Information


New items added to Media Editorials and Opinions

  • Minneapolis police must answer for costly settlements (Star Tribune)
  • Oakland Police Misconduct Cases to be Re-examined (East Bay Express)
  • Police-involved shootings soar in Philly as violent crime falls (Philly.com)
  • 6 Police Misconduct Settlements Worth Millions (ABC News)
  • Oakland police: Too quick to fire? (Mercury News)

It should also be noted that while many departments keep their records open, many others are closing ranks to prevent the public from knowing just how many officers are disciplined. See the series from Hawaii for one example.

Another matter of concern is that many departments are switching to proprietary and/or encrypted radio systems to keep the public and media from listening in.

It might be worth checking on the policies of departments in your area to see if any changes are in order and what you can do about ensuring openness.


The Tarnished Badge (wordpress.com version) should be considered an archive site.

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Break Time


Taking a break for a while since nobody really seems to care and nothing is likely to change.

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Former South Beloit (WI) Police Chief pleads to misconduct


Former South Beloit Police Chief Tom Fearn pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of official misconduct, a class 3 felony.

His trial on the misconduct charge, as well as other charges of aggravated battery, armed violence and obstruction of justice, was scheduled to begin Monday.

He was charged on April 28, 2011 along with former police Sgt. Brad McCaslin and former South Beloit Mayor Randy Kirichkow in relation to a video showing a handcuffed woman in the South Beloit Police Department being tased by McCaslin and being held down by the neck by Fearn. The incident occurred in May of 2008.

Source/story continuation: http://www.beloitdailynews.com/former-south-beloit-police-chief-pleads-to-misconduct/article_95d5c43e-0bf1-11e3-b3b3-0019bb2963f4.html

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Court Backs Firing of Fort Madison (IA) Police Officer


The Iowa Court of Appeals has affirmed District Court Judge Michael Schilling’s ruling in March 2012 that Fort Madison was fully warranted and justified in firing William Bowker in February 2010.

The city had said Bowker was fired for various acts of misconduct.

The acts included sleeping on the job and missing calls while serving on the Lee County Narcotics Task Force and having an affair with the wife of Police Chief Bruce Niggemeyer.

The opinion from the Iowa Court of Appeals, which was released Wednesday morning, states that “the district court appropriately considered Bowker’s incidents of past misconduct in affirming his termination from the Fort Madison Police Department.”

Source/story continuation: http://www.tristatesradio.com/post/court-backs-firing-fm-police-officer

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Baltimore detective convicted of lying about shooting himself


A Baltimore police detective was convicted by a jury on all counts in a case in which city prosecutors said he had lied about shooting himself in a downtown parking garage and improperly obtained worker’s compensation benefits.

Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, said Det. Anthony Fata was convicted on charges of perjury, misconduct in office and worker’s compensation benefits fraud over $10,000.

Source/story continuation: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bal-baltimore-detective-convicted-of-lying-about-shooting-himself-20130821,0,3464462.story

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District attorney’s office investigates fired deputy


A former Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office deputy is under investigation for alleged sexual abuse that occurred during a traffic stop last November.

Montezuma County court records show former sheriff’s office Sgt. Darrin Harper was called to the 1300 block of Mildred Road on Nov. 1, 2012, to assist with a DUI drug case. Following his investigation, Harper charged, arrested and searched the 52-year-old female driver of the vehicle.

In his written report — which was missing from court records but provided to the Cortez Journal by the defendant — Harper stated that based on his training and experience as a drug-recognition expert, he believed the driver was “under the influence of something.”

The driver claimed in a written complaint she said she filed Jan. 28, 2013, with the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, that during her apprehension at the scene, she requested a female officer to search her person. The request wasn’t granted, and the driver stated in her complaint that Harper “fondled my breast and felt my inner thighs.”

When Harper’s employment with the sheriff’s office was terminated earlier this month, the woman contacted the Journal and provided a copy of the complaint, which was dated Jan. 28.

Source/story continuation: http://www.cortezjournal.com/article/20130819/NEWS01/130819852/District-attorney%E2%80%99s-office-investigates-fired-deputy-

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Pa. state trooper charged in civil rights case


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Pennsylvania state trooper is facing federal charges stemming from a 2009 incident.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said Monday that 43-year-old Kelly Cruz, from Oxford in Chester County, is facing a charge of deprivation of civil rights.

Prosecutors say on Aug. 9, 2009, Cruz stomped on 22-year-old Zachary Bare’s head as the man lay face-down and handcuffed on his kitchen floor. Court documents say Bare’s nose was broken and his teeth were knocked out.

