Category Archives: Police Misconduct

Friday Links

  • A frightened college student tried to drive off when a group of men swarmed her car as she was leaving a state ABC store.  It turned out that the six men were plan clothes ABC agents who mistook the bottled water she bought for beer.  Just another case of cops behaving like what they are, just another gang of thugs that sees the public as the enemy.  The student now faces felony charges, even though she was not doing anything illegal when she was accosted by the agents.  [UPDATE]  See Radley Balko’s article about this incident here.
  • A Wisconsin woman has been awarded a settlement of $143,500 after Lawrence County child welfare department and Jameson Hospital seized her newborn child in response to a false positive drug test triggered by a poppy seed bagel.   Of course, they were simply following the due process exemption granted by the Constitution whenever a child is involved…
  • Henderson, Nevada cops arrested a man and his adult son when they refused to allow their houses to be occupied by cops to observe a neighboring house as part of a domestic abuse investigation.  When the family refused to let the cops in, they broke down the door and pepper-balled him (as well as the family dog, of course).  They spent nine hours in jail before making bail.  The charges were eventually dismissed with prejudice.  The family is suing city and police officials of the cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas.  Of course, if they win, it’s unlikely anything will happen to the officials and the taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.  I have blogged about the idiots at Henderson, NV PD before.
  • Video of a St. Louis cops striking a handcuffed teenager during an arrest has been released to the public after the officer was acquitted of an assault charge.  The video was never shown at trial for legal reasons.  While cops involved in shootings aren’t supposed to be involved with processing suspects, the supervisor didn’t interfere in this case.  The teen was never charged with a crime.  Meanwhile, the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association wants the cops reinstated.  The whole case reeks of incompetence.  The unprovoked assault takes place at about the 12 second mark in the video below:

Abuse of police power, Hawthorne, California style

A man records cops in Hawthone, California.  Note that the man is not even close to the cops but cops don’t like being recorded. And because cops are basically permitted to abuse their powers without fear of consequences, they decide to arrest the guy.  Unfortunately, the guy’s dog gets upset and escapes the car upon which the cops decide to shoot the dog repeatedly.

WARNING: If you don’t want to be upset by the sight of a dog being senselessly and brutally murdered by Gang in Blue (who will undoubtedly be cleared of any wrongdoing), don’t watch the video.

As for the shooter, I hope he rests comfortably knowing that, because of his childish temper and galactic sized ego, a creature of far more significance in the universe than he will ever be, is dead.

[UPDATE 7/3/13] has some further information about this event.  It seems the dog owner has a history with police and police claim they approached him because he was playing his car stereo too loud.

How can you tell if a cop is lying?

His (or her) lips are moving.  Unfortunately, they usually get away with it unless they are caught on video.  And even then they often get away with it.


El Monte police Capt. Dan Buehler said the officers had an appointment to meet with Luu and Nguyen about 3:30 p.m., but were delayed and ended up arriving about 4:30 p.m.

“They did go up to the front (gate),” the captain said. “There was a beware of dog sign of the gate. They did what we always do as police officers. They shook the gate. They didn’t see any dogs.”

“They looked for any signs of dogs — chew toys, dog mess, what have you,” Buehler said, adding that they entered the yard after not seeing anything indicating a dog was present.

“They walked up to the porch. They rang the doorbell. They knocked on the door. That’s when the first dog came around the house,” he said.

Now watch the video of the cops entering the yard.

kiki_familyphotoSo, if the cops are lying about their entrance unto the property, why would anyone believe their story about why they shot the beautiful 2 year old German shepherd named Kiki whose only crime was being in her own fenced in yard marked behind a gate with a huge sign (impossible to miss) that clearly indicated there was a dog there?

The picture to the left is Kiki after being shot.  She was taken to the vet, but had to be euthanized.

The story the officers tell differs from the home owner’s account in other ways, too.

Luu said she asked the officer why she shot the dog, and why they officers simply entered the yard without calling on the phone.

Luu said the officer responded that she did not see the “beware of dog” signs, and that she did try to reach the family by phone, though Luu said she received no such phone call.

Luu said she told the officers that her dog, which was lying wounded in the backyard and vomiting blood, needed medical attention. An officer responded that the dog was okay.

