February 24, 2018

Looming execution divides mother, daughter of slain Va. deputy

Posted on July 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alanna Durkin Richer Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — The daughter of a sheriff's deputy killed by a man set to be executed in Virginia said Wednesday that she has urged the state's governor to spare the man's life, but the slain deputy's mother says she hopes the prisoner is executed.

William Morva is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday for the 2006 killings of Derrick McFarland, a hospital security guard, and Eric Sutphin, a sheriff's deputy.

Rachel Sutphin, the deputy's daughter, said she is among those urging Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt Morva's execution.

"I am against the death penalty for religious and moral reasons," Sutphin said in an email to reporters. "I have fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional. I have sent my own letter to the Governor showing my support for clemency," she said.

Meanwhile, the deputy's mother says that while she feels sympathy for Morva's family, she does not want the governor to intervene.

"I have no hatred for this creature who shot him execution-style. I just want justice for my son," Jeaneen Sutphin told The Roanoke Times in her Virginia home Wednesday.

Morva was awaiting trial on attempted robbery charges in 2005 when he was taken to the hospital to have an injury treated. There, he attacked a sheriff's deputy with a metal toilet paper holder, stole the deputy's gun and shot McFarland, in the face from two feet away before fleeing. McFarland was unarmed.

A day later, Morva killed Eric Sutphin with a bullet in the back of the head. The sheriff's deputy had been searching for Morva near Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus when he was shot. Morva was later found in a ditch with the deputy's gun nearby.

Morva's attorneys argue his crimes were the result of a severe mental illness that makes it impossible for him to distinguish between delusions and reality.

Jurors were told Morva suffered from a personality disorder that resulted in "odd beliefs." He has since been diagnosed with delusional disorder, a more severe mental illness akin to schizophrenia, his attorneys say.

Before his escape, Morva told his mother that his health was "dwindling" and that someone in jail wanted him to die. His attorneys say his escape and the killings were spurred by Morva's belief that his life in jail was at risk.

Morva's clemency bid has gotten support from national mental health advocates, several Virginia lawmakers and two United Nations human rights experts.

"We are concerned at Mr. Morva's deteriorating psychosocial condition," U.N. Special Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Dainius Pûras said in a statement Wednesday. "The denial of reasonable accommodation in detention can be considered a form of discrimination against him because of his mental health condition," they said.

Other relatives of Sutphin and McFarland either haven't returned calls or could not be reached.

A prosecutor in Morva's case has urged McAuliffe not to intervene, saying in a letter that several experts who examined Morva before his trial agreed he had a "superior IQ" and suffered from a variety of personality disorders.

"To assert some 10 years later that all three of the original experts were wrong is absurd," Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney Mary Pettitt told McAuliffe. "With enough time and motivation one can always find an expert to say what you want to hear but that doesn't mean it's true or accurate," she said.

McAuliffe, a Catholic who says he personally opposes the death penalty but has an obligation to uphold the law as governor, has called off one execution since taking office. In April, he granted clemency to Ivan Teleguz, saying jurors in the murder-for-hire case were given false information that may have swayed sentencing.

Virginia governors have halted executions for mental health concerns before. In 2008, Gov. Tim Kaine commuted a man's death sentence amid concerns about his competence. A decade earlier, Gov. Jim Gilmore spared a man with schizophrenia.


Prosecutor: Man planned to bomb LE, discussed beheadings

Posted on July 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama prosecutors say a man jailed on terror-related charges pledged allegiance to Islamic State and talked about wanting to behead people.

State authorities outlined evidence against 22-year-old Aziz Sayyed during a hearing Wednesday in Huntsville.

A defense attorney for the North Carolina native is asking a judge to set bail so the man can get out of jail. But prosecutor Jay Town told a judge Sayyed claimed he wanted to behead people, and he practiced using a knife.

Authorities have said the man had bomb-making materials, and Town says he planned to use them at a police office after pledging allegiance to Islamic State.

Sayyed is charged with second-degree soliciting or providing help for terrorism. The defense argues he hasn't done anything to prohibit his release on bond.


Slain NYPD officer recalled as devoted mom, cop

Posted on July 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mark Morales and Nicole Fuller Newsday

NEW YORK — Slain NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia was devoted to her three children — 12-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and her daughter, a 20-year-old college student — and recently asked to work overnight shifts so she could spend more time with them over their summer break, family members said.

The 48-year-old single mother moved about three weeks ago from her assignment in the police department’s central booking to overnights in the Bronx’s 46th Precinct, said one of Familia’s sisters, Adriana Sanchez, 39, a medical technician who lives in West Milford, New Jersey.

In a cruel twist, it was on an overnight shift at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, when police said gunman Alexander Bonds, 34, a Bronx resident, fired on her as she sat in a marked police vehicle with her partner. Bonds was fatally shot by police about a block away.

”They are numb,” Sanchez said of her sister’s children. “They were like ‘Who’s going to take care of us now?’”

Familia was a veteran cop devoted to policing said those who knew her. She lived in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. Her 86-year-old mother lives with the family and helped look after the children, friends and relatives said.

Described as a tough but friendly street cop, Familia wanted to make the city — her hometown — a safer place.

“She loved it,” said Sanchez, one of 10 siblings — three sisters and seven brothers. “That’s what her dream was, to become a police officer. She was very like a tough girl. She said she wanted to protect the city from all those crazies, and look what happened.”

Family members described Familia as someone who was quick to laugh but serious about her job and well aware of the risks associated with police work. Familia had resisted suggestions from family to retire, relatives said, partly due out of a dedication to police work, but also because she had three children to support.

“That’s the job. You have to live on the edge.” Sanchez said. “She loved her job. She always wanted to be a police officer. She even told me, you should become a police officer and I said, ‘No, I’ll probably run away from a shooting.’”

Familia first joined the NYPD’s training academy in 2002 but withdrew. She came back in July 2005, police said.

The 12-year NYPD veteran also had medical vocational training, including certification as a phlebotomist, police said.

Outside Familia’s house in the Bronx Wednesday, Carlos Corporan, her brother-in-law, offered up a simple explantation to describe the family’s devastation.

“She was loved,” he said.

That was evident outside the 46th Precinct, where residents who knew Familia — and even those who didn’t — including school children, stopped to pay their respects.

Before working in central booking, she had been in the 46th Precinct, and was known to residents.

Maria Santiago, 77, who has lived near the precinct since 1981, arrived with eyes puffy from crying. She said she had gotten to know Familia over the years during the officer’s regular patrol of the area, and wanted to come to the police station to pay her respects.

“She was very sweet. She was very gentle,” Santiago said with tears in her eyes as she recalled how Familia would greet her whenever their paths crossed.

Marie Espinal, 35, whose husband works at the 46th precinct, arrived at the police station with flowers in hand to honor a woman she described as a close friend.

“She was a good mother, a good worker, and she really cared about this community,” Espinal said of Familia.

Asked why Familia wanted to be a cop, Espinal said: “She just wanted to be saving the world. Be there for her community. Do better.”

———

©2017 Newsday


Man who called himself Santa Claus arrested after pursuit

Posted on July 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLINTON, Maine — This Santa made the naughty list.

Maine State Police say they arrested the driver of a stolen vehicle who identified himself as Santa Claus following a nearly 50-mile chase Tuesday.

Police said the chase started in Clinton after they tried to pull the driver over for a traffic violation. The chase reached 112 miles an hour before spike strips were deployed in Newburgh, about 30 miles away.

Christos Kassaras, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, drove on busted tires another 15 miles before troopers caught and arrested him.

It wasn't immediately known if the 54-year-old had a lawyer. A woman who identified herself as his mother said she hadn't spoken to him and had no comment.

Kassaras was jailed on stolen vehicle and criminal speed charges.

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CLINTON, Maine- On July 4, 2017, Sgt. Matt Casavant was patrolling Interstate 95 in Clinton when he attempted to stop a...

Opublikowany przez Maine State Police - Headquarters na 5 lipca 2017


Chicago’s July Fourth weekend ends with flurry of homicides

Posted on July 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago police say an eruption of gun violence after the official end of the July Fourth weekend left nearly as many people dead in a few hours as were killed between Friday afternoon and midnight Tuesday.

Police say there were 56 incidents in which people were shot, including eight homicides, from Friday evening until midnight Tuesday. But between midnight and 6 a.m. Wednesday, another 15 incidents of people being shot occurred, including six homicides.

The shootings came as the department put more than 1,300 extra officers on the streets, which has become standard during long, warm-weather holiday weekends.

During last year's July Fourth weekend, which was a day shorter than this year's, 50 people were shot — three fatally.

Police say they seized 158 illegal guns this holiday weekend.


Sly Tactical offers a better way to sling a rifle

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Todd Fletcher
Author: Todd Fletcher

We all know someone who can’t leave well enough alone, or someone who is always looking for a way to “build a better mousetrap.” That describes Kevin McCarthy pretty well, and it’s what he has done with Sly Tactical. He has combined an engineer’s design prowess with a police officer’s experience to make simple and effective slings that are highly ergonomic and efficiently designed.

McCarthy is a retired police officer with experience in patrol, a street crime and warrant service unit, as well as operating on a tactical team. After some of his gear failed in these operational environments, he set out to find a better way to sling a rifle. One result of his efforts is the Sly Tactical Quick Conversion Sling.

Sly Tactical sent me one of its Quick Conversion Slings in OD green and included the unique and highly functional Thumb Tab. This sling is well-made and durable. It’s well-thought out using Made in the USA materials and includes strong mil-spec Class 1 1-inch nylon webbing. The stitching is uniform using mil-spec thread, and all the aluminum hardware is hard anodized for durability.

Easy conversion from one-point to two-point system

On the range and on duty, this sling demonstrates it is a cut above the rest. The innovative Quick Conversion Sling allows the user to run the sling as a one-point or two-point system. This makes for a flexible system capable of going from shoulder to shoulder with ease then quickly converting to a secure two-point sling that frees up both hands.

Sly Tactical made this possible by using a thumb tab on the front sling snap where it connects to the sling mount and a single-point buckle near the buttstock. When converting from a two-point to a one-point sling, the user’s thumb runs along the front sling snap and can quickly disconnect the front of the sling from the rifle. Then, the front sling mount is attached to the single-point buckle near the buttstock. This process only takes a couple of seconds and is easily performed on the range or street. This is a simple and effective solution.

Sling tension adjustment is a breeze

The best thing about the Sly Tactical Sling is the tension and slack adjustment. A lot of slings on the market feature a system for adjusting sling tension; however, while wearing body armor, the adjustment feature seems to always hide under your arm making it difficult to find in a hurry. The Sly Tactical Sling features a “T” handle adjustment quick and easy to locate. Instead of hiding under your body armor and under your arm, the “T” handle is designed to adjust sling tension from the front of the sling. No matter your position, the “T” handle is located in the same place every time.

Rear sling mount is great addition

Another great product is the rear sling mount, which along with a Quick Conversion Sling, is a great addition to any rifle. The rear sling mount is unique in that you don’t have to take anything apart to use it. To install it, all you need to know is how to tighten a screw. The mount clamps securely around the outside of the buffer tube without putting pressure on the buffer itself.

The company has several good videos showing how quick and easy the slings can be changed from one configuration to another. Sly Tactical has certainly built several better mousetraps, and the company stands behind its products with a lifetime warranty.


Man lifts car off of pinned Fla. trooper

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Todd Fletcher

By PoliceOne Staff

TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida man is being hailed as a hero after he lifted a car off of a trooper who was pinned underneath it.

According to Fox 13, Kenny Franklin was in an Uber Thursday when his driver suffered a seizure and lost control of the vehicle.

"His foot is accelerating on the gas, and instantly, I'm in the back seat wondering, 'Okay, my life is pretty much over at this point,'" Franklin told Fox 13.

Franklin managed to get control of the vehicle and take it off the road. That’s when Trooper Jack Hypes pulled up behind the car and the Uber driver woke up in a panic.

As Hypes exited his vehicle to assess the situation, the confused driver put the car in reverse and pinned the trooper.

"Adrenaline was racing," Franklin told the news channel. "Your heart, you know, is going a million miles an hour, and all you're thinking about at that time is this, this needs to end well."

Franklin managed to lift the vehicle off of the trooper, saving his life. Hypes suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Franklin says he was glad he could help.


By the numbers: Deciphering gun death rates in America

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

P1 Community
Author: P1 Community

By Alex Bryant, PoliceOne Contributor

Gun deaths are a serious issue in the United States. Regardless of your take on the 2nd amendment, it is an indisputable fact that there have been over 32,000 gun deaths in the U.S. every year between 2011 and 2015. PoliceOne analyzed the correlation between gun violence statistics and the factors commonly associated with it such as gun ownership, low police presence and mental health. Which areas have patterns of gun misuse and do these factors truly make a difference?

Where are gun death rates the highest per capita?

To get a baseline, let’s look at states with the highest death rates due to gun violence. According to County Health Rankings, here are the top 10 states for gun deaths in the U.S.:

1st Alaska

Gun deaths per 100,000: 19.8

2nd Louisiana

Gun deaths per 100,000: 19.2

3rd Mississippi

Gun deaths per 100,000: 18.2

4th Wyoming

Gun deaths per 100,000: 18.0

5th Alabama

Gun deaths per 100,000: 17.6

6th Montana

Gun deaths per 100,000: 17.5

7th Arkansas

Gun deaths per 100,000: 16.7

8th Oklahoma

Gun deaths per 100,000: 16.6

9th New Mexico

Gun deaths per 100,000: 16.2

10th South Carolina

Gun deaths per 100,000: 15.9

Taking a look at the ten states with the highest gun death rates, how do they compare to the rest of the nation when it comes to gun ownership, law enforcement presence, and options for mental health care?

Which states have the highest gun ownership rates?

In order for gun violence to occur, residents must be in possession of a firearm. The closest way to assess this figure is through gun ownership rates. However, it’s irresponsible to say that more guns mean more gun deaths. It’s also irresponsible to say that gun ownership considers all persons in possession of a firearm. With that said, nine of the top 10 states for gun deaths also rank in the top 13 for gun ownership. The only outlier is Oklahoma, according to CountyHealthRankings.org.

Alaska

Rank in nation: 1st Percent of residents that own guns: 61.7%

Louisiana

Rank in nation: 11th Percent of residents that own guns: 44.5%

Mississippi

Rank in the nation: 13th Percent of residents that own guns: 42.8%

Wyoming

Rank in nation: 5th Percent of residents that own guns: 53.8%

Alabama

Rank in nation: 8th Percent of residents that own guns: 48.9%

Montana

Rank in nation: 6th Percent of residents that own guns: 52.3%

Arkansas

Rank in nation: 2nd Percent of residents that own guns: 57.9%

Oklahoma

Rank in nation: 29th Percent of residents that own guns: 31.2%

New Mexico

Rank in nation: 7th Percent of residents that own guns: 49.9%

South Carolina

Rank in nation: 12th Percent of residents that own guns: 44.4%

In the top states for gun deaths, over 40 percent of citizens own a gun. While this doesn’t mean it is necessarily easier to obtain a gun in these states, it greatly enhances the chance with at least one gun in 4 out of 10 homes. Shortcomings in gun ownership data

What this statistic and many other similar analyses don’t project is the impact of non-registered, or illegal, firearms in possession across the country. Many times, these guns come into the country illegally and are sold illegally without a record of sale. This makes pinning down an exact number of illegal guns in the country a tall task. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ survey of felon gun usage, in 2004, approximately 40 percent of convicted criminals who used a gun in their crime obtained the firearm from an illegal source.

Does law enforcement presence affect gun violence?

Does an increased police presence eradicate gun violence? We looked at FBI data and calculated the number of police officers per 100,000 people in each state to see where the highest gun death states landed.

Alaska

Rank in nation: 43rd LEOs per 100,000: 172

Louisiana

Rank in nation: 3rd LEOs per 100,000: 335

Mississippi

Rank in nation: 22nd LEOs per 100,000: 229

Wyoming

Rank in nation: 17th LEOs per 100,000: 238

Alabama

Rank in nation: 6th LEOs per 100,000: 269

Montana

Rank in nation: 41st LEOs per 100,000: 183

Arkansas

Rank in nation: 35th LEOs per 100,000: 188

Oklahoma

Rank in nation: 39th LEOs per 100,000: 192

New Mexico

Rank in nation: 8th LEOs per 100,000: 260

South Carolina

Rank in nation: 15th LEOs per 100,000: 241

Strikingly, even when looking at all 50 states, there was almost no correlation between total police officers and gun deaths in a state.

Mental Health and Gun Deaths

Though homicides might be your first thought when it comes to gun violence, it’s important to note that approximately 65 percent of all gun deaths each year come from suicide and accidents. And, approximately 90 percent of suicide victims have some sort diagnosable of mental health issue at the time of death. In addition, nearly half of all victims use a firearm to commit suicide. For homicides, a 2006 study found that 34 percent of those convicted of homicide suffered from some form of mental illness. Without access to mental health providers, mental health issues will go untreated. This may play a role in the increased amount of firearm deaths. Mental health care providers per capita:

Alaska

Rank in nation: 9th Health providers per capita: 338

Louisiana

Rank in nation: 34th Health providers per capita: 168

Mississippi

Rank in nation: 45th Health providers per capita: 122

Wyoming

Rank in nation: 13th Health providers per capita: 284

Alabama

Rank in nation: 51st Health providers per capita: 79

Montana

Rank in nation: 17th Health providers per capita: 244

Arkansas

Rank in nation: 26th Health providers per capita: 195

Oklahoma

Rank in nation: 6th Health providers per capita: 366

New Mexico

Rank in nation: 7th Health providers per capita: 354

South Carolina

Rank in nation: 40th Health providers per capita: 147

Only three of the top gun death states also have top ten mental health coverage. For those looking for help with their own homicidal-suicidal thoughts or for someone they know, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline to start getting help.

Preventing gun violence

There’s not a single factor that explains what causes gun deaths across the country. However, there is evidence to suggest that several data points do have a strong correlation to gun deaths in many of the top states. In Alaska, while mental health isn’t a strong factor, low police presence, and the highest rate of gun ownership in the nation may help explain them being the highest state for gun deaths. In states like Alabama, high gun ownership and the nation’s lowest availability of mental health assistance may contribute to their high rate of gun deaths, despite a high police presence. It bears repeating that none of these statistics single-handedly answer the gun debate but opens the discussion about where gun violence factors need to be addressed the most.


Report details 2016 Baton Rouge ambush attack, video shows gunman stalking LEOs

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Glenn E. Rice The Kansas City Star

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Kansas City man who went on a shooting rampage killing three law enforcement officers last summer in Baton Rouge, La., left a detailed suicide note, a new report on the shooting reveals.

Gavin Long, 29, had also searched for personal information of two officers involved in a separate fatal shooting of a black man whose death ignited civil unrest.

Long appeared to have not used the information he collected during an internet search of the officers involved the videotaped shooting death of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police. Authorities said Long traveled to Baton Rouge to engage law enforcement in a shootout. After killing three officers, he was fatally shot by tactical officers.

The suicide note found in the rental car Long drove to Louisiana said, “I know I will be vilified by the media & police, unfortunately, I see my actions as a necessary evil that I do not wish to partake in, nor do I enjoy partaking in. But must partake in, in order to create substantial change within America’s police force, and judicial system.”

Additional details and video of the shooting were released Friday by the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s office, which investigated the shooting and the determined that the officers who fatally shot Long were justified in their actions.

Baton Rouge police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald along with East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola were gunned down during the July 17 fatal gun battle.

The 26-page report from District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III provided a detailed account of how Long ambushed the three law enforcement officers by happenstance outside a convenience store. The office also released video surveillance that captured the incident.

Long, who had served five years in the U.S. Marines, was heavily armed, wore a bullet resistant vest and had used different types of ammunition. He had received training as a rifleman as a Marines.

An autopsy report concluded that Long had 45 separate gunshot wounds to various parts of his body. The toxicology report revealed that Long had methamphetamine and alcohol in his system when he died.

Investigators found a laptop, cell phone as well as a semi-automatic rifle, two backpacks, live ammunition and other personal items inside a white, rented Chevrolet Malibu.

Long used the laptop to search for the addresses, phone numbers, and biographical information of the two Baton Rouge police officers involved in the July 5 shooting of Alton Sterling.

Federal prosecutors recently announced there wasn’t enough evidence to file civil rights charges against the officers who did the shooting, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II.

Moore said they found nothing to show that Long used the information he searched on the two officers.

Long also wrote in the suicide note, “...I must bring the same destruction that bad cops continue to inflict upon my people, upon bad cops as well as good cops in hopes that the good cops (which are the majority) will be able to stand together to enact justice & punishment against bad cops b/c right now the police force & current judicial system is not doing so.”

In his report, Long had a printout of a passage from an Islamic holy book that referenced seeking forgiveness and a prayer passage that indicates repeating the prayer and dying on the same day guarantees the person will go to paradise.

Moore concluded the suicide note along with the printout supported evidence that Long’s attack on the officers was premeditated and he did not plan to survive.

Report OIS Gavin Long by Ed Praetorian on Scribd


NY officer hit, killed by car while helping woman

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Zachary Matson The Daily Gazette

NORTHAMPTON, N.Y. — A longtime police officer in Fulton County died Monday night after being hit by a car as he was helping a woman who had struck a deer in Northampton, county Sheriff Rich Giardino said Tuesday.

Robert Johnson, 60, of Mayfield had just left his job as a part-time Northville police officer about 10 p.m. when he spotted a woman pulled off the side of the road southbound on State Highway 30. He pulled over to help.

As he crossed the road with a gun to kill the deer, a northbound driver in his mid-20s struck Johnson, Giardino said. Civilians on the scene attempted CPR on Johnson but could not revive him.

The driver had moved to the right side of the road to avoid oncoming traffic that was making its way around the parked cars, Giardino said. He said the driver, who wasn't speeding, didn't have alcohol in his system. Giardino said after a "preliminary" investigation, there were no plans to bring charges against the driver.

Giardino said he had known Johnson for many years — Giardino officiated Johnson's wedding — and that he was a devoted officer who brought calm to the situations he encountered. He said Johnson had also served as a part-time sheriff's deputy and as a Gloversville officer for more than 20 years.

"He could always be relied on for backup and he was very calming, had a calming effect," Giardino said. "If you had to get arrested, you probably wanted Bobby Johnson to arrest you. He was a decent person."

Gloversville police wrote on Facebook: "Officer Johnson faithfully served 20 years with the Gloversville Police Department from 1984 to 2004 when he retired in good standing. We lost an excellent, decorated Police Officer, a true friend, and a dedicated father and husband. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob and his surviving family."

©2017 The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, N.Y.


Maine police fatally shoot gunman who killed 3 in separate attacks

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MADISON, Maine — A gunman killed three people and wounded a fourth at several locations Wednesday morning before being fatally shot by deputies, authorities said. It was Maine's deadliest shooting since 2015.

The latest shootings happened at several places along a country road about 4 miles from the center of town in Madison, a central Maine community with about 4,800 residents.

Somerset County deputies shot the gunman to bring the rampage to an end, said Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety.

#NEW - We just got an update from @MEStatePolice about the multiple homicide & officer involved shooting incident in Madison. #WGME pic.twitter.com/bGiLl1M9Ab

— Dan Lampariello (@DanWGME) July 5, 2017

The condition of the wounded person wasn't immediately clear.

Police also didn't immediately release the identities of the gunman or victims and declined to further discuss the investigation.

A briefing was expected Wednesday afternoon, McCausland said.

The attorney general's office sent investigators to the scene to review the use of deadly force by sheriff's deputies.

It was the deadliest shooting in Maine since November 2015, when a 3-year-old girl was the only survivor of a shooting rampage in the town of Oakland in which a gunman killed his girlfriend and the youngster's parents before taking his own life.

#NEW - @MEStatePolice Major Crimes unit just arrived on scene. #LiveOnCBS13 pic.twitter.com/SGJqWcGqTd

— Dan Lampariello (@DanWGME) July 5, 2017


Postal worker admits she took bribes to deliver drug parcels

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A former U.S. Postal Service worker in Florida has admitted to taking cash bribes in exchange for delivering packages that contained drugs.

The Sun Sentinel reports 53-year-old Evelyn Ramona Price pleaded guilty Friday to bribery of a public official.

Price told investigators she met a man named "Steve" in 2016 and agreed to provide him with addresses on her Boca Raton route where packages could be sent. They would then meet to exchange the packages. She was paid $50 per package.

Authorities later seized four packages, which they say contained more than 20 pounds of marijuana. The packages bore return addresses in Florida or New York, but were postmarked from California.

Price will be sentenced in September. She could receive a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Baltimore PIO shares heartbreaking message after brother’s murder

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Juliet Linderman Associated Press

BALTIMORE — As the homicide rate in Baltimore continues to soar, police spokesman T.J. Smith has spent more time than ever behind the podium, answering questions for reporters about the violent crime surge in a city plagued with pervasive problems.

At each news conference, Smith pleads with the public to put down their guns, to pick up the phone and call Crime Stoppers with a tip, to keep an eye on their wily teenage children, and to do whatever they can to help stop the relentless bloodshed on this city's streets.

But Smith's latest dispatch was something different: it was personal.

His younger brother, Dionay Smith, 24, was found dead inside his apartment on Sunday from a gunshot wound. He is the city's 173rd homicide victim so far this year; there have been three more killings since, bringing the total to 176.

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For the last couple of years, I've notified the public of many tragedies, mostly death, specifically homicide, related....

Posted by TJ Smith Media on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"To many, he will be #173, but to me and my family, he's Dion, a brother, a son, a father, a friend, a nephew, and a kind soul," Smith wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.

"For the last couple of years, I've notified the public of many tragedies, mostly death, specifically homicide, related," Smith wrote. "I've been on crime scenes, I've heard the wails of family members when they discover it's their loved one who is deceased. ... On Sunday evening, one of the names that came to me was way too familiar."

Baltimore has been in the throes of a crime surge for more than two years, and the homicide rate this year is again on track to break records. From January to June, the city saw 170 homicides — just two fewer killings than the same time period in 1993, when the city had about 100,000 more residents than it does today. A close second for the bloodiest year was 2015, which recorded 344 homicides, with a population of just 622,000.

The violence in Baltimore began to dramatically spike following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken in the back of a police transport wagon. Gray's death inspired protests, rioting and a weeklong citywide curfew, and prompted then-mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire the sitting police commissioner, Anthony Batts. Six officers were charged in connection with his death; but after more than a year of legal proceedings, half of the officers were acquitted, and the remaining cases dropped.

Some residents blamed the uptick in homicides and violent crimes on police for taking a hands-off approach to fighting crime. Others pointed a finger at a flood of pilfered prescription drugs that entered the black market after pharmacies were looted during the riots.

Since then, the bloodshed has yet to slow, and Commissioner Kevin Davis has rolled out several crime fighting strategies to combat the bloodshed. Two years ago he established "the War Room," a collaborative effort between local law enforcement and federal investigators to track repeat offenders, and draw connections between violent crimes. In May, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deployed a new ballistics van that enables detectives to test fire weapons and rapidly analyze bullets and shell casings recovered from crime scenes in Baltimore for a week. And last month, after six people were shot in a 24-hour period, Davis extended officers' shifts to 12 hours, and deployed all officers to street patrol.

Smith isn't the first city official to be personally impacted by violence. In 2015, City Council President Jack Young's nephew was fatally shot.

The Baltimore Police Department released a statement extending its condolences "and prayers to Chief T.J. Smith following the loss of his beloved brother, Dionay."

Police released security footage showing two men in the hallway of Dionay Smith's apartment. They are asking the public to help them identify one of the men, who is considered a suspect.

Smith joined the Baltimore Police Department shortly after Davis was appointed commissioner. Smith and Davis had previously worked together at the Anne Arundel Police Department. A Baltimore native, Smith grew up on the city's West Side, an area disproportionately affected by poverty, drugs and violence.

Though Smith is no stranger to handling homicides, he said he found himself in denial after learning of his brother's slaying.

"My brother, known as Dion, is the only person I've ever known with the name Dionay. Like many families who have been in that position, I was in denial," Smith wrote. "I immediately contacted investigators to learn more about the Dionay who was found deceased from a gunshot wound. I also did what is instinctual; I called his cellphone several times. Of course, there was no answer."

Smith said his brother was a "good kid" who worked two jobs and volunteered at a local after-school center in the heart of Sandtown-Winchester, the same neighborhood where Gray was arrested.

"Now this might sound a little cliche, but it is true — my brother was a good kid. He wasn't 'about that life."


San Antonio cop wounded in shootout released from hospital

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio police say an officer involved in a shootout with a suspect that left his partner dead has been released from the hospital.

The San Antonio Express-News reports Officer Julio Cavazos was released Tuesday, five days after he was shot while investigating a reported vehicle break-in. His partner, Officer Miguel Moreno, was killed and the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Salame says Cavazos and his family thank everyone for their "support during this difficult time." Police officials previously said that Cavazos faces a long recovery.

Authorities also announced Tuesday that the funeral service for Officer Moreno will take place Friday at Community Bible Church in San Antonio. A private burial will follow.

Moreno was a 9-year veteran of the department.


Official: NYPD officer ‘assassinated’ in unprovoked attack

Posted on July 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — A police officer was shot to death early Wednesday, ambushed inside her command post RV by an ex-convict who once ranted online about his treatment in prison and about police getting away with killing people, authorities said. He was later killed after pulling a gun on police.

The officer, a 12-year member of the New York Police Department, was wrapping up her shift when the man fired one round through the passenger-side window and struck her in the head.

"PO Miosotis Familia has been assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops assigned to keep NYers safe," Police Commissioner James O'Neill tweeted after her death.

Her partner radioed for help.

"Shots fired! 10-85!" the officer is heard frantically shouting after the gunfire, including the code for an officer down. "My partner's shot! My partner's shot! My partner's shot! Hurry up, central!"

Officers responded quickly and caught up to 34-year-old Alexander Bonds about a block away, police said. As they confronted him, he pulled a revolver, and police fired, killing him. A silver revolver was found at the scene. A bystander was hit in the stomach by a bullet and is in stable condition, police said.

Familia, 48, had been stationed in a mobile command post, an RV-sized truck used as a communications hub during major events and in high-crime areas as a constant police presence. She had been writing in her memo book, a police log where officers record their shift activity, when Bonds walked up.

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NYPD Police Officer Miosotis Familia a 12 year veteran from the 46th Precinct, was shot in the head on duty last night...

Posted by FDNY Engine 63 Ladder 39 on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bonds, who also went by the name John Bonds, was sentenced to six years in prison on an armed robbery case in Syracuse and had been released on parole in 2013. His supervision was set to end next May.

Bonds was captured on video exiting a nearby convenience store, then moving tightly along the wall, pulling his hoodie over his head and walking purposefully toward the van. The video doesn't capture the shooting but shows him running from the scene with a gun in his hand, police said.

In a video posted on Facebook in September, the Bronx man ranted about the treatment of civilians by officers and talked about how hard life was behind bars. The photos of Bonds posted on the page match a police mugshot.

"Don't think every brother, cousin, uncle you got that get killed in jail is because of a Blood or Crip or Latin King killing them. Nah, police be killing them and saying that an inmate killed them," he said in the video.

Aside from the police rant, Bonds' Facebook page mostly consisted of inspirational quotes and quizzes.

The shooting recalled the Dec. 20, 2014, killing of patrol officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were ambushed and shot to death in their vehicle by a man who approached the passenger window of their marked police car. The suspect, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then fatally shot himself. Brinsley announced online in the moments before the shooting that he was planning to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Last month, a man pleaded guilty to killing two police officers in patrol cars in Iowa and said he simply disliked law enforcement.

#NYPD PO Miosotis Familia has been assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops assigned to keep NYers safe. Keep her family in your prayers pic.twitter.com/yhRB7H5bvi

— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) July 5, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at the hospital before Familia died, asked that the city keep her in their thoughts.

"She was on duty serving this city, protecting people, doing what she believed in and doing the job she loved," he said. "And after this shocking and sudden attack, her fellow officers came to her aid immediately."

Officers saluted at attention outside the Bronx hospital as the ambulance and police motorcade escorted Familia's body from the hospital. Familia had three children and had been a member of the anti-crime unit.

"Fully knowing the dangers that she faced, she suited up in uniform every day and stood tall against those who threaten and terrorize the good folks of the Bronx," said Patrolman's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch.

The Bronx neighborhood was blocked off with police tape as anguished officers investigated the deadly shooting. Police were combing for other surveillance footage and talking to witnesses. The truck's door was opened and the bullet hole was visible through the cracked glass.

Witness Jay Marzelli told the Daily News of New York he thought the shots were fireworks at first.

"I was in this bodega right here on Creston, just getting a sandwich and all of a sudden there was all this running and stuff going on, and I look out, probably 40, 50, 60 cops screaming, 'Call a paramedic, clear the block!'" he said. "It looked like there was a riot going on, and two seconds later I hear gunshots, 'Bam, bam,'."

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Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner O'Neill update New Yorkers and media on a police officer shot this morning in the Bronx.

Posted by NYPD on Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Wounded San Antonio police officer listed in fair condition

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Hospital officials list a San Antonio officer in fair condition as he recovers from wounds received in a gunbattle with a suspect that fatally wounded the officer's partner.

A spokesman at San Antonio Military Medical Center offered the update Monday on Officer Julio Cavazos. Police officials say Cavazos faces a long recovery.

Investigators say Cavazos was shot Thursday as he and Officer Miguel Moreno stepped out of their patrol car to question a man about a vehicle break-in.

Moreno was shot in the head. He died Friday. San Antonio police say the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during the shootout. Cavazos was shot in the chin, with the bullet lodging in his chest.


Wounded San Antonio police officer listed in fair condition

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Hospital officials list a San Antonio officer in fair condition as he recovers from wounds received in a gunbattle with a suspect that fatally wounded the officer's partner.

A spokesman at San Antonio Military Medical Center offered the update Monday on Officer Julio Cavazos. Police officials say Cavazos faces a long recovery.

Investigators say Cavazos was shot Thursday as he and Officer Miguel Moreno stepped out of their patrol car to question a man about a vehicle break-in.

Moreno was shot in the head. He died Friday. San Antonio police say the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during the shootout. Cavazos was shot in the chin, with the bullet lodging in his chest.


Police investigate crash of taxi into group near Boston airport

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BOSTON — Authorities have seized a taxi that crashed into a group of cab drivers near Boston's Logan International Airport and are investigating what happened in what they call a "tragic accident."

The taxi jumped a curb and struck a group of people gathered at an outdoor break area for cabbies on Monday, injuring 10 people.

State police say the taxi's driver remained at the scene, was interviewed by troopers and then was allowed to leave. They say there's no information to suggest the crash was deliberate and no charges have been filed.

The crash briefly raised fears of terrorism akin to attacks in Britain and France. But state police Maj. Frank McGinn says there doesn't appear to be any indication of an intentional act.

The driver is from Cambridge, just west of Boston across the Charles River.


Police investigate crash of taxi into group near Boston airport

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

BOSTON — Authorities have seized a taxi that crashed into a group of cab drivers near Boston's Logan International Airport and are investigating what happened in what they call a "tragic accident."

The taxi jumped a curb and struck a group of people gathered at an outdoor break area for cabbies on Monday, injuring 10 people.

State police say the taxi's driver remained at the scene, was interviewed by troopers and then was allowed to leave. They say there's no information to suggest the crash was deliberate and no charges have been filed.

The crash briefly raised fears of terrorism akin to attacks in Britain and France. But state police Maj. Frank McGinn says there doesn't appear to be any indication of an intentional act.

The driver is from Cambridge, just west of Boston across the Charles River.


Man fatally shot by Ore. police after seizing helicopter

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Steven Dubois Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man was fatally shot by police Monday after seizing a helicopter at gunpoint near Portland, Oregon, the authorities said.

The man, who was not been identified, hopped a fence at Hillsboro Airport and then approached a flight instructor and a student who were inside a helicopter that was warming up, Hillsboro police Lt. Henry Reimann said.

The man ordered them to get out, firing at least one round during the encounter. The shot, and maybe a second misfire, were directed away from the victims, Reimann said.

The man got into the helicopter, but officers arrived before he could take off, Reimann said. "He jumps out the helicopter and starts running, runs across the street, and we engage him out in a field," he said.

The man died at the scene shortly before noon. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators have to yet to establish the man's motive for trying to steal the helicopter, Reimann said. The man did not reveal his plans to the flight instructor and student, he said.

A witness, Christopher Neal, told reporters that he and his family were watching planes at the small airport when he saw a man walking in wearing a gray hoodie. "He had his hands in his pockets, and for a moment I thought to myself that it was a little warm for the big, thick, gray hoodie with the hood over it," Neal said.

While finishing that thought, the man looked at them and then started running toward the fence. He pulled a gray mask over his face, Neal said.

The Hillsboro Airport, established in 1928, is one of three airports operated by the Port of Portland. It's about a 40-minute drive west of the Portland International Airport, the region's main airport.

The Hillsboro Aero Academy is the flight-training school at the airport. Its representatives did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Hillsboro Police on scene at Hillsboro Airport where we are hearing shots were fired after someone tried to steal a helicopter. #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/LwSgldf4cw

— Kellee Azar (@KelleeAzar) July 3, 2017

Armed man tries to steal helicopter at Hillsboro Airport, police say https://t.co/cd3WWCpO4P pic.twitter.com/WVquutLopd

— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 4, 2017


Slain Okla. deputy’s family wants death penalty for suspect

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matt Dinger Staff The Oklahoman

GUTHRIE, Okla. — Family of slain Logan County sheriff's deputy David Wade remember their loved one, and announced their support in seeking the death penalty for the man accused of killing him.

David James Wade, 40, was shot in the face and body the morning of April 18 while serving an eviction notice in Mulhall. He died from his wounds that day.

"I can speak for my entire family when I tell you the last couple of months of have been tremendously difficult for us. We've been so incredibly shocked by the loss of David that most of us have been unable to publicly talk about it," brother Jerry Wade said Sunday morning at a news conference outside the sheriff's office.

About two dozen of David Wade's family stood behind him as his younger brother read a prepared statement.

"On the morning of April 18th, a good man, a loving father and a faithful public servant was ripped from this earth long before his time should have been over. But if the enormity of our loss can be in some way measured by the response to it, then you have only to take a look at the community, the state, and the country in which he served to appreciate its magnitude," he said.

"To me, he was always just my big brother. The boy I shared a childhood with, the man I proudly shared military service with. I always be looking up to him," Jerry Wade said.

David Wade enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard shortly after high school. The two were members of Company C of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, eventually serving together on a deployment to Bosnia in the 1990s.

"I do not believe that his memory will soon be forgotten. But not only does he leave behind a legacy of who he was, there's also the matter of his unnecessary death to be reconciled," he said.

Nathan Aaron LeForce, 45, was taken into custody after a few hours. He is charged in Logan County District Court with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Logan County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas announced in April that she is seeking the death penalty in the case.

The district attorney called LeForce's actions heinous, atrocious and cruel.

"Let there be no question that we fully support District Attorney Thomas's decision to pursue the death penalty. I have every faith that the justice system will deliver what my brother and those left behind missing him rightfully deserve. The scales will be weighed and evil will reap what it has sowed," Jerry Wade said.

"Anytime we think about this event that occurred on April 18th, it's a sombering event to all of us that put the uniform on every day, leave our family to come out here to protect yours, knowing that every day that we come to work may be the last time we see our families," Sheriff Damon Devereaux said.

"It's hard for us to go through a tragedy such as this, losing one of our brothers, and knowing that tomorrow we still have a job to do," Devereaux said.

"We are healing, but we'll never be whole," he said.

LeForce's preliminary hearing is seat for Aug. 7.

———

©2017 The Oklahoman


Experts: Fentanyl’s risk to first responders overblown

Posted on July 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Marie McCullough Philly.com

PHILADELPHIA — Experts agree that the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl and its even deadlier relatives pose potential hazards to police and emergency responders who come in contact with the drugs.

But there is also concern that the risks are being overblown, potentially creating unnecessary stress for emergency workers.

Sometimes quoting law enforcement sources, media outlets are routinely stating that just touching fentanyl can cause an overdose or even death — a contention that medical toxicologists say is scientifically impossible.

“I hope this doesn’t turn into hysteria,” said Andrew Stolbach, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “I don’t want this to make people afraid of doing their jobs.”

Fears of death from a touch were stoked in May when local and national media (including the Inquirer, the Washington Post, and the New York Times) reported the story of an East Liverpool, Ohio, police officer. He said that after searching the car of suspected drug dealers, he suffered a life-threatening overdose after simply brushing powder presumed to be a form of fentanyl off his shirt. He passed out and needed four doses of the opioid-reversal medication naloxone to save him.

“That sort of incidental exposure would not cause such severe opioid toxicity,” said Joseph D’Orazio, a Temple University emergency physician and medical toxicologist.

Echoed Stolbach, “It’s just not plausible that getting a small amount of fentanyl on your skin is going to cause significant opioid toxicity. You don’t absorb enough drug fast enough to get toxicity that way.”

Writing in the online magazine Slate, Jeremy Samuel Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, tried to imagine a scenario in which the Ohio officer could have accidentally inhaled or swallowed fentanyl – routes known to be potentially life-threatening. “But the amount that could have transferred from the … shirt to the fingers to the mouth or nose,” Faust wrote, “would not be a clinically significant quantity, even accounting for fentanyl’s potency.”

Faust added that he doesn’t think the officer or anyone at his police department is lying. “These police officers are at the front lines of an extremely challenging fight, and it is understandable that they would be freaked out by this event.”

Still, Faust said, the huge dose of naloxone needed to revive the officer suggests it was “treating the wrong illness.” And the media’s uncritical embrace of the story indicates “an interesting new hysteria, for lack of a better term, about opioids.”

The leader of the nation’s war on drugs may be fueling the reaction. Last month, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a news release titled “DEA Warning to Police and Public: Fentanyl Exposure Kills” along with a video of two Atlantic County, N.J., detectives who were “exposed to a very small amount of fentanyl.”

“I thought that was it. I thought I was dying,” one detective says on the video.

Patrick Trainor, a spokesman for the DEA’s Philadelphia office, said that ultra-potent forms of fentanyl such as carfentanil — which is legitimately used to tranquilize elephants and other large animals — are deadlier than the anthrax used in the mysterious bioterrorism attacks in 2002. Anthrax-tainted letters killed five people and sickened 13.

“They are worse [than anthrax] in our opinion,” Trainor said in an interview. “You have a drug like carfentanil that’s 10,000 times stronger than heroin. Just touching it, is that going to kill you? Probably not. But do you want to take the risk?”

In its 20-page briefing guide for emergency responders, the DEA declares that “it would only take 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl to induce respiratory depression, arrest, and possibly death.” That amount is “about the same as five to seven grains of table salt.”

Toxicologist Stolbach added some context: “Yes, two to three milligrams of fentanyl would be sufficient to make most people stop breathing if it found its way into the bloodstream. However, fentanyl just isn’t absorbed through skin into your blood quickly or efficiently enough to make this kind of dose possible from incidental contact. Fentanyl is absorbed much better by inhalation and through [mucous membranes] but we feel like these routes of exposure are much less likely with routine precautions and good common sense.”

Stolbach heads a committee formed by the American College of Medical Toxicology that will soon issue recommendations for protecting emergency responders from occupational exposure to fentanyl and its cousins.

But guidelines already exist, built on the twin pillars of proper protective equipment and good judgment. Depending on the situation, that equipment may range from gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask all the way to hazmat suits with breathing gear.

“Fentanyl can be handled safely with proper training and equipment,” says the DEA guide for emergency responders.

The rub, of course, is that the opioid epidemic is unprecedented and evolving. In the United States in 2015, opioid overdoses killed 33,091 people, including 9,580 who used forms of fentanyl, according to federal data.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the worker protection agency, says it “does not have enough empirical evidence to provide specific guidance for protection from exposure during every possible law enforcement operation.”

The uncertainties should prompt prudence, not panic, said Temple’s D’Orazio.

“Everyone is extrapolating what would happen without a lot of scientific evidence,” he said. “But we don’t need to jump to the conclusion that a little drug on your skin means you’ll require numerous doses of naloxone and potentially die.”

———

©2017 Philly.com


Black Lives balks as NJ lawmaker wants to legislate ‘The Talk’

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jacqueline L. Urgo Philly.com

PATERSON, N.J. — A bill passed unanimously last month by the New Jersey Assembly that would require schools to teach young people how to properly interact with police and avert confrontations mirrors "The Talk" that many African Americans say they often have with their children, according to a sponsor of the legislation.

But the effort is drawing resistance from Black Lives Matter.

The group and other critics fear that the bill, approved during a time of high-profile police-involved shootings and the failed prosecutions of many of the officers involved, would do little more than create a scapegoat for police brutality.

"Look, I'm just trying to save lives," said Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D., Essex), co-sponsor, of the motivation behind Assembly bill A-1114, which passed in a 76-0 vote on June 22.

Alexis Miller, lead organizer for the Paterson, N.J., chapter of Black Lives Matter, said the group is wary of the bill's concept. Black Lives Matter is calling for a no vote when the legislation reaches the Senate.

She said the bill ultimately places the onus of police interactions squarely on citizens while allowing "police to continue to evade accountability." Black Lives Matter is urging its supporters to sign a petition against the legislation and to call their state senators to discourage them from approving it.

"This bill is clearly designed to create a scapegoat for police brutality, and that scapegoat is New Jersey's children," Miller said. "It does nothing to address the laws already in place that protect the immense power of police departments. Students ... children are expected to master the idea of respectability politics in order to protect themselves from officers."

Oliver, who is African American, said "The Talk" has long been a private conversation that many black parents have had with their children, especially as the children become old enough to begin driving and may have their first interactions with police in traffic stops.

"A lot of times kids want to know if they get stopped if they have the right to call their parents," Oliver said. "Can the police search their car? Do they have to get out of the car? ... They have questions like these with the backdrop of being black and interacting with police. There may be a lot of fear instilled in them, a lot of potential panic."

Bringing that discussion into the schools and out into the open may ultimately better prepare children of all races and ethnicities for such encounters, she said. "This is not a bill to teach kids to be subservient to police but to empower children, and ultimately adults, about their rights and their role in interacting with law enforcement," Oliver said. "I think young people need to have their consciousness raised about these issues."

Akin Olla, organizer of the Tubman-Hampton Collective, based in New Brunswick, said the bill "continues to allow police to evade accountability" and is "not a means of stemming police brutality."

Olla was among about 75 people who protested against the bill at the Statehouse on Friday.

"We want the public to really look at this bill and see it for what it is," Olla said. "If it does nothing beyond a civics lesson [about making] the streets safer for everyone, it's pointless."

Not until activists criticized the bill as previously written was a new component added that would require that students also be taught about their rights when interacting with officers.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it worked with Oliver and other legislators to recast the original version of the bill, introduced in 2016, that would have required only that children be taught about the "role and responsibilities of law enforcement in providing public safety" and an "individual's responsibilities to comply with a directive" from police. The new version would require that students be taught about the officer's responsibility and proper behavior, their own rights as citizens, and how to file a complaint, if necessary.

"The bill has come a long way in its current form from where it was," said Portia Allen-Kyle, a lawyer for the ACLU's New Jersey office in Newark. "As it stands now, we feel that there is an opportunity here to really empower students and educate them about their rights."

Allen-Kyle said the agency will keep close tabs on how the curriculum is developed by a specially appointed committee if the bill is signed into law.

The vote in the Assembly came a week after Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter in the July 2016 fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop after the motorist informed the police officer he possessed an open-carry permit for a gun he was carrying. The shooting, which occurred within seven seconds of Castile's having informed the policeman about the gun, was captured on cellphone video by the victim's girlfriend, who was in the car with her 4-year-old daughter.

According to the Washington Post, 963 people were killed by police in the United States in 2016, down from 991 in 2015. On Saturday, in a mid-year report, the Post said there were 492 police-involved killings in the first six months of this year.

Of those killed in 2016, 169 were unarmed civilians, six were under age 18, and 36 of them were between the ages of 18 and 24, according to the ACLU.

There were also 135 police officers killed in the line of duty last year, the most on-the-job officer fatalities in five years, according to an analysis by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.Law enforcement officials and legislators across the country are looking into ways to work with communities to try to stem the tide of bloodshed.

Texas recently enacted a measure to require high school students, as part of their driver's education classes, to learn how to conduct themselves during a traffic stop. Illinois and Virginia have passed legislation mandating that driver's ed courses for all ages include that information. Mississippi, North Carolina, and Rhode Island are considering similar laws.

Oliver said the number of police-involved shootings has created mistrust of police in communities across the nation, and her bill, which must also pass in the Senate and be signed by the governor to become law, is meant to "help rebuild trust in police while simultaneously empowering the communities they serve."

Oliver said current programs that visit schools and encourage police and youth interaction -- sponsored by organizations such as the New York Civil Liberties Union, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, and Jack and Jill of America, a service group formed during the Great Depression to strengthen African American children -- have helped, but are not enough.

Patrick Colligan, president of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association said his organization supports the Oliver legislation and calls it "a good policy that can benefit everyone.""There is no training ... no learning about something that can't be a benefit to everyone involved," Colligan said. "I think something like this provides everyone with the opportunity to look at, and perhaps understand, the situation from an entirely different perspective." ___ (c)2017 Philly.com


How police built their case against an accused road-rage killer

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chris Palmer and Emily McCarthy Philly.com

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. — The bullet was fired by a man driving a red pickup truck on a Chester County highway last week, police said, striking and killing 18-year-old Bianca Roberson as she tried to merge lanes next to him.

And as authorities announced murder charges Sunday against the man who allegedly pulled the trigger, they said the bullet was a key piece of evidence in securing his arrest, because the fragment later pulled from Roberson's head during an autopsy matched the caliber of gun they found at his Delaware County house.

"This is the story of a savage and senseless murder," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. "Somebody didn't want to give way. Somebody didn't want to merge into a lane of traffic. And because of that, a young woman is dead."

David Desper, 28, of Trainer, surrendered to police around 2 a.m. Sunday, Hogan said, ending a three-day manhunt for the road-rage murder suspect that spanned at least two counties and attracted national attention.

Roberson's family sat in the audience as Hogan and a team of police officials in West Goshen Township, where the slaying occurred, announced the charges against Desper, including first- and third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and reckless endangerment. The family did not want to speak afterward, and they were visibly distraught during the news conference, shaking their heads as the district attorney recounted the facts of the case.

Hogan said Roberson -- a recent graduate of Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester who was headed to Jacksonville University in the fall -- had "her whole summer in front of her. Her whole life in front of her."

Her father, Rodney Roberson, said last week that his daughter, who also worked at a retirement community in Newtown Square, was shot while driving home from a shopping trip in Exton with her mother and grandmother, picking up school supplies and groceries.

Police had been searching for leads since the killing Wednesday evening on Route 100. Hogan said investigators interviewed witnesses, collected video surveillance, and released to the public pictures of Desper's truck and a composite sketch of the suspect's face -- an attempt to force the alleged killer to turn himself in.

The gambit ultimately worked, with Desper surrendering at the Media office of his lawyer, Dan McGarrigle.

McGarrigle declined to say Sunday why his client wanted to turn himself in or whether he had given a statement to authorities. Hogan also would not say whether Desper had told police anything about the crime.

Several of Desper's neighbors in Delaware County said they did not know him well; some said they would not have recognized him. No one answered the door at his home on Anderson Avenue, though Mark Halliday, 38, who lives two doors down, said he believed two or three men moved into the house about two years ago.

