Archive for the ‘Bad Cops’ Category

Annual city ethics statements are well, like annual. So, some of these cops, not just their supervisors, should have known they had to file their statements and the deadline for doing so. Cops have to do a lot of paperwork just like some of us at our jobs. We never really hear about cops messing up on their paperwork; either not getting it done, misplacing it, or taking it home to work on it. With time constraints and human abilities being limited; you know that this has to happen. It just isn’t publicly reported that often and cops rarely seem to get punished or prosecuted over it. There was the 2007 scandal in Harvey, IL where 200 rape kits and evidence was found unprocessed and cases were not investigated or prosecuted. Wonder how that mess ended up?

Hundreds of cops could be punished for not filing ethics statements: sources

Raid on Illinois Department Reveals Unprocessed Evidence

80 percent of rape kits go untested in Illinois
July 9, 2010

HRW set their sights statewide in Illinois, collecting comprehensive data from 127 of 267 jurisdictions and found that only 1,474 of the 7,494 rape kits booked into evidence since 1995 could be confirmed as tested.

“I Used to Think the Law Would Protect Me”

We found a good blog to check out with a whole lot of other online news reporting about police mishaps. Check it out here: IAPE NEWS – The EVIDENCE ROOM BLOG

Readers will love this news item! We have all experienced having been pulled over on the road by the traffic cop and being told some information that we find questionable. Most of us (as in 10,429 of these Floridia drivers) meekly accept what the traffic cop tells us or cites us for. Not this one guy, Eric Campbell, who was ticketed for attempting to warn other motorists of hidden speed traps by the Florida traffic cop. He took Florida to court and it looks like he might win a class-action lawsuit against the state!

Some organization out there needs to give Campbell, the “consumer hero of the year” award…since it appears that there has been a state-wide conspiracy among the traffic cops in Florida for years to misapply the Florida law below and wrongly cite drivers who flash their headlights  to warn other drivers of speed traps. Florida traffic cops have been raking in the bucks doing this and apparently having fun citing drivers who behave in this manner which they do not like.

Gosh, it must be fun to have the power to compel obedience and ticket folks! The power can go to your head and lead you to make up laws. How else can all these cops in Florida explain how they somehow individually came to misread the state statute below to find that it somehow applies to private motorists flashing WHITE headlights?

Talk about the stupidity of criminals! In retrospect, someone in charge in Florida, should have been able to foresee that the cat would get out of the bag at some point and that someone with an attorney would make the most of such a blatant disregard for the legal niceties.  Here’s hoping that Campbell wins his class-action and that Florida has to pay more than reimbursement to thousands of drivers…

Florida sued for ticketing motorists who warn others of speed traps

Florida Laws: FL Statutes – Title XXIII Motor Vehicles Section 316.001 Short title.

316.2397  Certain lights prohibited; exceptions.

(1)  No person shall drive or move or cause to be moved any vehicle or equipment upon any highway within this state with any lamp or device thereon showing or displaying a red or blue light visible from directly in front thereof except for certain vehicles hereinafter provided.

(2)  It is expressly prohibited for any vehicle or equipment, except police vehicles, to show or display blue lights. However, vehicles owned, operated, or leased by the Department of Corrections or any county correctional agency may show or display blue lights when responding to emergencies.

(3)  Vehicles of the fire department and fire patrol, including vehicles of volunteer firefighters as permitted under s. 316.2398, vehicles of medical staff physicians or technicians of medical facilities licensed by the state as authorized under s. 316.2398, ambulances as authorized under this chapter, and buses and taxicabs as authorized under s. 316.2399 are permitted to show or display red lights. Vehicles of the fire department, fire patrol, police vehicles, and such ambulances and emergency vehicles of municipal and county departments, public service corporations operated by private corporations, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Department of Corrections as are designated or authorized by their respective department or the chief of police of an incorporated city or any sheriff of any county are hereby authorized to operate emergency lights and sirens in an emergency. Wreckers, mosquito control fog and spray vehicles, and emergency vehicles of governmental departments or public service corporations may show or display amber lights when in actual operation or when a hazard exists provided they are not used going to and from the scene of operation or hazard without specific authorization of a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency. Wreckers must use amber rotating or flashing lights while performing recoveries and loading on the roadside day or night, and may use such lights while towing a vehicle on wheel lifts, slings, or under reach if the operator of the wrecker deems such lights necessary. A flatbed, car carrier, or rollback may not use amber rotating or flashing lights when hauling a vehicle on the bed unless it creates a hazard to other motorists because of protruding objects. Further, escort vehicles may show or display amber lights when in the actual process of escorting overdimensioned equipment, material, or buildings as authorized by law. Vehicles owned or leased by private security agencies may show or display green and amber lights, with either color being no greater than 50 percent of the lights displayed, while the security personnel are engaged in security duties on private or public property.

