible) her as body armor.”

“Looks to be a hostage situation,” a speaker on one of tactical radio channels can be heard saying in the background.

“Hostage situation,” replies another speaker over the channel.

Officers repeatedly yell at Pfister to “lay down.” Her back is to the camera, her arms at times around Serbus. A first shot is fired after Serbus is told to show his hands, and doesn’t. Pfister at one point appears to try to get on the ground, but whether she gets back up on her own or is pulled back up by Serbus is unclear in the video.

Seconds later, officers realize Serbus has a knife — later determined to be a 3-inch folding knife — not a gun.

“Don’t do that to her! Don’t!” the trooper is heard yelling in the video. “He’s trying to stab her. (Expletive). I gotta drop him, guys.”

At that point, repeated shots are heard. Serbus and Pfister are at least 20 feet away from a semicircle of law enforcement cars and officers.

“Watch her, watch her,” the trooper yells in the video as more shots ring out. The couple fall to the ground.

“Suspect down, she’s holding the knife,” the trooper says.

At that point, two officers appear: the first, holding a police shield, is Carver County sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Pearce, according to Bennett.

The second, behind and to the side of Pearce, and holding an assault rifle, is Juell. Pfister appears in the video to struggle to get up, as shots ring out and she falls again. Then Serbus tries to get up, more shots ring out, and he also falls, fatally wounded.

The second video, from the Carver County sheriff’s office, shows Pfister rising on one hand, turned halfway away from Pearce and Juell.

“Two suspects down, both shot,” a speaker on the police channel says.

OFFICER DEPOSITIONS

Bennett said he took depositions from the four officers that fired their guns, and only Juell said he fired on Pfister, because he believed she was charging them.

Bennett also released text of his deposition of Pearce — a 14-year SWAT team veteran — who was in front of Juell.

“You would have fired if you were faced with immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death to yourself?” Bennett asked in the April 2015 deposition.

“Yes,” Pearce replied. Bennett noted that Pearce said he didn’t fire on the woman.

And then later in the deposition:

“You never told the BCA that she approached?”

“No.”

“And the reason you didn’t tell them that is because she didn’t do it?”

“Correct.”

Bennett’s suit claimed that a statement by BCA Special Agent-in-Charge Scott Mueller to the medical examiner at the scene, saying that Pfister “ran over to Serbus, grabbed the knife and then began advancing toward officers with it,” was a “complete fabrication” and “provably false” from the video.

The BCA declined comment on the allegation in 2015, citing ongoing litigation. On Thursday, a BCA spokesman said “we have nothing to add to our previous statement.”

The BCA conducted an investigation of the incident, and gave their findings to Hennepin County prosecutors. In December, a Hennepin County grand jury decided not to criminally charge the four officers who fired their weapons in the incident, including Juell.

Bennett also said Thursday there were discrepancies between what the grand jury heard, and what officers said in depositions.

“If you read the unredacted portions of the grand jury transcript, you can see there’s a distinct difference,” Bennett said. The Hennepin County attorney’s office also declined to comment Thursday.

Pfister’s family will get $1 million from the settlement, while Bennett will get $750,000 in attorney’s fees.

“The lion’s share of it will go to the kids, as you can imagine. Exactly how much will go to whom hasn’t been decided,” said Bennett.

Pfister, of Elkhorn, Wis., was 34 when she was killed and had two children, ages 15 and 12. Both live outside Minnesota. She is also survived by her parents.


The 10 most murderous counties in the U.S.

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

P1 Community
Author: P1 Community

By Alex Bryant, PoliceOne Contributor

Crime affects every community in the U.S - big or small. To truly gauge the safety in a community, looking at crime statistics per capita will paint the clearest picture of problem areas in the United States. As a nation, in 2015, the homicide rate was 4.9 per 100,000 people. This mark is up from 45-year lows of 4.5 in both 2013 and 2014, but still less than half of the record 10.2 in 1980. While the murder rate has been decreasing overall since the early ‘90s, there are still many counties and cities across the country plagued by homicides. PoliceOne used per capita homicide rates from County Health Rankings to find the top 10 most deadly counties and independent cities or districts for homicides between 2009 and 2015.

Key findings from the top 10 counties for homicide

Chicago frequently makes headlines for a large number of homicides that trouble the city. The city has recently fallen from “murder capital of the world” status as a metro area, though their homicide rate is still notable. In 2016, Chicago saw 762 homicides.

From a county-based per capita county perspective, however, Cook County, Illinois had a lower homicide rate than many other counties in the United States. Between 2009 and 2015 there were 11 murders per 100,000 residents in Cook County. Additional notes:

There is a clear regional divide. St. Louis is the westernmost city to make the list and Baltimore the furthest north. Low-income areas are hit the hardest by this type of violent crime. With the exception of the District of Columbia, all of the top 10 have median household incomes below the national average of $53,889 (2015). Dallas County, Ala. and Phillips County, Ark. both have median household incomes less than half the national average. All 10 of the cities and counties on this list have an African-American plurality or majority. 1. Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Homicide rate: 43 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $36,792 New Orleans crime index: 6 out of 100 Orleans Parish, while the smallest parish by land area in Louisiana, has the highest homicide rate not only in the state but in the country. Orleans Parish is home to almost 400,000 people and includes New Orleans, the largest city in the state. New Orleans accounts for the majority of the homicides in this county, and in a metro to metro area comparison, it has a higher homicide rate than Chicago. Just 85 percent of Orleans Parish residents have a high school diploma, lower than the national average of 88 percent. 27 percent of county residents live in poverty.

2. Coahoma County, Mississippi

Homicide rate: 37 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $28,851 Clarksdale crime index: 2 out of 100 Cahoma County is one of two counties from Mississippi to make the top 10. Even as a small county with just over 25,000 residents, Cahoma County is no stranger to violent crime. The county seat of Clarksdale had over 150 violent crimes in 2015, and with a population of about 16,000; that means almost 1 violent crime for every 100 residents. 35 percent of residents of Clarksdale live below the poverty line, and 1 in 5 residents are not high school graduates.

3. Phillips County, Arkansas

Homicide rate: 34 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $26,844 Helena-West Helena crime index: 2 out of 100 Phillips County is another rural county to make this list, with a population of just under 22,000. The county seat is Helena-West Helena. Neighborhood Scout gives Helena-West Helena a crime index of just 2 out of 100, thanks in large part to 166 violent crimes in a population of just over 11,000. In addition to having the lowest median household income on this list, just 77.1 percent Helena-West Helena have a high school diploma, also lowest among these cities.

4. St. Louis City, Missouri (tie)

Homicide rate: 33 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $35,599 St. Louis crime index: 1 out of 100

The city of St. Louis, which is an independent city and doesn’t fall within any county, has one of the highest rates of murder in the nation. While ranking fourth on this list, St. Louis’ murder rate has actually skyrocketed over the past few years, topping the 50 mark in 2014 and 2015. It is the only city on this list with a crime index of one, the second lowest score among this top 10. Just 84 percent of St. Louis residents have a high school diploma, and over 27 percent live below the poverty line.

4. Baltimore City, Maryland (tie)

Homicide rate: 33 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $42,241 Baltimore crime index: 2 out of 100

Baltimore is the largest independent city in the country with over 620,000 residents, and like St. Louis, it has a historically high murder rate. After a period from 2007-2014 where total murders were in the 200s, Baltimore has gone over the 300 murder mark each of the last two years and is on pace to approach similar numbers in 2017. Just 82.5 percent of residents have a high school diploma, and almost a quarter live in poverty. The tension between residents and police reached a boiling point in 2015, after the shooting death of Freddie Gray. Peaceful protests turned into a full-blown riot as police officers were pelted with rocks. Over the course of subsequent riots, over 20 police officers were injured, at least 250 arrests were made and nearly 300 businesses were damaged.

6. Petersburg City, Virginia

Homicide rate: 32 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $31,798 Petersburg crime index: 10 out of 100

Petersburg is an independent town with a population just over 30,000, making it the smallest independent city on the list. Just 77.9 percent of residents have a high school diploma in Petersburg, and 28 percent of residents live in poverty. Petersburg also has a high rate of property crime, and their unemployment rate has stayed above the national average since 2001.

7. Macon County, Alabama (tie)

Homicide rate: 27 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income of county seat: $30,738 Tuskegee crime index: 3 out of 100

Macon County is another rural area to make this list with a population just over 21,00 and the first of two Alabama counties in the top 10. In recent years, the unemployment rate has been well above the national average, including a high mark of 18.9 percent unemployment in January of 2010, when the national rate was 10.6. While the county has an 89 percent high school graduation rate, the median household income is just $30,738 in the county - which puts 25.9 percent of residents below the poverty line. In the county seat of Tuskegee, the odds of being a victim of all violent crime are 1 in 97.

7. District of Columbia (tie)

Homicide rate: 27 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income: $70,848 District of Columbia crime iIndex: 3 out of 100

The nation’s capital is also a hub for murder, and in the early ‘90s was known as the murder capital of the nation. D.C. has the highest population of any city or county on this list at almost 700,000 people. In May of 2015, Darron Wint made national headlines after he kidnapped the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper in their home. Wint held the family captive for about 18 hours, extorted $40,000, then killed the family before setting fire to the home. Wint is still awaiting trial, scheduled for September 2018. Washington is easily the most affluent city on this list, with just 18 percent of residents living in poverty and the only city with a median household income above the national average. However, their unemployment rate is higher than the national average and the chances of being a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 79.

9. Washington County, Mississippi (tie)

Homicide rate: 25 homicides per 100,000 people Median household income of county seat: $29,144 Greenville crime index: 2 out of 100

Washington County is home to over 50,000 people. Washington County suffers from consistently high unemployment rates, hovering between 8 and 18 percent since 2008. Over one-third of residents live in poverty in the county seat of Greenville and just 78.7 residents have a high school diploma. Greenville in recent decades has seen a rise in gang activity, much of it coming by way of Chicago.

9. Dallas County, Alabama (tie)

Homicide rate: 25 homicides per 100,000 people Median household iIncome: $27,306 Selma crime index: 0 out of 100

Dallas County has a long history of violence, and in recent years, the area has encountered a spike in gang-related violence in some of the county’s poorest communities. The median income of Dallas County is the second lowest on this list. The unemployment rate of Dallas County is among the worst on this list, reaching over 22 percent just after the start of the great recession and rarely falling below 9 percent since. The crime index of zero makes the county seat of Selma the most dangerous city for overall crime on this list. These rankings show that homicide can affect areas both rural and urban, and LEOs, as well as other first responders around the country, have to face these situations on a daily basis.

Methodology:

PoliceOne.com used CDC WONDER mortality data from 2009-2015, provided by County Health Rankings. Median household incomes and poverty rates are from 2011-2015, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Crime index data is from NeighborhoodScout, and unemployment figures are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The only flashlight technique you’ll ever need

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Mike Rayburn

There has been so much written about the proper way to use a flashlight when firing a handgun that you probably rolled your eyes at the thought of reading another article on flashlight techniques. But humor me - this might just be the last flashlight technique you’ll ever need. Bold statement, I know, but if you have an open mind and are willing to try something new, you might be surprised at the results.

Shooting versus searching techniques

I could bore you with the history of the various flashlight techniques already being used, and who invented them, but why bother. The problem with the majority of the flashlight techniques being used by law enforcement today is that they were invented on the controlled environment of a shooting range and not on the street where it counts. The other problem is they are shooting techniques and not searching techniques.

Let me guess how your last low-light training went. You were shown several different flashlight shooting techniques – the range instructor may have even told you which one is his favorite – and then you were allowed to practice with the various techniques until you found the one “you liked the best.” Sound familiar?

At the sound of the whistle, you’ll draw your handgun and get into whatever flashlight technique you prefer and fire two rounds. I bet that one sounds familiar too?

Instead, how about at the sound of the whistle, you’ll shoot the target? Seems a lot simpler and quicker, doesn’t it?

By indexing your elbows into your side wherever you turn or pivot to, your firearm and flashlight will always be facing forward. (Photo/Mike Rayburn)

Simpler, easier and quicker is what firearms training should be all about. It shouldn’t be about which flashlight holding technique you need to get into before you’re able to return fire at someone, who, if you read the FBI statistics on officer-involved shootings, may already be shooting at you.

The premise of these various flashlight techniques is that the flashlight is married with the gun, so the gun and light are together and move together. It sounds good in theory, but in reality it’s a detriment to an actual shooting. One of two things is going to happen. One, you won’t use the light at all. Or two, you’ll waste valuable time in a shooting trying to get target acquisition with the light first, before you fire.

I’ve witnessed this phenomenon firsthand during low-light training. When given the command to fire, the flashlights come on with beams of lights all over the range, sometimes 30 feet up in the trees behind the back berm. Some will take the time to align their light beam on the target before shooting, while others will shoot with the available light that’s present from all the other flashlights around them, and therein lies the key to flashlight techniques.

You can easily shoot from the index position, or move the gun up to eye level if you require a sight picture. (Photo/Mike Rayburn)

Stop trying to use the flashlight like it’s a gun. In other words, stop trying to get the light beam to shine directly on the target/subject – as most of these techniques require – like you’re going to shoot him with the flashlight. You only need enough light to get two things: target identification and target acquisition. You need to identify the subject as a threat and acquire/see a target, so you can shoot it.

If the bad guy is already shooting at you, then identifying him as a threat is pretty easy. You may even be able to get target acquisition by shooting at his muzzle flash. But that’s a shooting technique and not a searching technique.

Indexing your flashlight

There are going to be times where you’ll need target identification and target acquisition, and not shoot. For those times, you need a searching technique that doubles as a shooting technique. Some of you will argue that you already have that with the various techniques already in service. If that’s the case, then why aren’t they being used in actual shootings? You need a technique that is simple to use, but effective at the same time.

You only need enough light to get target acquisition and target identification. That usually doesn’t require the center of your beam to be directly on the suspect. (Photo/Mike Rayburn)

That technique is called indexing. There are two ways to do this. One is to index your elbow into your side. This works best for those of you that have an old style flashlight with the on/off switch on the side – still my preferred type of light. Index your elbow into your side, with the light pointing forward. Keeping your elbow indexed into your side allows the flashlight to always be pointing forward. The center beam, as we so often try to do, doesn’t have to be directly on the target. You just need enough light to get target identification and target acquisition.

The second way to index your flashlight is for those of you that have the on/off switch on the back of the light. Index your elbow into your side, as we did previously, and bring your arm across the front of your torso. You’ll have two points of index with this technique. Your elbow is into your side and your forearm is indexed across your torso.

If your flashlight has the on/off button on the back, simply bring your arm across your chest, indexing it into your strong side. (Photo/Mike Rayburn)

Both of these techniques allow the flashlight to always be pointed forward. It’s important for the flashlight and handgun to act independently from one another. There will be times where you’ll need to use your flashlight, but not your gun. Likewise, there will be times when you’ll need your gun and not your flashlight.

By indexing the flashlight to your body, the flashlight and your body work as one unit. Wherever you pivot to, the light will always be pointing forward. If you need to look over or under something, you can easily move the flashlight around. It’s not one of those things where you have to always keep the light indexed. Be flexible, that’s what this job is all about.

Yes, you’re shooting with one hand, but since the majority of shootings involve LEOs firing with one hand, isn’t this a more realistic tactic? (Photo/Mike Rayburn)

Protect center mass

There’s an added benefit to both of these techniques. We all know it’s been said the bad guys will shoot at the light beam. By having the flashlight indexed into your side, or across your torso, the light is low and off to the side. But, if you marry the flashlight with the gun in one of those other techniques, the beam of light is emanating from your center mass area.

Your light and gun move together as one unit, but your ability to shoot is not dependent on your light in some type of awkward holding technique. (Photo/Mike Rayburn)

You run the risk of not only being shot in your center mass area, but if your gun is at eye level you could suffer a head wound if the bad guy shoots at your light. There’s also the possibility of your gun being disabled inadvertently from an incoming round from the bad guy, or, if you’re shot in your hands you may not be able to return fire. It makes more sense to keep the light low and off to one side of your body, while still having sufficient light for target identification and target acquisition.

Conclusion

Remember what I said about having an open mind and willing to try something new? Try this technique with a safe and empty handgun first by searching around your home or some other safe area. Then go to the range and practice shooting with it. You’ll find your searches will be easier to do, which translates into safer searches. You’ll also find you can easily shoot with this technique, without having to manipulate your flashlight and gun together into some technique that we almost never use anyway.


‘Roll call blues:’ Texas officer channels Johnny Cash

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio police received a visit from Johnny Cash before they went out on patrol Saturday.

Well, not quite Johnny Cash himself, but Officer Morgan’s voice made some do a double take when he performed Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” during roll call.

“If you see this officer on the street, he may just sing you a song,” Officer Alex Garza wrote in a Facebook post capturing the performance.

Since the department shared Garza’s post on Sunday, the video has received almost 200,000 views and has been shared 2,939 times.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

So this happened at roll call before we went to go fight crime. If you see this Officer on the street, he may just sing you a song ;). Share away!

Posted by Alex Garza on Saturday, June 3, 2017


Man claims cop was a ‘jerk,’ bodycam contradicts complaint

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CANTON, Ohio — Officer Jones Jr. was out on patrol and saw a woman speeding down the highway without her headlights on. So he pulled her over.

Jones Jr. wrote the woman a ticket for her headlights and let her go. Hours later, the Canton Police Department’s Facebook received a new review: ”Watch for Jones Jr, badge number 157. Was a jerk to my wife and must have needed to make quota she was driving and didn’t know her lights weren’t on he treated her like trash and was disrespectful.”

The department responded by posting the body camera footage from the traffic stop. The video shows a friendly traffic stop with no sign of Jones Jr. acting like a “jerk.”

Acting Chief Dave Davis told WKYC that it’s important for the public to see both sides of a situation.

The review has since been deleted.


A cop’s guide to the supplies you will want on patrol

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Thiac, P1 Contributor

I spent years training new officers as a Field Training Instructor and now as a Field Training Supervisor. A question I often get asked is, "What equipment do I really need on the street?" I’ve usually answered that there is no one way to do this job and the equipment needed varies. I’ve also suggested that as they see other cops working, "adapt what works for you," as there is no copyright on this. Good ideas are best shared.

That being said, here is a list of some basics for every cop on the street. This is a list organized by the "must-haves" (don’t go out without them), the "should-haves (not war-stoppers, but highly recommended) and the "good-to-haves" (not necessarily needed, but they make life easier), in no particular order. Is it complete? Not really. Everyone has a different situation, but here are some requirements and suggestions.

Must-have for every cop

Uniform: Clean, with insignia (badge, name plate, etc.). Look like a professional. Don’t forget haircut, and men, shaved.

Primary duty weapon: Cleaned, loaded with operable ammunition. Ammunition is cheap, your life is not. Replace your daily load regularly (like every year during your birth month). The odds are you will never fire your weapon outside the range, but a firearm is like blood or a parachute. You don't need it unless you need it badly.

Comfortable shoes/boots: You will be in them all day and your feet will start to hurt if mistreated. I suggest at least two pairs so you can rotate them.

Body armor: Wear it, end of discussion. Why anyone would not wear it is beyond me. If you will interact with the public, be prepared that some of the public will not like you, even if you’re working the station desk. More than a few front desk officers have been in a firefight. A friend suggested investing in a ceramic trauma plate to cover your chest. It replaces the Kevlar trauma plate, but they are rated to stop shotgun shells and rifle bullets over a critical area.

Radio: Have faith, your police computer will fail, or you will be chasing a suspect and you will need to call out locations. Make sure you charge your battery before each shift.

Flashlight and a backup: Being able to see in the dark is absolutely critical. Believe in bad luck, the bad guys are out there and they will see you. Make sure you see them.

Baton/Mace/CED: Intermediate weapons, as allowed by your agency. Give yourself more options other than command presence, verbal orders, physical force and deadly force.

Personal affairs in order: Congratulations, young man or woman, you are in a profession where death or serious bodily injury is a distinct possibility. Is your family ready? Have you set up a will, living will, medical power of attorney and final directives? Does your family know where they are? Even if you're single, you need to plan for the worst because someone may have to make decisions for you.

If you're a single parent, or both you and your spouse are cops, have you planned for your children if something should happen? If the answer is "Mom and dad will take care of the kids...," do mom and dad know that? Have you discussed this with them? Do they have (or are able to obtain) your kids’ medical and education records? Have you given them a power of attorney for this matter? Have you planned for switching schools, or if you are in a hospital for long-term recovery, will one parent move into your house?

Questions like this should be answered before you get on the streets. LegalZoom offers online services and many police unions or agencies offer assistance in this. Also, if you have a "change of life" such as divorce, marriage or birth of a child, make sure things like insurance policies and pension benefits are updated.

Should-have for every cop

Back-up weapon: Assume you need to use deadly force and for whatever reason you cannot use your primary weapon (e.g. strong arm injured, mechanical failure), what do you do? A backup weapon can be a lifesaver.

I suggest you orient it to your weak hand (for most of us, the left) so if your strong hand is injured, you still have a plausible threat of deadly force against your target. I recommend something small without an exposed hammer (have faith, it will catch on something when you desperately need it) so you can get it out easily.

Personally, I carry a snub-nose .357 Ruger LCR in my left cargo pocket. No exposed hammer, no parts to jam. I yank the trigger, it will fire. Even if you don't hit your target, you may scare the person enough that he or she runs or you can back off and reassess. Again, whatever works for you.

Long weapon: A shotgun or rifle – some type of longer range weapon. I carry a Remington 870 and an AR-15. It's a fact there are people out there with more lethal weapons, and the threat has changed with active shooter being a plausible situation. You need something with more effective range than a pistol. And in certain situations, the intimidation factor may help you avoid a conflict. Is there a more intimidating sound than a shotgun being racked?

Extra ammo: Ammo is cheap, life is not. Extra rounds for anything you carry, preferably in a magazine so it's quick to reload.

Water: Back in my college Army ROTC days, a very wise master sergeant made a point that has stuck with me since. If you are in a long firefight (for police, see hostage situation, active shooter or barricaded suspect) you need two things to survive: water and ammunition.

A few bottles of H2O can be a godsend in the middle of a hot summer day while you’re manning a post. For a few dollars you can put a case of water in your patrol vehicle and you're set. It may be warm but at least you're hydrated. And your buddies who didn't think of this will like the fact someone brought the water!

Long handcuff key: The small key that comes with the set is good as a backup, but a long one will make it much easier to double lock or unlock handcuffs.

Medical info card: Prepare for the worst, you're going down. Type up a medical information card and put it where it's easy to find (wallet, behind the trauma plate on your body armor). Don't think, "This is personal." If a medic is looking at this you are hurting and they will need to know personal information. What to put on it? Your info (name, DOB, phone number), blood type, medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure), medications you take (even your vitamins; the doc needs to know), names and contact information of your doctor, and some emergency contacts (name, address and phone number). Assume you will not be in any condition to answer medical questions. That may save your life.

Leg restraints/hobble: Assuming your agency allows this, have it available. When a suspect starts kicking even though he's handcuffed, you still have to secure/transport him. You may have them at the station, but the sooner he's restrained the better.

Extra handcuffs: Assume you will have more than one suspect, or a very large one that needs a few cuffs. They are not that expensive and most companies give you a lifetime warranty: They break, they exchange them.

Change of underwear/uniform/shower stuff: If you are stuck at the station for a very long shift (emergency, natural disaster, etc.), your uniform will get icky. A shower and just the change of underwear and socks will make you feel much better. If you can spare a uniform, keep a backup in your locker or car.

Phone/fax numbers for every office and emails you will need: Your station, the investigative branches you deal with, the DA, any courts you will deal with, etc. Have them in your smartphone. Make sure they are the phone numbers that get picked up, not the ones with voicemail.

Required forms and a file to carry them in: This includes booking forms, vehicle tow slips and evidence submission forms. Waiting on forms or filling them out later only delays getting your job done. Have your paperwork ready.

Gloves: Nitrile exam gloves, like the EMTs and paramedics wear. You don't want to be exposed to a suspect's bodily fluid and dirt.

Medical kit (tourniquet, blood stoppage): Given the lessons from the Boston Marathon bombing and other mass-casualty incidents, you should have a tourniquet and know how to use it. When someone can use a rice cooker to make a bomb, bleeding out is very possible.

Being able to stop blood loss is critical, even in a large city with ambulance support minutes away. What happens in a rural sheriff's office where you have a deputy 30 miles from medical support? Be prepared! Amazon.com sells the North American Rescue Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet for around $30. How much is your life worth?

More than one pen: Sounds amateurish, but I've had to explain to more than one officer (including senior officers) they need a backup pen. Count on it, once you desperately need to write something down, your pen will fail. Personally I carry three in case someone stole (excuse me, borrowed) my second.

Note pads: A major part of what we do is writing, field notes, complainant's statements, etc. You’re going to need something to write on. Be ready, have your memo and a small pad in a pocket, next to more than one pen!

Wrist watch: Younger people are often not using a wristwatch for various reasons (I have a phone, I don't like the mark it puts on my wrist). Cops aren’t normal young people. You need to know the time so have a wristwatch.

Hand cleaner: We generally don’t deal with clean people and work like this is dirty. Mike Rowe, you’ve cleaned a sewer, but have you handled a homeless, mentally unstable person who hasn’t taken a shower since the Bush administration or a two week old dead body? Get something that kills germs and use it.

Map of your area: Again, have faith in technology. Have faith it will fail when you need it. Get a Rand McNally (rookies, ask the old dudes about it) or something similar and have it ready.