Fred Kinsler, 45, said he had known Desper as a kid. Kinsler knew that Desper drove a red truck but said he "didn't put two and two together" until he heard about the arrest.

"He was a good kid," Kinsler said. "It's a shame."

Hogan said Desper worked as a well and pipe driller for local businesses, though he declined to elaborate. He said Desper's parents were living with him at the house and were there when authorities searched it last week.

Attempts to reach Desper's family Sunday were unsuccessful.

6ABC's Annie McCormack reported finding this sign in a home said to belong to relatives of Desper.

Hogan suggested that the motive for Desper's actions was relatively cut-and-dry.

Desper and Roberson "jockeyed for position [while merging] and he wasn't happy," Hogan said. "So he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head, killing her instantly."

"That's the same merge people in Southeastern Pennsylvania make thousands of times every day," Hogan said. "All across the region people do that without a problem."

The district attorney said there was "no indication that we're aware of that this was a race crime or a hate crime."

"This appears to be a savage, senseless, and brutal act from one human being to another human being," he said.

The shooting happened at 5:31 p.m. Wednesday in the southbound lane of Route 100 approaching Route 202, according to police. Roberson was driving a green 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, Desper a red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

After Desper shot Roberson in the head, police said, her car veered off the road and crashed into a tree. One witness told police that just before seeing the crash, he "heard a loud noise that could have been a gunshot," according to a criminal complaint.

Hogan said surveillance footage showed that Desper's truck sped from the scene. Investigators "recovered a large amount of video evidence" showing Desper's truck traveling on Route 100, Route 202, Paoli Pike, and ultimately to Delaware County, the criminal complaint says.

After Desper turned himself in at about 2 a.m. Sunday, the complaint said, police recovered his pickup truck on Huntingdon Farm Drive, in Glen Mills. Hogan said that Desper was the truck's registered owner, and that it bore the same dent that could be seen on the truck in the surveillance tapes.

Police also searched Desper's home, the complaint said, and found a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun, as well as .40-caliber ammunition in a trash can. Ballistics testing on the bullet fragment pulled from Roberson's skull indicated that the same caliber weapon and ammunition were used in her killing, according to the complaint.

Hogan said Desper legally purchased the handgun in November 2015 and had a permit to carry it.

West Goshen Police Chief Joseph Gleason credited teamwork between his officers and county detectives, saying he was proud of their cooperative work -- as well as the response of the community. Alerts pushed out by police and the media resulted in hundreds of leads and tips, he said.

But in a somber note, the police chief took time to offer condolences to Roberson's family -- who were struggling to cope with the sudden loss of their bright, young girl.

"This is such a tragedy that no one should have to endure," he said. ___ (c)2017 Philly.com


Okla. officer adopts child rescued from severe abuse 

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

POTEAU, Okla. — The minute Officer Jody Thompson met a little boy at a child abuse call in 2015, he knew his life would be forever changed.

Two years later, he and his wife not only adopted that boy, now named John Thompson, but they also adopted his little sister who was born in jail to their biological mother, reported 5 News Online.

Thompson told the news site that when he walked into the house that day he just “knew” when he saw the boy.

Police Chief Stephen Fruen said the boy had been found bound by his hands and feet, submerged in a trash can and held in the shower. He was getting food to eat and he had bruises all over his body.

Officer Thompson brought the boy to the hospital, where he stayed by his side in the ICU.

The rest, as they say, is history.

"He means everything in the world that we live in. He's the strongest person I've ever met. He means the world,” Thompson said.

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Mich. county sheriff, ICE clash on holding immigrant inmates

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

By Niraj Warikoo Detroit Free Press

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. — Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon is making it clear the county will not honor requests made by federal immigration officials to hold some immigrant inmates past their release date.

The move has upset officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who sometimes will ask county jails to hold inmates past their release date if they're an immigrant that ICE wants to detain for possible deportation.

But Napoleon strongly defended his county policy, saying it gels with the law, court rulings, and with what other sheriffs of big counties in the U.S. are doing.

Napoleon, who leads the biggest jail in Michigan, said he cooperates with ICE, but will only hold an inmate past his or her release date if the county gets a warrant from an independent judge or magistrate -- not ICE itself.

"We're not going to hold you just because ICE wants to hold you for a couple of days, we can't do that," Napoleon told the Free Press. "That's illegal."

"Every day, I send ICE a notification of all the people who are newly brought into the Wayne County Jail," Napoleon added. "If they want any of these people, they have ample time to get a (judicial) warrant and have time to commit them to a jail or wherever they want."

Napoleon said that at a sheriff's convention he attended last month in Reno, Nevada, for counties with more than 500,000 people, his view on detainer requests was shared by the other sheriffs.

The detainer issue was "a hot topic of discussion" at the convention, Napoleon said. "All of the sheriffs who t

lked about it had the same concerns: we can't hold people without a probable cause warrant issued by the courts. We just can't do it."

Agreeing to ICE detainer requests could expose the county to liability, said immigrant advocates.

The ACLU of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrants Rights Centers applaud Napoleon's move, which was outlined in a April 28 memo he sent to his staff.

ICE opposes the policy.

"The agency is deeply concerned about any policy that would limit cooperation with ICE detainers, which could ultimately result in a dangerous criminal alien being released into the community," Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for the Michigan and Ohio branches of ICE, said in a statement.

For years, immigrant advocacy groups have asked county jails not to grant ICE detainer requests. In 2011, the ACLU Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center sent a letter to all jails in Michigan asking them not to hold inmates when requested by ICE.

"An immigration detainer is a request, not an order or arrest warrant," the letter said. "Therefore the federal government cannot compel a local law enforcement agency to comply, and local law enforcement can decide whether to use local resources to pay for ICE detainers."

With the Trump administration toughening immigration enforcement, immigrant advocates held a meeting earlier this year with Napoleon, expressing their concern about ICE detainer requests.

The April 28 memo from Napoleon said: "Recent court decision have raised Constitutional concerns regarding the enforcement of Immigration Detainer -- Notice of Action (IDNA). As such, effective immediately members of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office shall not honor any IDNAs from ... (ICE) unless ONE of the following conditions is met: Written Judicial Determination of Probable Cause (PCD) for that detainer; or a warrant from a Judicial Officer."

The memo added that "a subject may be detained for ICE only when accompanied by a warrant issued by a federal judge or magistrate. An administrative warrant issued by an ICE official may not be used to detain a subject."

Ruby Robinson, an attorney with the Michigan Immigrants Rights Center, said the memo sends a signal that Wayne County is open to immigrants and can come forward to report crimes to law enforcement.

"We are in support of this policy," Robinson said. "It helps immigrants and communities of immigrants feel safer. If they are victims of crimes, they feel more comfortable going forward."

Rana Elmir, deputy director of ACLU Michigan, said that "detainers undermine public safety and community trust in the police. ... Good police work depends on close relationship with the community ... these relationships are severely damaged if local police become part of a deportation machine."

The Wayne County Jail has a daily population between 1,700 to 2,200, with an additional 700 on tether, Napoleon said. He said that their focus is not on enforcing immigration laws.

"We're not part of Customs and Immigration," Napoleon said. "We're a police agency." ___ (c)2017 the Detroit Free Press


Report: Dallas police were told to leave heavy gear behind

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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DALLAS — Officers were told ahead of a rally last July not to wear heavy protective gear to avoid looking “militaristic,” according to the president of the Dallas Police Association.

Mike Mata, in an interview with the CBS DFW I-Team, said that if officers had been wearing their heavy gear, it may have “stopped some of the rounds during the ambush that killed five officers and injured nine.”

Mata told the news site that while officers were wearing standard-issued protective vests, their stronger, thicker body armor and helmets were left in their patrol vehicles.

“They didn’t want the police department to look militaristic to the community, look aggressive, incite any trouble,” he said, adding that officers were also told not to carry their long rifles.

The gunman, Micah Johnson, ambushed and targeted white officers during a peaceful march in downtown Dallas. It was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001. Johnson was eventually killed by a remote robot.

Mata contends the heavier gear and rifles might have saved lives that day. He said officers blame then-Police Chief David Brown.


San Antonio police chief tired, ‘sick of the police haters’

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kylie Madry The Dallas Morning News

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, who recently lost one officer to a shooting that also injured another, simply cannot understand all the hate directed toward police.

"I'm angry at the police haters, I'm sick of the police haters," he said. "We protect them. We defend them. And they give us a big F.U. And I'm sick of it."

McManus and other officers met Saturday with the public at a monthly "Coffee with Cops" event. The event come one day Officer Miguel Moreno died of injuries suffered in a shootout, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

McManus appeared visibly upset at the gathering, the Express-News reported.

On Thursday, two officers who were responding to a report of a suspicious person were shot by a suspect as they got out of patrol car.

Moreno was struck in the head, and Officer Julio Cavazos was hit in the chin, the chief said.

Moreno died the next day, and Cavazos remains in serious condition.

The shooter, whose identity remains unreleased, fatally shot himself in the head after hitting both officers, according to McManus. The Express-News reports that the shooter had an extensive criminal history.

McManus called body-camera footage of the attack the worst, most unprovoked assault he's ever seen, WFAA-TV reported.

"The cold and calculated way that this individual shot and killed Officer Moreno and seriously wounded Officer Cavazos was incredible," he said. "I have never seen such evil, such calculation and such intent in a situation like that. I don't know how that much evil can get into one person."

McManus warned officers to "expect the worst" and then to "de-escalate from there."

"The haters will say that, you know, that we mistreat people or, you know, 'You were rude to me' or 'You were mean to me, you were this to me, you were that to me,'" he said.

"How do you approach somebody on guard, on alert, knowing that something could happen to you without maybe somebody feeling like you're not being friendly enough? But that's why." ___ (c)2017 The Dallas Morning News


In Milwaukee, prosecutors and police officers ride together

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

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Ivan Moreno Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — For Jeremy Arn, being a prosecutor in Milwaukee's most dangerous neighborhoods means spending more time on the streets than in court.

His officemates are police officers in District 5, the city's busiest, and his focus is not just locking people up, but preventing crime and giving people second chances.

The transformation of the prosecutor's traditional role and the collaboration with police has special significance in Milwaukee, where the incarceration rate for African-Americans in some neighborhoods is the highest in the U.S. and law enforcement is hoping to rebuild a strained relationship after two nights of riots last summer when a black officer fatally shot a black man during a traffic stop. The arrangement has made prosecutors more accessible to residents, though its success is much harder to quantify than courtroom work.

On one recent afternoon, Arn, who previously worked as a contractor for the State Department teaching prosecutors in Afghanistan and as a rule of law adviser in Iraq, cheered the sight of an empty street, much like he would a conviction — because it meant criminals were gone, at least for now.

"Look at that. It's a ghost town; that's awesome," he said as he rode with a police officer past a convenience store that's been the site of loitering and drug-dealing complaints but had recently followed advice from police and Arn to hire armed security.

While on patrol, Arn, 39, trades his courtroom attire for cargo pants, a plaid shirt and the required bulletproof vest. When he invites a landlord to the police station to talk about a property that might be the site of prostitution and drug trafficking, Arn tells her she's not in trouble before making suggestions on how deal with the problem.

The model of putting prosecutors in neighborhoods began in Portland, Oregon, in 1990, when a business district helped fund the effort. Variations of the concept have spread around the country, but Milwaukee is one of just a few places to put prosecutors in police stations.

The idea is more relevant than ever as police nationwide try rebuild the public's trust after high-profile shootings. The Prosecutors' Center for Excellence, an organization of district attorneys, last year singled out combined police/prosecutor presence in communities as "essential to combat this mistrust in law enforcement."

"The ground has shifted, and people are now conscious and aware of the systemic issues to a degree that they are actually demanding that we solve problems and not simply take the politically convenient route of the tough-on-crime rhetoric," said Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, whose office is relying on federal grant money to put a prosecutor in each police district in Milwaukee.

But that funding is not guaranteed. If funding is not renewed by the U.S. Justice Department by July 22, the district attorney's office will pull prosecutors from three of the city's seven police districts, including the one where riots erupted last year.

Most of Wisconsin's black residents live in Milwaukee's north side neighborhoods covered by District 5 and District 7 — where more than half of the city's homicides last year occurred. A study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that almost all of the black men behind bars in the state during the 2010 census were from Milwaukee north side neighborhoods. In one particular ZIP code, 53206, nearly half the residents live below poverty level, 13 percent are unemployed, and a quarter of the housing units are vacant, according to 2015 census estimates.

"If you keep intervening through arrest and formal prosecution, you're just going to continue to disenfranchise that same pocket of neighborhoods and of people," said Jeffrey Altenburg, a deputy district attorney who helped launch the initiative in Milwaukee about a decade ago.

As part of their efforts, Milwaukee prosecutors are looking for alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders. About 70 percent of the nearly 900 people who took part in deferred prosecution agreements in the last two years have fulfilled conditions that can include completing drug treatment, staying out of legal trouble, or taking job training classes.

"You have a big say about what can happen to somebody's life, and it's important to take that seriously," said Hanna Kolberg, the prosecutor stationed in District 7, the site of the riots.

A key aspect of the initiative is to focus on people and places that have a disproportionate impact on an area, whether it's habitual offenders or businesses and vacant homes that become a magnet for criminal activity. That's why much of the work is driven by what prosecutors and police hear from residents at neighborhood meetings, where they learn about drug dealers, nuisance properties and other concerns.

Assistant Police Chief James Harpole, an early skeptic of the program when he was a district commander, now he thinks of the effort as part of a "holistic approach" to improving the community. Plus, he said, "It has helped to break down barriers, to make the community and police closer."

At a recent meeting between residents and officers of District 5, Josephine Key told a police captain that she would like to see more officers patrolling on foot.

"I would love to see my son get along with you guys," Key, 64, said.

Police and prosecutors still have detractors. Milwaukee's American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Police Department alleging officers have targeted minorities for stops — a charge the department denies. And Chisholm has been criticized for not prosecuting a white officer who fatally shot a mentally ill black man in 2014.

Arn said residents' mistrust of police runs deep, but he's determined to overcome it.

"Every appearance we make outside of the traditional squad car, every meeting we show up at, even if we're getting yelled at, it's a chance to build that relationship," Arn said.


Police officer shot, suspect killed in Va. shooting 

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. — One person was killed and an officer wounded in a police shooting in Virginia.

Police say in a statement that it happened about 11:15 p.m. Sunday when Norfolk officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon.

Police say when the officers arrived, they were told that a man was inside a nearby house with a gun.

When the officers tried to make contact with the man, police say he shot an officer. Police say other officers on scene returned fire, striking the suspect. Police say first aid was administered but the suspect died at the scene.

The officer was taken to a nearby hospital, treated and released.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, and Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting.


Book Excerpt: Chicago Street Cop

Posted on July 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Pat McCarthy
Author: Pat McCarthy

“A gritty memoir that gives readers a cop’s perspective on Chicago crime.”—Kirkus Reviews

The Airport

As the doomed plane taxied down the runway for takeoff, parts of the aircraft’s number-one engine began to fall off the wing. Eventually, the entire engine completely separated from the airplane and fell to the runway. The plane was able to lift off the runway and gain an altitude of approximately 400 feet before it nosedived into the ground killing all 271 people on board . . . To this day American Airlines Flight 191 is still the deadliest commercial airliner crash in U.S. history.

The burning wreckage had long been extinguished but smoke still hung in the air and eerily seeped from the ground. Police officers and firefighters milled around with dazed looks on their faces, all appeared to be in various states of shock. The size of the crash site was equivalent to about three football fields. It was total devastation. The first things I noticed were clothes and broken suitcases scattered throughout the site. When I first arrived at the crash site I expected to see an airplane broken apart on the ground, but very little of the airplane wreckage was even recognizable. It was just a twisted mess of burned and smoldering pieces of metal . . .

As we slowly made our way through the crash site, collecting human remains, I came across what looked like a charred basketball on the ground in front of me. I bent down to get a closer look and was horrified when I realized it was a human head. After a few seconds I had to pick it up and bag it, but a cold chill traveled up my spine. Once part of a living, breathing human being just a short time ago, it was now just a burned piece of bone and flesh . . . I’ll never forget the disturbing feelings I had that night. Many of the cops, firefighters, and other emergency personnel who took part in this disaster needed grief counseling after witnessing the aftermath of this tragic plane crash.

What it’s Really Like

All of a sudden, the quiet summer night on West Catalpa Street on Chicago’s north side exploded with the sound of gunfire. The young teenager stood frozen in fear in the shadow of a big oak tree; the poor kid was too afraid to move as death and bloody carnage unfolded before him on a nearby porch . . . It was a murder scene that could have been right out of a horror movie. Three people gunned down in a matter of seconds while sitting on a front porch of a brick two-flat building as they drank beer and shot the shit with each other.

When the gunfire ended it was eerily quiet for a few seconds, then suddenly an ear-piercing, blood-chilling anguished scream of a young woman filled the night air. The kid who witnessed this brutal triple murder . . . just wanted to get away from the bloody murder scene as quickly as possible. As he ran toward the safety of his home, he told himself: I’ll never tell anyone what I saw tonight.

He was going to lock what he saw that night away in the deep recesses of his mind, afraid that if he ever told anyone, the monsters might find out and kill him too. But he didn’t know that while he had seen the murderers, they had also seen him . . .

A car with two young Hispanic men slowly drove by, eyeing him menacingly . . . Suddenly, several gunshots rang out. Holy shit, he thought, these guys are shooting at me. He dove to the ground as fast as he could as several shots whizzed right past him. The car quickly sped away, leaving him scared to death and shaking with fear on the ground . . .

The kid’s father contacted the police and said, “My son witnessed a shooting several days ago on West Catalpa Street, and tonight he was shot at by two Spanish-looking guys who drove by him on his way home.” The Gang Unit was immediately notified and soon it had a witness who would help break the case wide open.

That’s how Maniac Latin Disciple, Fernando Zayas was finally taken off the streets for good.

Thai Hookers

One of the saddest murder cases I became involved in while assigned to the Asian Task Force took place at 908 Arch Street in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. The murder victim was Todd Manga, a twenty-three-year-old security guard.

Todd Manga was shot in the head three times and once in the face and killed when six Vietnamese gang bangers stormed the massage parlor armed with guns. After murdering Todd, the gang members robbed and ransacked the place, tying up customers, taking their drivers licenses, and threatening them if they cooperated with the police. Manga’s murder was supposed to warn the female owner to pay extortion money to the gang “or else.”

. . . the Thai prostitutes working there grabbed a few belongings and also left before the police arrived. The girls are all illegally in the US from Thailand, and they wanted nothing to do with the police . . .

I knew I had to meet them to solve the case . . .

Finally, the door opened and in walked the five Thai hookers, all decked out to the max, wearing short skirts, high heels, and a ton of makeup. I was surprised by how young and beautiful they all were . . . Every eye in the place stared at the Thai girls as they walked toward me. I can’t begin to imagine what the people in the restaurant were thinking, but it was show time for me: I really had to be on my game tonight if I was going to get the job done. My job was to solve the brutal murder of Todd Manga, who, by all the accounts, was a good kid who had wanted to become a police officer. If I had to buy beer and pizza for Thai hookers, so be it. Todd’s family deserved closure and justice for his brutal murder. I was bound and determined to get them that justice, no matter what it took.

Reprinted from “Chicago Street Cop: Amazing True Stories from the Mean Streets of Chicago and Beyond” with permission from Pat McCarthy Productions, Inc. Order the book here.


Ohio judge keep juror questions sealed in police case

Posted on July 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CINCINNATI — The judge in an Ohio police shooting case is refusing to release questions asked by jurors before a mistrial was declared because they were deadlocked.

Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz on Friday ordered that transcripts concerning the questions asked by Ray Tensing's jurors be sealed.

Ghiz says revealing the jurors' thought processes could taint the jury pool for a potential third trial of the white former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murder in the July 2015 traffic-stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

Ghiz writes that the high-profile case created "a frenzy of such magnitude" that both sides asked for a change of venue.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters hasn't said whether he'll try Tensing again after the second mistrial on June 23.


Officials: Ill. K-9 dies after being left in hot patrol car

Posted on July 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Gerald Porter Jr. Chicago Tribune

COOK COUNTY, Ill. — A Cook County Forest Preserves K-9 died June 14 in a patrol car apparently from complications caused by heat exposure, officials said.

The K-9, known as Drago, is believed to have been left unattended in the forest preserve police car while the officer processed an alleged suspect at the Oak Forest Police Department, said Lambrini Lukidis, communications director for the forest preserves.

"We are heartbroken to lose a canine member of the Forest Preserves of Cook County Police Department," forest preserves officials said in a statement. "The protection of wildlife and living things are at the core of our mission and we take this loss very seriously. We are currently looking into the circumstances of this incident."

Oak Forest police and fire departments staff members unsuccessfully tried to revive Drago after the officer discovered the K-9, according to a deleted post by the Oak Forest Police K-9 Memorial Facebook page.

The high temperature in Oak Forest was 92 degrees on June 14, according to the National Weather Service.

Drago was a member of the preserves police K-9 unit for three years. In April, the dog notably located a dementia patient after he went missing.

Forest preserves officials would not comment further about the incident, saying they have an an ongoing investigation.

Copyright © 2017, Daily Southtown


Police: Club shooting that injured 28 may be gang-related

Posted on July 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andrew DeMillo and Tafi Mukunyadzi Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Clubgoers screamed and scrambled for cover as dozens of gunshots rang out during a rap concert in downtown Little Rock early Saturday, leaving 28 people injured from an 11-second melee that police said may be gang-related.

The volley of gunfire inside the Power Ultra Lounge came so fast that investigators believe multiple people had to have been involved. Police Chief Kenton Buckner credited quick work by first responders for there being no fatalities.

Twenty-five people between the ages of 16 and 35 suffered gunshot wounds, and three others were hurt, perhaps while fleeing, Buckner said. Two people were in critical condition Saturday afternoon. Police said officers did not have any suspects in custody.

Courtney Swanigan, 23, told The Associated Press that when the gunfire rang out, "I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground and put my hands on my head."

City officials said they would move Monday to shut down the club under a "criminal abatement" program. State regulators suspended the club's liquor license earlier Saturday.

On Saturday night, a representative for the landlord's office posted an eviction notice on a door to the club. The notice stated that the club must move out of the property within three days "due to your failure to maintain the premises in a safe condition."

"We know we've got to use a hammer, we've got to use a big hammer on the people who would do violence with guns and hurt people," Stodola said at an afternoon news conference.

He said the city must "keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people" and suggested that people refuse to patronize clubs that seem to promote violence. Material advertising the concert by Tennessee rapper Finese 2Tymes showed a man pointing a gun at a camera.

"A promotional video with a gun on the front cover inviting people to a concert ... should also be totally unacceptable in our community," the mayor said.

The shooting capped a violent week in Arkansas' largest city. Police had responded to a dozen drive-by shootings over the previous nine days.

"This does appear to be a continuation of disputes from some of our local groups," Buckner said. "You've seen some of the things playing out in our streets that has resulted in drive-by shootings."

The shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. about 1 mile (1.61 kilometers) east of the state Capitol building. First-responders are stationed through the central part of the city and hospitals are a quick ride away.

"We had professional people responding to that incident and they did what they were trained to do, and I know they probably had something to do with the fact we didn't have any fatalities," Buckner said. He also credited divine intervention.

About 100 people gathered at Second Baptist Church on Saturday night for a candlelight vigil, seeking healing for those injured, and the community. Stodola sat in the front row.

"God bless our community. ... God bless our first responders," Robert Holt, president of Let Our Violence End and pastor at Healing Waters Outreach Center, said at the vigil.

Top state officials offered to help the city respond to an increasing number of incidents.

"Little Rock's crime problem appears to be intensifying," Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. "Every few days it seems a high-profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning's event. I have spoken this morning with Mayor (Mark) Stodola and I have offered both my heart felt concern over this senseless violent tragedy and state assets as needed to address the continued threat of violence in our community."

A Facebook video posted from inside the club included audio of at least 24 rounds fired in about 11 seconds. Darryl Rankin, who posted the video, said a friend of his who attended the concert with him had a bullet "stuck in his spine." Buckner said police had not yet spoken with the rapper, who he said has outstanding warrants in the state.

Calls to a number listed for Finese 2Tymes' booking agent weren't returned Saturday, but a message was posted on the artist's Facebook page offering thoughts and prayers for those injured: "THE VIOLENCE IS NOT FOR THE CLUB PEOPLE. WE ALL COME WITH 1 MOTIVE AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND THATS TO HAVE FUN."

Police cordoned off the area as technicians collected evidence from the scene, which is near a Roman Catholic cathedral and a First United Methodist Church center. A number of worshippers gathered for a funeral at St. Andrew's while police continued their work.

Glass from the Power Ultra Lounge's second-story windows littered the ground, along with empty drink cups. In the parking lot, a silver Toyota had what appeared to be a streak of blood on the front passenger-side door.

"I'm sick of all the killing and I'm tired of all the shooting. The kids getting hurt," said Raida Bunche, who was waiting outside the club after hearing from a friend that her son had been inside. She found out later that he had run from the club when the shooting started and was not hurt.

Before Stodola announced that the city would shutter the club, officials at the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control office suspended the club's liquor license and set a July 10 hearing on three potential charges: disorderly conduct, allowing possession of weapons on the premises and "failure to be a good neighbor."

The club's license has been suspended 11 times for failing to pay taxes, and it has been cited seven times for 14 various violations including unknowingly furnishing alcohol to minors and allowing alcohol to leave the premises since 2012, ABC Director of Enforcement Boyce Hamlet said.

Arkansas lawmakers this year passed a law allowing concealed handguns in bars, with permission of the businesses' owners and if the gun permit holder completes additional training. The law takes effect Sept. 1, but the training likely won't be available until next year.


Wounded San Antonio police officer remains hospitalized

Posted on July 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Police say a San Antonio officer is recovering following surgery after being shot in a gunbattle with a suspect that claimed the life of his partner.

Sgt. Jesse Salame says Officer Julio Cavazos was hospitalized Saturday in intensive care and faces a long recovery. Further details on his condition weren't released.

Investigators say Cavazos was shot Thursday as he and Officer Miguel Moreno stepped out of their patrol car to question a man about a vehicle break-in.

Moreno was shot in the head. He died Friday. San Antonio police say the gunman died in the shootout.

A police statement says Cavazos is married and has a young daughter.


State laws will expand concealed guns to public facilities

Posted on July 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By David A. Lieb Associated Press

Starting Saturday, concealed guns will be permitted at college campuses in Georgia and Kansas, more public buildings and bus stations in Tennessee, and at the Iowa state Capitol as new laws take effect continuing the steady expansion of gun rights in Republican-controlled states.

The firearms policies are among scores of laws scheduled to take effect Saturday, along with the start of the new fiscal year in many states. Some of those laws continue a recent trend of states taking the initiative to fix aging roads and address the drug overdose epidemic.

The gun laws reflect divided public preferences, highlighted by a recent Pew survey that found people nearly evenly split on whether gun control or gun rights were more important.

A voter-approved gun-control initiative prohibiting people from possessing ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets was to go into effect Saturday in California. But it was blocked this week by a federal judge, who said it would have made criminals out of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who own the magazines. A similar law passed by the Democratic-dominated Legislature also is subject to the preliminary injunction.

For decades, the National Rifle Association pushed for state laws allowing people to carry concealed guns with permits. Having succeeded nationwide, gun-rights advocates now are gradually expanding where those weapons can be taken. Yet even some of the new laws contain exceptions.

Georgia's law will allow people with concealed handgun permits to take their weapons into classrooms but not dormitories, and college sports fans will be able to pack weapons while tailgating but not inside stadiums.

A Tennessee law allowing guns in many local public buildings, bus stations and parks can be voided if authorities instead opt to install metal detectors staffed by security guards.

Concealed guns will be allowed at college campuses in Kansas as a result of a 2013 law that applies to public buildings lacking heightened security such as metal detectors and guards. A four-year exemption for universities expires Saturday. But in a setback for the NRA, a law that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is allowing to take effect without his signature will make permanent a similar exemption for public hospitals and mental health centers.

In Iowa, where permit holders will be able to carry concealed guns in the Capitol, the state Supreme Court has responded by banning weapons in all courthouses statewide.

Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA Institute of Legislative Action, described 2017 as another "successful year for gun rights."

But advocates for greater gun regulations also are pleased with the results. On Thursday, Democratic-led Hawaii became the third state to enact a law requiring notification to law enforcement when people prohibited from owning guns try to obtain them anyway.

"This was an excellent year for killing bad gun-lobby bills," said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "The bills that the gun lobby did get through, in many cases, we helped to water those down."

Here's a look at some other laws taking effect Saturday:

ABORTION

As with guns, some Republican and Democratic states continue to move in opposite directions on abortion-related policies.

A Tennessee law will require doctors to determine the viability of fetuses of at least 20 weeks of gestation, making it a felony to abort a viable fetus unless the pregnancy puts a woman at risk of death or serious injury. In South Dakota, new felony charges will double the potential fines and prison time for physicians who abort a fetus capable of feeling pain, except in cases of medical emergencies.

Other new laws deal with notifications required before abortions.

A Wyoming law will require abortion providers to give women the opportunity to view an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat. It also will prohibit the use of aborted fetal tissue for research.

A Kansas law will require abortion providers to give women more information about their doctors, including their credentials, malpractice insurance, disciplinary records and hospital privileges. The law also eliminates fine print, requiring the information to be presented in 12-point Times New Roman type on white paper.

A West Virginia law will end a doctor's ability to waive parental notification, allowing only a judge to do so. But a federal judge has blocked an Indiana law that would require courts to consider whether to notify parents about a minor's request for an abortion.

In Maryland, a law taking effect without the signature of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan seeks to mitigate potential federal funding cuts to Planned Parenthood. The measure directs $2.7 million from state funds for family planning services and preventive health care, if needed.

TRANSPORTATION

States are increasingly aligning behind new laws raising taxes and fees for transportation projects.

Starting Saturday, the gas tax will rise by 10 cents a gallon in Indiana, 4.5 cents in Montana, 4 cents in Tennessee, 3.5 cents in West Virginia and 2 cents in South Carolina. In some cases, it's the initial step in a multi-year tax increase.

In South Carolina and Tennessee, the gas tax hike is the first in about three decades.

The vehicle sales tax cap also is rising in South Carolina, and vehicle or driver's license fees will rise in Indiana, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In Oklahoma, a 1.25 percent vehicle sales tax will kick in Saturday. But it won't result in an influx for road projects, because millions of dollars of existing road funds are being diverted to help fill a budget shortfall.

The latest round of tax hikes means nearly three-fourths of states have taken some sort of action to increase transportation funding over the past five years.

Some states also are ramping up other vehicle-related laws.

Mississippi will require seat belt use by all vehicle occupants, instead of only front-seat passengers and children. Iowa will join most other states by making texting while driving a primary offense, meaning police can stop motorists for the violation instead of having to spot some other offense in order to pull them over.

Virginia will require driver's education courses to include instruction on how to respond when pulled over by police.

HEALTH

Numerous laws addressing health care also are taking effect.

Most Arizona employers will be required to offer paid sick leave to their workers because of a 2016 ballot initiative that takes effect Saturday. Arizona will be the seventh state with such a requirement, all enacted since 2011.

New Mexico and Kentucky are enacting laws attempting to safeguard student athletes. New Mexico will require student training on the danger of brain injuries, while Kentucky will prohibit high school coaches from putting athletes back in the game after potential concussions if no doctors are available to assess them.

Other new laws will expand patients' rights in an attempt to avoid unexpected medical costs. A Missouri law will require health care providers to give patients costs estimates upon request, and a California law will require patients' written consent before receiving services from providers outside their insurance network.

Several laws seek to combat opioid addiction.

Kentucky will ban doctors from prescribing a more than three-day supply of prescription painkillers, although the law has various exceptions.

New laws in Virginia will legalize syringe exchange programs and require physicians to check a prescription drug monitoring database before prescribing opioids for more than seven days. Wyoming will join most other states in providing immunity to those who administer overdose medications.


Prosecutors charge man with 9 Phoenix serial killings

Posted on July 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jacques Billeaud Associated Press

PHOENIX — A former city bus driver accused in a string of deadly nighttime shootings of people outside their homes or sitting in cars that kept residents of a Phoenix neighborhood inside after dark has been formally charged with nine counts of murder.

The indictment this week of Aaron Juan Saucedo, 23, came nearly two months after police he was responsible for fatally shooting nine people and wounding two others during a nearly one-year period that ended in July 2016.

He was indicted Tuesday but news of the indictment did not emerge until Friday, when court officials sent reporters a link to a video appearance of Saucedo in court Thursday to be informed of the charges.

Saucedo, dubbed the Serial Street Shooter by authorities, has been jailed since he was indicted in April in one of the first killings in the series. In all, he has now been charged with nine murders.

The attacks terrified people living in Maryvale, a mostly Latino neighborhood in Phoenix where all but two of the killings occurred. The victims were shot by a man who prowled the neighborhood in a car and opened fire from inside it or stepped out briefly to shoot before driving away.

Among those who died were a 21-year-old man whose girlfriend was pregnant with their son and a 12-year-girl who was shot to death along with her mother and a friend of the woman.

Saucedo's lawyer, Dean Roskosz, did not immediately respond to phone message seeking comment.

Saucedo, who is jailed for lack of $8 million bail, made a brief court appearance Thursday to be notified of the charges, but was asked questions only about his name and date of birth. He said 'I'm innocent' at a May court hearing following his initial arrest.

Police have previously said in court records that Saucedo left behind bullet casings at each crime that authorities tested and linked him to the shootings. In one of the shootings, police said, he got out of his car in January 2016 and kicked a victim after shooting the man.

Authorities also have said video footage captured near the scene of a July 2016 shooting — the last in the series — helped them determine that the shooter's car was a 5-series BMW. That's the same model that Saucedo drove.

Police said Saucedo stopped using the BMW and changed his appearance after police publicly released a composite sketch of the suspect and a description of the attacker's car.

A black 2001 5 Series BMW was seized by investigators from Saucedo's home in April. Police have said a 9mm shell casing found inside the car was fired from the same gun as the shells found in the aftermath of nine of the 12 attacks.

Saucedo knew only the first victim, and the other killings were random, authorities said. Police have provided not details about a possible motive.

Saucedo had no prior criminal record or visible presence on social media and he lived with his mother.

Before working as a bus driver, Saucedo attended a high school specializing in helping troubled youth.

He has held various jobs over the years, including working as a laborer for a home remodeling company and as a city bus driver. His only previous contact with the court system was a 2016 red-light traffic violation while driving a bus in Maryvale.

The killings stumped investigators for months, but they got a break in April when Saucedo was arrested in the August 2015 fatal shooting of 61-year-old Raul Romero, who had a relationship with Saucedo's mother that officials have declined to describe. Authorities investigated Saucedo more closely and connected him to the other killings.

The series of killings happened 10 years after six people were killed in Phoenix and 19 others were wounded in random nighttime shootings. Two men were convicted in those attacks.


Ark. police: 17 injured after nightclub shooting

Posted on July 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andrew DeMillo Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Police said 17 people were hurt in a shooting early Saturday after a dispute at a downtown Little Rock nightclub. The city's police chief said officers suspect multiple people fired weapons but that the incident was not terror related.

The shooting happened at the Power Ultra Lounge, a club in a two-story building downtown about 1 mile (1.61 kilometer) east of the state Capitol. Police cordoned off the block as crime-scene technicians gathered evidence from inside and outside the club. Glass from the club's second story windows littered the ground, along with empty drink cups.

"We do NOT believe this incident was an active shooter or terror related incident. It appears to have been a dispute at a concert," the city police posted on its Twitter account overnight.

Little Rock Police said on Twitter that all 17 victims were alive and that one person who had been in critical condition was upgraded to stable.

"One is too many. Seventeen is very alarming and certainly disturbing," Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner told reporters. He said there was "some sort of dispute broke out between people inside" the club and that there are "probably multiple shooting suspects."

A video posted online by a club patron showed that a packed house for Finese 2Tymes, a performer from Memphis, Tennessee. About a half-minute into a break in the raucous concert, several bursts of gunfire rang out — more than 24 shots in an 11-second period.

The shooting follows a week in which there have been about a dozen drive-by shootings in the capital city, though there's no indication the events are linked.

Early Saturday, Rada Bunch waited outside the club after she had heard from a friend that her son had been at the club and may have been shot. She had received little information about the incident

"I'm sick of all the killing and I'm tired of all the shooting, the kids getting hurt," Bunch said.

The club's Facebook page promoted Friday night's show with a poster depicting a man pointing what appears to be a gun at the camera. A call to a number listed for Finese 2Tymes' booking agent wasn't immediately returned Saturday.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said on Facebook that more information would be released at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

"My heart is broken this morning — my prayers are with the victims of this tragedy," he wrote. He went on to add, " We are committed to doing everything possible to bring safety to our city. We need everyone to help."

In May, one person was killed and six people were hurt in a mass shooting at a downtown concert in Jonesboro, Arkansas, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock. In that case, two men were charged with first-degree murder and six counts of first-degree battery.


Chicago police, feds team up on new effort to curb violence

Posted on July 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors launched an initiative Friday aimed at stemming the flow of illegal firearms in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant gun violence that President Donald Trump says is at "epidemic proportions."

Trump's remark on Twitter came ahead of an announcement by Chicago police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the formation of the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said an additional 20 ATF agents have been sent to Chicago. Tim Jones, the ATF's special agent in charge of the strike force, said the agents will be assigned permanently to the city.

State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will target illegal guns and repeat gun offenders, Chicago police said. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement that "we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago."

Trump tweeted Friday morning that "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help." In January, he warned Chicago about its high number of homicides, saying on Twitter that he is ready to "send in the Feds."

Adam Collins, spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said the city wants the assistance.

"Six months ago we made it clear that we would welcome additional federal support, and six months later we appreciate the 20 new ATF agents that are now arriving," Collins said in an email. But as the police department released figures that show the number of homicides, shooting incidents and shooting victims has dropped, Collins said "the progress CPD has made this year has happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested."

Police officials said they started talking about beefing up ATF's Chicago presence in November during then-President Barack Obama's administration and earlier this week, officials announced the ATF had loaned the city a van outfitted with ballistic testing equipment to help police more quickly solve gun crimes.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joel Levin told a Friday afternoon news conference that prosecutors are in the midst of ramping up federal gun prosecutions, saying his office has prosecuted more federal gun cases this year than in all of 2016 — and in 2016, his office prosecuted more such cases than it had in a decade.

Trump's latest tweet said there have been 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year. According to the police department, there have been 1,703 shooting victims. There were 1,935 shooting victims in the city during the same period last year. Also, there have been 1,360 shooting incidents so far this year — 224 less than were reported during the same period in 2016. So far this year, there have been 320 homicides compared to 322 by this time last year, according to the police department.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the Justice Department will send more federal prosecutors to Chicago to "prioritize prosecutions to reduce gun violence."

"The police have been demoralized in many ways," Sessions said earlier in the day on Fox News Channel's morning show, "Fox & Friends." ''In many ways, the policies in Chicago have not been working. Murders are way, way too high."

Sessions last week pledged federal assistance to 12 cities to help them develop individualized, long-term strategies to fight violence. But Chicago was not among them.

The Justice Department said that's because Chicago already was part of a similar Justice Department program called the Violence Reduction Network, which began in 2014. Under that initiative, federal agents teamed up with their local counterparts to share resources and intelligence.

The Justice Department spokesman said the department will keep working with cities including Chicago under the new crime-fighting program, called the Public Safety Partnership. And he noted that dozens of additional ATF agents had "surged" into Chicago so far this year.


Ohio city manager responds to ‘3 strikes, you’re out’ overdose proposal

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – A city manager responded to the viral comments made by one of their councilmen about not administering naloxone to overdose patients who have been treated more than twice.

Middletown City Manager Douglas Adkins said in a statement that Councilman Dan Picard wanted to know if there was a legal and ethical way to choose not to dispatch to overdose patients who had been treated several times. And, if possible, the council could later form a system that would offer community service and treatment to overdose addicts instead of jail time.

“There was no three strikes policy discussed by council as a group, no change of policy voted on,” Adkins said. “No change or request to change was made by the majority of council to alter how we run police or fire calls on potential overdose situations. We will complete the legal research requested and forward the information to city council at some later date.”

Adkins stressed that the city understands the severity behind the disease of addiction, and have several programs to help those suffering, such as needle exchanges and medically supervised treatment.

No new method has been adopted and responders will continue render aid for every overdose call.


At least 2 people shot inside NYC hospital; gunman dead

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A man pulled a rifle from under his white lab coat and opened fire inside a Bronx hospital Friday, killing at least one person and wounding others before apparently taking his own life, police said.

The gunfire broke out at 2:50 p.m. inside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital, bringing police cars and firetrucks rushing to the scene and sending officers onto the roof with their guns drawn as people inside the building were told to hide.

Officers went floor by floor looking for the gunman and reported just before 4 p.m. that the shooter was dead inside the building. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the gunman apparently killed himself.

According to the law enforcement official, the shooter was wearing a lab coat and had the rifle concealed. The official was not authorized to discuss the still-unfolding investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Police were still trying to identify how many people had been shot; emergency crews had been kept from going inside the hospital while the shooter was a large.

The 120-year-old hospital has nearly 1,000 beds and one of the busiest emergency rooms in New York City. It is about a mile and a half north of Yankee Stadium

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BREAKING: Police say multiple people have been shot at a New York City hospital. Police had no immediate information on whether anyone was killed. We’re getting details right now from CBS New York. The gunfire broke out inside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital.

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Friday, June 30, 2017

Due to reports of a shooting incident at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, avoid the area of 1650 Grand Concourse. More information to follow.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 30, 2017


Doctor kills 1, injures 6 at NYC hospital before killing himself

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A doctor who used to work at a Bronx hospital returned with a rifle hidden under his white lab coat and opened fire Friday, killing one person and wounding six others before apparently taking his own life, authorities said.

The gunfire broke out at 2:50 p.m. inside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital, drawing police cars and firetrucks to the scene and sending officers onto the roof with their guns drawn as people inside the building were told to hide.

Officers went floor by floor looking for the gunman and reported just before 4 p.m. that the shooter was dead inside the building. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the gunman apparently killed himself.

He was identified by law enforcement officials as Dr. Henry Bello, a family medicine physician at the hospital. It was not immediately clear why he was no longer working at the hospital. The officials were not authorized to discuss the still-unfolding investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Emergency crews had been kept from going inside the hospital while the shooter was at large.

Garry Trimble said his wife, hospital employee Denise Brown, called him from inside the hospital shortly after 3 p.m.

"She woke me up and told me there was a situation, somebody's out there shooting people," Trimble said as he waited for his wife to come out. "I could hear in her voice she was shaking and about to cry."

Gonzalo Carazo described the scary scene to WCBS-TV. "I saw one of the doctors and he had a gunshot wound to his hand," Carazo said.

"All I heard was a doctor saying, "Help, help!" Carazo locked himself in a room for about 15 minutes until police came and led him out of the hospital.

The 120-year-old hospital has nearly 1,000 beds and one of the busiest emergency rooms in New York City. It is about a mile and a half north of Yankee Stadium.

In 2011, two people were shot at Bronx Lebanon in what police said was a gang-related attack.

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BREAKING: Police say multiple people have been shot at a New York City hospital. Police had no immediate information on whether anyone was killed. We’re getting details right now from CBS New York. The gunfire broke out inside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital.

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Friday, June 30, 2017

Due to reports of a shooting incident at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, avoid the area of 1650 Grand Concourse. More information to follow.

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 30, 2017


Texas officer shot while investigating vehicle break-in dies 

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — A police officer in San Antonio died Friday of wounds suffered when he and his partner were shot by a man they intended to question about a vehicle break-in, police said.

Officer Miguel Moreno, a nine-year veteran of the police force, was shot in the head during the encounter Thursday. The gunman fired on Moreno and partner Julio Cavazos as they stepped out of their patrol car. Cavazos also was shot but returned fire and attempted to pull Moreno out of the line of fire.

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It is with heavy hearts that we share that our brother, Officer Miguel I. Moreno, #1603, succumbed to his injuries and...

Posted by San Antonio Police Department on Friday, June 30, 2017

Cavazos underwent surgery and is expected to recover, police Chief William McManus said during a news conference earlier Friday. The gunman died in the shootout.

The officers were patrolling north of downtown when they decided to question two men because they were near the vehicle that had been broken into, McManus said. He said the officers didn't consider the men suspects.

"I'm at a loss to describe what a tragedy this is," McManus said.

The gunman was shot in the buttocks and as he attempted to flee he suffered a head wound that may have been self-inflicted. Police have not released the name of the gunman, but McManus said he might have come from Louisiana.

McManus said the second man was unaware that his companion would pull a weapon and has been cooperating with investigators. He was arrested on outstanding municipal warrants but released.

"All they were going to do was contact these two individuals, contact them to get their identification, in the event that anything did happen ...," McManus said. "And things went bad real quick."

Moreno's death brought people to police headquarters Friday, leaving flowers and notes of sympathy outside the entrance. "Blessed are the peacemakers," read one. "We back the blue," said another.

The mourners included 9-year-old Tony Alameda, who left flowers and knelt for prayer. The boy said his aim is to one day become a police officer.

Thursday's incident follows a shooting in November in which a San Antonio police detective was killed. Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the force, was sitting in his squad car writing a traffic ticket when a man walked up and shot him in the head. The suspect, identified as Otis Tyrone McKane, later told reporters he was angry about a child-custody fight and lashed out.


Ky. ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bill makes violence against cops a hate crime

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The state of Kentucky now classifies violent acts against first responders as a hate crime.

NY Daily News reported that HB 14 protects law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs while on duty. The “Blue Lives Matter” bill says “offenses committed against an individual because of an individual’s actual or perceived” first responder role will be treated as a hate crime.

The bill was signed into law in March and took effect Thursday. Protesters in Kentucky said the bill could be used against those fighting against police brutality.

Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said the bill might have passed, but it won’t change much in the long run.

“People get real excited — ‘This is a hate crime, this is hate crime.’ But under Kentucky law, it doesn’t really matter all that much if it is a hate crime, because it doesn’t bring any more punishment to the case,” he said.

Sanders said the bill may not increase sentencing, but the judge will have more leniency when denying parole or bond.


Boston cop suspended without pay for racially insensitive video 

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BOSTON — Officials say a Boston police officer who made a video with the tagline, "black people have met their match," will be suspended without pay for six months.

Officer Joseph DeAngelo Jr. also has been ordered to participate in sensitivity and unconscious bias training, meet with community leaders and perform community service.

In the cellphone video, which was shot like a movie trailer, the tagline ran over an image of black women.

Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans says DeAngelo told investigators that the video was intended to be a spoof on another officer. Police later determined the other officer was unaware he was in it.

In an open letter, DeAngelo says he apologizes for his actions and regrets the embarrassment the video has caused for the police department.

BPD offc Joseph De'Angelo "public apology" for making video that included the text "Black People Have Met Their Match" #boston25 pic.twitter.com/2gwRmCacPp

— Ted Daniel (@tvnewzted) June 29, 2017


Bill letting police use pill database goes to RI gov.

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A bill to allow law enforcement access to an electronic database of prescription painkillers is now awaiting approval from Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The proposal would give criminal investigators from state and local agencies access to a database used by health professionals to track prescribing patterns for various opioids, including Vicodin and OxyContin, stimulants and sedatives. Several other states have similar laws.

The attorney general's office pushed for the bill, saying it would allow law enforcement to investigate "pill mills and drug diversion."

But medical groups lobbied against it, saying it bill compromises patient confidentiality and that the database should be a tool for health care, not law enforcement.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says drug diversion is contributing to the opioid crisis, and the legislation will save lives.


LA SWAT officer shot as suspect livestreams shootout 

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Michael Blasamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A homicide suspect livestreamed on Facebook as he traded gunfire with police, eventually shooting a Los Angeles SWAT officer before a police round struck him, a law enforcement official said.

The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Both the suspect and officer are expected to survive, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

The official said the video, which captured at least part of the encounter, showed the suspect shouting as he pointed a handgun at officers with gunshots ringing around him. At one point he yells that the officers are "about to kill me."

Police have not released the name of the wounded officer or the suspect.

The suspect was one of four people wanted in connection with a gang-related killing in late March, Beck said. The man led police officers from Los Angeles and Hawthorne on a brief chase in El Segundo, which ended with the shootout, the chief said.

The wounded SWAT officer was shot in the hip and is expected to make a full recovery, Beck said.

The suspect was taken to a hospital in serious condition and will be arrested in connection with the March killing and for investigation of attempted murder of a police officer, the chief said.

Beck visited the wounded officer at the hospital and said he was stable and his wife, a fellow LAPD officer, was at his bedside.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents police officers, said the shooting is a "somber reminder that police work is inherently dangerous and deadly."


Va. ‘dancing deputy’ showcases moves on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Amanda Vicinanzo The Free Lance-Star

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Stafford County’s beloved “Dancing Deputy”—Deuntay Diggs—did not advance to the next round of “America’s Got Talent.”

Diggs was buzzed out by all four judges during his live audition, which aired on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

“What you do for the community is fabulous, and we want to keep you in the community,” Howie Mandel, one of the judges, remarked.

For Diggs, advancing on the show was not his only goal. He told The Free Lance–Star that he wanted to use his moment in the spotlight to show the world “the heart behind the badge” and encourage a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community.

“I want people to realize that when they see a cop that we’re human beings, too, and we like to let loose and have fun,” Diggs told the judges before his routine.

And many Stafford residents used social media after the episode aired to let him know he did just that.

“Deputy Diggs—you may have gotten the X’s there, but you’ll always have the hearts of this community!” Becca Lusk Childress commented on Facebook.

———

©2017 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)


Va. ‘dancing deputy’ showcases moves on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Amanda Vicinanzo The Free Lance-Star

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Stafford County’s beloved “Dancing Deputy”—Deuntay Diggs—did not advance to the next round of “America’s Got Talent.”

Diggs was buzzed out by all four judges during his live audition, which aired on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

“What you do for the community is fabulous, and we want to keep you in the community,” Howie Mandel, one of the judges, remarked.

For Diggs, advancing on the show was not his only goal. He told The Free Lance–Star that he wanted to use his moment in the spotlight to show the world “the heart behind the badge” and encourage a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community.

“I want people to realize that when they see a cop that we’re human beings, too, and we like to let loose and have fun,” Diggs told the judges before his routine.

And many Stafford residents used social media after the episode aired to let him know he did just that.

“Deputy Diggs—you may have gotten the X’s there, but you’ll always have the hearts of this community!” Becca Lusk Childress commented on Facebook.

———

©2017 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)


Wife seeking revenge on cop husband sentenced for tipping off drug dealers

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By David J. Neal Miami Herald

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Why would a fifth-grade teacher at Pompano Beach’s Cypress Elementary School call a violent drug gang leader about a police informant in his operation?

To get back at her philandering cop husband.

Porsha Session’s telephone tantrum in 2013 earned her three years in federal prison after she was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks for obstructing an official proceeding.

That’s closer to the sentencing guidelines of 15 to 21 months, which are based on the crime and Session’s lack of a criminal past, than the eight years the government wanted after her guilty plea.

In court documents, Session said her husband did duty both as a Lauderhill undercover detective and as someone else’s undercover lover. Once she saw an e-mail to her husband with detailed intelligence from the informant inside the close-knit Jamaican drug gang targeted by the multi-agency Lauderhill Investigation, she saw her chance to inflict pain on her husband. She borrowed a co-worker’s cell phone and called gang leader D.W.

D.W., suspicious, hung up on Session twice. Session called a third time, and D.W. listened to what she had to say. Then, she handed the phone back to her co-worker.

