Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas
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Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’
Police Abuse Lawyer – A Former Houston, Texas Police Officer Faces Charges, in D.A.’s Fresh Focus on Police Accountability
Friday, June 23rd, 2017
A former Houston, Texas, police officer has been indicted by a grand jury for actions taken on February 16, 2017. News of the indictment was released on June 22, 2017. In connection with the announcement about the former Houston Police Department officer, Kim Ogg, Houston’s District Attorney, said that her administration is focusing on police accountability. The former officer has now been charged with felony tampering of evidence and misdemeanor assault. Ogg, who has been the D.A. in Houston for six months, said at a news conference that these charges reflect the fresh commitment to police accountability.
The charges address alleged actions of the former police officer when he had a controversial encounter with Derek Carr, a man who had allegedly robbed the officer’s family home in Acres Homes, a northwest Houston neighborhood.
According to prosecutors who charged Carr with burglary, Carr was carrying some of the officer’s belongings and a 16-inch metal tool. They also say that since 1992, court records indicate that Carr has allegedly been charged with burglary 11 times.
When the former police officer encountered Carr on February 16, he was wearing his police uniform but was off duty. He and Carr got into a physical altercation, and the officer allegedly shot Carr once in the back and once in the arm. Just after the shooting, a bystander began shooting video footage, and it allegedly shows that the officer repeatedly kicked Carr. Photo evidence suggests that the police officer moved the metal tool, and the Houston D.A. said doing so was clearly meant to tamper with the evidence.
A Harris County grand jury did not indict the officer on a charge of aggravated assault for the shooting. The grand jury did, however, return a felony charge of allegedly tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly kicking Carr.
Ogg used these indictments as an occasion to double down on her intent to make sure the law applies to all people equally, including law enforcement officials.
Tags: Associated Press,District attorney,Grand jury,Greater Houston,Harris County,Houston,Indictment,Texas
Friday, June 16th, 2017
On Thursday, June 9, 2017, at about 6:45 p.m., police encountered 32-year-old David Thomas Jones, who was riding a dirt bike. At the time, the officers had been transporting individuals to the Special Victims Unit. Police allege that Jones had been driving the dirt bike recklessly. When the dirt bike stalled on a sidewalk, an officer exited his vehicle and attempted to question Jones. Officers say Jones turned away from police and placed his hands in his front waistband. A pat down was performed by police and the officer felt a gun in Jones’ waistband. At that point, the officer drew his weapon. Jones was repeatedly instructed not to touch his gun. Officers claim there was a struggle, after which Jones pulled the gun from his waistband. A police officer says that he squeezed the trigger on his service weapon, but it didn’t fire. The officer “cleared the stoppage,” investigators say, and then started allegedly firing at Jones as he began running away. Jones was allegedly shot in the buttocks and back. He was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where at 6:59 p.m. he was pronounced dead. Jones’ gun was found to be loaded with 15 bullets, law enforcement officers say.
The surveillance video of the incident has not been released. Commissioner Ross said it could be taken out of context, and it may not show that the suspect was threatening to fire while he was running away. Video available from an Action Cam at the scene shows a gun feet away from the dirt bike Jones had been riding.
Ross said officers are allowed to shoot a suspect who is fleeing, according to departmental policy.
In keeping with standard procedures and as the investigation into the incident is conducted, the officer who allegedly shot Jones is on administrative leave.
Tags: Associated Press,Police,Police officer
Police Misconduct Lawyer – For use of a Stun Gun During an Arrest, an Austin, Texas Police Officer is Suspended for 20 Days
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
The Austin Police Department (APD) has suspended an officer for 20 days, after he allegedly used a stun gun to shock a suspect who was not resisting arrest. The suspension is from June 14 through June 26, 2017. In addition, the officer has agreed to undergo evaluation by an APD psychologist. Police Chief Brian Manley says the officer is also under departmental probation for one year. If, during that time, the officer repeats the alleged behavior or does anything like it, he faces losing his job, with no right to appeal.