A thumb drive: Old dudes, ask the rookies about it. It can hold documents, video of crimes, digital forms, etc. Police work has moved into the 21st century, gotta go with it.

Your supervisor's phone number/email: No matter if you’re an officer, sergeant, or chief, you need to be able to contact your boss. At the first meeting with my squad, I sent them a text message with my name, unit number, cell and home number. I’d rather they ask me a question on my time off than have to write letters explaining a mistake later. Also, bad news only gets worse with time.

Clipboard of some type: A simple wooden one (less than a buck at Wal-Mart) or metal one that can hold forms; you need something to write on. It also doubles as something you can paste cheat sheets to (checklist for DWI, drug cases, etc.).

Narcotics testing supplies: It can help determine if the suspect you are dealing with got "robbed" by his dealer when his cocaine turned out to be sugar.

Good to have

Camera: Photos are great and it’s nice that your iPhone can take them, but thanks to some court rulings, the defense may be able to take your phone. So pick up a cheap digital camera for work. You can get a decent camera from Amazon.com for less than $50 with over 10 megapixels (old dudes, ask the rooks to explain megapixels) for good clarity. Don’t forget a case for it and an adapter for the memory chip to go into a USB port.

Fingerprint kit: Very old school, but prints are great evidence and they can be easy to take. Most agencies will issue an officer the basics (brush, tape, dust) and go from there. Again, not something you do on every case, but for the more serious cases (aggravated assault) it can make the difference.

Cheat sheets: Some officers are more attuned to certain things than others. Some officers are proficient at narcotics investigations or DWIs, they can handle all procedures from memory. If you are not that proficient, a quick checklist can really make an unfamiliar call go faster.

Spreadsheets for tax-deductible stuff: Rookies, get in the habit of filing the long form on TurboTax (or with your accountant). But it’s good to set up a spreadsheet of annual expenses for work (e.g. ammo, weapons, range cost, mileage to authorized extra jobs or training at the range). Like many professions, you will be "self-funding" for a lot of your equipment and other costs. You can get some of that back on your tax bill, but have the documentation ready when the IRS comes calling with a word that strikes fear into the heart of any tax-paying citizen: "audit."

Disinfectant spray for back seats: Again, you’re not dealing with the cleanest people on earth and you will be amazed at how far the smell travels up wind from the back seat to the front seat, even at 60 mph with the windows open. Lysol or something similar can help (don’t forget to list it on your spreadsheet).

Plastic bags for suspect's items: A good way to know a suspect doesn’t have anything on him is to take it out of his hands and pockets. However, you have to put it somewhere. A cheap Ziploc bag can hold everything and you can just hand it off to the jailer as you book him.

Paper bags and rubber bands for suspects involved in shootings: A shooting suspect will need his hands swabbed for gunpowder residue. Keep them covered with paper bags (large lunch bags). Do not use plastic bags – paper reduces sweating and allows testing.

Paper clips to test drugs: When you test cocaine, it’s easier to dip the end of a paper clip into the testing liquid and touch it to the sample.

Phone apps: Get apps for drug recognition (iPharmacy), decibel reader (Decibel 10: Noise dB Meter) or even a police scanner to listen to nearby agencies during an emergency, saving your radio.

Pre-formatted reports for repeated calls: Every station will have a place that calls multiple times a week, such as the grocery store with the shoplifter, etc. A lot of the report will be the same, why reinvent the wheel. Just have the basic data saved on a Word file, copy and paste, and then make the updates (e.g. the date and time) needed.

Masks for spitters: Not often, but on occasion you have a spitter. A simple mask, like they wear in the emergency department, is a useful spit blocker.

Pocket knife/multifunctional tool: The Leatherman was the original multifunctional tool, but there are others, plus countless pocket knives. Being able to cut something is critical at times, and a tool that cuts wires can also be of great help.

Tablet with a map program: While many police cars have computers with map programs, a tablet (iPad, Surface) can be very useful. If you are serving a warrant or planning officer deployment around a disturbance, having a map of the area will allow you good situational awareness of your manpower.

Blank CDs: Often data needs to be tagged into evidence. Blank CDs are inexpensive and you can download a large amount of data and tag it for later investigation/court.

Binoculars: Being able to see at a greater distance than your normal eyes can be a great help if you are searching for a suspect, a lost child, etc.

Pain reliever, eye drops, cold medicine, etc.: Working nights or evenings, in hazardous conditions (floods, etc.) is part of the job. When everyone is home because of the weather, cops, firefighters and EMTs are working (yes, you are the essential employees – you don’t get flood/snow days) and, you will get headaches, colds, etc. Have something to help you when you’re on the job. Keep aspirin, eye drops, and cold medication in your locker or duty bag.

Digital audio recorder: Again, don’t use your smart phone but allow someone to talk into a digital recorder and download it and tag it. Digital recorders can be picked up for less than $20. Remember you just need a basic recorder, not something for a concert. Nothing will incriminate a defendant more than their own words.

This is not intended as an exhaustive list. Adapt it to how you work on the street. Remember you don’t have to buy everything at once. Observe how others do the job and use their knowledge and experience to ensure you accomplish your greatest goal: Go home at the end of the watch.


About the author Michael A. Thiac is a Houston Police patrol sergeant and field training supervisor with over 18 years experience. He is also retired from the Army Reserve, after spending 23 years in intelligence. When not on patrol, he can be found at A Cop’s Watch.

Author's note: The statements, opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed herein are solely those of the author and not in any official capacity as an employee of the Houston Police Department and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or official policies of the Houston Police Department.


Police: LEO took on London terrorists armed only with baton

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

LONDON — Two officers, one who was off duty, are being praised for their heroic actions during the Saturday terror attack in London.

According to the Independent, an officer, who was one of the first on the scene, was attempting to stop the van and stabbing attack that left seven dead. He was armed only with a baton when he took on all three attackers, and received stab wounds to his face, head and leg. He is currently listed in stable condition.

Police killed the three suspects in a shootout.

“Although he is seriously unwell, he was able to recount how he faced the attackers armed only with his baton, outside London Bridge station,” chief constable Paul Crowther told the Independent. “For an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud.”

An off-duty officer, described as an amatuer rugby player, saw the attack happening outside and tackled one suspect to the ground, the BBC reported. He was stabbed and was taken to the hospital in a police car. He remains in critical condition.

“There can be no doubt that the swift response of our colleagues – both armed and unarmed – saved further lives from being lost,” Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh told the Independent. “There are barely words to describe their bravery – officers who ran towards danger with no thought for their own safety. Londoners can rightly be proud of their emergency services today.”

Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick told the Telegraph that both officers showed “extraordinary courage” during the attack.


Off-duty Detroit cop shot; 1 suspect dead, another in custody

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT — An off-duty police officer was shot during an attempted robbery.

Police Chief James Craig told ClickOnDetroit that the officer purchased something at a liquor store Sunday night and walked into the parking lot. A suspect ran toward the officer holding a weapon. The officer drew his weapon in self-defense and both parties opened fire.

The officer, 27, was shot in the torso and foot and was transported to a hospital. He underwent emergency surgery and is listed in critical condition. Craig told the news station the officer was awake and talking. The suspect was killed in the shootout.

A second suspect was arrested Monday in connection with the robbery. Police are searching for a third suspect who they say took the first suspect’s gun and the injured officer’s weapon and fled the scene.

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Chief Craig speaks on off duty Officer shot on the East Side of Detroit

Posted by Detroit Police Department on Sunday, June 4, 2017

Authorities are searching for two cars: a dark-colored or black sedan and a 2008 or 2009 silver or white Dodge Durango.

“The fact that this individual, instead of trying to render aid, they basically approached the downed suspect, and my sense is that there is a relationship with this suspect that was down and this person,” Craig said.


‘Extra olives, please’: Employees sold drugs out of pizza boxes

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kenny Ocker The News Tribune

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Pepperoni, olives, peppers, cocaine, marijuana, ecstacy.

For a group of entrepreneurial King County men, detectives say it was all in a day’s work.

King County sheriff’s deputies and Sammamish police broke up a drug ring run out of a Sammamish Papa John’s pizza restaurant, the Sheriff’s Office announced in a news release Friday afternoon.

Detectives dubbed it “Operation Extra Olives.”

Two employees were using the parking lot of the pizzeria in the 700 block of 228th Avenue Northeast for cocaine deals, Sgt. Cindi West wrote in a news release.

Detectives conducted four undercover drug buys there.

One of the dealers introduced the detectives to three other drug dealers in the area, West wrote, who detectives were able to also buy from.

Deputies conducted search warrants Friday morning in Sammamish and Bellevue, recovering $28,000 in cash, a vehicle, and cocaine, ecstacy, marijuana, oxycodone, LSD and methamphetamine.

Five men were arrested: a 21-year-old and 26-year-old from Bellevue, and two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old from Sammamish.

Detectives searching the pizzeria found cocaine on various surfaces throughout the restaurant, West wrote, including the cash register and the hand-washing area.

King County health inspectors found no traces of cocaine in the restaurant later in the day.

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Operation “Extra Olives” Leads to Five Arrests In December 2016, the Sammamish Police received information that...

Posted by King County Sheriff's Office on Monday, June 5, 2017

———

©2017 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)


Pittsburgh police union opposes patrol car decals

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrew Goldstein Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH —The president of the union representing Pittsburgh police officers on Friday raised concerns about decals being placed on the side of police vehicles that represent or show support for a variety of causes.

Pittsburgh police chiefs and command staff decided to place decals on vehicles a month ago “as a way to acknowledge special occasions for the department and communities we serve,” public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said in an email. The events include Police Memorial Week, Pittsburgh Pride, Black History Month and six other occasions throughout the year.

But Robert Swartzwelder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said police should not advertise for any cause and opined that the city is going down a “slippery slope” that could lead to legal action. He said he was concerned that a radical group could ask to have its logo placed on police vehicles, and take the city to court if it refuses.

“How about the Klan? The Klan was allowed to protest in front of the City-County Building years ago, and we had to block it all off and have police in riot gear,” Officer Swartzwelder said. “They were permitted to preach hate. ... Now we’re going to slap their logo on the side of our police car? That’s outrageous.

“When you tell people what I said, [they’ll say] ‘That FOP president’s crazy, we would never do that,’” he continued. “How do you know? You start traveling down this road, how do you know that some federal judge isn’t going to order you to put it on there?”

Ms. Toler said the idea for the decals came as the police bureau, looking for ways to thank the community, came across the initiative being used by other police agencies across the country.

“Originally the idea was focused around diversity, and after careful consideration, we decided we could celebrate various events and convey a positive message to all communities,” she said.

Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert expressed disappointment in the position taken by Officer Swartzwelder.

“It's very disheartening to hear the FOP went to the media about their displeasure in supporting Pride and other events that help build stronger partnerships with the community we are entrusted to serve and protect,” Chief Schubert said in a statement. “It's extremely disappointing that the FOP would attempt to strain relations with the community when the [Pittsburgh Bureau of Police] is doing everything in our power to improve those relationships. The FOP is sending a message that has the potential to do reprehensible harm to progress we've made to ensure there is inclusion with all members of the community.”

Officer Swartzwelder’s concerns were initiated Friday when an officer sent him a photo of the decal currently on about 30 police vehicles. The decal features a Pittsburgh police badge over a rainbow logo that states: Supports Pride 2017. The decal recognizes Pittsburgh Pride week, which begins this weekend.

Decals representing Police Memorial Week and the Special Olympics were already featured on police vehicles. Officer Swartzwelder said he did not notice the decals until Friday but doesn’t support them no matter what they represent.

“Police do not advertise. We support everybody by our professional police actions, that’s our job,” he said. “We’re not supposed to be advertising for any cause on an official police vehicle. It’s a very dangerous, slippery slope.”

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The head of a Pittsburgh police union says the cruisers should not display decals saying "Pittsburgh Police Supports Pride 2017." >> http://buff.ly/2qTv9Xc

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Delta Foundation, a local LGBT advocacy group that sponsors Pride, said in a statement that the group did not consult with the police bureau about the decals placed on vehicles this week. Nevertheless, Delta said it was “perplexed” why Officer Swartzwelder “all of a sudden has taken issue with these stickers as it is our understanding that this is the third of a series of nine stickers to be applied to the cars representing different communities and causes.”

“His statement does nothing to repair the relationship between Pittsburgh’s LGBT citizens and visitors,” the group said. “We hope that the FOP and all of its members will continue to work to gain a greater understanding of the LGBT community, specifically transgender people, people of color, and underserved members of our community, as they protect and serve all residents of the City of Pittsburgh.”

Mr. Swartzwelder said his complaint had nothing to do with the fact that this week’s logo supports LGBT pride.

“I have gay police officers in my job that I am very, very close and personal friends with,” he said. “That’s outrageous to say that. It would be an outrageous statement to say that of the FOP. We have gay police officers on our job, and they know me, and they helped elect me to be their president.

“These stickers do not belong on these vehicles, period. ... You know what improves community relations? Professional police work, not stickers.”

Copyright 2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Video captures cop, firefighter rescuing child trapped under dock

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAKE PLACID, Fla. — A police officer and volunteer firefighter rescued a boy trapped underneath a pontoon dock.

Officer David Rhoden’s body camera captured the moment when he responded to a call of a trapped child on May 22, WFTS reported.

“I immediately thought the kid was pinned underwater,” Rhoden said.

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WATER RESCUE: Two Lake Placid police officers helped rescue a boy trapped underneath a dock at Lake June. http://on.wtsp.com/2rzjuB1 (Footage courtesy of the Lake Placid Police Department)

Posted by 10News WTSP on Friday, June 2, 2017

Rhoden lifted the dock off of the boy while volunteer firefighter Rafael Ramos swam under to grab the boy. Other volunteer firefighters elevated the dock while Ramos attempted to free the child.

“I told him if he could kneel down a little and he put his shoulders to the side and slid right in,” Ramos told WFTS.

According to WTSP, the boy was brought to shore uninjured.

Rhoden, a two-year veteran, said he’s grateful the rescue ended well.

“It's not very often I get to see a good outcome like that especially where it could've been extremely bad,” Rhoden said. “If his head was underwater we would've been dealing with a fatality. It was nice to look back at it and see he was fine and I had a part in that."


4 Canadian border agents hospitalized after exposure to ‘illicit substance’

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FORT ERIE, Ontario — Four Canadian border agents were hospitalized as a precaution after exposure to an “illicit substance.”

According to CP24, the officers were searching a vehicle and its occupants Friday when they opened two bags containing an unknown substance.

The agents were taken to the hospital for a decontamination procedure as a precaution.

Officials said the substance could have been fentanyl or crystal meth.

“Everything that was done here in Niagara Falls was done on a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the staff,” Fire Chief Jim Boutilier told CP24.

An investigation is ongoing.


Video of drunk driver striking cops, suspect during separate DUI investigation released

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Highway Patrol released video of a drunk driver crashing into troopers conducting a separate DUI investigation.

Troopers Sebastian Vo pulled over Osman Fuentez Hernandez, 29, for suspicion of DUI after the vehicle was discovered traveling in the wrong lane on May 27, Northwest Florida Daily News reported. Trooper Chad Lynch and an Escambia County sheriff’s deputy were assisting with the investigation.

Lynch removed Hernandez from the vehicle while Vo was working in his patrol car when Vincent Pluas, 32, crashed into a patrol car causing a chain reaction crash.

Pluas’ vehicle struck the rear of the Escambia County patrol car, pushing it into the driver’s side door of Vo’s patrol car, injuring Vo, the publication reported. The Escambia patrol car then collided with Lynch and Hernandez.

The troopers and two suspects were transported to a local hospital where Lynch was treated for serious injuries. Vo and Pluas were treated for minor injuries. The deputy was not injured.

Plaus was charged with felony DUI with serious bodily injuries, felony driving while license suspended, reckless driving, no proof of insurance, failure to register vehicle and DUI with property damage. Hernandez is still under investigation for DUI.


Police training, oversight bills prompted by Sterling death gain legislative backing

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to increase police training requirements and better track officers' disciplinary records, nearly a year after Alton Sterling was fatally shot.

Baton Rouge Rep. Ted James' bill calls for officers to receive at least 400 hours of basic training and study de-escalation practices and how to recognize biases. The bill was prompted by the July death of Sterling, a black man killed during a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers.

The Senate gave final passage to the measure, sending it to the governor.

Monroe Rep. Katrina Jackson's proposal requires law enforcement agencies to report instances of police misconduct to a statewide database. The Senate supported the bill Monday, sending it back to the House for approval of changes.


NYC officer dragged by suspect remains in critical condition

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department says a plainclothes officer remains in critical condition after being dragged by a driver in a stolen car for more than two blocks.

Officer Dalsh Veve was at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn on Monday, a day after undergoing surgery.

Veve was among officers responding to 911 calls of shots being fired Saturday night in East Flatbush. The sounds turned out to be fireworks.

The NYPD says Veve approached a stolen parked car and the driver sped away. He managed to fire his weapon even as he was being dragged.

Authorities say the 15-year-old driver showed up at the hospital with a serious gunshot wound a short time later. He and two others were taken into custody.

Veve and his wife have a 2-year-old daughter.


SCOTUS will review police use of cellphone tower data

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Sherman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In a new case about digital age technology and privacy, the Supreme Court will consider whether police need warrants to review cellphone towers records that help them track the location of criminal suspects.

The justices agreed Monday to hear an appeal from Timothy Carpenter, who was sentenced to 116 years in prison after being convicted of armed robberies in Michigan and Ohio.

Police obtained records from cellular service providers that placed Carpenter's cellphone in the vicinity of the robberies.

The question is whether police should have to demonstrate to a judge that they have good reason, or probable cause, to believe Carpenter was involved in the crime. Police obtained the records by meeting a lower standard of proof.

Courts around the country have wrestled with the issue. The most relevant Supreme Court case is nearly 40 years old, before the dawn of the digital age.

The federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that police did not need a judge-issued warrant.

Nathan Freed Wessler, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represents Carpenter, said the high court should apply constitutional privacy protections to digital records. "Because cell phone location records can reveal countless private details of our lives, police should only be able to access them by getting a warrant based on probable cause," Wessler said.

The robberies took place at Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores in 2010 and 2011. Carpenter organized most of the robberies, in which he signaled the others in his group to enter the stores with their guns drawn, the government said in its Supreme Court filing. Customers and employees were herded to the back and the robbers filled their bags with new smartphones. They got rid of the guns and sold the phones, the government said.

Police learned of Carpenter's involvement after a confession by another person involved in the holdups. They got an order for cellphone tower data for Carpenter's phone, which shows which towers a phone has connected with when used in a call. The records help approximate someone's location.

The case, Carpenter v. U.S., 16-402, will be argued in the fall.


Fla. sheriff: Disgruntled ex-worker killed 5, then himself

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Terrance Harris and Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A disgruntled former employee opened fire inside a Florida awning manufacturer on Monday, killing five workers there and then killing himself, officials said.

The gunman was armed with a knife and a gun but did not stab anyone, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said during a news conference. Demings said the shooter — who had been fired in April and had been previously accused of assaulting a co-worker — was not believed to be connected to any sort of terror organization. Demings characterized the shooting as a likely "workplace violence incident."

The unidentified shooter was not charged when he was accused of battering the co-worker in June 2014, the sheriff said. The alleged victim in that incident was not among the victims Monday, Demings said.

OCSO on shooting scene w/ multiple fatalities. Situation contained, Now investigating tragic incident & will soon have accurate information

— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017

Shelley Adams said her sister, Sheila McIntyre, called her from the company's bathroom during the shooting and was very upset.

She kept repeating "My boss is dead. My boss is dead," Adams said after state and federal law enforcement authorities converged on the industrial park in Orlando.

Police were called at around 8 a.m. by a woman who ran from the awning business, saying the gunman had told her to leave. She used the phone of a tile business across the street to call 911, said Yamaris Gomez, the tile store's owner.

Fiamma Inc. calls itself one of the largest manufacturers of awnings for camper vans, motor coaches and sports utility vehicles.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings was expected to announce details "as soon as info is accurate," his office said.

MORE: One confirmed shooting and multiple fatalities at Orlando, FL business, authorities say https://t.co/B7NKuUMEnd pic.twitter.com/78iiRNTWYR

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 5, 2017

The shooting was reported about 8 a.m. Monday. Several Orange County Fire and Rescue vehicles were seen leaving the scene afterward. A large police presence remained hours alter. No more details were immediately available.

Gov. Rick Scott said he had been briefed by law enforcement and that he and his wife, Ann, "are praying for the families who lost loved ones today."

"I ask all Floridians to pray for the families impacted by this senseless act of violence," he added.

#FBI joint terrorism task force official on scene of deadly shooting in #Orlando. Multiple people killed. Still awaiting updates @WESH pic.twitter.com/MpCRpoNntt

— Alex Villarreal (@AlexvWESH) June 5, 2017


Dallas Police Dept. HQ on lockdown due to suspicious package

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff DALLAS — Dallas Police Department headquarters is on lockdown due to a suspicious package, NBC DFW reported.

A SWAT team and bomb squad have been called in to assist.

No further details have been released.

We will update you once more information becomes available.

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Live At DPD headquarters.

Posted by WFAA Rebecca Lopez on Monday, June 5, 2017

#BREAKING: Dallas PD evacuated after suspicious package found on premises, according to CBS DFW reports. #C3N pic.twitter.com/8nmHz4zzXJ

— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) June 5, 2017

#Breaking photo of Dallas Police officers and employees outside headquarters which has been evacuated because of a suspicious package pic.twitter.com/DWQ9sRbRKS

— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) June 5, 2017


Suspicious package prompts scare at Dallas police HQ

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff DALLAS — Dallas Police Department headquarters is on lockdown due to a suspicious package, NBC DFW reported.

A SWAT team and bomb squad have been called in to assist.

No further details have been released.

We will update you once more information becomes available.

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Live At DPD headquarters.

Posted by WFAA Rebecca Lopez on Monday, June 5, 2017

#BREAKING: Dallas PD evacuated after suspicious package found on premises, according to CBS DFW reports. #C3N pic.twitter.com/8nmHz4zzXJ

— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) June 5, 2017

#Breaking photo of Dallas Police officers and employees outside headquarters which has been evacuated because of a suspicious package pic.twitter.com/DWQ9sRbRKS

— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) June 5, 2017


Suspicious package prompts scare at Dallas police HQ

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff DALLAS — Dallas Police Department headquarters is on lockdown due to a suspicious package, NBC DFW reported.

A SWAT team and bomb squad have been called in to assist.

No further details have been released.

We will update you once more information becomes available.

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Live At DPD headquarters.

Posted by WFAA Rebecca Lopez on Monday, June 5, 2017

#BREAKING: Dallas PD evacuated after suspicious package found on premises, according to CBS DFW reports. #C3N pic.twitter.com/8nmHz4zzXJ

— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) June 5, 2017

#Breaking photo of Dallas Police officers and employees outside headquarters which has been evacuated because of a suspicious package pic.twitter.com/DWQ9sRbRKS

— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) June 5, 2017


Could new screening techniques prevent fentanyl exposure?

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By NIST

Dan Kallen, a detective in southern New Jersey, was searching a home with fellow officers in August 2015, when they found a bag of white powder. Kallen removed a scoop of powder for testing. When he was done, he closed the bag, and a bit of air escaped, carrying a puff of powder with it. It was enough to send Kallen and a fellow officer to the emergency room.

The drugs in the bag had been spiked with fentanyl, a synthetic drug that, like heroin, is an opioid. But it is 50 times more potent than heroin—even a tiny amount inhaled or absorbed through the skin can be extremely dangerous or deadly. Kallen described his experience in a Drug Enforcement Agency video that warns first responders of the dangers of handling unknown powders.

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working to address this hazard. In a paper published in Forensic Chemistry, they report that two technologies, Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) and Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS), can detect trace amounts of fentanyl even when mixed with heroin and other substances.

NIST researchers explain how first responders and evidence examiners can use screening technologies to reduce the risk of accidental exposure to synthetic opioids.

This research is the first to identify the lowest concentrations at which fentanyl mixtures can be detected using these techniques, and it suggests new ways to protect law enforcement officers, evidence examiners, and drug-sniffing dogs.

IMS instruments are commonly used at airports. In that setting, a security officer might swab a piece of luggage or a passenger’s hands, then insert the swab into the instrument to check for traces of explosive residue. Similarly, a police officer might test a bag of powder for fentanyl before opening it.

“Currently, police officers have to handle drugs to test them,” said Ed Sisco, a research chemist at NIST and the lead author of the study. “But with these technologies, they can just swab the outside of a bag to test for fentanyl.” If the test comes back positive, they can take extra precautions.

Amber Burns, chief of the Controlled and Dangerous Substances Unit at the Maryland State Police Crime lab, agreed that screening with IMS or DART-MS would be useful. “Several law enforcement agencies have reached out to us about how to better handle suspected drugs,” Burns said. “Because IMS is portable, it would be pretty user friendly for them to bring to a scene and screen a sample quickly.”

IMS instruments cost around $35,000 and are the size of a microwave oven. Burns said the DART-MS instruments, which are more sensitive but larger and more expensive, might be ideal for screening incoming material at a forensic lab before it’s handled by evidence examiners.

In addition, these technologies might be used to screen packages at the border or at postal service inspection facilities.

The authors have also reached out to medical researchers about investigating whether fentanyl screening might be useful when treating overdose victims. Because fentanyl is so potent, reviving an individual after a fentanyl-related overdose often requires multiple doses of the opioid antidote naloxone. Swabbing the victim’s hands might reveal if fentanyl is involved, and that information might be useful in determining a course of treatment.