The government argued that the conifdential informant wasn’t bothered when another gang member accused him of being a “snitch,” but after Session ran her mouth, “the CI was terrified and in tears.”

He would be pulled out and moved to South Miami-Dade, where he’d die of a gunshot wound. It was ruled a suicide.

“The defendant obstructed an ongoing investigation of persons who had a history of violence who were engaged in drug dealing, gun smuggling, and home invasions. The defendant “outed” a CI who was not merely valuable, but irreplaceable,” the government argued. “The defendant committed the offense by illegally accessing private government emails and was persistent in her efforts to ruin the investigation. The defendant showed no regard for her fellow teacher whose phone she used and thereby got an innocent person unwittingly involved in her criminal activity and put that teacher potentially in harm’s way.”

———

©2017 Miami Herald


Domestic violence restraining orders: 3 takeaways from the recent court decision

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

David Cropp
Author: David Cropp

The Family Violence Appellate Project is a California non-profit organization that monitors family court decisions and argues for appellate review. Its latest victory has implications for officers, victims and children seeking the protection of domestic violence restraining orders.

In De La Luz Perez v Torres-Hernandez the victim sought to renew a three-year restraining order against her abusive ex-boyfriend. In applying for the original 2010 order, she claimed her ex-boyfriend had beaten her and cursed at her in front of their children. In the time since the original order was issued, the ex-boyfriend allegedly attacked the children (leaving bruises) during a court-ordered visitation and threatened the victim via cell phone.

Despite these incidents, the trial court refused to renew the restraining order, saying that “abuse” is not just harassing or annoying phone calls but requires evidence of physical violence or a threat of violence. The trial court commissioner went on to suggest that any violence suffered by the children was irrelevant to abuse alleged by their mother.

California’s Family Code Section 6203 defines “abuse” as any of the following:

1. To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.

2. Sexual assault.

3. To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.

4. To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320 (includes molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, making annoying phone calls, contact via mail and destroying personal property).

Defining ‘harassing’

According to Nancy Lemon, legal director of the Family Violence Appellate Project, several cases interpret the word “harassing” to include a broad variety of actions, including disturbing the peace. It is not limited to physical abuse.

Thanks to the efforts of the FVAP and co-counsel, on July 11, 2016, the First District Court of Appeal overturned the trial court’s ruling. The appellate decision confirms:

There does not need to be evidence of new abuse or new threats of abuse, clarifying that a protective order should not have to be violated in order for the victim to renew it. Abuse does not have to be physical. Evidence of abuse against children is indeed relevant and should be considered when deciding whether to renew that person’s protective order.

This opinion holds that evidence of child abuse is relevant to deciding whether to include the children as additional protected parties on a protective order. The FVAP petitioned for this case to be published so attorneys throughout California can rely on it to help domestic violence victims and children gain valuable protection.

3 implications for officers

I’ve read thousands of domestic violence reports over the years. Some of my patrol years were prior to the creation of contemporary domestic violence laws, and considering the unflattering nature of how we used to respond to domestic violence, I sincerely appreciate how much more we know about domestic violence and the quality of our investigations and reports. That said here are three things this latest appellate decision reinforces for us:

1. Understand the dynamics of domestic violence and children exposed.

Stay involved in the latest trainings and updates, especially regarding the effects of domestic violence on children. Law enforcement sometimes views domestic abuse as physical. Do you have code sections in your state that expand the definition of domestic violence abuse?

2. Find out if you have appellate programs such as the FVAP.

Typically we focus on the assaultive nature of domestic violence, but it’s much more that that – especially when children are involved.

3. Comprehensive investigation and reporting

Remember, comprehensive investigation and reporting must include, if present, coercive control, including emotional, financial, sexual and sometimes spiritual. The effects on children are only as evident as our reports narrate. We must interview children on the effects domestic violence has on their life and environment. Family courts sometimes rely on our reports to assess the degree of abuse in restraining order cases.

Appellate programs in other states

Nancy Lemon is a leading authority on domestic violence and one of my many colleagues in a statewide domestic violence expert witness group. She is the author of “Domestic Violence Law,” the premiere law school textbook on the subject, and teaches a domestic violence seminar at UC Berkeley Law and also directs the Domestic Violence Practicum. According to Nancy, there is nothing like the FVAP in other states, however:

The DV LEAP in Washington, D.C., tries to cover the whole United States In New York, Sanctuary for Families does family law appeals in domestic violence cases, but does not cover the whole state. Other states may have law schools or non-profit organizations that do appeals like these on a limited basis and not statewide. A recent law school graduate from Indiana may soon be working with FVAP to learn the process, hoping to return to Indiana to get something going there. Joan Meier, who heads DV LEAP, co-authored a 2014 article with Nancy in Domestic Violence Report that offers more clarification: “Domestic Violence Appellate Litigation: Holding the Legal System Accountable.”

Policing Matters Podcast: What effect will decriminalizing transit fare evasion have in Calif.?

Posted on June 30, 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

According to the Los Angeles County Probation Department, transit fare evasion is the number one cause of juvenile citations in Los Angeles County. The California Senate recently passed legislation that prohibits youths from being charged with a criminal violation for transit fare evasion and instead treats the offense like a parking ticket. California State Senator Robert Hertzberg — who introduced the legislation — said, "No kid should go to jail or be charged with a crime simply because he or she can’t pay to ride the bus or train." Kids will receive a fine, similar to parking tickets.


Man accused of killing Va. special agent faces capital murder charge

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — A man accused of killing a Virginia State Police officer has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring said a grand jury brought the indictment against Travis Ball on Wednesday.

Ball is accused of shooting 45-year-old Special Agent Michael Walter while the officer was patrolling in a Richmond public housing complex. Ball fled the scene and was arrested after an overnight manhunt.

Walter died of a gunshot wound to the head. The 18-year Virginia State Police veteran was a father of three who previously served in the Marines.

Herring said an arraignment for Ball will be held on Thursday. Ball was previously charged with malicious wounding and firearm charges.

If Ball is convicted of capital murder, he could face the death penalty.


All Pittsburgh officers to have body cams next year

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police could roll out hundreds more body cameras this year as part of plan to equip every officer by the end of next year.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said Tuesday that the city has 150 more cameras ready to go as soon as officers are trained to use them. They plan to get 250 more in the fall.

Currently, 147 of the department's approximately 900 officers wear cameras.

Hissrich said they have been careful not to move too aggressively in deploying cameras, wary of running afoul of a state surveillance law. On Tuesday, the state Senate approved a bill that clarifies that officers can record video inside private homes.

The bill gives police broad discretion in releasing or withholding video.


P1 Photo of the Week: An honorable retirement

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

K-9 Supervisor Sgt. Andres Lopez recently recognized the retirement of K-9 Ferre for over 7 years of dedicated service to the San Antonio Airport Police Explosives Detection Unit. Ferre has conducted thousands of searches over the past several years.

Officer Eddie Shear has been Ferre’s handler over the past seven years and has adopted Ferre to remain with him. Happy retirement, Ferre!

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!


Jury recommends life sentence in Ohio SWAT officer’s slaying

Posted on June 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A jury has recommended life in prison without parole for a man convicted of fatally shooting an Ohio SWAT officer during a standoff last year.

The jury could have recommended the death penalty Thursday for Lincoln Rutledge. The same jury earlier this month found the 45-year-old Columbus man guilty of aggravated murder and other charges in Columbus officer Steven Smith's death.

Authorities said Rutledge shot Smith in the head as officers were trying to arrest him on an arson warrant on April 10, 2016. Smith died two days later.

Rutledge's defense team argued he suffers mental issues that affected his actions during the standoff, which lasted over nine hours.

A message seeking comment from Rutledge's attorney was left Thursday.

The judge is expected to sentence Rutledge on July 18.


2 San Antonio police officers critically wounded in shootout

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Two San Antonio police officers were critically wounded in a shootout with a suspect on a street just north of the city's downtown section.

One of two suspects also was wounded in the 3:30 p.m. Thursday shootout. The other suspect was taken into custody.

Police Chief William McManus said the two officers were patrolling the neighborhood when they spotted two people with whom they wanted to speak. McManus says the officers were immediately fired upon when they stepped from their car. The officers returned fire, wounding one suspect.

McManus said the officers were taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in "very critical condition." One was wounded in the face and the other in the upper torso.

Police spokeswoman Romana Lopez later said the wounded suspect was in grave condition.


5 reasons why Middletown’s ‘three strikes’ policy on naloxone will never fly

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Like many places in America, Middletown, Ohio, is struggling to deal with the opioid epidemic and the associated increase in the number of overdose calls to 911.

Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli told a local television news channel that his EMS and fire responders do six to eight opioid overdose runs per day.

According to that report, there were 532 overdoses reported last year in Middletown, there have already been 577 such calls this year. Last year, there were 74 overdose deaths; so far this year there have been 51 overdose deaths. Last year, the city spent more than $11,000 on naloxone. This year, the city has paid $30,000 for its naloxone supply.

As a consequence, Middletown is considering a controversial proposal to limit the number of times someone who overdoses on opioids can receive naloxone from first responders.

Middletown City Council Member Dan Picard is quoted in a news report as saying, “If the dispatcher determines that the person who’s overdosed is someone who’s been part of the program for two previous overdoses and has not completed the community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn’t dispatch.”

Picard said his plan is aimed solely at saving the city money, not culling the heard of drug users in Middletown (which will likely be an ancillary result if the measure passes and becomes city policy).

Here are five reasons why it won’t.

1. The call takers’ and dispatchers’ CBA

I’m going to go out on a limb here and hazard a guess that the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the city’s dispatchers and call takers doesn’t have a clause allowing them to make a go/no-go decision on a response to a 911 call. A call comes in and the dispatch is made, end of story.

We are on a dangerous path if we tell dispatchers and call takers to judge the veracity of calls, whether it is a multiple prowler call to the same location, or domestic violence calls to the same location, or a repeat overdose call. Just because it’s happened there multiple times before doesn’t mean that first responders should not be sent to the current situation.

In fact, in law enforcement, that’s what we call a clue. Simply because it’s happened there before indicates a high likelihood that it’s happening again.

2. Realities of government services

When a city or town begins providing a “service” of any kind, it is very difficult to discontinue it. No matter how much a program’s budget mushrooms out of control, once a city or town offers things like meals for the homeless, needles for the drug-addicted and other harm-reduction strategies, it is all but impossible to say to those populations, “Sorry, that didn’t work out as we had planned, so those programs are no longer available.”

Once any type of government program begins, it survives all manner of attack from those who favor more limited government. This is as true for local municipal governments as it is for those who stalk the halls of the United States Capitol in Washington DC. Killing such services is tantamount to political suicide for roughly half of all elected officials, and doing so usually requires a two-thirds vote. Therefore, once born, these things tend to live forever, despite the best efforts of conservatives and libertarians who despise bloated government.

Let this be a cautionary tale to any local government with an opioid addiction problem that has not yet begun a naloxone program for its first responders. You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube.

3. Tactical and logistical problems

Yes, a CAD dispatch history search will display past calls to a given location, but drug users – especially heroin and opioid users – often cohabitate. The CAD will tell the dispatcher there have been two previous OD calls to that location, but which of the residents is presently in danger of dying?

In addition, a single recipient of those first “two strikes” of naloxone may end up overdosing at an entirely different location and receive a third dose from responders. Can you imagine the EMT/firefighter/cop showing up to that location and saying, “Oh, you again. Isn’t this your third strike? Sorry, I can’t help you.”

Not going to happen. All first responders know that the next of kin will soon be seated at the office of the local plaintiffs’ attorney hearing the words “negligence and failure to render aid” followed by a seven-figure dollar amount.

This brings me to the fourth reason this proposal is going nowhere: the city’s lawyers are looking at it.

4. The lawyers won’t allow it

The looming threat of lawsuits with massive payouts will influence the city lawyers to make the proposal disappear.

Yes, the city of Middletown has tripled its expenditure on naloxone in the span of one year (and that trend appears to be in no danger of being reversed), but the fact is there is far more risk exposure for the city in not providing those services (see also item No. 1 in this list) than there is for continuing it.

I’m no mathematician, but $20,000 or $50,000, or even $100,000 are all smaller numbers than what could be generated by even one negligent death suit.

5. It fails to address the real problem

The opioid epidemic is real and is costing government agencies across the country money and human resources. However, this so-called solution addresses only the symptoms of opioid addiction, not the disease.

Addicts can’t make sound decisions about their drug use – they’re addicts. They’ve lost their families, their friends, their jobs, their futures and anything else they ever once cherished. We cannot expect them to logically say, “Well, I’ve had the cops here twice to give me naloxone, I guess I should kick the habit now before I overdose again.”

Let’s be realistic. The only addict who is able to shake their habit is one who is fully invested in that objective. No city policy is going to do that for them – that only comes from within.

The EMTs, firefighters and paramedics called to these ODs are basically stuck with the revolving door cops have been stuck with for years on offenses like prostitution and possession of child porn. Until we deal with the supply side of the equation in a meaningful way, the Johns and the pedophiles are going to get what the free market (even though it is the black market) has to offer.

PoliceOne Member “JackC” made a salient point in the comments section of our original news story on this matter: “If I stood on a corner selling lemonade laced with drain cleaner and people died as a result, what would I be charged with? How about those who are found to be selling this DEADLY product be charged with attempted murder or if proven a death was caused from their sale then murder. Charged federally. Death penalty in play. Otherwise this will just not end.”

Well said, sir. I could not have said it better myself.


Police: EMT allegedly impersonating officer had weapons stash

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alban Murtishi MassLive.com

PLYMOUTH COUNTY, Mass. — A 20-year-old man was arrested this week after they discovered him in possession of a number of illegal weapons and identification that made it appear that he was a police officer.

Christopher Barlow, a college student and EMT in Brewster, was intercepted by authorities on Monday in Plymouth County.

Duxbury police said they executed a search warrant on Barlow's home and motor vehicle.

Police discovered a hoard of weapons for which he was not permitted, the department says. Police also found an incendiary device and several parts used to make firearms.

Based on information collected during their investigation, police determined that Barlow possessed identification that classified him as a law enforcement officer.

The firearms, parts and identification were confiscated during the search. He was arrested in Plymouth, armed with a handgun and double-edged knife, WHDH reported.

According to WHDH, authorities were tipped off to Barlow's alleged activity earlier in the month.

During the investigation, a family member provided officers with a firearm he'd assembled. When Barlow attempted to retrieve the weapon, he reportedly used the fraudulent ID while requesting officers return the gun.

According to WHDH, Barlow is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. Authorities are also investigating if he has any links to terrorism.

Copyright 2017 MassLive.com

Easton EMT/SHU Student Held Without Bail After Arrest On Weapons Charges https://t.co/FpwPMVKtZw

— Willie Carr, Jr. (@Winningwillie) June 29, 2017


Viral cop says he can no longer post to social media on city time

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A police officer who achieved viral fame after posting his interactions with the community on social media said he was told he could no longer post while on-duty.

Officer Tommy Norman said in a video posted to his social media accounts that he was told by his supervisors Wednesday that he couldn’t post things on social media on city time.

"There's a policy in effect at the police department that prohibits you from posting on-duty that is now going to be enforced," he said. “I have to respect the decision although i’m not happy with it.”

He said his followers would still see the people they’ve “fallen in love with,” just not as often.

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! PLEASE SHARE! Be patient! Everything happens for a reason! My passion to change the world just increased tremendously! Also stay tuned for more information on my foundation Mission Give, that will allow me to begin my legacy to not be identified by my badge, but by my heart! Please share today's news! Battle on! ????????

Posted by Officer Tommy M Norman on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The North Little Rock Police Department issued a statement obtained by KATV saying that they wanted to clear up confusion concerning Norman’s post.

“Officer Norman was not told that he could not post events on social media as he has done in the past. He was advised that we have a policy regarding these actions and all officers are expected to follow the policy and he would need to have any on-duty postings approved through our Media Relations Unit. The department greatly supports the work that Officer Norman has done and will continue to do in our community. During the meeting yesterday, we encouraged Officer Norman to continue his work in the community and that we would support future social media postings of his work.

The department would like to emphasize again that we support all of the work that Officer Norman has done and will continue to do in our community. We would also like to remind everyone that there are thousands of good deeds and acts of kindness done in our community and communities across the nation by police officers every day."

Norman runs his own foundation as well, Mission Give, that he said will “allow me to begin my legacy to not be identified by my badge, but by my heart!”


Milwaukee police chief: Concealed carry law is ‘irresponsible’

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MILWAUKEE — Police Chief Ed Flynn believes that the state’s concealed carry law is contributing to the city’s violence.

According Fox 6 Now, Flynn said Monday he agrees that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm, but because of a state statute criminals are able to legally obtain guns.

The statute defines a career criminal as somebody who’s been convicted of three misdemeanors or one felony within five years.

“In Milwaukee, the overwhelming majority of our arrested felons plead guilty to misdemeanors and get a plea bargain,” he said. “The problem is when they passed the law in Wisconsin they only said convicted felons can’t qualify for a gun permit.”

Flynn said this led to career criminals guarding drug dealers, which he calls “human holsters.”

“Every year since that law was passed in 2011, non-fatal shootings have gone up, gun-related homicides have gone up and the number of guns seized from the streets by our department has gone up,” he said.

Milwaukee Police Association President Mike Crivello said the police union disagrees.

"I have never had a conversation with you, chief, relative to you displaying that we are arresting an overwhelming amount of people, or even one person, who's committed a crime while carrying a CCW [permit]" Crivello said.

Flynn said the law was “an irresponsible law passed by irresponsible legislators.”

"[The legislators] are more interested in ideological points and I'd sure as hell like some more community outrage about that because that's what driving the violence in this city and too many public officials are silent on it," Flynn said.

Fifty-two homicides have been committed so far in 2017, the same as all of 2016, Fox 6 Now reported. Non-fatal shootings are at 256 for 2017, passing the 253 non-fatal shootings committed in 2016.


LAPD officer wounded, suspect shot

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LOS ANGELES — An officer and a suspect were wounded in a shooting Thursday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the shooting occurred during a multi-agency task force stakeout of a homicide suspect.

The officer and suspect’s injuries are unknown. Both were transported to the hospital.

A Los Angeles police officer and a suspect were wounded during a shooting in El Segundo early today https://t.co/OFv54lkXYw pic.twitter.com/PtuYv36S1O

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 29, 2017


13 July 4th discounts for active military and veterans

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rachel Engel

On July 4th the country will celebrate its independence, which was made possible by the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the dream of America.

Today, our freedom and security continue to be protected by the volunteer service of our armed forces. To honor that selfless commitment on America’s birthday, many places are offering free or discounted tickets, products and services military troops, veterans and their families.

Check out our list of 2017 Fourth of July discounts for military and see if your favorite place is on it.

Birmingham Zoo

From July 1 to July 4, military veterans, retirees, active duty troops and their families can receive free admission to the Birmingham Zoo.

Carowinds

From July 3 to July 5, active service members and retired military veterans can receive free admission to the amusement park with a military ID.

Cincinnati Zoo

In addition to free admission for active and retired military on Independence Day, you can also purchase up to six tickets at half-price.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The zoo is offering free admission to military July 1 through 7.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

Active and retired service members can receive free admission to the park July 1 to 4, as well as up to six tickets at half-price for family members.

Funderland Amusement Park

Military families can receive free Unlimited Ride Wristbands on July 4th.

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park

Active and retired military members can receive free park admission on July 4th.

Kings Dominion

Active, retired, as well as honorably and medically-discharged veterans can receive free admission into the park from June 30 to July 4 with a valid ID.

Kings Island

Active and retired military can receive park admission from July 1 to 4, as well as purchase discounted tickets for family members.

Michigan’s Adventure

Active, National Guard and Reserve troops can receive free admission to the park on July 4th, as well as purchase discounted tickets.

Mystic Aquarium

Active troops and military veterans can receive free admission to the aquarium from July 1 to 31, as well as purchase discounted tickets for family members.

Wild Adventures Theme Park

Active and retired military members can receive free admission from July 1 to 4, as well as purchase discounted tickets.

Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun

Active, retired and honorably discharged veterans can receive free entrance into the park on July 4.


6 immediate actions before Petya ransomware strikes

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrea Fox, EfficientGov Editor-in-Chief

A new strain of Petya ransomware, like the global WannaCry ransomware strike in May that affected Cook County, Ill., is using an EternalBlue exploit to spread, according to Symantec. Even if your organization has patched against it, the virus can still spread.

“Recent ransomware campaigns like WannaCry and Petya have shown the world that there is no substitute for mature multi-layered security solutions and practices. Attacks impacting one’s personal or business information occur without warning and often cause irreversible damage,” said Vikram Thakur, Symantec Security Response technical director.

Petya ransomware, aka Golden Eye, has struck more than 65 nations, according to National Public Radio. The ransom is a $300 bitcoin payment to retrieve stolen data. The highest number of targets are affecting the Ukraine.

The executable worm schedules a reboot, providing time to allow for it to spread to other computers in a network before an individual computer’s user-mode encryption occurs. The Petya ransomware overwrites and encrypts master boot records.

Once the program completes file encryption on an individual computer, the following message appears:

Thakur prepared the following list of actions to help EfficientGov readers prevent Petya ransomware and similar attacks, before they happen:

    Use mature end to end integrated security solutions Update operating systems and applications as frequently as the business allows Segregate organizational networks based on business functions Employ the principle of least privilege by allowing users access only to the information and resources that are necessary for legitimate business purposes Backup information considered critical to business continuity including offsite or offline methods (cloud services or media which is not persistently connected) Conduct periodical tests to ensure functionality and integrity of backed up data

Most cybersecurity officials advise against paying. The Petya bitcoin account had already received more than $10,000 by the time of NPR released its report.

Access the original NPR coverage.

Get individual Windows computer Petya ransomware protection tips on the USA Today website.


Calif. deputy mending from gunshot wound to face

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Thompson Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Alex Ladwig, a 25-year-old Sacramento County sheriff's deputy, was working an evening rush-hour shift at a transit station when, without warning, he found himself fighting for his life.

The four-year Sheriff's Department veteran was alone and working overtime at a Sacramento station when authorities say he approached 27-year-old Nicory Marquis Spann on the lower level shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. It's not clear why he did so, but Ladwig soon radioed his colleagues for help, saying he was in a fight.

Moments later, he radioed he'd been shot.

The attack triggered an hours-long manhunt that snarled interstate traffic, forced dozens of bystanders to flee a nearby hotel, and ended with Spann surrendering in a hotel alcove after he was spotted by a remote-controlled police robot, authorities said Wednesday.

Ladwig was recovering in a hospital Wednesday after being shot in the face with his own gun.

Spann, of Sacramento, was jailed without bail for investigation of attempted murder of a sheriff's deputy. Officials could not say if Spann had an attorney or will be assigned one when he appears Friday in court.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said Spann attacked the deputy without being provoked and wrestled away his gun, firing twice. One bullet struck Ladwig in the jaw.

More than 100 officers from multiple agencies swarmed the area within minutes of Ladwig's distress calls. Fire trucks and ambulances followed. A sheriff's helicopter arrived overhead so fast that deputies spotted Spann running into a nearby Red Roof Inn.

"Once you put out over the radio that you're fighting somebody, immediately officers are usually responding," Turnbull said.

Witness Tori Brant was with other people in a Starbucks across the street from the hotel and was told by police to evacuate immediately.

"Police said they were preparing for a shootout." Brant told the Sacramento Bee.

Dozens of hotel guests were evacuated, and others were warned to stay locked inside their rooms while a special weapons and tactics team went door to door in search of the suspect.

"When you're dealing with a building that has several stories, it becomes an even more tactically difficult situation," Turnbull said. "You have to take one room at a time, one floor at a time. Your eyes have to be everywhere."

Deputies brought in a remotely controlled bomb disposal robot, a multi-wheeled contraption equipped with an extendable arm and four cameras.

Using the robot, authorities spotted Spann hiding in an alcove in an outside hallway of the motel about 9:15 p.m. Deputies were able to talk to Spann through the robot, convincing him to surrender.

Court and prison records and an Associated Press story say Spann was convicted nearly a decade ago of charges linked to the fatal shootings of a brother and sister.

Spann, then 18, was initially charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

He was eventually given a 16-month sentence on revised charges of being an accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property.

Spann was arrested with three other suspects after 24-year-old Omar Aquino and 27-year-old Teresa Sanchez-Aquino were fatally shot inside their Mountain View home in 2008.

He later received a three-year sentence for selling drugs and completed his parole in 2012. He has since faced several misdemeanor charges.

Ladwig's duties at the bus and light rail station along Interstate 80 included checking fares and dealing with loiterers or people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He was talking as he was rushed away by ambulance — "always a good sign," Turnbull said. His jaw was surgically repaired and he was in stable condition Wednesday at Mercy San Juan Medical Center.

His injury will take months to fully heal, according to a GoFundMe account that has collected more than $22,000 after being set up by a family friend


Calif. deputy mending from gunshot wound to face

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Thompson Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Alex Ladwig, a 25-year-old Sacramento County sheriff's deputy, was working an evening rush-hour shift at a transit station when, without warning, he found himself fighting for his life.

The four-year Sheriff's Department veteran was alone and working overtime at a Sacramento station when authorities say he approached 27-year-old Nicory Marquis Spann on the lower level shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. It's not clear why he did so, but Ladwig soon radioed his colleagues for help, saying he was in a fight.

Moments later, he radioed he'd been shot.

The attack triggered an hours-long manhunt that snarled interstate traffic, forced dozens of bystanders to flee a nearby hotel, and ended with Spann surrendering in a hotel alcove after he was spotted by a remote-controlled police robot, authorities said Wednesday.

Ladwig was recovering in a hospital Wednesday after being shot in the face with his own gun.

Spann, of Sacramento, was jailed without bail for investigation of attempted murder of a sheriff's deputy. Officials could not say if Spann had an attorney or will be assigned one when he appears Friday in court.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said Spann attacked the deputy without being provoked and wrestled away his gun, firing twice. One bullet struck Ladwig in the jaw.

More than 100 officers from multiple agencies swarmed the area within minutes of Ladwig's distress calls. Fire trucks and ambulances followed. A sheriff's helicopter arrived overhead so fast that deputies spotted Spann running into a nearby Red Roof Inn.

"Once you put out over the radio that you're fighting somebody, immediately officers are usually responding," Turnbull said.

Witness Tori Brant was with other people in a Starbucks across the street from the hotel and was told by police to evacuate immediately.

"Police said they were preparing for a shootout." Brant told the Sacramento Bee.

Dozens of hotel guests were evacuated, and others were warned to stay locked inside their rooms while a special weapons and tactics team went door to door in search of the suspect.

"When you're dealing with a building that has several stories, it becomes an even more tactically difficult situation," Turnbull said. "You have to take one room at a time, one floor at a time. Your eyes have to be everywhere."

Deputies brought in a remotely controlled bomb disposal robot, a multi-wheeled contraption equipped with an extendable arm and four cameras.

Using the robot, authorities spotted Spann hiding in an alcove in an outside hallway of the motel about 9:15 p.m. Deputies were able to talk to Spann through the robot, convincing him to surrender.

Court and prison records and an Associated Press story say Spann was convicted nearly a decade ago of charges linked to the fatal shootings of a brother and sister.

Spann, then 18, was initially charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

He was eventually given a 16-month sentence on revised charges of being an accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property.

Spann was arrested with three other suspects after 24-year-old Omar Aquino and 27-year-old Teresa Sanchez-Aquino were fatally shot inside their Mountain View home in 2008.

He later received a three-year sentence for selling drugs and completed his parole in 2012. He has since faced several misdemeanor charges.

Ladwig's duties at the bus and light rail station along Interstate 80 included checking fares and dealing with loiterers or people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He was talking as he was rushed away by ambulance — "always a good sign," Turnbull said. His jaw was surgically repaired and he was in stable condition Wednesday at Mercy San Juan Medical Center.

His injury will take months to fully heal, according to a GoFundMe account that has collected more than $22,000 after being set up by a family friend


More details emerge in Tenn. clinic attack

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Officials say an inmate was killed and an officer wounded after the prisoner attacked one of his escorts inside a Tennessee clinic.

Nashville police told news media that two Robertson County deputies were escorting a prisoner to a medical clinic Wednesday when the inmate, 37-year-old Rodney L. Cole, asked to go to the bathroom. Police spokeswoman Kris Mumford says 36-year-old Deputy Josh Wiley escorted Cole into the bathroom.

Mumford said Wiley's partner, Deputy Tomishae Jones, heard Wiley call for help and rushed into the bathroom and found Cole stabbing Wiley with a long screwdriver. Jones wasn't injured.

Police said gunfire followed involving at least two guns, and Cole was killed.

Mumford said it hasn't been determined where the screwdriver came from or who fired the guns.

The shooting was reported about 1:30 p.m.

This is Deputy Josh Wiley, currently in critical condition at Vanderbilt after being shot by inmate at 100 Oaks. pic.twitter.com/BKIOfXHGn3

— Hayley Mason (@WSMVHayleyMason) June 28, 2017

Prisoner fatally shot after critically wounding Robertson County Deputy Josh Wiley, 36, is ID'd as Rodney L. Cole, 37, convicted bank robber pic.twitter.com/ZyCBeJNmOE

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) June 28, 2017


Footage show fatal Md. shooting; officers cleared

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alison Knezevich The Baltimore Sun

DUNDALK, Md. — Baltimore County prosecutors have ruled that police were justified in shooting a man who opened fire while on a bus in Dundalk this month, an incident captured by newly released video footage from police and MTA cameras.

Blaine Robert Erb, 35, was killed in the shootout with police June 7. A dramatic cell-phone video that showed Erb shooting from the bus was widely viewed on social media after a bystander posted the footage. Police body-camera and MTA surveillance footage was released for the first time Tuesday to The Baltimore Sun based on a public-information request.

The new videos show the incident unfold from different angles — from inside the MTA bus, which was equipped with security cameras, and from the body camera worn by one of the four officers who shot at Erb.

County prosecutors informed the police department last week that no charges would be filed against the officers who shot at Erb, said county State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

The videos "greatly contributed to our ability to make a quick decision in this case," Shellenberger said in an interview Tuesday. "It's clear that several officers were in danger and civilians were in danger. The officers had to protect themselves and the community."


Footage shows fatal Md. shooting; officers cleared

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alison Knezevich The Baltimore Sun

DUNDALK, Md. — Baltimore County prosecutors have ruled that police were justified in shooting a man who opened fire while on a bus in Dundalk this month, an incident captured by newly released video footage from police and MTA cameras.

Blaine Robert Erb, 35, was killed in the shootout with police June 7. A dramatic cell-phone video that showed Erb shooting from the bus was widely viewed on social media after a bystander posted the footage. Police body-camera and MTA surveillance footage was released for the first time Tuesday to The Baltimore Sun based on a public-information request.

The new videos show the incident unfold from different angles — from inside the MTA bus, which was equipped with security cameras, and from the body camera worn by one of the four officers who shot at Erb.

County prosecutors informed the police department last week that no charges would be filed against the officers who shot at Erb, said county State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

The videos "greatly contributed to our ability to make a quick decision in this case," Shellenberger said in an interview Tuesday. "It's clear that several officers were in danger and civilians were in danger. The officers had to protect themselves and the community."


Ill. trooper killed in on-duty crash

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elyssa Cherney Chicago Tribune

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — An Illinois State trooper was killed in a crash on Interstate 74 while on patrol Wednesday about 25 miles northwest of Champaign, authorities said.

Trooper Ryan Albin died five and a half hours after he was injured in the crash, said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz.

The crash happened about 3:10 p.m. near Farmer City, which is between Bloomington and Champaign, Schmitz said. Albin, an 11-year veteran with Illinois State Police, died about 8:45 p.m.

"Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of Trooper Albin,” Schmitz said in a statement. “I extend my deepest sympathy to Trooper Albin’s family, friends, and co-workers. I pray that those who cared for and loved him find the strength they need during this most difficult time. No further words can express the pain and loss we are all feeling.”

Albin was assigned to District 6 in Pontiac as a canine officer. His canine partner, "Biko," was in the rear of the squad during the crash and suffered only minor injuries.

The crash is being investigated.

Officers escort body of deceased state trooper Ryan Albin from hospital; killed in I-74 crash photo credit: Villa Grove Fire & Rescue pic.twitter.com/Lv1Js7Jesa

— ui7news (@ui7news) June 29, 2017

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©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Ill. state trooper killed in on-duty crash

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Elyssa Cherney Chicago Tribune

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — An Illinois State trooper was killed in a crash on Interstate 74 while on patrol Wednesday about 25 miles northwest of Champaign, authorities said.

Trooper Ryan Albin died five and a half hours after he was injured in the crash, said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz.

The crash happened about 3:10 p.m. near Farmer City, which is between Bloomington and Champaign, Schmitz said. Albin, an 11-year veteran with Illinois State Police, died about 8:45 p.m.

"Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of Trooper Albin,” Schmitz said in a statement. “I extend my deepest sympathy to Trooper Albin’s family, friends, and co-workers. I pray that those who cared for and loved him find the strength they need during this most difficult time. No further words can express the pain and loss we are all feeling.”

Albin was assigned to District 6 in Pontiac as a canine officer. His canine partner, "Biko," was in the rear of the squad during the crash and suffered only minor injuries.

The crash is being investigated.

Officers escort body of deceased state trooper Ryan Albin from hospital; killed in I-74 crash photo credit: Villa Grove Fire & Rescue pic.twitter.com/Lv1Js7Jesa

— ui7news (@ui7news) June 29, 2017

———

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Police: Officer offered $1M to release DUI suspect

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Burns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — There’s a Scripture that says “ask and it will be given to you.”

According to a Cobb County arrest warrant, Daniel Cubias Ramos of Winder decided to test out that theory.

During a ride to the county jail, he started negotiating with the officer who detained him, Cobb police said.

If the officer released him, he would fork over $1 million.

Ramos had just been arrested in a church parking lot on Lower Roswell Road on a DUI charge.

What did he have to lose?

Apparently, a lot.

With that alleged offer, Ramos turned a misdemeanor case into a felony, police said.

The exchange occurred shortly after the officer pulled Ramos over on June 21.

The officer noticed “the strong odor of alcoholic beverage” on him and saw several open alcohol bottles in the car, according to the warrant. The officer also saw a small amount of marijuana.

Ramos ran after the officer asked him to take a field sobriety test, according to the warrant. The officer managed to catch him, and it eventually took five officers to subdue Ramos, police said.

In the patrol car, Ramos did not just offer to bribe the officer, police said.

He said he “was going to shoot (the arresting officer) in the back of the head,” according to the warrant. Ramos also allegedly used racial slurs and vulgarities toward the officer.

In addition to DUI, Ramos was booked in the county jail on terroristic threats, bribery multiple other offenses, according to jail records.

He was eventually released on $20,000 bond.

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


Thanks to $40K grant, Conn. PD relaunches K-9 program

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By Nancy Doniger The Easton Courier

EASTON, Conn. — K-9 T.J. reported for duty at the Easton Police Department this morning. He immediately began bonding with Officer Tamra French, his new partner. The pair will continue training in the coming weeks.

The arrival of the 16-month-old German shepherd marks the restart of the department’s canine program, which former Police Chief James Candee suspended.

Easton hasn’t had a service dog program since K-9 Chase retired in 2013 after 10 years of service with French, his partner and handler.

Full story: Easton police K-9 T.J. reports for duty


Rewrite of NC criminal gang laws heads to governor

Posted on June 29, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — The General Assembly has agreed to change North Carolina's current criminal gang laws because police and prosecutors say they're difficult to enforce.

The House agreed overwhelmingly Wednesday to accept changes to its legislation made by the Senate. The bill now heading to Gov. Roy Cooper's desk would replace specific crimes punishing illegal gang activity with more severe punishments for crimes when it's determined in court they were committed as part of such activity.

The Senate added language designed to make it easier to shut down businesses and other locales where gang activity is occurring by having it declared in court as a public nuisance.


5 ways the GI Bill can help you land a job in law enforcement

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rachel Engel, PoliceOne Contributor

Thanks to several similarities to the military, including rank structure, firearm use and public service, jobs in law enforcement are highly sought after by military veterans. It’s a competitive field, however, and your status as a veteran will only take you so far.

By using the G.I. Bill for extra education training, however, you can help set yourself apart from the thousands of other applicants pursuing a job in law enforcement.

Depending on the type of program you’re pursuing and the type of G.I. Bill you’re utilizing, you have a number of options that will increase your chances of being selected for employment at a local law enforcement agency.

1. College coursework

Each individual police department has different requirements for new recruits, and while many still only require a high school diploma or G.E.D, more and more are requiring at least one or two years of college courses as a minimum standard.

Military veterans can use their G.I. Bill to complete this requirement, while also receiving a housing allowance and textbook stipend to supplement their income while attending school. Even if coursework isn’t required to apply for a job in law enforcement, it will enhance your application.

2. Associate degree

Certain police departments may require applicants to have completed a two-year degree in criminal justice or another field as a minimum standard.

Using the G.I. Bill to complete this requirement will allow you to focus on your studies by utilizing the housing allowance and textbook stipend. For public universities, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill will provide the full cost of tuition.

3. Bachelor’s degree

While not typically required by local municipal and city police departments, a Bachelor’s degree is usually required to land federal law enforcement positions. Even if you have no plans to seek out a federal position, a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field will help your application stand out among the other applicants.

The G.I. Bill provides funds for up to 36 months of college coursework, enough for four, nine-month long school years, as well as the housing allowance and textbook stipend.

And, you never know, somewhere down the line, after being hired, you may find yourself interested in a federal position that requires a degree in criminal justice, or you may come to a point in your career when a degree is needed to reach a higher earning potential.

4. Tutoring help

Those college classes may help you land a job, but only if you complete them, which is easier said than done. For veterans struggling while attending school, the G.I. Bill also offers tutoring sessions that can be used in conjunction with college courses.

To be eligible for tutoring sessions under the G.I. Bill, you must be enrolled at least part-time, and the class must be a part of your approved program. The maximum monthly allowance for tutoring sessions is $100, not to exceed $1,200 for the school year.

5. Foreign language classes

Another not-required-but-highly-valued trait of a law enforcement applicant is the ability to speak more than one language. The increase of large populations of non-English speaking communities in the United States drives the need for bilingual law enforcement officers to bridge language barriers when responding to a call.

Some police departments even offer a pay increase to those employees who can demonstrate fluency in certain languages. Yet, even without the possibility of a pay bump, the skill will set you apart from other applicants.

You can begin taking foreign language classes at your local community college, paid for with your military education benefit.

The G.I. Bill can provide the education and training you need to help land a job in law enforcement. While advanced education won’t guarantee you a job, it will set you apart from the other applications in the stack.


How to become a Department of Veterans Affairs police officer

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rachel Engel, PoliceOne Contributor

The men and women who patrol and protect the nation’s Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics are employed directly by the VA. As federal employees, they police the more than 1,700 facilities utilized by the nation’s military veterans.

Since they are considered federal employees, the qualifications needed to be employed as a VA hospital police officer varies slightly from city and municipal requirements.

What are the duties of a VA police officer?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police are solely responsible for the protection and monitoring of VA hospitals, outpatient clinics (OPC) and community-based outpatient clinics (CBOC). They are required to:

Deter and prevent crime Maintain order Investigate crimes They often work in conjunction with the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for certain cases. Are VA police officers armed and can they make arrests?

Police officers employed by the VA are considered to be federal law enforcement officers who are armed and have the authority to enforce all federal laws and VA rules. Police officers can also make arrests on VA-controlled property.

VA police officers are qualified to carry and use the Beretta 92D 9mm sidearm, but are transitioning to the SIG Sauer P229 DAK Version and the SIG Sauer P239 DAK Version.

What qualifications do I need to become a VA hospital police officer? One year of experience in law enforcement with arrest authority or a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice Pass a physical abilities test Pass a physical assessment Undergo a Minnesota Multiphasic Personal Inventory psychological evaluation Pass a background check How are VA police officers trained?

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center sign. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

Once selected for employment as a Department of Veteran Affairs police officer, recruits go through an eight-week training course at the VA Law Enforcement Center (LETC) at Fort Logan H. Roots in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Recruits are also certified in CPR, and the use of weapons and deterrents, including Pepper spray, the expandable police baton and sidearm.

What is the rank structure for Veterans Affairs police officers? Officer Corporal Sergeant Detective Detective Sergeant Criminal Investigator Lieutenant Captain Major Deputy Chief Chief of Police VISN Chief Director, Police Service How do I find openings for VA police officers in my area?

Any openings will be listed by the individual VA facilities seeking applicants on USAJobs.gov.


Charge against ex-trooper who arrested Sandra Bland dropped

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jaweed Kaleem and Molly Hennessy-Fiske Los Angeles Times

HEMPSTEAD, Texas — A charge has been dropped against the only official to face criminal indictment related to the arrest of Sandra Bland, a black woman who was found hanged in her Texas jail cell three days after her arrest and whose name became a rallying cry in protests against racial bias in policing.

Former State Trooper Brian Encinia, who pulled Bland over on July 10, 2015, in Prairie View, Texas, for failing to use a turn signal, no longer faces a perjury charge for making a false statement about the arrest, according to papers filed Wednesday at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead, northwest of Houston.

The dismissal of the charge comes more than a year after a grand jury said Encinia lied when he wrote in an affidavit justifying the arrest that he removed Bland from her car to conduct a safer traffic investigation.

Family members and civil rights officials had protested that assertion, pointing to a viral dashcam video of an escalating confrontation with Bland where the officer said he would “yank” her out of the vehicle, threatened to use a stun gun and said he would “light you up” as she refused to put out a cigarette and step out.

Three days after her arrest, Bland, 28, who could not make a $5,000 bond, was found dead in her jail cell. The death was ruled a suicide as protests grew over her arrest — family representatives said it was a needless arrest and death for a routine traffic violation — and activists aired criticism of the jail and about the circumstances of her death. They included pointing out that jail officials had insight into Bland’s mental health history, including a suicide attempt the year before her arrest, but did not place her on suicide watch or check her cell often enough.

Encinia’s attorney, Houston-based Chip Lewis, hailed the dismissal of the charge on Wednesday.

“My client was just a scapegoat. It was an answer to the public pressure over a young lady’s death,” Lewis said. “It wasn’t Mr. Encinia’s fault.”

“He did not commit any criminal act. He would do anything in the world to go back and change the circumstances if he could,” said Lewis, who said his client was a victim of “righteous outcry over the death of Sandra Bland.”

Before the special prosecutor agreed to dismiss the charge, Encinia said he no longer wanted to work in law enforcement, and surrendered his Texas Commission on Law Enforcement license, Lewis said. Encinia was formally fired in March 2016 after the indictment.

“He ended up the poster child for police brutality,” Lewis said, and now, “he’s got a family to raise.”

A Bland family lawyer, Cannon Lambert, said he was shocked at the news. He said he was dismayed the family was not given notice of it.

“You cannot expect communities to feel confident with the system if officers are caught lying in written documents and are not held accountable,” he said. “The notion that the special prosecutor would make a decision like this in the face of the kind of case this is without communicating with the family is deplorable.”

The dismissal of the charge closes one of the last unresolved chapters of years of protests, investigations, civil court proceedings and legislation related to Bland’s arrest and death. The same grand jury that had indicted Encinia also found no felony was committed by jailers or the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.

In September, Bland’s family settled for $1.9 million with Waller County and the Texas Department of Public Safety in a wrongful death lawsuit.

This month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the Sandra Bland Act. It forces county jails to send people with mental health and drug abuse issues to treatment, eases the ability of defendants to get personal bond if they have a mental or intellectual disability, and requires independent law agencies to investigate prison deaths.

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©2017 Los Angeles Times


Fit-related requirement to receive body armor partnership funds takes effect

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Author: the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Becky Lewis Tech Beat Magazine

“Hey, you been down to get measured for your new vest yet?”

“Oh, I don’t need to do that. I wear a medium. Every shirt I own, a medium. I’ll just tell them that.”

“Not really the best way to get a vest that could save your life, my friend. Didn’t you read that handout that went around, the one that talked about how important it is for your armor to fit properly? They’re giving us the chance to be measured for our new vests to help make sure they fit right and don’t leave parts of our chests and backs unprotected.”

Conversations similar to the above may be taking place in agencies across the United States that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) program and are preparing to procure new ballistic-resistant vests. A recent amendment to the legislation reauthorizing the BVP program says that beginning in 2017, all agencies applying for BVP funding are required to offer their officers the opportunity to receive vests that “are uniquely fitted,” “including vests uniquely fitted to individual female law enforcement officers.” (See note at the bottom of this article, “Amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.”)

What that means, says Dan Longhurst, an engineer working on standards with the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Body Armor Compliance Testing Program (CTP), is that “officers should review the fit guidance and make sure that your armor vest meets those criteria.”

The guidance that Longhurst refers to stems from ASTM E3003-15 Standard Practice for Body Armor Wearer Measurement and Fitting of Armor, available free to qualified criminal justice professionals through an agreement between NIJ and ASTM International, which developed the standard at NIJ’s request. This standard, which criminal justice professionals can access through a portal on JUSTNET, the website of NIJ’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, describes how to take an individual’s measurements for concealable (normal duty) and tactical (special duty) armor for both male and female officers, and includes guidance on how to check armor to be sure that it fits the wearer properly. Its main goal is to ensure “[p]roper measurement of the wearer and fitting of the armor to that individual … to obtain sufficient coverage of the torso and vital organs while allowing the full range of motion required for officer operations.”

Cassy Robinson of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Standards Coordination Office, who participated in the development of the ASTM standard, says efforts have been underway for more than seven years to interact with officers in the field to check the fit of their armor.

“We have seen some really poorly fitting armor, which led us to develop initial guidance on measurements in 2012,” she says. “As our efforts continued, we realized that although proper fitting armor starts with taking measurements, assessing the fit of the armor made to those measurements is equally as important. We’ve seen officers who were measured properly, but the armor delivered to them still didn’t necessarily fit. This led to developing ASTM E3003, which addresses measurement and fit.”

Part of the reason some of those officers may have continued to wear armor that didn’t fit properly lies in perception: Most officers don’t know what it means to have armor that truly fits; that is, it’s the correct size, has sufficient coverage and allows the officer to perform normal duties, she says.

“An officer may like a vest because it feels relatively comfortable, but typically we find that this comfort comes from a lack of coverage. It is important for officers to understand proper fit and how to assess a vest for proper fit, as well as understanding that the purpose of protective vests is not comfort, but providing protection during deadly force incidents,” Robinson says.

To assist officers, NIST and the Justice Technology Information Center (JTIC), which administers JUSTNET, teamed up to produce a pair of reference materials that extract information from ASTM E3003 and put it in portable, easy-to-understand format. On JUSTNET, criminal justice professionals can find Personal Armor Fit Assessment Checklist, which asks officers to check their individual vest’s fit while donning and removing the armor, assuming a shooting stance, taking a sitting position, restraining a subject and driving a car. It also includes a section on visual inspection of the armor while being worn to assess the coverage of the vest. Its companion piece, a brochure titled Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor Basics, includes two panels titled “Does Your Body Armor Fit?” that are derived from ASTM E3003.

In addition, NIJ and JTIC also provide other resources that can help agencies and officers determine whether vests fit the unique measurements of the wearer:

• Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor For Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety NIJ Selection and Application Guide- 0101.06, published in December 2014, includes a chapter on measurement, fit and coverage that features photographs and a diagram illustrating proper fit and areas of concern for both soft and hard ballisticresistant armor (see Chapter 5: Measurement, Fit and Coverage, pp. 23-26).

• Body Armor: Survive in the Line of Fire, produced for NIJ and designed to encourage officers to wear their body armor, includes a segment on measurement and fit.

• NLECTC Minutes: Female Body Armor, features Lt. Brandi Adamchik of the U.S. Park Police, a member of NIJ’s Special Technical Committee on ballisticresistant body armor and its focus group of female armor issues, discussing issues related to the fit of female body armor.

Amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968

The amendment discussed in this article is a change to the language. The change reads: SEC. 7. UNIQUELY FITTED ARMOR VESTS. Section 2501(c) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796ll(c)) is amended— (1) in paragraph (2), by striking “and” at the end; (2) in paragraph (3), by striking “; or’’ and inserting “; and”; (3) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and (4) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following: “(4) provides armor vests to law enforcement officers that are uniquely fitted for such officers, including vests uniquely fitted to individual female law enforcement officers; or’’. (https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ155/PLAW-114publ155.pdf)

For more information on the CTP and the BVP, go to JUSTNET at www.justnet.org, https://ojp.gov/bvpbasi/home.html and to www.PoliceArmor.org, a one-stop site for body armor information that is also maintained by JTIC. For more information on NIJ’s body armor portfolio, contact Senior Law Enforcement Program Manager Mike O’Shea at michael.oshea@usdoj.gov.


Calif. sheriff’s deputy shot in face out of surgery

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

By Don Thompson Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy who was shot in the face with his own service weapon at a light-rail station is out of surgery to repair his jaw and is in stable condition Wednesday, officials said.

Nicory Marquis Spann, 27, of Sacramento, was arrested late Tuesday and was being held at the Sacramento County Jail without bail on suspicion of attempted murder of a sheriff's deputy following the shooting Tuesday night.

Sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull identified the wounded deputy as Alex Ladwig, 25, a four-year veteran of the department.

The shooting happened at a Regional Transit light rail station near Watt Avenue and Interstate 80 in Sacramento after Ladwig and Spann got into a fight, Turnbull said. It's not clear what started the fight.

Turnbull, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office and the county public defender's office could not say if Spann had an attorney or will be assigned one when he first appears on court on Friday.

Turnbull said the deputy approached Spann on the lower platform of the Regional Transit station shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. He did not know why Ladwig contacted Spann but said Ladwig was working as a Regional Transit officer whose responsibilities include checking fares and dealing with loitering or people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"Unprovoked, Spann violently attacked the deputy and began fighting with him," Turnbull said in a statement. "At some point during the fight, Spann was able to get the deputy's gun and fired two shots. One of the shots struck the deputy in the face."

The deputy's gun has been recovered.

Spann was arrested late Tuesday after a SWAT team searched for him room by room at a nearby hotel where he was hiding.

"He was hiding in an alcove," Turnbull said.

The deputy was conscious and talking as he was being transported to a hospital by ambulance before undergoing surgery Tuesday night at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Turnbull said.

Ladwig first radioed to say he was in a fight with a suspect near on the light rail platform, and minutes later radioed back to say he had been shot.

Other deputies and officers with Sacramento police and the California Highway Patrol responded quickly. Among them were deputies on a sheriff's helicopter who saw the suspect run into a Red Roof Inn hotel.

About 100 officers were at the scene, and a SWAT team took about three hours to find the suspect.

The light rail station was closed overnight, while traffic was blocked for several blocks around the hotel as officers searched it.


Chief uses social media to fight back against anti-cop posts

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OXFORD, Ala. — A police chief is using social media to fight back against false claims made about his officers.

Police Chief Bill Partridge told Alabama Media Group that his new policy against inflammatory social media posts will be to post video of the interaction for the public to see. The change came after a citizen complained on Facebook about an interaction with one of his officers.

The department’s animal control officer responded to a dog running at large call Thursday. After locating the dog, the officer went to speak to the owner because it was at least the third time police were called to the home on similar complaints, the publication reported.

Shortly after the officer left, the owner posted that he was almost “shot in my own yard by Officer J. Caldwell.”

“HE BEAT MY DOOR DOWN OVER A DOG,” the man wrote. “He’s the animal control officer and he’s a lying individual. Yes I have video but if I post it, it won’t do anything but raise racial tensions.”