The officer who allegedly stun-gunned a suspect who wasn’t resisting at the time has been with APD since 1994. On January 17, 2017, he was working the Property Crimes Task Force. He and other officers were trying to locate a burglary-of-a-habitation suspect who had an active warrant. In northeast Austin, they found the man and attempted an arrest. The man managed to escape in an automobile. Later the suspect was trying to escape police on foot, and that was when he was captured.
Chief Manley says the suspect had been handcuffed and was face-down on the ground. He was not trying to assault an officer, and he was not actively resisting arrest. During this time, the now-suspended police officer allegedly took an action without first advising the suspect or other officers. He ran over to the suspect and allegedly held the stun gun to the man’s back for five seconds, which is referred to as “drive-stunning.”
Chief Manley wrote that the officer did not use the stun gun in an objectively reasonable manner. The United States Supreme Court has determined that excessive force claims are to be examined based on objective reasonableness.
A video of the alleged drive-stunning incident was released on the Internet and went viral, causing widespread public outrage.
Tags: Associated Press,Officer (armed forces),Police,Police officer,Taser
Police Misconduct Lawyer Arlington, Texas – A Police Officer Faces Expected Charges in the Death of an Unarmed Black Man
Thursday, June 8th, 2017
On the early morning of May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, 40-year-old Tashii Brown, an unarmed black man, approached two officers at a coffee shop in a casino, the Venetian. Brown said he was being chased, and the officers said he was behaving erratically. Brown then took off running. One of the officers chased Brown, and video from the officer’s body camera shows that he fired his Taser a total of seven times. He then allegedly punched Brown and then used a chokehold on him as he was lying on his stomach. Afterwards, Brown was unresponsive. He was given CPR and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The officer who allegedly chased him and put him in a chokehold was arrested and is expected to be charged with involuntary manslaughter and oppression under the color of office. Each of the counts carries a maximum prison sentence of four years.
On June 5, 2017, Brown’s death was ruled a homicide by the Clark County coroner and medical examiner. The autopsy shows that police restraint procedures caused asphyxia, leading to death. Brown had other significant health conditions, however, including an enlarged heart and methamphetamine intoxication.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the charges against the officer are a result of evidence gathered from the body-worn cameras, video surveillance, witness statements, and the coroner’s findings.
Brown’s family members released a statement that they believed first-degree murder charges were appropriate, and they do not think justice is served by the two lesser charges.
The incident sparked protests that led to blockage of the Las Vegas Strip and approximately 12 arrests on May 28. Calls by the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union renewed calls to ban the use of chokeholds by police officers in Las Vegas.
The officer was arrested and booked into Clark County Jail Monday and was bailed out an hour later by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, on $6,000 bail.
Tags: American Civil Liberties Union,Associated Press,United States
Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
The husband of a Harris County deputy sheriff was recently involved in an altercation at a Denny’s restaurant that ended in the death of 24-year-old John Hernandez. The fatality has been ruled a homicide by the county medical examiner. Public outrage surrounding this fatal incident has been over concerns that police bias would prevent justice from being done on behalf of the deceased. Last week, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez sought help from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Rangers, to answer those concerns. New footage in a video just released only captures a minute of what witnesses said was a 10-minute struggle, but it seems to be incriminating against the deputy-sheriff’s husband. In addition, the video shows the off-duty deputy sheriff herself at the scene as her husband allegedly restrained Hernandez. She had arrived toward the end because she was meeting her family there for dinner.
The new video footage is considered graphic because it allegedly shows a man being killed. Hernandez didn’t die immediately, however. He was transported to LBJ Hospital and spent three days on life support before he succumbed to his injuries on May 31, 2017.
Authorities say the fight between Hernandez and the deputy sheriff’s husband began after the officer’s husband pulled into the Denny’s parking lot in east Harris County. The officer’s husband alleged that Hernandez was urinating in public, and he confronted Hernandez about it. After that, a fight ensued.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has said that the evidence surrounding this fatal incident will be presented to a grand jury after there has been a complete investigation by all the respective law enforcement agencies. No charges have been filed at this point, and the incident is still under investigation.