An Epidemic of Drug Overdoses

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 52,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2015, more than triple the number from 1999. That rapid increase is being driven by heroin and synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl. In just a single year, from 2014 to 2015, the death rate from synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) increased by 72 percent.

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is used as a painkiller. But according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, most illicit fentanyl is smuggled into the United States. The manufacturers constantly create new forms of fentanyl, each with a slightly different chemical structure. They do this to stay one step ahead of the authorities, who must individually ban each new fentanyl analog as it emerges.

Drug dealers often lace their supply with fentanyl or an analog to boost its potency. Users may not know the strength of the drugs they’re buying, or how the different substances in it interact.

A particularly dangerous fentanyl analog, carfentanil, is increasingly turning up in the U.S. drug supply. Carfentanil is used as a large animal tranquilizer, and it is 100 times more potent than fentanyl—5,000 times more potent than heroin.

“A small amount, just the size of a poppy seed, can kill you,” Burns said.

Research Based on a Realistic Scenario

For their research, Sisco and colleagues used IMS and DART-MS instruments to detect 16 different fentanyl analogs, including carfentanil. Both technologies work by ionizing the molecules in question, which gives them an electric charge. An electrical field then draws the ions toward a detector, and you can measure how long it takes for them to arrive. That time delay is like a signature that identifies the molecule.

Detecting the synthetic drugs in their pure form is easy. In this case, the researchers mixed small amounts of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs with heroin and with common cutting agents such as caffeine.

“We wanted to mimic what first responders and evidence examiners are likely to see in the field,” said Sisco. “Would the large amounts of cutting agents mask the fentanyl signatures? That’s what we wanted to find out.”

They found that, using IMS, they could detect fentanyl in mixtures that contain as little as 0.2 percent fentanyl. With DART-MS, they could easily detect mixtures down to 0.1 percent. Both types of instruments were able to detect traces of the compounds that inevitably land on the outside of plastic bags through handling.

In addition, both techniques distinguished between most of the different analogs of fentanyl. This is important because some analogs are far more potent than others. In addition, identifying specific analogs will help law enforcement and public health officials keep track of new analogs as they emerge.

This research paper is the first to publish the IMS and DART-MS signatures for the 16 fentanyl analogs tested. Sisco and his co-authors are speaking with IMS manufacturers about adding the newly identified signatures to their product software. That way, agencies that already own the instruments would be able to identify the fentanyl analogs after their next software update. NIST publishes a widely used DART-MS library, and the authors are working on getting the signatures added to that library as well.

“We hope this makes a real difference to the safety of people who come into contact with synthetic opioids,” Sisco said. “The opioid epidemic is a huge problem. This might be one small way to try to get a handle on it.”


Portland police arrest 14 during rival protests, clashes

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kristena Hansen Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — Police arrested 14 people as thousands of demonstrators and counter-protesters converged in downtown Portland more than a week after two men were fatally stabbed trying to stop a man from shouting anti-Muslim slurs at teenagers on a light-rail train.

A pro-President Donald Trump free speech rally drew several hundred to a plaza near City Hall on Sunday.

That rally was met across the street by hundreds of counter-protesters organized by immigrant rights, religious and labor groups. They said they wanted to make a stand against hate and racism.

By late afternoon, police closed nearby Chapman Square where a separate group of protesters — many wearing masks and black clothing and identified as anti-fascists — also demonstrated. Police used flash-bang grenades and pepper balls to disperse that crowd after saying protesters were hurling bricks and other objects at officers.

The people gathered at the free speech rally organized by the conservative group Patriot Prayer and counter-protesters at City Hall were not involved in those clashes, police said.

Portland police said Sunday evening that several dozen knives, bricks, sticks and other weapons were seized.

The Patriot Prayer event was billed as a Trump Free Speech Rally in "one of the most liberal areas of the West Coast."

Rally organizer Joey Gibson held a moment of silence for the two men who were stabbed to death and pleaded with the crowd to refrain from violence. He later told them that the goal is to wake up the liberty movement. "It's OK to be a conservative in Portland," he said.

Last week Mayor Ted Wheeler unsuccessfully tried to have the permit for the free speech rally revoked, saying it could further enflame tensions following the May 26 stabbings.

The suspect in the light-rail stabbings, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, attended a similar rally in late April wearing an American flag around his neck and carrying a baseball bat. Police confiscated the bat, and he was then caught on camera clashing with counter-protesters.

In a video posted on Facebook, Gibson condemned Christian and acknowledged that some rallies have attracted "legitimate Nazis." He described Christian as "all crazy" and "not a good guy."

Matthew Eggiman, 19, who lives in Corvallis, said he showed up Sunday to oppose bigotry and racism. He worried that hateful rhetoric would embolden others. But he also condemned protesters who show up hoping to provoke violence.

The Rev. Diane Dulin of the United Church of Christ said in a statement ahead of the day's events that any act of violence in the community should be met by non-violence.

"We build our hope and our stamina for justice by showing up," said Dulin, part of a coalition of groups that organized rally to oppose hate.

Authorities say that on May 26 Christian killed two men and injured another on the light-rail train when they tried to help after he verbally abused two young women, one wearing a hijab. Christian is charged with aggravated murder and other counts.

The concerns over the Portland rally come amid a wider debate in the U.S. about the First Amendment, often in liberal cities like Portland and Berkeley, California, and on college campuses, where violent protests between far-right and far-left protesters have derailed appearances by contentious figures.

14 arrested in Portland after violent clashes at pro-Trump rally pic.twitter.com/pn9PrX01Jw

— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) June 5, 2017

More Antifa Evidence Collected By Portland Police, Among The Destructive Items Is a Sign That Reads 'No platform 4 hate' pic.twitter.com/t2SYnuijW7

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 5, 2017

On the ground in #Portland where #Antifa and Pro#Trump supporters are being kept apart by riot police. pic.twitter.com/5V3JTR9ap8

— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) June 4, 2017


London attack: More detentions in hunt for accomplices

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lori Hinnant and Gregory Katz Associated Press

LONDON — British counterterrorism investigators searched two homes Monday and detained "a number" of people in the investigation into a van and knife attack in the heart of London that left seven people dead.

Dozens were injured, many of them critically, in the attack that started on the London Bridge, when three attackers swerved the vehicle into pedestrians then, armed with knives, rampaged through Borough Market, slashing and stabbing anyone they could find.

The three men, who wore fake suicide vests, were shot to death by police. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

London's police chief has said the attackers have been identified, but the names haven't been released. At least 12 people were arrested Sunday, including five men and seven women ranging in age from 19 to 60. One has since been released without being charged.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she wouldn't release further details in what she described as a fast-moving investigation. She wouldn't say whether authorities were familiar with the men before the attack.

IS has claimed responsibility for three attacks in Britain since March, and Dick described the recent wave of violence as "unprecedented in my working life."

"We in this country have faced a terrorist threat throughout my life — it changed and morphed and we will change and adapt to what appears to be a new reality for us," she said.

Prime Minister Theresa May warned that the country faced a new threat from copycat attacks. She said Britain must do "more, much more" to combat what she called the perverted ideology of radical Islam.

She said police know the identity of the three attackers but will not release them yet because of the ongoing investigation. Police and intelligence services are trying to determine what backup support they might have had.

The country's major political parties temporarily suspended campaigning with only days to go before Thursday's general election. May said the vote would take place as scheduled Thursday because "violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process."

The political tempo picked up again Monday with May saying opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to handle security and Brexit. Corbyn called for May to resign because of her role in cutting police staffing during her tenure as home secretary.

Most of the London Underground stations reopened Monday in the neighborhood where the attack took place, allowing life to resume after more than 24 hours of lockdown. Some residents cooped up inside all day Sunday emerged from their homes for the first time since the attacks.

"We were all stuck!" said Marcia Rainford, a 58-year-old who said she was sealed into her building complex with her mother and two children.

"We got blocked in. One whole day," she said. Luckily she had a full fridge. "I always stock up!"

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Police Commissioner Dick have toured the site of the attack and praised the quick police work that they said prevented further deaths.

Dick said Monday the attack was "ghastly," but that Londoners are pulling together and refusing to be cowed by extremists.

She said providing more firearms for London police wouldn't be a sensible solution to the increased tempo of attacks, saying the strategy of having special mobile units of heavily armed officers is effective. Khan and Dick were briefly heckled by a man who called for more police to be put on the streets.


Sheriff: ‘Multiple fatalities’ in Fla. shooting

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 9:21 p.m. (CST):

ORLANDO, Fla.— Witness accounts are beginning to emerge from a multiple shooting inside a business in an industrial park in the Orlando area.

The Associated Press talked with Shelley Adams, whose sister, Sheila McIntrye, works for the company and was in the bathroom when shots rang out.

McIntyre is safe with police now but she called her sister during the shooting, and she was very upset.

She kept repeating "My boss is dead. My boss is dead."

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings is expected to give a briefing. Officials said there were multiple fatalities and that situation is contained.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Law enforcement authorities said there were "multiple fatalities" following a Monday morning shooting in an industrial area near Orlando.

On its officials Twitter account Monday morning, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said the "situation" has been contained. They said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings will make a statement "as soon as info is accurate."

The sheriff's office reported the situation is "contained," meaning there is no longer an active shooter. The shooting was reported about 8 a.m. Monday.

Authorities closed the road near the scene and have urged motorists to "use caution." A media staging area has been set up near the scene.

Local news outlets reported that several Orange County Fire and Rescue vehicles were seen leaving the scene. A large police presence remains.

No further details were immediately available.

OCSO on shooting scene w/ multiple fatalities. Situation contained, Now investigating tragic incident & will soon have accurate information

— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 5, 2017

MORE: One confirmed shooting and multiple fatalities at Orlando, FL business, authorities say https://t.co/B7NKuUMEnd pic.twitter.com/78iiRNTWYR

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 5, 2017

#FBI joint terrorism task force official on scene of deadly shooting in #Orlando. Multiple people killed. Still awaiting updates @WESH pic.twitter.com/MpCRpoNntt

— Alex Villarreal (@AlexvWESH) June 5, 2017


Mass. weighs limits on the use of drones by police

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing regulations aimed at the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, by police and other governmental authorities.

The bill would prohibit the use of drones to "track, collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation," or other entity unless the information relates to a criminal investigation.

The proposal would also ban drones from being equipped with weapons or using facial recognition and other biometric matching technology except to identify the subject of a warrant.

The bill would allow the use of drones to serve a warrant, aide in an investigation or assist in an emergency.

The Judiciary Committee plans to hear testimony on the bill at a public hearing Monday at the Statehouse.


Run, Hide, Tell? London attack response likely saved lives

Posted on June 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Amy Forliti Associated Press

College student Vashu Tyagi was leaving his dorm and heading to a nearby bar to celebrate the end of classes Saturday night in London when he saw people running frantically down the street. As three men with large knives moved through the area, stabbing anyone in their path, police yelled at Tyagi and others to get back inside — an order he credits with saving his life.

"Obviously they gave us good advice," he said. "I'm quite lucky to be here."

As reports of stabbings in a popular London nightspot started flowing in late Saturday, police sent out a tweet warning people in the area to run, hide, then call authorities. Officers on the scene also shouted at bystanders to disperse, a response that experts say likely saved lives.

Yet while the Run, Hide, Tell strategy — known in the U.S. as Run, Hide, Fight — has been credited with saving lives in certain circumstances, some say it's not perfect, especially when a victim's first instinct might be to freeze on the spot.

"The best thing you can do is to get as far away from the source of the danger as possible," said Denis Fischbacher-Smith, a risk analyst and professor at the University of Glasgow. "But it's never going to be a universal solution. It's never going to work all the time."

Saturday's attack unfolded over a few minutes: First, a rented van veered off the road and drove into pedestrians on busy London Bridge. Three men wielding large knives got out of the van and attacked people at bars and restaurants in the popular Borough Market. The men killed seven people and injured roughly 50 before they were shot dead by police.

The Run, Hide, Tell strategy promoted by the United Kingdom's National Police Chiefs' Council says that in the event of an active attack, people should first run to a place of safety. If there is nowhere to go, hiding is the next best option, setting up barricades if possible. Then, when safe to do so, victims are urged to call police.

France has a similar strategy, and posters providing directions are meant to hang in all public places. The goal is to make sure people are vigilant and adopt the right attitude in the event of an attack, said Cedric Michel, president of the Union for Defense of Municipal Police.

Fischbacher-Smith said the strategies in Europe are an evolution of the Run, Hide, Fight approach in the United States, which started in 2012 in Houston, Texas. Run, Hide, Fight is standard protocol for active-shooter situations in the U.S. It advises people to run away if possible, get out of view, and if that's not feasible, try to incapacitate the shooter if there is an imminent threat.

Larry Barton, professor of public safety at the University of Central Florida and a threat assessment instructor for the FBI, said the strategy saves lives, but people need to make decisions quickly.

"The longer you wait and deliberate ... the chances of your survivability really diminish notably," he said.

Hiding is easier in a school setting or office, where people know the building's layout. On the street, or in a stadium or nightclub, hiding is virtually impossible. And if someone choses to fight, he or she has to be "all in," he said.

In the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, roughly 40 people hid in bathrooms — where they were trapped for hours as the gunman went through the club, then became cornered when he entered the bathroom and began shooting into stalls.

There are occasions in which people cannot protect themselves by running. Many people didn't have time to run when a truck careened into a seaside crowd in Nice, France, last year. More than 80 people died. Those who survived jumped from the promenade onto the beach below or threw loved ones out of the way.

In a study to be released later this month, Barton analyzed 61 deadly assaults in public places such as arenas, nightclubs, coffee houses or other venues from 2006 to 2016. He found that 73 percent of those who survived did so by running, and they had no injuries or moderate injuries such as a sprained ankle. Twenty percent of survivors hid, but about a third of the hiders were injured. The remaining 7 percent both ran and hid, he said.

But for those who are out enjoying life, running or hiding might be easier said than done.

Joseph LeDoux, a professor of neuroscience at New York University and head of the Emotional Brain Institute, said humans are evolutionarily programmed to freeze when there is danger, and a person can't run if they are frozen on the spot.

"It sort of short-circuits the entire slogan from the get-go," he said.

Dean Mobbs, assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology, said an individual's perception of the situation can also affect whether one flees or freezes. If someone feels they can't control a situation, or can't escape it, freezing is more likely, he said. In addition, people tend to greet horrific situations with initial disbelief, delaying their response.

But he said that after three attacks in London in as many months, Londoners are more prepared and will likely react more quickly.

One survivor of the London attack said he decided to fight before he ran and hid.

Chef Florin Morariu said he first froze when he went outside the bakery and saw two people stabbing others. Then, he said, he began fighting and hit one of the attackers on the head with a crate before police told him to run.

"There was a car with a loudspeaker saying 'go, go' and they (police) threw a grenade. ... and then I ran," he said. He then let about 20 people hide in the bakery and closed the shutters.


Doughnut delivery by drone is a peek at the future

Posted on June 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By P. Solomon Banda Associated Press

DENVER — Doughnuts were delivered Wednesday by drone to Denver's mayor and the city's police and fire departments in an event that provided a glimpse into what companies hope will be a quick, inexpensive way to get merchandise to customers.

Denver's LaMar's Donuts hired Austin, Texas-based company Drone Dispatch to deliver four boxes of doughnuts using piloted drones flown from parking lots within a block of the delivery targets.

LaMar's spokesman Temi Osifodunrin said Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit commercial drone pilots from losing sight of drones.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was outside city hall when a drone delivered doughnuts.

"This is exciting stuff and I think as we get ready for not only drones in the air, and get ready for autonomous vehicles, this is our future this is how we're going to become a more efficient 21st century nation, society quite frankly," Hancock said.

FAA officials said they were investigating to ensure the deliveries followed federal rules governing commercial drone use in populated areas. The FAA has rules that govern drone altitude, proximity to airports, and flying over people who are not part of the crew flying the drone. The organizers said they took care to comply with regulations.

"We're doing it completely legal, we have very, very short deliveries from the drone where we have a safe takeoff location and the landing area is a Drone Dispatch team member who's receiving the box of doughnuts," said Chris Bonnet, CEO of Drone Dispatch.

The drones took off from parking lots near the Denver City and County Building, the police department, the fire department and an alleyway near a pedestrian mall.

Amazon and other companies have been testing autonomous drones for deliveries, while drone maker Flirtey last year began limited deliveries for 7-Eleven in Reno, Nevada.

The doughnuts were delivered as part of a week of celebrating a tradition that dates to World War I, where Salvation Army volunteers made doughnuts for soldiers on the front lines. National Doughnut Day is celebrated the first Friday of every June.


Things to know about Ohio police shooting retrial

Posted on June 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A white former police officer is being retried in Ohio on murder charges in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist during a 2015 traffic stop in Cincinnati, one of the many cases nationwide that have raised attention to how police deal with blacks.

Jury selection resumes Monday.

Some things to know about the second trial of Ray Tensing in the slaying of the Sam DuBose:

___

WHAT'S DIFFERENT

There's a new presiding judge in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court trial: Leslie Ghiz, a former city councilwoman. First trial judge Megan Shanahan took herself off the case after a hung jury in November, saying the new trial should have "a blank slate."

The prosecution team has been overhauled, with county Prosecutor Joe Deters and his two assistants in the first trial giving way to Seth Tieger and Stacey DeGraffenreid. Deters said in January they would "bring fresh eyes" to the case while he and the other two prosecutors focus on the re-sentencing of a serial killer.

Ghiz has blocked prosecutors from showing a Great Smoky Mountains T-shirt depicting a Confederate battle flag that Tensing wore under his uniform the day of the shooting. Jurors in the first trial saw a photo of it; Tensing testified he wasn't racist and that the flag on the shirt didn't have any meaning to him. Ghiz ruled its potential prejudicial impact "far outweighed" its evidence value.

___

WHAT'S THE SAME

Tensing, now 27, again faces charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. Jurors must decide that he purposely killed DuBose, 43, to convict him of murder, a charge that carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison. The voluntary manslaughter charge means the killing happened during sudden passion or a fit of rage, carrying a possible sentence of three to 11 years.

Some legal experts have said prosecutors should have also given jurors the option of a lesser charge to consider such as reckless homicide or negligent homicide. Deters said in a recent interview with WCPO-TV he thinks the judge might do that in this trial.

Cincinnati attorney Stewart Mathews continues to lead Tensing's defense.

___

JURY SELECTION

The first trial jury consisted of six white males, four white females and two black females. The president of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, Donyetta Bailey, has been critical of the jury selection, saying prosecutors should have been more thorough in questioning and excluded some jurors who had expressed indicators of racial bias on juror questionnaires.

Some critics also pointed to the lack of black male jurors. A little more than a quarter of the county's population is black.

Although Deters said the second trial should be moved to get jurors away from intense local interest, Ghiz said it was in everyone's best interests to keep it in Cincinnati. She imposed a gag order, and has been embroiled in a legal battle with news media organizations including The Associated Press over coverage restrictions.

Mathews on Friday also asked for a change of venue, criticizing "a circus-like atmosphere."

___

KEY ISSUE

Tensing testified he feared he was going to be run over and killed as DuBose tried to drive away after he stopped him for a missing front license plate. Mathews said DuBose tried to use his vehicle as "a deadly weapon."

Prosecutors said that evidence, including Tensing's own body camera footage, countered his claim, and that there was no reason to shoot DuBose in the head from close range.

Jurors across the United States have shown a tendency to give police officers the benefit of the doubt for decisions to use deadly force under pressure.


Trump signs bills into law to help LEOs, veterans

Posted on June 4, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has signed two bills into law to help public safety officers and military veterans.

One measure prioritizes the hiring and training of veterans to become law enforcement officers, giving preference to certain Justice Department grant applications from state and local law enforcement agencies that use the money to hire veterans.

The second measure aims to speed Justice Department processing of benefit claims for survivors of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

The measure also covers claims for officers who become disabled due to injuries suffered while performing their duties, and for the educational costs of spouses and children of officers who've been killed or injured in the line of duty.

Trump says he's "very happy" to sign the bills.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); President Trump signs veteran, police officer bills

HAPPENING NOW: President Donald J. Trump signs bills aimed towards veterans and police officers.

Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Friday, June 2, 2017


NY officer dragged by car, critically injured; 2 in custody

Posted on June 4, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Authorities say a New York plainclothes police officer was critically injured when a driver he was questioning in a gunfire investigation took off, dragging the officer more than two city blocks.

A police spokesman said Officer Dalsh Veve fired his weapon as he was being dragged by the Honda Civic around midnight Saturday in Brooklyn and a 15-year-old male passenger was struck by the bullet.

Police spokesman Sgt. Lee Jones said the 35-year-old officer suffered serious head injuries and was hospitalized at Kings County Hospital. He said the teenager walked to a hospital, and police took two suspects into custody Sunday in connection with the officer's shooting.

The sergeant said Veve has nine years on the police force.


Police arrest 12 after night of terror in heart of London

Posted on June 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Katz, Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON — British police arrested a dozen people Sunday in a widening terrorism investigation after attackers used a van and large knives to kill seven people in London, and the county's major political parties temporarily suspended campaigning with only days to go before the general election.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the vote would take place as scheduled Thursday because "violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process."

The assault unfolded over a few terrifying minutes late Saturday, starting when a rented van veered off the road and barreled into pedestrians on busy London Bridge. Three men then got out of the vehicle with large knives and attacked people at bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market until they were fatally shot by police.

"They went 'This is for Allah,' and they had a woman on the floor. They were stabbing her," witness Gerard Vowls said.

Florin Morariu, a Romanian chef who works in the Bread Ahead bakery, said he saw people running and some fainting. Then two people approached another person and "began to stick the knife in ... and then I froze and I didn't know what to do."

He said he managed to get near one attacker and "hit him around the head" with a bread basket.

"There was a car with a loudspeaker saying 'go, go' and they (police) threw a grenade. ... and then I ran," he said.

London police said officers killed the attackers within eight minutes of arriving at the scene. Eight officers fired some 50 rounds, said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the force's head of counterterrorism.

The three attackers were wearing what appeared to be suicide belts, but the belts turned out to be fake. Investigators were working to determine whether others assisted them, Rowley said.

A bystander was also wounded by the gunfire, but the civilian's injuries were not believed to be critical.

Forty-eight people, including two police officers, were treated at hospitals across London. Twenty-one remained in critical condition Sunday. Among the wounded were German, French and Spanish citizens, officials said.

The death toll of seven did not include the three attackers. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a Canadian was among the dead.

Counterterrorism officers raided several addresses in Barking, an east London suburb, and arrested 12 people there Sunday, police said.

Neighbors at the site of one raid in Barking said a man who lived there resembled one of the attackers shown in news photographs.

"He's lived here for about three years," Damien Pettit said. "He's one of our neighbors. I've said hello in passing more than 50, 60 occasions. He has two young kids. He was a very nice guy."

Armed officers also conducted a raid in the East Ham area of the city.

The rampage was the third major attack in Britain in the past three months, including a similar vehicle and knife attack on Westminster Bridge in March that left five people dead.

On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in northwest England. Grande and other stars are scheduled to perform a benefit concert for victims under tight security Sunday night in Manchester.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the London attack, which the prime minister linked to Islamic extremism.

May said the attacks were not directly connected, but that "terrorism breeds terrorism" and attackers copy one another. She said five credible plots have been disrupted since March.

"It is time to say, enough is enough," she said.

Britain's official terrorism threat level was raised from "severe" to "critical" after the Manchester attack, meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered again to "severe," meaning an attack is highly likely.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Sunday that the level would remain at severe because police believe there are no perpetrators still on the loose.

A large area on the south bank of the River Thames remained cordoned off Sunday, and police told people to avoid the area. London Bridge and the adjacent train station, as well as nearby Borough subway station, were still closed.

Hours earlier, the area packed with bars and restaurants around the foodie magnet of Borough Market had been a scene of panic, as people barricaded themselves in pubs and restaurants or fled through the streets.

Medics treated the wounded near the market as shocked people cried and shouted around them. Police officers yelled at people to run from the area, and blasts were heard as officers performed a series of controlled explosions.

Renan Marquese, a sous-chef at a tapas restaurant, said he was working when he heard chaotic sounds outside.

"When I open the door I see three dead people on the floor," he said. "People running everywhere, police shouting to run away."

He said that he helped a man and his partner, even taking the woman into his arms because she was too upset to walk properly. He said it took him 20 minutes to carry her across the bridge, stumbling all the way.

"It was really scary," he said.

Amid the violence and fear were stories of compassion and heroism. The British Transport Police said one of their officers, among the first to arrive, took the attackers on armed only with his baton and was seriously wounded. He was later described as being in stable condition with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Witnesses described how passers-by threw chairs and beer glasses at the attackers in an attempt to stop them.

Richard Angell, who was in a restaurant, said he looked out, "and opposite there's a guy who is throwing a table at somebody and it's very unclear about what is happening and it turns out to be a heroic guy who saw what was happening and just bombarded these terrible cowardly people with stuff."

Vowls also saw people striking back at the attackers, and said he joined in.

"They were trying to force their way into a restaurant," he told ITV. "People were throwing bottles at them, pint glasses, whatever they could pick up. Then they went on the Wheat Sheaf (pub). ... I went 'Oi, oi cowards!' — something like that to them. And then I started picking up bottles, I threw a chair at them, a stool, glasses — anything I could get my hands on."


