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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’

The Death of Stormye Murphey in Denton County Jail in Texas is Ruled a Suicide

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

When it was originally announced that 30-year-old Stormye Murphey died in the Denton County, Texas, Jail, details of her death were excluded. News has since been released that the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Murphey’s death a suicide with the cause being asphyxia by hanging.

Murphey had been in Denton County Jail for less than three days when a deputy discovered that she was unresponsive in her cell. The Denton County Sheriff’s office (DCSO) records show that she was admitted to jail on Sunday, August 13, 2017, after first being transported to Medical City Denton as a result of a “medical episode.” The DSCO did not provide any details regarding the brief hospital stay. Within hours, Murphey was released and placed in the jail’s medical unit. She did not have a cellmate. The purpose of her being in the medical unit was to have her medical condition monitored, according to Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree.

New legislation called the Sandra Bland Act has been put in place which is designed to help prevent jail suicides. The law was named after Sandra Bland, who famously had a video-taped confrontation with a law enforcement officer after being pulled over for not using her blinker. She was arrested for an alleged altercation with the deputy and then was found dead in her cell from hanging three days later. The death was ruled a suicide and became a nationwide rallying cry against racial profiling. The legislation passed in her memory makes sure more help is available for people who are at risk due to suicidal thoughts or other forms of mental illness.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Protestors and Family Members of a Man Killed in an Alleged Police Shooting in Waco, Texas, Demand Justice

Monday, August 21st, 2017

English: I took photo with Canon camera in Wac...

English: I took photo with Canon camera in Waco, TX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lack of video footage of the alleged police shooting of Kerry Bradley in Waco, Texas, on August 1, 2017 is resulting in public demonstrations and demands for justice. The Waco Police department has not released any official police footage of the incident. Officers had arrived at the Waco location in unmarked vehicles that are not equipped with cameras, and the purpose was to arrest Bradley on alleged drug charges. Police claim that Bradley, an African American, was trying to escape and ran over a detective. His GMC Yukon became lodged on top of Officer William Graeber. Police also say they did not fire their weapons at Bradley until Graeber had been hit by the vehicle. Bradley was killed in the alleged police shooting and Graeber suffered critical injuries.

Family members and protesters have been accusing the police officers of causing the accident by first shooting Bradley, who allegedly then lost control of his vehicle and struck the officer. There are claims that footage exists to prove this narrative, but it has not come forward and the Waco police haven’t seen any.

On Tuesday, August 15, a Waco City Council meeting was disrupted and then shut down as a result of loud chants of protestors demanding justice for Bradley.

Police cameras are widely used, but they are not on all Waco police vehicles. Police Chief Ryan Holt said he doesn’t want to make comments on the case at this time because it is still under investigation by Texas Rangers. His answer suggests that no official footage exists. He said officers will soon have body-worn cameras and it’s unnecessary to equip every unmarked police car with a video camera.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Police Shooting Attorney – Yoakum County Jail in Plains, Texas, is Cited for 10 Alleged Violations of Jail Standards

Friday, August 18th, 2017

English: Sarpy County jail in ; seen from the ...

English: Sarpy County jail in ; seen from the southeast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is Sued for Official Oppression; the Related Dash Cam Video has been Released

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

English: 1200 Jail, the headquarters of the Ha...

English: 1200 Jail, the headquarters of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Español: El 1200 Jail (“Carcel 1200”), la sede de la Oficina del Sheriff del Condado de Harris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, in August 2017, the complete dashcam video of the 2015 roadside strip search of Charnesia Corley was released and quickly went viral. On June 20, 2015, in northwest Houston, Texas, Corley was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign. During the stop, Corley claims that the deputies said they could smell marijuana. They searched her vehicle but found nothing. Then, right there on the roadside next to a gas station parking lot, a female police officer instructed Corley to remove her pants. The officer then allegedly conducted a visual strip search by shining a flashlight on Corley’s exposed genital area as she lay on the ground with her head under her vehicle. It appears that this search lasted 10 minutes.

The 23-year-old is now suing the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. She is asking for a special prosecutor on the case, since the Harris County district attorney’s office dismissed the official oppression charges initially brought against the two deputies allegedly involved. The initial charges were dismissed on the eve of the trial against them, which has been a cause of tremendous social outrage.

Both sides in this case claim that the dashcam video proves their particular side of the story. The deputies claim to be vindicated by the video. Corley, however, contends that the roadside search was a violation of her constitutional rights.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Police Misconduct Lawyer Amarillo – Embattled Waller County Jail in Texas is Approved for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) Program

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

English: The Waller County Courthouse located ...

English: The Waller County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Hempstead, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waller County Jail in Texas has become recognized worldwide as the place where Sandra Bland committed suicide in her cell after a controversial arrest. The death of Bland stands out as a significant turning point in the social movement to put an end to alleged racial police violence. The same jail has a record that continues to stir up negative controversy, and yet it has been approved by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take part in immigrant deportation. An agreement has been reached between Waller County and ICE to deputize two sheriffs for the immigration enforcement program 287(g). The highly controversial program gives deputies authorization to arrest and detain individuals based on their immigration status.