(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')); Posted by Chief Bill Partridge on Thursday, June 22, 2017

After watching the body camera video, Partridge saw his officer was calm and didn’t make any threats. Partridge decided to post the full video on Facebook.

“I am tired of false complaints being brought to the department in an attempt to get out of a traffic charge or criminal charge," he wrote.

Partridge said people will put a phone in an officer’s face in the hopes of antagonizing them and then edit it to make the officer look bad.

"These people need to realize they're not going to get away with it. All they're trying to do is deflect what they're doing wrong. It's always law enforcement's fault. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions," he said.

He said if his officers does something wrong, he’ll handle that as well because it’s a “two-way street.”

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Effective this date it will be my policy that if you disrespect one of our officers and then file a false complaint or make false claims on social media, I will post the video footage of the contact on social media for the public to see. I am tired of false complaints being brought to the department in an attempt to get out of a traffic charge or criminal charge. Bill Partridge Chief of Police

Posted by Chief Bill Partridge on Thursday, June 22, 2017


Off-duty Chicago cop flees police, dies in crash

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — An off-duty officer and a woman were killed in a fiery crash after the officer fled from police who attempted to pull him over.

Supt. Eddie Johnson said officers in an unmarked SUV matched the off-duty officer’s car to a description of one that was used in a carjacking on Tuesday, CBS Chicago reported. The car was not the right one, but the off-duty officer fled.

The off-duty officer then collided with Chequita Adams, 27. According to ABC 7, both drivers were pinned in their vehicles as they caught fire. They were pronounced dead on the scene.

“This is among the most difficult, heartbreaking addresses I’ve had to make since becoming superintendent, due to the unnecessary loss of life,” Johnson said. “On behalf of myself and the entire Chicago Police Department, it’s with a heavy heart that I offer my deepest condolences to the young lady that lost her life, and her family, and the family of the off-duty police officer.”

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Breaking News: An off-duty Chicago police officer is among two people killed in a high speed crash at Roosevelt and Kostner in the Lawndale Neighborhood.

Posted by CBS Chicago on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Johnson said it’s unclear why the off-duty officer, a four-year veteran, didn’t stop for police.

“We just don’t know,” he said. “You know, it’s just too early to say.”

Johnson has asked the Independent Police Review Authority to investigate since the wreck involved an off-duty officer and a police pursuit.

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Happening right now. Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is speaking at a news conference about an off-duty officer involved crash, that left the officer and a woman dead on the west side, early this morning:

Posted by Suzanne Le Mignot on Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Inmate fatally shot after critically wounding Tenn. deputy

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An inmate was fatally shot after attacking a deputy during transport.

According to The Tennessean, two deputies were transporting the inmate to an outpatient clinic Wednesday when the inmate grabbed an officer’s gun and shot him. The deputy was critically injured and transported to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries is unknown.

The other deputy returned fire, killing the inmate. The clinic tweeted that the threat was contained.

The hospital was on lockdown while officers clear the building.

Police and ATF on scene after shooting at 100 Oaks. Ambulance is coming in now. pic.twitter.com/HDA4UY9TJs

— Hayley Mason (@WSMVHayleyMason) June 28, 2017

Metro SWAT team members walking parking lot behind 100 Oaks pic.twitter.com/8fIIRfOVWU

— Shelley Mays (@TNPhotoShelleyM) June 28, 2017

One deputy critically injured. One of the deputies returned fire. Prisoner deceased on scene.

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) June 28, 2017

More police than I've ever seen escorting this ambulance away from scene #breaking pic.twitter.com/4qEetZFaxi

— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) June 28, 2017


How to win a gunfight: 8 tips on proper use of cover

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Duane Wolfe

Getting behind anything that will conceal you, or better yet, stop incoming rounds, dramatically increases your survival rate in a gunfight. However, when you watch officer-involved shooting videos, the use of cover seems to be forgotten and not used too often. This can be due to the effects of stress and/or how officers are trained. Here are some tips on proper use of cover to win a gunfight.

1. Cover vs. barricade

First, differentiate between shooting from behind cover and barricade shooting. At too many ranges you see a post stuck in the ground that officers use to rest their hands and firearm on when they shoot. The problem with this is that a post isn’t wide enough to hide your body from the view of a suspect trying to kill you. The other problem is that when you rest your hands on a barricade, your head and chest will come into view to be shot.

Barricade shooting is a competition technique used to enhance accuracy at distance by supporting the weapon. In a gun fight it causes the following problems:

Your weapon telegraphs your position to the suspect and, as a result, could lead to a gun takeaway from an unseen assailant. Resting a semi-automatic pistol on a right-side barricade places the ejection port close to a surface that can create a malfunction when an ejected casing fails to exit or bounces back into the ejection port. Any time a gun goes off an explosion exits the barrel. This creates the potential to have any loose material on your barricade – wall, tree, etc. – blown back into your eyes. If an incoming round strikes your cover that bullet can ricochet. You could find your face and neck on the path of that bullet. The closer to the bullet strike, the closer the bullet travels to the wall. 2. Distance off your cover

A minimum of three feet off your cover is recommended to avoid the above listed problems. This additional distance also provides for a better field of view of your surroundings if you are behind narrow cover like a tree or telephone pole. Additionally, should you pull your round into your cover, the back splatter from the bullet is less likely to injure you if you are farther away from the cover.

Three feet is the suggested minimum. Understand that as long as you have a bullet-resistant barrier between you and the bad guy, you have cover. The only time you want to get close to cover is when your opponent has a height advantage and then you want to get as close as possible.

3. Eyeball and a gun barrel

By tilting your eye over your shoulder and leaning out from the waist you lead with your eye. If you are shooting around left side cover, put your right foot back to support your weight as you lean. Ideally, the most your assailant should see is an eyeball and a gun barrel as you are shooting.

4. Roll out

You want to lean out from the waist up only far enough for your front sight to be focused on what you want to hit. You don’t need or want to see your entire attacker. Remember, the more you see of them, the more they see of you. Stepping out to shoot is a common mistake that puts more of your body in view.

5. Change position

Movement is critical in a gunfight. While you should stay behind cover, you don’t want to keep coming out from the same predictable spot. Practice shooting from all levels: standing, crouching, squatting and kneeling.

If someone were to take cover, you’d probably expect them to reappear from a standing position. Be unpredictable, change your level.

6. Vertical vs. horizontal

A horizontal line of cover exposes your head more than a vertical line. If you have a choice, e.g., around a car, a vertical line of cover provides more protection.

7. Wear your cover

Body armor is cover. It can go anywhere you can if you wear it.

8. Training for use of cover

On the range, solid cover is heavy, difficult to move and has the potential for ricochets. Using a thick foam target backer simulates cover. It is big enough to hide behind and allows you to practice proper use of and firing from behind cover.

The more often you practice, the more likely you are to perform properly under stress. Use of cover is a critical skill when you come under fire. Train to move, train to take cover, train to win.


4 tips on making your police marriage work

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Althea Olson and Mike Wasilewski
Author: Althea Olson and Mike Wasilewski

More relationships fail than will succeed. This is true for romantic relationships, as well as those with our families, friends and even our “Family in Blue.” Some will disintegrate dramatically, while others simply fade away, dying of neglect or growing apart. They fail because relationships require time, effort, attention and are messy.

It is well known that law enforcement can be hard on relationships and especially marriages (or similar primary “significant other” relationships). It is debatable whether the divorce rate among couples where one or both are officers is higher than that of the general public. But we do know many officers who have been married multiple times, with the accompanying joke being that by the third or fourth wife the officer generally gets it right.

This year we will celebrate 23 years of marriage. The first two years we were not a law enforcement couple as Mike became a cop later than average at the age of 30. And those first two years were not easy. We were both in graduate school, working difficult jobs with long hours in mental health, and struggling with financial and family issues that threatened our young marriage. We realized we needed help so, rather than letting the pain push us apart, we headed into marriage counseling.

What we learned led to an ongoing dedication to reading, researching and implementing skills and behaviors that ultimately got us through 21 years being a police couple. We learned marriage takes a commitment to wake up every day and say, “I’m going to honor my marriage vows through my words and my behavior, even when I’m tired, pissed off or hungry, and I’m never going to let resentment take the place of love.”

We thought it would be fun for each of us to offer our point of view as to how we make our marriage work.

Althea’s advice for the spouse/partner of a police officer

Embrace the loneliness

As some readers may know, I did not want to be married to a cop. I didn’t want the lifestyle and I feared the loneliness I knew would follow. I’m an extremely extroverted person and had grown up with a very dysfunctional family life. One of the things I desired in my marriage was someone who would be there on holidays, weekends, evenings and who could be my “partner in crime.” But watching Mike go to a job every day that he hated began killing my soul. His unhappiness became a greater pain to me than the loneliness I feared, so I gave him my blessing to begin testing. He was hired within a year and what I feared most became my reality.

My biggest battle in being a police wife is embracing my loneliness and not letting it define me or who we are as a couple. It’s still there, 23 years later, but I take comfort in the knowledge that the honor of my husband’s career and the willing sacrifice we make together outweighs any personal pain I carry. In the dark times, this knowledge is what gets me through, so I lean into the pain that allows me to move onto the next moments in time because, while the loneliness visits, it doesn’t stay for long.

Expand your identity to be more than a police spouse

We’ve long used our writing to urge officers to be “more than a cop,” not because there is anything wrong with that identity, but it is an easy identity to get lost in and so is that of spouse or partner. Policing can become all-encompassing, not just for the ones wearing the uniform, but also for those who love them. The lifestyle can become “who you are” instead of just a part of who you are.

Being married to someone who goes out and makes a difference every day – serving the public and being the peacemaker so our communities are safe – takes a special type of person. It’s easy for a police spouse to put their identity on hold when we see our loved one risking their lives and personal safety to help others.

But remaining multifaceted is critical. I have maintained other identities, some of which don’t include Mike and of which I have sole ownership: golfer, therapist, runner and volunteer, and I have some amazing friends. It helps fight the loneliness, for one, but also strengthens the relationship, our many other roles, and physical and emotional health. I know that I am more than a police wife and more than Mike’s wife, however, even with all that, he is still my No. 1 person.

Mike’s advice for officers

Don’t put too much stock into the mythology of our “specialness”

There is an enduring mythology about our “specialness” embraced by a lot of cops and citizens alike (which a great many of us eagerly and humbly embrace, by the way). The myth perpetuates the idea of each cop as a noble, self-sacrificing, intrepid crime fighter standing bravely along the thin blue line, lonely and misunderstood but for our brothers and sisters in blue.

I think it’s all a bit … overblown.

I love being a police officer. I’m proud of what I do, my department, the profession and the countless honorable cops across the country and world. I’d do this career all over again, and recommend it to young adults looking to make a difference in the world. I also know courage, a willingness to sacrifice everything at a moment’s notice, a sense of defining honor, and an overarching drive for justice are at the core of every good cop. I’m not knocking us. I just know we all – and I am including myself here – would do well to embrace humility, for our own sake and that of our relationships.

A lot of advice is given to police spouses, and particularly wives, about how to take care of their officers and create a safe and supportive space to which they can retreat from the stresses of the job. Books, articles, talks and shared experience tell them it is their responsibility to take care of their officers without expecting much in return. I’ve even heard this expressed by fellow cops countless times: “Why, it’s the least they can do for their embattled, world-weary warrior!”

Copper, please…

I realize there are a lot of demanding, high-stakes, exhausting – and even dangerous – jobs out there, many that strain emotional and relational wellness as much as or more than law enforcement. Admitting this doesn’t diminish policing. No matter what we do for a living each of us is responsible for being present and engaged with those we love away from the job without excuse or sense of martyrdom.

Accept influence from your spouse

Police officers are necessarily decisive and firm when it comes to making decisions. The potential for decisiveness is a large consideration when hiring police officers and exercising it with confidence and accuracy is necessary for survival. But this same decisiveness can get in the way of successful relationships when we allow it to override consideration of your partner’s thoughts and desires about important decisions you’ll make as a couple.

Letting go and sharing responsibility with Althea, trusting her expertise and judgment, and seeking input into decisions that not only affect us but also me is both liberating and healthy for our marriage. Including your partner in decisions, or even deferring to their preferences with little or no debate, is known as accepting influence and is a critical component of successful relationships. This can be difficult for a lot of us in policing – who are often the most strong-willed, Type-A personalities – and requires deliberate effort. Put the effort in, be willing to compromise and even lose once in a while, and see if it doesn’t help your relationship in the long haul.

We wanted to offer just a couple of personal tips specific to the law enforcement life, on top of the usual relationship advice that’s ubiquitous in books and on the web. These tips have worked for us, are common to successful law enforcement couples we know, and should help you, too.


What cops need to know about pursuit training

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Althea Olson and Mike Wasilewski

By Tim Dees

One of the coolest parts of any police academy is when you get to train for pursuits on the emergency vehicle operations course, or EVOC. EVOC is where you learn to drive fast, do those James Bond-like turns and reversals, and maintain positive control of the car under the most adverse of conditions.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, anyway. In academies for highway patrol and state police personnel, there is usually considerable time and resources devoted to driver training, as that is what the graduates will be doing for a good portion of their working lives. State patrol/police officers tend to be very good drivers, and they don’t stack up their cars as often as local cops do.

The city/county reality

Training academies for local law enforcement (and it’s rare that state police/patrol students attend the same basic school as the local cops) usually don’t have the same time or facilities to devote to driver training. The better-equipped academies have a dedicated training track with a floodable skid pad. More likely, the academy staff moves the training venue to an airstrip or unoccupied parking lot for driver training.

Instructors are likely to be officers who are assigned this as a collateral duty, and who don’t get to polish their skills as often as they would like. There may or may not be a classroom session to discuss the physics of high-performance driving. It’s all but unheard of for students to be able to practice their EVOC skills on a public highway, with real-world traffic.

The British model

Contrast this with the driver training model used in the United Kingdom (UK). Entry-level student constables get very little driver training, as they might not be driving at all. If they do drive, they will likely be in compact, underpowered vehicles intended solely to get the constable to where he is going, with few special features or emergency equipment. High-performance and prisoner transport vehicles are operated by advanced response drivers only.

After at least two years of exemplary service, a constable can apply to become an advanced response driver. This entails completing a 15-week training program that combines classroom, closed track, and open road experiences. Several exercises are conducted on open public streets that are often congested, with the student driver moving the vehicle at emergency-level speeds while giving a running commentary on his thought process to the instructor in the passenger seat. The fact that the citizens of the UK tolerate the police running pursuit training exercises on their streets is testimonial to the level of trust and cooperation the police enjoy with the public.

It’s also noteworthy that this program that is dedicated solely to driving skills is approximately the length of some basic academy courses in the United States that incorporate all topics.

But we can’t afford that

It’s not likely that U.S. police will have the luxury of this extended driver training anytime soon, given limited budgets and other resources. That doesn’t mean that driver training is beyond the reach of the typical local agency.

Computer-based driving simulators are often available to regional academies and some larger agencies. However, they can also be expensive. A few training agencies have tried to make these mobile facilities by setting them up in large trailers or making the equipment modular.

The simulators are valuable for their ability to replicate most any driving condition, and no matter how many times the student officer wrecks the car, a reset button makes everything whole again. Because the simulators cannot produce G-forces and many of the other environmental conditions of real high-performance driving, they have limited application. They are useful for training on policy and thought processes in a risk-free environment.

For example, the instructor can set up conditions where department policy might permit a pursuit to be initiated, and then change the environment slightly so that the pursuit is prohibited under those circumstances. Similarly, the instructor might insert a situation that calls for the pursuit to be terminated, and see if the student recognizes those conditions. Simulators are also excellent for practicing radio communications under realistic conditions.

Pursuit debriefings

Another opportunity to train for pursuits is to hold a debriefing after a pursuit. This isn’t just for the people directly involved in it, or part of any disciplinary investigation. The debriefing is for everyone, where any recordings of radio traffic and dash/body cam footage is available for viewing.

When agencies do this, they frequently reserve the occasion for pursuits that went badly, or resulted in some high-profile outcome. To discard the less-spectacular pursuit is to waste a teaching opportunity. By discussing and emphasizing the aspects of the event that went well, in addition to those that were less ideal, reinforces good tactics in a realistic environment that is relatable to everyone.

These debriefings shouldn’t be star chambers, where anyone involved dreads having their actions held up for criticism and ridicule. Instead, the purpose should be to get the word out on what really happened (because the rumor mill is powerful in virtually every law enforcement agency), and maybe give some insight into how it could have gone better. This way, officers learn to improve on every operation and seek excellence, rather than just compliance with policy.

These debriefings can be broken up into five or ten minute segments to become part of roll call training, reinforcing a manageable chunk of policy every day.

Experience is the best teacher

Although the trend on pursuit policies seems to be to restrict pursuits more than permit them, one of the best ways to improve police officer performance in car chases is to allow the officers to do them. The first time anyone performs some high-risk tactic, it often goes wrong. The moves are unfamiliar, and the actor can be so preoccupied with getting it right that they lose focus on the task.

This situation improves as those tasks are repeated and skills develop. This works with pursuits as it does with anything else. When the officer has gotten over the excitement of doing something for the first or second time, he can think about the process and perform the necessary constant reassessment that a pursuit requires. This requires strong leadership and mentoring from the agency’s supervisors, but the result is a more competent and more effective law enforcement agency.

About the author

Tim Dees is a retired police officer and the former editor of two major law enforcement websites who writes and consults on technology applications in criminal justice. He can be reached at tim@timdees.


NYC study: More civilians use video in police complaints

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York City's independent police review board says civilians are increasingly using video evidence in complaints against New York Police Department officers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 794 of the 4,426 complaints closed by the Civilian Complaint Review Board in 2016 included some form of video evidence. In 2012, there were just 43 closed complaints with video evidence out of 4,268.

The review board says recordings help increase transparency when examining cases of alleged police misconduct.

The First Amendment protects civilian recording. But officers can legally stop people who are endangering themselves or someone else while recording or interfering with police activity.

The board is recommending training for officers on the subject.

The New York Police Department declined to comment on the study.


4 suspended after police kicked burning bystander reinstated

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Four New Jersey police officers suspended after a video showed them kicking and dragging a bystander following a fiery auto crash have been reinstated.

The Jersey City officers will be on modified administrative duty and will not be on patrol, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill told NorthJersey.com.

She said federal investigators have asked the department not to bring departmental charges against Lt. Keith Ludwig and Officers M.D. Khan, Erik Kosinski and Francisco Rodriguez as a federal probe continues.

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.

Officials have said the officers violated several guidelines during the chase.

Public Safety Director James Shea said earlier this month 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.

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 initially stopped the car because it matched the description of one 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 and was involved from the beginning, Shea said, "and he allowed it to go on long after the point where, under the attorney general's guidelines, he should have called it off."


Ohio judge sentences teens to write a book report

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CANTON, Ohio — An Ohio judge hoping to send a message has sentenced two teenagers to jail time — and writing a five-page book report.

Stark County Judge Frank Forchione on Monday sentenced 19-year-olds Jonas Rohr and Kyle Bodager to read a book about World War II or the Vietnam War and write a report.

Police say the two teens and another juvenile were shooting during target practice last fall when a stray bullet struck a man mowing his lawn.

The man was hit in the face, but survived.

Rohr and Bodager have been convicted of discharging a firearm near prohibited premises.

Forchione tells WJW-TV he wanted to teach the teens to make better judgments so they won't be back in his courtroom.


London Bridge officer tells of fighting attackers with baton

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Danica Kirka Associated Press

LONDON — A British Transport Police officer who fought off three extremists in London's Borough Market with only a baton thought he was going to die after being stabbed multiple times.

Wayne Marques told Britain's Press Association on Wednesday that he heard screams on June 3 and thought a fight had broken out at a pub. Marques, 38, ran toward it, baton extended.

"I took a deep breath and I just charged the first one (attacker)," he said "As I got near him I swung at him with everything I had as hard as I could, straight through his head, trying to go for like a knockout blow."

Marques heard the attacker "yelp in pain."

Even in a country where police officers rarely carry guns, the story of Marques and his baton has stood out among the many reports of people attempting to fight off attackers Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. The trio rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed people nearby before being shot and killed by police.

Eight people died and dozens were wounded in the attack, but it's believed that Marques' actions prevented many more casualties.

Yet he believes his fight with the trio lasted no more than 90 seconds. The three set upon on him. He was stabbed in the head and experienced "instant darkness."

"He'd hit me so hard that my right eye went lights out," he said. "Straight away, I just went blind."

But Marques, who has since regained his sight, kept fighting.

"The second one and the third one I was basically fighting left to right, because I only had one eye, so I'm moving left to right, left to right."

He said he didn't realize how badly he was hurt. In a surreal moment, he described how all three attackers stood before him.

"The three of them were standing together almost shoulder-to-shoulder in like a little wolf pack. And they're staring at me," he said. "And I'm basically just like a cowboy in a Western movie. Waiting for the draw, waiting for them to make their move."

The men ran away.


Retirement community drug raid uncovers golf cart chop shop

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sara Nealeigh The Bradenton Herald

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. — Several people are facing drug-related charges after Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigators discovered a possible golf cart chop shop and drugs inside a home.

Around 6:21 a.m. Wednesday, investigators and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team executed a search warrant at a home in the 1900 block of Antonia Place, The Villages, according to a release from the sheriff’s office posted to Facebook.

The investigation and search warrant stemmed from “numerous complaints” of suspicious, possibly drug-related, theft, and nuisance activity, according to the post.

The home was searched, and officials found several parts related to golf carts such as windshields, seat cushions, wheels and tires. However, officials were unable to connect any recent golf cart thefts to the group working from the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives also recovered less than a gram of methamphetamine and less than 20 grams of marijuana. Five people were arrested and now face several charges.

Arrested were:

Kenneth Ray Padgett, who was charged with sale of meth, possession of meth with intent to sell, unlawful use of two-way communication device. keeping or maintaining a drug shop, possession of weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of meth, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a legend drug without a prescription.

Charlotte L. Gajewsky, who was charged with sale of meth, possession of meth with intent to sell, keeping or maintaining a drug shop, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, two counts of possession of paraphernalia and possession of new legend drug without a prescription.

Kathleen Unrath, who was charged with possession of meth, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia.

William Anthony Wade Romska, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, two counts of possession of paraphernalia, possession of a legend drug without a prescription.

Michael Edward Witkowski, was charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams, two counts of possession of paraphernalia, possession of a legend drug without a prescription. The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office noted that additional arrests may be possible.

WFTV reported the elderly homeowner “did not appear to be aware of what was going on in his home,” and was not arrested. However his niece, Unrath, lived there and said “she was going to take care of him, but instead was allegedly running the illegal drug and chop shop businesses behind his back,” deputies told WFTV.

Anyone with information about this case, is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division 352-793-2621 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

———

©2017 The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.)


‘Embarrassing’ Berlin police removed from G20 security duty

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BERLIN — A group of Berlin police officers helping with security ahead of next week's Group of 20 summit in Hamburg has been sent home after some reportedly partied excessively at the barracks where they were staying.

More than 220 officers were sent back to the German capital after what Hamburg police called "inappropriate and unacceptable behavior" by a minority of the group.

Berlin's B.Z. newspaper reported that the antics allegedly included police officers urinating on a fence and an officer dressed in a bathrobe dancing on a table with a weapon in her hand.

Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf described the behavior Tuesday as "simply embarrassing."

The officers were housed at barracks north of Hamburg. They were scheduled to be relieved by others from Berlin before the July 7-8 summit.


Seattle police release video of robber opening fire during pursuit

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SEATTLE — Police released video showing a suspect shooting at officers during a Jan. 6 pursuit.

Officials said Diondrae Brown, 29, committed six armed robberies in 17 days earlier this year, Q13 Fox reported. Police were called when Brown pistol-whipped a man and demanded his phone. A shot was fired during the incident but no one was hit. Brown fled the scene.

Officers Christina Bradley and Daniel Aguirre pursued Brown until they ended up in a neighborhood where Brown exited his vehicle on foot, Q13 reported. He fired one shot at the officers as his car reversed and struck a patrol car. Brown surrendered after police set up a perimeter to contain the area. No one was injured in the incident.

Brown was charged with five counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault and attempting to elude a police vehicle. He had a warrant out for his arrest in California as well. He pleaded not guilty to robbery charges on Jan. 25. According to the Daily Mail, Brown is still being held at the King County Correctional Facility on $1 million bail.


LAPD officers found justified in fatal OIS

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Three officers were justified in fatally shooting an 18-year-old during what police have described as a "running gun battle" in a Watts housing project in which one officer was shot and wounded, the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday.

In a 4-0 vote, the civilian panel sided with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in clearing the officers in their use of deadly force against Richard Risher. The chief and the board also agreed, however, that two of the officers violated some of the department's tactics during the encounter.

Risher died on a sidewalk last summer in Nickerson Gardens, creating tension in a housing project that has a complicated history with the police. Although the LAPD said Risher shot an officer in the arm -- and shared a photo of the handgun found lying on some leaves -- word that police had killed a young black man still angered many in the neighborhood.

The July 25 killing came after a series of deadly shootings around the country -- both by and against police -- that flared an already-tense debate over how officers use force, particularly against African Americans. Local activists turned Risher's name into a hashtag they spread on social media. His mother, Lisa Simpson, repeatedly showed up at the commission's weekly meetings, demanding justice for her son.

After the commission's ruling, Simpson stood outside the LAPD's downtown headquarters, again disputing that her son fired at police. She vowed to keep pushing for criminal charges against the officers who shot him.

"I will be the first black mother that gets a prosecution," she said. "I'm going to fight with everything in me."

A spokesman for the district attorney's office said this week that prosecutors were still reviewing the case.

Gary Fullerton, an attorney representing the officers, said some of their tactics could have been better, but they were "trying to do the best job they can" as they tried to stop someone who was shooting at them.

The union representing rank-and-file officers also praised the commission's decision on the use of deadly force.

"When a suspect shoots at a police officer, the officer is duty bound to respond in an appropriate manner to protect themselves and the public," the union's board of directors said in a statement.

The events leading up to the deadly encounter began about 11 p.m., when officers patrolling the housing project saw a group of people in a small picnic area between two buildings, according to a report Beck submitted to the Police Commission.

One officer told investigators that younger members of the Bounty Hunters Bloods gang hung out near the concrete picnic table, the report said. The day before the shooting, one officer said, they had been told in a roll call meeting to "monitor" the gang because it was feuding with a Crips gang affiliated with another housing project.

As the officers approached the group, the report said, a young man, later identified as Risher, took off running.

The officers chased after him, telling investigators they could see Risher holding a gun, the report said.

The report described a back-and-forth exchange of gunfire between the officers and Risher as they ran through the massive housing project. Investigators believe Risher fired at the officers at least twice, according to the report. One officer was struck in the arm as he tried to radio for backup.

The shootout came to an end after one officer heard a metallic object fall and saw Risher move to the ground, the report said.

Risher died at the scene. An autopsy report showed the 18-year-old had two gunshot wounds: one to the back, another to his hand.

In all, the officers fired 64 rounds, the report said. Beck said they were trying to defend themselves, but said that officials would discuss with them better control of gunfire.

The chief -- and later, the commission -- also criticized some of the tactics two of the officers used before the shooting began. Among the violations Beck cited in his report were the officers' failure to effectively communicate and their decision to split up while chasing Risher.

The LAPD identified the officers who fired their guns as Francisco Zaragosa, Isaac Fernandez and Joseph Chavez, each of whom has returned to work. Their names were redacted from the copy of Beck's report made public, and it was unclear which officers were faulted for their tactics.

Earlier this year, Risher's mother filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the officers, accusing them of using excessive force. She has repeatedly lambasted Beck and police commissioners in the 11 months since her son was killed.

Last fall, an LAPD detective sought a restraining order against Simpson that would have required her to give up any guns she had in her possession, citing some of her remarks at a commission meeting. Although the order was initially granted, a judge ultimately rejected it at a December hearing.

Simpson stood at the podium again Tuesday, crying as she railed against the chief and the commissioners.

"My son meant everything to me," she said. "And you killed him."

___ (c)2017 the Los Angeles Times


Calif. deputy shot in face; suspect in custody

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Thomas Oide and Molly Sullivan The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Watt Avenue light rail station was shot in the face on Tuesday evening, department spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said.

Law enforcement officials took the suspect into custody at 9:15 p.m. without any altercation, Turnbull said. They did not find a weapon with him and were searching for it.

More than 100 officers responded to the scene and surrounded the Red Roof Inn on Watt Avenue, where the suspect was hiding. Officials used a robot to locate the 27-year-old suspect, who was in a fetal position in an outdoor hallway on the second floor of the hotel.

Turnbull did not reveal the name of the suspect.

There were no reports of the suspect taking hostages.

Turnbull said the deputy, a four-year veteran of the department, is in stable condition. Turnbull said that the deputy was undergoing “extensive” surgery on his jaw Tuesday night.

Sacramento Regional Transit, which runs the light rail, has a security force made up of sheriff’s deputies and city police officers on assignment to RT.

The shooting occurred on the platform of the light rail station, authorities reported. A helicopter tracked the suspect to the hotel, just south of I-80.

The officer who was shot talked to the suspect on the platform, before the interaction escalated to a fight, Turnbull said. He did not know what was said between the officer and suspect.

Several local businesses were evacuated, including a nearby Starbucks.

“We were in the Starbucks and were told by police to evacuate immediately,” witness Tori Brant said. “Police said they were preparing for a shootout.”

The Watt Avenue exit on I-80 was blocked off by California Highway Patrol officers, and the 4000 block of Watt Avenue closed from Auburn Boulevard, south of I-80, to Orange Grove Avenue, north of the freeway.

Light rail stations in the area were also closed, according to a rider alert from RT.

“Watt I/80 and Watt West are closed at this time. Trains will turn around at Roseville Rd. Thank you for your patience,” the alert read.

———

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Pa. to set policy limiting release of police video

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Marc Levy Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state is poised to set a policy exempting police audio and video recordings from its public-records law and giving police departments broad discretion over when to refuse requests from people for copies of them.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said he would sign a bill that cleared its last legislative hurdle Tuesday, passing the Senate without debate, 49-1. The bill covers all audio and video recordings by officers, including those from body cameras and dashboard cameras.

Law enforcement organizations support the bill, which also clears legal hurdles for police departments to expand the use of body cameras. The bill was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which says it will be nearly impossible for the public to obtain police video.

The bill would add Pennsylvania to a growing list of states that are setting statewide policy over the collection of audio and video by officers. Every state allows certain exemptions to deny the public release of a video, according to information assembled by the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, although some states give the video the presumption of a public record.

Under Pennsylvania's bill, it would be grounds for a denial of a request for a recording if a police department or prosecutor's office decides it cannot remove or obscure the identity of a confidential informant or victim or evidence in a criminal investigation or an administrative investigation.

A court could still order the release of a police recording if a request is denied by a law enforcement agency.

The bill sets limits on requests, providing a window of 60 days after an incident in which to submit a request for a copy of an officer's audio or video recording, and it would prevent public access to recordings made inside a law enforcement facility, such as a police department.

The bill does not address when a police camera must be turned on and how long data must be stored before it is erased, although it tasks the state police with writing guidelines for the storage of the recordings.

The use of body cameras is limited in Pennsylvania, with law enforcement organizations unable to name more than a few departments that use them. The state police do not use body cameras, while departments in the state's two largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, use body cameras on a limited basis.

The bill aims to remove a couple of legal hurdles that police departments have cited as potential problems.

It clarifies that officers can gather body camera footage inside a private residence while on duty, an effort to address concerns about violating the state's surveillance law, and it makes clear that uniformed officers can legally record any conversation while using a state police-approved device in public.


Las Vegas police receive $500K grant for counter-terrorism

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Briana Erickson Las Vegas Review-Journal

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been awarded a $500,000 grant to fight terrorist recruitment and radicalization, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus announced Friday.

The grant is one of 26 that total $10 million from the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism program, which gives money to local law enforcement, state and local government agencies, universities and nonprofit organizations.

“This grant will provide Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with resources to work directly with the community to counter threats, stifle terrorist recruitment efforts, and help ensure that residents and visitors are protected,” Titus said in a press release.

Full story: Metro police receive $500K grant for counter-terrorism


Fla. governor, prosecutor fight heads to state high court

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mike Schneider Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Does Florida's governor have the power to take away a prosecutor's case if he disagrees with a decision not to seek the death penalty?

The state's highest court will hear arguments Wednesday over that question in a legal fight between Gov. Rick Scott and State Attorney Aramis Ayala, whose district covers the Orlando area.

Their fight began in March when Ayala, a Democrat, said her office would no longer seek the death penalty, explaining the process is costly, it's not a crime deterrent and it drags on for years for the victims' relatives. Ayala announced her decision as her office was starting to build a case against Markeith Loyd in the fatal shooting of an Orlando police lieutenant and his pregnant ex-girlfriend. With her decision, Ayala, intentionally or not, thrust herself into the forefront of the anti-death penalty movement.

Scott, a Republican, responded by reassigning her office's death penalty cases to a prosecutor in a neighboring district, and top Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee announced budget cuts to Ayala's office.

A spokeswoman for Ayala this week said she wouldn't be talking about the case before the hearing.

In court papers, Ayala argued that it was unlawful for Scott to take away her cases since she is independently elected by voters, and that he could only remove her from cases for "good and sufficient reason," none of which were present in their disagreement over the death penalty.

"Removing an elected prosecutor from a case because of a disagreement over her exercise of discretion is unprecedented," Ayala said. "Every day state attorneys here in Florida make important decision on who to charge, what to charge, and what to prioritize. Giving the governor the tremendous and unfettered discretion to interfere in that decision making, would be unprecedented and could undermine the entire justice system in Florida."

Scott argued that Ayala is refusing to follow Florida law by making a blanket decision not to seek the death penalty, and that her decision sets a dangerous precedent.

"The novel and extraordinary constitutional authority Ayala asserts, if accepted, will not just apply to prosecutors who decline to enforce the state's death penalty laws. It will also apply to prosecutors who disagree with other kinds of criminal laws and penalties, including, for example, hate-crimes enhancements, laws that ban the open carrying of firearms and campaign finance regulations," Scott said in court papers.

Florida's death penalty has been in flux for the past year or so.

Executions in Florida ground to a halt last year after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the state's death penalty sentencing law unconstitutional because it gave too much power to judges. The Florida Legislature responded by overhauling the law to let the death penalty be imposed by at least a 10-2 jury vote. The state Supreme Court struck down the law and required unanimous jury decisions for capital punishment. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill requiring a unanimous jury recommendation.

Ayala, who previously worked as a public defender and prosecutor, was a virtual unknown when she ran for state attorney last year. With an infusion of more than $1 million from a Washington-based political action committee with ties to liberal Hungarian-born U.S. billionaire George Soros, Ayala unseated the incumbent state attorney in the Democratic primary and became Florida's first African-American state attorney.

In her campaign, she promised to listen to communities that hadn't had a voice in the past. Given that Florida's death sentence was in a legal holding pattern at the time, capital punishment never came up during Ayala's campaign.

A host of civil rights activists and legal scholars have come out in support of Ayala. Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Florida House, and other state attorneys, have denounced her decision.

"Ms. Ayala effectively abolished the death penalty ... by implementing a hard-and-fast rule that removes her decision-making on a case-by-case basis, which is beyond the scope of her prosecutorial independence and discretion," the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys said in court papers.

Ayala has also sued Scott in federal court, but asked it to wait until the Florida Supreme Court lawsuit is resolved.


The importance of emotional wellness in criminal justice

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dr. Michael Pittaro, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

When I pursued my undergraduate degree back in the 1980s, mental health and wellness were never discussed in the law enforcement community. So when I entered the corrections profession as a 21-year-old fresh out of college, I was largely ill-equipped to deal with the many pressing psychological and ethical issues that I encountered. Like many who work in law enforcement or corrections, I learned on-the-job survival instincts and developed coping skills (some healthy – some not so much). I quickly accepted that evil exists and, as criminal justice professionals, we must be equipped to face it every day we report to work.

Now as a criminal justice professor, I make sure that my students know that today’s offenders are masters of manipulation and deception. Officers must keep their minds sharp and be able to analyze situations quickly and effectively so that they—and their colleagues—return home safely.

At a recent conference in Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to contribute to the growing conversation about mental health among criminal justice professionals. The theme of this year’s Pennsylvania Association of Probation, Parole and Corrections (PAPPC) / Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association (MASCA) conference was Correctional Employee Wellness – Mind, Body, and Spirit. In addition to presenting a workshop focusing on the importance of physical and emotional wellness, I also served as the closing plenary speaker.

In my workshop, I shared with the participants that whenever I publish an article or a book chapter, I focus on issues that I have experienced firsthand. Most of my research is intended to illuminate the weaknesses or deficiencies in our profession that need to be addressed, one of which, was an article titled, Suicide Among Corrections Officers: It’s Time for an Open Discussion.

Talking About Suicide

When I left corrections to pursue a career in higher education, I started thinking about those had taken their own lives or had gradually self-destructed through alcoholism and other negative coping methods. I realized at that point that mental wellness was a major issue that desperately needed attention.

Those who work in law enforcement or corrections know that we have lost way too many friends to suicide (our suicide rate is twice that of the general population) and I am confident that we know countless others who have lost their way by finding comfort in a bottle of vodka or relief from physical and emotional pain through prescription drug abuse.

Where’s the Research?

When I started looking into mental wellness among criminal justice professionals, I was shocked to learn that although there are dozens upon dozens of research studies focusing on stress, burnout, and suicide among law enforcement professionals, there is virtually nothing pertaining to corrections employees.

That simply validated the fact that our profession has been overlooked by researchers and practitioners, yet the suicide rate among correctional officers is speculated to be higher than the suicide rate of police officers. The few studies that do exist have focused mostly on correctional officers, but not on other employees like administrators or program staff.

So, the big question is, where do we go from here?

Emotional Intelligence

We need to foster a discussion around mental wellness and support all employees of probation, parole, and corrections. Emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand emotions in ourselves and in others, can help us do that.

Emotional intelligence helps us to better manage our reaction and response to stressful situations, but it also helps us to recognize and understand the emotional plight of others. It’s important that we each “learn” to see the world and its problems differently so that we don’t become cynical and jaded, which is the stereotypical personality of most correctional employees.

A healthy mindset is equally as important as your physical health and, to me, likely more important. Negativity breeds negativity, so we must do our very best to maintain a positive outlook despite the difficult interactions we face on a daily basis. Emotional intelligence can help us maintain a clear view of the world by allowing us to calmly evaluate and respond to different situations.

Don’t Bring Your Stress Home

I tell my students to go to work, be the best employee imaginable, give 150 percent, and then go home and rest easy knowing that you gave it your all. We cannot change the offenders we work with unless they are willing to embrace change and take the necessary action steps toward reform. We are change agents, but we can only provide the tools, resources, and knowledge for those individuals. Only they can choose whether to use them.

There are limitations to what you can expect yourself to do and it’s important to keep the different areas of your life in perspective. Stress from the job is real and it is a deceptive, manipulative killer who will steal your happiness, rob you of your physical health, and trick you into believing that you are all alone and helpless.

In order to combat stress, you must fight back, and if you fight back, you will win. Remember that you must have interests and friends outside of work and you must build in time for yourself to decompress and relax, whether it be through physical exercise, yoga, meditation, reading a book, fishing, hiking, and so on. The list goes on and on. Whatever gives you the most pleasure and is the most relaxing is the key to combatting stress.

About the Author: Dr. Michael Pittaro is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Security and Global Studies (SSGC) with American Military University and an Adjunct Professor at East Stroudsburg University. Dr. Pittaro is a criminal justice veteran, highly experienced in working with criminal offenders in a variety of institutional and non-institutional settings.

Before pursuing a career in higher education, Dr. Pittaro worked in corrections administration; has served as the Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol facility and as Executive Director of a drug and alcohol prevention agency. Dr. Pittaro has been teaching at the university level (online and on-campus) for the past 15 years while also serving internationally as an author, editor, presenter, and subject matter expert. Dr. Pittaro holds a BS in Criminal Justice; an MPA in Public Administration; and a PhD in criminal justice. To contact the author, please email IPSauthor@apus.edu.


Photos: Boy with rare brain cancer becomes honorary cop

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

EVESHAM, N.J. — A 4-year-old boy’s dream of becoming a police officer came true thanks to his friends at the police department.

Chase Gilchrist’s family asked if he could come tour the department, WPVI reported. But he received a lot more than just a visit.

When Chase showed up Thursday, he was given his own uniform, police ID and patrol car before he was sworn in as an honorary officer.

"So now that he's got the official shirt on and the official police car, he's going to go nuts. He's loving it," Chase's father Scott told WPVI. After receiving a tour of the station and a ride on the police ATV, Chase and his two brothers were treated to a K-9 demonstration.

"This is my best, best day here and the airport show was my second best day," Chase said.

Chase is currently in remission, but the type of cancer he has limits his life expectancy.

"To be able to give somebody their dream is an amazing feeling. Many little kids want to be a police officers. This one truly has it in his heart," Lt. Ron Ritter said.

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"Dreams do come true " Our agency had the distinct privilege of welcoming a young resident to our ranks yesterday....

Posted by Evesham Township Police (NJ) on Friday, June 23, 2017


Hero policeman makes waves, and now everyone wants to drown

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chuck Campbell Knoxville News-Sentinel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Don’t be surprised if there’s a sudden spike in swimmers-in-distress calls in Jacksonville, Fla.

Last Tuesday afternoon, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office got a call about a body floating in the St. John’s River near the Main Street Bridge. When officers arrived, Sgt. Billy Irvin “immediately entered the water to rescue the person” – who turned out to be a woman who was alive, according to the JSO’s Facebook page.

Sgt. Irvin was able to pull the woman from the river with assistance from three construction workers who were on a nearby job site.

The Facebook post included a photo of a still-soaked Sgt. Irvin in his wet T-shirt and pants, holding his boots, to illustrate this story with a happy ending.

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Sergeant Irvin Jumps in River to Help Save Woman On Tuesday at 12:47 p.m., a citizen...

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Thursday, June 8, 2017

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


3 Chicago police officers indicted in Laquan McDonald case

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Three Chicago police officers have been indicted on felony charges alleging they conspired to cover up the fatal shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald by a white officer.

A Cook County special grand jury approved the three-count indictment Monday and the charges were filed Tuesday. Special prosecutor Patricia Brown-Holmes announced the indictments Tuesday, saying the three officers "did more than merely obey an unofficial code of silence." She says "they lied" to prevent investigators "from learning the truth."

The three officers, Thomas Gaffney, David March and Joseph Walsh, were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice.

Video released in 2015 showed white officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Chicago police didn't immediately respond to the charges.


More than 2 dozen NJ officers laid off after union deal fails

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HACKENSACK, N.J. — More than two dozen New Jersey police officers have been laid off amid budget cuts and a failed union deal.

Bergen County police officers, 26 in total, received notice Sunday night to report to the county's Bureau of Criminal Investigations in Hackensack to turn in their equipment Monday afternoon. NorthJersey.com reports many of the officers, along with family members, met outside the county sheriff's office to march to the bureau office — about five blocks away.

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino says the layoffs are the result of new state mandates, but union officials dispute this.

A proposed deal last week would have prevented layoffs by disbanding the Bureau of Police Services and turning the officers into sheriff's officers. Union members rejected the proposal by one vote.


Lockdown lifted at Ala. military post; no injuries reported

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Authorities locked down an Alabama military post on Tuesday amid reports of possible active shooter, and workers were advised to "run hide fight." About two hours later, the all-clear was given and officials said there were no confirmed injuries or arrests.

A safety drill was planned for Wednesday, but Redstone Arsenal spokesman Christopher Colster said he wasn't sure "at this point what happened" at the base near Huntsville. He said a "methodical investigation" was underway.

"We do not believe there is a threat or we would not have opened the installation back up," he said.

Earlier, Colster had said the report of a shooter was not part of any exercise. In a tweet announcing the possible shooter, the base said: "Possible active shooter on the Arsenal. Installation is locked down. Run hide fight."

Police cars with flashing lights blocked entrances to Redstone, which also has facilities used by federal law enforcement agencies. Images on social media showed an ambulance and what appeared to be civilians standing outside the Sparkman Center, which includes multiple buildings with offices, an auditorium, cafeteria and an interior courtyard.

Amy Jay, whose husband was working at the Sparkman Center, said he was told the situation was over through an announcement over the building's public address system.

"Feeling like I can breathe again!" Jay wrote in a message to The Associated Press. "My husband is a contractor and a veteran so when we hear things like this we're reminded of what happened at Fort Hood," she said, referring to the 2009 shooting at a military base in Texas.

Before the lockdown was lifted, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's office said it couldn't provide any details.

"My office is aware of the developing situation at Redstone Arsenal, and we are monitoring it closely. I am praying for a swift resolution to this matter," she said in a statement.

More than 30,000 government employees, civilians and contractors work daily at Redstone. It is home to Army missile defense programs and other military offices.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, which oversees rocket propulsion operations, also is located at Redstone.

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WATCH: We are working to gather information on a possible active shooter at Redstone Arsenal. Here is what we know >> http://bit.ly/2tSa95X

Posted by WAFF 48 News on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Possible active shooter on the Arsenal. Installation is locked down. Run hide fight.

— Redstone Arsenal (@TeamREDSTONE) June 27, 2017

Here's a look for you outside Gate 9 #RSA #activeshooter #breaking @waff48 pic.twitter.com/NZggXPEpGw

— Stephanie Mills (@SMillsWAFF48) June 27, 2017


Photo: Suspect gave cop ‘get out of jail free’ card

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DAKOTA COUNTY, Minn. — A suspect thought a “Get out of jail free” card would get him out of trouble. Spoiler: It didn’t work.

When the 35-year-old man was arrested on a fifth-degree controlled substance warrant over the weekend, he handed the deputy the Monopoly card, KMSP reported. He was arrested and held on a $5000 bail.

The sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook that the man received an “A for effort!”

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We appreciate the humor! Deputy Vai arrested a gentleman this weekend on an outstanding warrant. He carried this Monopoly card just in case. "A" for effort!

Posted by Dakota County Sheriff's Office on Monday, June 26, 2017


Dairy Queen employees fired after anti-cop tirade

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HAMMOND, La. — Several Dairy Queen employees have been fired after insulting deputies who came in to eat.

Witnesses told WBRZ that deputies stopped in for food Saturday when the kitchen staff called them “pigs” and said all officers were “crooked.” The deputies asked for their money back and left. The manager told the employees to keep their comments to themselves.

Dairy Queen posted on Facebook Monday that the employees had been fired.

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We are aware of the incident that took place this weekend in our Hammond store. The employees involved have been...

Posted by Dairy Queen Hammond on Monday, June 26, 2017

“Our relationship with the Hammond community is of the utmost importance and we respect and support our HPD/TPSO officers,” the restaurant wrote. “We do not tolerate any derogatory behavior towards officers or any customers.”

Dairy Queen wrote on Facebook Tuesday that they were holding a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” Wednesday where all uniformed officers would receive a free meal and treat.

The police department has not commented on the incident.

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We will be holding a "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" on Wednesday, June 28th as a thank you to all officers for their...

Posted by Dairy Queen Hammond on Tuesday, June 27, 2017


City considers ‘3 strikes, you’re out’ policy on overdose responses

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A proposal has been made in an Ohio city to combat the growing number of overdose calls.

WLWT reported that Middletown is considering a “three strikes, you’re out” policy for those being revived with naloxone by first responders.

City councilman Dan Picard proposed that after the first two overdose revivals, a person must perform community service that equals the amount of money spent on the response. If the community service hasn’t been completed before the third strike, a dispatch would not be made.

"If the dispatcher determines that the person who's overdosed is someone who's been part of the program for two previous overdoses and has not completed the community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn't dispatch,” Picard said.

The fire department is accepting donations and applying for grants to pay for naloxone until legal advisers can look at the proposed policy.


Mich. officer stabbed at airport released from hospital

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — The Flint, Michigan, airport officer stabbed in the neck during what authorities are investigating as a terrorist act has been discharged from a hospital.

A spokeswoman for Hurley Medical Center says Lt. Jeff Neville was released Monday.

Neville was stabbed Wednesday at Bishop International Airport in Flint, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Authorities have said 49-year-old Amor Ftouhi stabbed Neville with a large knife after saying something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.”

Ftouhi, a Canadian from Tunisia, was immediately taken into custody and was charged in a criminal complaint with committing violence at an airport.

Doctors have said Neville’s 12-inch wound caused significant bleeding but narrowly missed major arteries and a nerve.

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Lt. Jeff Neville, the hero that thwarted the terrorist attack at Bishop Interrnational Airport, said he misses his...

Posted by Mark Young - Genesee County Commissioner on Sunday, June 25, 2017


‘AK-47 Bandit’ believed arrested in Neb.

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Richard Winton and Matt Hamilton Los Angeles Times

CHINO, Calif. — From jail in Nebraska, Richard Gathercole asked his mom: “Did you get all the guns out, too?”

The request tipped off federal agents to the trail of one of the country’s most sought-after bank robbers, the “AK-47 Bandit,” who is suspected of shooting and seriously wounding a Chino, Calif., police officer and carrying out a string of heists in California, Washington, Iowa, Idaho and Nebraska.

Federal agents and police from Chino raided Gathercole’s Montana home and found a trove of homemade bombs, according to authorities and court documents filed Monday.

Investigators believe Gathercole, 39, is the AK-47 Bandit, according to a law enforcement source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak publicly. Gathercole remains in custody in Nebraska and has not been formally charged. It’s unclear whether he was being represented by an attorney.

Gathercole was arrested June 20 in the attempted shooting of a Kansas state trooper who was trying to stop him because of obscured registration on the vehicle along an interstate highway, according to a search warrant affidavit submitted Saturday in federal court.

During the call with his mother, Gathercole asked her to remove the guns “as soon as possible” from his home in Roundup, about 50 miles north of Billings, according to the transcript that was included with the search warrant.

“Um, this is recorded. You know that,” she replied.

“Yeah, I know,” he said.

The June 22 call led to the search of Gathercole’s home, which the Musselshell County Sheriff’s Office said had “numerous improvised explosive devices” that a bomb squad removed from the property.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the search was connected to the probe of the bank robberies.

“Multiple departments are investigating whether evidence found during the search in Montana may be linked to a series of bank robberies currently under investigation in California and other states,” Eimiller said.

Federal agents have been on the hunt for the AK-47 Bandit since 2012, when the robber shot a police officer while fleeing the scene of California Bank & Trust in Chino. The officer was seriously wounded but survived.

Over the years, agents have identified some of his trademarks: a black ski mask; dark-colored body armor; a mesh vest with the word “sheriff” printed across the back; and his signature weapon, an AK-47 rifle with a drum magazine, according to the FBI.

They have linked the robber to numerous heists, including ones in Sacramento, Calif.; Vacaville, Calif.; North Bend, Wash.; and Rexburg, Idaho, FBI officials said.

In the affidavit, FBI Special Agent Andrew R. Ubbelohde ties Gathercole to at least two bank robberies linked to the AK-47 Bandit. The agent said Gathercole was suspected of carrying out the Aug. 22, 2014, robbery of First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City. More than $90,000 was stolen, according to court papers.

The affidavit also alleges that Gathercole stole $126,000 from a bank in Iowa, another theft linked to the bandit. The robber in the 2015 heist of Iowa Heartland Credit Union brought in a device with smokeless powder, metal pieces and a fuse, which he told bank tellers was a “pressure bomb,” according to court papers. The robber fled in a black Toyota Camry.