Police say terror attack in London, reports of fatalities

Posted on June 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON — Terrorism struck at the heart of London, police said Sunday, after a vehicle veered off the road and mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and gunshots rang out amid reports of knife attacks at nearby Borough Market.

The violence turned a summery Saturday night in an area full of bars and restaurants into a scene of panic and chaos, with officers running through crowded streets screaming for people to flee and lifeboats drafted to help clear the area.

British media reported that more than one person had been killed in the rampage.

Prime Minister Theresa May said it was a potential act of terrorism and the Metropolitan Police force said it had declared the attacks as "terrorist incidents."

Police said they were called just after 10 p.m. (2100GMT) to reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on the bridge, which crosses the River Thames in central London.

Report: Police responding to another incident at London's Borough Market. https://t.co/LGwAnI4UQp pic.twitter.com/fh00qAgjjA

— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 3, 2017

Soon after, there were reported stabbings at nearby Borough Market, an area full of bars and restaurants.

The force said armed officers were sent to the scenes and shots were fired. They did not say if officers fired the shots.

The force initially said officers were also responding to a reported third incident, in the Vauxhall area of London. But they said later that turned out to be an unrelated stabbing.

The force tweeted a warning telling people in the area to run to safety, hide and then call police if it is safe to do so.

May said that "following updates from police and security officials, I can confirm that the terrible incident in London is being treated as a potential act of terrorism."

She said it was a fast-moving investigation and her thoughts were with "those who are caught up in these dreadful events."

May's office said she would chair a meeting of the government's COBRA emergency committee on Sunday.

About two hours after the first reports of an incident, television images showed people walking away from the London Bridge area with their hands on their heads. Police tweeted that Londoners should "remain calm but be alert and vigilant."

WATCH: Police responding to several incidences across London. For the latest: https://t.co/eJLAlQ1v2Z pic.twitter.com/Vd4dVrvY95

— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 3, 2017

Nick Brandon of British Transport Police said the force had received reports of "multiple" casualties in an incident possibly involving a knife and a vehicle. He said he did not know how serious the injuries were.

Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting several pedestrians; others also said they saw a man with a knife.

Witnesses reported seeing injured people on the ground on the bridge. One, Holly Jones, told the BBC a white van veered off the road and struck as many as six people. She said she saw at least four or five people on the ground.

Another witness, Will Heaven, said he saw people who appeared to have been hit, and one being put into an ambulance.

"We saw injured people on the road, injured people on the pavement," he told Sky News.

JUST IN: Officers respond to a third incident in London, in the Vauxhall area of the city https://t.co/MlfkT1pTDs https://t.co/Y0AJtK6cRh

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 3, 2017

He added that "it did not look like an accident", saying it was clear that police "thought they were responding to something far more serious than a road traffic accident."

A man who gave only his first name, Ben, told BBC radio that he "saw a man in red with a large blade, at a guess 10 inches long, stabbing a man, about three times" near Borough Market.

Transport for London said busy London Bridge station and two others were closed at the request of police.

The incident happened on a warm Saturday night in a busy area full of bars and restaurants.

It comes less than three months after an attacker ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.

On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. After that attack, Britain's official threat level from terrorism was raised to "critical," meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered to "severe," meaning an attack is highly likely.

London police tell pub patrons to get down following multiple incidents around London Bridge https://t.co/San2hYbSIo pic.twitter.com/515jmmchgK

— ABC News (@ABC) June 3, 2017


St. Louis police sell surplus weapons for $1.2M

Posted on June 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Police Department is selling a stash of guns that bring to mind Prohibition-era gangsters for cash to put new a handgun in every officer’s holster, plus arm the department with a number of AR-15 rifles.

The rifles and about 1,525 new 9 mm Beretta handguns will be paid for largely by the sale of 27 Thompson submachine guns, some dating to the 1920s. The proceeds from the vintage weapons will cover about half of the new arsenal — the first shipment of which is expected to arrive in August. The sale of the Berettas currently used by officers and other surplus weapons will make up the rest.

St. Louis decommissioned its Thompson submachine guns about 60 years ago. They have been stored in a basement bunker inside the police academy ever since. The guns, more commonly known as Tommy guns, were often the weapon of choice among gangsters during the Roaring ’20s and the 1930s, but they were also carried by lawmen of the time. In later years, FBI agents carried them.

Chesterfield-based Police Trades is the broker for the $1.2 million deal, which was signed in January by then-Chief Sam Dotson. Raymond Reynolds, the president of Police Trades and a retired St. Louis police lieutenant, is somewhat of a history buff with an affection for the iconic guns. He said he found original paperwork showing that the department had paid about $125 a piece for the submachine guns.

The department’s new handguns will cost $450 each, said Carol Shepard, the police department’s purchasing procurement manager. The department’s current Beretta handguns are more than 10 years old, and becoming obsolete, making replacement parts nearly impossible to come by, she said. One of them failed to fire during a training exercise, Shepard added.

“The original reason to sell the weapons was to purchase new duty weapons, and we did so well on the sale, we will be able to purchase rifles as well, by our own actions without using any budget money,” Shepard said. “That was the most important thing for us. We made our own money to take care of our own problem.”

Once additional equipment is purchased for the new handguns, Shepard said there will be about $350,000 left over to buy a number of AR-15 rifles for the department.

Interim Chief Lawrence O’Toole has said rifles will be assigned only to a certain number of officers per district. The department will have a policy regarding how and when the rifles can be used to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate shows of force and avoid escalating tension in the community, O’Toole has said.

Difficult to auction

The department had discussed auctioning the Tommy guns in May 2014, but only those who hold a federal license can buy such weapons. Obtaining a permit can take up to a year. An applicant must pass a background check, pay a $200 federal tax and notify the local police chief of the purchase.

That requirement severely limits the market, Shepard said.

In addition, the ATF must approve the transfer of the Tommy guns — a process that can take 90 days, Reynolds said.

A local dealer appraised the department’s collection in 2014 at $770,000. It includes rare 1921 and 1927 Colts and a model made in 1942.

Kentucky-based Midwest Distributors will pay $22,000 for each of the department’s 27 Tommy guns, which makes up the bulk of the $618,500 the company is spending to buy the department’s surplus weapons.

A second company, Minneapolis-based Bill Hicks & Co., will buy 1,748 Beretta handguns that have served as the department’s duty weapons for about $221 apiece. The same company will buy a number of 223 carbine rifles and some other guns from the department, for a total of about $597,000.

Reynolds said police firearms are in high demand because they usually are well-maintained and only fired during training exercises.

“But at some point it costs more (to the city) to maintain them than the value they will receive for selling them,” Reynolds said.

Once the companies buy the department’s surplus weapons, they will be sold only to those who pass background checks. Reynolds’ company will allow St. Louis police officers to buy back their duty weapons as personal weapons if they so desire.

The contract between Reynolds and the police department has been awaiting approval from the city counselor’s office. The comptroller’s office also must approve it. Once the contract is final, the department will contact Police Trades and start transferring the weapons, Shepard said.

The department isn’t letting go of all of its nostalgic Tommy guns. It is keeping two of them to be displayed inside the crime lab, she said.

St. Louis police sell surplus weapons, including Tommy guns, for $1.2 million https://t.co/v9X37KPeDP via @stltoday

— Christine Byers (@ChristineDByers) May 30, 2017

———

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Chicago, Trump administration have draft police reform deal

Posted on June 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Tarm and Herbert G. Mccann Associated Press

CHICAGO — The city of Chicago and the U.S. Justice Department have negotiated a draft agreement that calls for an independent monitor to oversee police department reforms, though it is unclear if there will be court oversight at some stage in the future, an official in the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday.

The appointment of a monitor would occur if the Justice Department gives final approval to the "memorandum of agreement," which includes a framework for adopting and implementing reforms federal officials said were needed in the Chicago Police Department, according to a person in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak on the record.

The Justice Department is currently giving a final review of the draft.

"We are hopeful that it will be executed soon and the process of selecting an independent monitor can begin shortly thereafter," the source said in an email to The Associated Press. "Of all the reform actions we have taken, this is undoubtedly the most significant to date and it will guide future reforms for years to come."

The Justice Department in January — just before Donald Trump's inauguration as president — issued a scathing report on civil rights abuses by Chicago's police department over the years. It found that institutional problems had led to serious civil rights violations, including a tendency to use excessive force. The investigation began in 2015 after the release of dashcam video showing a white officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, 16 times.

The proposal suggests that the Trump administration has decided to take a different approach from that of President Barack Obama's administration, which typically took a negotiated plan to a federal judge to make it legally binding in the form of a "consent decree." Under Obama, it was the court that also appointed a monitor, answerable to the court, to ensure police complied with the agreed reforms.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed reservations about consent decrees, saying they can unfairly malign all officers for the actions of some bad-apple officers. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions questioned the use of consent decrees and the involvement of federal courts. He said one risk was that such legal actions can "undermine the respect for police officers." Police unions — many of which endorse Trump during the presidential campaign — have shared those concerns.

Advocates of consent decrees say they are the best way ensure police departments enact reforms. A judge, independent of political appointees or a White House administration's policy, can determine of departments aren't complying and force them to comply via a court order.

Emanuel has said previously the city will embark on reforms of the police department whether or not the Justice Department enters into an agreement with his administration. "The mayor and the (police) superintendent have made it clear, repeatedly, that Chicago is committed to reform, not just for the short term, but for the long term," the source said Friday.

The 161-page report on Chicago's 12,000-officer police force concluded that it had been too quick to use excessive force and shoot at suspects even when they posed no threat. It also pointed to a "pervasive cover-up culture." The document blamed bad training, describing one instance where an aspiring officer slept through an academy class on the proper use of force.

Up to now, there's been virtually information on the negotiations between the city of Chicago and the Justice Department to hammer out a detailed reform plan. Under the Obama administration talks with far smaller cities than Chicago have taken more than six months. Many legal observers said negotiations with Chicago were likely to last at least that long.

A two-page joint statement released with the Chicago report, called an "Agreement in Principle," signed by Emanuel and federal officials, committed the sides to extensive reforms under a future consent decree. It says that should include close judicial oversight and that a court-appointed monitor under a consent decree would ensure Chicago is meeting its reform commitments.


RI police anti-profiling measure OK’d

Posted on June 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island's largest city has approved final passage of a police accountability measure proponents say could be a national model to prevent discriminatory profiling based on race, gender identity and immigration status.

The Providence City Council voted 13-1 to pass the ordinance Thursday.

The all-Democrat council had voted 12-0 to approve it in April, but a required second vote was delayed after the police union called it a "slap in the face." The union this week expressed satisfaction with some changes made to it since April but said just before the vote it still couldn't support it.

The ordinance aims to "end racial profiling and codify into law best practices in police conduct from around the country," the council said in a statement.

The legislation was approved with recommended amendments from a panel including community members, police and police union officials, the city solicitor, council representatives and others, the council said. The final version of it reflects the panel's recommendation to change its name from the Community Safety Act to the Providence Community-Police Relations Act "to better demonstrate its intent," the council said.

Democratic Mayor Jorge Elorza has said he'll sign it into law.

The law would mandate policies for police body cameras and reform the police department's gang database.

The ordinance, first introduced in 2014, incorporates practices adopted from cities including New York, which has the nation's biggest police department, and Seattle.

The council said highlights of the Providence Community-Police Relations Act include:

— Prohibiting racial and other forms of discriminatory profiling

— Establishing how police officers will document and collect data from traffic and pedestrian stops

— Mandating greater transparency and accountability in police-community interactions

— Establishing new protections for juveniles, immigrants and transgender people

— Improving and codifying policies for use of the police gang database

— Improving language access for people who have limited English proficiency.


Man convicted of selling fatal drug dose gets a year in jail

Posted on June 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — A former University of Massachusetts graduate student convicted of involuntary manslaughter for providing the heroin that led to the overdose death of an undergraduate working as an informant for campus police has been sentenced to serve a year in jail.

Jesse Carrillo, of Derry, New Hampshire, received a 2 ½-year sentence Thursday, with a year to serve and the remainder suspended for five years of probation.

Carrillo provided the heroin that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Eric Sinacori in his off-campus Amherst apartment in October 2013.

The death of the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, man came 10 months after police recruited him to be an informant and in exchange dropped a drug investigation he faced. The university has since discontinued the program, which came under fire from Sinacori's parents.


Officials: Opioid bust in Utah shows far reach of small ring

Posted on June 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By Lindsay Whitehurst Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. authorities said they have busted a multimillion-dollar opioid-drug ring based in a suburban Salt Lake City basement, underscoring how a small operation can quickly turn out hundreds of thousands of potentially fatal fentanyl pills to buyers nationwide.

The seizure of nearly 500,000 pills ranks among the largest in the country, U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber said Wednesday. The group, who met working at eBay, bought drugs from China and pressed them into fake prescription drugs sold online, Huber said.

"What disturbs me is people can so easily get into this business and exploit it for their profit," he said.

The drugs were especially dangerous because they were manufactured to look like prescription pain pills, he said. Users could have overdosed more easily because they didn't realize they were taking the more powerful fentanyl — the drug blamed for the death of entertainer Prince.

Officials believe they can trace 8,000 drug shipments to buyers around the country back to the operation in the upscale suburb of Cottonwood Heights, Huber said. Investigators say it made $2.8 million in less than a year.

Authorities unveiled an 11-count indictment against six people accused of participating in an operation that first came to light in November with the arrest of 27-year-old Aaron Shamo, the group's suspected ringleader.

If convicted on the first count alone, knowingly engaging in a criminal enterprise, Shamo could face up to life in prison. His lawyer, Greg Skordas, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prosecutors say he had a partner, Drew Wilson Crandall, 30, who was arrested in Hawaii in early May. Crandall's lawyer, Jim Bradshaw, declined to comment.

Agents found guns and more than $1 million in cash stuffed in garbage bags in the raid on Shamo's Cottonwood Heights home, prosecutors say, as well as the pills made to look like Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, and the painkiller oxycodone.

Four other people also are charged with helping package the drugs and send them to customers, many through the mail.

The case shows that a relatively small number of people can have an outsize effect as the country deals with an opioid crisis, said Brian Besser, district agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"America has an inescapable appetite for drugs," he said. "Until we can change the paradigm on how we deal with pain and how we self-medicate, this problem is going to continue to proliferate."


3 officers wounded, suspect dead in Texas shootout

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LAREDO, Texas — A murder suspect has been killed and three police officers wounded in a shootout at a Laredo convenience store.

Detective Joe Baeza, the Laredo police spokesman, said officers had been searching all day Friday for 55-year-old Antonio Geraldo Rodriguez. He was suspected in the fatal shooting of his 50-year-old girlfriend, Reyna Gonzalez Zamora, at her apartment.

Baeza said three officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of one driven by Rodriguez outside a convenience store about 5 p.m. Friday. As the officers approached, Rodriguez opened fire, drawing return fire from the officers.

Baeza says Rodriguez died at Doctors Hospital of Laredo. One officer was in critical but stable condition at University Hospital in San Antonio. The other two are in serious but stable condition at Laredo Medical Center.


What is a DUNS number?

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Dunlap, P1 Contributor

A DUNS number, which stands for Data Universal Numbering System, is a free, unique nine-digit number issued by Dun & Bradstreet to a single business entity.

Your number is yours alone, even if you go out of business. D&B does not reuse or reissue numbers to a second business.

Who can get a DUNS number?

The DUNS number is often called the "Social Security Number" for businesses, but there are millions more DUNS numbers than Social Security numbers and any business in the world can apply for and get a DUNS number. Just about anyone can get a DUNS number, including:

Businesses Non-profits Government entities Self-employed individuals

Physicians, lawyers, and contractors, examples of self-employed professionals engaged in a specific commercial business activity, can obtain a DUNS number.

Why do I need a DUNS number?

The U.S. Federal government uses DUNS numbers to identify organizations and companies doing business with the government and provide consistent name and address data for its grant application systems. If you want to bid on government contracts or apply for government grants, you need a DUNS number.

Obtaining a DUNS number is the first step in registering with the Federal government procurement systems:

1. DUNS number

2. System for Award Management (SAM) registration

3. Grants.gov registration

You will also need a DUNS number when you register with any Federal agency-specific grant module, such as the National Institutes of Health eRA Commons; the National Science Foundation FastLane; and NASA NSPIRE. This is very important. If you do not complete all your registrations, you cannot submit your application.

Last fall, I worked with a company on a NASA grant application. My client had its DUNS number and registered with NASA NSPIRE. When we started submitting the application, we discovered they had not registered with SAM. We had seven days before the deadline, but it took eight days to get the SAM registration approved. Eight days, in itself, is a miracle. I tell folks to expect at least two weeks, and up to four weeks, to get their SAM registration approved.

How do I get a DUNS number?

You have two main ways to apply for a DUNS number. The first is to register through the Dun & Bradstreet website. The second way is to use the Government iUpdate website. You will need the same information, but from what I have read, the process is easier using the iUpdate website and the SAM website recommends using the iUpdate process.

What information do I need to register for a DUNS number?

You will need the following information to register for a DUNS number:

• Legal name • Business headquarters name and address • Your DBA (Doing Business As), if your business is commonly identified by a different name than your legal business name • Business physical address: street, city, state, zip • Mailing address, if it is different from your physical address • Telephone number • Contact name and title • Number of employees at your physical location • Whether you are a home-base business

Dun and Bradstreet will then verify your identity to safeguard your organization’s data. They will use a series of challenge questions based on your geographical and demographic data. Once you have passed the challenge questions, you will create you user ID and password.

It usually takes between one and five days to get your DUNS registration approved, though it might take longer. Don’t wait until the last minute.

If you don’t know if you already have a DUNS number, you can go to DUNS number lookup. You can search by your organization name and location or by your telephone number. If your search comes up negative, you don’t have one.

You should also know the General Services Administration is looking at replacing the DUNS number, in use since the 1970s, with another identification system, once its contract with Dun and Bradstreet expires in 2018.


Blast injuries: 4 types cops need to know

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dr. David K. Tan, P1 Contributor

The use of explosive devices against civilian targets is one of the most serious terrorism threats we face in the United States and abroad. According to FBI statistics and other terrorism research, bombings continue to dominate as the attack mode of choice among terrorists.

Why? Explosives are readily available. Several billion pounds are made legally each year in the United States. Explosive devices are relatively low-tech and scalable with simple delivery and guidance options. For these and many other reasons, first responders will continue to be called upon to mitigate the effects of bombings and other incidents involving the use of explosive devices or weapons.

According to a study from the Israeli Trauma Group published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, "Terrorist bombings inflict injury of a distinctly different pattern than do other means of trauma." An awareness of these differences among medical teams, to include prehospital personnel, may improve outcomes of these patients.

The study looked at 966 victims of terrorist bombings and compared them to 55,033 patients injured by non-terror trauma incidents. Victims of bomb blasts were found to have a higher Injury Severity Score (ISS), lower initial Glasgow Coma Scale, lower systolic blood pressure at admission, greater surface area of injury and a much higher need for intensive care unit services. The study authors concluded that the most logical explanation for this new class of trauma casualties was the combination of simultaneously acting mechanisms of trauma imparted by the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary blast injury effect.

Blast injury

EMS providers, as well as police officers and firefighters who are likely to assist in triage and moving patients to a casualty collection point, should have a basic understanding of the four types of blast injury.

1. Primary blast injury

Primary blast injury is due to the supersonic over-pressurization blast wave unique to high-order (HE) explosives. HE devices involve a detonation or the nearly instantaneous transformation of solid or liquid into a gas state. When this blast over-pressure wave strikes body surfaces, it can cause pulmonary barotrauma, rupture of the eardrum, perforation of gas-filled structures like the intestines or gallbladder, ocular rupture and concussion – even in the absence of obvious physical head injury.

2. Secondary blast injury

Low-order (LE) explosions are typically deflagrations whose exothermic wave is subsonic and isn’t nearly as powerful. By definition, LE explosions are unable to cause primary blast injury. However, it may cause injury resulting from flying debris, bomb fragments and projectiles causing blunt and penetrating trauma known as secondary blast injury.

When documenting injury from pieces of a device itself, it is more correct to use the term fragmentation as opposed to "shrapnel." Shrapnel injury technically can only come from actual shrapnel shells where relatively low velocity lead balls are ejected from a casing that remains intact.

3. Tertiary blast injuries

Tertiary blast injury results from the human body actually being thrown by the blast wind and may manifest as fractures, traumatic amputations and brain injuries.

4. Quaternary blast injuries

Quaternary blast injury is everything else not caused by primary, secondary or tertiary mechanisms. Examples include burns, angina, crush injuries, asthma or COPD exacerbations due to dust, smoke or toxic fumes.

HE explosives can cause all four primary categories of injury, but its unique ability to cause primary blast injury makes it most fearsome. Patients who are close enough to a blast epicenter of a HE explosive typically do not require the medical attention of first responders as they are often unsalvageable by mass casualty triage standards.

Most surviving victims of an explosion suffer from secondary blast injury and some measure of tertiary and quaternary blast injury. Responders should note these multi-dimensional injury patterns and recognize that even victims who do not look severely injured may be hiding potentially lethal internal damage necessitating transport to a trauma center.

Coordinated response

While triage and transport are taking place, it is also important to remain mindful of the potential for additional explosive devices designed to injure responding personnel. Having a coordinated response from EMS, fire and law enforcement – including the explosive ordnance disposal unit, the bomb squad, is not only good politics, but may also be lifesaving for you and your colleagues in the event of a terrorist bombing incident. Be sure to know your local protocols and standing orders for management of blast injury and advocate for joint agency training for the ever-present threat of improvised explosive devices.

Explosions and Blast Injuries Primer by Ed Praetorian on Scribd


About the author David K. Tan, M.D., EMT-T, FAEMS, is associate professor and chief of EMS in the division of emergency medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is double board-certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS Medicine by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Tan remains very active in EMS at the local, state and national levels as an operational medical director for local police, fire, and EMS agencies, Vice-chairman of the Missouri State Advisory Council on EMS, and President-Elect of the National Association of EMS Physicians. Dr. Tan is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. He also provides medical direction to EMS1.com, the EMS1 Academy, the Clayton Fire Department, and serves as the Tactical Physician and Medical Director for the St. Charles County Police Department.


5 things to know about the Ford carbon monoxide hazard

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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Police departments across the country are searching for answers after a potential design flaw in Ford Explorers allegedly resulted in multiple incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. The popular law enforcement vehicle is now at the center of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the company has faced multiple lawsuits.

1. Cops are getting sick, and their cruisers might be the culprits.

One of the first police-involved incidents that garnered widespread attention occurred in Newport Beach, California in 2015. An officer driving a Ford Explorer to a non-emergency call crashed into a tree after falling ill and losing consciousness behind the wheel.

The officer, Brian McDowell, suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured eye socket and traumatic brain injury. After months of medical tests failed to reveal what had caused McDowell to pass out, the officer discovered hundreds of complaints alleging the Explorer had a problem with carbon monoxide leaking into the cabin. The officer filed a lawsuit against Ford.

The Austin Police Department is investigating multiple cases of cops who suspect they were poisoned or nearly poisoned by carbon monoxide in their vehicles. After one LEO nearly passed out in March, the PD installed carbon monoxide detectors inside the cars in an effort to combat the issue. The officer who was sickened in March has yet to return to full duty, and many agencies in Texas have since installed detectors inside their Explorers as well. Other states are also following suit. The Teton County Sheriff’s Office and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho, for example, put in the devices earlier this year.

Tony Liford, TCSO’s sheriff, told the East Idaho News:

“What’s concerning to me is we got no notification from Ford that this was a problem. I would expect notifications to law enforcement agencies since this is such a popular vehicle.”

In April, a Henderson, Louisiana officer lost consciousness behind the wheel of her Explorer and flipped it. Doctors determined the incident was the result of carbon monoxide poisoning at “near lethal” levels.

2. What is the suspected cause?

According to reports, the issue is believed to be caused by the vehicle accelerating and the air conditioning running in recirculation mode.

3. The incidents have spurred multiple lawsuits and a federal investigation.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into 2011-2015 Ford Explorer models after receiving over 100 complaints related to the carbon monoxide problem. Although the 2016 and 2017 models are not currently under investigation, the NHTSA has also received complaints for both of those versions of the vehicle. The NHTSA is currently looking into the Henderson incident, which occurred in a 2016 Explorer.

Ford has also faced multiple lawsuits. One, filed in Florida, was settled in 2016. Another in Illinois was dismissed earlier this year.

4. How is Ford responding to the issue?

The company issued a statement in response to the allegations:

"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do. In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers. While it poses no safety risk, customers can and are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealer to address any concerns.?"

The company also sent two technical service bulletins to dealerships – one in 2012 and a follow up in 2014 – with software updates and instructions to replace and seal certain parts of the vehicle. However, complaints have persisted.

A recall has not been issued.

5. What are the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Because carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, it can be difficult to determine hazardous exposure until it’s too late.

Signs and symptoms of poisoning may include:

Dull headache Weakness Dizziness Nausea or vomiting Shortness of breath Confusion Blurred vision

If you’re experiencing these symptoms and believe you’ve been poisoned, seek medical attention immediately.


SC police chief, captain allegedly broke in fellow cop’s home

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PAGELAND, S.C. — A Pageland police chief and captain are accused of breaking into a fellow officer’s home while he was away in an attempt to reprimand him for missing work.

Officer Brandon Roberts filed a report saying that Police Chief Greg Greenlee and Capt. Dean Short broke into his home, intimidating him for missing work, WCNC reported.