Before the animal was treated, officers demanded to see license documents not only for the wounded dog, but for the family’s other dogs, Nguyen’s sister Anna Nguyen said.

Read the whole story here.

Cop Culture


Radley Balko has an article up on HuffPo about what cop T-shirts say about cop culture.

This exemplifies the us-against-them mentality that permeates law enforcement at all levels in the U.S.  Instead of serving and protecting, people have become the enemy.  Add to that the fact that cops are rarely even disciplined for breaking the same laws they enforce against ordinary citizens with such zeal and it becomes pretty obvious that law enforcement, and government in general, have become a privileged class in America.

Go read Radley’s article and look at all the other pictures.

New York finds new uses for anti-terrorism surveillance

New York’s Big Brother surveillance systems justified through fear-mongering after the 9/11 attacks and funded with federal anti-terrorism dollars is now being used to target ordinary crime.  After the 9/11 attacks, governments at all levels helped fuel the hysteria by pouring fear-mongering fuel on an already chaotic and uncertain situation.  Federal, state, and local officials helped racket up the panic and leverage off of public fear in order to acquire more government police powers.  Almost universally, it was claimed that the new powers would be used to fight terrorism and would not be used to bypass protections that ordinary citizens are guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.  Those promises immediately became more and more watered down to the point where they are now forgotten.

New York City police now have access to some 6000 surveillance cameras and 120 license plate readers with plans to more than double that number.  The courts have declared that attaching a GPS locator to someone’s car without a warrant constitutes a violation of their 4th Amendment rights, being able to track their position using license plate readers essentially guts that ruling.

Now, New York has openly stated that the technology that Americans tolerated as a necessary evil to fight terrorism is being turned on New York residents for purposes having absolutely nothing to do with terrorism.  New York has established a reputation for dragnet style tactics where they simply dispense with 4th Amendment protections conducting wholesale searches of people on the street in hopes of catching them doing something they’re no supposed to be doing.  Imagine an expansion of that strategy to encompass all the new technological tools developed and installed under the excuse that they were needed to fight terrorism.

This reminds me of the trend of local law enforcement agencies to acquire military equipment for ordinary policing.  Even tiny towns now have SWAT teams and armored vehicles.  Once a department has that equipment, they’re going to find a use for it and, as a result, storm trooper style raids are routinely used to serve warrants on non-violent offenders.

Expanding power and surveillance available to police departments notorious for abusing existing powers can only lead to even more abuse.

Instead of investigating, Internal Affairs officer protects fellow cops


In five years as the head of the New Brunswick Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit, Sgt. Richard Rowe managed to thwart 81 investigations according to a grand jury indictment. The former New Jersey cop is accused of falsifying, hiding, removing, and destroying files related to the investigations.

Apparently, Rowe’s world came tumbling down when he covered up for two officers who shot and killed an unarmed man under suspicious circumstances.  After a public up-roar ensued, it was discovered that the two cops Rowe protected had been “investigated” by IA nine times before the shooting, none of which resulted in any finding of fault.  As usually happens in cases like this, city and police officials will eventually act when public pressure makes it impossible to continue looking the other way.

The FBI is just like almost all police departments

After the FBI killed a Chechen man during questioning in connection with the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing, an FBI spokesman said: “The F.B.I. takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents, and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally.”

From The New York Times:

But if such internal investigations are time-tested, their outcomes are also predictable: from 1993 to early 2011, F.B.I. agents fatally shot about 70 “subjects” and wounded about 80 others — and every one of those episodes was deemed justified, according to interviews and internal F.B.I. records obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Imagine that.  A law enforcement agency that investigates itself and then routinely gives itself a clean bill of health.  Sound familiar?

But, of course, we’re talking about the FBI here, not some sleazy little rinky-dink  department like the NYPD, LAPD or any number of other PDs that regularly clear themselves of wrong doing.  The FBI has a reputation for excellence, right?

Well, not really.  Shoddy and tainted work was uncovered in their their world famous crime lab, possibly affecting hundreds of cases beginning in the 1990s.  Even after the problems were exposed, the FBI did a terrible job of investigating the mess and notifying those who might have been victimized by their junk science, contaminated evidence, and corrupt practices.