On June 19, a Kansas state trooper tried to pull over a black Toyota Camry, but the driver refused to stop and fired a rifle at the pursuing officer, according to court papers. At some point, the driver abandoned the car.

The driver, later identified by authorities as Gathercole, eluded capture, and is suspected of stealing a Ford pickup at gunpoint. Police were notified to look out for the vehicle, and within hours, a Nebraska sheriff’s deputy spotted the pickup at a Dawson County gas station.

He was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and stolen firearms, according to court papers. Inside the black Camry, investigators found an AK-47 with a high-capacity magazine as well as a homemade bomb, and a black ski mask was inside the stolen pickup, authorities said.

Less than two days after his arrest, Gathercole made the call to his mother from the county lockup.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


No immediate ruling on fate of Texas’ ‘sanctuary cities’ law

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paul J. Weber Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge Monday questioned the reach of a new Texas "sanctuary cities" law supported by the Trump administration but that four of the nation's largest cities, some police chiefs and immigrant-rights groups are trying to stop taking effect in September.

Hundreds of protesters, waving flags and carrying signs that read "Stop Separation of Families," packed the plaza outside a San Antonio courthouse where U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will decide whether Texas can carry out the law that President Donald Trump's Justice Department says is in-line with its crackdown on immigration.

A daylong court hearing about the constitutionality of the law — the first hearing since Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill known as SB4 in May — ended without Garcia ruling whether he will let Texas enforce the law. He did not set a timetable for a decision.

The law allows police officers to question people about their immigration status during routine stops and threatens police chiefs and elected officials with jail time and removal from office if they don't comply with federal immigration requests to detain immigrants in the country illegally.

The four largest cities in Texas — San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas— are suing to block the measure and their attorneys told Garcia that his ruling could determine if other states to pursue copycat measures. Lawyers for the Texas attorney general's office responded that the new law has less teeth than Arizona's "Show Me Your Papers" measure in 2010 that the was partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I'll suggest that what we had in Arizona was a far more aggressive piece of legislation," said Darren McCarty, special county to the Texas attorney general.

Garcia pushed attorneys on both sides over how exactly the law would play out on the streets. Would an officer during a traffic stop question the immigration status of every passenger, or just the driver? What would happen if a rank-and-file police officer who determined that someone wasn't in the country legally didn't turn over that information to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement?

The answer to the second questions is that nothing would happen, said McCarty, but he went on to contend that a police chief or sheriff who told his officers not to ever press people about their immigration status would be in violation.

"Texas must know what they're doing," said Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. "They're setting up a system that incentivizes people to enforce immigration law to the maximum."

The four Texas cities — all of which are among the top 15 in the nation in population — accuse the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature of passing a law that is unconstitutional, vague and would have a chilling effect on immigrant communities. Abbott has said only lawbreakers have anything to worry about.

The hearing revisited the racial tension that simmered in the Texas Capitol both before and after Abbott signed the law. Democratic state Rep. Ana Hernandez, who did not become a U.S. citizen until she was 18 years old, wiped away tears on the witness stand as she recalled Republican colleagues referring to people who are not citizens as "illegals" during debate over SB4.

Weeks later, on the final day of the legislative session, tensions boiled over when Republican state Rep. Matt Rinaldi told Democrats that he had called federal immigration agents on protesters in the Capitol who held signs saying they were illegally in the country. One Democratic legislator admitted pushing Rinaldi, who responded by telling one Democrat that he would "shoot him in self-defense."

The Trump administration, like Texas, has made "sanctuary cities" a target since the beginning of the year. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to pull federal money from jurisdictions that hinder communication between local police and immigration authorities and praised Texas last week for passing the law.


For 2nd time, double NY cop-killer avoids death penalty

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Riley Newsday

NEW YORK — Double cop-killer Ronell Wilson escaped a jury verdict of death for the second time on Monday when Brooklyn federal prosecutors announced they would not pursue their appeal of a ruling that he can’t be executed because of mental deficiencies.

Wilson, 35, was convicted in 2006 of executing NYPD detectives James Nemorin of Baldwin Harbor and Rodney Andrews of Middle Village by shooting them in their heads and dumping them on the street during a 2003 undercover gun buy on Staten Island.

His first death sentence was overturned by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals because of an improper prosecution argument. He was again sentenced to death by a jury in 2013, but that was overturned based on a new legal standard for retardation.

Prosecutors dropped their appeal of that ruling Monday, one day before their brief was due, with a brief announcement from acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde, who offered no explanation but said Wilson would serve life with no chance of parole.

“Our decision now does not change our view that it was proper to seek the death penalty against Wilson, a sentence that was deemed to be just by two different juries,” she said. “Nor does it lessen the culpability of Wilson . . . for his coldblooded execution of Detectives Nemorin and Andrews.”

The widows of Andrews and Nemorin — who said Wilson had “won” when his second death sentence was overturned last year — could not be reached for comment. Michael Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association, said he was “disappointed.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s office did a magnificent job proving that Wilson deserved the death penalty in two separate trials, but convincing the court that he has any intellect seems an insurmountable task,” Palladino said.

Wilson, currently imprisoned in a Beaumont, Texas, federal penitentiary, had been the first person to get the federal death penalty in New York in 50 years. While locked up in Brooklyn for his second trial, he impregnated and had a child by a guard.

At his second trial, testimony indicated he had been the leader of a violent Staten Island gang when he murdered the two detectives, and he later became a kingpin on his prison block. But some IQ tests hovered around 70, the benchmark for intellectual disability.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who had previously found Wilson mentally able enough to face capital punishment, ruled last year that new Supreme Court standards were “more protective” and overturned the death sentence while saying it was “impossible to muster any sense of sympathy for this defendant.”

The government’s decision Monday to drop its appeal makes that ruling the final word on the case.

———

©2017 Newsday


Texas PD buys new shotguns with NRA Foundation grant

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

By Steve Nash The Brownwood Bulletin

EARLY, Texas — The Early Police Department took possession Monday of five new shotguns thanks to a $2,623 grant from the National Rifle Association Foundation.

The department’s current shotguns are old, and some need to be taken out of service, police said.

The old shotguns that still have use will be converted to less lethal shotguns and used to deploy bean bags rounds when needed in certain circumstances.

Full story: Early police buy five new shotguns with NRA Foundation grant


Not quite warp speed: Speeding man had alien doll passenger

Posted on June 27, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Police say a motorcycle officer who stopped a driver for speeding on a suburban highway north of Atlanta had an 'extraterrestrial encounter' — sort of.

George Gordon, a spokesman for police in Alpharetta, says that when the officer pulled the man over Sunday, a life-sized doll of a big-eyed, large-skulled alien was riding in the front passenger seat.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the encounter, saying the driver was clocked at 84 mph. Not quite warp speed, and Gordon later told The Associated Press: "He did not mention as to 'why' he had an out of this world passenger."

The driver got off with a verbal warning — and some laughs from the officer — who took photographs of the safety-belted alien police later posted on social media.


Self-described ‘Mad Max’ arrested after cache of illegal weapons found

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Beatriz Valenzuela San Bernardino County Sun

BARSTOW, Calif. — A Barstow man on a quad claiming to be “Mad Max” was arrested Thursday night after they found a cache of illegal weapons including a sawed-off shotgun, officials said.

Jack Lee Ernest, 39, had several weapons, including brass knuckles, two knives -- which deputies say “Ernest had positioned for tactical access” -- and the shotgun, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s Barstow station officials.

Around 11 p.m., Deputy Kenneth Bubier noticed someone riding a quad in the area of Old Highway 58 and Leona Road, according to a news release.

Because of the late hour, Bubier attempted to pull over the rider, later identified as Ernest, officials said.

Deputies arrest a man claiming to be "Mad Max" after finding several weapons on him including a sawed-off shotgun https://t.co/YMZjchOYgj pic.twitter.com/AXjueaTysp

— SB County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) June 23, 2017

According to sheriff’s officials, Ernest initially tried to get away. When he pulled over, Ernest started behaving suspiciously, so he was detained.

During the stop and after the deputy found the weapons, Ernest claimed he fashioned himself as Mad Max, a character from a film series about a post-apocalyptic world in which roving gangs of heavily armed scavengers engage in car-to-car battles.

Bubier arrested Ernest on suspicion of possession of illegal weapons. Ernest was booked at the Barstow Jail with bail set at $30,000. The quad was towed.

———

©2017 the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.)


PD tests cellphone app as cheaper alternative to body cameras

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A police department in New Jersey is testing out a smartphone app as a potential alternative to traditional body cameras.

CopCast allows officers to use their cellphones as body cameras with the push of a button. Officers download the app to their phones and supervisors download the desktop version. Officers can strap the phone to their chest and record a video that is live-streamed back to supervisors, USA Today reported. The officer’s location is sent to headquarters through GPS technology. After ending the stream, the entire video is saved on a server.

Departments can customize the open source software as well. In Brazil, officers noticed they had to pull the phone off their chest to press the button then reattach the phone. The department worked with the software developers to update the process, and now officers press the volume up button to start recording and volume down to stop.

The Jersey City Police Department is the first department in the United States to test the app. After months of testing the app with 10 officers, the department is expected to roll out the program to as many as 250 officers. Jersey City Chief Innovation Officer Brian Platt told USA Today that the app, which has a basic free version, enables the department to look for more inexpensive storage and support services.

"The beauty of it is, because it's an app, they can make corrections and revisions and continue to develop it," Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea said.

Jigsaw CEO Jared Cohen said they hope the app allows all departments the ability to adopt recording technology at low costs.

"We hope that CopCast helps to lower the barriers to entry and lower the costs of body-worn camera systems, which improve police accountability and enhance trust with citizens," Cohen said.


Civilian who shot suspect fleeing from police arrested

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

NEWTON, Ga. — A man who shot a suspect evading police has been arrested and is facing charges.

Police attempted to pull over Terence Lee Lenox Saturday for reckless driving, but he fled and crashed, WSB TV reported. He was fleeing on foot when Marcus Pitts, 47, began chasing him with his truck.

When Pitts caught up with Lenox, he pulled a gun and shot him in the neck. Lenox was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Pitts was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Officials said Pitts was not justified in the shooting. They said he should have called police and waited for them to deal with Lenox.

“Unless you’re in the situation where a suspect is causing you to be in fear of your life or serious bodily injury, or a death, you cannot use deadly force,” Capt. Craig Treadwell said.


‘Donut Boy’ is on a mission to thank every cop in America

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Tyler Carach, 9, has an ambitious and astonishing goal – he wants to say “thank you” to every law enforcement officer in America.

His program is called “I donut need a reason to thank a cop” and it’s become a national phenomenon.

Tyler’s mission began on August 1, 2016, when he and his mother walked into a local corner store. Tyler noticed four deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office eating lunch in the back and he said, “A cop’s favorite drink is coffee and their favorite food is donuts, right?”

He then asked his mom, Sheena, if he could use his own money to buy them some donuts. He selected four packs of mini donuts and took them to the officers, who were overjoyed. Tyler shook their hands and thanked them for their service.

“When we left, Tyler asked me why the cops were so happy about the donuts, and I explained that officers were having a hard time right now and they were under attack,” Sheena said. “We talked about how some people do not understand that you can never judge a whole basket of apples by a few bad ones and I explained how that related to all ‘groups’ in life. Tyler looked at me very seriously and stated, ‘Okay, I am going to buy donuts for every cop in America and tell them all thank you.’ I was speechless.”

From a simple gesture to a national campaign

So far Tyler has delivered more than 6,000 donuts to LEOs, with a goal of delivering 10,000 more this summer. He has nine events in his local area in the Florida Panhandle, then will attend 30 different events during a six-week road trip to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Delaware.

“I like to thank cops,” Tyler told PoliceOne. “I’m getting ready to go on a road trip and thank a lot of cops. I’m going to thank them with donuts.”

Tyler’s first large-scale event was held for 420 ECSO deputies. His second event was at the Flomaton Police Department in Alabama. He has since visited police departments in Oregon, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Word about “Donut Boy” has got around. A radio program called The Liz and Reilly Show flew the pair out to Oregon to donate donuts provided by Bizzy Jeans Donuts – a popular local favorite – to multiple departments.

“By the time we returned to Florida from Oregon,” Sheena said, “we had received a message from Inside Edition and they did a piece on Tyler and his trip to Oregon.”

In November 2016, Tyler turned nine and when Sheena asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he asked to spend the day thanking more cops.

Sheena said, “I must say we pulled off the most epic birthday ever – ‘Birthday with the Blue.’ Our friends at Krispy Kreme contributed 2,004 donuts and 700 cups of coffee, and I handmade 500 cupcakes. Tyler had written a tribute song for police, which we debuted at the event. His smiles and laughs were priceless. And the officers’ faces even more priceless.”

The Steve Harvey Show invited Tyler to share his program on national television. During his TV debut, Tyler received a check for $5,000 from Boxed.com. During their trip to Chicago for that television appearance, they visited with the fine men and women of the Chicago Police Department.

Tyler’s story includes being awarded the National George Washington Honor Medal from The Freedoms Foundation and a National Youth Activist Award in Social Justice. He has been a guest speaker at the Georgia Chief of Police Conference. Recently he was a guest speaker at the C.O.P.S. gathering during National Police Week, where he thanked the families of the fallen for their sacrifices.

It is a total team effort

How does Tyler – remember, this is a nine-year-old boy – and his family afford to buy all of those donuts? It begins with Tyler earning money at home by doing chores around his family’s farm, but the rest comes from the kindness of strangers.

For example, when Tyler and Sheena were in Oregon, it just so happened that they were staying at the same hotel as the PBR riders – professional bull riding – and they met Chad Berger, the gentleman who owns all the bulls for PBR.

“He was asking Tyler about his cape, and Tyler told him what he was doing. He said, ‘You know what, little man? I just love what you’re doing and love what you stand for. I’m going to buy the donuts for your next event.’ He pulled out a hundred dollar bill and gave it to Tyler, and Tyler funded his next event out of that money,” Sheena said.

Both Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have supported a number of events with donated donuts. Recently, Sheena and Tyler have been in close contact with a company called ALTAI, which has offered to donate a portion of sales from a specific line of boots to Tyler’s program. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the program can purchase directly from the ALTAI online shop.

A young man on a mission

“In the near future, Tyler hopes to find an attorney to help him turn his program into a 501c3. He also hopes to meet our new president to thank him for backing our men and women in blue. He would like to address the nation and thank all of the cops and he said the president may be able to let him do that, or Ellen!” Sheena said.

“Tyler may be a little guy, but he has a heart the size of an ocean and it is filled with passion for our men and women in blue,” Sheena said. “One thing Tyler has always said is that he wants to inspire other people to like cops like he does and maybe even want to be one because of shortages there are in police departments right now.”

One of the hallmarks of good parenting is instilling in children the belief that the most important thing in life is to serve others. Clearly Sheena and her husband have done an amazing job bringing up their three kids. While Tyler’s passion is cops, his sister Naudia volunteers to help underprivileged disabled children and his brother Zach’s chosen cause is protecting animals.

“I was a law enforcement officer for a little while, so I know what they go through every day,” Sheena said. “It’s been incredible for me to watch my child accomplish his dream of thanking these officers and knowing what it means to them to hear that. Because they could be having the worst day in the world and then we walk up to them and say thank you. It reminds them why they do this job.”

Tyler is truly a remarkable young man. He wants to one day serve and protect as a police officer. For now, he’s content to simply thank police officers – as many of them as possible, one donut at a time.

Follow Tyler on Instagram and Facebook.


Police arrest woman with swastika-embellished baby bottle bong

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

BANKSIA GROVE, Perth — Australian police discovered an odd smoking device embellished with a swastika.

According to WA Today, police were at the woman’s residence on an unrelated matter Sunday when they noticed a bong made out of a baby bottle on the table.

Sgt. Simon Hazell told the publication that the bong was “certainly not something we see every day.”

"With anyone who has substance abuse issues, they do anything to satisfy their addiction," he said. “They turn everything into a smoking implement. It doesn't surprise us."

The woman has been charged with possession of smoking implements.

Just when you thought you had seen it all.. LPT3 in Banksia Grove. #fb pic.twitter.com/SfzplrSvu0

— Wanneroo Police (@WannerooPolice) June 25, 2017


After crash delays trip, cop brings piece of zoo to family

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

CINCINNATI — An officer brought the zoo to an out-of-town family after their car was totaled in a wreck.

Officer Rachel Baldwin responded to the crash scene on May 28 and found a distressed 7-year-old girl who was on her way to the Cincinnati Zoo, the police department wrote on Facebook.

According to WCPO, the girl was particularly excited to see the zoo’s famed hippo, Fiona.

The car was totaled and the family had no way of getting back home. Baldwin drove them to a hotel and offered to drive them to rent a car.

After the investigation ended, Baldwin drove to the zoo, purchased a stuffed hippopotamus and gave it to the young girl.

Baldwin also paid for the family’s hotel room.


Off-duty St. Louis cop mistakenly shot by fellow officer

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Jim Suhr Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An attorney for a union representing black St. Louis police officers said Monday that an off-duty black officer who was mistakenly shot by a white colleague is willing to wait for the findings of an investigation into whether race played a role.

Rufus Tate Jr., a lawyer for the Ethical Society of Police, told The Associated Press he would closely monitor the investigation of last week's shooting, which will likely take months. A police spokesman declined to discuss the matter.

Tate would not publicly identify the 38-year-old officer, saying the union isn't authorized to do so at this time. He said the injury to the officer's right arm are debilitating and will require "lots of therapy and good fortune."

Police said the white officer shot the black one because he didn't recognize him after a shootout between police and three black car theft suspects. Police said the black officer was off-duty when he heard the gunfire near his home and ran toward it with his service weapon to try to help. Tate said Monday the wounded officer had his badge in hand at all times.

Police said two on-duty officers ordered him to the ground but then recognized him and told him to stand up and walk toward them. As he was doing so, another officer — 36 years old and an eight-year veteran of the force — arrived and shot the off-duty officer "apparently not recognizing" him, police said.

Two of the three suspects, including one shot by police in an ankle, were arrested at the scene and have been charged. The third suspect remains at large.

During an interview last week with a St. Louis television station, Tate questioned the white officer's account to police that he shot the off-duty officer because he feared for his safety. "There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared," Tate told KTVI then.

Tate, a former prosecutor, appeared to soften that Monday, telling the AP that "emotions run high on both sides of the question."

"People say this was just an accident; others say it was racially motivated because it absolutely makes no sense," Tate said. "From the union's perspective, yes, there were concerns why the officer was shot under the circumstances. As to whether he was shot because he was black, that'll come out in the internal investigation, and we'll go from there.

"My job now is to make sure the (special unit probing the shooting) dots every 'I' and crosses every 't' in determining whether the physical evidence matches up with whatever the (shooting) officer's oral testimony is," he added.

Tate said any decision about a lawsuit over the shooting was premature, saying the wounded officer "is not particularly interested in that until we have a full investigation of the circumstances."

Until then, Tate said, the shooting should spur renewed evaluation of police training and other policy matters, including the adoption of psychological assessments of officers from their time in training academies and through their careers.

"Is there something that can be tested and identified that would give us a likelihood of officers pulling the trigger sooner?" he said. "I'm not saying that was the case here or not, but we have to have those assessments as a matter of routine."

A police spokeswoman, Schron Jackson, said Monday that the city's acting police chief was unavailable to discuss the matter and that "it would be premature to comment any further until the investigation has concluded."

Black off-duty St. Louis officer shot by white officer https://t.co/OArvoedtTR pic.twitter.com/tRlRifzQkP

— FOX2now (@FOX2now) June 24, 2017


Conn. PD mourns loss of 1st K-9

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. — The first K-9 officer to join the North Haven Police Department died Saturday.

Police wrote on Facebook that Zeus, an 8-year-old K-9, had a cancerous stomach tumor that was recently detected. The tumor ruptured and he suffered internal bleeding.

During his six years of service, Zeus completed several successful searches and detainments of fleeing suspects.

The department wrote that “Zeus’s passing is a great loss to the North Haven Police Department, as well as the community.”

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It is with great sadness, we are announcing the passing of North Haven Police Department’s first K-9, Zeus. K-9 Zeus...

Posted by North Haven Police Department on Saturday, June 24, 2017


Colo. officer critical after fighting DUI suspect

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

EDGEWATER, Colo. — An officer is in critical condition after fighting a DUI suspect.

Officers were pursuing Connor Michael Dougherty after he refused to stop his motorized scooter for suspected DUI Friday, the Denver Post reported. He crashed in a local parking lot and fought officers as they attempted to detain him.

During the struggle, Cpl. Michael Nesbitt suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest and was transported to the hospital in critical condition, KUSA reported. Dougherty was treated for his injuries and released to police.

Police said Saturday afternoon that Nesbitt has made “guarded improvement” but was still critical.

Dougherty faces several charges including second-degree assault of a peace officer.


Search continues for suspect who shot NY officer

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Police are still searching for a suspect who shot an officer Saturday night.

Officer Jeremy Nash, 36, and other officers were responding to an unrelated 911 call when the shooting occurred, WGRZ reported. Police Chief Michael Ciminelli said Nash was shot near the face. His injuries were not considered life-threatening and he is in stable condition, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.

Police did not release a description of the suspect, but are asking the public to call 911 or Crime Stoppers if they have any information about the shooting.

Chief Ciminelli told the Democrat & Chronicle they are investigating whether or not the officers were targeted.

"Under the circumstances, it's certainly something we have to take into consideration as we conduct our investigation," he said. "At this point, I'm going to put my personal beliefs aside and we're going to look for evidence and facts and we'll go wherever it leads us."

(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, shooting of Officer Nash

Chief Ciminelli's press conference regarding the shooting of RPD Officer Nash.

Posted by Rochester NY Police Department on Sunday, June 25, 2017

On @News_8 at 6:RPD search for gunman who shot & srsly injured officer Jeremy Nash. Team coverage @AdamChodak @SolinaLewis @emilyrnoonan pic.twitter.com/rEhjBsAMb3

— Maureen McGuire (@MaureenMcGuire8) June 25, 2017 (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'));

Response audio from moments after Rochester Police Officer Jeremy Nash was shot Saturday night.

Posted by News 8 WROC Rochester on Sunday, June 25, 2017


Philando Castile family reaches $3M settlement in death

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Amy Forliti Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last year, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement in his death, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the Minneapolis suburb that employed the officer.

The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile, who is the trustee for her family in the case, will avoid a federal wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Philando Castile's death. The 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was killed by St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop July 6 after Castile told the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun.

The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile's girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges earlier this month. The jury's decision prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests.

The $2.995 million settlement will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony. It requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks. The statement from the city and Castile's attorneys says no taxpayer money will be used to fund the settlement.

Robert Bennett, who along with attorney Glenda Hatchett is representing Valerie Castile, said the idea behind the settlement was to move expeditiously rather than have the case drawn out in federal court, a process that would "exacerbate and reopen terrible wounds." The settlement will also allow the family, the city and community to work toward healing, Bennett said.

"No amount of money could ever replace Philando," the joint statement said. "With resolution of the claims the family will continue to deal with their loss through the important work of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation."

A Facebook page for the nonprofit foundation says it was established to help victims of gun violence and to provide relief for the grieving.

During his trial, Yanez, 29, testified that Castile ignored his commands not to pull out his gun. The officer said he feared for his life. According to squad-car video that captured the shooting, Castile said: "I'm not pulling it out" before Yanez fired seven rapid shots. Castile's last words after the shooting were "I wasn't reaching ..."

Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, later said Castile was reaching for his wallet.

The squad-car video shows the shooting, but does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez saw, leaving room for reasonable doubt.

After Yanez's acquittal, the city of St. Anthony said it was offering Yanez a "voluntary separation agreement" from the police department, and he would no longer be an on-duty officer. The department serves the cities of St. Anthony, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, where the shooting occurred.


Pa. police chief loses part of arm in fireworks accident

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania police chief has lost part of his arm following a fireworks accident at the town's fireman's carnival.

Karen Diebold says her son and Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold is in stable and in good spirits nonetheless because of the outpouring of community support.

Police say the 39-year-old chief was lighting a mortar when one went off and exploded into him. The chief reportedly runs a local fireworks business and was licensed to handle them.

The chief was being treated at UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh.

A prayer vigil for the chief was held Sunday night at the Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company.

State police are continuing to investigate the accident.


Sheriff Joe on trial over immigration actions

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jacques Billeaud Associated Press

PHOENIX — The immigration rhetoric and crackdowns pushed by President Donald Trump have a familiar ring in Arizona, where former Sheriff Joe Arpaio once used similar tactics to become a national figure.

Now, Arpaio is going on trial on a criminal charge stemming from those immigration enforcement actions.

The eight-day trial that begins Monday in federal court in Phoenix will determine whether the 85-year-old retired lawman is guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court for disobeying a judge's order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. The judge later found his officers racially profiling Latinos.

Arpaio's legal troubles played a major role in voters turning him out of office in November after a campaign in which he appeared alongside Trump at several rallies in Arizona.

The former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix has acknowledged defying the judge's 2011 order in a racial profiling lawsuit by prolonging the patrols for months. But he insists it was not intentional. To win a conviction, prosecutors must prove he violated the order on purpose.

If convicted, Arpaio could face up to six months in jail, though lawyers who have followed his case doubt that a man of his age would be put behind bars.

For nine of his 24 years in office, Arpaio did the sort of local immigration enforcement that Trump has advocated. To build his highly touted deportation force, Trump is reviving a long-standing program that deputizes local officers to enforce federal immigration law.

Unlike other local police leaders who left immigration enforcement to U.S. authorities, Arpaio made hundreds of arrests in traffic patrols that sought out immigrants and business raids in which his officers targeted immigrants who used fraudulent IDs to get jobs.

His immigration powers were eventually stripped away by the courts and federal government, culminating with the 2013 ruling that Arpaio's officers profiled Latinos.

Arpaio's defense centers around what his attorneys said were weaknesses in the court order that failed to acknowledge times when deputies would detain immigrants and later hand them over to federal authorities.

Jack Wilenchik, an Arpaio attorney, said the former sheriff is charged with a crime for cooperating with U.S. immigration officials, which the Trump administration now encourages.

"This is really just a fight about immigration law and what it means," Wilenchik said. "And Arpaio is trying to do what a good cop does, which is to enforce the law."

His critics hope the case will bring a long-awaited comeuppance for the lawman who led crackdowns that divided immigrant families and escaped accountability.

The judge concluded that Arpaio ignored the order because he believed his immigration enforcement efforts would help his 2012 campaign. The TV interviews, news releases and tough talk about America's border woes that Arpaio used over the years to boost his popularity are now being used against him in court.

The sheriff's office issued a news release a week after the judge told it to stop the patrols saying it would continue to enforce immigration laws. Arpaio also gave a March 2012 TV interview in which he said his office was still detaining immigrants who were in the country illegally.

The retired lawman lost a request to prohibit prosecutors from mentioning comments he made about immigration during his last three campaigns.

It's not known whether Arpaio will testify in his defense.


Mo. county police officers getting a 30 percent pay raise

Posted on June 26, 2017 by in POLICE

By Stephen Deere St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County police officers’ average pay will jump by roughly 30 percent next year under a new wage scale announced Thursday by County Executive Steve Stenger.

Some officers will receive raises of more than 40 percent, thanks to county voters who approved Proposition P, a sales tax increase in St. Louis County that passed in April.

Hiring more police officers and boosting salaries were the stated goals of the ballot proposal.

The tax increase will generate $80 million a year, Stenger said, with $46 million going to the county and the remainder to be distributed to other police departments in the county.

In addition to the large pay boost for current officers, new officers will start at an 8 percent higher base pay.

“It helps ensure that we will be able to attract and retain the best and the brightest new and experienced officers,” Stenger said.

The raises are expected to cost $14.6 million.

The current wage scale for St. Louis County police patrol officers starts at $48,256 base pay per year and tops out at $70,980, said St. Louis County Police Association President Joe Patterson. But unlike other collective bargaining agreements that give officers raises based on their years of service, the county officers’ current agreement doesn’t compel the county to increase pay until there are additional revenue streams — such as the one provided with the passage of Proposition P.

As a result, the average pay for a St. Louis County patrol officer has remained stagnant at roughly $51,000. Dozens of officers who have worked for the county for 10 years still earn $48,256 in base pay, Patterson said.

Under the wage scale announced Thursday, officers will start at $52,208 and then earn 80 cents more per hour every year thereafter. The new scale tops out at $77,168 for officers who have served the county for 15 years.

The scale will provide some astonishing raises. For example, officers with 10 years of service now making $48,256 in base pay per year will see their base pay jump to $68,848 — a 42 percent increase.

And it will cause average pay to climb to $66,000 per year.

Patterson said it will put county officers in the top 60th percentile in terms of pay for the region.

As an added bonus, the new county police pay matrix also will give officers credit for every five years served. Patterson said all police agencies are struggling to find new recruits, so attracting seasoned officers is going to be the quickest way to get to the department’s goal of hiring 150 officers.

Stenger said the $105 million per year that the police department receives from the county’s general fund will not change.

Stenger said the new wage scale is dependent on the council’s approval.

Council Chairman Sam Page said he has yet to see the numbers but looked forward to the proposal.

Though the raises are much appreciated, Patterson cautioned that years without raises have meant a big increase like this one only brings the department in line with its peers.

“This is the first major pay increase we’ve had in years, so (officers) are not exactly jumping for joy,” Patterson said. “They feel validated that now they are being recognized for their services as they should be, but it’s not like we’re doing backflips. It’s been a long, hard road to get here.

“But for the first time ever, we have a fully funded pay matrix that sets a lighted path for these officers to start planning their careers here. With competitive pay, we’ll be able to recruit and retain the finest officers in the region.”

Union leaders in the city of St. Louis have warned that officers there will leave for better salaries in the county if city leaders do not find ways to boost their salaries as well.

“We’re not trying to snub the city,” said Patterson, who uses a grass-cutting analogy to explain his position. “If I cut my grass, and you wake up and see it and think, ‘Well, now I’ve got to cut my grass,’ I’m not going to apologize for cutting my grass.

“We’re doing the right thing out here, and we’re not going to apologize for leadership. And we’re willing to help anyone who wants to know how we made this possible.”

Patterson said he also has fielded phone calls from officers in other departments in the county who are concerned that their political leaders are not using the Proposition P money to increase their police budgets.

Patterson said his organization is willing to be the watchdog and call out any elected officials who fail to do so.

Christine Byers of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Officer attends graduation of girl he rescued in 2011

Posted on June 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NORTH BABYLON, N.Y. — A Long Island police officer has attended the high school graduation of a teen he rescued from icy waters more than six years ago.

Newsday reports that Suffolk County Police Officer Matthew DeMatteo watched Sarah Thalhammer graduate from North Babylon High School on Saturday.

Thalhammer was 11 when a dog she was walking dragged her onto the frozen Great South Bay on Jan. 17, 2011. The ice gave way about 50 yards off shore.

DeMatteo crawled onto the ice and pulled Thalhammer out, but the ice broke again. Firefighter Chris Gonzales threw them a rope and pulled them both to safety.

Thalhammer's mother invited DeMatteo to her daughter's graduation.

DeMatteo said Thalhammer is going to do great things and he's "very, very proud of her."

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Six years ago, Suffolk County Police Officer Matthew DeMatteo saved a then-11-year-old Sarah Thalhammer from drowning in Sayville. Today, DeMatteo was invited by Thalhammer's family to watch her graduate from North Babylon high School. FiOS1's Patricia Nicolas has the story.

Posted by Verizon FiOS1 - Long Island on Saturday, June 24, 2017


High police, fire pension rates send Ariz. lawmakers scrambling

Posted on June 25, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PHOENIX — A group of Arizona House lawmakers is launching an effort aimed at cutting the soaring costs to communities of police and fire pensions, with its leader warning that cities could end up declaring bankruptcy if legislators fail to act.

The new committee announced by House Speaker J.D. Mesnard comes just over a year after 70 percent of voters approved changes to the state's public safety pension plan designed to return it to solvency in 20 years.

The voter approval and separate legislative overhauls to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, known as PSPRS, couldn't address current costs because the state Constitution bans cuts to promised pensions. Instead, they established less generous and lower-cost pensions for new hires and changed how current cost-of-living increases are calculated, a switch intended to stabilize the system over time.

Republican Rep. Noel Campbell of Prescott said he understands the difficult task ahead but believes the pension issue requires urgent attention, calling the debt load a "tsunami."

"We have to start taking a hard look at this because my fear is that two, three years down the road here, cities, municipalities will start filing (bankruptcy)," Campbell said Friday.

There are 230 different entities — cities, town, counties and fire districts — in the PSPRS plan, and each is responsible for its own liabilities in the plan. Employers have seen median contribution rates soar to an average of 52 percent of each officer's salary as the value of the pension plan failed to meet expected returns to meet its obligations. A decade ago, the rate was 21 percent, and just last year it was 42 percent.

Some cities, including Bisbee and Prescott, are paying much higher rates. Bisbee is paying 134 percent of an officer's salary in pension costs, according to plan records. It has $10.8 million in liabilities and only $800,000 in assets on the books.

The state's largest city, Phoenix, also is struggling with soaring pension costs. The City Council voted Wednesday to ask the state pension plan to allow it to pay off its outstanding debt of $2.4 billion over 30 years instead of 20, a change made possible by a new state law. Phoenix has seen its yearly costs for police and fire pensions soar to $207 million from just $56 million in 2007.

As of last June 30, plan members are owed $14.5 billion in retirement benefits and PSPRS has just $6.4 billion in assets.

Mesnard appointed five Republicans and two Democrats to examine possible solutions, with Campbell chairing the effort. The committee plans a series of meetings across the state, followed by four formal meetings at the Capitol.

Campbell says part of the committee's job is to raise awareness about the looming problems.

"It's amazing in talking about this issue how few legislators know anything about it — it's not something being brought to their attention," Campbell said.

Campbell said one of the big problems is that the pension fund hasn't come near to meeting the 7½ percent return its actuaries anticipated. Its 10-year average return is less than 5 percent. In addition, generous benefits have sapped returns.

The 2016 overhaul addressed another major cause of plan underfunding, cost-of-living adjustments. The way the plan was set up, excess earnings were put into a fund that doles out automatic increases of up to 4 percent in most years. The problem is that when the overall pension fund had losses, as it did during the Great Recession, excess cash in flush years couldn't make up the difference because it is sent to the cost-of-living adjustment fund.

Prescott, Campbell's hometown, has nearly $80 million in unfunded liabilities and plans to ask voters in August to raise city sales taxes from 2 percent to 2.75 percent. Campbell said people are angry about the proposed tax increase, and he worries it won't put a dent in the pension debt.

More worrisome, he said, are the state Constitution's limits on cutting promised pensions may crimp any efforts to reform the system.

"I don't know if there is a solution because ... the constitution prevents any reduction or diminution of retirement benefits," he said.


Seattle police: No choice but lethal force in fatal shooting

Posted on June 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SEATTLE — Two Seattle police officers who shot and killed a 30-year-old pregnant woman each say they fired their weapons after the woman suddenly pulled a knife and came after them.

The Seattle Police Department late Friday released transcripts of interviews with the officers involved in the June 18 fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles, the Seattle Times reported.

The two officers say they had no choice but to use lethal force after Lyles, a mother of four, tried to stab Officer Jason Anderson in the stomach and cornered Officer Steven McNew in the kitchen.

Family members, who previously expressed concerns about her mental health after Lyles threatened officers with long metal shears less than two weeks before the shooting, question why the officers didn't use nonlethal methods to subdue the petite woman and have suggested race played a role. Lyles was black, and the officers were white.

The officers responded to the apartment on June 18 after Lyles reported a burglary. Anderson told investigators that the officers were talking with Lyles and he was looking at his notebook when Lyles pulled a knife from about 3 feet away.

Anderson told investigators, according to the transcript, that he "was jumping back, uh, kind of sucking my abdomen in trying to avoid getting stabbed in the stomach."

Anderson said "just the look on her face changed completely from when I had been talking to her a second early."

Anderson said Lyles advanced from around a counter into the kitchen toward McNew, telling investigators that "at that moment I was in, in fear that she was gonna try and kill my partner, um, 'cause she was going after him," according to the transcript. "I don't know at what point she changed her focus from, from me to Steve, um, but as she started turning the corner to go after Steve, that's when I, um, that's when I shot."

McNew told investigators Lyles had him trapped in the kitchen and was closing the distance between them.

"And at that point, fearing for what was about to happen, what she would do to me, um, being stuck in that spot, I fired my handgun," he told investigators, noting he remembered hearing shots coming from Anderson's location.

"She hit the floor," McNew said. "She, I didn't see her movement, but when she landed on the floor she landed face down."

Lyles had four children, and three of them — ages 11, 4 and 1 — were at home when she called police.

After the shooting, McNew said, "one of the little babies crawls out from behind and right on top of her . her . upper body, you know resting his head against her."

McNew picked up the child, and a third officer who arrived began giving first aid to Lyles.

Along with the transcripts, police also released images of what appear to be kitchen knives as well as a diagram of Lyles' apartment.

Anderson told investigators he wasn't carrying a Taser because the battery had died two weeks earlier. But he said that he wouldn't have used it in that situation because he was trained to use lethal force when being attacked by someone with a knife.

McNew's transcript is about 29 pages, while Anderson's transcript is about 60 pages.


Colo. officer escorting Pence motorcade seriously injured in crash

Posted on June 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs motorcycle officer has been injured in an accident while escorting Vice President Mike Pence's motorcade to the city's airport.

Police Lt. Howard Black told The Gazette the accident happened at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Officer Andrew Holland, an eight-year veteran of the force, was in serious condition.

No other vehicles were involved, and Pence's motorcade continued to the airport.

Pence said in a Tweet released by the police department that he'd spoken with the officer's wife and was "so relieved his injuries are not life-threatening."

Pence was in Colorado Springs to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family. He also visited Schriever Air Force Base, home to the Air Force Space Command.


Protesters disrupt Minn. Pride Parade after Castile verdict

Posted on June 25, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Anti-police protesters are disrupting the Twin Cities Pride Parade over the police shooting of Philando Castile.

Sunday's parade was disrupted just minutes after getting underway in downtown Minneapolis. WCCO-AM reports about 200 protesters began marching down Hennepin Avenue and at one point, staged a die-in.

Parade organizers on Friday invited police to participate in the annual parade after initially asking police to minimize their participation due to tensions over a jury's recent acquittal of a Minnesota officer who fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop last year. But Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is the city's first openly gay police chief, called that decision "divisive."

Protesters chanted "No justice, no peace, no pride in police" and carried signs reading "Justice for Philando" and "Black Lives Matter."

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Here's a live look at the Twin Cities Pride Parade, where protesters demonstrating against the verdict in the Philando Castile shooting are blocking Hennepin Avenue.

Posted by WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota on Sunday, June 25, 2017

Protesters have blocked the Twin Cities #PrideParade. pic.twitter.com/vCUyuFofeF

— Just Sylvan Please (@sylvan_wolf) June 25, 2017


Seattle body cameras stalled over contract talks

Posted on June 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Miletich The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — More than a month after a federal judge approved the Seattle Police Department’s long-awaited proposal to equip officers with body cameras, the timing for the rollout remains clouded amid tense labor negotiations.

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, which has a history of trading wage hikes for reforms, has asked for extra pay of about 1 ½ percent for officers who wear body cameras, according to three sources familiar with the talks.

The negotiations come at a time the issue has come under sharper scrutiny after no video evidence was captured of Sunday’s highly charged fatal shooting of a 30-year-old African-American woman by two white Seattle police officers in her Northeast Seattle apartment.

Only audio of the confrontation was recorded, leaving many questions about what occurred when the officers shot the woman, Charleena Lyles, after she allegedly displayed two knives.

On the recording, the two officers can be heard calmly speaking with Lyles in her apartment after she reported a burglary. Moments into the exchange, one officer shouts “Get back! Get back! Get back!”

One officer tells his partner to “Tase her.” But the second officer responds, “I don’t have a Taser.”

There are several more commands to “get back” before they open fire on Lyles as at least one child could be heard crying in the background.

U.S. District Judge James Robart’s approval last month of the SPD’s body-camera proposal cleared the way for the city to begin formal talks with the guild over equipping patrol officers.

Robart is presiding over a 2012 consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and the city, mandating Seattle police adopt reforms to address excessive force and biased policing. The decree requires all use of force be fully, fairly and accurately reported, investigated and reviewed.

Robart and his court-appointed monitor, Merrick Bobb, have pushed for body cameras.

Guild President Kevin Stuckey couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, and guild Vice President Sgt. Rich O’Neill, who has been representing the union in the talks, hung up the phone after telling a reporter, “I’m not interested.”

The guild, which represents about 1,275 officers and sergeants, has been working without a new contract since the end of 2014.

Last July, its members overwhelmingly rejected a tentative, four-year contract with the city, prompting further negotiations over wages and management rights that would give the police chief more authority over promotions, rotations and transfers.

The body-camera discussion has been drawn into those negotiations, with the guild’s request for extra pay in line with other cities where the issue has arisen, one source said.

There is still room to reach agreement, a second source said, even as contract talks overseen by a mediator recently reached a stalemate. A last-ditch effort was under way to avoid the rare step of turning to binding arbitration, according to the first source.

City Council President Bruce Harrell, who has long pushed for body cameras, said Wednesday he has favored separating the body-camera issue from the larger contract negotiations and moving forward with the rollout.

He said he hoped the guild would voluntarily agree to that, but he was willing to risk a legal challenge from the union on whether the cameras represent a change of working conditions that must be negotiated.

“I’ve never believed it has to be bargained,” Harrell said.

In past years, guild members in 2000 voted down a contract that included new civilian oversight, ratifying it only after the city sweetened its salary offer.

In 2008, O’Neill, who was then guild president, made Seattle police officers the highest paid law-enforcement officers in the state under a labor contract in which the union conceded to 29 recommendations aimed at improving police accountability.

Acting behind the scenes, O’Neill led the successful effort to defeat last year’s proposed contract, according to sources familiar with his efforts.

During O’Neill’s tenure as guild president from 2006 to 2014, he garnered a reputation as a staunch defender of collective-bargaining rights who worked tirelessly for his members.

But he alienated people in city government and the community with comments that excessive-force complaints had been overblown, and SPOG’s newspaper, The Guardian, published articles bitterly attacking the Justice Department.

In 2013, after the federal reforms were agreed upon, O’Neill struck a more conciliatory tone, saying it was time to put aside complaints and “move forward” with the changes.

At a court hearing last August, Robart, pointedly reacting to the union’s rejection of last year’s tentative contract, said he would not let the labor group hold the city “hostage” by linking wages to constitutional policing.

“To hide behind a collective- bargaining agreement is not going to work,” Robart said.

Information from Seattle Times is included in this story. Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or smiletich@seattletimes.com On Twitter @stevemiletich

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©2017 The Seattle Times


NYPD campaign focuses on good Samaritan law

Posted on June 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — With drug overdoses increasing this year at a faster pace than 2016, the NYPD and other city officials on Wednesday kicked off a public service campaign designed to encourage people who are overdosing to call 911 without fear of being arrested.

The campaign will include ads on mobile billboards, in subways, busses, ferry terminals and social media venues in an effort to let both drug users and those trying to help that the state’s good Samaritan law protects them from being prosecuted in the event of an overdose.

“Right now we are seeing a significant number of our New Yorkers struggling with drug abuse who could use our help,” said NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker at a Wednesday news conference announcing the program.

Because the Bronx and Staten Island have the most overdose deaths, the billboards will travel the streets in those boroughs, Tucker said.

The good Samaritan law allows people to call 911 to seek medical help for someone overdosing on drugs or alcohol without fear of being arrested. One exception to the protection is if the person is in possession of at least eight ounces of a controlled substance.

In 2016, the city recorded 1,374 overdose deaths, compared to about 980 in 2015. Of those deaths, 82 percent were attributed to opioid use, police said. So far this year, the city has recorded 432 such deaths compared to 359 in the same period a year ago, an increase of 20 percent, said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. Officials said the spike in deaths is attributed to the use of fentanyl to boost the effects of heroin.

“Call 911, alert the authorities if you see someone showing signs of an overdose,” Tucker said. “In doing so, you can save that person’s life. We encourage you to do so and not worry about helping because you will be protected by our state’s good Samaritan law.”

Tucker said the department and the FDNY have had success using the antidote naloxone to revive people who have overdosed.

———

©2017 Newsday


Man accused of killing Ark. deputy, 2 others takes plea deal

Posted on June 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to killing a sheriff's deputy and two other people last month.

Little Rock television station KATV reports James Arthur Bowden was sentenced Friday after taking a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Bowden was accused in the killings of Yell County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Kevin Mainhart, 61-year-old Rita Miller and 17-year-old Ciera Miller. Family members have said the Millers were relatives of Bowden's girlfriend.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Bowden addressed the families of the three people killed in court Friday.

"I'm really sorry about what happened," Bowden said. "I can't be forgiven, so I won't ask."

According to an affidavit, authorities accused Bowden of shooting Mainhart during a traffic stop, then killing Rita Miller and Ciera Miller at a nearby home about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.

Bowden surrendered to police after an hours-long standoff at a house near Dardanelle, in which he was accused of holding his girlfriend hostage. The woman was eventually let go.

Always remember: Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart, Yell County Sheriff's Department, Arkansas https://t.co/bb2JdCmZYn pic.twitter.com/4iiWQdSJFR

— MHP Jackson (@MHPTroopC) May 11, 2017

Bowden's sister, Julie Inmon, previously told The Associated Press after the shootings that her brother was mentally ill and that she spoke to her brother by phone during the standoff. She said her brother has taken anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants for his mental illness in the past.

Authorities have not confirmed that.

Mainhart was an officer in Yell County for five years and had previously worked for the West Memphis Police Department for more than 20 years. He is the first of two Arkansas police officers to be killed in the line of duty this year.

Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford was fatally shot earlier this month while investigating a break-in in Newport, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.


Trooper saves fawn after mother dies

Posted on June 24, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Price The Charlotte Observer

JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. — A trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol is winning hearts on social media for refusing to abandon a fawn that was born seconds after its mother was hit by a car in Jackson County.

The incident, first reported in the Sylva Herald, happened June 15, when a motorist hit and killed a full-grown deer in the Barker’s Creek area northwest of Sylva.

Trooper Rocky Deitz was called to the crash scene and discovered the impact of the collision had caused the doe to give birth. The fawn was lying in a ditch, it was reported. “I had to do something with it to give it a fair chance,’’ he was quoted as saying.

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When he saw a fawn lying in a ditch, this state trooper couldn’t leave it to die. A motorist hit and killed a...

Posted by The Sylva Herald on Thursday, June 22, 2017

The trooper wrapped the newborn buck in a cloth and took it home, where his family has been tending it, including bottle feedings. They are also teaching it to walk, he told the newspaper.

Buckshot, as they named the baby, will be taken to a fawn rehabilitation center in Henderson County, it was reported. Keeping such animals as pets is illegal in North Carolina.

Coverage of the rescue has won praise for the trooper, with many thanking him for not leaving the newborn to die in a ditch.

“Good job Rocky Deitz!!! You have a heart just like your Mom!” posted Eloise Galloway on Facebook.

“One in a million, wonderful man!” said Shannon O'Donovan.

“That is awesome Rocky Dietz. I hope the baby makes it,” posted Darlene Marie Tiedge on the Sylva Herald’s Facebook page.

———

©2017 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


Calif. beehive heists lead to felony charges

Posted on June 24, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Scott Smith Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — Two California men have been charged with a string of felony counts stemming from a criminal case that created a buzz among beekeepers across the country, authorities said Thursday.

The men charged with possessing more than 1,200 stolen beehives could each spend more than a decade in jail if convicted, the Fresno County District Attorney's Office said.

The case stems from a tip in April that led investigators to Pavel Tveretinov, 51, and Vitaliy Yeroshenko, 48, at work among stacks of mismatched beehives on a field outside Fresno.

Bees are a key part of the agriculture industry in California, the nation's most productive farming state. Beekeepers from around the country truck in their beehives and rent them to farmers to pollinate their flowering crops, such as almonds.

Investigators have said the beehives had been stolen during the night over more than two years from orchards in several California counties. The victims were beekeepers as far away as Missouri, Montana and North Dakota.

The two Sacramento-area men are charged with nine felony counts of receiving stolen property.

While announcing the break in the case in May, Fresno County Sheriff's investigators said they had netted 2,500 stolen beehives valued at nearly $1 million.

Charges filed by prosecutors on Thursday, however, estimate 1,200 beehives valued at $200,000. Prosecutors based their charges on the reports they received from investigators, said Geri Benavides, a spokeswoman for the office.

An attorney representing Yeroshenko could not be reached by The Associated Press for comment. Authorities have issued a warrant seeking his arrest.

Defense attorney Andrew Kalnoki dismissed the validity of the case filed against Tveretinov, who was booked into jail with bail set at $267,750.

"The charges have no factual or legal basis," Kalnoki said. "We are going to put forth a very vigorous defense."


Huge stuffed cow saves 2-year-old boy after fall out window

Posted on June 24, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHELSEA, Mass. — Police in Massachusetts are crediting a huge stuffed cow with saving 2-year-old boy who fell out of a second-story window and onto concrete below.

It happened Wednesday in Chelsea.

Police say the boy was playing in a bedroom with his 12-year-old sister and bouncing on the bed when he bounced right out of the window. He fell 16 feet onto the concrete. Luckily, he was holding onto the cow, which broke his fall.

2 year old child from yesterday is doing fine. He was held overnight at MGH for observation. Thankfully the stuffed cow broke his fall. pic.twitter.com/rWclFUey1x

— Chief Brian Kyes (@ChiefKyes) June 22, 2017

The boy's great uncle, Luis Estrada, tells WCVB-TV that the 2-year-old takes the stuffed animal with him everywhere.

The boy has some cuts and was taken to a hospital overnight for observation, but has since been released.

Police wrote on Twitter that the boy is doing fine.


Photos: Cops honor their four-legged partners on #BringYourDogToWorkDay

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Today is #BringYourDogToWorkDay, and while some cops take their dogs to work every day, police departments still took the opportunity to pay tribute to their four-legged partners in crime fighting. Take a look at this photo roundup and share your photos with us on our Facebook page.


Hero off-duty cop stabbed after tackling London Bridge attacker gets WWE belt

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LONDON — An cop who was stabbed while saving another officer during a terrorist attack was gifted WWE’s highest honor: the championship belt.

Charlie Guenigault was off duty when he tackled one of three suspects involved in the June 3 terror attack that left eight dead, according to the BBC. He was stabbed and suffered injuries to his leg, head, back and stomach. He was released from the hospital this past weekend.

Guenigault was surprised by wrestler Triple H in a London hotel Tuesday, the BBC reported.

"People say a lot of times that they watch WWE because these guys are like real-life superheroes. Well, Charlie is a real hero,” Triple H said. “The highest recognition a WWE superstar can get is winning the WWE Championship, but this honor is also reserved for those in real life who go above and beyond."

.@TripleH meets Charlie Guenigault, a London police officer wounded in the attack at London Bridge, to personally thank him for his heroism. pic.twitter.com/kBOn14iX08

— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2017

Guenigault received a message from wrestler Sami Zayn as well. Guenigault was wearing a Sami Zayn shirt when he was stabbed, the BBC reported. "I feel that Sami Zayn has always been the guy to stand up to the bad guys ... but you did it in the most horrific of circumstances,” Zayn said. “I hope I can display the type of bravery that you displayed, that you embody, the kind of heroism that you showed. I want to thank you for everything you do and I hope you continue to do well."