(4)  Road or street maintenance equipment, road or street maintenance vehicles, road service vehicles, refuse collection vehicles, petroleum tankers, and mail carrier vehicles may show or display amber lights when in operation or a hazard exists.

(5)  Road maintenance and construction equipment and vehicles may display flashing white lights or flashing white strobe lights when in operation and where a hazard exists. Additionally, school buses and vehicles that are used to transport farm workers may display flashing white strobe lights.

(6)  All lighting equipment heretofore referred to shall meet all requirements as set forth in s. 316.241.

(7)  Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway or except that the lamps authorized in subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) and s. 316.235(5) are permitted to flash.

(8)  Subsections (1) and (7) do not apply to police, fire, or authorized emergency vehicles while in the performance of their necessary duties.

(9)  Flashing red lights may be used by emergency response vehicles of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health when responding to an emergency in the line of duty.

(10)  A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.

History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; ss. 1, 23, ch. 76-31; s. 2, ch. 80-176; s. 1, ch. 84-49; s. 4, ch. 86-23; s. 1, ch. 87-157; s. 1, ch. 89-49; s. 58, ch. 93-164; s. 23, ch. 94-306; s. 900, ch. 95-148; s. 17, ch. 96-263; s. 2, ch. 96-312; s. 7, ch. 97-280; s. 17, ch. 97-300; s. 192, ch. 99-248; s. 134, ch. 2002-20; s. 3, ch. 2002-217; s. 1, ch. 2004-20; s. 1, ch. 2007-52; s. 2, ch. 2007-210; s. 1, ch. 2009-220.

Note.–Former s. 316.223.

Sections:  Previous  316.235  316.237  316.238  316.2385  316.239  316.2395  316.2396  316.2397  316.2398  316.2399  316.240  316.241  316.242  316.251  316.252  Next

Last modified: March 26, 2010

More and more individuals are being empowered to use modern technology to defend themselves and to document events. Most individuals use their phone cameras and other devices automatically whenever they feel a need to record events which are transpiring and don’t even think twice about doing so because the technology is so immediate and easy to use. Plus, most of us feel that we have a right to protect ourselves, and we know that stuff you can get on YouTube or post on the internet is what will be listened to.

But, if you do this in Illinois, you face the risk of prosecution, even when you are recording wrongdoing by other individuals; not only law enforcement, but also just about any public official. As the article below shows, the law in IL is virtually the worst in the country. These laws need to be changed or challenged in court because they are being used improperly to sanction actions against ordinary citizens, and we have less freedom than individuals in other countries.

Chicago State’s Attorney Lets Bad Cops Slide, Prosecutes Citizens Who Record Them

“…In a study published the same year, University of Chicago Law Professor Craig B. Futterman found 10,000 complaints filed against Chicago police officers between 2002 and 2004, more than any city in the country. When adjusted for population, that’s still about 40 percent above the national average. Even more troubling, of those 10,000 complaints, just 19 resulted in any significant disciplinary action. In 85 percent of complaints, the police department cleared the accused officer without even bothering to interview him.

Yet Alvarez feels it necessary to devote time and resources to prosecuting Chicagoans who, given the figures and anecdotes above, feel compelled to hit the record button when confronted by a city cop…”

“…When a citizen and a police officer have a confrontation, the police officer’s narrative has always been given deference by prosecutors, judges and juries — in the same way governments in more oppressive parts of the world have the power to project their own version of events as truth.

Citizens in America and across the globe now have the ability to preserve and present a more objective narrative. This is a positive thing — for democracy, for good government and for a fairer criminal justice system. U.S. courts and legislatures need to make it abundantly, unambiguously clear that not only do citizens have the right to record on-duty police officers, but that cops and prosecutors who violate that right will be held accountable.”

This article illustrates the ways in which police officers knowingly bend the rules and deliberately try to circumvent the rights of defendants when they are in jail.  They are not supposed to do this, but they do it all the time. Richard sent in this article as an example of what happened to him at the Winnebago County Jail when he was represented by the public defender but the police still attempted several times to question him without the knowledge of his attorney.  This probably still happens to others in the Winnebago County Jail, but it just isn’t often mentioned because it seems to be accepted as pretty typical.