Just more proof that law enforcement agencies, because they lack effective oversight, also often lack integrity.

Annoying a cop in New York may soon be a felony

The bill has been passed by the Senate and now moves on to the New York State Assembly. From RT

Sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo, Bill S.2402 would make it a felony to “harass, annoy, or threaten a police officer while on duty.”

From the text of the bill:


This really just codifies what cops often do already.  If you aggravate them, they will retaliate by arresting you under some vaguely written laws about disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, or interfering with an officer.

Of course, cops have the right to annoy ordinary citizens all they want. Any civil consequences are paid out of the pockets of taxpayers.

In May 2011, New York homeowner Emily Good was arrested by Rochester police while standing in her yard and videotaping police officers who were performing a traffic stop in front of her house.

As a side note, this story is reported on the front page of, but I found very few other mainstream outlets  covering it when I did a Google search.   Maybe that will change if the bill becomes law.  RT is one of the few establishment news outlets that relishes publishing stories that embarrass governmental entities in the U.S.  They have an agenda, of course, but their adversarial stance with regard to the U.S. makes them less inclined to mindlessly repeat official governmental declarations as if they are propagating God’s honest truth.  Even  European news outlets are often barely distinguishable from U.S. sources as they are all part of a somewhat homogeneous western media establishment.  You will probably see more libertarian perspective on RT than any other mainstream media source.  RT also has less of the left/right bias common to U.S. media organizations.  They are quite comfortable attacking either side.

Monday Afternoon Links

Deland, Florida police officer, James P. Harris, has been fired for running over Marlon Brown in his police cruiser.  Cops started chasing Brown when a Volusia County deputy noticed he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.  The cop has apparently not been charged with any crimes, but the investigation still isn’t over, so a miracle could still happen.

Remember that case of the Kern County Sheriff’s confiscating video of their deputies beating a David Sal Silva to death?  Well, the coroner’s report now says that the guy’s death was an accident.  Probably not surprising since the Kern County Sheriff, Donny Youngblood, just happens to also be the Kern County coroner.  An independent autopsy is out of the question since Silva’s body was cremated.

According to the Star Tribune, Minneapolis has paid out $14 million to settle 95 police misconduct cases.  Only eight of the 95 cases resulted in any officers being disciplined and, of the 12 costliest cases, no officers were disciplined.   So, basically, cops who abuse their powers get a pass while taxpayers are left holding the bag.  I doubt that Minneapolis differs from most large city police departments in that regard.

New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Bonfire of the Vanities that “a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ if that’s what you wanted.”   Unless the accused is a cop

The Court Martial of Bradley Manning begins today.  This, like the leak of the Pentagon Papers by Danial Ellsberg, Manning will almost certainly be hailed as a hero in the future, but governments learn very slowly and Manning will continue to suffer as the public continues to be largely apathetic.

Meanwhile, the British government is considering talks with Ecuador to discuss the fate of Julian Assange who has been penned up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden relating to a rape investigation.  Assange has agreed to return to Sweden if given a guaranty that he won’t be extradited to the U.S. as part of the Bradley Manning witch hunt.  Assange is currently pursuing a remote campaign for the Australian Senate.  The election will be held in September, 2012. [NOTE:  The link for this story isn’t working because has been down a good part of the afternoon]

A 3-year-old deaf preschooler in Nebraska is being forced by the Grand Island school district to change the hand sign he uses for his name because it resembles a gun.  “We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” a school spokesperson said.

Cop gets a slap on the wrist for accessing personal information of 54 people for personal reasons.

Clearwater, FL police commander, Lt. Richard Crean, used a law enforcement data base to access personal information of anyone and everyone he was interested in, including “his ex-wife’s boyfriend, a television news reporter and the wives of other police officers.”  The department is recommending that he be demoted and suspended for 5 days.  Apparently this doesn’t rise to the level of a crime for which his ass should be prosecuted.

Bryan Felts, a Tampa officer that Crean looked up twice said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. At my agency, that just would never, never fly.  All they did was demote him? That’s incredible.”

My guess is that there would have been a lot less concern had there been no cops among the victims.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that this kind of abuse is so commonplace that the only thing that sets this case apart is that someone actually got in trouble.