Roberts was scheduled for duty Monday, but attended a family function instead. He received several missed calls from Greenlee and learned the duo was waiting for him at his home.

When he arrived home, multiple items, including a family photo album, a hung cross and a wedding cup, were on the floor. His police radio and utility belt were missing as well, the report states.

After he was reprimanded for missing work, Greenlee and Short gave him back his gear. Roberts was told to “get your ass to work.” According to the report, Greenlee asked Roberts to also write an essay about “why he wants to be a Pageland police officer.”

An investigation is ongoing.


How one sheriff’s office uses integrated data management to gain actionable intelligence

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by ProPhoenix.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

The growing burden of data management poses a pressing operational challenge for law enforcement agencies. Successful data management requires thoughtful policies and the right software tools to handle reporting and analysis so the information can be used to develop leads, solve crimes and better serve the community.

Captain Brian Barkow commands the Law Enforcement Analytics Division of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. This team of six provides tactical, operational and strategic analysis for the entire agency, which has used the ProPhoenix platform since late 2007 to manage its data in a single repository.

Barkow said the sheriff’s office has always been forward-thinking, especially when it comes to technology.

“In 2008 the whole intelligence piece of policing really wasn’t there yet. It was on the horizon, but most departments didn’t know that they needed to have an intelligence or analytics division,” he said. “We wanted to get out in front of the technology and be more efficient and more effective in what we do.”

The agency had considered several records management systems before choosing ProPhoenix because they found it the most user-friendly and the most cost-effective. Additionally, as a sheriff’s office, they needed a system that could handle civil process.

“Cost was obviously one of the factors, but more important than cost is we were looking for a solution that was easy to use, easy to learn and offered expansion of scope and capabilities,” said Barkow.

A single platform for reporting and analysis

Adopting the ProPhoenix records management system made a huge difference, said Barkow. With a single, fully integrated database, officers no longer had to spend valuable time entering information at multiple points because the software automatically filters it throughout the system. Additionally, eliminating duplicate data entry decreased opportunity for error, greatly improving the quality of the agency’s data.

The agency switched its existing computer-assisted dispatch to the ProPhoenix CAD with the Wireless Digital Assistant mobile app in 2014 for full interoperability. (The ProPhoenix suites – RMS, CAD, WDA – are fully integrated, but each requires its own subscription fee for unlimited agency access to the various modules within.)

Details from the CAD are populated into the RMS and delivered to the officer in the field via the WDA, where they become the bones for an officer’s incident report.

This allows officers to stay out in the field and file reports directly from their squads rather than take themselves out of service to go back to the office. The details from these reports are likewise filtered seamlessly throughout the system.

No customization is required for complete interoperability, and training time is minimal, said Barkow. The system also makes it easy to share information with court officers.

“We’re able to follow a call from the time it comes in to our communications center all the way through a charging conference with the DA to a conviction or adjudication in the court system,” said Barkow.

Faster, more accurate reporting

The agency also gained the ability to search for and classify reports and incidents quickly and easily, and the ProPhoenix RMS takes care of CompStat, UCR and NIBRS reporting. Once a report is filed, the system automatically submits it to the state, which in turn sends it to the FBI.

“All of our different dashboards and CompStat reports are automatically generated based on the data that’s contained within ProPhoenix,” he said. “Everything we do is integrated.”

Before adopting the ProPhoenix RMS, two full-time clerical staff handled the UCR reporting and submitting through a separate database. Now one person manages those reports within the system.

“You’re killing two birds with one stone,” said Barkow. “The process is built into the everyday report writing that an officer does.”

The ProPhoenix platform is web-based, which means it can be deployed anywhere, and Barkow said it’s very easy to integrate the data from ProPhoenix into other web analytics or software.

The agency also takes advantage of the Key Global Information Sharing feature, which allows ProPhoenix users nationwide to share investigative data such as names, incident reports and vehicle data through a secure internet connection.

Analysis and actionable intelligence

You can’t control what you can’t measure, said Barkow, and the ProPhoenix system does all the measuring so the sheriff’s office can focus on law enforcement. For example, the agency analyzes crash patterns and maps so they can see where and how they should boost enforcement.

“Our chief benefit is the amount of data and analysis and intelligence that we’re able to collect and analyze,” he said. “We don’t spend any time counting anything because the system does all that and delivers actionable intelligence. All we have to do is look at the dashboard.”

The system handles data validation and quality assurance for the agency, and real-time updates mean they are working with timely, accurate data, something Barkow said was sorely lacking before adopting ProPhoenix.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office is now much more confident in the actions chosen for response because their data and analysis are much more timely and accurate, he added.

“It helps to justify why we do what we do and where we do it,” said Barkow. “Given the climate nowadays about law enforcement, that’s an important thing, and we share with community groups why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Updates, improvements and customer service

Early in 2016, Barkow asked ProPhoenix to create a social media module that links online accounts to known individuals and groups already in the system. Working closely with Barkow’s team, the company developed the module at no cost, and Barkow said they have already made several arrests based on information gleaned from it. ProPhoenix plans to roll out the module to all customers as part of the RMS suite in the next update.

Barkow said he is pleased with the customer service ProPhoenix provides and recommends the system to anyone who asks.

“We’re obviously very happy with it because we keep expanding it,” he said. “For an agency looking to do amazing things with their data and the intelligence they’re able to gather from their data, ProPhoenix is really the solution they should be looking at.”


Slain police chief’s widow sues fugitive’s wife, son

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Joe Mandak Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — The widow of a Pennsylvania police chief slain in 1980 is suing the wife of the FBI fugitive in the case, saying investigators recently found a hidden room in her Massachusetts home where the suspect may have hid from authorities a decade or more after the shooting, the widow and her attorney said Friday.

A writ of summons filed Thursday targets Lillian Webb and son Stanley Webb, both of North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The filing signals an intention to file a detailed complaint on behalf of Mary Ann Jones, 64, the widow of Saxonburg police Chief Greg Adams, and their two sons on grounds of wrongful death-murder and two civil conspiracy claims — accessory after the fact and hindering apprehension of a murderer.

The basis of the lawsuit is recent information the FBI has shared with the family about the manhunt for Donald Eugene Webb, attorney Thomas King III said. Jones, who remarried in 1989, said FBI agents told her that Webb may have hidden out in the home in short stints in the 1990s.

"We were told about two weeks ago, by one of the (FBI) agents, that they had discovered a hidden room, a secret room, in Mrs. Webb's home," King said. "And in that room they found a cane."

The cane is significant because investigators have long believed Chief Adams shot Webb in the leg before he sped away from the deadly traffic stop on Dec. 4, 1980.

Webb is also named as a defendant, though it's unclear whether he's still alive. FBI records list his birthday as either July 14, 1928 or 1931, meaning he'd be 88 or 85.

Webb was a career criminal who specialized in jewelry store heists along the East Coast when authorities believe he came to Saxonburg, about 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh, to case a store there. Adams pulled over Webb for running a stop sign and a neighbor called 911 after hearing gunshots before Adams was found shot twice in the chest.

Webb's rental car was found more than two weeks later at a motel in Warwick, Rhode Island. Blood in the car suggests he had been shot in the leg, King said, and the Pennsylvania State Police have recently been asked to do DNA tests on that blood to confirm it is Webb's. Webb was identified as a suspect because he left behind a fake driver's license in the name Stanley Portas — Lillian Webb's dead husband — one of several aliases Donald Webb was known to use.

Lillian and Stanley Webb didn't immediately return calls Friday to phone numbers listed to them in North Dartmouth. Public records indicate Lillian Webb, 82, has lived in the home since December 1989 and Stanley, 60, has listed it as his home though he now has a separate address in the same town. Neighbors told WFXT-TV on Thursday that FBI agents have repeatedly visited Lillian Webb's home.

FBI officials in Pittsburgh and Boston declined to comment on the lawsuit or King's claim that agents plan to release new details in the case later this month. Boston FBI spokeswoman Kristen Setera said there's still a $100,000 reward for information leading to Webb's arrest or his remains.

The family's lawsuit seeks more than $1 million, but King said, "The damage done to this family can never be compensated for. Two little boys grew up without their father and a wife had to go to bed every night and wake up without her husband."


6 common factors in ambush wins

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Richard Fairburn
Author: Richard Fairburn

In "How 2 Wis. police officers thwarted an ambush attack", I detailed how two cops won a fight during a Sheboygan, Wisconsin armed robbery call which was found to be the first phase of a deadly premeditated ambush. I advanced my opinion that their rapid, silent response – coupled with an explosive and overwhelming counter-attack – saved several police lives that night. But that was an analysis of a single ambush victory.

Through feedback to that article, I have accumulated details on more ambush wins. Some were from contacts who responded to the article and more were brought to me in person at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association conference the following week in St. Louis. Those of us who research police incidents avidly analyze the details in the hope we can identify a pattern of facts. In the details of these ambush wins, no analysis is needed, the reasons for the victories jump off the pages because they are virtually all alike!

The six common factors leading to these ambush wins:

1. Stealthy approach: Giving the officers the element of surprise

2. Think ambush/kill zone: Could this call be an ambush? Where would I be? How can I avoid a kill zone?

3. High alert: Attention to small details (sights, sounds, etc.)

4. Instant response: No hesitation in taking aggressive action

5. Counterattack: No withdrawal or retreat – attacking forward

6. Overwhelming use of force: De-escalation through superior firepower

Bristol, Tennessee

About 15 hours before the terrible ambush attack in Dallas, Texas, three Bristol PD officers confronted a man bent on killing as many cops as he could. The first call was a 911 dispatch of a motel night clerk who had been shot several times through the front window of the establishment. More calls immediately flooded in from drivers of vehicles shot along the nearby parkway; one driver was killed and others were wounded by glass and bullet fragments. Officer Matthew Cousins, the shift sergeant, was second on-scene. He and the first arriving officer approached from a retail business next to the hotel and their response had been silent – no lights or sirens. The third arriving officer was responding Code 3, lights and sirens, as Cousins attempted to catch up to his first officer. Cousins is a K-9 handler, who kept his M4 carbine in the trunk due to space limitations up front. A 23-year veteran U.S. Army Infantry NCO, with a combat tour under his belt serving with the 101st Airborne, Cousins immediately spotted 5.56 mm casings on the dark parking lot, telling him the shooter had a long gun.

Cousins told his first officer, who was already armed with an M4, to hold up while he got his from the trunk. The third officer was just arriving with lights and sirens activated. As Cousins turned toward his vehicle, he spotted the killer who was trying to flank the officers and attack them from behind. The killer’s AR15 was slung and he had a pistol in-hand, so Cousins immediately engaged the killer with his own pistol, advancing steadily toward the threat as he fired, putting the attacker down. The downed attacker was fumbling with his carbine, attempting to get it into action, so Cousins and both other officers fired again, ending the fight. Cousins took a minor hit in the ankle from one of the attacker’s rounds which skipped off the pavement.

When one of the other officers asked Cousins why he advanced steadily toward his attacker during the two pistol-fire engagements, his explanation was simple: "I had trained for 23 years in the infantry to attack directly into a close ambush, using overwhelming firepower during the counterattack." Cousins did exactly what good trainers have always told us, you will fight the way you train.

The killer, also an Army veteran, survived and pleaded guilty to life in prison. He also stated he could have easily killed the first arriving officer but was surprised to see the third arriving officer was also black, causing him to hesitate for a moment.

In Sheboygan, the officers’ stealthy response and alert approach allowed them to perceive the small detail that the seemingly calm patrons were all staring at the side door. The heavily armed attacker exited that door a second later – into the officers’ own impromptu ambush. In Bristol, Cousins also arrived silent and spotted the small detail of the fired rifle casings, causing him to turn to get his own rifle and thereby spot the attacker who was working around on their six.

St. Louis, Missouri

At the ILEETA conference, a sergeant from St. Louis PD sat on the active shooter/ambush panel during the four-hour session. Charles told us the details of July 14, 2015 – the night he was ambushed during a hire-back security detail after his normal patrol shift.

Seated in his personal vehicle overlooking a central West End neighborhood, Charles had his external body armor carrier lying on the seat next to him. The night was brutally hot and humid and the car was uncomfortable, even running his A/C full blast. When most of us would be struggling to stay awake, the sergeant remained alert. He noticed two men on foot a distance off to his left, paying close attention to him. They lingered long enough for him to pay close attention to them. The subjects wandered off before he could call a beat car to check them out. Still, Charles said every hair on his body stood on end, a feeling he had never before experienced.

At this point in Charles’ story, the room full of cops fell completely silent. He stated he heard a loud and distinct voice in his car say "Put your vest on." The sergeant was so startled, he looked in the back seat to make sure he was alone and the voice in his ear repeated "Son, put your vest on." He put his vest on.

Seconds later, a vehicle drove rapidly from left to right in front of Charles’ car, stopping in front of him. The passenger door flew open and when the attacker’s bandana slipped down, Charles immediately recognized the face of one of the men who had previously been watching him.

The attacker instantly began firing through the sergeant’s windshield (at least 14 shots) and Charles just as instantly began firing his issue Beretta sidearm back through the glass, commenting how clearly he saw his night sights. Tracking the attacker who ran to his left, rounds were now hitting the sergeant’s side window and outside mirror. Our good guy shot his pistol empty and quickly stroked a reload before exiting his car to chase the suspect. The sergeant’s vest – and just as importantly his alertness, instant response and violent counterattack – saved his life that dark morning.

More wins are coming in

The unofficial count of fatal police ambush attacks in 2016 was 21. I suspect there are many more ambush wins out there, they are simply not tracked because an officer wasn’t killed. Let me know if you were ambushed so we can further refine this list of survival lessons.

Be safe out there. Live on Condition Yellow and watch your six.

As our friend Sgt. Charles from St. Louis PD says, "When you hear that little voice, listen to it."

Remember this survival motto: Not here, not today! Today, I will win the fight!


How PTSD affects men and women differently

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Richard Fairburn

By Rachel Engel

People experience traumatic events every day, some of whom begin experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. When it comes to genders, though, do men and women display PTSD symptoms at the same rate and of the same variety? Or do they vary?

With the number of women pursuing careers as first responders and military service members increasing, so is the need to effectively study the effects of PTSD on women in those fields. Long-considered to be male-dominated careers, those professions are now shared by both genders, and the effects of PTSD related to on-the-job incidents can no longer focus solely on the male perspective.

Are men and women diagnosed with PTSD at different rates?

Research says that men are more likely to experience a traumatic event, but that women are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic symptoms from a traumatic event. In fact, in the general population, women are more than twice as likely at 10 percent to experience PTSD symptoms, compared to four percent of men who experience a similar traumatic event. When it comes to professions that are prone to receiving a PTSD diagnosis, however, rates among men and women are equal.

Does the type of traumatic event matter when it comes to gender?

The types of traumatic events that often lead to a PTSD diagnosis don’t change regardless of the gender of the person experiencing the event. Life threatening situations, such as military combat, natural disaster, terrorist incidents, medical accidents and physical or sexual assault are all examples experienced by both genders that can lead to PTSD symptoms and diagnosis.

Do PTSD symptoms differ between men and women?

While both genders do experience some of the same symptoms, there are others that are unique to men and women, depending on the type of traumatic event experienced, and their emotional response to it based on genetic makeup.

PTSD symptoms commonly seen in both:

Hyperarousal Reliving the traumatic event Susceptible to “triggers” that remind them of the event

PSTD symptoms commonly seen in men:

More likely to feel angry Often unable to control their anger and emotions More prone to abusing alcohol or drugs to deal

PTSD symptoms commonly seen in women:

More likely to be jumpy Have trouble feeling emotions More apt to avoid reminders of the trauma Prone to developing anxiety or depression

These lists are simply guides based on the most recent research; it's entirely possible that men could experience symptoms designated as more common in women, and vice-versa.

Should men and women be treated differently for PTSD?

New research in 2016 concluded that women experienced PTSD symptoms that differed from those of their male counterparts; however, more funding and research is needed to determine if different, specialized treatment for the genders would be beneficial and lead to increased healing for those diagnosed with PTSD. If, however, someone with PTSD is receiving treatment, but are only experiencing one of several generalized symptoms, instead of being treated for more severe symptoms not commonly associated with PTSD due to being female, that could lead to less effective treatment, and prevent healing.

PTSD resources for military veterans and first responders

"Once a Warror, Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transtion from Combat to Home" A retired colonel, Dr. Charles W. Hoge discusses the difficulty of transitioning from military service to the civilian world, with the added stress of a war wound such as PTSD or TBI.

"Copshock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" Read the stories of survivial from members of law enforcement as they tell their tales of heroism, diagnosis and healing.

"When The Laughter Dies: A True Account of A Firefighter/EMT And His Struggles With PTSD" He's just a guy, and through his book, he takes the reader through his time as a firefighter and his eventual diagnosis of PTSD.


Policing Matters Podcast: Do gang injunctions work? Are they fair?

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Gang injunctions prohibit illegal activities and impose restrictions on behavior of named gang members such as displaying colors or associating in public with other gang members. Gang injunctions restrain the movement of named gang members in certain areas, typically called safety zones. Gang injunctions are the result of significant investigative legwork by the police, who have to provide the court with detailed documentation about the individuals named in the injunction. However, organizations like the ACLU say that gang injunctions lead to “serious civil liberties violations” and suggest job programs and job training instead. In this week’s podcast, Jim and Doug discuss the efficacy and fairness of gang injunctions.


Chicago officer takes own life nearly 2 years after cop husband’s death

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jeremy Gorner, Annie Sweeney and Jason Meisner Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Chicago police recently sought the FBI's help in reinvestigating the apparent suicide nearly two years ago of a sergeant after officers raised concerns about how evidence was collected at the scene, a source told the Tribune.

Then, over the Memorial Day weekend, the renewed probe took a stunning twist after the sergeant's wife, herself a veteran police officer, was found dead in the couple's same Northwest Side home, records show.

Dina Markham, 47, a 22-year veteran of the force, was found by a family member unresponsive in the bathtub on Sunday after ingesting pills, according to police.

The Cook County medical examiner's office has not ruled yet on the cause of death, but a police spokesman said the case was being investigated as a suicide.

The tragic turn of events came as the FBI, in an unusual move, was re-examining the September 2015 death of Markham's husband, Donald. He had apparently shot himself in the home in the city's Norwood Park community after a drunken argument with his wife, police reports show.

The death was ruled a suicide at the time by the medical examiner's office. But the source said Superintendent Eddie Johnson sought the FBI's help after an officer had raised concerns about how evidence was handled at the scene.

Johnson reviewed the case before deciding to contact the FBI.

Documents obtained by the Tribune through an open records request show that Johnson's general counsel had been reviewing the Donald Markham case in February, when the Evidence and Recovered Property section sent records of evidence collected at the scene to the superintendent's office.

The investigation was still ongoing as of Wednesday. The city's Inspector General's Office was also involved.

Police reports obtained by the Tribune show Dina Markham told police her husband, 51, had locked her out of their home the night of his death after the couple had been out drinking and argued after leaving a bar at about 1 a.m. She said she discovered her husband dead in their bed after one of her children let her in the house, the reports said. She said she then called 911.

Her husband was pronounced dead at 3:34 a.m. at the house in the 5900 block of North Newark Avenue by a doctor from Presence Resurrection Medical Center, the records show.

According to the medical examiner's office report, the detective investigating the death that night said the gun used in the shooting belonged to Donald Markham but it was not his service weapon.

"There was no history of suicidal ideations or suicide attempts and no suicide note was found on scene," the report said.

The detective wrote that the death was being treated as a suicide and "there was no suspicion of foul play."

The medical examiner's office did not conduct its own investigation at the scene because the detective hadn't contacted the office about the death until almost 5:30 a.m., at least two hours after the incident, the report said. By then, Markham's body was being transported to the morgue.

Records show that at the time Markham's death was discovered, Area North detectives and medical examiner's office investigators were already dealing with three fatal shootings that had occurred in a two-hour span — including a double homicide just an hour earlier on North Winthrop Avenue.

At the morgue, Assistant Medical Examiner Steven M. White conducted an autopsy and ruled the death was a suicide as a result of a single gunshot wound to his head. Blood had been found on both of Markham's hands, according to White's report.

The investigation into Donald Markham's death was closed on Nov. 13, 2015, and classified as "non-criminal," the police reports showed.

At the time of his death, Markham was assigned as a sergeant in the Police Department's narcotics unit. His wife worked as an officer assigned to the Bureau of Internal Affairs, the department's internal unit that investigates allegations against officers of wrongdoing.

Records show Donald Markham joined the department in May 1994 and was a 21-year veteran when he died. He had 16 complaints lodged against him in his career as of 2014 but no history of being disciplined.

A decade ago, Markham had a failed foray into politics, running for alderman in the 41st Ward. Records show he lost to former Ald. Brian Doherty, receiving only 16 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

Dina Markham, meanwhile, was hired in February 1995 and had only a handful of complaints — none of which resulted in discipline — in her 22 years on the force, records show.

Hours after Dina Markham's body was found Sunday, marked and unmarked squad cars could be seen parked outside the family's home, situated on a narrow block dotted with single-family homes with large, well-kept front lawns. Several people could be seen standing near the driveway as police investigated.

Records show the Markhams were married in 1995 and had five children. They purchased the home — which featured an in-ground pool — in 2006 for $730,000 and currently had a $760,000 mortgage, county Recorder of Deeds records show.

In the police reports, Dina Markham told the detective that she and her husband had been at the Firewater Saloon in the nearby Edison Park neighborhood earlier that evening in September 2015. The two got into an argument on the way home from the bar. Markham said her husband blamed her for staying out so late, and the argument continued as they arrived to the front door of their home, the reports show.

Markham said she walked away from the home as her husband followed, according to the reports, but Donald Markham eventually returned to the home and went inside.

About 15 minutes later, Dina Markham returned to the home and discovered the front door was locked, the reports show. Unable to get into the home, Dina Markham said she knocked on one of the windows before one of her children opened the front door, according to the reports from police and the medical examiner's office.

When she entered the home, she said, Markham started looking for her car keys because she planned to sleep in her vehicle for the rest of the evening, according to the police reports. After entering the master bedroom, with the room "illuminated with ambient lighting," she saw her husband lying in bed, on his side and with his back pointing toward her, the police reports said of her account.

Dina Markham continued looking for her keys, and she felt the outside of her husband's pockets, the reports show. That's when, she said, she felt moisture on her hands and realized it was blood. She said she then called 911.

"Upon further observations of Donald, it had appeared that he had shot himself in the head," the detective wrote of his interview with Dina Markham. "(She) could provide no further information in regards to this incident."

Three of the Markhams' underage children were home at the time of the shooting and were interviewed by detectives, but their statements were redacted from the reports provided to the Tribune.

Records provided by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications showed Dina Markham called 911 at 3:12 a.m. She told the operator that an off-duty police officer was "bleeding from his head" and needed an ambulance, but refused to answer questions as to what happened or whether he was breathing, then hung up.

The Tribune's request for the audio of the 911 call under the Freedom of Information Act was denied by the city, which claimed releasing it would be a violation of privacy.

When police arrived at the scene, Donald Markham's .380-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol was found in his right hand, with five bullets still in the magazine and one in the chamber, according to supplemental reports logged in the investigation.

A spent shell casing was found near the pillows on the bed and Markham had a "contact" gunshot wound to his right temple, indicating the gun had been pressed to the skin when it was fired, the reports showed.

An Illinois State Police report later showed the gun was caked in blood, including inside the barrel, which had to be cleaned before the weapon could be test fired by the state police crime lab. The tests showed the bullet that killed Markham had been fired from the weapon, the records show.

The crime lab tests also showed Donald Markham had gunshot residue on his hand, indicating he'd either fired a gun or was close to a weapon being discharged at the time of his death, according to police records.

The autopsy report showed that Markham had no drugs in his system when he died, but blood tests later confirmed he had been drinking. According to the toxicology report, Markham's blood-alcohol level was about 0.12 percent at the time it was tested, over the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent.

Police reports stated Donald Markham had $138 in cash on him when he died. He also had his wife's cellphone in the cargo pocket of his shorts. The detective returned the phone to her that morning, the reports stated.

One of the highest-ranking department members to respond to the scene on the morning of Donald Markham's death was then-Lt. Denis Walsh of Area North, the police records show.

Walsh notified the department's Internal Affairs Division about the death — which would be routine in the case of an officer's apparent suicide — at 4:55 a.m. that day, records show.

Walsh resigned last year as the department sought to fire him for his role in the investigation into David Koschman, a suburban man who died after being punched by a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley's in 2004. Walsh was accused in a special prosecutor's report of removing the original file on the Koschman case from his office "with no legitimate work purpose."

He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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©2017 the Chicago Tribune


In effort to protect K-9s, more cops carry naloxone

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Renatta Signorini Tribune-Review

PITTSBURGH — Derry K-9 Blade was instrumental in sniffing out a large shipment of heroin in a vehicle on Route 22 in September, just as he was trained to do.

But his handler, Chief Randy Glick, said it's scary that the 8-year-old Dutch shepherd could have inhaled a deadly substance in the line of duty.

“A block of heroin, if that had been fentanyl. ... You just don't know,” Glick said.

Some law enforcement officers in the region have started carrying naloxone in case a K-9 falls ill while sniffing out drugs during detection work, such as raids and searches of cars and homes.

A few K-9 handlers said while the dose they carry isn't designed for an animal, they would use it in an emergency.

State trooper handlers will be trained this month to administer naloxone to their K-9s, a spokesman said.