Officers’ inquiry out of bounds

by Alex DiBranco January 22, 2011

It seemed like a pretty solid case against San Antonio, TX, Officer Craig Nash. The rape kit turned up his DNA, and GPS put his squad car where his accuser said she was taken captive and then raped. Gotta love technology. The victim went to the police station immediately to report the attack. Not only that, there was yet another rape charge against Nash in 2008. Yet in a shocking plea deal, Nash was given only one year for “official oppression” (having sex with somebody in custody, consensual or not) and both rape charges were dropped.

As Criminal Justice blogger Elizabeth Renter points out, this “slap on the wrist” hardly represents justice. What is looks more like is blatant favoritism toward an officer, and discrimination against the victim, a transgender sex worker. Police abuse and negligence regarding a sex worker or transgender person is hardly anything new. The victim, meanwhile, is now in prison for illegally engaged in sex work. I couldn’t discover how long her sentence is for, but since Nash received such a light term, I wonder who will get out first.

via Cop Gets One Year Sentence After Two Rape Charges | Women’s Rights |

News and Talk of Sonoma County

Posted: January 23, 2011 by scaryhouse in Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, Uncategorized

By KAREN HAWKINS Associated Press

A former Chicago police officer convicted of lying about the torture of suspects told a federal judge Friday he was sorry his case has harmed the reputation of the police department he loved _ but he stopped well short of admitting any guilt.

Standing before the court, Jon Burge said he knew his case brought the department into disrepute and “for that, I am deeply sorry.” While he continued to insist that he isn’t the person who’s been “vilified” by the media, he didn’t specifically address the allegations that he and officers under his command spent decades beating, shocking and suffocating suspects into giving confessions.

via News and Talk of Sonoma County.

mary mitchell

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow sentenced Jon Burge to 4½ years in prison for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the systematic torture of African-American suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.

The sentencing of the former police commander closes an ugly chapter of Chicago’s history but does not in itself foster healing between the African-American community and the Chicago Police Department.

Anthony Holmes, one of Burge’s accusers, raised the question that needs to be answered before any real healing can take place.

“Why did you do this? You were supposed to be the law,” Holmes asked, reading from a written statement during the sentencing hearing.

Burge didn’t give an answer.

But it is clear from the long line of African-American suspects who accused Burge of torture, and were later exonerated, that race and status had a lot to do with the abuse.

via Burge’s sentence not enough to foster healing – Chicago Sun-Times.

By Annie Sweeney, Tribune reporter

Inside the interrogation room almost four decades ago, Anthony Holmes testified Thursday, he looked around at the other detectives as then-Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge electric-shocked and choked him.

Somebody would help, say “that is enough,” Holmes said he thought at the time. But no one did, he said at a sentencing hearing for Burge, 63.

Since that day in 1973, Holmes said, he dreams of that room, that he is still there and that, again, no one comes to help. Holmes eventually confessed to murder and went to prison, losing contact with most of his family and suffering long-term emotional pain.

“I just slipped through the cracks,” said Holmes, who was imprisoned for a decade. “I had to get help myself. I survived.”

Holmes was the first of five prosecution witnesses to testify Thursday in U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow’s courtroom. The judge could sentence Burge Friday after hearing from additional witnesses, some on Burge’s behalf.

via First day of sentencing finishes for Burge –

By Steve Visser The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe Atlanta Citizens Review Board has recommended reprimands for an Atlanta police major, four sergeants and a lieutenant who supervised the units that raided the Atlanta Eagle, a gay club in Midtown, in 2009.

The review board, which was created to investigate complaints of police misconduct and recommend discipline, focused on the failure of supervisors after previously upholding citizen complaints against individual officers, who reputedly used anti-gay slurs and unlawfully detained patrons. The raid by the APD Red Dog drug unit and the APD vice unit prompted a lawsuit the city agreed to settle for more than $1 million.

The board recommended  reprimands and retraining in constitutional principles prohibiting unlawful search for Maj. Debra Williams, Sgts. William Adams, K. Collier, Willie Adams, John Brock and Lt. Tony Crawford said Cristina Beamud, the board executive director.

via Review board admonishes top APD officers  |

NEWARK — The U.S. Department of Justice is actively investigating the American Civil Liberties Union’s call for federal oversight of the Newark Police Department, talking with law enforcement and civic leaders and seeking details of police abuse allegations.A city councilman, three civil rights leaders, the presidents of Newark’s police unions and a defense attorney who often represents officers accused of misconduct all said they have been approached by federal officials since October.The probe has focused largely on excessive force complaints and the department’s internal affairs bureau, according to those involved. They said investigators also asked to speak with victims of alleged abuse and requested union documents.

via Justice Department investigates ACLUs call for federal oversight of Newark police |