Tags: Associated Press,Denny's,Donald Trump,United States Department of Justice
Texas Lawyer – The City of North Miami is Sued over an Alleged Police Shooting Involving a Disabled Man
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
The family of Arnaldo Soto, who has autism, is suing the City of North Miami in connection with an alleged police shooting that occurred on July 18, 2016. The family claims that the disabled man’s civil rights were violated on the day authorities allegedly shot his caregiver. Charles Kinsey, the man who was shot, is also suing the city.
Soto was in the street with Kinsey on the day the incident occurred. Authorities say Kinsey was attempting to talk Soto into going back into his group home. Soto was holding a silver tanker truck toy. Police officers said they thought the toy was a weapon, and they allegedly fired three shots. Kinsey was struck in the leg as his hands were raised in the air. After the alleged shooting, Soto was taken to the police department to be interrogated.
Just on Monday of this week, the police interrogation of Soto was finally released by the police department, which is close to a year after the disabled man was handcuffed and transported to the North Miami Police Department. It’s clear in the surveillance video that Soto was unable to communicate. He asked at one point to have the handcuffs removed, and the police denied his request.
Family members expressed that they were disheartened watching the video. They say the police should have been able to recognize that Soto had autism.
The police officer who allegedly shot Kinsey was charged with attempted manslaughter in April of 2017. Later, after that announcement, prosecutors said they were upgrading the charges to include culpable negligence and an additional attempted manslaughter.
Family members say they are hoping their lawsuit will help to effect changes regarding how developmentally disabled people are viewed.
Tags: Associated Press,Endangerment,Facebook,Florida,Miami,North Miami,Police officer,Shooting of Charles Kinsey,State's attorney
Police Misconduct Lawyer – Some in Garland TX Community Are Outraged Regarding a Former Police Officer
Friday, June 2nd, 2017
A police officer in Garland, Texas, was captured on video allegedly beating a 37-year-old suspect after removing his handcuffs. The officer allegedly punched him seven times and gave him a knee-kick to the face. The officer was given a 56-day suspension, which is the longest suspension in the police department’s history. It was announced this week that the officer will not face criminal charges, and the community is outraged.
The suspect admits to being inebriated when the incident occurred. He also says he taunted the officer and challenged him to a fight. After the alleged attack by the officer, the suspect had several large bruises and required eight staples to close a gash on his head. The officer has resigned.
A former police chief from the area commented on the video, saying that she was appalled by the incident. She said that, in her opinion, it was an assault. Based only on the video evidence, she further stated that if the decision had been hers, she would have fired the police officer and filed criminal assault charges with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
The Garland Police Department has not released a statement with regard to this decision not to fire the officer and not to file criminal charges against him. The suspect in the case said that he regrets taunting the officer but he also believes criminal charges against him would be appropriate.
Tags: Associated Press,Chief of police,Dallas,Dallas County District Attorney,Police,Sheriff,State defense force,Texas
Police Misconduct Lawyer – A Baytown, Texas Police Officer, Now Suspended, is Indicted on a Bribery Charge
Thursday, June 1st, 2017
A 9-year Baytown Police Department veteran and member of its SWAT team was indicted on a second-degree felony charge of bribery on Thursday, May 25, 2017. The officer has been fired and indefinitely suspended for allegedly offering to dismiss traffic tickets in exchange for nude photos of an 18-year-old driver.
According to the teen, approximately an hour after getting a ticket in March 2017, the officer allegedly contacted her through social media. Several screenshots were reviewed by investigators, and it was concluded that the messages were allegedly and clearly coercive. The messages allegedly applied pressure on the 18-year-old to forward him nude pictures of herself so that her tickets would be reduced to warnings.
According to a spokesperson for the Baytown Police, the officer was indefinitely suspended in mid-May, right about the time a news organization was on the verge of exposing the charges against the police officer.
Investigators have stated so far that there appears to be no evidence that the officer’s supervisors were aware of his alleged criminal behavior. They further reported that there is no evidence that indecent proposals of this kind are a common practice among the officers in Baytown.