“It's very concerning,” said Westmoreland County Sheriff Jon Held, whose department has a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois K-9 named Diesel. “Fentanyl and carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin and also inhaled through the air. The dog's taught to sniff.”

Naloxone reverses the effects of opioid overdoses and has been distributed widely in the region to police officers, firefighters and the public in response to a nationwide drug epidemic that killed a record 174 people in Westmoreland County in 2016.

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil can sicken human officers, even if they take extra precautions when handling drugs, wearing protective clothing and not field-testing specific narcotics.

• A Washington Township officer had to be revived with naloxone Sunday after coming in contact with suspect heroin, fentanyl or both at the scene of a one-vehicle crash in which the driver was intoxicated, police said.

• An Ohio officer overdosed last month after patting down a suspect whose shirt was covered in fentanyl powder.

• Three Florida sheriff K-9s were sickened after searching a suspected drug house last year. Police believe the dogs touched or inhaled a tiny amount of fentanyl. All three were given naloxone and recovered quickly.

For a K-9 whose job is sniffing out those powerful painkillers, it's up to handlers to make sure the dogs aren't in a dangerous situation that could turn deadly in seconds, said Jeannette Patrolman Jim Phillips. He has always been concerned about the job hazards for K-9 Arees, a 4-year-old German shepherd.

“Now, more or less, it's time is of the essence,” Phillips said. “He's just as much at risk as a human officer.”

With a prescription from a veterinarian for specific police dogs, human naloxone can be used on them, the Food and Drug Administration says. In a video released last year, Jack Riley, a deputy administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration, urged police to be cautious when handling powerful opioids and added a specific warning about police dogs.

“Fentanyl can kill our canine companions and partners just as easy as it can humans, so please take precautions for their safety, too,” he said.

K-9 handler and trainer Bill Sombo of North Huntingdon has been advising handlers for years to carry naloxone for their animals. K-9 officers that bark, scratch or jump when they detect drugs can easily put miniscule but deadly particles into the air, he said.

“When that happens, obviously, he's closer to the drugs than we are,” said Sombo, an Elizabeth officer and master trainer who owns Strategic Law Enforcement K-9 Training Inc. “K-9 officers — all officers, period — have to be on top of their game.”

A handler should flush the dog's nose with water immediately and administer naloxone, he said. Symptoms of opioid exposure in dogs, as with humans, include sedation, pinpoint pupils, vomiting, stumbling and a slow respiratory rate, said Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, a veterinarian and adjunct professor at Tufts University.

Some handlers said they aren't sure if naloxone — it comes as a nasal spray or intravenous shot — is safe for their animals.

“In the past, we would call an ambulance and the medics would have intravenous Nankeen,” said Springdale Township police Chief Mike Navigable, referring to the drug's brand name.

But in more rural places like Derry, waiting for an ambulance might take awhile, Glick said. He wants to start a program to inform area handlers of the appropriate dose based on a dog's size and determine who could supply it specifically for K-9s.

“They're all in danger,” he said. “Not only are they police dogs, but they're a member of our family.”

Some handlers noted they need to be extremely cautious when their K-9s are working. The animals will follow the scent “without any regard to their safety,” said Greensburg Detective Chuck Irvin, whose K-9, 8-year-old Dax, is semi-retired. The department doesn't have doses specifically for Dax or K-9 Falco, a German shepherd, but officers carry naloxone, he said.

Phillips is hesitant to send Arees into vehicles for searches now. Arees' aggressive reaction to finding narcotics could “stir something up and make it airborne.”

“I carry a dose, and if he ingests (drugs), he's going to get it,” Phillips said. The naloxone he carries is not specifically for the dog.

Pittsburgh officers have been trained to immediately recognize symptoms of K-9 drug ingestion, said Sgt. Chad O'Brien. The department's K-9 unit consists of 22 dogs, nine of which are trained in narcotics. The officers all carry naloxone.

“The current epidemic does concern handlers,” he said. “They take additional precautions” including a safety walk-through of a scene prior to a dog being deployed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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©2017 Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)


Chicago police see drop in homicides, shootings through May

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago police say the number of homicides and shootings dropped significantly in May compared to the same month last year when the totals helped turn 2016 into one of the city's most violent years on record.

The department said Thursday that May ended with 56 homicides compared to 68 during May 2016, and 257 shooting victims compared to 316 last May.

Those totals are in part due to a dramatic drop in violence over Memorial Day weekend. Five people were killed this Memorial Day weekend compared to 13 last year. Police conducted targeted raids during this holiday weekend and put 1,300 more officers on the street.

Police say overall there have been 240 homicides so far this year. That's eight fewer than reported through May of last year.


P1 Photo of the Week: A future cop — complete with donuts and a badge

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Marquette University (Wis.) Officer Steve Murack sent in this adorable photo of his son, Jaxton Carter Murack, who was born in April. His wife, who happens to be a photographer, snapped the photo with Murack's badge, a police diaper, and of course, donuts.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Sheriff’s deputy among 8 killed in Miss. lauded as ‘a hero’

Posted on June 2, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: PoliceOne Members

By Jeff Amy and Rogelio Solis Associated Press

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and others on Thursday saluted a sheriff's deputy who was among the eight people killed in a series of shootings Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly a thousand police officers, family members and others gathered Thursday for the funeral and burial of Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy William Durr.

Speaking at Easthaven Baptist Church, Bryant recounted his own career as a deputy decades ago and saluted the courage of "that man with a badge," telling Durr's 10-year-old son Nash that his father "is a hero." Bryant said Durr's sacrifice will be remembered.

"William Durr will pass that torch onto another," Bryant said. "There will be another man or woman in uniform, but they will take up William's torch. They will defend, they will pursue, they will light the way."

Investigators say Durr was shot and killed by Willie Cory Godbolt after being called to a dispute over Godbolt's children. Investigators say Godbolt killed Durr and three in-laws, then killed four people at two additional homes. Funerals are scheduled Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Barbara Mitchell, 55; Brenda May, 53; Toccara May, 35; Austin Edwards, 11; Jordan Blackwell, 18; Ferral Burage, 45; and Shelia Burage, 46.

Godbolt is charged with one count of capital murder in Durr's death and seven counts of first degree murder. He is jailed without bail in a neighboring county and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Hundreds of police officers filled the sanctuary Thursday and overflowed into the lobby, filling doorways and aisles and embracing in the parking lot.

The Rev. Billy Joe Deer remembered Durr as someone who "was about helping people."

"He was never too busy to talk to you, to listen to you and to help you," Deer told mourners.

More than 30 motorcycle officers and 150 police vehicles were in the procession from the church to a cemetery at Moak's Creek Baptist Church, where Durr was a member. People lined roads, saluting as the hearse went by. A fire engine ladder truck and vehicles hoisted American flags over the road.

In the cemetery, officers and other mourners stood in long lines in a field as they awaited the hearse. A Mississippi Highway Patrol honor guard stood by to fire a salute as the casket was buried.


SC deputy dies in boating accident while training on lake

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

ANDERSON, S.C. — A South Carolina deputy who volunteered to be on marine patrol was killed during training Thursday when he was thrown from a boat and run over by the driverless vessel, authorities said.

Devin Hodges, another Anderson County deputy and an official from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were training on Lake Hartwell about 9:30 a.m. Thursday when all three were thrown from the boat, authorities said.

The driverless boat then circled back and struck Hodges, Department of Natural Resources Capt. Robert McCullough said.

Wildlife officers are investigating the accident and haven't determined how the men were thrown from the boat, McCullough said.

The two others on the boat were taken to the hospital in shock but were otherwise uninjured, authorities said.

Hodges began working at the Anderson County Sheriff's Office in January and jumped at the chance to patrol the lake that borders Georgia, Sheriff Chad McBride said at a news conference.

"Today has been a horrible day," McBride said, fiddling with a ring on his finger as he spoke outside an Anderson church.

Hodges, 30, worked for the Laurens County Sheriff's Office and the Calhoun Falls police before coming to Anderson County. He had a wife and family.

"He's a godly man. I know he's in heaven right now," McBride said. "That's about the only peace I can get right now."

Hodges is the first Anderson County deputy to die on duty since March 2005, when deputy James Alexander Burdette was hit by a car while directing traffic.


ICE: Flyers asking public to turn in undocumented immigrants are fake

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Fake flyers have appeared around the DC area asking the public to turn in undocumented immigrants.

The flyers state that it’s a felony to harbor, encourage, or help an undocumented immigrant remain in the US. The poster encourages citizens to call ICE with tips about “illegal aliens.”

All over my neighborhood in SW DC today. pic.twitter.com/HU9BwpW0ZW

— Balkans Bohemia (@BalkansBohemia) June 1, 2017

ICE authorities said on Twitter the flyers were not from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office.

Notices circulating in #Washington #DC are NOT from @ICEgov

— ICE (@ICEgov) June 1, 2017

“Just like false reports of immigration checkpoints or random sweeps, notices like these are dangerous and irresponsible,” ICE spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell told Buzzfeed in a statement. “Any person who actively incites panic or fear of law enforcement is doing a disservice to the community, endangering public safety and the very people they claim to support and represent.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue both tweeted that the signs weren’t real and citizens should tear them down and throw them in the trash.

If you see these flyers in your neighborhood, please know they're not legit! Tear them down & toss them out! pic.twitter.com/lqszmRlGjj

— Deputy Mayor Donahue (@SafeDC) June 1, 2017

“Tear it down! DC is a sanctuary city. Clearly the flyer is meant to scare and divide our residents. We won't stand for it. #DCValues,” Bowser tweeted.

Tear it down! DC is a sanctuary city. Clearly the flyer is meant to scare and divide our residents. We won't stand for it. #DCValues https://t.co/aCf9ewJ8Ir

— MurielBowser (@MurielBowser) June 1, 2017

ICE officials and DC police said they are investigating.


The newest in LEO style: The cop romper

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

A California law enforcement duo has debuted the newest and most stylish way to stay cool this summer: the cop romper.

Complete with lightweight, movable fabric, the outfit is perfect for jumping fences to catch criminals and lounging around the police station.

The officers, who go by Deputy Hook’em and Deputy Book’em, posted a video on Facebook and YouTube showing off the one-piece outfit. They’ve received 2.2 million Facebook views since they posted it on May 23.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); The Cop Romper

Order yours today!

Posted by Deputy Hook'em and Deputy Book'em on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The deputies told FOX 13 that they based their creation off of the latest viral outfit, the RompHim, a male romper.

"It immediately struck me that we needed to put a police spin on these jokes," Hook’em said.

Unfortunately, the cop romper is only a dream right now. But in the future, Hook’em said there’s a chance they could create them.

"This video went way bigger than we planned,” he told FOX 13. “So perhaps it will catch on and become a real thing to keep our boys in blue looking cool!"


NJ city seeks involuntary disability retirement for officers involved in shootings

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HACKENSACK, N.J. — A local city council is pushing for involuntary early retirement for six police officers who were involved in shootings or fatal accidents.

According to NorthJersey.com, the council applied for involuntary disability retirement, claiming the officers are unable to perform their duties. Five out of six total applications have been approved, the last has been tabled for discussion. An involuntary retirement application for a sanitation inspector was also approved.

When the application is received by a board of trustees for the Police and Firemen's Retirement System, the members must approve the applications. Once approved, the officers become eligible for disability retirement benefits. If the trustees approved, the officers in question cannot change or cancel the date of retirement.

"You're not only affecting me. You're affecting my family" #Hackensack @HackensackPD https://t.co/J2EGcF96dO via @northjersey

— Rodrigo Torrejon (@rod_torrejon) May 31, 2017

Police Benevolent Association President Frank Cavallo told the publication that city hasn’t handled police matters like this in the past.

“In the past, the city has covered them and their retirement. They haven’t forced them into retirement,” he said.

Attorney Christopher Gray, who represents four out of the six officers, said that since the city has already started the process for disability retirement, they are effectively cutting off benefits to the officers.

“It’s not very common for a municipality to cut off and stop supporting the officers that have served them,” he said.

Gray said all but one of the officers he represents have filed to receive their disability pensions. Elvin Hernandez, one of the six officers involved, said he applied as well.

So, the head doesn't update: #Hackensack is pursuing involuntary disability retirement for 6 police officers, not 7. https://t.co/UMqxQyS4y5

— Rodrigo Torrejon (@rod_torrejon) May 31, 2017


Boy dies after being hit by wounded suspect in police pursuit

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — Police say a boy was killed after being struck by a vehicle during a police chase in Louisiana.

State Police spokesman Bryan Lee told the Advocate that the suspect was shot and fled police in a pickup truck Wednesday afternoon.

After the boy was struck and killed, the suspect was arrested and hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Lee wouldn't say how the suspect was shot, nor identify the people involved, citing the ongoing investigation.

Neighbors said the boy was about 12 years old, and a "very good kid."

Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely did say that no police officers were injured.

NEW: Photos from the scene as investigators work an officer involved shooting on Old Hammond Highway @theadvocatebr pic.twitter.com/YBq8jCJPu9

— Hilary Scheinuk (@hscheinukphoto) May 31, 2017

NEW: @EBRDA, @LAStatePolice, @BRPD chief among those on scene of officer involved shooting on Old Hammond Highway @theadvocatebr pic.twitter.com/k2U5f6K7RG

— Hilary Scheinuk (@hscheinukphoto) May 31, 2017

This began as a narcotics investigation, then officer-involved shooting, then pursuit during which the child was reportedly hit by the truck pic.twitter.com/ZgO7Zqb6Ga

— Hilary Scheinuk (@hscheinukphoto) June 1, 2017


Tiger Woods seen confused, stumbling on police dashcam video

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

JUPITER, Fla. — His speech slow and slurred, Tiger Woods couldn't follow simple instructions or keep his balance during a dazed and disoriented encounter with police before he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The video images came from dashcam footage that Jupiter police released Wednesday night, and they show Woods with little capacity to stand still without swaying, repeat simple instruction or put one foot in front of the other.

The footage came from his arrest Monday in the dark of early morning when Jupiter police noticed his Mercedes parked on the side of a six-lane road, part of it in the road and part of it in the bicycle lane.

Police found Woods sound asleep behind the wheel, according to an incident report. The engine was running, the brake lights were on and the right turn signal was blinking. Police also released photos of his car that showed both tires flat and minor damage around the bumpers.

When the officer asks Woods where he had been, the 14-time major champion says, "LA." He says he was headed down to Orange County.

The 1 hour, 39-minute video starts with Jupiter police approaching Woods' car and ends with the cruiser pulling into the Palm Beach County jail, with Woods in handcuffs behind his back and sitting in the back seat.

Woods told the officers he had not been drinking, and two breath tests at the jail registered a 0.0 blood-alcohol level. Woods issued a statement nearly 10 hours after he was released from jail on Monday that alcohol was not involved.

"What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications," Woods said in his statement. "I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly."

He told police he was taking prescription medicine. When asked what kind, he gave an answer that was redacted from the videotape. The arrest affidavit listed four medications, including Vicodin, that Woods reported taking.

Woods is to be arraigned July 5 in Palm Beach County Court.

The video brings to life the troubling images contained in an incident report from the four police officers who were at the scene.

His speech is slurred from his first words. When the officer points out that Woods' shoe is untied, Woods places his right foot on the front of the police car and starts to fiddle with the laces.

"It's your other shoe that's untied," the officer says as Woods unties the laces.

"Now that one is, too," the officer adds.

When Woods is unable to tie the left shoe, the officer tells him he can take them off. Woods then tells the officer he doesn't remember what happened or being asleep in his car when police approached.

The field sobriety test was a failure from the start.

Woods struggled to simply put his feet together. When he did, he leaned forward after losing his balance.

He couldn't follow a red light the officer moved from side to side. When asked to walk a straight line by going heel-to-toe nine times, Woods staggered from the starting position. He never connected heel-to-toe. He often strayed outside the white line and occasionally lost his balance.

Woods couldn't raise one leg 6 inches off the ground.

On his third try of understanding instructions to recite the alphabet, he made it from A to Z.

The next instruction from the officer was to place his hands behind his back as they cuffed him and told him he was being arrested.

Woods, who had his fourth back surgery in three years on April 20, has not played since Feb. 2 in Dubai when he withdrew after the first round because of back spasms. The surgery means he is out for the rest of the PGA Tour season.


1st prison sentence given in Bundy Ranch armed standoff

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Ken Ritter Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A judge called a New Hampshire man a "bully vigilante" and sentenced him Wednesday to more than seven years in prison for his role organizing armed backers of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy after a standoff with U.S. agents in 2014.

Gerald "Jerry" DeLemus became the first person sentenced for his ties to the confrontation that became a rallying cry for those who want vast stretches of federal land in the U.S. West put under local control. Eighteen others are in custody.

DeLemus has been jailed for almost 16 months, so the sentence means the 62-year-old former U.S. Marine will spend about six more years behind bars. His attorney, Dustin Marcello, said he will appeal.

DeLemus arrived at the Bundy ranch hours after the tense armed standoff that led to the release of the rancher's cattle and was hailed as a victory in a decades-long fight over government-owned land.

He then spent more than a month in an encampment organizing armed patrols and serving as an intermediary between a self-styled militia and local authorities.

He had been expected to get a six-year sentence after pleading guilty last August to conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S. and interstate travel in aid of extortion.

But Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas added time after faulting DeLemus for trying to withdraw his pleas. She said she didn't think he accepted responsibility for his actions.

"I have to say, Mr. DeLemus, that you unfortunately are blinded by the information you choose to believe," she said.

Instead of advising Bundy to abide by court orders to pay 20 years of overdue grazing fees or let agents round up his cattle from public land, Navarro said DeLemus became "a bully vigilante, threatening peacekeepers of the community."

"I never heard you say you told Mr. Bundy ... to follow the law," she said.

DeLemus told the judge that he traveled cross-country with weapons because he'd heard that government snipers surrounded the Bundy home. He said he was willing to "take a bullet" to protect the family.

"My concern was that someone would get hurt," he said, choking back tears. "It wasn't the cows. I didn't want that family injured. God will know in the end."

DeLemus said he never would have shot at law enforcement. He cast himself as a martyr to his Christian beliefs and cited a biblical passage that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.

"I may not have given it out there," he said of the standoff near Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. "I'm giving it now, in jail."

DeLemus once ran for sheriff and mayor in his hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire, and served as a delegate to the Republican National Committee.

His wife, Susan DeLemus, a former Republican state lawmaker, sat among Bundy supporters in court, where several waved and thanked DeLemus as he was led away.

"We'll make it through this," she said later.

Bundy, two of his sons and two other defendants are due for trial later this year. Six others, including two other Bundy sons, may not be tried until early next year.


NYPD sergeant charged in fatal shooting of woman

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Alison Fox AmNewYork

NEW YORK — The NYPD sergeant who fatally shot a 66-year-old woman in the Bronx last year was indicted on Wednesday for several offenses, including second-degree murder, authorities said.

Sgt. Hugh Barry, 31, was released on $100,000 bail after he was charged in the shooting death of Deborah Danner inside her Castle Hill apartment on Oct. 18, 2016, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

Barry was also charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. If convicted of the murder charge, he could face up to life in prison.

Barry was placed on “suspended duty status pending the disposition of the criminal case in Bronx County,” a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Barry’s attorney, Andrew Quinn, called the high bail “laughable.”

“Sgt. Barry has an unblemished record and is still gainfully employed by the New York Police Department,” he said. “Sgt. Barry has voluntarily surrendered himself because we know we have extraordinary evidence that will defend his honor.”

Barry responded to Danner’s house after someone called 911 at about 6 p.m. to report an emotionally disturbed woman who was screaming in the hallway, according to the DA’s office.

Barry had convinced Danner, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, to drop a pair of scissors she was holding, but the woman then ran to the bedroom and picked up a baseball bat, according to the DA’s office and the Sergeants Benevolent Association. Danner then tried to hit Barry with the bat, police have said, and he shot her twice.

Assistant District Attorney Wanda Perez-Maldonado said Danner had lived alone for 30 years and had not taken her medication the day of the shooting. A total of four officers and two emergency medical technicians were at the apartment.

“Police have responded to her home on previous occasions,” Perez-Maldonado said during the arraignment. “Sgt. Barry failed to seek critical background information and failed in his training when dealing with an emotionally disturbed individual.”

A spokesman for the SBA said the group was “outraged” by the charges. SBA President Ed Mullins said the indictment was a politically motivated foregone conclusion.

“Sgt. Barry was indicted by the mayor and the police commissioner before this all went to a grand jury,” Mullins said, speaking at Bronx Supreme Court. “It’s disgraceful. Commissioner O’Neill, supposedly ‘cop’s cop,’ is a failure.”

Following the shooting, Barry faced criticism from top NYPD brass and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio has said Barry didn’t follow the NYPD’s protocol for handling emotionally disturbed people or use his stun gun.

Mullins said Danner’s use of a baseball bat was consistent with police guidelines allowing for the use of deadly force, adding Barry “is hanging in there, but obviously it’s very distressful.”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said a special grand jury investigated the shooting for more than two months.

“When I asked last December that a special grand jury be empaneled, I said there would be no timetable, and that a fair investigation would take place and go wherever the evidence takes it,” Clark said in a statement. “I commend the grand jurors for their painstaking work and for giving so much time away from their families.

“The men and women of the NYPD protect and serve us, and face the possibility of danger every time they respond to calls of emotionally disturbed persons, domestic violence incidents and other crises,” Clark added. “They answer thousands of these calls each year without incident. I hope that measures will be taken to prevent another tragedy such as this.”

De Blasio said in a statement on Wednesday that “the loss of Deborah Danner was a tragedy felt deeply by our city,” and expressed “full faith in the district attorney to lead a fair and thorough prosecution.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said on Wednesday the indictment was a “positive first step” in addressing the often neglected issue of how to deal with “volatile situations” and mental illness.

“What happened to Deborah Danner was an outrage,” Diaz Jr. said in a statement. “Clearly, there were options available to Sgt. Barry which he failed to implement, and his conduct in this case is by no means a reflection on the great work of the New York City Police Department and its dedicated members.”

Barry’s next hearing is scheduled for July 7.

Outside the courthouse, Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, lauded the Bronx district attorney for assigning a special grand jury.

“This district attorney has sent the message out that no more black blood will spill on Bronx streets,” he said, adding about the baseball bat: “You do not shoot an elderly woman who is swinging a stick. You dodge it.”

The indictment comes just months after another officer, Wayne Isaacs, was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. Isaacs, off duty at the time, allegedly walked up to Delrawn Small’s car in Brooklyn on July 4, 2016, and fatally shot him.

That case was the first Attorney General Eric Schneiderman prosecuted under the governor’s executive order giving the attorney general the ability to take over cases in which a law enforcement officer killed an unarmed civilian.

Copyright 2017 amNewYork, New York


NYPD sergeant charged in fatal shooting of mentally-ill woman

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Alison Fox AmNewYork

NEW YORK — The NYPD sergeant who fatally shot a 66-year-old woman in the Bronx last year was indicted on Wednesday for several offenses, including second-degree murder, authorities said.

Sgt. Hugh Barry, 31, was released on $100,000 bail after he was charged in the shooting death of Deborah Danner inside her Castle Hill apartment on Oct. 18, 2016, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

Barry was also charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. If convicted of the murder charge, he could face up to life in prison.

Barry was placed on “suspended duty status pending the disposition of the criminal case in Bronx County,” a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Barry’s attorney, Andrew Quinn, called the high bail “laughable.”

“Sgt. Barry has an unblemished record and is still gainfully employed by the New York Police Department,” he said. “Sgt. Barry has voluntarily surrendered himself because we know we have extraordinary evidence that will defend his honor.”

Barry responded to Danner’s house after someone called 911 at about 6 p.m. to report an emotionally disturbed woman who was screaming in the hallway, according to the DA’s office.

Barry had convinced Danner, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, to drop a pair of scissors she was holding, but the woman then ran to the bedroom and picked up a baseball bat, according to the DA’s office and the Sergeants Benevolent Association. Danner then tried to hit Barry with the bat, police have said, and he shot her twice.

Assistant District Attorney Wanda Perez-Maldonado said Danner had lived alone for 30 years and had not taken her medication the day of the shooting. A total of four officers and two emergency medical technicians were at the apartment.

“Police have responded to her home on previous occasions,” Perez-Maldonado said during the arraignment. “Sgt. Barry failed to seek critical background information and failed in his training when dealing with an emotionally disturbed individual.”

A spokesman for the SBA said the group was “outraged” by the charges. SBA President Ed Mullins said the indictment was a politically motivated foregone conclusion.

“Sgt. Barry was indicted by the mayor and the police commissioner before this all went to a grand jury,” Mullins said, speaking at Bronx Supreme Court. “It’s disgraceful. Commissioner O’Neill, supposedly ‘cop’s cop,’ is a failure.”

Following the shooting, Barry faced criticism from top NYPD brass and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio has said Barry didn’t follow the NYPD’s protocol for handling emotionally disturbed people or use his stun gun.

Mullins said Danner’s use of a baseball bat was consistent with police guidelines allowing for the use of deadly force, adding Barry “is hanging in there, but obviously it’s very distressful.”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said a special grand jury investigated the shooting for more than two months.

“When I asked last December that a special grand jury be empaneled, I said there would be no timetable, and that a fair investigation would take place and go wherever the evidence takes it,” Clark said in a statement. “I commend the grand jurors for their painstaking work and for giving so much time away from their families.

“The men and women of the NYPD protect and serve us, and face the possibility of danger every time they respond to calls of emotionally disturbed persons, domestic violence incidents and other crises,” Clark added. “They answer thousands of these calls each year without incident. I hope that measures will be taken to prevent another tragedy such as this.”