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West Valley City (UT) Police shooting called unjustified


SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah prosecutor ruled Thursday that the shooting of an unarmed 21-year-old woman by police last November was unjustified.

For months, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has been reviewing the killing of Danielle Willard, which triggered an internal investigation by West Valley City Police that uncovered misconduct by the department’s now-disbanded drug squad.

Gill said at a news conference Thursday that the use of deadly force by two police detectives was not legally justified. He said he will launch a second investigation to determine if the shooting warrants criminal charges against the officers.

West Valley City police are wrapping up their own review into whether the officers violated department policy, which the department would use to determine whether or not the officers can keep their jobs, Deputy Chief Mike Powell said at the news conference.

Source/story continuation: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/police-shooting-called-unjustified/article_38f33bf6-33f7-54aa-97d6-576e64b50f35.html

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Rockport Police officer arrested, charged with theft


A 3-1/2 year veteran of the Rockport Police Department (RPD) was terminated and arrested recently and charged with theft in connection with the pawning of equipment he had been issued while working for the RPD.

Benjamin Aumada was charged with theft, more than $1,500, but less than $20,000.

Source/story continuation: http://www.rockportpilot.com/news/article_706fcef0-0111-11e3-b7de-001a4bcf887a.html

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Pointe Coupee Parish deputy accused of malfeasance, fired


A deputy with the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office was arrested on drug-related counts Wednesday evening, Sheriff Bud Torres said Thursday.

Joseph Reed Bueche was fired following his arrest, the sheriff said.

Trooper Jared Sandifer, a State Police spokesman, said Thursday investigators were able to determine Bueche purchased illegal prescription medication at least twice while he was on duty.

Source/story continuation: http://theadvocate.com/news/police/6729111-123/pointe-coupee-parish-deputy-booked

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Video shows Pembroke Pines (FL) police officer punch 14-year-old girl


PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -

Surveillance video obtained by WPLG-TV shows a police officer punch a 14-year-old girl in the face during an arrest at a psychiatric center for adolescents.

The video (posted at source link) shows the girl walking down the hallway of the Citrus Center for Adolescent Treatment Services among a group of nurses and police officers on April 28.

When one of the officers grabs the girl’s arm in an attempt to place it behind her back, she turns around and swings at him. He then punches her in the face.

The punch knocks the girl to the ground, and the angle of the camera only shows several officers on the floor and one throwing another punch. Another sprays her with pepper spray as she is on the ground.

Citrus Center is a 28-bed, locked residential treatment program for youths who suffer from severe emotional, psychological, and behavioral issues, according to the Broward County Public Defender’s office.

Source/story continuation: http://www.news4jax.com/news/video-shows-pembroke-pines-police-officer-punch-14yearold-girl/-/475880/21391930/-/n67ab7/-/index.html

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Athens-Clarke cop bribery case headed to grand jury


More than a year after a former Athens-Clarke police officer was arrested for allegedly facilitating a bribe, prosecutors recently made a procedural move that brings the case closer to appearing before a grand jury.

Authorities allege that while serving as a local cop in February 2012, Christopher Lee Burton arranged to have a fellow officer take a bribe from a friend who wanted to buy his way out of a DUI arrest.

Source/story continuation: http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2013-08-06/athens-clarke-cop-bribery-case-headed-grand-jury

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Former deputy sheriff in Hidalgo (TX) found guilty


McALLEN — A federal jury Tuesday found a former Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy guilty of drug conspiracy charges.

Jorge Garza is on trial for his role in an elaborate ruse by lawmen to steal from drug traffickers and resell their loads to rival traffickers. Eight former law enforcement officers charged in the far-reaching scandal pleaded guilty, including sons of two prominent lawmen; only Garza requested a trial.

In her closing argument LillyAnn Gutierrez, Garza’s attorney, told jurors the state had offered no definitive evidence that her client had participated in illegal traffic stops. Even if Garza was somehow involved, she said, it was only as an unwitting participant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Sturgis countered that it matters little how small of a role Garza played, arguing that he had agreed to participate in the scheme.

Source/story continuation: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Former-deputy-sheriff-in-Hidalgo-found-guilty-4709999.php

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Veteran Albuquerque cop and union official fired


A longtime Albuquerque police officer who also served as secretary of the police union has been fired, officials said.

Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy, who serves primarily as APD’s lawyer, confirmed in a telephone interview that officer Dawne Roberto had been under investigation since March after a citizen filed a complaint against her, but she would not say specifically what Roberto was fired for.