Last night, @TripleH paid a visit to heroic London police officer Charlie Guenigault, and brought with him this message from @iLikeSamiZayn. pic.twitter.com/89h96guwkg

— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2017

Guenigault, a big WWE fan, said “it was an absolute pleasure to meet” Triple H.

"My comments when he first walked in the room are probably not suitable for a PG audience," he said.


Gang member charged in cop killing: ‘I should have smoked ’em quicker’

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

WHITTIER, Calif. — A gang member charged with murder in the shooting death of a police officer made disturbing comments about the slaying in a taped interview conducted in a jail medical ward.

Michael Christopher Mejia admitted in a police interview that he shot another officer after he killed one officer and his own cousin.

Mejia’s comments were revealed Thursday during a hearing to determine if there was enough evidence for him to stand trial, NBC Los Angeles reported. Mejia, 26, is charged with murder in the fatal Feb. 20 shootings of Officer Keith Boyer and Roy Torres.

"I guess you guys have everything down — smoked my cousin, smoked the cop. ... I mean, what else do you guys want? I shot another cop," Mejia said in the interview. “I did it, I mean, I did it ... both of 'em, all three of them had it coming."

Mejia fatally shot his cousin and stole his car before crashing into two other cars. He pulled out a semi-automatic gun and opened fire on Boyer and Officer Patrick Hazell when the officers responded to the traffic collision. Hazell was shot in the abdomen and is recovering, the news station reported. Mejia had been recently released from jail at the time of the incident.

Mejia said he noticed the officers didn’t have their weapons drawn and he “delayed it.”

“I should have smoked 'em quicker,” he said.

When asked if he had anything to say to the Whittier Police Department, Mejia said they needed to “train your guys better.”

“They just got a taste of an L.A. gang member, real L.A. gang member. You know what I mean? And, nope, I don't feel sorry," he said.

Prosecutors have yet to decide if they will seek the death penalty against Mejia. He is also charged with one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon with two prior convictions.


Armed man attempts home invasion, gets beating

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — An armed suspect who tried to break into an apartment was beaten and held down by the men he tried to rob.

Shane Feeney, 19, was hanging out with friends Sunday when he heard Calvin Carter III outside the complex, WRCB reported.

"It sounded like he was messing with a gun," Feeney said. "So I came back and I was like 'I don't know if he is, but it sounds like he's messing with a gun. I'm going to call the cops.'"

When a friend jumped out the window to get help, he was held at gunpoint by Carter. Feeney, who was on the phone with the police, took matters into his own hands when Carter asked for his phone.

"Whenever he turned around, that's when I grabbed him," Feeney said. "His forearms were still loose so he grabbed the gun out of his waist band and shot me in the leg."

Five people held Carter down until police arrived. Tucker Williams, one of the people who held Carter down, told WRCB that Carter kept wrestling with him.

"I was like 'you have one more chance please stop.' He wouldn't stop and that's when I punched him in the eye twice,” he said.

Carter is facing several charges including first degree attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

Feeney was shot in the upper thigh and is recovering at home.


Thief returns human toe used for special cocktail

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — A mummified human toe that is a part of a long-standing drink tradition has been returned after it was stolen from a hotel bar.

Hotel Manager Geri Colbourne served a couple Saturday night who asked for the special “sourtoe cocktail,” The Toronto Star reported. Colbourne was called away, and when she returned, the toe was gone.

Police told the publication that the suspect called them and said he mailed the toe back to the hotel. An apology note accompanied the toe, which is said to be in good condition. The man called the hotel and verbally apologized as well. No charges are expected.

Per tradition, drinkers must let the brown, shriveled toe touch their lips in order to join the exclusive Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

Dawson City's infamous mummified sour toe has been returned to its rightful home https://t.co/IbTgAkMSnJ pic.twitter.com/fx6iUsxmMs

— Metro News Canada (@MetroNewsCanada) June 23, 2017

Am now the apology letter that came with the return of the @SourtoeCocktail #toe for @yukonhotels ??#MysterySolved thx @YukonRCMP pic.twitter.com/w6NSRAOtwn

— * W. Brett Wilson * (@WBrettWilson) June 23, 2017


A 2nd mistrial: Jury deadlocks in Ohio cop’s murder retrial

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on charges in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

The Hamilton County jury had deliberated some 30 hours over five days after getting the case Monday. The jurors had told Judge Leslie Ghiz earlier Friday that they were unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Officer Ray Tensing, but Ghiz sent them back to try again.

The jury on Friday afternoon told the judge they were almost evenly split in their votes and didn't anticipate coming to a decision. Ghiz then declared a mistrial.

The first trial against the 27-year-old Tensing also ended in a mistrial after the jury deliberated 25 hours over four days in November without reaching a verdict. It was not immediately clear if prosecutors intend to try the case for a third time.

Tensing shot 43-year-old Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015.

As in his first trial, Tensing testified in his own defense and said he feared he could be dragged or run over as DuBose tried to drive away. He was in tears at some points.

"I meant to stop the threat," he told jurors last week. "I didn't shoot to kill him. I didn't shoot to wound him. I shot to stop his actions."

Prosecutors said repeatedly the evidence contradicted Tensing's story. An expert hired by prosecutors said his frame-by-frame analysis of the former officer's body camera video showed the officer was not being dragged by the car.

The University of Cincinnati fired Tensing last year after his indictment. It restructured its public safety department and made other policing reforms. The university reached a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose's family, including free undergraduate tuition for DuBose's 13 children.

The case is among several across the country in recent years that have raised attention to how police deal with blacks. It's also among cases that show the difficulties prosecutors face in gaining convictions against police for on-duty shootings.

A jury last week acquitted a Minnesota officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop. And jurors Wednesday acquitted a black police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of a black Milwaukee man who threw away the gun he was carrying during a brief foot chase after a traffic stop.

Jurors in the Tensing case began deliberations Monday afternoon. They submitted a question Tuesday about the location of a piece of evidence. At the end of the day, they came into the courtroom where the judge praised their work and encouraged them to "hang in there."

On Friday morning, after jurors said they were deadlocked on both murder and manslaughter charges, Ghiz sent them back to the deliberating room where, she said, "Hopefully, you're able to resolve your deadlock."

Ghiz gave the jury of nine whites and three blacks formal instructions to re-examine their views and listen to one another's opinions.

"It is your duty to decide the case if you can conscientiously do so," she said.

She declared a mistrial after they came back deadlocked for the second time.

The jury in Tensing's first trial consisted of 10 whites and two blacks.

Ghiz continues to restrict media coverage. News organizations including The Associated Press have a pending lawsuit against her restrictions on the use of cellphones and other electronic devices.

To convict Tensing of murder, jurors had to find he purposely killed DuBose. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

The voluntary manslaughter charge means killing during sudden passion or a fit of rage. That carries a possible sentence of three to 11 years.


Police bullet meant for charging dog ricochets off concrete, kills teen

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PALMDALE, Calif. — When a dog that had already bit one of them charged a group of deputies, two of them opened fire. Authorities say they did not see the teenage boy standing some 30 feet behind, who was struck down by a bullet that apparently bounced on the concrete and hit him in the chest.

The 17-year-old, who had helped to restrain the dog after the first bite, died at a hospital an hour later, turning what began as a mere early-morning noise complaint at a party in Palmdale into a freak tragedy.

The same Los Angeles County deputy that was bitten by the dog was also hit by a bullet fragment Thursday but survived. He was treated at a hospital and released.

The dog, which survived the shooting, was later euthanized.

The boy's mother, Roberta Alcantar, said his name was Armando Garcia-Muro, the eldest of four siblings about to start his senior year of high school. She said he loved dogs and planned to go into construction.

"He was a very loving person,"Alcantar told the Los Angeles Times.

Sheriff's Capt. Christopher Bergner called it an "extremely, extremely unfortunate incident," adding that it didn't appear the deputies saw the teen in the dark before they fired.

After the male pit bull first bit the deputy, Garcia-Muro restrained the dog behind the apartment complex that is also home to his mother, his aunt, and a neighbor who owns the dog. Then it broke loose and charged again.

Deputies shot and wounded the dog when it was about 10 feet away, then chased it as it tried to run back behind the building, officials said. Only then did they see that the boy, who had been standing about 40 feet away, had also remerged from behind the building and had been hit in the chest by a so-called "skip round" that had ricocheted off the pavement.

The deputies had first been called to the Palmdale complex at about 3:45 a.m. with complaints of a loud party.

Sheriff's officials said in a statement and at a news conference that they found evidence of several shots having ricocheted off the ground, and concluded that one of those most likely killed the teen.

They did not elaborate further, and a message left with one of the homicide detectives on the case was not immediately returned.


Man released from prison arrested at welcome home party

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — A man recently released from prison was arrested at his own homecoming party, along with dozens of other people.

According to WSB-TV, Mondell Whitaker’s friends were throwing him a welcome home party on June 16 at a local bar after he was released from prison the previous day. Police raided the party based on a marijuana complaint. Officers said the odor was so strong, they could smell it when they drove by the bar.

During the raid, police found drugs and arrested dozens of people for probation violations, including Whitaker, the Palm Beach Post reported.

“They are not supposed to be in establishments like that on probation or parole,” Sheriff Mike Yeager told WSB. “They're not supposed to be around alcohol and they're not supposed to be around drugs.”

The sheriff’s office said the bar has been under surveillance for months due to a history of rule-breaking. The owners have not been charged, but are under investigation.

"Pretty much everybody is doing what they want out there and that's not going to be tolerated," Yeager said.

Dozens arrested during party for local rapper released from prison. The public invitation which tipped off police.. https://t.co/upw73DXZqX pic.twitter.com/f8NR0HhqNb

— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) June 19, 2017

Hoops Bar & Grill is closed following weekend police raid. Cops founds drugs, arrested dozens for probation violations. Live @ 6:15 @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/A8hRzGtB8a

— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) June 19, 2017


Toronto chief to cops: No uniforms allowed at first responders Pride event

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TORONTO — Toronto’s police chief told officers they are free to attend a Pride event geared toward first responders as long as they’re not in uniform.

Officers were told Monday if they plan on attending the First Responders Unity Festival this weekend, they must do it on “their own time and without their uniform,” CTV News reported.

Festival organizer Bryn Hendricks said the festival aims to include LGBTQ police, firefighters, paramedics, correctional services, TTC workers and military personnel. It was created as an alternative to the Pride Toronto festival, which voted in January to remove armed, uniformed officers and police floats from marching in the parade. Pride Toronto’s Executive Director Olivia Nuamah told CTV that officers are free to take part in the official Pride parade, but without their weapons, uniforms or patrol cars.

Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack said he’s “not surprised the chief said no to officers partaking in a private event in uniform,” but is excited about an invitation from the Gay Officers Action League welcoming uniformed officers walk in New York Pride.

“The Toronto Police Association will be marching in uniform at New York City Pride where we are being welcomed in the spirit of full inclusion,” McCormack said. “We have received an enormous outpouring of support from our fellow first responders and we wish our colleagues well as they celebrate Pride.”

The LGBT liaison for the Toronto police says she would have liked to march in this weekend's Pride parade: https://t.co/2JhkYu5bqv pic.twitter.com/Xc4J4uqfD8

— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) June 23, 2017


Policing Matters Podcast: Riveting new book explores crime, race, gangs and the death penalty

Posted on June 23, 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

A new non-fiction book entitled "The Valley of the Shadow of Death — A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption" is a riveting read about crime, race, gangs, the death penalty, and African American victims of violent crime. It was co-authored by former NFL defensive back Kermit Alexander, with Criminal Justice Professors Alex Gerould and Jeff Snipes. Alexander’s mother, sister, and two nephews were brutally murdered on August 31, 1984. Publisher’s Weekly called the book a “compelling narrative that rivals a first-rate thriller,” and that description is completely accurate. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug sit down with Professor Gerould to discuss how the book came to be and what lessons it offers for readers.


LAPD officer arrested for alleged sex with cadet

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Robert Jablon Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Police Chief Charlie Beck on Thursday arrested a veteran Los Angeles police officer for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old cadet who is suspected of joyriding in stolen patrol cars.

The chief personally handcuffed Officer Robert Cain at the 77th Street Division.

"I think it's important to send a message," the chief said at a news conference, saying Cain's actions were "despicable."

Cain, 31, was booked on suspicion of having unlawful sex with a minor. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Cain, a 10-year veteran, was the 77th Street Division's equipment room operator and was involved in checking out police cars and other items, Beck said.

"It's believed that he had knowledge of and has been involved in the unlawful use of police equipment, including cars," Beck said.

Cain had no "significant history" of disciplinary actions or use-of-force complaints, the chief said.

The teen had been a cadet for three months. Text messages on her cellphone led investigators to Cain, Beck said.

So far, it doesn't appear that anybody else in the cadet program or other police officers knew of the relationship, which took place outside of the station, but the investigation continued, Beck said.

The cadet program is open to 14- to 21-year-olds and provides free training in police work, LAPD values and physical fitness. About 2,300 youths are enrolled. Cadets can perform limited duties such as traffic and crowd control at public events but they are not sworn police officers and have no official authority.

The program has been under scrutiny since cadets last week led officers on wild pursuits around the city in stolen police cars that ended with two crashing. Investigators said they used a vacationing sergeant's name to sign out the cars along with stun guns and radios.

Four other cadets — including the girl — were later arrested for allegedly riding along.

Beck has said some cadets made homemade police uniforms, impersonated police officers and made traffic stops but none of the drivers they pulled over were cited, handcuffed or had force used on them.

The stolen vehicles were taken from the 77th Street Division and the Central Division.

Beck suspended cadet programs at both divisions.

No other sworn officers or other cadets have been implicated in the cadet program scandal but an investigation continues and top detectives have been assigned, including some who worked on the infamous "Grim Sleeper" serial murder case, Beck said.

"Obviously this is not the Police Department that I want to lead," the chief said.

Allegations of sexual misconduct have turned into a full-blown scandal for the Oakland Police Department, located about 300 miles up the coast in the San Francisco Bay Area.

On Wednesday, a court-appointed investigator said city officials mishandled and downplayed allegations by a teenager that officers sexually abused her while she worked as an underage prostitute. Earlier this month, the city agreed to pay the teen nearly $1 million to settle her claims. She is pursuing similar cases against five other Bay Area law enforcement agencies.


Steam pipe explosion may have exposed officers to asbestos

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police say officers who responded to an explosion of an underground steam pipe may have been exposed to asbestos.

Detective Jeremy Silbert said in an email that Veolia North America, which operates Baltimore's steam pipe network, notified police about the possibility of asbestos exposure.

Silbert said a number of Baltimore officers were among the first responders. He says they've been informed of "necessary safety precautions."

Baltimore fire officials say 5 people injured after underground steam pipe explosion blows hole in downtown street. https://t.co/prwNJGW6ip pic.twitter.com/aCInWfYfgu

— ABC News (@ABC) June 21, 2017

The explosion Tuesday punched a huge hole in the street, damaged two nearby hotels and covered parked cars in dust, asphalt and other debris. Five people were injured.

News media outlets report that tests found low levels of asbestos at the site.

The Baltimore Sun reports that two Maryland Department of the Environment certified-asbestos contractors were at the scene of the explosion Thursday.


Stabbed airport officer battled attacker until ‘last click’ of the handcuffs

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Hasan Dudar Detroit Free Press

FLINT, Mich. — Chief Chris Miller and Lt. Dan Owen were in a conference room Wednesday planning for a meeting to evaluate how Bishop International Airport in Flint handled an airport evacuation on June 8 for what was feared to be an explosive device.

That’s when the real danger struck.

They both reported hearing a commotion going on nearby. Someone was yelling, but they couldn’t make out what was being said.

From the conference room’s large window, Owen could see airport police officer Lt. Jeff Neville and an unnamed maintenance worker wrestling with a “fairly large man.”

Owen, an airport fire and rescue worker, and Miller, the airport’s director of public safety, rushed out of the conference room, and within seconds, Owen said he and Miller were on top of the man, who was gripping a knife in his hand when they arrived on the scene.

Someone was bleeding, but Owen still didn’t know who, as he, Miller, and the maintenance worker tried to subdue the suspect, Amor M. Ftouhi, who is a dual citizen of Canada and Tunisia.

The blood was coming from Neville, who was stabbed in the neck.

Owen was able to break the suspect’s grip on the knife, and at one point in the struggle, Miller said, the knife was on the floor before it was secured.

Owen said Neville stayed in the fight until more help arrived.

“He was continuously trying to free, to get the knife out of the gentleman’s hand, and put handcuffs on him,” Owen said.

“I told him, ‘I have this guy, I have him, Jeff. Roll off, get off.’”

Miller, who handcuffed Ftouhi, said Neville didn’t stop fighting until the “last click” on the handcuffs.

“Jeff is a fighter. He’s fighting now. He wants to get out of the hospital and back to work as quick as possible,” Owen said.

Neville, who underwent surgery Wednesday, remains in a local hospital where he is recovering.

“He’s smiling, he’s talking, and he’s glad to be alive,” said Miller, who visited Neville late Wednesday.

The maintenance worker was also taken to a local hospital “under an abundance of caution,” according to airport director Craig Williams. He was treated and released the same day.

The hero and the best friend

Neville has called the maintenance man, as well as his other coworkers, a hero, Genesee County Commissioner Mark Young said.

Williams said he believes the unnamed maintenance worker's actions saved Neville's life.

"He jumped up there and did something that is courageous," Williams said during a news conference this afternoon. "I’d like to say we’d all do the same thing, but I can’t even say that I would … I can’t thank him enough."

Young, a close friend of Neville for 35 years, ever since their days together as colleagues at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, said he visited Neville on Wednesday and that the injured officer was grateful to the people who helped to subdue the suspect.

“You know, I believe that his feelings at that point in time was just that, he realizes that it could have been much worse, under the circumstances, that he was lucky that wounds weren’t much more serious,” Young said.

Young, a Democrat, refers to Neville, a Republican, as his best friend, but said there are probably a lot of people who regard the officer as their best friend.

“I mean, he’s just probably one of the best-hearted people I’ve met in my life,” Young said. “He’s really proactive as far as trying to help people, trying to minimize problems that they have. But the same point in time, he’s also a fantastic police officer.”

Young said that even though he and Neville differ politically — something that can lead to heated disputes between the two — they still share the same fundamental values.

“It’s also one of the things that we do have dialogue back and forth on,” Young said. “I think we both grow from it. We both can see the humor and see the wisdom on both sides of it."

Airport police chief Miller can tell you the exact date he and Neville met: Feb. 22, 1982.

On that day, Miller and Neville began their careers as young deputies together in the sheriff’s department. He said back then they were “just glad to be going into an honorable profession, to serve.”

Miller started working at the airport in 2000, and a Neville followed him a year later in 2001.

Miller described the day’s events as “surreal” and said that it was something he’s never experienced throughout his 17 years of service at the airport.

“We’ve never experienced one of our own being injured,” Miller said. “And for it to be someone close to me, as Jeff Neville is to me, it’s tough.”

'The good Lord is looking over all of us'

The attack took place at 9:45, just before the 10 a.m. meeting that Miller and Owen were preparing for when they heard the commotion. It was related to an incident involving an unattended bag at the airport that took place two weeks earlier and included local and state law enforcement agencies, Williams said.

"In some ways, the good Lord was looking over all of us," he said. “Because we had a lot of resources that were on site and already on the way to the airport to attend that meeting, which was just down the hall from where the attack took place.”

The alleged attacker is locked up pending a detention hearing on June 28.

Officials said Ftouhi yelled “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is great” in Arabic, pulled out the knife and stabbed Neville in the neck in a public area of the airport. The area, on the second floor of the airport, is adjacent to an escalator landing and overlooks airline ticketing counters below. Miller said that as the struggle went on, some people were still coming up the escalator and witnessed it.

Ftouhi faces a charge of committing a violent act in an airport, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

Williams said the airport has resumed normal operations, but said that Thursday morning was difficult for everybody there as they tried to balance returning to a normal workday while recovering from Wednesday’s events.

“It was the single most traumatic day,” Williams said. “I’ve had more difficult days but I’ve not had any more traumatic days than yesterday.”

———

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


8 reasons to keep a law enforcement scrapbook

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

Scrapbooks are tangible evidence that allow you to say, “I’ve been there and done that.”

Here are eight reasons why you should keep a law enforcement scrapbook.

1. Scrapbooks back up your stories.

You can save clippings from not only the big busts, but also the “man bites dog” stories you have encountered over the years. Twenty years later, as you relate these stories, someone is bound to inevitably say, “No way! That didn’t really happen. Did it?” Without hesitation, you can produce your scrapbook and share the evidence that, yes, your incredible story is actually true.

2. Scrapbooks are great training aids.

A scrapbook allows you to look back after some time has passed and critique your own performance.

There may come a time when you reevaluate the magnificently performed crime-busting feat that you accomplished as a rookie and finally agree with your sergeant who said, “You’re lucky you didn’t get killed pulling that lamebrain stunt.”

And those lamebrain stunts make for some of the best scrapbook moments.

3. Scrapbooks can help an officer through a bad day.

A scrapbook allows you to save the thank-you notes and “attaboys” that occasionally come your way. These scraps of paper will serve to pick you up when you are having a bad day, reminding you of the difference you’ve made throughout your career.

4. Scrapbooks document persons, places, things and procedures.

Scrapbooks serve as time capsules. A career spanning three decades bears witness to many changes. Just the act of taking a photo of yourself once a year next to your squad wearing the uniform of the day will illicit “oohs and aahs” at any retirement party

Such a record not only shows how you have changed, but documents changes in uniforms, equipment, weaponry, squads, communications, assignments, facilities and sometimes even departments.

Put your children into the squad and take shots as they grow as well. You will capture those wonder years when they thought it was cool to have a parent who was a cop. As they age, the looks on their faces will change from cheese-inspired grins to teen grimaces. These photos will be absolutely priceless.

You can also save clippings and photos of your favorite and not-so-favorite sergeants, lieutenants, chiefs and beat partners.

Some moments you record for the book may pass without notice only to become golden memories later. An example of this is a photo I had of my FBI Academy (175th) Yellow-Brick-Road-running-partner, Lopez Umana. This photo became a personal treasure after he was targeted and killed in the line of duty by the Colombian drug cartel.

5. Scrapbooks allow you to pick and choose the memories you save.

Let’s face it, there are things you see as a police officer you would just as soon forget. You can choose to be selective about what you put into the scrapbook. I chose to save the burglary and robbery arrests and leave out the fatal crashes and suicides.

Caution: Only use newspaper clippings and authorized personal photos. Do not use sensitive police reports and department photos as this would violate most policies.

6. Scrapbooks record history.

A well-kept scrapbook not only documents your career history, but also the history of your department.

Years ago I wrote two history books on my local police department. Research was made easier because of priceless scrapbooks compiled by an officer who had served and passed long ago. These scrapbooks told of a bygone era of robberies, gun fights, jail breaks and careening long forgotten by the agency.

7. Scrapbooks become a family treasure.

Not every member of your family will be enthralled by your collected memories. There will come a time, however, when one of your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren will look in wonder at each page in each scrapbook and, without you saying a word or even being present, you will be an inspiration to that child.

8. Scrapbooks preserve a lifetime of memories.

There comes a time when everyone wants to take a walk down memory lane. A scrapbook allows you to remember with clarity things you didn’t know you had forgotten.

All good things must come to an end, including your law enforcement career. When you are in the midst of your journey, it is hard to realize that you are “living the dream.” Scrapbooks allow your law enforcement memories to survive.

After you close the book on your career, you will be able to open up the scrapbook years later and realize that George Bailey is not the only one who had a wonderful life.


Man convicted of killing SWAT officer, could face execution

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man accused of fatally shooting an Ohio SWAT officer during a standoff last year has been found guilty of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty.

Lincoln Rutledge had pleaded not guilty to charges he shot Columbus officer Steven Smith in the head as officers were trying to arrest Rutledge on an arson warrant on April 10, 2016. Smith died two days later.

A Franklin County jury returned the guilty verdict Thursday.

Rutledge's ex-wife testified his mental health was unraveling in the weeks before the shooting.

Rutledge's attorney argued Rutledge was firing blindly and may have been reacting to police attempts to break a window open. A message seeking comment from Rutledge's attorney was left at his office Thursday.

A sentencing hearing begins next week.


NC senate agrees driver curriculum should include police stops

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina House and Senate members agree that new drivers should be taught what's considered appropriate if they are stopped by police on the road. But the lawmakers disagree slightly on who should decide on the details.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday for the measure, which supporters say would help avoid violent or deadly encounters between motorists and officers. The information would be placed in the state's driver's education materials and in school curriculum. The information would be created in consultation with the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement associations.

The House approved a version earlier and must decide whether to accept the Senate's version. The House measure includes the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association among the consulting groups. The Senate version took that group out.


P1 Photo of the Week: A family affair

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Officer Casey Johnston with the Gates (NY) police sent in this photo of him, his father and his brothers, who are all officers in New York. Seen from left to right are Trooper Ryan Johnston, Capt. Lynde Johnston — who recently retired after 52 years of service with the Rochester PD — Rochester Officer Adam Johnston and Peace Officer Casey Johnston.

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!


Man convicted of killing Ohio SWAT officer, could face execution

Posted on June 23, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man accused of fatally shooting an Ohio SWAT officer during a standoff last year has been found guilty of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty.

Lincoln Rutledge had pleaded not guilty to charges he shot Columbus officer Steven Smith in the head as officers were trying to arrest Rutledge on an arson warrant on April 10, 2016. Smith died two days later.

A Franklin County jury returned the guilty verdict Thursday.

Rutledge's ex-wife testified his mental health was unraveling in the weeks before the shooting.

Rutledge's attorney argued Rutledge was firing blindly and may have been reacting to police attempts to break a window open. A message seeking comment from Rutledge's attorney was left at his office Thursday.

A sentencing hearing begins next week.


ACLU sues over police actions in DC on Inauguration Day

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jessica Gresko Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing over the actions of District of Columbia police on Inauguration Day, saying police acted improperly by using pepper spray and flash-bang grenades without warning or justification and holding demonstrators without food, water or access to toilets, among other actions.

More than 200 people were charged with rioting after protesters broke windows and set fire to a limousine on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration. But ACLU attorney Scott Michelman said during a press conference Wednesday that police attacked peaceful demonstrators without justification and used the actions of a few to "punish a great many law-abiding demonstrators."

The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Washington on behalf of four people, says the actions of police violated city law and the Constitution. Michelman said prosecutors' charging decisions in the case also seem "awfully excessive."

"It sends a chilling message to people who want to come to the nation's capital and express their views. We can expect, in this political climate, a lot of protests. But a lot of protesters may well look to what happened on January 20 and think twice about coming here to express their views," Michelman said.

The lawsuit also says police used excessive force, including refusing to remove zip-tie handcuffs despite knowing they were too tight, and conducted invasive bodily searches that amounted to assault and battery.

The Metropolitan Police Department responded in a statement that police ensure the safety of thousands of people who come to Washington to demonstrate every year. The statement pointed out that some Inauguration Day demonstrators chose to "engage in criminal acts, destroying property and hurling projectiles, injuring at least six officers." The statement said those demonstrators were arrested.

"As with any pending criminal or civil matter, we will continue to support and respect the formal legal process. Moreover, all instances of use of force by officers and allegations of misconduct will be fully investigated," the statement said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, which does not typically comment on pending cases, had no comment.

The ACLU's lawsuit was filed on behalf of four people, including three who were arrested on Inauguration Day: Shay Horse, Elizabeth Lagesse and Milo Gonzalez. Lagesse and Gonzalez still face charges while charges against Horse, who was photographing the march as a photojournalist, have been dropped. The lawsuit also includes Judah Ariel, who was at the demonstration as a legal observer. Despite wearing a green hat identifying him as a legal observer, he was pepper-sprayed, the lawsuit said. Additional plaintiffs could be added at a later date, Michelman said.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages but does not specify an amount.

Horse said Wednesday that police were indiscriminate in rounding up demonstrators and "targeting everyone in the area that wasn't them." Horse said that though he was working as a journalist he was arrested and subjected to an invasive search.

"I feel like I was raped," he said.

Horse said police could clearly see that he was a photographer.

"I was just doing my job," Horse said.


Minneapolis police asked to limit presence at pride parade

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis' first openly gay police chief responded sharply Thursday to a decision by organizers of the Twin Cities Pride Parade to ask her department to minimize its participation in Sunday's annual event due to tensions over the police shooting of Philando Castile.

They said in a statement that they're trying to respect the pain that many people are feeling following last week's acquittal of St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who killed the black school cafeteria worker during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last July.

But Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is lesbian, sent a letter to Twin Cities Pride executive director Dot Belstler calling the decision "divisive" and saying it "really hurt so many in our community," including LGBT officers and their families.

Harteau said she was "beyond disappointed" that she wasn't consulted before the group went public with its request, and she pointed out that she was the parade's grand marshal three years ago.

"Despite your decision, I assure you that as we have in the past, our team of officers assigned to work the parade will do all they can to ensure it is a safe and successful event," the chief wrote.

Amy Brockman, a spokeswoman for Twin Cities Pride, said the group was preparing a response.

The organizers said they're required to have a police car lead the parade to make sure the route is clear, so this year it will be a lone unmarked squad car and there will be limited police participation in the parade itself. The parade, which draws about 350,000 people, has started in previous years with several marked squad cars with lights and sirens, as well as officers marching.

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, called the decision shameful and disturbing.

"For an organization that prides itself on being accepting and inclusive, the hypocrisy amazes me," he said.

St. Paul Police Deputy Chief Mary Nash, the department's LGBTQ liaison, said 12 to 25 St. Paul officers have taken part in previous parades. Some are LGBTQ officers, while others walked as supporters, Nash said.

"I understand that people are angry and we can respect their feelings, but ... if we can't work together, it gets more challenging to become better as a community, as a police department."

Darcie Baumann, the board chairwoman of Twin Cities Pride, said the group didn't intend to make anyone feel excluded.

"Unfortunately, we have hurt and offended the LGBTQ police officers, and that was not at all our intent," Baumann said. "But in the wake of the verdict, we want to be sensitive to the population that is grieving ... and seeing those uniforms brings angst and tension and the feeling of unrest."


Cop wounded in baseball shooting throws 1st pitch at congressional women’s game

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — An agent wounded during the mass shooting at a practice round for the annual congressional baseball game threw out the first pitch at the Congressional Women’s softball game Wednesday.

Special Agent Crystal Griner was hospitalized for an ankle gunshot wound after a gunman opened fire last week on the Republican baseball team’s practice, Fox 5 reported. Griner was feeling well enough to come throw out the first pitch from her wheelchair.

Griner was one of the five injured in the shooting. Rep. Steve Scalise’s condition has been updated from critical to serious condition, the news station reported. The suspect was killed in the gunfire.

AWESOME: Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, injured in the baseball practice shooting, throws 1st pitch at the @CWSoftballGame: pic.twitter.com/nVlyxi5d0U

— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) June 21, 2017

Special Agent Crystal Griner throws out the 1st pitch at the @CWSoftballGame. Griner was injured in last week's shooting. #pbsnews pic.twitter.com/b5hD4gXQ7G

— Amber Partida (@pressbox_32) June 21, 2017

Inspired by the bravery & resilience of Special Agent Crystal Griner, who threw out the 1st pitch at @CWSoftballGame. Go Congress! pic.twitter.com/cAG9SrLkKe

— Katherine Clark (@KatherineClark) June 21, 2017


Texas cop sues Ford, dealership alleging carbon monoxide poisoning

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ali Linan Austin American-Statesman

AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin police officer is suing Ford Motor Company and Leif Johnson Ford for more than $1 million in damages, claiming he was poisoned by carbon monoxide while driving his patrol car.

According to the lawsuit, police Sgt. Zachary T. LaHood was driving in a marked police vehicle on March 18 around 1:30 a.m. when he began to feel nauseous, light-headed, and got headaches and blurred vision.

LaHood also lost consciousness while driving the car, which almost caused him to collide with an oncoming bus, the lawsuit said.

LaHood then pulled into a parking lot where he called for help, the lawsuit said. Austin police officers arrived and an ambulance took LaHood to a nearby hospital, where he was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning, the lawsuit said.

The patrol car LaHood was driving was a 2011 Ford Explorer, the lawsuit said. After receiving complaints in 2011 and 2012, Ford formally acknowledged potential issues with exhaust fumes in the car, but only informed authorized Ford dealers, the lawsuit said.

Unnamed companies, who are also being sued, serviced the vehicle in an “attempt to remedy the defects,” but failed as the solutions given to them by Ford did not work, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also claims that at the time the vehicle was sold, safer alternative designs could have “prevented or significantly reduced” the risk of injury without impairing the car’s ability to work.

The issues were especially dangerous to LaHood and police vehicles because patrol cars typically continuously run throughout a shift, the lawsuit said.

The incident has caused LaHood to suffer “severe neurological injuries” which have required him to continue to seek medical care, the lawsuit said. LaHood and his wife, Kelly, are seeking damages of more than $1 million for medical expenses, lost income, and physical and mental pain, the lawsuit said.

The American-Statesman reached out to Ford Motor Co. and Leif Johnson Ford for comment but they had not responded by press time.

UPDATE:

In a statement to KHOU, Ford Motor Company said:

"We take the safety of our customers very seriously. In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers and Police Interceptor Utilities. We have thoroughly investigated reports of exhaust odor and do not believe this odor condition poses a safety risk. If customers have a concern with their vehicles, they are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealership. In the case of Police Interceptors, odors can be caused by non-Ford modifications or repairs that were not properly sealed."

———

©2017 Austin American-Statesman, Texas


Ill. man charged with threatening to assassinate Trump

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — An Illinois man has been charged after posting online several times that he wants to assassinate President Donald Trump.

Joseph Lynn Pickett of Edwardsville was charged June 15 with threatening the president of the United States, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Vincent Pescitelli said in a criminal complaint that Pickett "did knowingly and willfully make a threat to take the life of, to kidnap, and to inflict bodily harm" against Trump on Facebook.

The posts included frequent profanity as well as detailed death threats to the president.

After making the online threats, Pickett also posted several times that he was "still waiting" for the Secret Service to come arrest him.

“Guess what Trump? I’m waiting for the right time..."https://t.co/JHJnXNUOIU pic.twitter.com/qaA11QWPZH

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 22, 2017

The complaint said two of Pickett's co-workers at Lowes contacted the Secret Service indicating that Pickett had posted threatening messages against Trump on Facebook.

Pickett also bragged about having weapons.

"Please call the Cops on me now so I have an excuse to use my firepower .... AR 15, AK 47, s and w 40, Sig sauer 9 mm. Oh I'm so afraid of the police now..," he wrote.

Pickett will be detained until a trial because the court can't ensure the safety of other people in community due to "mental instability," according to court documents.

A phone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment from Public Defender Thomas Gabel was not immediately returned.


Cop-turned-pastor tackles suspect attacking CHP officer

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Robert Salonga The Mercury News

AMERICAN CANYON, Calif. — Pastor Joel Jones was traveling on Interstate 80 with his wife, AnnaLisa, when a startling sight unfolded in front of them: A pickup truck was pinballing down the freeway, causing crashes and spin-outs and terrifying other motorists as the driver coolly smoked a cigarette.

At one point, Jones said, he had to swerve around a wreck left in the truck’s wake Saturday morning, and his instincts as a former Oakland cop and San Francisco Sheriff’s sergeant kicked in.

“I thought, ‘This guy’s going to kill somebody.’ Somebody should at least put this on the radio and call 911,” Jones said. “We called 911 but couldn’t make out the (license) plate. But I could keep the truck in sight, because I felt at that point he might try to get off the freeway, and he should be held accountable.”

But the 61-year-old Jones, a Fairfield resident in his second calling as a pastor at Spirit of Truth Church Worldwide in Crockett alongside his pastor wife, ended up doing much more to hold the driver accountable. He is being praised for fighting off the driver, a San Jose man, who authorities say savagely assaulted a California Highway Patrol officer responding to the trail of freeway demolition.

“We are very appreciative and thankful for his assistance,” said CHP Sgt. Kevin Duncan of the Solano area field office.

Duncan added that the injured female officer is “doing okay, still sore and recovering.”

From eyewitness accounts, it could be easily argued that Jones made the difference in preventing the encounter from turning deadly.

Keeping people safe, an instinct refined by his previous law-enforcement career, was definitely on his mind as he tried to keep pace with the wayward pickup. For a few stretches he found himself driving parallel with the suspect, who he said seemed eerily calm.

“He didn’t seem drunk. He was smoking a cigarette. There’s a mass of destruction behind him. He’s a wrecking crew smoking a cigarette,” Jones said. “I thought, ‘He must be out of his mind.’ ”

At some point, the truck slowed to a coast and then a crawl, apparently damaged by at least two crashes. A CHP officer caught up to the truck, which came to a stop in the far-left lane of westbound I-80 in American Canyon.

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Pastors Joel and AnnaLisa Jones

Posted by AnnaLisa Jones on Friday, June 3, 2016

Jones remembers the officer shouting orders over a loudspeaker, telling the driver to get out of his vehicle.

“When he stepped out of the car, as soon as he saw it was a female officer, he started moving swiftly toward her,” Jones said. “She told him to stay back. He rushed her.”

With the officer still partially in her vehicle’s door well, both Jones and CHP accounts say, the man punched her and knocked her to the ground, where he proceeded to kick her.

“He was pummeling her and stomping her,” Jones said. “I thought the next thing he’s going to do is get (her) gun. I rushed him. What I got to do is get him away from the gun.”

The surge of adrenaline helped the former college football player — in Iowa in the 1970s — who said, “The Lord put his strength in me.”

“I don’t know if I hit him with my forearm or grabbed him by the neck, but we both flew off her. When we flew, his feet were in the air, and I felt good about that because he’s away from her,” Jones said. “I got him on his face and held him down, then other people came.”

Jones, 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, soon was helped with subduing the similarly sized suspect by other good Samaritans. One man helped secure the suspect’s torso, and another held his arms.

All the while, his wife tended to the dazed officer, who Jones described as being “very in shock.”

A second CHP officer arrived at the scene to handcuff the suspect, identified as 49-year-old San Jose resident Gary Emil Coslovich, who is jailed in Solano County on suspicion of offenses including assaulting a police officer and attempted murder.

As Coslovich was hauled off, Jones said he heard the man mutter out an odd remark.

“He said, ‘We’re all works in progress,’ ” Jones said.

As a man who now trades in forgiveness, Jones said he was sympathetic but also recognized the danger to which he and others were exposed.

“Yeah, but that’s not the way to progress. You could have killed two people. This officer could have been killed,” Jones recalls telling Coslovich.

Since the encounter, Jones said he has been shown appreciation by the injured officer’s colleagues and even her brother. When contacted by this news organization, the Chicago native — who claims growing up not far from a pre-celebrity Mr. T. in the 1960s — voiced a preference to stay under the radar before agreeing to tell his story. He called it a simple case of doing what he would have wanted someone to do for him.

“Nobody would want to be in that position and not receive help. If we don’t help, what good are we being here?” Jones said. “God put us on that road on that time for that purpose.”

———

©2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)


Wife sought revenge on cop husband by tipping off drug dealers

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Paula McMahon Sun Sentinel

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Broward County elementary school teacher who tried to get revenge against her husband by tipping off drug dealers that they were under investigation should spend the next eight years in federal prison because the consequences of her actions were so serious, prosecutors say.

The undercover investigation was compromised and an insider informant who was secretly working with federal authorities was “outed.” He died of a gunshot wound a short time later under suspicious circumstances that were officially ruled a suicide, prosecutors said.

The defense for Porsha Session, 31, of Boynton Beach, says she acted naively to retaliate against her then-husband — a Lauderhill police detective who was involved in the investigation — because he was cheating on her.

Session told prosecutors she wanted “revenge against her philandering police officer spouse,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She said she snooped in her now ex-husband’s work email and found memos containing sensitive law enforcement information about the investigation, the suspects and the fact that agents had an informant working inside the group.

Session admitted earlier this year that she made six phone calls to one of the suspected drug dealers and convinced him that an insider was helping law enforcement. She pleaded guilty to federal obstruction of an official proceeding, a grand jury investigation.

Session was a teacher at Cypress Elementary School in Pompano Beach at the time of the crime in March 2013, according to Broward County school district and court records. Authorities said she borrowed a co-worker’s cellphone to make the warning calls, also putting that teacher in potential danger.

Session was working as a fourth-grade teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary this until April 25, a few weeks after she pleaded guilty. She was reassigned, with pay, to a position that does not involve students, district officials said late Tuesday.

Session has worked for the school district for nine years and her annual salary is $49,000, records show.

Session was arrested in February and remains free on $260,000 bond pending her June 28 sentencing in federal court in West Palm Beach. The maximum punishment is 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000, but the defense is recommending she be sentenced to house arrest.

“Ms. Session has been a law-abiding person her entire life. She has no criminal history and her only involvement with the law was due to a bad marriage,” her attorney Fred Haddad wrote in court records.

Prosecutors said Session’s actions were so egregious — and dangerous — that she should receive a much harsher punishment than the 15 to 21 months in prison recommended by sentencing guidelines.

The undercover investigation began in October 2012 and was focused on a “crew” of seven Jamaican-born men suspected of operating a “significant” drug-dealing business in the Lauderhill and Fort Lauderdale areas, prosecutors Jeffrey Kaplan and Paul Schwartz wrote in court records.

The group, who grew up together, were so tight-knit that inserting an outsider was virtually impossible, prosecutors said. The confidential informant, who has not been publicly identified, was in a unique position to provide credible, useful information, they said.

The informant told investigators that the crew members were violent, carried guns at all times and robbed other drug dealers. Some of the home invasions involved dealers being shot and injured, investigators said.

The group was also involved in smuggling weapons from Covington, Ga., and Orlando to Broward County that were then illegally sent to Jamaica, prosecutors said. The suspects had assault rifles and other guns, they said.

The suspects were also involved in dealing drugs, including marijuana from Arizona and California that was shipped by FedEx to houses in South Florida, authorities said.

Prosecutors said the informant had previously been unconcerned about his safety and had confronted one of the suspects who called him a “snitch” a week or two before Session told the suspects they were under scrutiny. He convinced the suspect that he was not a snitch.

“By contrast, after defendant Session told [the suspect] that someone close to him within their group was providing information to law enforcement about their criminal activities, the [informant] was terrified and in tears,” prosecutors wrote. “[He] believed that he was going to be killed.”

Investigators decided it was too dangerous to leave the informant in Broward County, and he and his girlfriend were moved to southern Miami-Dade County.

Two months after Session made her phone calls to the suspects, the informant was dead.

“In May 2013, according to the [informant’s] girlfriend, [he] was visited by someone who his girlfriend did not know. After the person left, the [informant] was found dead pursuant to a gunshot wound. The death was ruled a suicide,” prosecutors wrote.

“There is no evidence that the ‘outing’ of the [informant] directly caused bodily harm to [him]. However, the actions of defendant Session did set off a chain of events that certainly have to be considered as a factor in the death of the [informant], which was ruled a suicide,” they wrote.

Lauderhill police have said that no officers were disciplined in connection with the investigation, which involved other local and federal law enforcement agencies.

Dozens of Session’s relatives, friends and colleagues have written letters to U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks to tell him what a talented, dedicated mom and teacher she is. The former couple have a 5-year-old daughter, records show.

“Her dedication to her profession and the children she taught is nothing short of remarkable,” Haddad wrote. “[Her] lack of criminal record and her conduct after this unfortunate offense several years ago demonstrate that she does not pose a threat of re-offending or otherwise endangering the public.”

———

©2017 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)


Off-duty cop dressed as Batman thwarts suspected shoplifter

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By Claire Z. Cardona The Dallas Morning News

FORT WORTH, Texas — A few thousand miles from Gotham City, the Caped Crusader leapt into action Saturday.

Fort Worth police Officer Damon Cole was dressed as Batman, doing community outreach at a Wal-Mart, when employees saw a man they said was shoplifting four movies. So they threw up the Bat Signal.

Batman — ahem, Cole — went into the store to apprehend the man.

"Batman says, 'I want you to know I have this Batman costume on but I'm an off-duty police officer," Anthony Drake, a community involvement member at Wal-Mart, told KDFW-TV (Channel 4).

I was at Wal-Mart as Batman for kids day. This male attempted to steal 4 DVD's,I stopped him as Batman. He asked me for a selfie as Batman. pic.twitter.com/Ut2LNg5usb

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) June 18, 2017

The man was given a citation because the DVDs were valued at less than $100. He wasn't identified, but he did want a selfie after the incident, Cole said on Twitter.

Cole dresses up as the Dark Knight as well as other superheroes and travels around the country visiting children with illnesses.

So what did the Dark Knight stop the man from taking? One of the DVDs was The LEGO Batman Movie.

"You cannot steal my movie," Cole told KDFW. "Come on."

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Inmate who killed La. deputy as a teen now eligible for parole

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

By R.J. Rico Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A 71-year-old prisoner who was 17 when he killed a sheriff's deputy learned Wednesday that he will get a chance at parole, 54 years after the killing and a year after winning his appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Calling Henry Montgomery a "model prisoner" who had been rehabilitated behind bars, District Judge Richard D. Anderson resentenced Montgomery to life with the possibility of parole.

Anderson changed Montgomery's life-without-parole sentence after the nation's high court ruled in Montgomery's favor in January 2016. The high court said its prior ruling against automatic juvenile no-parole sentences should be applied retroactively.

"The court understands the defendant's (prior) sentence was fair, however ... the court has to follow the current law," Anderson said. "He does not appear to be someone who the Supreme Court would classify as 'irreparably corrupt.' ... He's been a mentor, he's helped others and, from all indications, he does appear to be rehabilitated."

Montgomery was in chains inside the courtroom as Anderson gave his ruling. He was then quickly escorted out.

"Mr. Montgomery is certainly happy with the judge's ruling, but he very much still grieves for the victim's family and the impact this has had on them," defense attorney Lindsay Blouin said.

Montgomery fatally shot East Baton Rouge Parish Deputy Charles Hurt in a Baton Rouge park in 1963. Montgomery was playing hooky from school and Hurt was on truant patrol. Montgomery's attorneys' called their client's action a "terrible, split-second decision made a by a scared 17-year-old boy."

He originally received a death sentence, but it was overturned in 1966. He was re-tried, convicted and sentenced to life without parole in 1969.

Montgomery's immediate relatives have since died, but his younger cousin Debra Ephraim was in the hearing and tearfully thanked Blouin outside the courtroom.

Ephraim was around 11 when her cousin was sent to the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. For decades, she's visited him frequently. She remembers him as a "big brother" who would show her around their grandparents' farm.

Montgomery's defense attorneys had argued that their client was far from the "worst of the worst" and could actually be considered the "best of the best." Montgomery has had a near-spotless disciplinary record inside Angola and has been a mentor for others, especially those involved in the boxing program, his attorneys said.

"For the last 54 years he did all of these things without any thought that it would ever change the fact that he would die in Angola one day," Blouin said.

The Supreme Court voted 6-3 in Montgomery v. Louisiana to extend a 2012 ruling that struck down automatic life terms with no chance of parole for teenage killers. The ruling meant that even those convicted long ago must be considered for parole or given a new sentence.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority opinion, said "prisoners like Montgomery must be given the opportunity to show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption; and if it did not, their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored."

Because of the court's decision, the Louisiana Legislature this month changed the law to give some inmates who committed murder as teenagers a chance for parole after 25 years.


Oakland officials renew pledge to improve police department

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Paul Elias Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Oakland city leaders renewed their pledges to straighten out the troubled police department after a court-appointed investigator concluded they mishandled a teenager's allegations that she was sexually exploited by officers.

Mayor Libby Schaaf agreed Wednesday with the investigator's conclusions that she didn't pay enough attention to the investigation of the police department. She said her focus shifted in December and January to a warehouse fire that killed three dozen people and to finding a new police chief.

In a court filing, investigator Ed Swanson put most of the blame for the bungled probe on former Police Chief Sean Whent, who resigned under pressure last year.

Swanson said Whent appeared disinterested in the case from the start and his attitude set the tone for the rest of the department.

Whent told investigators he "misread" O'Brien's suicide note and a lieutenant's email message that the case was being sent to internal affairs. Whent said he did not grasp the importance of the note and email, an excuse Swanson called "not credible" in his report.

Whent failed to notify the mayor, district attorney and the federal judge about the suicide note and internal affairs investigation. Swanson said it is unclear why Whent downplayed the case.

The chief retired under pressure in June 2016 after news of the scandal emerged. His phone rang unanswered Wednesday after the report was released.

Swanson also said investigators dismissed the victim's claims because she worked as a prostitute.

"We agree that tone comes from the top," said Schaaf, who recently announced plans to seek a second 4-year term as mayor in 2018. "That's why we set out to find a new chief."

She swore in Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on March. 1.

City administrator Sabrina Landreth said she agreed that investigation took too long to conclude, but she said city officials didn't want to interfere with the criminal prosecutions of the officers.

Four officers were fired and face criminal charges. Eight others were disciplined.

Swanson, the investigator, was appointed by a federal judge who oversees the troubled department as part of a 2002 settlement of a civil rights lawsuit. Swanson has no authority to order changes in the department, but the judge does. Swanson recommended a number of training reforms and policy changes, including involving the district attorney in internal investigations of officers under criminal suspicion and consulting the city attorney.

The department implemented many court-ordered reforms during Whent's three years as chief and was close to shedding the court oversight when officer Brendan O'Brien killed himself in 2015. O'Brien in his suicide note denied having sex with the victim despite her claims that he did. O'Brien also implicated several officers who he said had sex with the girl.

"It's a pretty devastating report," said lawyer John Burris, who represents the victim and is the lead attorney on the 2002 civil rights case that led to court oversight. "I thought the department was making real progress."

The court oversight began after the city settled with 119 plaintiffs, all but one African-American, who were paid $10.5 million after four rogue officers allegedly beat and planted evidence on them.

Criminal investigators initially closed their probe after a strained, two-hour interview with the victim, who gave muddled and conflicting accounts. During that interview, they watched her delete messages on her phone sent by officers.

Swanson's report also faulted police internal affairs investigators for lackluster work. The victim was interviewed once on the phone. And two officers implicated by the victim were considered witnesses, rather than targets.

One of those officers said he was mentoring the victim to get her out of prostitution, but then admitted he texted her a photograph of his penis.

The city paid the victim almost $1 million to settle her legal claims.


FBI: No ‘wider plot’ suspected in Mich. airport stabbing

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jeff Karoub and Mike Householder Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — A Canadian man from Tunisia shouted in Arabic before stabbing a police officer in the neck at a Michigan airport, and made reference to people being killed overseas during the attack that's now being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal and court officials said.

Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Montreal, was immediately taken into custody. A criminal complaint charging him with committing violence at an airport says Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why the officer didn't kill him.

The attack Wednesday at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan, is being investigated as an act of terrorism, but authorities have no indication at this time that the suspect was involved in a "wider plot," said FBI Special Agent in Charge David Gelios.

"At this time we view him as a lone-wolf attacker," Gelios said. "We have no information to suggest any training."

The criminal complaint says Ftouhi stabbed airport police Lt. Jeff Neville with a large knife after yelling "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great." According to the FBI, Ftouhi said something similar to "you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die."

More charges against Ftouhi could be filed as prosecutors take the case to a grand jury seeking an indictment, Gelios said. The Flint Journal, citing court officials, said that Ftouhi is a dual citizen of Canada and Tunisia.

Neville was in satisfactory condition after initially being in critical condition, airport police Chief Chris Miller said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference where the charge against Ftouhi was announced.