Read statement by Ed Mullins regarding Sgt. Hugh Barry's murder 2 indictment #sbanypd pic.twitter.com/3tWT2JpPU2

— SBA (@SBANYPD) May 31, 2017

De Blasio said in a statement on Wednesday that “the loss of Deborah Danner was a tragedy felt deeply by our city,” and expressed “full faith in the district attorney to lead a fair and thorough prosecution.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said on Wednesday the indictment was a “positive first step” in addressing the often neglected issue of how to deal with “volatile situations” and mental illness.

“What happened to Deborah Danner was an outrage,” Diaz Jr. said in a statement. “Clearly, there were options available to Sgt. Barry which he failed to implement, and his conduct in this case is by no means a reflection on the great work of the New York City Police Department and its dedicated members.”

Barry’s next hearing is scheduled for July 7.

Outside the courthouse, Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, lauded the Bronx district attorney for assigning a special grand jury.

“This district attorney has sent the message out that no more black blood will spill on Bronx streets,” he said, adding about the baseball bat: “You do not shoot an elderly woman who is swinging a stick. You dodge it.”

The indictment comes just months after another officer, Wayne Isaacs, was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. Isaacs, off duty at the time, allegedly walked up to Delrawn Small’s car in Brooklyn on July 4, 2016, and fatally shot him.

That case was the first Attorney General Eric Schneiderman prosecuted under the governor’s executive order giving the attorney general the ability to take over cases in which a law enforcement officer killed an unarmed civilian.

Copyright 2017 amNewYork, New York


Man pleads guilty in Ohio officer’s slaying, gets life

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — A man who killed a police officer in Ohio has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and other charges and has been sentenced to life in prison plus 35 years without the possibility of parole.

Herschel Jones III pleaded guilty and was sentenced Wednesday in Knox County in the 2016 shooting death of Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell. Danville is about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.

Jones' attorneys didn't immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The 34-year-old officer's body was found behind the village's municipal building on Jan. 17, 2016, after Jones' ex-girlfriend warned police he was "looking to kill a cop." The officer had been shot in the head.

Jones faced a potential death penalty if convicted at trial. Death penalty specifications were dropped as part of the plea agreement.


W.Va. officer killed during pursuit identified

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — An officer killed in an accident during a pursuit of a suspected drunken driver had been with the Bluefield police force for nine years, officials said Wednesday.

Bluefield police administrative assistant Kevin Fleming said Lt. Aaron L. Crook was killed early Tuesday.

Fleming says funeral arrangements for Crook, who also was a former U.S. Marine, are pending.

Three other officers were treated for injuries at a hospital and released. State police are investigating the accident and details haven't been released.

The suspect, Morgan Smith Walker, 27, of Princeton, was arrested on charges including DUI causing death with reckless disregard, Mercer County Prosecutor George Sitler told WVNS-TV.

According to a criminal complaint, officers saw Walker driving well above the posted speed limit, cross the center line and nearly hit a police cruiser before the pursuit started.

Walker was being held in the Southern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond. Jail records didn't indicate whether he has an attorney.


Police: You can smoke marijuana in Mass., but don’t carry it in NH

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Breanna Edelstein The Eagle-Tribune

HAMPSTEAD, N.H. — Police are reminding Granite Staters that although marijuana has been legalized in Massachusetts, it is still prohibited across the New Hampshire border.

The announcement came Monday, after a traffic stop in Hampstead led to the arrest of a driver who said he didn't know he was breaking the law by having marijuana in the cup holder of his vehicle, police said.

Sgt. Robert Kelley was conducting a traffic enforcement grant patrol funded by the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency at the intersection of Route 121-A and Route 111 when he noticed the driver of a green Oldsmobile Cutlass talking on a cellphone.

The driver, later identified as Selket Taylor, 27, of Danville, pulled over 400 feet down the road, police said, and could be heard yelling as the officer approached the car.

Taylor became increasingly agitated while searching for his license and registration and "began rambling about things that had nothing to do with why he was stopped," according to police.

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***Notable Arrest*** Selket Taylor 27 years of age Danville, NH - Possession of a Controlled Drug - Transporting a...

Posted by Hampstead, NH Police Department on Monday, May 29, 2017

When Kelley noted the bag of marijuana, Taylor assured the officer that he "only smokes it in Massachusetts," where it is legal.

Police said Taylor was "enraged" as he was arrested, and continued to "smash his head in the back of the patrol car."

The discovery of excessive trash and clothing in the impounded vehicle led police to believe that Taylor was living there. Police also discovered a larger bag of marijuana and a clear plastic bag containing white pills, possibly intended for prescription use.

While being processed at the Hampstead Police Department, officials said Taylor continued to "badger and swear at the officer" and "made the process extremely difficult."

He was released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail and will appear in Plaistow District Court on Aug. 25. He faces charges for using his cellphone while driving, transporting drugs and two counts of drug possession, one at the felony level.

———

©2017 The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.)


Former DARE student donating kidney to Ga. officer in need of transplant

Posted on June 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Liz Fabian The Macon Telegraph

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A Warner Robins police officer is getting a potentially life-saving kidney transplant from a man he once taught.

Porter Wood has a rare disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering capacity.

For several years, Wood has smiled his way through his declining kidney function and kept his positive attitude.

The 26-year veteran of the police force needs a kidney transplant, and he didn’t have look past the roster of city workers to find one.

One of Wood’s former DARE students who is currently a city employee, Trey Ammons, is a match and will donate his kidney for a transplant June 23 at Piedmont Hosptal in Atlanta.

Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms was beaming with pride Tuesday on his Facebook page.

“I am extremely proud of our employees and ask that each of you pray for both of these awesome men as they will be having major surgery next month,” Toms posted.

Ammons’ Facebook page only hints about his generosity.

On May 25, he shared a post from Power of Positivity that shows a boy pedaling a bike with a little girl on the back.

“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that,” the text read.

Wood’s wife, Teresa Fountain Wood, commented on Ammons’ post: “Thank you for making this household very happy and blessed!”

“I’m happy to help!” he responded.

Teresa Wood also set up an internet fundraising campaign to raise $10,000 to offset costs of treatment for her husband and Ammons.

“It’s the very least we can do,” Teresa Wood wrote, noting that the donor is giving part of himself to save her husband.

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Do you remember the story of Warner Robins Police Department Sgt. Porter Wood needing a kidney? Well the man you see welding here is the guy saving his life! You'll see their story tonight on 13 WMAZ!

Posted by Jacob Reynolds on Tuesday, May 30, 2017

———

©2017 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)


Torches and saws: The one-two punch in correctional breaching

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Cantrell, P1 Contributor

Rams and hooligan tools are a must for any tactical breacher, but once you walk into a correctional facility, torches and saws are the go-to tools for a correctional breacher. For years Correctional Emergency Response Teams have known that getting through hardened prison structures requires mechanical breaching tools that are often more of a back-up or the last option in the residential breaching world.

First, let’s take a look at the rescue saw. This piece of equipment goes by many names: gas cut-off saw, chop saw, or demolition/rescue saw. All names refer to a portable saw that looks very much like a chainsaw except for the giant round blade on the end. Weighing around 20 to 25 pounds with a 12 to 16 inch circular blade, these workhorses can handle most of the materials thrown at them. Pair your saw with a diamond-edged blade to defeat concrete, steel, padlocks, hinges, PVC, Lexan, chain link and roofing quickly and efficiently.

A quality diamond tipped blade paired with a rescue saw makes quick work of most materials. (Photo/Fred Koss)

The rescue saw will accept many different types of blades, but all blades are not made the same. I often see abrasive blades utilized, but one twist while cutting chain link and you will have pieces of blade flying dangerously in the air. Buy a good blade; this will give you hours of training time with no worry about replacing the blade each time. The Broco Diamond Ripper is my favorite all-around blade for breaching, but there are a variety of blades on the market and with hundreds or even thousands of cuts per blade, you can increase the hands on time for each member of your CERT.

Second, let’s review the exothermic torch, originally developed for industrial uses and later for use in underwater demolition. The exothermic torch has become the mainstay of many military, correctional and residential breachers. Able to cut through metal like butter, the exothermic torch provides a portable and quick way to defeat some of the toughest barricades.

The portability of the Broco Tactical Cutting Torch System is what makes it a favorite of correctional bleachers. (Photo/Fred Koss)

The exothermic torch requires three things to operate:

Oxygen (supplied by a portable 02 bottle) Fuel (carbon/steel cutting rods) Heat (provided by electrical current, e.g. 12 volt battery)

No mystery here about how the exothermic works, this combination is the same combustion triangle you were taught about in school. Simply, an exothermic (exo = external and thermic = thermal or heat) reaction is when more energy has been released than was needed initially to start and maintain the reaction. In other words, the battery is enough to start the chemical reaction that eventually is releasing 10,000 degrees of excess heat. This simple structure allows the portability and power needed to tackle the heaviest or most remote jobs in a correctional setting.

Correctional breachers rely on the rescue saw for its ability to tackle many different materials. (Photo/Fred Koss)

The ArcAir Slice is a popular model for its portability, but the Broco Tactical Cutting Torch System was built with the tactical or correctional breacher in mind. The Broco Tactical Torch is self-contained within a Molle lightweight backpack that can be thrown on your shoulders and packed easily to the crisis site for immediate results.

(Photo/Fred Koss)

And don’t forget about training. Having an exothermic torch or rescue saw in the armory is not enough. Your CERT needs practice and training to know how to operate these tools when the time comes. Team up!


New police bodycam video released from Pulse nightclub massacre

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Newly-released video from bodycams on officers responding to a mass shooting at a Florida gay nightclub shows shattered glass inside the club, the sounds of automatic gunfire and an officer shouting, "Come out with your hands up or you will die!"

The videos were released Wednesday to ABC News, the Orlando Sentinel and the newspaper's news partner, Fox 35.

The 11 hours of video show Pulse patrons running from the club and officers shouting, "Just go!" as they direct them across the street.

Forty-nine patrons were killed during last June's massacre and dozens more were injured in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Gunman Omar Mateen was killed in a shootout with officers after a three-hour standoff. He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.


How to wear hard plates

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

Body armor has saved a lot of lives – but its arguable that it has taken a few too. By being heavy, it reduces the mobility of the combatant, which in today’s mobile combat can be detrimental to health almost as much as a bullet. As such, the warning of armor has been a balance of weight to mobility.

In this video, Kit Badger goes over not just the how of wearing hard armor, but the why. Our biological programming puts all the vital organs high in the chest behind the rib cage to protect it. Where ribs were once good enough for weapons of ye-olde, we need a bit more protection for the ballistic threats present today.

Onto the how, there are two factors that are critical for the correct wearing of a plate. The first is the size of the plate. Too small and rounds can zip around the armor and too large, mobility is decreased significantly. Placement shoul d be even with the top of the super-sternum notch and drop about two inches of below the sternum to cover the diaphram.

Perhaps the largest irony of the video is the shirt – stating “Suck Less”. That’s just freaking hilarious with the whole point of a plate to help defeat a sucking chest wound. Can only hope that Mr. Kit Badget meant it that way instead of the other just straight tactical tard option…

For the full details, including placement of rear plates, check out the video below or head over to Kit Badger.


Pensions: The case for defined contribution retirement plans

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Wayne Windegarden

Changing public pension plans to defined contribution retirement plans can save municipalities headed to pension-derived bankruptcy.

Three problems, exemplified by the crises afflicting the public pension systems in Houston and Dallas, plague state and local pension systems across the country.

First, state and local governments have only contributed 88 percent of the required annual contributions into their public pension funds between 2001 and 2015.

In total, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, public pension plans need an additional $1.1 trillion just to meet current expected obligations. This 28 percent funding gap understates the problem because it does not account for the unfunded repayment risks that taxpayers are bearing on behalf of public employees.

Second, public pension funds currently assume an unrealistic return on their investments.

Compared to their private sector counterparts who assume an annual return a bit over 4 percent, public sector funds are, on average, assuming they can annually earn around 7.5 percent. Assuming a better outcome does not make it so. Should the overly optimistic returns not come to fruition, then the dire financial state of the state and local public pension systems is even worse.

Third, public pension funds are carrying too much risk in their investment portfolios.

During the 1970s, public pensions used to invest one-quarter of their assets in riskier “equity-like” investments such as stocks, real estate, hedge funds and other assets subject to substantial investment risk. Today, public pension systems invest two-thirds of their assets into these types of riskier investments.

The Consequences of High Risk Pension Investments

Dallas knows all too well the consequences from assuming excessive risk. While several years ago Dallas’ public pension system appeared healthy, soured bets on nontraditional real estate investments, when coupled with questionable accounting practices by the fund, have precipitated the current crisis.

Dallas’ experience exemplifies that even seemingly sound public pension systems can quickly become unsound. The only sustainable, long-term, solution is to transition toward the defined contribution plans that are commonly used in the private sector.

Transition to a Defined Contribution Retirement System

To start the transition, all new employees should be ineligible for the current defined benefit programs, and should instead be enrolled in a defined contribution retirement system that meets the average standards of large company defined contribution plans. These standards should include no minimum length of service requirement for eligibility, immediate vesting on matching contributions, and the government’s matching and non-matching contributions equal to 6.5 percent of pay.

For current employees, the current defined benefit programs should be frozen, specifically a hard freeze. Under a hard freeze, no public employee would accrue any more benefits in the defined benefit program. All vested public employees should then be offered a choice: either receive a lump sum payment equal to the present value of their actuarially determined benefit that is currently funded, or remain in the defined benefit plan.

The assets that public employees want to cash-out would be, effectively, privatized and transferred into appropriate retirement accounts directly controlled by the public-sector employees.

Those employees that choose to remain in the frozen defined benefit plan would receive the benefits that they have accrued up to the date of the hard freeze, which will then need to be adjusted based on current funding levels and to appropriately account for the under-valued risks.

Of course, difficult transition issues must be managed to the extent public sector workers value the cash-out option. However, ignoring the inherent unsustainability of the current defined benefit plans will not avert the coming public pension crisis. Facing these problems, head on, will.


Photos: Texas police convert drug dealer’s Corvette to patrol vehicle

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — A Corvette that was seized during a drug raid has a new life as a police vehicle.

According to the New Braunfels Police Department, police confiscated the C6-gen Corvette Z06 - along with other vehicles, jewelry, guns, cash and property all valued at more than $1 million - during a 2011 meth raid.

Deemed “Coptimus Prime,” the car became the department’s property after the suspect was convicted and sentenced. It was wrapped like a police vehicle and presented to the public in 2015, the department wrote on Facebook.

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Facts About the NBPD Corvette: 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with after-market modifications for racing, 1005hp Seized...

Posted by New Braunfels Police Department on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

But the Corvette isn’t out catching criminals, it’s used as a community outreach vehicle in parades, National Night Out and school-related functions.

Police said eventually the car will be sold at an auction and the money will be used to fund more community outreach programs done by the police department.

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Coptimus Prime, the NBPD’s Corvette that was seized from a drug dealer, is doing its job gaining the attention of the...

Posted by New Braunfels Police Department on Friday, May 26, 2017


Steak ‘n Shake employee mistakenly drops cocaine in off-duty cop’s drink

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A Steak ‘n Shake waitress says she accidentally dropped a small bag of cocaine into an off-duty cop’s drink.

Deputy Ricky Wolfe told investigators that he found the bag in his drink last Thursday while he was dining, WTVC reported.

Police and the restaurant manager reviewed surveillance footage and saw Jekievea Monchell Yearby drop the drugs in the drink while she was taking Wolfe’s order.

According to the report, Yearby told police the cocaine was hers and she had another bag in her bra. She believes it mistakenly fell out of her waitress book when she took the order.

Yearby is charged with assault, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Police: Urine sample culprit in 7-Eleven explosion

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Police evacuated a 7-Eleven after an object exploded in the gas station’s microwave.

Officers responded to a call of a suspicious object left in the microwave, KATU reported. When authorities arrived, they evacuated the gas station as a precaution and an explosives unit was brought in.

Upon further investigation, police discovered the object was a urine sample wrapped in a hand warmer. Officials say the “chemical makeup of the handwarmer did not agree with the microwave and exploded.”

"It appears that whoever was on his/her way to do a drug test did not feel that it was warm enough, so they decided to microwave it at 7-Eleven," police spokesperson Mike Rowe said in a release.

Security footage is being reviewed to discover the pee owner’s identity. The suspect "most likely did not pass their UA today," Rowe added.


Girl brings the power of cookies to Minn. first responders

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — An 8-year-old girl is sharing the power of a good, home-baked cookie with emergency responders in Minnesota.

KARE-TV reports that Sophina Lindquist distributes chocolate-chip cookies several times a month to police departments, fire stations and ambulance companies in and around St. Cloud.

St. Cloud girl treats police, paramedics & firefighters to cookies - then they treat her: https://t.co/JpjwGQAVV4 #land10kstories pic.twitter.com/GPaq300HTQ

— Boyd Huppert (@BoydHuppert) May 8, 2017

The regular trips with her mother and older sister started after a police officer was shot in 20014. Sophina, who has Down syndrome, now visits almost 20 departments, changing uniforms to match the agencies she visits, each adorned with patches given to her by police, firefighters and EMS crews.

Sophina, who leaves most of the cooking to one of her sisters, keeps a list of her first-responder friends and, with her mother’s help, prays for them at bedtime. She also says a prayer when she hears a siren.

“She’s our little angel,” Sauk Rapids firefighter Kevin Roesner said. “She can call most of us by name.”

St. Cloud police officers reward sweet little girl who brings them cookies - with her own squad car. Tonight at 10 on KARE #land10kstories pic.twitter.com/2QfWHBmgdX

— Boyd Huppert (@BoydHuppert) May 7, 2017

Sauk Rapids firefighters helped her spray a hose and hoisted her into a fire truck to take a peek. Officers at the St. Cloud Police Department even pooled their money to buy her a kid-sized, motorized squad car.

Sauk Rapids firefighter Greg Bomstad notes that first responders need an occasional break from the unpleasant parts of their work, saying: “It won’t even out the bad stuff, but it helps.”

St. Cloud officer Rachel Johnson adds: “In such a chaotic world, to just have someone so kind, it’s just very sweet and uplifting.”

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First Sophina Lindquist won the hearts of St. Cloud area police, firefighters and paramedics with her cookie deliveries....

Posted by KARE 11 on Sunday, May 7, 2017


Residents surround ICE agents in attempt to stop arrest

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — NYPD officers were called to assist federal agents after dozens of residents surrounded them in an attempt to stop an arrest.

According to NBC New York, ICE agents were attempting to arrest burglary suspect and undocumented immigrant Hardat Sampat, 35, during a targeted vehicle stop Tuesday.

Sampat was on his way to court for an appearance when agents surrounded the vehicle he was a passenger in and arrested him. His wife refused to move, blocking agents from driving away.

Soon, a crowd surrounded to protest the arrest. When NYPD officers arrived, the woman moved her vehicle and agents left the scene with Sampat, an ICE statement obtained by PIX11 said.

Sampat is expected to be transported to a New Jersey immigration facility where he will be held until June 15, when officials will decide whether to release or deport him, his sister told New York Daily News.

VIDEO: Federal immigration agents forced to call for back up after residents attempt to stop arrest in Queens https://t.co/7dIiu0p4vx pic.twitter.com/Ql0hOrIXyr

— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 30, 2017


Video footage of gunfire exchange between Mich. cops, suspect released

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A prosecutor released body camera footage Tuesday of a fatal May 3 gunbattle between three officers and a suspect.

Officers approached Malik Carey, 18, who was seated in the backseat of a parked car, WOOD reported. Police were searching for him because he was truant.

Initially, Carey gave officers a fake name. Police then waited on the scene until they received a photo to confirm Carey was actually the person they were searching for. Once his identity was confirmed, an officer told Carey to place his hands on his head and exit the vehicle. Carey pulled a gun and opened fire.

Police said Carey fired four shots before officers returned fire. He was pronounced dead at a hospital, WOOD reported. No officers were hit.

Police Chief David Rahinsky and prosecutor Chris Becker both said the officers acted appropriately in the situation.

"Anytime anyone loses their life there's things you wish had been done differently," Rahinsky told Fox 17. "Having said that, the actions of Malik Carey left the officers with no other option."

Two officers have returned to work after they were placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. The third officer will be back on patrol soon.

Carey was a probation absconder and had a criminal history dating back to 2010, WOOD reported. He was charged with assault with intent to murder in 2015 in connection to a shooting. Carey pleaded guilty later to assault with intent to do great bodily harm.


Mich. detective falls ill after testing white powder

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A detective was given Narcan and taken to a hospital Tuesday after he fell ill while testing a white powder.

The substance was discovered by a deputy during a traffic stop. Upon testing it, the detective started feeling nauseous and his heart rate became rapid, WOOD reported. The sheriff’s department said his symptoms were similar to those caused by drug exposure.

After the Narcan was administered, the detective was taken to a hospital for tests. He is alert and improving, police said.

“We all talk about officers dying in the line of duty, car accident, gunshots ... right now I’m worried about my guys going down touching a substance they had no plan on touching because they didn’t see it,” Lt. Al Roetman said.

The detective bureau floor of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department was evacuated as a precaution. No one else was exposed and a hazmat team determined the building was safe for work.

An internal investigation is being conducted to determine if the detective followed proper procedure.


Pa. cop exposed to drug at crash scene

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Madasyn Czebiniak The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Washington Township police officer was given Narcan and taken to a Monroeville hospital early Sunday morning after coming into contact with suspected heroin, fentanyl or both, the department said.

The incident happened just before 12:30 a.m. on Route 356 near Reservoir Road.

Washington Township Sgt. Vincent Surace said officers were sent to the scene for a one-vehicle crash and found the driver intoxicated. The driver was identified as Travis Ross, 34, of Leechburg. He was placed under arrest by Officer Kenneth Sebastian for DUI.

A second officer, who Surace declined to name, had reached into Ross' vehicle to get his license when he was exposed to the substance.

According to Surace, the officer began to feel burning in his chest and developed a rapid heartbeat. Medics rushed to the scene and administered two doses of Narcan, an opioid-overdose antidote, before taking the officer to Forbes Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The officer “is doing well at this time,” Surace said, adding he couldn't say how the drug got into the officer's system.

In addition to DUI, Ross faces charges of resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and summary citations.

The investigation is still pending, Surace said.

As the Tribune-Review reported last week, a police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio — about 25 miles north of Steubenville and a five-minute drive from the Pennsylvania border — overdosed this month when he patted down a man who was covered in fentanyl powder.

Patrolman Chris Green was assisting with a May 12 arrest of a man with suspected drugs in his car. Green patted the man down, not realizing until after that fentanyl powder was on the man's shirt. Finding powder on his own shirt, Green used his hand to brush it off.

Within seconds, he was overdosing. It took four doses of Narcan to revive him completely.

———

©2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)


PTSD quiz: Find out if your symptoms qualify

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Anyone can experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but there is a high concentration of people diagnosed from stressful career fields, such as military service, law enforcement and firefighting.

It’s not always easy to know if the symptoms you’re experiencing are part of PTSD, or another mental health issue, since there are specific criteria that need to be met in order to receive an official PTSD diagnosis. We partnered with Dr. Elizabeth Halper, a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia, to create a PTSD screening quiz that will help takers understand their symptoms and if they could potentially qualify for a PTSD diagnosis. Dr. Halper has screened hundreds of military veterans, and first responders and has served as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Department of Defense.


Texas OKs police interaction instruction for high schoolers

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Meredith Hoffman Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Legislature has voted to require all public high schools to provide instruction on how to best interact with law enforcement in traffic stops and other situations.

The bill by Democratic Sens. Royce West of Dallas and John Whitmire of Houston is in response to a series of violent encounters between police and the public that made national news.

The sponsors want to teach students what's expected of them when interacting with police. It also requires drivers' education courses to include information on how to act during traffic stops.

Also mandated would be instruction for police officers on their responsibilities during an encounter.

The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who can sign or veto it. If he takes no action, it becomes law automatically.


Oakland to pay nearly $1M to teen in police sex scandal

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland city officials early Wednesday approved a proposal to pay nearly $1 million to the teen daughter of a police dispatcher who said she was sexually abused by officers while she worked as an underage prostitute.

The teen, now 19, claims she had sex with two dozen San Francisco Bay Area police officers, some when she was younger than 18. Prosecutors have charged six current and retired officers for their alleged involvement with the teen, including several from Oakland. Two have pleaded guilty.

"It is time to pay the settlement agreement to let this young woman get on with her life and her healing, but also for Oakland to step up and change the culture in the police department and change how we recruit and train our officers," Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said in a statement.

The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sexual crimes.

The woman's allegation has roiled the Oakland Police Department, which cycled through three police chiefs in under two weeks before the city administrator took over the department when the scandal became public in June 2016.

The council voted 7-1 early Wednesday morning on the city attorney's recommendation to pay $989,000 to settle the teen's claims. The teen's initial claim sought $66 million.

"The settlement occurred with no admission of liability, but obviously if you pay $1 million, you figure you got some responsibility," said Oakland attorney John Burris, who represented the teen.

Burris said she still has claims pending against the cities of Livermore and Richmond and Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The scandal surfaced after a federal judge who monitors the long-troubled department ordered internal affairs to look deeper into an officer's suicide note in which he discussed his and colleagues' relationship with the woman. The officer killed himself in September 2015.

The woman has said she is no longer a prostitute.


Pa. man arrested after calling 911 for conversation

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Police say a Pennsylvania man repeatedly called 911 while intoxicated because he was seeking conversation.