The president of the police union, however, said in an interview Wednesday that it was her understanding that allegations Roberto violated the department’s social media policy were among the reasons. The union has appealed the firing.

http://www.abqjournal.com/225389/news/veteran-apd-cop-union-official-fired.html

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Pinellas (FL) jail deputy fired after smacking, pinning inmate to ground


LARGO — A Pinellas County detention deputy was fired for smacking an inmate and pinning him to the ground of the jail’s booking area, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Monday.

Deputy Richard Stotts, 48, was fired by Gualtieri on Monday after the findings of an internal affairs investigation were sustained by an administrative review board last week.

Source/story continuation: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/pinellas-jail-deputy-fired-after-smacking-pinning-inmate-to-ground/2133787

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Cleveland police to discipline 75 officers for role in deadly chase


CLEVELAND — Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath on Friday revealed that 75 of his officers will be disciplined for involvement in the November police chase that ended with two unarmed people shot dead.

The officers played a role in the pursuit, but are not among the 13 who had an active role in the chase’s climax — a volley of 137 bullets that killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after they led police on a chaotic 23-minute chase.

Of the 75 officers facing discipline for violating police protocol, 19 will be referred to the Department of Public Safety for disciplinary hearings and could face temporary suspension, McGrath said.

Source/story continuation: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/08/cleveland_police_to_discipline.html

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Walker (LA) Officer arrested for battery of juvenile rape suspect


LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) -

According to officials, a Walker, LA police officer was arrested after being accused of hitting a juvenile rape suspect several times who was already in custody.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance on Walker South Road in Denham Springs, LA. When deputies arrived on the scene, a Walker Police Officer had a suspect in custody.

The suspect, 19-year-old Raymond Robison, is accused engaging in sexual acts with a juvenile.

The officer, 32-year-old James Dipuma, is accused of striking Robison several times while in custody. According to officials, Dipuma also failed to stop a family member of the victim from hitting the suspect while in custody.

Source/story continuation: http://www.wbtv.com/story/23021863/officer-arrested-for-battery-of-juvenile-rape-suspect

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LA County deputy accused of rape held on nearly $1.5M bail


LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Bail has been set at nearly $1.5 million for an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy accused of raping a woman on the job.

Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, 28, faces 11 felony counts including sexual penetration under the color of authority, rape under fear or duress, and soliciting a bribe. His arraignment on Wednesday was postponed.

Sanchez was arrested Monday after a six-month investigation into an incident on Sept. 22, 2010, in which he allegedly attempted to solicit a bribe and then raped a victim. He had since been relieved of duty with pay.

“He had her get into the back of the marked sheriff’s vehicle, took her to the middle of the desert, where he raped her. He brought her back to her own vehicle, and then followed her home,” said John Taylor, the victim’s attorney.

Source/story continuation: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9191086

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Gilberton (PA) Police Chief Suspended


(CNN) — An eastern Pennsylvania police chief who went on profanity-laced video rants against those who disagreed with him on gun laws has been suspended for 30 days without pay.

The punishment wasn’t for his diatribe though.

The borough council in the coal town of Gilberton said that police Chief Mark Kessler used “borough property for non-borough purposes without prior borough permission” when he made the video where he’s seen shooting semiautomatic and automatic weapons.

Source/story continuation: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/01/us/pennslvania-police-chief-rant/

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Darby (PA) Officer Accused of Stalking, Harassing Women While On-Duty


A Darby Police Officer was arrested after he allegedly stalked and harassed two women while on duty.

Investigators say Chris Scott, a 33-year-old, part-time police officer with Darby Township, pulled over a 23-year-old woman who was driving out of McMurphy’s Tavern on MacDade Boulevard in Ridley Township on Saturday. Scott allegedly told the woman he suspected she had been drinking.
Investigators say Scott took the woman to a secluded area in Springfield Township where he had her undergo a fake sobriety test. Scott then allegedly handcuffed her and repeatedly made sexually suggestive comments, asking her what she could do for him if he released her.

Source/story continuation: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Officer-Accused-of-Stalking-Harassing-Women-While-On-Duty-217672621.html

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Boston Detective Demoted Had Past Misconduct


BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston police officer who has been stripped of his detective ranking after it was learned that he failed to arrest a man who is now a person of interest in the Amy Lord murder also faces disciplinary action in a separate case, his internal affairs record indicates.

Jerome Hall-Brewster was demoted to patrolman this week after a review of a September 2012 incident found he failed to move forward in a sexual assault case last year in which Edwin Alemany was the prime suspect.

Source/story continuation: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/07/30/boston-detective-demoted-after-amy-lord-murder-had-past-misconduct/

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