Lt. Steve Dorris with Baytown police said that officers are held to levels of professional, ethical, and moral standards and integrity of the highest degree and that the confidence and trust of the community are of chief importance.
Part of the investigation is to explore whether the officer who allegedly bribed the 18-year-old bribed others. So far, there is no sign of that, investigators say.
Tags: Assault,Associated Press,Bailiff,Bribery,Chief of police,Facebook,Police officer,SWAT
Thursday, June 1st, 2017
A Sugar Land, Texas, man was in New Orleans, Louisiana, over the Memorial Day Weekend for a graduation and ended up being allegedly shot by a Louisiana Supreme Court police officer. The 23-year-old was briefly hospitalized due to the gunshot wound. He has since been arrested on charges of forcefully or violently resisting arrest and battery of a police officer. Officials say additional charges are pending. Melissa Matey, a Louisiana State Police Trooper and spokesperson for the agency, said the officer involved was also allegedly wounded during the incident. At least two witnesses took videos of the scuffle between the man and the officer. One video also captures the sound of the shot allegedly being fired. A lot of questions are still unanswered. State Police are investigating.
The alleged shooting occurred in the French Quarter between Royal and Chartres streets on St. Louis Street. According to the family of the shooting victim, he had gotten separated from friends and family during graduation celebrations. He had reportedly been trying to find his way to his hotel when the encounter with the police officer occurred.
A witness said that the 23-year-old was yelling and banging on automobiles prior to becoming engaged with the police officer. Another witness, an employee at a nearby business, said the man the officer was attempting to arrest appeared to be belligerent.
The investigation seeks to determine what started the alleged altercation.
The identity of the Supreme Court police officer has not been released. The officer is a state of Louisiana employee and is certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
Tags: Americans,Associated Press,French Quarter,New Orleans,New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,New Orleans Saints
A Black Woman Jailed for Resisting Arrest Accuses Commerce, Texas Police of Alleged Racially Motivated Misconduct
Friday, May 26th, 2017
A former Miss Black Texas U.S. Ambassador has accused the chief of police in Commerce, Texas of calling her a “black bitch” and forcing her to spend a night in jail, allegedly for the “crime” of being black. The different accounts from those involved in the May 20, 2017 incident indicate that the woman has likely incorrectly identified the police chief with respect to the pertinent happenings of that day. Because of the accusations, however, the police chief has been placed on administrative leave, pending the results of an objective investigation conducted by an outside entity. On the advice of his attorney, the police chief has declined to comment and stated his intent to wait until the investigation is concluded. None of these procedures constitute an admission of guilt or wrongdoing.
The woman says the May 20 incident started when she was driving behind a black truck that was moving erratically on the road, accelerating and braking. The woman said she passed the truck and then went into the Walmart parking lot.
She alleges that the driver of the black truck pulled up next to her vehicle. She says the passenger, who she referred to as the police chief, got out of the truck and yelled at her, saying she should not have passed the truck. He allegedly said he was teaching his 14-year-old to drive. She said that at first she ignored the man and then turned and yelled that it’s illegal, what he had been doing. She accuses the man of allegedly saying “whatever” and then calling her a “black bitch.”
Next the woman says she made a purchase in Walmart and then was charged by several plain clothes officers when she went back outside. One showed her his badge and allegedly said to apologize to the police chief, which she declined to do. She alleges that an officer grabbed her and pulled her into the Walmart and advised her that she was being detained.
When additional officers arrived, the woman walked back to her vehicle for the purpose of explaining what happened. It was at that time that an officer demanded she be jailed for resisting arrest, and he allegedly grabbed her, allegedly causing bruises.
The woman was handcuffed and taken to jail on a charge of evading detention or arrest. She spent 24 hours in jail.
A lawsuit has been threatened, charging the police chief with an alleged civil rights violation in her arrest, even if he wasn’t the man in the black truck who allegedly addressed her with a racial slur.
Tags: Associated Press,Christopher Lee,Commerce Police Department,Police procedural,United States