Pennsylvania State Police say 51-year-old Larry Keiser first called around 10:30 p.m. Friday because he wanted to speak with a police officer. He said there was no emergency.

Keiser called five more times, leading police to show up at his home in North Whitehall Township after midnight.

The man told officers he drank several beers because he was upset about a family situation. Troopers told Keiser not to call 911 again unless there was an emergency, and he said he wouldn't call again.

Troopers say he called 911 the minute after officers left.

Keiser has been arrested and is facing charges that include intentionally calling 911 for other than emergency purposes.


Howard U police officers fired in wheelchair ‘dump’ incident

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Howard University officials have fired two campus police officers and their supervisor after video showed officers dumping a woman from a wheelchair outside the university's hospital.

Gabriel Adegoke, president of the Metropolitan Campus Police Officers Union, says a male and a female officer were terminated. A male supervisor, who ordered that the patient be removed from the hospital, was also fired.

The Washington Post reports the incident occurred last month. In the video, a male officer appears to be pushing a barefoot woman in the chair. Her legs are flung in the air when the officer stops abruptly, and she tumbles out of the chair. A second male officer and a female officer watch as the woman hits the ground.

Adegoke says the second male officer was not terminated.

#EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Three Howard University security guards appear to dump a wheelchair-bound woman onto sidewalk: https://t.co/d7eyXNOlCZ. pic.twitter.com/7FvBfAX534

— ABC 7 News - WJLA (@ABC7News) May 16, 2017


5 Calif. deputies rescued after falling into river during training exercise

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Marc Benjamin The Fresno Bee

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. — Five Fresno County sheriff’s deputies were rescued Tuesday after falling into the Kings River during a swift-water training exercise.

A lieutenant, two sergeants and two deputies went into the water after a raft flipped about 12:30 p.m. near Kirch Flat on the Upper Kings River.

Three were rescued by 1:05 p.m., sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said.

The two that remained in the water held onto a tree until they were rescued about 1:55 p.m., Botti said.

“All of them are well-seasoned,” he said.

During the second rescue, the two deputies were in communication with rescuers on the shore, he said.

A sheriff’s helicopter assisted the rescue, Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

Cal Fire and Fresno County Emergency Medical Services helped rescue the deputies, Botti said.

———

©2017 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)


5 common crimes committed by sovereign citizens

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chris Meyer, PoliceOne Contributor

In a study conducted by The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) in 2014, law enforcement agencies identified the sovereign citizen movement as the greatest threat to their communities. To put it in perspective, the same study in 2006 identified Islamic extremists as the greatest threat.

What is a sovereign citizen?

Sovereign citizens believe that federal, state, and local governments operate illegally. Additionally, some sovereign citizens believe federal and state officials have no real authority and will only recognize the local sheriff’s department as the only legitimate government official. The actions of sovereign citizens, to “fix the system” range from quirky-but-legal to severe crimes. According to the FBI, when sovereign citizens feel their ideals are challenged they can escalate to violence quickly. Since 2000, lone-offender sovereign citizen extremists have killed six law enforcement officers.

Law enforcement must understand the sovereign citizen movement and be able to identify indicators to protect themselves from the group’s threatening tactics. Most of these crimes are based on the Redemption Theory.

What is the Redemption Theory and a strawman birth certificate?

The Redemption Theory says that when the U.S. dollar was taken off the gold standard, the government started using its citizens as collateral. Sovereign citizens believe that social security numbers, birth certificates, even zip codes are part of a system that assigns a collateral value to every citizen.

At the center of the theory is the idea that U.S. citizens have two identities. One identity is a legal entity known as a strawman, created by a birth certificate—thus strawman birth certificate. The second identity is you as a physical person. The theory claims that when you reject your strawman identity, your physical person is no longer liable for the strawman’s debts.

Sovereign citizens believe a secret bank account exists at the United States Department of the Treasury. They exploit this belief by filing fraudulent financial documents, charging their debt to the Treasury Department and committing additional mortgage, credit card, tax, and loan fraud.

It’s common for sovereign citizens to continue their schemes from behind bars and learn new tactics from inmates and spread their ideology within prison walls which make the schemes increasingly clever and difficult to identify.

The most common fraud crimes of sovereign citizens

1. Income tax evasion

A commonly described “benefit” of sovereignty is the nonessential need to pay federal or state taxes. According to the Redemption Theory, a sovereign citizen is not responsible for tax debts because they denounced the identity assigned to them by their so-called strawman birth certificate. Thus, taxes are the responsibility of the strawman and not the sovereign citizen.

And while income tax evasion itself may not directly endanger the safety of our communities, bringing the criminals to justice can lead to dangerous situations. One such instance occurred when Elaine and Edward Brown refused to show up in court for income tax evasion and stockpiled weapons while barricading themselves inside their home.

2. The redemption scheme

Proponents of this scheme claim that the U.S. government control bank accounts—often referred to as “U.S. Treasury Direct Accounts” — for all U.S. citizens. Sovereign citizens claim these accounts can be accessed by submitting paperwork with state and federal authorities.

This scheme predominately uses fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate. These documents are frequently referred to as “bills of exchange,” “promissory bonds,” “indemnity bonds,” “offset bonds,” or “sight drafts.” Other official documents frequently used include IRS forms 1099, 1099-OID, and 8300.

Although it's most common for sovereign citizens to propagate their schemes, other scammers may only be looking for a quick profit. The redemption scheme promises its victims the ability to pay down their debts—mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and more, using government funds. When the process fails, the scammer blames the victim for missing a deadline or filing the wrong forms.

3. Selling fraudulent documents

Sovereign citizens commit financial crimes with the assistance of a wide range of fake documents. They forge financial documents to establish lines of credit, create fake businesses, and more.

According to the FBI, sovereign citizens forge and sell drivers’ licenses, passports, diplomatic identification, vehicle registrations, concealed firearms permits, law enforcement credentials, and insurance forms. In Kansas City, sovereign citizens were convicted of forging diplomatic immunity cards and selling them for up to $2000.

The number of fraudulent documents associated with sovereign citizens can be an investigative challenge, too. At traffic stops, law enforcement officers need to be aware of fraudulent documentation like birth certificates, drivers’ licenses or vehicle tags. When asked to provide a name, it’s common for a sovereign citizen to respond that they don’t have a name or they may identify themselves as “the representative of…(their legal name).” If you do receive a name, it may be a sovereign name, compounded with “El” or “Bey” and intended to denounce their association with the name provided them by a government entity.

Be sure to document all known aliases.

4. Financial fraud schemes

Sovereign citizens commit many types of fraud—mail, bank, insurance, mortgage, and wire fraud – and try to justify their actions through their beliefs.

Just a few months ago, a man was convicted of attempting to make the government of Denver pay his personal debts.

In 2009, two men involved in the sovereign-citizen movement in Las Vegas, Nevada were arrested and charged with laundering $1.3 million for undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen.

In 2010, two sovereign citizens in Sacramento, California were convicted of running a fraudulent insurance scheme. They were operating a company completely outside of state insurance regulatory authorities. The men sold “lifetime memberships” to customers and promised to pay any accident claims against members. The company collected millions of dollars, but paid only small auto insurance claims and ignored large ones.

5. Intimidation and obstruction of law enforcement

Sovereign citizens use their fraudulent methods to target officers. They often try to intimidate law enforcement officers and prevent them from fulfilling their duty.

Sovereign citizens use counterfeit entities to make themselves appear to be members of the Constitution Rangers, Republic of Texas Rangers, U.S. Marshals, Civil Rights Task Force, and more. Sovereigns who purport to represent such agencies often have identification cards, badges, and sometimes even accessories such as police raid jackets.

Using these props, sovereign citizens have attempted to get past courtroom security, issue warrants and indictments, extricate themselves from encounters with police, and even to intimidate or “interrogate” others.

Additionally, sovereign citizens may request an oath of office, proof of jurisdiction, film interactions with officers, and more. Sovereign citizens can also use legitimate federal documents, such as suspicious activity reports to target law enforcement officers’ reputations.

The belief that strawman birth certificates are used to create separate legal entities for every U.S. citizen serves as a gateway for a multitude of crimes. All levels of government, including law enforcement officers, are prime targets for sovereign citizens. If you educate yourself and stay aware of the warning signs, you can spot these schemes and protect yourself and your community.


Police union gears up for fight after cop who fatally shot Tamir Rice is fired

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Adam Ferrise Advance Ohio Media

CLEVELAND — The city of Cleveland on Tuesday fired the rookie police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, more than two and a half years after the boy's death.

Timothy Loehmann's ouster from the department was not the result of November 2014 killing the child, but for his failure to disclose the fact that he was asked to resign from the Independence Police Department after a supervisor raised concerns about his ability to be an effective police officer.

In addition to firing Loehmann, Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath also handed down a 10-day suspension for officer Frank Garmback for putting Loehmann in danger for driving his partner within feet of the boy who had an airsoft replica pistol tucked in his waistband. Garmback will begin serving his suspension on Wednesday.

"There's a 12-year-old kid dead," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said. "People on both sides are going to say it wasn't enough, it was too much. But we have to be fair and objective to everyone involved in the process. We believe we've come to a fair conclusion through this process."

The firing brought some sense of closure to Tamir's mother Samaria Rice, who addressed reporters shortly after McGrath's announcement. Rice, who settled a civil lawsuit against the city and the police department for a record $6 million, said she is disappointed that Loehmann's ouster came from what amounts to an omission on a job application instead of killing her son.

Rice said she was disappointed that Garmback wasn't fired.

"I'm relieved Loehmann was fired." Rice said." "He should have never been a police officer to begin with."

A grand jury in December 2015 declined to indict both Loehmann and Garmback for their respective roles in Tamir's death. Then Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty recommended that the grand jury not charge the officers after a series of experts hired by his office deemed the shooting "objectively reasonable."

Two others have been disciplined in the case: the 911 call taker, Constance Hollinger, and officer William Cunningham, who was working was working off-duty at the Cudell Recreation Center without permission. He received a two-day suspension without pay.

Hollinger was suspended eight days without pay for failing to relay critical information to Beth Mandl, a dispatcher who sent Garmback and Loehmann to the rec center.

Hollinger did not tell Mandl that the 911 caller told her that Tamir was "probably a child" and that that the airsoft gun he had was "probably fake." Mandl told Garmback and Loehmann to investigate a report of a "guy with a gun" scaring people outside the center.

Mandl would later resigned.

The city took some 30 months to issue the discipline because they waited for the criminal investigation and the civil lawsuit to be completed, Williams said.

The union that represents both police officers filed an appeal of the discipline within hours of McGrath's announcement. Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis, whose public statements about Tamir's death often drew the ire of civil-rights leaders, said he is confident that an arbitrator will overturn the discipline.

"This is nothing but a political witch hunt," Loomis said. "We're not going to stand for it. They didn't do anything wrong."

Loomis began gearing up to fight the disciplinary actions hours after they were levied, and said he hoped to have the appeal before an arbitrator by the end of the summer. He cited the report done by a review panel of city officials assembled by Williams with the goal of recommending discipline in the case.

The Critical Incident Review Committee, which took the place of a normal internal affairs investigation, found that neither officer violated any police policies and recommended no discipline.

Williams said after he got the report, he asked for a review of Loehmann's employment background. That turned up information on his departure from the Independence Police Department that showed he was forced to resign after a series of incidents that led his supervisors to believe he was unfit to be a police officer.

Loomis said Loehmann never intended to lie on his application. He said the officer ran out of room on the application to explain how he left the department and that he passed a lie detector test prior to being hired. The city has since changed its policy to review all personnel files for prospective employees who were police officers in other cities.

Williams said Loehmann was on his probationary period when the shooting happened, but Loomis disputed that. Loomis said Loehmann was a full officer who has the protection of the union.

CPPA attorney Henry Hilow said if Loehmann was trying to hide something, he could have left Independence off his application entirely.

"They had to resurrect the Independence personnel file because they had nothing on him," Hilow said.

Rice's attorney Subodh Chandra said he's now worried that the discipline levied against them won't withstand an appeal to an arbitrator by the CPPA. Chandra said the city has a poor track record in arbitration cases.

The federal consent decree monitor said it appeared arbitrators overturn about two out of three cases involving officer discipline.

"We still need accountability," Rice said. "We want to make sure that he never gets re-hired again through the next process that they take."

Williams said he expects the discipline to survive any appeals.

"We have every expectation that the decision will stick," Williams said. "We went through a two-year process in making these decisions, so we expect them to be upheld."

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


1 arrested after W.Va. officer dies during pursuit

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A man suspected of drunken driving faces multiple charges after a police pursuit in West Virginia ended in an accident that killed one officer and injured three others.

Mercer County Prosecutor George Sitler tells WVNS-TV that 27-year-old Morgan Smith Walker was arrested on charges including DUI causing death with reckless disregard.

Walker was being held in the Southern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond. Jail records didn't list Walker's hometown or indicate whether he has an attorney.

The name of the Bluefield officer who died early Tuesday was withheld pending notification of relatives. Two other city officers and a state trooper were treated at a hospital and released.

Details of the accident haven't been released. State police are investigating.


Police: Man with fake gun tried ‘suicide by cop’ at Fla. airport

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A mentally distressed former Marine who was armed with a fake gun attempted a "suicide by cop" during a nearly three-hour standoff with police at the Orlando International Airport before peacefully surrendering, authorities said.

No one was hurt and no shots were ever fired, but the Tuesday night standoff caused confusion and anxiety among travelers who were uncertain about what was going on. Part of the airport was evacuated as hundreds of officers stormed the area, some with their guns drawn.

Michael Wayne Pettigrew, 26, was in "mental distress" when police surrounded him at the rental car area of the airport, authorities said. He pointed what looked like a real gun at officers and himself, authorities said.

Footage of police in standoff with armed man at Orlando Airport. pic.twitter.com/q2vbELqPIa

— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) May 31, 2017

"Our negotiators did a phenomenal job of talking with the subject for about two hours and finally got him to peacefully surrender," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.

Pettigrew was being held for a mental evaluation and faces aggravated assault charges.

Glorializ Colón Plaza, 20, told the Orlando Sentinel she was just getting off work from Virgin Atlantic airlines when she saw everyone hiding. She got off the elevator and saw the man on the floor near the rental car area. He was screaming, and officers had surrounded him.

"I couldn't make out the words, but he was screaming really loud," she said. "Everyone there told me right before this happened a man said to everyone: 'You're going to need mental therapy after this,' then he pulled out a gun and everyone ran."

Plaza said she didn't hear any gunshots or see anyone injured.

"I saw all the cops with the long rifles and started shaking," she said. "It didn't seem real."

Police descend upon Orlando airport in response to 'incident' involving man with a weapon in rental car lot. https://t.co/8BL9lwBi7b pic.twitter.com/AhymcYN91j

— ABC News (@ABC) May 31, 2017

Earlier this year, authorities say an Alaska man killed five people inside a baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The incident at the Orlando airport was first reported about 7:24 p.m. Terminal A was eventually closed, but the other side of the airport, Terminal B, remained open during the standoff.

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher praised the response of both law enforcement and airport employees.

The suspect pointed the gun at officers and said "shoot me, shoot me!" said @ChiefJohnMina. This is the gun he pointed at police. pic.twitter.com/nFFmi6sDXp

— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2017

"Our employees did everything in accordance with what OPD has trained them to do," Kruppenbacher said. "You couldn't have a better resolution. No one was hurt. The airport continued to operate on the other side."

Some flights were delayed during the ordeal, but airport operations were returning to normal late Tuesday night.

Images posted on social media showed a heavy police presence in the area and passengers were worried about their safety and missing flights. At one point, the Florida Highway Patrol tweeted that all roads to the airport were shut down, with "zero exceptions." Orlando police later said the entrances were open but congested.

Thank you for all the support and kind words tonight and for helping us get accurate information out. Peaceful resolution; no one hurt. pic.twitter.com/fDSndMmVCl

— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2017

UPDATE: Gunman is in custody. Everyone is safe. Will brief as soon as possible in the media staging area. pic.twitter.com/8sNZ3Vjmv7

— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2017


LAPD uses spit from sidewalk to tie suspect to 2 killings

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Authorities trailing a man suspected of sexually assaulting and killing two young women who disappeared from their Los Angeles neighborhoods used his DNA to tie him to the 2011 crimes after he spit on a sidewalk.

Geovanni Borjas, 32, was identified as a suspect in the slayings of Michelle Lozano, 17, and Bree'Anna Guzman, 22, after investigators used a controversial DNA testing technique known as familial DNA testing, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

The technique enabled investigators to compare forensic evidence from the victims to law enforcement databases to identify likely relatives of the person who may have committed the crime. The search resulted in a match to Borjas' father, whose DNA was on file from a prior arrest, Beck said.

Detectives began following Borjas and collected his DNA surreptitiously after he spit on a sidewalk, the chief said. That sample matched the DNA that was collected from the crime scenes and Borjas was arrested Thursday, he said.

Borjas was charged Tuesday with two counts each of murder and forcible rape, and one count of kidnapping and was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon. A call placed to a number listed for Borjas in public records went unanswered Tuesday, and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Lozano was found dead April 25, 2011, a day after she disappeared from the Lincoln Heights neighborhood. Her body was found wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed inside a container that was dumped in the brush along Interstate 5, police said. An autopsy found she had been strangled.

"Michelle was murdered, she was sexually assaulted and she was discarded," Beck said. "These two murders were horrific."

Borjas is also charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing Guzman, who had disappeared from the Boyle Heights neighborhood on Dec. 26, 2011. Guzman, who had dreamed of becoming a pastry chef, told family members she was going to a nearby pharmacy to buy cough drops but never returned. Her body was found a month later along a ramp leading to State Route 2.

Detectives have said forensic evidence linked the two slayings, but have declined to provide specific details. Investigators are still trying to determine if Borjas knew the two victims, but he hasn't cooperated with detectives, Beck said.

Several members of Guzman's family attended the police news conference Tuesday afternoon. Her father broke down in tears as he described his daughter's life. He said his daughter did not know Borjas.

"He's in jail and he's never going to leave," Guzman's father, Richard Duran, said in Spanish. "That gives me a lot of happiness. I have closure now."

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said investigators had exhausted every lead in the case and credited the familial DNA testing with giving detectives the break they needed to finally solve the case. The technique has raised ethical issues in the forensics community, but law enforcement officials have argued the testing can provide investigators with valuable leads.

It has been used only a handful of times in Los Angeles and led to the arrest of Lonnie Franklin Jr. in the Grim Sleeper serial killings, which spanned from 1985 to 2007. Sheriff's officials also used it earlier this year to solve the decades-old killing of the ex-wife of Righteous Brothers singer Bill Medley.


Calif. lawmakers OK bill prompted by slaying of officer

Posted on May 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Assembly has passed a bill tightening parole policies after a gang member with repeated probation violations was accused of killing a police officer near Los Angeles.

The Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to send the measure to the state Senate.

The bill would require officials to evaluate an inmate's entire criminal history when considering their release from prison. AB1408 would also mandate that officials hold a hearing after a person's third parole violation to decide if their parole should be revoked.

Assemblyman Ian Calderon says his bill would also help law enforcement officials share information and allow for better supervision of criminals.

The Los Angeles-area Democrat authored the bill after Whittier police officer Keith Boyer was killed in February.


Sheriff: Miss. shooting suspect dodged officers by swapping cars

Posted on May 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Josh Replogle and Jeff Amy Associated Press

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — A man accused of killing eight people at three houses in Mississippi swapped cars several times as he fled the crimes, eluding officers tracking him across the rural county, a sheriff said Tuesday.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said his small department got help trying to capture Willie Corey Godbolt but had no way to know where he would show up next.

"We have no magic ball to see which way he's going," Rushing said.

The initial call to remove a person involved in a domestic dispute at a home seemed run-of-the-mill when it came in about 11:30 Saturday night, the sheriff said. His department had dealt with Godbolt before — arresting him for disturbing the peace and simple assault.

"We've handled calls like that a thousand times," he said. "At some point, it went really bad."

Deputy William Durr was the first to respond, with a second officer following a few minutes behind, according to Rushing. The department of about 20 full-time officers covers a county that's more than 500 square miles, so responding to a call can take some time, he said.

Witnesses say Godbolt had gone to a Bogue Chitto home to demand that his estranged wife give up their two children and seemed like he was going to comply when the deputy asked him to leave but then opened fire.

Durr was killed, as were three others at that house. Authorities said Godbolt, 35, fled and killed four more people at two other homes. Aside from the deputy, they were all relatives or acquaintances of the man accused of the shooting.

Rushing said two other sheriff's departments and the highway patrol were helping to capture Godbolt but tracking him was difficult because he changed vehicles three or four times.

"You didn't know where he was going from there because he was leaving so quick," he said.

At least seven hours elapsed between the first shootings and Godbolt's arrest near the final crime scene, in a subdivision of ranch houses.

Investigators said Godbolt will be charged with one count of capital murder and seven counts of first-degree murder. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said the charges could change as the investigation continues.

At his first court appearance Tuesday, Godbolt showed little emotion. Lincoln County Justice Court Judge Roger Martin denied bond for Godbolt and said the court will appoint an attorney for him. He's being held in the Copiah County jail.

Brookhaven is a south Mississippi city surrounded by pine trees and rolling green pastures. The outbreak of violence has shaken the county of 34,500 residents.

Caleb Edwards, 15, said it was after midnight when Godbolt burst into the home where he and other young people were playing video games.

Caleb said the man demanded to know where his cousin's parents were. Jordan Blackwell, 18, said they were gone to another town.

At that, Godbolt "just started shooting," Caleb said.

As people scrambled to hide inside the Brookhaven home, Blackwell used his own body to shield his cousin Caleb from the gunfire.

With his mother standing by his side Monday, Caleb spoke calmly as he recounted to The Associated Press how he felt the force of the impact as Blackwell was shot Sunday.

"He loved me enough to take some bullets for me," Caleb said.

Caleb's 11-year-old brother, Austin Edwards, was also shot to death in that living room early Sunday.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation identified some of the slain as Barbara Mitchell, 55; Brenda May, 53; Tocarra May, 35; Ferral Burage, 45; Shelia Burage, 46; and Deputy William Durr, 36. The parents of Austin Edwards and Jordan Blackwell identified their sons as the other victims.

Funeral services for the victims have been scheduled over several days starting Thursday.

Godbolt told The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/2rbQIq5 ) that he hadn't planned to be captured alive.

"My intentions was to have God kill me. I ran out of bullets," he said. "Suicide by cop was my intention."

Godbolt had been hospitalized for a gunshot wound and was released Tuesday; it wasn't clear who shot him, but investigators say it wasn't the police.


Police release 911 audio, video of fatal DC standoff

Posted on May 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Police released 911 audio and video Friday of the January 16 fatal shooting of a man who shot his two brothers and set his home on fire.

Mohammad Doudzai, 32, got into an argument with his girlfriend, who called his two brothers to the house, WTOP reported. Doudzai shot both brothers during the argument. The brothers and Doudzai’s girlfriend then fled the scene and called police on the way to a hospital, NBC Washington reported.

The girlfriend told police Doudzai was using nitrous oxide canisters. Cocaine was later found in his system.

Doudzai continued to fire shots and began to set small fires in the house. That’s when his roommate, still inside the residence, called 911 to say he was trapped in a bathroom and there was smoke filling up the home.

During the ensuing standoff, Doudzai is seen on video cutting the screen of a door with a knife and approaching police. He was shot three times. Police also used an electronic control device in an attempt to stop the suspect.

Officer Lance Guckenberger was found justified in the shooting.

“The officers on the scene were confronted with a rapidly evolving and potentially deadly situation,” Attorney Raymond Morrogh’s report said. “There was no hope of reasoning with him. It is clear from the evidence that MPO Guckenberger fired his weapon in order to save the life of the hostage.”


Mo. man allegedly set up fake LE memorial non-profit, solicited donations

Posted on May 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FARMINGTON, Mo. — A man is facing a lawsuit after allegedly misleading donors who thought he was raising money for a non-profit memorial to honor fallen officers.

Attorney General Josh Hawley told KFVS that Terry Lemons told donors he was raising money for the memorial under the name “Thin Blue Line Tahoe,” claiming it was a non-profit.

The state’s attorney general's office filed a lawsuit against Lemons, stating he told donors he was creating a “traveling” memorial, The Daily Journal Online reported.

Lemons used the money to make his personal car resemble a patrol vehicle, complete with radar equipment, a shotgun, emergency lights and a computer. According to the news station, he allegedly spent the rest of the money at bars, restaurants and on a match.com account.

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Lemons claims his personal vehicle is the memorial he promised to donors and names of fallen police and K-9 officers are listed on the hood and rear doors, the publication reported.

The AG’s office claims Lemons does not display the vehicle as a memorial, but instead uses it for personal transportation.

According to court documents, Thin Blue Line Tahoe is not an official nonprofit corporation and there is no nonprofit that accepts donations on Lemons’ behalf. The documents also state that Lemons failed to register with the attorney general’s office prior to soliciting funds for charity, did not keep record of those funds and claimed the donations were tax-deductible when they weren’t.

“We will aggressively pursue those who take advantage of Missourians generosity, especially when they dishonor law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities,” Hawley said.

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Sneak peak

Posted by Thinbluelinetahoe on Tuesday, May 2, 2017


NJ cop killed in multi-car crash on way to work

Posted on May 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff BERNARDS, N.J. — A police officer was killed in a three-car wreck on his way to work. Pol