Ftouhi appeared in federal court in Flint to hear the charge and will get a court-appointed attorney. A court spokesman says Ftouhi will remain in custody until a bond hearing next Wednesday.

The attack occurred just before 10 a.m., prompting officials to evacuate and shut down the airport and add security elsewhere in the Michigan city about 50 miles (80.46 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump was briefed on the stabbing, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was "proud of the swift response" by authorities from both the U.S. and Canada.

Police in Canada were searching a Montreal apartment. Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle said officers with their department were assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the search on behalf of an FBI request.

Boiselle said three people staying at the residence had been taken in for questioning.

Luciano Piazza, the building landlord, said Ftouhi was not a difficult tenant and that he is married with children.

"I never had any problems with him," Piazza said. "I'm really surprised. I would see him at least once a month, when he paid his rent."

Gelios said Ftouhi legally entered the U.S. at Champlain, New York, on June 16 and made his way to the Flint airport on Wednesday morning.

Ftouhi spent some time in public, unsecured areas of the airport before going to a restroom where he dropped two bags before attacking the officer with a 12-inch knife that had an 8-inch serrated blade, Gelios said.

Ftouhi never went through any security screening, Gelios said. He described Ftouhi as "cooperative" and talking to investigators.

Witnesses described seeing the suspect being led away as Neville was bleeding, a knife on the ground.

"The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck," Ken Brown told The Flint Journal. "I said they need to get him a towel."

Cherie Carpenter, who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, told Flint TV station WJRT she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs. She described the man in custody as appearing "blank, just totally blank."

Miller, the airport chief, said Neville "fought him to the end," managing to stop the stabbing and bring Ftouhi to the ground as Miller and other officers arrived to help.

After the stabbing, officials stationed police officers at Flint City Hall a few miles away. Mayor Karen Weaver said in a release the situation was "under control" but that officials sought to take "extra precautions."

Genesee County Commissioner Mark Young, a friend of Neville's who retired from the county sheriff's office in 1997, said Neville left that department two years after him. He said Neville served in various capacities with the sheriff's office including in the jail, on road patrol and as a court officer.

Neville retired from the sheriff's office as a lieutenant.


What does the new NIJ logo mean for body armor purchases?

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by ATS Armor

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

How do you know what you’re getting when you buy body armor? The NIJ spells out performance requirements for ballistic armor and partners with labs nationwide to test armor products for compliance – but not all armor that claims to be certified fully meets the current standards set forth by the National Institute of Justice.

Officers who unknowingly purchase and wear uncertified equipment are still in harm’s way. To address this problem, the NIJ introduced a logo in March 2017 that makes armor more easily identifiable as certified.

Look for the NIJ “Listed Model” Logo

All armor models manufactured after March 1, 2017, must carry this NIJ mark on the label to be considered NIJ-compliant body armor and listed on the NIJ Compliant Products List. The mark is important for three reasons:

    To protect buyers and ensure they are getting the protection they expect. To protect the validity of the standard. To qualify for grant funding, which many agencies use to purchase ballistic vests.

Make sure the armor label has the new mark and that the armor model number is on the NIJ Compliant Products List, advises Rob Kinsler, a physical scientist and chief of technical operations at HP White, an accredited NIJ testing lab. Some armor makers tout their products as fully compliant but do only partial testing or test to an outdated standard, which would not earn certification and the logo.

Reputable armor makers partner with NIJ-certified testing labs to make sure their products meet the NIJ standard, currently 0101.06 (with 0101.07 anticipated by the end of 2017). Kinsler says his lab frequently gets requests to test armor products for NIJ 0101.04, an outdated version of the standard.

“That wouldn’t be on the certification list,” he said, “but they can say, ‘We were tested in accordance with NIJ 0101.04,’ and cops don’t know that’s not the latest.”

ATS Armor was the first armor manufacturer to comply with this requirement and earn the new NIJ certification mark on their labels.

“ATS Armor is proud of the fact that we were the first armor company in the industry to implement the new NIJ label directives,” said Brian Beckwith, a co-founder of the company. “With the new label requirement, there is no doubt. This new mark tells the world that armor with this label is NIJ certified.”

NIJ certification requires a rigorous testing process

Armor must meet certain performance standards to earn certification, and the NIJ prescribes a detailed testing process that must be performed by a certified lab.

Technicians first photograph and weigh the armor samples and inspect them for workmanship. The armor is then subjected to thermal conditioning with a range of extreme temperatures and humidity, then re-inspected. Next, the armor plates are dropped on concrete and submerged in water.

The plates are then mounted on clay for two different types of shot testing: backface deformation and ballistic limit. Backface deformation is the dent caused by a bullet on the inside of the armor, against the wearer’s body. The ballistic limit test, or V50, determines at what velocity a bullet will fully penetrate the armor.

The NIJ prescribes at what angle, distance and velocity the plates must be shot, using Mann barrels for greater precision. At a minimum, the NIJ requirements specify defense against certain projectiles, most of which are faster than what police are likely to encounter.

“That’s one of the reasons why we use Mann barrels,” Kinsler said. “We get much faster velocities than a rifle could ever give us.”

V50 vs. V05

The NIJ tests include a V50 test to determine the velocity at which a given type of bullet fully penetrates the armor 50 percent of the time. In this test, the velocity for each shot is escalated in prescribed steps until a bullet goes through the plate and continues until a specific pass/fail ratio is reached to determine the limits of the armor.

“The greater your V50 number is above the required NIJ certification velocity, the better your plate is and more capable of stopping bullets,” Beckwith said.

The V50 findings are also used to predict at what velocity a bullet will penetrate the armor only 5 percent of the time, or the V05 number, which indicates what velocity of bullet is stopped by the armor.

Once testing is complete, depending on results, the lab sends an example of an un-shot and a shot plate to the NIJ so their technicians can review the report and verify the findings. Armor that meets all the standards is then granted use of the NIJ “Listed Model” Logo and included in the Compliant Products List online.

The NIJ standards are exacting and not easily met, and for good reason. Make sure any armor you consider is on the NIJ Compliant Products List and has the NIJ “Listed Model” logo on the label.


Watch your 6: How to defend yourself against an ambush attack

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by ATS Armor

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

The attack on Dallas police in July 2016 and the shooting of three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a few days later are just two examples of how today’s law enforcement officers are too often literally under fire.

Firearms-related incidents were the No. 1 cause of death for LEOs in 2016, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, with 64 officers shot and killed across the country, including 21 who were ambushed.

While ambush attacks are by their very nature difficult to predict, planning ahead can help you fight back and survive – even prevail. In this article, we consider six tools and strategies to defend yourself against an ambush while on patrol.

1. Always wear your armor

Ballistic body armor provides significant protection, but only when you’re wearing it. According to the IACP Ambush Fact Sheet, officers who were wearing protective body armor survived attacks 53 percent of the time, compared to 30 percent who were not.

Make sure your armor matches the threat you’re most likely to encounter. Many agencies mandate wearing Level IIIA soft armor, which protects against handguns. But for proper protection in an active shooter scenario that involves a rifle, you need Level III or higher rifle-rated armor plates.

Some agencies have begun adopting active shooter kits, which include an external plate carrier with hard armor plates to be donned when responding to a rifle threat situation.

“Soft armor today is a must-have item for law enforcement while on duty,” said Brian Beckwith, a retired Marine officer and co-founder of ATS Armor. “But soft armor protects only against handguns, so a rifle-rated active shooter kit allows first responders the ability to quickly armor up and continue with their front-line response.”

A ballistic shield can offer additional protection, particularly if your standard armor is rated for handguns and you find yourself under fire from a high-powered rifle. Shields also provide extended protection from the head down through the pelvic triangle.

2. Watch your 6

No matter what you’re doing in uniform, it’s important to stay alert for any possible threats. A motto for many officers is “Keep your head on a swivel.”

Look and listen carefully for full situational awareness, writes PoliceOne columnist Glenn French. Scan the area, formulate a tactical response in case of attack, identify cover points and an escape route, and recognize ambush points. This should be a constant loop of thought while you’re on duty, he says.

PoliceOne columnist Jonathan Page recommends scenario training and practicing your core skills to the point that you can perform them automatically, leaving your conscious mind free to recognize, plan, decide and act and putting you ahead of the action/reaction curve.

3. Don’t make yourself an easy target

The relative shelter of a police cruiser can give you a false sense of security, and it’s easy to get caught off guard while you’re focused on filing reports or listening to radio chatter. But that brief lack of situational awareness can be fatal.

“The more time you spend looking at something other than your surroundings, the more vulnerable you become,” writes PoliceOne editor Doug Wyllie.

When it’s time for “paperwork,” don’t park in open public areas. Seek a safer environment such as your police station or precinct. Even a firehouse offers increased security if you are in your car. Further, doing reports in the parking lot of a school is a better location than out on the road, Wyllie says.

If you must work in your cruiser, don’t let your situational awareness lapse, no matter where you are. Keep one eye and ear on your surroundings, and check your mirrors constantly.

Above all, stay unpredictable. Vary your routine and patrol route daily so your actions can’t be mapped and targeted.

4. Patrol in pairs

Most ambush murders of police have occurred when the officer was alone. With good contact-and-cover tactics, partner officers are better able to protect each other against sudden attack.

According to a 2015 report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, more than one-third of officers who are ambushed are alone, but officers who received assistance from another officer during an ambush nearly double the odds for survival.

5. Use your cruiser as cover

“You’re sitting in a one-ton weapon – use it to your advantage,” writes Wyllie.

Drive at the attacker(s) and become a difficult, rapidly moving target. You want to get away from the kill zone so you can fight back.

Practice drawing your weapon from inside your vehicle. You may need to fire through your own windows or windshield.

Also practice how to use the engine block for as much protection as possible, whether it’s crouching down inside behind the dash or positioning yourself outside to return fire. Be mindful of which spots offer cover (such as the engine block and wheels/axles) and which don’t (everything else).

6. Fight back

The IACP reports that officers who return fire are almost twice as likely to survive as those who do not. Train to take cover and fight back.

If you are hit and wearing body armor, you may be able to stay in the fight. One element of the NIJ standards testing is meant to ensure that an officer wearing a ballistic vest can take a hit and fall on the ground and still get back up and keep fighting.

Also, consider that a strong command presence may deter an attack before it happens. Interviews with inmates who have attacked officers revealed that some chose their targets according to who looked less likely to fight back.

It’s difficult to predict an ambush attack, which by its very nature relies on surprise. But preparation can help you survive and fight back. Protect yourself so you can protect and serve others.


4 things to know to choose the body armor you need

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by ATS Armor

By Barry Reynolds for PoliceOne BrandFocus

Over the past 30 years, ballistic-resistant body armor has saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers, according to the National Institute of Justice. At one time considered a luxury for those officers and agencies that could afford the cost, body armor is a vital and necessary form of personal protection for all law enforcement and corrections officers.

It is critical to select the appropriate type of body armor for your mission. There are three main types of body armor available: ballistic-resistant, stab and slash-resistant and combination armor that protects against both types of threats. In the United States, ballistic armor that protects against firearms is most widely used by patrol officers, while stab and slash-resistant is often the choice for correctional officers.

A simple assessment of the most likely types of threats you will encounter on the job will help you determine the most appropriate type of armor for you.

1. NIJ body armor performance standards

The NIJ’s standard for body armor performance is the only national standard for police body armor. The standard provides five different levels for ballistic-resistant armor. The key to understanding and applying the standard appropriately is recognizing that it is directly related to the anticipated level of threat likely to be faced by the officer.

The current standard 0101.06, most recently updated in 2008, requires rigorous compliance testing, and the 0101.07 update is anticipated by the end of 2017. (Note: The 0101.06 requirements supersede the previous 0101.04 standard, so armor certified under that standard should be considered obsolete.)

2. Ballistic standards and corresponding threats

Ballistic armor is differentiated by types of weapons and ammunition in each potential threat situation.

For handguns, levels II and IIA have been tested to provide protection against short-barreled handguns, including 9mm and .40 S&W ammunition. Threat level IIIA has been tested to provide protection against longer-barreled handguns, including .357 and .44 Magnum ammunition.

None of these levels (II, IIA and IIIA) provides protection against threats from rifles. For protection against rifles, Level III ballistic protection has been tested to stop 7.62 x 51mm FMJ (M80) lead core ammunition. Level IV, the top level of protection, has been tested to stop M2 AP .30cal armor-piercing rifle ammunition.

3. How to select appropriate body armor for your threat level

Conventional wisdom in the selection of ballistic armor says, at a minimum, always select the level of armor necessary to protect against the officer’s own weapon. This is a good starting place, but more agencies are now purchasing higher-level armor for their officers based upon the increasing likelihood of higher street-level threat situations.

Another common approach has been to select higher threat level protection for patrol and lower levels for detectives and administrative personnel based on a lower likelihood of high-level threats for those personnel.

Alternatively, rather than selecting body armor based on assignment, some agencies select body armor based on the highest potential threat level that could be faced by any member of the department after due consideration of the potential types of firearm threats that could be encountered.

Regardless of the selection method, always consult the NIJ standards and the Compliant Products List prior to selecting ballistic body armor.

4. Stand-alone armor vs. In Conjunction With armor

A final consideration in the selection and purchase of body armor is understanding the difference between stand-alone and in conjunction with, or ICW, armor.

Stand-alone armor is exactly what it says: No other protection is needed to stop the prescribed level of threat.

In conjunction with armor requires multiple pieces to provide protection against the prescribed threat level. A typical application of ICW armor is a soft armor vest of a handgun threat level (Levels II, IIA and IIIA), combined with a ballistic plate of a higher threat level to provide protection against rifle threats.

It’s important to know that ICW armor components earn NIJ certification as a single system and are not interchangeable. In order to provide full and certified protection, ICW armor components must be paired with the manufacturer-recommended companion piece of armor.

While there is no such thing as “bulletproof” armor, research has shown that officers who do not regularly wear personal body armor are 3.4 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury from a torso wound than those who do.

Armed with a thorough understanding of the NIJ standards and a proper assessment of your potential threat level in the selection process, you can choose appropriate armor that significantly reduces the likelihood of an officer receiving a serious or deadly injury.

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. Contact Barry Reynolds


How to protect your digital video evidence from a cyberattack

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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

There is no question the cyber threat is real for state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. According to a report by the University of San Diego, in addition to “hackers” looking to profit through the theft of critical data, “entire nation states are now using their cyber skills to infiltrate other governments and perform attacks on critical infrastructure.”

With the advent of on-officer video cameras, law enforcement agencies are dealing with an explosion of data that needs to be stored, managed, secured and safely shared with criminal justice partners and defense attorneys. This data is a top target for so-called “hacktivists,” state actors, terrorist organizations, international criminal organizations and others.

Certainly, digital evidence had existed before body-worn cameras – everything from dash-camera footage to computer files to mobile phone records – but the growth in volume over the past decade has been exponential.

While departments face the same challenges any entity faces regarding the protection of critical information, the odds of data being corrupted, stolen and held ransom are greater than ever before. Here are some questions agencies should address to assess risks:

What are some of the threats departments face in regard to protecting digital evidence? What are some of the safeguards departments need to use to preserve chain of custody for digital evidence? What other issues should departments consider as they add body camera files to their already massive databases of evidence? Meeting cyber threats with force

One of the most dangerous cyber threats to police agencies is ransomware, a malicious software that attempts to break into as many storage systems as it can, steal (or copy) the data, and then shut down the original servers so the data cannot be accessed until a ransom is paid.

Malcolm Palmore – who serves as Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Cyber Branch, at San Francisco Office of the FBI – says that the challenge for any business or public sector entity is making investments in their digital or networked environments and prioritizing security.

“Departments must prioritize their digital posture – their protection against cyber threats in particular – as a priority and then hire professionals capable of building an architecture or delivering solutions that answer the mail on business operations,” Palmore said. “This is hard when you don’t properly prioritize the risks associated with diving into the digital arena. There is a cost to operate at these increasingly digitized levels. If a department takes steps early on to ensure adherence to information security fundamentals they will be in good shape.”

When it comes to safeguards departments can use to protect digital evidence and ensure chain of custody is maintained, Palmore says that forensic chain of custody practices can be adapted to the digital environment. These long-standing procedures and protocols generally work well with digital evidence like body camera footage.

“The key is being able to attest to the integrity of the data being presented. The information security triangle, comprised of Confidentiality-Integrity-Availability, holds true for law enforcement in this realm as well. Typical practices include the capture or imaging of data/information in a format that allows it to remain in its original state and preserved as such for the purposes of future testimony,” Palmore said.

Leveraging the cloud and security professionals

Palmore explained that one of the ways agencies are protecting digital evidence is by leveraging the services of companies that provide secure cloud storage. A variety of body camera companies offer their own in-house cloud storage solution or work with a third-party vendor like Amazon Web Services that provides cloud services to myriad private enterprises and public safety entities.

“Cloud solutions are becoming increasingly the path of choice for simplification of data storage, and it’s a money saver that allows for expandability while transferring infrastructure responsibilities to the vendor,” Palmore said. “It can be a game changer.”

Palmore explained that there are differences in protecting against cyberattack for on-premises storage versus cloud storage. Cloud storage adds a viable solution to most entities because it transfers the action of creating a protected environment to a third-party vendor. However, the cloud does not alleviate the data owner of the responsibility to ensure the data is protected.

For on-premises data storage, Palmore said that agencies should consider hiring cybersecurity professionals to handle risk assessment and to deploy solutions.

“Departments should ensure the individuals or companies engaged in developing their information security apparatus are properly trained with a proven track record of success in the digital technologies or cyber security arena. Some departments may think they can accomplish these tasks in-house and ‘on the cheap.’ I would advise against it.”

Doing a cyber self-assessment

Agencies can leverage a program called the Cyber Resilience Review, offered by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team within the Department of Homeland Security. DHS says that the Cyber Resilience Review is a “no-cost, voluntary, non-technical assessment to evaluate an organization’s operational resilience and cybersecurity practices.”

The Cyber Resilience Review may be conducted as a self-assessment or as an on-site assessment facilitated by DHS cybersecurity professionals.

Whether or not you elect to go with a Cyber Resilience Review, or a security professional from a company specializing in cyber security, it behooves any agency with digital evidence to double check its vulnerability sooner rather than later to prevent an exposure.


Q&A: IACP on how police can best tackle the challenges of managing digital video evidence

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

The proliferation of body-worn cameras (BWCs) has created a vast volume of digital evidence to be stored, managed and secured. Police agencies must retain for many months (or even years) hundreds of thousands of hours of video accumulated via body-worn cameras, as well as video taken from dash cams and surveillance cameras. This is in addition to the overwhelming number of other digital files that need to be secured and managed – everything from digital photos to mobile phone records and computer files.

In order to understand how agencies can best respond to the challenges related to digital evidence storage and management, we turned to James Emerson, who serves as the Chair of the IACP Computer Crime and Digital Evidence Committee. The following is the result of our Q&A session.

Body cameras have spawned massive volumes of video that need to be stored for long periods of time. Meanwhile, agencies have tight budgets for this storage and management of this digital evidence. What’s the solution for these ongoing, indefinite costs?

While this may not be an all-encompassing answer, there have been a range of LEA responses noted and what follows are essentially some alternatives. We have seen agencies reporting that this issue was so daunting it caused the agency to shelve the technology, while others have yet to employ it.

Kick-start funding sources to implement these programs are, in many cases, temporary, and expect the jurisdiction to develop local funding streams to sustain the capability. Numerous agencies have explored and focused on cloud cost efficiencies as a route to deal with cost, however even cloud cost can be significant depending upon agency size and resourcing.

Finally, various states have carefully studied whether BWC video content is or is not CJIS data as the classification issue and resulting handling is also relevant to cost in the end. It should be noted that LEA decisions in this area potentially impact other criminal justice stakeholders who will ultimately see video as evidence in litigation – they must be able to consume it properly as evidence, maintain its integrity, produce and play it in a technically correct fashion for legal process, and store it as well.

What are some of the pitfalls for the storage and management of digital video evidence (and, to an extent, all digital evidence) that agencies need to be aware of, and how can they avoid or resolve these problems?

There are two basic integrity issues to address: digital preservation and technical integrity of video played and produced as evidence.

Digital preservation requires a mechanism from end to end to prove the unchanging nature of the video content: defensible integrity from device to evidentiary display. Additionally, exacting change must be accompanied by the same defensible integrity for specific productions which having been extracted forensically from larger original evidence data sets. This normally involves some type of hashing system that is scientifically sound and appropriately applied.

There is also the need for custodial considerations to be addressed regardless of local or cloud control, and there must be an effective granular audit trail. Further, video is created using one of many various codecs or formats and these are related also to the player that is compatible.

It is important to ensure that all criminal justice stakeholders have access to a technically compatible player for the evidence at all points in the evidence lifecycle and criminal justice process to ensure the substance of the played video is complete and correct.

Further, video as noted by your questions is voluminous and many times constitutes thousands of real- time hours of capture from various physical and geographic perspectives, even when a single event is in question. The practical ability to examine all of this video requires advanced tools, and it is important these tools are consistent with the goals of maintaining integrity as stated above.

Finally, video for numerous reasons must be redacted prior to being provided into evidence or in response to legal release to other use. Again, integrity of the source evidence, as well as the production, must be ensured.

Some agencies choose to keep all their digital video evidence on their own servers, while others choose to go with a cloud solution. What do you recommend for digital video evidence storage and management?

This is an agency decision based upon detailed consideration of the type, volume and ultimate use cases encountered or assumed needed by a particular agency in concert with the thoughts already provided for the questions above. If an agency has a large amount of resources to this end, they may not rank cost effectiveness as high in this decision-making process as control and customization; for most agencies it is the reverse, and that means finding the best vendor as a partner in designing this solution.

What are the limitations to current evidence management solutions on the market? Where do you think the focus should be in the future? How is the IACP working with vendors and police departments on tackling some of these challenges?

Cost effectiveness is always necessary in the world of LEA resources. Efficient tools to save LEO/investigator/analyst time are needed, as human resources are taxed in regard to in reviewing and managing digital video, in spite of technological capabilities.

Agency policy and corresponding technology for digital integrity or simplifying quality management of Digital Multimedia Evidence from end to end is critical, especially for smaller agencies or those struggling with resourcing gaps. Routinely, the public and the media want to see video from LEAs and expect it. Thus it is not only necessary to guard integrity as it relates to evidence, but all media that will ultimately be provided to organizations or released publicly.

IACP has collaborative attention/efforts to develop guidance and model policy in this space to address this topic.


7 factors in choosing a video editing and redaction solution

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Tim Dees
Author: Tim Dees

The cost of video archiving was the first unforeseen speed bump in the widespread deployment of police body-worn cameras (BWCs). The challenge of video analysis and redaction is the second.

Police agencies looking to demonstrate transparency in their operations by distribution of BWC-generated video are inundated with demands for video clips, but they can’t release the videos as recorded. Before the video is made public, identifying characteristics such as license plates and faces must be redacted to protect the privacy of innocent bystanders.

There are many video redaction solutions available, and they vary widely in capabilities and ease of use. Consider these issues in choosing a solution for your BWC deployment.

1. Be wary of an all-in-one package

Most BWC vendors include a video editing solution as a part of the total package they sell to their client agencies. In a few cases, the user is tied to using that video editing software, or it’s difficult to get the video out of that software and into a third-party editor.

If that’s the case, you’re tied to the feature set and limitations of that software, and when new capabilities come available, you won’t have them until the vendor decides to publish an update, and the BWC video editing tool may not work with videos from other sources like dash cams.

2. Understand the file formats

Digital video comes in several formats. The most common are *.avi, *.flv, *.wmv, *.mov, and *.mp4. An editor that will handle one file format may not be able to digest another. At some point, you will have to deal with video from an outside source, such as surveillance cameras or smartphones. That video can come to you in any format.

3. Protect the metadata

Most video from BWCs also includes a substantial amount of metadata that describes the time and date the video was made, the camera and user that produced it, GPS coordinates for its location, and details like whether the patrol car’s emergency lights and/or siren were on.

If the video is edited in a third-party software package, the metadata may not be preserved properly. The metadata stream can be as important as the visual and audible content of the video, especially in a legal proceeding.

Editors with screen capture capabilities will seldom pick up the metadata. When using a screen capture application, the operator plays the video on their computer display, and uses the software to draw an outline around the video frame. The software records whatever is contained in the capture window. This method usually results in a file with lower resolution than the original (as it’s limited to whatever was displayed), and without any metadata and/or audio track.

4. Redaction has to be perfect

A video is a series of still frames, usually about 30 per second. Any one of those still frames can be extracted for closer examination. Redaction involves blurring or blocking details of faces and other identifying characteristics. If it’s not 100 percent effective, one or more frames that contain part of the information you intended to redact may be combined to reveal what you intended to keep hidden.

“One missed frame can reveal the identity of an individual and expose a police department to significant liabilities,” said Sean Varah, founder and CEO of MotionDSP. His company produces Ikena software for video redaction and forensic analysis that is offered by several BWC vendors.

Most redaction is accomplished by an operator placing a circle or rectangle over the sensitive area of the video frame. That area is blurred or occluded from view, and the more advanced packages use artificial intelligence to follow the object as it moves, keeping the circle or rectangle over the object. If there is some lag between movement of the object and the redaction area, a portion of a face or a few letters or numbers can slip out and be visible.

This is especially common when the object to be redacted moves out of the frame. When this happens, the operator needs to repeat the redaction process when the object reappears in the frame, and ensure that any auto-tracking keeps up with the object throughout the entire sequence.

5. Create an audit trail

When a video clip depicts a controversial incident, any redaction to the video will be met with claims the video was edited to conceal police misconduct. The best editors will automatically create an audit trail of any changes, showing exactly what was added or removed, with timecodes and video frame regions recorded. This feature is a tremendous time saver that also adds greater integrity and transparency to the process.

6. Software can be difficult to use

Anyone who has played with Photoshop or some other digital photo editor learns quickly that there is a substantial learning curve to edit photos skillfully. Video has all that complexity, and more. An editing package that contains all the possible bells and whistles may provide more capability, but it will be more difficult for users to master. Knowing what features you need, and selecting an editor that focuses on those, provides savings on multiple levels.

This is also a time to consider who will be tasked with the redaction and other editing chores. How long will it take to train people to use the software, and how often will that person need to be replaced? If the software requires considerable expertise, your agency could be left with a big deficiency if your key operator leaves that position.

7. Hardware demands are high

Graphics editing requires more computing power than email and word processing, and video editing is even more demanding on computer resources. Many editing packages will run poorly on the typical desktop or laptop computer, if they run at all. The computer you use for video editing will need a fast, up-to-date CPU and an equally powerful graphic processing unit (GPU).

Video software packages are generally engineered to concentrate the load on either the CPU or GPU. You need to know how yours is designed, and what the minimum performance requirements are. For best results, get a machine that can be dedicated to this task and has the most powerful graphics processing available.

A few vendors offer cloud-based video editing solutions, where the heaviest computing processes are run by remote computers. This reduces the need for a high-performance computer at your site, but demands considerable bandwidth from your internet connection. Many operators report that it can be extremely difficult to achieve frame accurate results with cloud-based video editing solutions.

Evaluate these factors in your selection and purchasing decision, and both you and the community you serve will be happier with the finished output.


How to ensure proper chain of custody with digital video evidence

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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

Digital evidence, while unique and distinct, is not unlike other items of evidence when it comes to use in court. The evidence must be preserved by the agency. With digital evidence this can entail keeping and maintaining memory cards, portable USB drives and other storage devices. This includes the massive servers needed to store and manage digital evidence collected via on-officer video cameras.

Just like the handling of physical evidence such as fingerprints, confiscated weapons, drugs and other physical objects, digital evidence must also be authenticated in court, as the evidence proffered has to be proven to be true and accurate. Video in particular needs to be proven to be an accurate depiction of what the proponent of the evidence purports it to be.

Terry Dwyer, an attorney who represents police officers, says that the basics behind this are no different than the admission of a photograph from a SLR camera or a document. However, because of the nature of digital evidence and its integration into so many facets of modern life, it presents challenges of its own, particularly in regard to authenticating the evidence.

“For example, some digital evidence, such as a Facebook page, can be created by someone other than the party charged, or potentially accessed or hacked,” Dwyer said.

When it comes to video evidence, particularly video not collected by the on-officer camera such as security camera or cell phone video, great pains must be taken to ensure that the video has not been doctored or edited. This may require the assistance of forensics experts such as those available from the FBI at Quantico. It’s potentially a time-consuming extra step, justified by the prevention of important video evidence being tossed out due to lack of authenticity.

Adhering to policy and procedure

Dwyer says that police agencies must update their evidence-handling guidelines to include the handling of digital evidence.

“As with any aspect of police work, if there is a policy in place and the policy was followed, there will not be an issue,” Dwyer said. “Issues arise when there is either no policy or the policy was not followed.”

Key to handling digital evidence is for the handler to know the technology and how to preserve it so it is not lost and cannot be tampered with. In terms of admissibility, it is always helpful to have someone testify who has expert knowledge of digital forensics.

“I would say other than the special type of evidence that digital images and videos provide, and the possibility of it being tampered with or lost because of poor handling, there is not much difference with the requirements in handling as far as protocols. Have a policy, follow the policy and keep video stored in a secure location, as well as having it numbered and accounted for through a department evidence-tracking system,” Dwyer said.

Chain of custody is an important and critical part of gathering evidence that sometimes gets forgotten or is not rigidly followed. Departments are much better in this regard than they were many years ago, but there are still horror stories.

“To give an infamous example of the impact poor chain of custody can have on a case look no further than the OJ Simpson prosecution in LA and the handling of blood evidence. The defense attorneys had a field day attacking the chain of custody. A broken chain of custody can lead to inferences – which aren’t facts – which can lead to a reasonable doubt in a juror’s mind. Chain of custody, which pertains to law enforcement's handling of the evidence (collection, transport, etc.), is required to show there has not been or it is improbable that there has been any tampering or substitution of the evidence. It provides a foundation for the evidence to be reliable and admissible.”

Keeping to the tried and true

Dwyer says that losing video evidence due to a chain of custody breach is not fatal as long as there is no complete failure of proof. Remember that digital evidence is but one piece of evidence in a case. The standard tried and true means of investigation cannot be forgotten or ignored because there is a video of the crime. Police still need to do what they best: question and gather more evidence.

“I recall a commercial burglary case where the perpetrator was caught on a recently installed security camera. It was former employee who was identified by the owner. I called the D.A. and told him what I had and jokingly said, ‘I don't we need a confession in this one.’ He replied that he really wanted one, despite the video and the owner's ID of the perp. I arrested the perp after further investigation and obtained a detailed confession. Even if we lost the video, my investigation had solidified the suspect's guilt with not only his confession, but also interviews with others and some physical evidence that was obtained.”

The moral of the story, Dwyer said, is that just because you have digital evidence, doesn't mean you stop investigating and gathering further evidence of a non-digital nature.


Digital evidence in the video age: Vendors’ views on the big issues

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Tim Dees

By PoliceOne Staff

With the explosion of the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement, police agencies are contending with ballooning data storage and management costs and complexities. We connected with executives from several body camera vendors to discuss the solutions their products offer.

Our virtual roundtable guests are Mike Turner, Vice President of USA Sales for Reveal Media; Tom Guthrie, Vice President, Smart Public Safety Solutions for Motorola Solutions; John Newsom, Executive Vice President of Veritone; and Rick Smith, CEO of Axon.

Some of the following answers were edited for clarity and brevity.

PoliceOne: It’s all but inevitable that every cop in America will eventually be outfitted with a body camera, generating massive volumes of video and other digital evidence that will need to be stored for long periods. How are you working with agencies with tight budgets? What’s the solution for ongoing costs?

Mike Turner, Vice President of USA Sales for Reveal Media: Reveal is working with departments and the law enforcement community to understand all of the challenges involved in the storage of body-worn video and the rich media content departments are generating. Video has taken a larger role in law enforcement as body-worn cameras become used as a tool to support transparency in law enforcement.

Not all content is treated the same. Many technologies and storage platforms can be used to provide evidence when it is needed, at a cost that fits an agency’s budget. Education about the options available to agencies is critical to successful handling of video data.

Tom Guthrie, Vice President, Smart Public Safety Solutions, Motorola Solutions: The cloud offers immediate cost reductions for public safety agencies due to the decreasing cost of cloud storage and the fact that it eases the physical infrastructure burden. To lessen the pain many public safety agencies are starting to feel, we offer scaling storage capacity. By using “live” and “archived” storage methods, we ensure an agency’s storage capacity grows with them without incurring new costs. This way the increasing amounts of retained content are better accounted for from the start, allowing agencies to more accurately predict long-term operating expenses.

John Newsom, Executive Vice President of Veritone: Most police departments are already drowning in audio/video data and are actively seeking solutions that enable them to process and analyze it. Law enforcement agencies in large cities are creating 10,000 hours of video a week, an impossible amount of information for a human to work through. That number is continuing to grow, with new security cameras expected globally to generate 815 petabytes of data every day in 2019.

The ongoing costs of managing these mass amounts of data can’t be solved with just any technology, and certainly can’t be solved with manpower alone. Artificial intelligence must be incorporated to ensure success. Once implemented, metropolises can efficiently and effectively search and analyze resources including video surveillance, sensors, biometrics and access control, allowing governments to improve the security of citizens, businesses and visitors – and truly attain the vision of the safe city.

In today’s digital society, and with the speed at which the digital transformation is growing, products like the Veritone Platform are becoming a necessary investment or a cost of doing business. There are different options for agencies based on the amount of data uploaded into the private media storage index, which is a huge benefit for smaller agencies without a large budget.

Rick Smith, CEO of Axon: One of the challenges of HD video is the significant increase in cost of storage. Because of the scale of our platform and our ability to drive down costs, we are making unlimited HD video plans available to our customers at the same cost as standard definition. In addition, we offer redundant data storage and make it easy for agencies to scale up or down as needed, saving departments from the logistical nightmare brought on by needing extra funding and resources even for a small amount of additional storage. The ongoing capital expenditure of maintaining on-premise storage also grows quickly when you factor in copies, backup plans, redundancy and disaster recovery.

Separate from volume of data, what are the most pressing challenges of managing digital evidence – now and in the future – that you’re working to solve?

Turner: Reveal believes in developing solutions that agencies can easily deploy into their IT and operational environments with very little impact to the organization. Agencies need to be able to share the right information with the right people in a secure matter without the need for incremental costs. Implementing a central evidence management system agencies can leverage for any source device and content, which is then managed through its lifecycle and shared seamlessly, is the challenge facing communities and therefore us as well.

Guthrie: The biggest challenge facing public safety agencies is familiar across the rest of their technology suite – the fact that they are using disparate systems for their evidence management based on the digital evidence “type.” By creating a common repository for all digital evidence with a single workflow for gathering, processing and sharing it, we think agencies can remove some of the management burden.

In the future, this problem can almost be extrapolated in that even if all digital evidence is consolidated into a single repository, the sheer volume will make it exponentially difficult to review and draw “relational” conclusions. This is where machine learning and even artificial intelligence will become valuable, speeding up processes that humans can only do so quickly.

Newsom: Audio and video data from police departments is essentially useless without a way to analyze it. Prior to AI solutions like the Veritone Platform, agencies spent countless hours manually reviewing content, drawing out the length of investigations and trials because of the time required to find information.

Before our technology, searching through large volumes of video content from multiple sources was nearly impossible – specifically to recognize objects and faces. We’re giving public safety agencies their valuable time back, so they can use human capital for actual police work and leave the administrative work to machines.

Smith: We’ve found that up to two thirds of law enforcement time is spent on administrative work rather than in the field. There's too much at stake for this to continue, so we've set out to redefine report-writing. Video data could move to the center of public safety records systems, offering richer and more transparent information than legacy handwritten and text info.

This will eventually reduce the time spent preparing videos for public information requests or court submission and lay the foundation for a future system where records are seamlessly recorded by sensors, not officers.

There has been some concern about the privacy implications of vendors and PDs gathering video footage. How do you plan to combat the “big brother” narrative that is brewing, either via product or PR/education?

Turner: Reveal believes in providing flexible solutions that fit an agency’s needs, whether cloud-hosted or on-premise. Education is extremely important given the speed at which technology is evolving, specifically as it relates to how it is applied and used within law enforcement. Reveal values its relationship as a key differentiator and the catalyst to a long-term technology partnership. We consider transparency to be a mutual result between the law enforcement agency, its body-worn vendor and the community it serves. This is a three-way partnership.

Guthrie: We’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most forward-thinking public safety agencies when it comes to video and body-worn cameras, and this issue has consistently come up. From a product standpoint, by providing audit-logging capabilities from the moment evidence is captured, we can help agencies dispel any notion of mistrust from the community. But this isn’t the silver bullet.

The consistent answer to this question from public safety agencies we’ve worked with always seems to extend beyond the product. Many believe that to be successful you have to be transparent with the community and invite them to work with you when deploying these solutions. This has come in the form of a documented, publicly available policy that is reviewed and approved by community stakeholders, data-sharing agreements as appropriate, and even just inviting the public and media in for town halls to help them understand what you’re trying to accomplish. This gives citizens the opportunity to provide feedback and gain understanding, and provides the agency the opportunity to improve community relations and trust.

Newsom: Security versus privacy is a concern with every new technology developed to assist law enforcement. There is always the risk of technology being misused, but proper training and protocols safeguard privacy. When it comes to public safety, as artificial intelligence is finally reaching a functional tipping point, decision-makers must be aware that while we deliberate about privacy concerns, many bad actors continue to rapidly move forward with zero reservations about leveraging advanced technology to do harm. This is a race we cannot afford to lose.

Communities must put policies into place that safeguard against the misuse of technology by public entities. Individual communities must have open dialogues about comfort levels with technologies, possible implications and positive results.

In recent history, plenty of crimes have been solved using CCTV footage alone, such as the Boston Marathon bombing. The suspects were not only found within 24 hours, but CCTV footage enabled immediate communication with the public about the suspects and where to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Surveillance technologies already in place simply see enhanced efficiency by applying AI technology – we’re not creating a new concept of public safety monitoring.

Smith: Axon holds itself to the highest standards when it comes to data privacy and security. We know how important and sensitive law enforcement data is, and we work diligently to ensure it is secure and protected. Our law enforcement partners own the data. Customers opt into our AI efforts, maintaining full control of the entire learning process. In addition to their instruction and process control, we create a log of every interaction with the data that can be used for auditing purposes.

We would never release a product that has unaddressed privacy concerns for law enforcement officers or private citizens. To that end, we are in the process of developing a fully independent and public AI Ethics Board to maintain public accountability for AI research and products in law enforcement.

What new technologies and capabilities do you envision shaping the future of managing digital evidence?

Turner: A key challenge our customer base faces is how to move from one vendor to another when they have years and terabytes of storage. This is a big challenge and will need to be resolved for law enforcement and the court systems. Agencies will always change vendors from time to time, but it’s a real challenge to deal with stored evidence. Another challenge is device independence and supporting each of the different device’s metadata and integration.

Guthrie: For us, this is two-fold. To start, analytics and eventually artificial intelligence will become vital to staying ahead of the flood of digital evidence. Even more so is what those capabilities will enable beyond the digital evidence itself when you think about the rest of the datasets you have available as a public safety agency.

For example, imagine if an anonymous tip with a picture of a suspicious loiterer was sent in. What if, based on that tip, facial recognition could tie the image of the person to a piece of digital evidence associated with an existing record in your system? This record could give you the suspicious person’s name and any prior offenses they may have. The tip, analysis and digital evidence tied to a record, stored and processed together can facilitate a quicker understanding of a possible threat and prevent a potential incident from occurring.

Newsom: We believe the future of evidence management systems is an AI-centric framework architecture that can leverage any combination of the world’s best cognitive engines to automatically process and analyze massive quantities of audio and video content from any source. This means using the best in facial recognition, natural language processing and object recognition software on a single piece of video in near real time. Police can easily search any quantity of body or dash cam, drone or other footage for objects like handguns, specific words used in dialogue and license plate numbers, in a matter of seconds.

The speed, cost and accuracy of cognitive engines will continue to improve as well. We’ve seen the cost of natural language processing reduce drastically in the last few years. This will help save money for law enforcement, as well as push the use of AI into the mainstream.

Smith: Our R&D team is working to transform current workflows using computer vision and natural language processing along with machine-learning techniques. The addition of these capabilities to Axon’s upcoming records management system (RMS) could enhance and accelerate the analysis of virtually all information in public safety. For example, officers will be able to extract usable information from video records, automatically populating RMS systems.

The benefits could lead to a future of hands-free reporting. Our prediction for the next few years is that the process of doing paperwork by hand will begin to disappear from the world of law enforcement, along with many other tedious manual tasks. Video data could move to the center of public safety records systems, with far richer and more transparent information than historic hand-written and text info.


LA police chief endorses ‘sanctuary state’ bill

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jazmine Ulloa Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck for the first time offered his full support for a bill that would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from carrying out immigration laws, calling it an important proposal that protects the trust between his department and the neighborhoods it polices.

“This is not a soft-on-crime bill,” Beck said Monday at a Los Angeles news conference, with former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León. “This is not an anti-law enforcement bill. This is a bill that displays courage. The courage of Californians, the courage of Angelenos to understand that when we stand together we are much more effective than when we stand apart.”

The endorsement is a boon for De León (D-Los Angeles), who authored Senate Bill 54 and has grappled with opposition from law enforcement groups over claims that it could weaken their ability to detain dangerous or repeat criminals. It came as Holder unveiled a letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions arguing that the legislation “is constitutional and not preempted by federal law.”

Holder was temporarily hired by the Senate and Assembly to serve as outside counsel to offer advice on the state’s legal strategy against the incoming administration. He and his firm, Covington & Burling, analyzed the legislation as part of that contract and concluded “states have the power over the health and safety of their residents and allocation of state resources.”

“California is doing the right thing,” Holder said of moving the bill through the Legislature. “This is something that needs to be done nationwide.”

Senate Bill 54, the so-called sanctuary state bill, was sparked by the Trump administration’s broadened deportation orders. It would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security, from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest people for immigration enforcement.

To address some concerns from police chiefs and sheriffs, De León amended the legislation to allow local and state officers to participate in task forces — and work alongside federal immigration officers — as long as their main purpose is not immigration enforcement. Other changes have loosened communication restrictions between local law enforcement agencies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials concerning violent felons.

The latest provisions also allow law enforcement officers to contact and transfer people to ICE, with a judicial warrant, if they encounter someone who was previously deported for a violent felony. And they permit law enforcement to transfer or detain a person at the request of ICE if a judge finds there is probable cause to do so.

The latter amendment drew Beck’s approval. In the past, he has gone only so far as to say he agreed with the bill’s “underlying tenets,” but that he wanted to ensure police could still go after dangerous criminals.

On Monday, the police chief said he worked closely with De León’s office to ensure it addressed all law enforcement concerns, and that it struck a balance between public safety and preserving community trust. The legislation will allow officers to concentrate on violent criminals who are not in the country legally, he said, and if necessary, to use their illegal status to detain them.

He described the bill as a reflection of California’s values, his own and those of the Los Angeles Police Department, which he said had honored the “Special Order 40.” The 1979 mandate prevents officers from approaching people solely to inquire about immigration status.

“We depend on our communities, particularly the immigrant communities, not only to keep them safe but to keep all of you safe,” Beck said. “Without that cooperation we all suffer.”

But as President Trump and Sessions have threatened to slash federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities, the state legislation has continued to stir Republican lawmakers and sheriffs. They argue its provisions could strain the state’s finances and shield dangerous criminals.

The bill cleared its first hearing last week in the state Assembly, where Cory Salzillo, legislative director for the California State Sheriffs' Assn., argued the legislation still lacked clarity on task forces, and would prevent vital collaboration among sheriffs and ICE officials. By prohibiting federal immigration officers from interrogating immigrants in jails, he said, it would force them to go into communities, potentially leading to the detention of more people.

“ICE is going to do what ICE is going to do, and there will be collateral impact when ICE does that,” Salzillo said.

De León countered that sheriffs were elected officials who operated in a different culture, but he pledged to continue working with them.

In Los Angeles on Monday, he pointed to an order from a federal judge blocking the president’s order to strip funds from municipal governments that refuse to cooperate fully with immigration agents.

“Still, our local law enforcement officers are under threat of being commandeered into the president’s deportation forces,” De León said. “Senate Bill 54 will protect local police against a federal overreach that will have forced them to enforce immigration laws instead of carrying out the everyday duties that keep our communities safe.”

———

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


Pa. court ruling on police videos to be short-lived

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A lawmaker says legislation expected to reach Gov. Tom Wolf's desk would nullify the effect of a day-old court ruling providing more public access to video from police dashboard cameras.

Montgomery County Sen. Stewart Greenleaf said Wednesday he expects a final vote on his bill next week. It passed the House and Senate, with minor differences.

The bill would exempt from Pennsylvania's public records law recordings from police body cameras and dashboard cameras, and give police departments discretion to refuse public requests to see them.

Wolf supports it.

Tuesday's state Supreme Court ruling made police dashboard videos a public record, unless the police agency can prove it contains criminal investigative material.

Before the ruling, police agencies in Pennsylvania routinely deemed the recordings to be exempt from the public records law.


Canadian man charged in stabbing of Mich. airport officer

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jeff Karoub and Mike Householder Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — A police officer was stabbed in the neck at the Flint airport by a man with a knife Wednesday in what authorities are investigating as a possible act of terrorism.

The suspect was immediately taken into custody, and federal prosecutors hours later announced the Canadian man was charged with committing violence at an airport. They identified him as Amor Ftouhi of Quebec.

The criminal complaint says Ftouhi stabbed Lt. Jeff Neville with a large knife and declared "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great." The FBI, which is leading the investigation, said Ftouhi said something similar to "you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die."

The FBI added in the criminal complaint that Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why he didn't kill him.

Neville was in stable condition after initially being in critical condition.

The attack just before 10 a.m. at Bishop International Airport prompted an evacuation and extra security elsewhere in the Michigan city about 50 miles northwest of Detroit. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump was briefed on the stabbing.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said "everything is on the table" as far as a motive for the attack. He said the primarily regional airport was "shut down and secure" and that no other threats had been identified.

Witnesses described seeing the suspect led away in handcuffs by police, Neville bleeding and a knife on the ground.

"The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck," Ken Brown told The Flint Journal. "I said they need to get him a towel."

Cherie Carpenter, who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, told Flint TV station WJRT she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs. She described the man in custody as appearing "blank, just totally blank."

Genesee County Commissioner Mark Young, a friend of Neville's who retired from the Genesee County sheriff's office in 1997, said Neville left that department two years after him. He said Neville served in various capacities with the sheriff's office including in the jail, on road patrol and as a court officer. Neville retired from that department as a lieutenant.

Young said he headed to the airport when he learned about the stabbing Wednesday. He said once he got there, he "tried to assess and work with emergency management and emergency response teams from the sheriff's department, kind of trying to see what was going on."

"Things were chaotic, but very well organized and under control — how the sheriff's department was handling things and how Bishop International was handling things," he said.

A few miles away, officials stationed police officers at Flint City Hall after the incident. Mayor Karen Weaver said in a release the situation was "under control" but that officials sought to take "extra precautions."


Belgium tightens security after failed Brussels bombing

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Raf Casert and Lori Hinnant Associated Press

BRUSSELS — The weapons are increasingly ordinary — rented vehicles, nails and canisters, store-bought knives. A series of small-scale attacks has left Europeans trying to balance their desire not to give in to extremism with a persistent anxiety that it could strike at any time.

Even though a nail bomb didn't fully go off in Brussels Central Station late Tuesday and failed to hit dozens of commuters close by, it didn't stop fear going up a further notch.

And across Western Europe where the summer tourism season is about to start, the challenge is how to deal with it without having a big impact on daily life.

"We have to see in what kind of society we want to live in," said Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon. "Today it is train stations. Tomorrow all subway stations and the day after all city halls. Will we have to arm, protect, control all that? Is that the type of society we want," he asked.

Still, for Wednesday at least, more security was the way to go.

"Extra security measures have been decided for the coming hours and days," said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel after a 36-year-old Moroccan national shouting "Allahu akbar" set a bomb among commuters. The bomb didn't detonate in full and a soldier shot the man dead.

Those measures come on top of ones that have been in place under the second highest level of terror alert since twin bomb attacks killed 32 people in Brussels in March last year.

In sweltering heat, fans lined up early for security checks as they attended the first of two concerts by the band Coldplay at the 50,000-seater King Baudouin Stadium Wednesday night, with the concerts becoming another test of police security and public mettle.

In Paris, a day after a man with a bomb-rigged car tried to attack gendarmes on the Champs-Elysees, the iconic shopping avenue was filled with French and foreign visitors.

The succession of attacks in western European capitals like London, Paris and Brussels has become so numbing that Paris criminology Professor Alain Bauer is comparing it to living in London during World War II when German planes would relentlessly bomb the city in what became known as the Blitz.

During the Blitz, Bauer said in an interview. "The question that was asked was not to know whether there would be bombings, but how to endure them, resist against them, stand up against them with the idea that at the end, they would win," he said of the Londoners.

Even though the huge attacks like the November 2015 series in Paris that killed 130 have not returned, a different way to spread terror has come.

"We have gone from hyperterrorism or gigaterrorism to lumpenterrorism, low-intensity terrorism of proximity, with few victims but with a strong media amplification," Bauer said.

"A failed attack, a successful attack, an attack that has one victim or one that has 100, has the same media coverage," securing success for the attackers, Bauer said.

Still, people are starting to adapt to the attacks.

Remy Bonnaffe had just walked away from the timetable board at Brussels Central Station late Tuesday when he heard a loud bang and saw a flame. He took time to take a photo, thinking it could be useful to warn other commuters on Twitter about further delays.

"With all these events happening, at least for myself I have been thinking a lot 'what would I do if I would be in a situation like this'," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "There were a couple of things I was really thinking about doing, like looking for cover and finding the nearest exit and things like that."

It is a kind of way of life that Prime Minister Michel says more and more people have to adapt to. "In three years we have been confronted with several attacks or attempts and we say the zero risk does not exist."


Going green: New Cincinnati police station is sustainable, solar-powered

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police are setting new sustainability standards for police stations across the country.

The District 3 headquarters, the first new station in 40 years, is the first of its kind in the United States to be certified net zero energy, Curbed reported. The certification means all the station’s power needs are met by the solar panels on the roof.

The station, which has been operating for a year, is 39,000 square feet and is used 24 hours a day. Because of the design, the building only uses half the power of other buildings its size.

The building was designed with the local community in mind.

“The initial design concept was the deconstruction of a civic building,” architect Jim Cheng told Curbed. “Think about a classic courthouse or police station, which has big, intimidating entrance. This project took apart those pieces and rearranged them in a more welcoming ways.”

The building features tons of natural daylighting, bullet-resistant windows, and drought-tolerant landscaping outside. The station is connected to bike lanes and streets designed with pedestrians in mind.

Cheng said the station reflects the neighborhood surrounding it and he hopes it can serve as a catalyst for development.

#SolarCincinnati. Roof top solar array at @CincinnatiMSD Mill Creek facility. pic.twitter.com/qYkZ6gMhPv

— Cincinnati OES (@CincyOES) December 21, 2016

#Microroofgarden @cincinnatipd District 3 LEED Platinum and Net-Zero Energy facility. pic.twitter.com/MESPmreYs5

— Cincinnati OES (@CincyOES) December 21, 2016

#Solar panel covered carport at #Cincinnati Police District 3 Headquarters. #LEEDPlatinum and #NetZeroEnergy facility. pic.twitter.com/fypvatGOiN

— Cincinnati OES (@CincyOES) December 28, 2016

Opening of Cincinnati Police District 3 - great work @CityOfCincy @messerwearebldg! pic.twitter.com/8T9D6c76DQ

— Cincy Nhood Summit (@CincySummit) July 1, 2015


Videos: Chicago police struggle to stop 1000-person gang party

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — Police sent to stop a street party struggled to shut it down because it was so out of control.

Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. told DNA Info that the 25 squad cars sent to the 1000-person gang party Sunday weren’t enough and police were outnumbered.

"It's not just an inconvenience, it's very dangerous," Burnett said. "When you have that many people drinking, getting high, anything can happen."

Neighbors living near the area have asked police and politicians for years to break up the gang parties, but said this weekend’s party was worse than the others.

"You had people who were boozing hardcore and were jacked up on drugs. By the time cops showed up it was just so far gone," a neighbor told DNA Info.

Another neighbor witnessed a fight break out on her lawn. She said she called 911 after five people stomped on a woman.

Multiple shootings were reported only blocks away, but police couldn’t confirm if the party and shootings were related. The police department did confirm that officers were sent to the scene, but didn’t say if there were any arrests.

According to the publication, the warm weather has brought people to Touhy-Herbert Park and the crowds have grown larger for the annual party that happens after a Father’s Day barbecue.

Organizers said permits are always issued for the barbeque. But after the sun sets and families leave the park, people come to party. A “gang-truce” in the area draws more people to the park.

The city has a plan to convert streets near the park to a permit-only parking area, allowing police to tow and ticket cars that don’t have resident stickers. The signs haven’t been installed yet, but police believe it could be a valuable tool to block partiers.


Police chief fired after verbal exchange with mayor

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Joe Ferguson The Arizona Daily Star

SOUTH TUCSON, Ariz. — South Tucson Police Chief Michael Ford was fired Tuesday, a day after Mayor Ildefonso Green publicly blamed him for being a source in a series of negative news articles.

Green lashed out at the media during the City Council’s meeting Monday night, complaining recent articles focused too heavily on proposed cuts to police and fire staffing and not on other budget proposals.

He accused Ford, who has been chief since December 2014, and other staffers of leaking information after the city’s budget problems became widely known.

“All of sudden we had individuals running to the media,” Green said at the meeting. “They were saying to the media that we are going to lose our Fire Department, we are going to lose our Police Department.”

Green said eliminating the departments was never seriously considered.

Ford, who had been shaking his head “no” as Green was talking during the council meeting, was called on by the mayor to give his thoughts. Ford said the information in news stories came from public discussions, not leaks.

“That is not true. The only information we had to communicate (to the public) came at these meetings, and that is the same information that went out to the media,” Ford said.

The two argued back and forth for several minutes before Ford left the meeting room.

Green instructed staff that he wanted to talk to Ford, labeling his comments as “insubordination.”

The discussion was tabled during Monday’s meeting but resumed after the meeting ended.

Council members Oscar Patino and Anita Romero argued with Green for about 10 minutes from the floor of the council chambers about the issue. Councilman Robert Larribas listened nearby.

City Attorney Bobby Lu was present but did not speak or attempt to end the conversation.

With four members present discussing city business outside of a formal meeting, this is a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law, said Dan Barr, attorney for the First Amendment Coalition.

On Tuesday morning, City Manager Sixto Molina told Ford he was being fired for poor work performance, Ford said.

Molina confirmed Ford had been fired, but said he could not discuss the reasons why.

Lt. Kevin Shonk will temporarily serve as the acting police chief, Molina said.

About two weeks ago, Molina announced that the city’s projected $500,000 budget crisis had been fixed.

The solution mostly came from a combination of cuts in staffing, particularly in the fire and police departments, and other measures.

During Monday’s meeting, Molina said without a significant influx of new revenues, the 1-square-mile town will be forced to declare bankruptcy and consider de-incorporation.

———

©2017 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)


Police chief fired after verbal exchange with mayor over budget cut leaks

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Joe Ferguson The Arizona Daily Star

SOUTH TUCSON, Ariz. — South Tucson Police Chief Michael Ford was fired Tuesday, a day after Mayor Ildefonso Green publicly blamed him for being a source in a series of negative news articles.

Green lashed out at the media during the City Council’s meeting Monday night, complaining recent articles focused too heavily on proposed cuts to police and fire staffing and not on other budget proposals.

He accused Ford, who has been chief since December 2014, and other staffers of leaking information after the city’s budget problems became widely known.

“All of sudden we had individuals running to the media,” Green said at the meeting. “They were saying to the media that we are going to lose our Fire Department, we are going to lose our Police Department.”

Green said eliminating the departments was never seriously considered.

Ford, who had been shaking his head “no” as Green was talking during the council meeting, was called on by the mayor to give his thoughts. Ford said the information in news stories came from public discussions, not leaks.

“That is not true. The only information we had to communicate (to the public) came at these meetings, and that is the same information that went out to the media,” Ford said.

The two argued back and forth for several minutes before Ford left the meeting room.

Green instructed staff that he wanted to talk to Ford, labeling his comments as “insubordination.”

The discussion was tabled during Monday’s meeting but resumed after the meeting ended.

Council members Oscar Patino and Anita Romero argued with Green for about 10 minutes from the floor of the council chambers about the issue. Councilman Robert Larribas listened nearby.

City Attorney Bobby Lu was present but did not speak or attempt to end the conversation.

With four members present discussing city business outside of a formal meeting, this is a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law, said Dan Barr, attorney for the First Amendment Coalition.

On Tuesday morning, City Manager Sixto Molina told Ford he was being fired for poor work performance, Ford said.

Molina confirmed Ford had been fired, but said he could not discuss the reasons why.

Lt. Kevin Shonk will temporarily serve as the acting police chief, Molina said.

About two weeks ago, Molina announced that the city’s projected $500,000 budget crisis had been fixed.

The solution mostly came from a combination of cuts in staffing, particularly in the fire and police departments, and other measures.

During Monday’s meeting, Molina said without a significant influx of new revenues, the 1-square-mile town will be forced to declare bankruptcy and consider de-incorporation.

———

©2017 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)


Milwaukee jurors acquit ex-cop in fatal OIS

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ivan Moreno Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee jury on Wednesday acquitted a former police officer of first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting of a black man last year that ignited riots on the city's north side.

Jurors found that Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was justified when he shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith after a brief foot chase following a traffic stop Aug. 23. Smith had a gun when he ran, but the case hinged on whether he was a threat when Heaggan-Brown fired the shot that killed him.

Body-camera video showed Heaggan-Brown shooting Smith once in the arm as he appeared to be throwing the gun over a fence. The video showed the second shot — 1.69 seconds later — hit Smith in the chest as he lay on the ground.

Prosecutors argued Smith was defenseless at the time of the second shot because he had thrown the gun over the fence. Defense attorneys argued Heaggan-Brown had to act quickly to defend himself.

Heaggan-Brown was fired from the police force in October after being charged with sexual assault in an unrelated case. The sexual assault case was not mentioned during the trial because it is being handled separately and knowledge of it could prejudice the jury.

Smith's death brought to the surface long-simmering tensions between black Milwaukee residents and police, and demonstrators assembled near the site of the shooting in Sherman Park hours after it happened.

Two nights of riots followed, with protesters throwing rocks, bricks, and bottles at police officers. The protesters burned eight businesses and a police car and when it was over, 40 demonstrators had been arrested and a handful of officers hurt.

In the encounter with Smith, Heaggan-Brown and two other officers had approached Smith's rental car because it was parked more than a foot from the curb and they believed a drug deal was about to take place.

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

Heaggan-Brown's camera shows him briefly pointing the gun at Smith as he begins the pursuit. He put his gun back in his holster as Smith turned into a path between two houses.

Smith slipped and fell near a fence, dropping his gun. He started reaching for it as he stood up, with 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 argued that Smith no longer posed a threat.

The two shots by Heaggan-Brown came in quick succession, striking Smith once in his right arm and then the fatal shot to the chest.

The 12-member jury included four African-Americans.

The acquittal comes less than a week after a Minnesota officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was cleared of manslaughter by a jury in the fatal shooting of a black motorist. Yanez testified the motorist, 32-year-old Philando Castile, disregarded his commands not to pull out a handgun Castile had informed him he was carrying.


Cop missing in Russia after climbing mountain solo

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LITTLETON, Colo. — A Littleton police officer and National Guardsman is missing after a solo mountain climb in Russia.

Olivia, Officer Steven Beare’s wife, told The Denver Channel that he went missing on June 16 while climbing Mount Elbrus. It was his first solo climb without a guide.

She spoke to him when he first arrived in Russia on June 12. A blizzard hit the mountain shortly after Beare was reported missing.

"My biggest fear is that he's freezing to death, and he's alone somewhere in the snow, and I don't know if he's going to make it," Olivia said. "I'm really scared."

A Russian team began looking for him on Sunday, but the search was called off due to weather, the publication reported. Family and friends are working to deploy a private search crew and two helicopters that will fly over the mountain when the weather is better. Beare’s fellow officers are also raising money for ground efforts.

"I just picture him walking out of the storm into clear skies, I don't know if it will happen," Olivia said. "He's on the mountain somewhere."


Photo: Cop sticks head in hole to save chihuahua

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Two officers used their heads to rescue a dog trapped in a hole.

Officials told the Washington Post that the officers called a humane rescue group to save a chihuahua named Max from a five-foot hole Saturday night. It’s unclear how the dog fell down the hole.

After becoming concerned for the dog’s health, one officer held onto the other’s feet while he was lowered into the hole.

The dog and the officer were pulled from the hole safely.

Police Chief Peter Newsham said the officers went “above and beyond” the call of duty.

Over the weekend 4D officers went above and beyond to rescue a chihuahua that fell down a five-foot hole. Glad everyone made it out safely. pic.twitter.com/XcPih5rZOM

— Peter Newsham (@pnewsham2) June 19, 2017


20 signs you’re a veteran police officer’s spouse

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

Law enforcement is a unique profession. As a result, the longer a man or woman is a police officer, the more skills, attributes and sometimes eccentricities they take on. A police officer’s spouse will also adopt rather unique traits and skill sets.

Here are 20 signs that you are a veteran police officer’s spouse:

1. You work opposite shifts and have a bed that is in use as many hours a day as the bunk in a submarine … primarily for sleeping.

2. It seems as normal to have pizza or a burger at 8 a.m. as it is to have scrambled eggs.

3. When you walk into a bar, restaurant or even a grocery store and your spouse turns and says, “Uh oh, we’re outta here,” you nonchalantly turn and leave with no questions asked.

4. You give your spouse a hug as they leave for work with an extra pat for a vest check, because you know that, whether your spouse works in Motor City or the Cheese Curd Capital of the World, anything can happen anywhere.

5. You have never had to fight crowds for a table at a restaurant to celebrate Valentine’s Day, because you have not celebrated that holiday – or any other holiday – on the actual date for 10 years … and you don’t mind.

6. You are familiar with more acronyms than any of your friends, like: DT, ER, FOP, DWI, ROD. You have even caught yourself (just once on a really bad day) warning the kids to, “Quiet down, because if I have to come in there you’ll be DRT.”

7. You realize you are their “one and only,” because you are the one and only person allowed on their gun side.

8. You have mastered the subtlety of the one-hand-high-hug to bypass the concealed Glock.

9. You have no medical training, yet you can perfectly execute the post-emergency room care for a concussion, stitches, road rash and even human bites.

10. Forget about Disney, your pre-teen kids attend sleepovers wearing oversized Torch Run and Polar Plunge T-shirts for pajamas.

11. You received a scanner from a thoughtful relative as a present some time ago, but you have never taken it out of the box, because it is easier not knowing.

12. You have at some point engaged in a thousand yard stare at your spouse’s thousand yard stare and did not even have to ask, “What are you thinking, sweetheart?”

13. You have learned to appreciate cop humor.

14. Not only do you know nine – no, 10 – hyphenated insults that end with the word “bag,” but you also have acquired the skill of doubling that vocabulary by merely replacing the word “bag” with “ball.” You also have your personal favorite and directed it – under your breath – to that guy who stole your parking spot at Target yesterday.

15. You manage to fake laugh at the comment from non-police friends, “Does your spouse ever bring the handcuffs home?” even though you have heard it hundreds of times before.

16. On the other hand, you have to fight the urge to slap the spit out of anyone who cracks a donut joke, but you are not quite sure why.

17. You know on a cop’s wages there’s no living paycheck-to-paycheck unless some of the time worked was on the “big clock.”

18. You know what “big clock” means.

19. You also are familiar with “I got your six” and have come to realize how important it is to your police officer spouse that you always have had their six, even though they will never be able to adequately put that emotion into words.

20. You have discovered the best tonic for a rough shift is to go arm and arm with your spouse into the children’s rooms and just quietly hold each other while you watch them sleep.

As a veteran police officer’s spouse, it is important to stay safe, stay strong and stay positive – remember that they are better with you than they could ever be without you.


Video released of fatal Seattle OIS of woman with knife

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Phuong Le and Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE — The two Seattle police officers who shot and killed a pregnant woman inside her apartment had less lethal options and had been trained to deal with people showing signs of mental illness or other behavior crises.

The killing occurred as Seattle police are under federal oversight following a 2011 investigation that found officers were too quick to use force. All Seattle officers now receive training on how to better handle those with mental illness or abusing drugs. One of the officers who shot Lyles had been certified as a crisis intervention specialist.

Still, within minutes of arriving Sunday to take a burglary report, the officers drew their guns and shot 30-year-old Charleena Lyles with three of her four children inside her apartment.

Authorities say Lyles confronted the officers with two kitchen knives — less than two weeks after she had threatened officers with long metal shears when they responded to a domestic disturbance at her home.

Officials say the officers had at least one less-lethal way to handle the woman they knew had a previous volatile encounter with law enforcement and had been having mental health issues.

Family members say they want to know why police didn't use a non-lethal option.

At a vigil for Lyles outside her apartment building Tuesday, family members called her a good person and demanded justice.

Monika Williams, who said she was Lyles' older sister, described Lyles as a woman who loved her kids and who liked to sing and dance.

"My sister was so loving and caring," Williams said. "If you met her you would be drawn in. She was always smiling."

Throughout the vigil and subsequent march, the crowd repeatedly chanted "Say Her Name," followed by "Charleena," while people held signs reading "Black Lives Matter," ''People with Mental Illness Matter," and "Rest in Peace Lena."

Police and the mayor say the shooting will be investigated.

Detective Patrick Michaud said Seattle officers are required to carry a less-lethal option to subdue suspects and have a choice between a Taser, baton or pepper spray.

He said the officers who killed Lyles did not have a Taser and he was unsure which option they had at the time.

Near the beginning of a roughly four-minute police audio recording of the incident and before they reached the apartment, the officers discussed an "officer safety caution" about the address involving the previous law enforcement interaction.

The officers talked about the woman previously having large metal shears, trying to prevent officers from leaving her apartment and making "weird statements" about her and her daughter turning into wolves.

Seattle Municipal Court records show that Lyles was arrested June 5 and booked into King County Jail. She pleaded not guilty to two counts of harassment and obstructing a police officer.

She was released from jail on June 14 on the condition that she check-in twice a week with a case manager and possess no weapons "or items that can be used as weapons," and take all prescribed medications, according to court records.

The audio recording and transcripts released by police indicate that the officers had spent about two minutes calmly speaking with Lyles before the situation escalated.

The transcript shows one officer yelling "get back!" repeatedly and Lyles saying "Get ready, (expletive)."

An officer said "we need help" and reported "a woman with two knives." He urged his partner to use a stun gun but that officer responded: "I don't have a Taser."

Sue Rahr, a former sheriff who heads the state Criminal Justice Training Commission, noted that circumstances determine whether officers are able to use non-lethal force or resolve a situation without force.

Officers may be able to take their time to persuade a suspect who's standing in the middle of an intersection with no one nearby to drop a knife, but that might be different in cramped quarters or with children nearby, she said.

James Bible, an attorney representing relatives of Lyles, said Tuesday that "the officers knew she was vulnerable" when they went to her apartment.

"When we call police for help, we expect protection, we expect safety," Bible said. "It was their responsibility to protect her and they didn't."

He said family members are heartbroken and dedicated to finding justice.


Police: NJ officer shot, killed himself before off-duty crash

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

HAMILTON, N.J. — Authorities said an off-duty officer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head before he struck a van.

Tom White, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene after he rear-ended a van Monday, NJ.com reported. He was found unresponsive behind the wheel of his truck. The van driver was not injured.

White joined the Hamilton Township police in 2009 and ran an anti-drug program at the middle school. He was co-director for the town’s Police Athletic League Safety Town as well.

"Officer White has touched many lives and worked to ensure the safety of our young people," Mayor Kelly Yaede said. "I want to extend our collective sympathies and our prayers for Officer White's family and loved ones during this extremely difficult time. May they always take solace in the fact that his legacy will endure through the achievements of the countless children he served across our community."


2 arrested in off-duty NM border agent attack

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

By Carlos Andres López Las Cruces Sun-News

DEMING, N.M. — Two men have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and assault of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent.

The arrests come after an FBI-led investigation that involved 125 federal agents and other law enforcement officers.

The agent, who court records identify as 30-year-old Lorenzo Hernandez, was found the night of June 9 on the side of a road in Doña Ana County with severe injuries to his head, hands and chest.

On Friday, Doña Ana County and the FBI announced that two men — Sergio Ivan Venegas-Quiñonez, 33, and Fernando Puga, 31, both of Las Cruces — were arrested this week and charged with various felonies in connection with the attack.

Venegas-Quiñonez is identified in an FBI news release as Quiñonez-Venegas and in El Paso Jail records as Sergio Ivan Venegas.

Federal kidnapping charges were filed Friday against Puga and Venegas-Quiñonez in El Paso.

The FBI said that Venegas-Quiñonez, who is a Mexican citizen also known as Solo Vino and Pedro, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at a construction site in the 10500 block of Tomwood Avenue in East El Paso, the FBI said.

Here are the mugshots of the men accused of leaving a Border Patrol agent for dead. They are Sergio Ivan Vanegas-Quinonez and Fernando Puga. pic.twitter.com/ICE6Age62Y

— Patrick Hayes (@KTSMPatrick) June 16, 2017

During the investigation, Texas Department of Criminal Justice bloodhounds were used to try to track the suspects and the U.S. Border Patrol checked vehicles heading into Mexico.

Venegas-Quiñonez was charged with aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm and aggravated assault, officials said Friday. He remains in custody at the El Paso County Jail, awaiting extradition to Doña Ana County.

Puga, alias "Cholo," was arrested by 10 law enforcement officers at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Community of Hope Center at 999 W. Amador Ave. in Las Cruces, the FBI said. He was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.

Puga made his first court appearance Friday via video arraignment from the Doña Ana County Detention Center, court records show. He was advised of his charges and his bond was reduced to $200,000 secured.

The investigation included El Paso, Socorro and Horizon City police, the Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Incident began in El Paso

According to the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office, Venegas-Quiñonez and Puga spoke with Hernandez on June 9 as he was helping his mother at her tamale stand near the intersection of Stan Roberts Avenue and McCombs Street in Northeast El Paso.

Hernandez then left in his vehicle with Venegas-Quiñonez and Puga, the FBI said.

The FBI said that Hernandez was forced to drive 46 miles to a semirural area about 100 yards from the Rio Grande in the 6000 block of Shalem Colony Trail, west of Las Cruces area.

Around 11:40 p.m. that night, a sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to Paradise Lane near Shalem Colony Trail. The deputy reported finding a 30-year-old man with multiple lacerations to his head and arms. The man was later identified as the off-duty agent who was reported abducted by the suspects in Northeast El Paso.

The victim, subsequently identified as Hernandez, told deputies that the two men were armed with a gun and a machete. Detectives said Hernandez was struck repeatedly with the machete.

The gun was later discovered to be a pellet gun.

Suspects said they needed ride

In a statement to a sheriff’s detective, Hernandez said he was at his mother's tamale stand when two men approached. He said the men had told him that their vehicle had broken down on Amparo Road in Chaparral.

Hernandez said he agreed to give the men a ride to a gas station in El Paso. One man sat in the front passenger seat of Hernandez’s vehicle, and the other sat in the rear on the driver’s side.

In a separate statement with sheriff's deputies, Hernandez’s mother said she had urged her son not to give the men a ride, saying “something wasn’t right,” according to court documents. But, she said, Hernandez told her that he would be fine and be “right back.”

About two or three minutes into the drive, Hernandez said, the men pulled out weapons — one had a gun and the other had a machete — and instructed Hernandez to follow their orders, according to the court records.

Hernandez said they “drove into New Mexico and he ended up at a water canal,” the documents state. The men then told Hernandez to get out of the car, he said. But when he did, he said, he “went after the male with the gun."

“While doing so,” the documents also state, “the second individual with the machete began to strike him with the machete.” Hernandez said he was able to run away and seek help.

Court documents revealed that two of Hernandez’s fingers on his right hand were partially amputated during the incident.

He also had fractures on his hands and multiple lacerations on his upper torso, in addition to a possible brain hemorrhage. And he had to undergo surgery to repair torn tendons and the partially amputated fingers, according the court documents.

When Hernandez did not return, his mother told deputies that she had a friend try to locate Hernandez through a locator app on his cellphone, according to the court records. His phone “pinged” on Interstate 10, north of Mesquite.

Dispute in Chaparral

That same night, just before 9 p.m., sheriff's deputies responded to the 100 block of Amparo Road in Chaparral on what was initially believed to be an unrelated domestic dispute.

Deputies learned that Venegas-Quiñonez had been at the home, demanding to see his ex-girlfriend. The woman’s sister told deputies that he threatened her with what appeared to be a handgun.

The sister said Venegas-Quiñonez had been driving an older-model red Nissan — the same vehicle that deputies found on the side of McCombs Road, just south of the New Mexico-Texas state line.

The Sheriff's Office said the vehicle matched the description provided by the victim on Amparo Road. Physical descriptions of the two suspects also matched those given by the victim on Amparo Road, Hernandez and his mother.

Agent's legal troubles

When U.S. Customs & Border Protection announced the assault last week, the agency reported that the agent was assigned to the border checkpoint in Deming.

Hernandez, according to reports from the Deming Headlight, had been assigned to the Deming station and had previously made headlines when he was arrested in July 2015.

Court records show that Hernandez was charged with child abuse and other offenses. The Headlight reported the charges stemmed from an incident at a residence in the 4200 block of Tigua Road in Deming on June 27, 2015.

Hernandez, then 28, had allegedly threatened suicide and fired a single round from a 40-caliber handgun while intoxicated and with his 5-year-old son, according to court records.

Hernandez was arrested in Roswell about a week after the episode on a warrant charging child abuse, negligent use of a firearm and using the telephone to harass or annoy, the Headlight reported.

Last summer, a jury convicted Hernandez of negligent use of a firearm and using the telephone to harass or annoy, both misdemeanor counts, according to court records. But the jury failed to reach a verdict on a felony child abuse charge, forcing a mistrial on that count.

In December, he was retried on the child abuse charge and was acquitted by a jury.

Earlier this year, he was sentenced on the two misdemeanor convictions. He was given a deferred sentence and ordered to serve a supervised probation term of one year, five months and 29 days, court records show.

Hernandez had been scheduled to appear in Luna County District Court this week for hearings in separate criminal and family cases. Those hearings were vacated on Monday, court records show.

CPB officials on Friday declined to comment on Hernandez.

Texas court records show that Puga has an extensive criminal history. Dating back to 2003, Puga has been arrested on numerous charges including, aggravated robbery, burglary, evading arrest, marijuana possession and assault on a family member, among other charges.

———

©2017 the Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, N.M.)


Mich. airport evacuated after officer critically injured

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — The airport in Flint, Michigan, was evacuated Wednesday morning after a police officer was critically injured, officials said.

Bishop International Airport posted on Facebook that the officer was hurt but offered no details about the incident. The post added that passengers were safe and were being told to check for flight delays or cancellations.

Ken Brown tells The Flint Journal he was dropping off his daughter at the airport and saw the officer bleeding from his neck. He says he saw a man detained by police and a knife on the ground.

"The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck," Brown said. "I said they need to get him a towel."

On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition.

Airport and police officials didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Flint is about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

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BREAKING: Officer stabbed at Flint Bishop International Airport, live view. LATEST HERE: http://bit.ly/2rCPH7I

‎Posted by WDIV Local 4 / ClickOnDetroit on‎ ??? ????? 21 ???? 2017


Officer stabbed in neck at Mich. airport improving

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

UPDATE 1:20 p.m. (CST):

FLINT, Mich. — Authorities say a police officer injured at the airport in Flint, Michigan, was stabbed in the neck and his condition is improving.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said the officer stabbed Wednesday morning is Lt. Jeff Neville with the Bishop International Airport police. Shaw says Neville's condition also has been upgraded from critical to stable condition.

Shaw said one person is in custody and nobody else is believed to have been involved.

Shaw says "everything is on the table" as far as motive is concerned but cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

Witnesses have described seeing a man led away in handcuffs by police, Neville bleeding from his neck and knife on the ground.

Shaw said Neville had retired from the Genesee County Sheriff's Department as a lieutenant.

EARLIER:

Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — The airport in Flint, Michigan, was evacuated Wednesday morning after a police officer was critically injured, officials said.

Bishop International Airport posted on Facebook that the officer was hurt but offered no details about the incident. The post added that passengers were safe and were being told to check for flight delays or cancellations.

Ken Brown tells The Flint Journal he was dropping off his daughter at the airport and saw the officer bleeding from his neck. He says he saw a man detained by police and a knife on the ground.

"The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck," Brown said. "I said they need to get him a towel."

On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition.

Airport and police officials didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Flint is about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

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BREAKING: Officer stabbed at Flint Bishop International Airport, live view. LATEST HERE: http://bit.ly/2rCPH7I

‎Posted by WDIV Local 4 / ClickOnDetroit on‎ ??? ????? 21 ???? 2017


Official: FBI looking at terrorism in Flint airport stabbing

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Jeff Karoub and Mike Householder Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. — A police officer was stabbed in the neck at the Flint airport by a man with a knife Wednesday in what authorities are investigating as a possible act of terrorism.

The attack just before 10 a.m. at Bishop International Airport prompted an evacuation and extra security elsewhere in the city, and a law enforcement official said the FBI is looking at terrorism as a possible motive. A second law enforcement official said authorities are investigating witness reports that the suspect made statements during the stabbing, including saying "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great."

Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't able to publicly discuss the incident. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump was briefed on the stabbing.

The condition of the officer who was stabbed, airport police Lt. Jeff Neville, was upgraded from critical to stable by Wednesday afternoon, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said. Shaw said one person is in custody and nobody else is believed to have been involved.

Shaw said "everything is on the table" as far as motive is concerned but cautioned against jumping to conclusions. The FBI is leading the investigation. The primarily regional airport, which had been evacuated, is "shut down and secure," Shaw said, and no other threats had been identified.

In an official statement, the FBI said it's aware of the reports that an attacker made statements during the stabbing, but added that it's too early to determine their nature or whether the incident was an act of terrorism.

Witnesses described seeing the suspect led away in handcuffs by police, Neville bleeding and a knife on the ground.

"The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck," Ken Brown told The Flint Journal. "I said they need to get him a towel."

Cherie Carpenter, who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, told Flint TV station WJRT she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs. She described the man in custody as appearing "blank, just totally blank."

Genesee County Commissioner Mark Young said he spoke with Neville's family at a hospital following the attack and that the wounded officer had just come out of surgery.

Young retired from the Genesee County sheriff's office in 1997 and said his "good friend" Neville did the same two years later. He said Neville served in various capacities with the sheriff's office including in the jail, on road patrol and as a court officer. Neville retired from that department as a lieutenant.

Young said he headed to the airport when he learned about the stabbing Wednesday. He said once he got there, he "tried to assess and work with emergency management and emergency response teams from the sheriff's department, kind of trying to see what was going on."

"Things were chaotic, but very well organized and under control — how the sheriff's department was handling things and how Bishop International was handling things," he said.

A few miles away, officials stationed police officers at Flint City Hall after the incident. Mayor Karen Weaver said in a release the situation was "under control" but that officials sought to take "extra precautions."

Flint is about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.


Police implore author who says he hid treasure to end hunt

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico's top law enforcement officer is urging the author and antiquities dealer who inspired thousands to search remote corners of the American West for a hidden chest of gold and jewels to end the treasure hunt.

The plea from State Police Chief Pete Kassetas follows what authorities believe is the latest death related to the effort to uncover Forrest Fenn's treasure.

Colorado pastor Paris Wallace disappeared last week while searching for the bounty in a rugged area along the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. His family reported him missing, triggering an extensive search.

State Police believe a body recovered Sunday is Wallace's. Medical investigators were working Tuesday to make a positive identification.

Kassetas told reporters that Fenn should retrieve the treasure from wherever he hid it and stop what he called nonsense and insanity.

"He's putting lives at risk," the chief said, noting that he planned to contact Fenn personally to ask him to call off the hunt.

Fenn did not respond to emails from The Associated Press asking about Wallace's disappearance and the calls to end the search for the cache of gold coins, jewels and other artifacts he claims to have hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

Fenn has dropped clues to its whereabouts in a cryptic poem in his memoir, "The Thrill of the Chase."

He told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper Monday that he has been considering how to make the search safer or cancel it altogether but has not made any decisions. He called Wallace's disappearance tragic.

The 52-year-old pastor traveled to the Espanola area last week. His wife reported him missing Wednesday after he didn't return home and hotel staff informed her that his belongings were still in his room.

Police and wildlife officials searched forest and county roads and popular hiking trails.

After looking at Wallace's laptop, authorities learned of other locations where he might have gone. They eventually found his vehicle along the Rio Grande.

At the edge of the water, officers saw two red ropes tied together and to a large rock. Receipts in Wallace's vehicle indicated the ropes belonged to him.

Rescuers spent two days searching the river until rafters spotted a body downstream — about 7 miles from where Wallace was last believed to have been.

Authorities say the search effort required extensive resources, including air support, the state police dive team, numerous officers, canine teams and volunteers.

Mitzi Wallace, Wallace's fellow treasure hunter and wife of 30 years, said it would be a mistake for Fenn to end the hunt, and she would continue to search for the treasure with her 19-year-old son, including in the area where authorities believe her husband died.

"Our treasure is that time we spend together," she told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

She added without elaborating that her husband put himself in a dangerous situation that cost him his life. But "I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was God's way of taking him."

Efforts to find wayward treasure hunters have put the lives of law enforcement officers and search and rescue volunteers at risk while straining state resources, Kassetas said.

New Mexico's search and rescue team launched a survey Tuesday on whether Fenn should call off the search.

"Over the years, as people have searched for this treasure, some have ended up getting into trouble and needing help from search and rescue. At least two have lost their lives looking for the treasure chest," the survey says.

Last year, searchers spent weeks looking for Randy Bilyeu, another Colorado man who disappeared in the New Mexico backcountry while looking for the loot.

Volunteers led by Bilyeu's ex-wife eventually picked up where the official search left off, and Bilyeu's remains were found several months later.


House passes bill to require reports to Congress after terrorist attacks

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sarah D. Wire Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Intelligence agencies would have to make recommendations to Congress on how to stop the next domestic terrorist attack under a bill inspired by the 2015 San Bernardino shooting.

The bill, which passed the House on Tuesday without opposition, requires the Homeland Security secretary to submit a report to Congress within one year of a terrorist attack in the U.S. The report, which would be unclassified, must include details of what happened, and recommendations for laws or policies that can be changed to prevent a similar attack. It would also include input from the attorney general, FBI director and the head of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., who represents San Bernardino, filed the bill about a year after the Dec. 2, 2015 gun attack in which 14 people were killed and 22 were wounded by a married couple at the Inland Regional Center.

Aguilar told the Los Angeles Times individual members of Congress shouldn’t have to press agencies for details about what happened after an attack.

“By nature every terrorist event is unique, and so we need something to prod the agencies to tell us why it’s unique and what we can do better,” Aguilar said. “There is no current requirement for the agencies to submit a report to Congress after a terrorist event. We think that it makes sense to do that and that it will help us learn from these events and become smarter about it.”

After the San Bernardino attack, the Justice Department worked with the Police Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based research group, to create a report, but it was aimed at training law enforcement on responding to an attack.

“We think there are more lessons to be learned, but that only happens when those agencies work with Congress on what we can change,” Aguilar said.

The bipartisan bill was backed by nine Californians: Reps. Ken Calvert, a Republican, Paul Cook, a Republican, Lou Correa, a Democrat, Nanette Barragan, a Democrat, David Valadao, a Republican, Jeff Denham, a Republican, Steve Knight, a Republican, Darrell Issa, a Republican and Duncan Hunter, a Republican.

Aguilar said he is still working to line up a sponsor for the bill in the Senate.

———

©2017 Tribune Co.


DOJ announces National Public Safety partnership

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jason Nevel The State Journal-Register

WASHINGTON — Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow said Tuesday he is taking a wait-and-see approach about how the Justice Department will help his agency decrease violent crime in the capital city.

Springfield was among 12 cities the Justice Department selected to help develop long-term strategies to decrease violent crime.

While attending a law enforcement gathering in Bethesda, Maryland, where the initiative was announced, Winslow said one surprising detail he learned was that the federal assistance program does not include any funds.

"We're going to leave here with a lot of questions, and we're going to have to do some follow up to see how (the Justice Department) will assist in our efforts," Winslow said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement while speaking at the law enforcement gathering.

The Justice Department, Sessions said, will help local authorities study crime patterns and create specially tailored plans to reduce gang and gun violence. Federal authorities will also help cities find "data-driven, evidence-based strategies" that can be measured over time, the attorney general said.

"This program will help communities suffering from serious violent crime problems to build up their capacity to fight crime," Sessions said.

According to Winslow, Springfield might have been chosen because it is piloting its own deterrence plan, which, among other things, attempts to bring social service agencies and the school district into the fold.

"We are trying to look at what are the drivers and who are drivers of violent crime and focus our efforts on those drivers," he said.

Of the 12 cities selected, Springfield has the second-smallest population, according to 2016 estimates from the U.S. Census. Springfield's 115,715 is ahead of Jackson, Tennessee's 67,005. The biggest city in the group is Houston at more than 2.3 million residents.

The other cities are: Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Toledo, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Buffalo, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; and Lansing, Michigan.

The Justice Department said it chose cities that have higher-than-average rates of violence and showed receptiveness to receiving assistance. Other jurisdictions could be targeted later for the program, called the National Public Safety Partnership.

In addition to developing strategies to cut crime rates, the Justice Department says it will offer "coaching" to local officials on how to form sustainable coordination with federal law enforcement and prosecutors.

Sessions has repeatedly said that helping cities combat violence is a top priority for the Justice Department, and he's called on the nation's federal prosecutors to pursue tougher punishments against most crime suspects.

Tuesday's "crime summit" gathered officials from across the country to discuss crime-lowering strategies.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

———

©2017 The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.


Settlement reached in lawsuit over Michael Brown’s death

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — A federal judge has approved a settlement in the wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.

Details of the settlement approved Tuesday by U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber were not disclosed. Anthony Gray, the attorney for Brown's parents, declined comment, as did Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden sued the city, former Police Chief Tom Jackson and former police officer Darren Wilson in 2015.

Brown died after a confrontation with Wilson, who shot him and was cleared of wrongdoing. The shooting led to months of sometimes violent unrest in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.


4 more Los Angeles police cadets arrested in scandal

Posted on June 21, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Four more police cadets have been arrested in a widening probe that started last week after three police cruisers, stun guns and radios were stolen, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.

The teenagers, who were in a program for those who may want to become officers, created homemade uniforms made to resemble actual Los Angeles police uniforms and went out on patrol in the stolen vehicles, Beck said. The teens pulled over at least one driver, but they didn't try to make an arrest or issue a summons, the chief said.

Seven cadets between the ages of 14 and 20 have been arrested since last week.

The cadets, who perform volunteer work at police stations and go through an academy to learn about the criminal justice system, used a vacationing sergeant's name to access the police department's automated inventory system and sign out the cars, two police stun guns and two police radios, Beck said. They drove the three cars out of a police station parking lot, and the cadets had one of the vehicles for at least two weeks, the chief said.

While driving around in the marked police vehicles, the cadets impersonated officers and pulled over at least one driver, though detectives haven't found any evidence they tried to issue any summonses, handcuffed the driver or used any force during the encounter, Beck said. Investigators are looking into the possibility they had conducted more traffic stops.

Three of the teenage cadets were taken into custody last Wednesday after leading officers on wild pursuits around the city in two of the stolen police vehicles that both ended in crashes. The four other cadets are accused of riding along with their friends in the stolen cars, Beck said.

Beck ordered a thorough review of policies for managing inventory and has temporarily suspended the cadet program in two police divisions. The program has about 2,300 cadets in 21 separate police divisions.


Ex-cons encouraged to join Oakland police oversight commission

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. — Ex-convicts are being encouraged by city officials to join a commission that will oversee everything from disciplining Oakland’s officers to the hiring and firing of the police chief.

Both a flyer and an application on the city’s website for positions on the city’s new nine-member commission state “formerly incarcerated individuals encouraged to apply.”

According to KPIX 5, the measure to create the police oversight commission was overwhelmingly backed by voters in November.

Oakland Police Officers’ Association President Barry Donelan said voters weren’t told felons would be allowed.

“This is a bait and switch,” Donelan said.

Tal Klement, one of eight panelists who will decide the commission members, told KPIX 5 that the police department “should be welcoming the viewpoint and participation of all members of the city of Oakland and that includes people with criminal backgrounds.”

Klement said they’re encouraging it because “that’s the population that has had the most contact with police and the measure itself asks for communities that have had frequent contact with police.”

Commissioners won’t undergo background checks either because the panel feels it will discourage formerly incarcerated people from applying, Klement said. The only group that is banned from applying are former or current Oakland police officers.

The application closes at the end of June.


Dashcam video shows officer firing 7 shots into Castile car

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Amy Forliti and Steve Karnowski Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Video that shows a Minnesota police officer shooting seven rapid shots at Philando Castile during a traffic stop last July was made public Tuesday, just days after the officer was acquitted on all counts in the case.

The video was captured by a camera in the squad car of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges in the fatal shooting of Castile, a black motorist who was shot just seconds after he told Yanez he had a gun. The shooting gained widespread attention because Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook.

Unlike Reynolds' video, the squad-car video shows the situation's quick escalation and the shooting itself. It was played for jurors at trial but was not released publicly until Tuesday. Though the video has been described repeatedly, the footage offers a disturbing perspective on how a traffic stop for a faulty brake light turned deadly in mere seconds.

The squad-car video shows a wide view of the traffic stop and the shooting, with the camera pointed toward Castile's car. It captures what was said between the two men and shows Yanez, who is Latino, firing into the vehicle. It does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez saw.

The video shows Yanez following Castile's car, then pulling it over. It shows Yanez approaching Castile's car and asking for a driver's license and proof of insurance. Castile gives the proof of insurance to Yanez through the driver's side window, and Castile puts it in his pocket. Castile is then heard saying, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me."

Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, had a permit to carry the weapon.

Before Castile finishes that sentence, Yanez has his hand on his own gun and is pulling it out of the holster. Yanez says, "OK. Don't reach for it then." There is shouting, and Yanez screams "Don't pull it out!" before he fires seven shots into the car.

Castile's body is thrown to the right after the first shot. The video shows Yanez's backup, Officer Joseph Kauser, standing on the passenger side of the vehicle, jumping back and retreating when the shots were fired.

After the shooting, the video shows Yanez standing at the car window, breathing heavily and cursing repeatedly, with his gun drawn for some time. Reynolds' then-4-year-old daughter starts to get out of the car and is grabbed by an officer. The video then shows help arriving at the scene.

Officers order Reynolds out of the car, and she gets out, hands held high. Soon, she is heard wailing.

A fellow officer speaks repeatedly to Yanez to get him away from the car: "I'm going to take your spot. I'm going to take your spot. Listen, listen, I'm going to take your spot." Yanez slowly walks away, and another officer says: "You all right? You all right? You're not hit any, are you?"

Officers pull Castile from the vehicle and begin CPR. Yanez is then off-camera, but can be heard talking through his body microphone.

Yanez, 29, is heard telling a supervisor that he didn't know where Castile's gun was, then saying 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."

Yanez's acquittal prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul last Friday that attracted thousands and shut down Interstate 94 for hours. Eighteen people were arrested.


Reports: Explosive noises heard at Brussels train station

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Belgian media are reporting that explosion-like noises have been heard at a Brussels train station, prompting the evacuation of a main square.

Broadcaster RTL quoted Fires Services spokesman Pierre Meys confirming that some kind of an explosion had happened in the city's Central station on Tuesday. Meys could not say what had caused the blast.

He could only confirm that firefighters were at the scene.

Brussels police said via Twitter that there was "an incident with an individual at the station. The situation is under control."

They asked the public to follow police instructions.

The Belgian capital's Grand Place, a major tourist site, was evacuated along with the station about 200 meters (656 feet) away.

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people on the Brussels subway and at an airport in March 2016.

Photo shows the scene of an incident at a train station in Brussels, Belgium, that police say is under control https://t.co/pLnOZEqql4 pic.twitter.com/ZiERRtNNMn

— CNN (@CNN) June 20, 2017

MORE: Brussels' Grand Place, a major tourist site, evacuated in addition to train station, Belgian media reports https://t.co/pPV9SETtTc pic.twitter.com/hsCXNo5UFB

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 20, 2017

Video on the scene at the Brussels train station shows the arrival of law enforcement pic.twitter.com/iUesZKMd7g

— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 20, 2017


Suspect shot after explosion at Brussels train station

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Soldiers shot a suspect in the heart of Brussels after a small explosion Tuesday night at a busy train station continued a week of extremist attacks in the capitals of Europe.

A bomb squad performed a controlled explosion of a bomb belt the suspect had at the Central Station and was checking to see if there more hazards, VTM network reported. Authorities set up a wide perimeter around the station, located near the city's famed Grand Place square.

It appeared no one else was injured besides the suspect and the damage from the explosion was limited, Brussels prosecutor's office spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch told VRT. It was not clear if the suspect survived.

National newspaper La Libre Belgique quoted the prosecutor's office as saying the suspect was wearing a backpack and an explosive belt. The information could not be immediately confirmed. Photos posted on social media showed a small fire in the station.

Brussels police said via Twitter that there was "an incident with an individual at the station. The situation is under control." They asked the public to follow police instructions.

The Central Station is one of the busiest in the nation and soldiers could be seen patrolling there after the explosion. It was evacuated along with the Belgian capital's Grand Place, a major tourist site about 200 meters (656 feet) away.

Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people on the Brussels subway and at an airport in March 2016.

There have been incidents involving extremists in Paris and London in recent days, including the attack by a van driver who tried to run down worshippers outside a London mosque.

Photo shows the scene of an incident at a train station in Brussels, Belgium, that police say is under control https://t.co/pLnOZEqql4 pic.twitter.com/ZiERRtNNMn

— CNN (@CNN) June 20, 2017

MORE: Brussels' Grand Place, a major tourist site, evacuated in addition to train station, Belgian media reports https://t.co/pPV9SETtTc pic.twitter.com/hsCXNo5UFB

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 20, 2017

Video on the scene at the Brussels train station shows the arrival of law enforcement pic.twitter.com/iUesZKMd7g

— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 20, 2017


Burglar shot to death by accomplice; shooter still at large

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Liz Fabian The Macon Telegraph

MACON, Ga. — The burglar shot to death by his accomplice Monday morning has been to prison multiple times.

James Robert Young Jr., 41, of Macon, had been out on parole for less than 10 months when he was fatally wounded after breaking into a woman’s home at 152 Bradstone Circle.

Just before 10 a.m. Monday, the woman was in the back of her house getting dressed when she heard her door bell ring.

Moments later, she heard the sound of someone kicking in the front door, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said during a news conference at the scene.

She came to the front of the house where she found Young and another man.

Young was trying to carry out a big screen TV and dropped it when the woman yelled at the men and they started to run.

The other man fired a gun back toward the house and hit Young, Davis said.

“I’d much rather see one burglar shoot another burglar than an innocent homeowner,” Davis said.

Young died in the threshold of the woman’s front door, Bibb County Chief Coroner Leon Jones said.

The shooter is still on the run.

A black Volkswagen was towed from the circular street off Millerfield Road in east Macon, but Davis said investigators have to determine if that vehicle was related to the burglary.

The identity and description of the gunman was not immediately released.

Young has been incarcerated at least five times in Georgia prisons for crimes committed in Bibb County, according to the Department of Corrections website.

Most recently, he was convicted of a burglary on Greenbriar Road on Feb. 16, 2010 and was released from prison in August.

He has been locked up for theft by taking, theft by receiving stolen property, theft by shoplifting and auto theft dating back to 1992.

Although neighbors said the neighborhood not far from Jeffersonville Road is normally quiet, another homicide happened on Bradstone Circle in 2008.

Gwendolyn Cole, 55, was gunned down in a barrage of bullets at her home at 242 Bradstone Circle.

Benjamin Finney was convicted of murder last November and sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 10 years.

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©2017 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)


Retired cop found with 200 lbs of pot: ‘Today was not my day’

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

TOOELE, Utah — A retired officer faces charges after he was found with more than 200 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop.

Troopers pulled over Edward Jasper Hansen, 67, on May 23 for an alleged window tint violation, the Deseret News reported. The warrant said a K-9 was called after Hansen “seemed more nervous than the general motoring public. He observed the driver’s hands began shaking noticeably more, his breathing was heavy and he was sweating.”

The K-9 flagged something in the covered bed of Hansen’s truck. Troopers found 222 vacuum-sealed 1-pound bags of marijuana and cash inside trash and duffel bags.

Hansen told troopers as he was being arrested that “it’s a game. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Today wasn’t my day.”

Police officials said Hansen is a retired Atlanta police detective. The search warrant said he told troopers he retired in 1994 and worked in robbery and sex crimes.

Hansen was charged on May 24 with possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana and manufacturing or delivering drug paraphernalia.


Petplan insurance, National Police Dog Foundation grant program launched

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.— Petplan pet insurance today announced the launch of the National Police Dog Foundation (NPDF) K-9 Health Insurance Grant. The endowment, a joint effort between Petplan and the Foundation, will donate funds to pay for one year of pet insurance for five currently active police dogs and is open to police and other working K-9 units throughout the U.S.

In addition to hereditary health conditions a K-9 officer’s breed may dictate, occupational hazards like gunshot or stab wounds, lacerations, tail injuries, and exposure to highly toxic substances like illegal drugs all threaten a police dog’s health (and a local police department’s budget).

Veterinary care can run in the thousands to treat these types of injuries, so protecting four-footed police with pet insurance like Petplan, which reimburses up to 90% of the bill, makes good fiscal sense for municipalities.

“Police dogs may have the heart of a lion, but their bodies aren’t always so brawny—and they deserve the best protection in return for their years of heroic service,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “When Chris and I learned that K-9 units are notoriously underfunded and that police dogs are at risk for shorter and less comfortable lives because of the burden of the cost of their medical care, we knew had to get involved.”

The NPDF K-9 Health Insurance Fund, which is supported by donations, backs the grant awards. While the initial grant is for active working dogs, Petplan and the NPDF plan to expand the program to include retired K-9s, when the burden of their medical care shifts to the adopter. As donations to the Fund grow, more grants will be made available to K-9 handlers.

“Petplan’s support of the K-9 Health Insurance Grant, and their passion for improving quality of life and access to essential veterinary care for K-9 officers, dovetails perfectly with our mission,” says Jim Reilly, NPDF President. “Our hope is that this grant program will not only help cash-strapped police departments take the best care of four-legged officers, but also that it gets the message out to the public that there’s a simple way they can help ensure K-9s get medical treatment—and that is by donating to the grant fund.”

The first five pet insurance grants will be awarded in early September, 2017 and all municipalities and other working K-9 units are encouraged to apply at: https://nationalpolicedogfoundation.org/k9-health-ins-grant-app/.

To make a direct donation to support grant funding, or to learn more about Petplan’s sponsorship of the NPDF, citizens can point their paws to https://nationalpolicedogfoundation.org/petplan/.


Police: Calif. officer intentionally struck by car during traffic stop

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Police are searching for a second suspect after an officer was intentionally hit by a car.

The officer, a veteran with over 25 years experience, pulled over a vehicle for a minor traffic violation Monday when another driver intentionally struck him, Police Spokesman Tom Bussey told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Witness Toni Lessard told NBC San Diego that the officer was unconscious, but came to and was awake and breathing when he was transported to the hospital. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, he later underwent surgery. No other details were available.

Oceanside police officer hit by car. Details at 4, 5 and 6 @nbcsandiego pic.twitter.com/WK4AF6E9jB

— Katia Lopez-Hodoyan (@KatiaNBC) June 19, 2017

The driver and passenger in the vehicle that struck the officer fled and abandoned their car shortly after. Witnesses helped police take one suspect into custody. It’s unclear if the detained suspect was the driver or the passenger.

Authorities are still searching for the second suspect. Police said he is a black man last seen wearing a white T-shirt, black shorts and flip flops.

Bussey said the crash is being investigated as attempted murder.


Police chief: Heroic Va. officer drew gunman’s fire at baseball field

Posted on June 20, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Ben Nuckols Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A female police officer with less than 2 years' experience withstood a barrage of gunfire from a gunman who wounded a top House Republican and four other people on a Virginia baseball field last week, giving fellow officers an opportunity to return fire and kill the shooter, her police chief said Monday.

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown lauded the heroic actions of Officer Nicole Battaglia and two other officers who were the first to arrive at a field where GOP congressmen were practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House majority whip, was one of five people wounded in the shooting. A bullet entered his hip and shattered bones, blood vessels and internal organs, causing massive internal bleeding that put his life at risk. He has undergone several surgeries, and his condition was upgraded from critical to serious on Saturday.

The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was an unemployed home inspector who volunteered for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and had a history of animus toward President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Officers were first dispatched to the scene at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday, Brown said, and Officer Kevin Jobe, a 16-year Alexandria police veteran, arrived less than two minutes later. Battaglia and another officer, Alexander Jensen, arrived around the same time.

Battaglia "immediately started taking fire from the suspect, and she jumped out of the car, without cover, and moved towards the firefight. Not away from it, towards it, to the point where she was actually pinned down in the parking lot with a barrage of weapon fire from the shooter," Brown said. "That act alone, probably, in my opinion, diverted the attention of the shooter away from the other officers, allowing them to get in position to deal with the situation."

Two U.S. Capitol police officers, who were among those wounded in the shooting, were the first to return fire at the gunman. The Alexandria officers were uninjured. Authorities have not revealed which officers fired the fatal shots.

The shooter was "neutralized" less than three minutes after the Alexandria officers arrived on the scene, Brown said.

Alexandria firefighters and paramedics also rushed to the scene to help the victims before they even got a 911 call, Fire Chief Robert Dube said, because the gunfire could be heard from two nearby fire stations.

Battaglia has been on the Alexandria force for 18 months, while Jensen is a 2-year veteran. Both work in patrol and handle calls including violent crime. Brown declined to say whether they had fired their weapons in a hostile situation before. All three officers are on routine administrative leave.

"What they went through is not something that most people go through, not in this business. We train for it all the time," Brown said. "They're doing fine."


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.

———

©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.”

———

©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.

———

©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.

———

©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.

———

©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:

How public safety agencies are managing employee scheduling How automated scheduling drives integration with payroll, HR, CAD, RMS and other core systems How integration improves productivity, accuracy, compliance and visibility throughout an organization.

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.

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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