Waller County is now part of an aggressive immigration strategy being implemented by President Donald Trump. At least 25 other local police agencies have just been enlisted to enforce federal laws. Sources in opposition to these activities express their concern that ICE doesn’t seem to care about questionable track records among the individual law enforcement agencies they work with.

For instance, in addition to Bland’s death in 2015, other flags have been raised at Waller County Jail. In March 2017, a female prisoner was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male inmate who had been allowed to perform cleaning duties in the jail. County officials said there had not been authorization for him to engage in the cleaning work.

An inspection of the jail after that incident found the jail staff non-compliant in at least three separate areas. These violations included allowing male and female inmates in the same area without direct supervision.

ICE formally approved Waller County’s application to join the 287(g) initiative, even though the approval came within days of the assault allegations and a failed inspection.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Body Cameras Were Not Activated Before the Alleged Fatal Police Shooting of a 9-1-1 Caller

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

George R. Newell House in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

George R. Newell House in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Justine Ruszczyk called the police on Saturday night, July 15, 2017, out of concern that a crime may have been taking place. According to Don Damond, Ruszczyk’s fiancé, she called 9-1-1 because she thought an assault was taking place in an alley behind her home. Two officers went to the scene, and one of the officers fired shots, killing the 9-1-1 caller. Neither of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, officers turned on the body cameras before the alleged fatal police shooting occurred. This was the first such shooting that has taken place in the city since officers were equipped with body cameras last year.

There are about a dozen situations in which police officers in Minneapolis are required to turn on their body cameras. According to the Policy and Procedure Manual at the police department, those instances include suspicious person stops, traffic stops, and before the use of force. The manual says that if the cameras have not been turned on before force is used, officers are to activate them as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Jenny Singleton of the Police Conduct Oversight Commission said that much is still unknown about exactly what happened before shots were fired that night. Singleton expressed her opinion that it appears that the cameras should have been activated before gunfire occurred. She said that since a gun was discharged, it was unquestionably an incident involving use of force.

Ruszczyk’s death is currently being investigated by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The findings will be turned over to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office at some point.

Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, will ultimately make the decision regarding whether or not the two officers involved in the alleged police shooting will face criminal charges. There is no clear indication in the police policy manual of what type of discipline the officers could face.

Ruszczyk was due to get married to Damond next month. There is widespread outrage over this fatal police shooting.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Jury Awards More Than $15 Million to the Family of an Unarmed Man Shot by a SWAT Sniper

Monday, July 17th, 2017

English: Parker Center, the previous headquart...

English: Parker Center, the previous headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Dept. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday, July 14, 2017, a federal court jury handed down a unanimous verdict, awarding more than $15 million to the parents and son of Leonard Thomas. In 2013, Thomas was allegedly killed by a SWAT officer while on his front porch. This award, to be paid by the cities of Lakewood and Fife, Washington, is among the largest police deadly force verdicts in the state’s history. The jury found that the rights of 30-year-old Thomas were violated when a minor domestic dispute ended in his being shot by a sniper in front of his son, who was 4 years old at the time.

The three-week trial ended with deliberations lasting more than three days. The seven-member jury unanimously rejected claims by police that Thomas had been using his son as a human shield or holding him hostage. They also apparently didn’t believe Thomas posed a threat to himself or the police officers.

On every count being considered in the trial, the jury sided with the Thomas family. The considerations they were charged with included the matters of:  excessive force, unreasonable seizure, using explosives to enter the home, deprivation of family relationship, false arrest, unreasonable killing of the family dog, causing severe emotional distress, and negligent investigation.

On the night of Thomas’ death, Thomas and his mother, Annalesa Thomas, had an argument. His mother called the police after going to his home to pick up his son. As she was on a cellphone calling police dispatch, he slapped the phone out of her hand. In response to the call, a SWAT team was called, which showed up at the home with 29 heavily armed officers and two armored assault vehicles. One of the vehicles drove into Thomas’ front yard.

There was a four-hour standoff, during which Thomas would not exit the home. He was verbally abusive and belligerent toward police officers. However, he allegedly threatened no one and was unarmed.

After negotiators talked Thomas into releasing his son to be with the grandmother, Thomas went onto the front porch with the car seat and backpack for the boy. As he did so, officers used an explosive breach of the home at the back door, with an assault team. Startled by the commotion and officers running toward him, Thomas grabbed for his son and was at that moment allegedly shot in the stomach by a sniper. He allegedly bled to death.

Evidence at the trial included the testimony of a 24-year SWAT supervisor from the Los Angeles Police Department, who claims that the child had never been a hostage and there was no reason for Thomas to be shot.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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A 46-year-old Man Becomes 7th to Die in Oklahoma County Jail in 2017

Friday, July 14th, 2017

The modern cell blocks of the county jail.

The modern cell blocks of the county jail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In early July 2017, 46-year-old Nhan Thang Nguyen was sentenced to ten years of prison and ten years of probation, after pleading guilty to an alleged shooting that occurred in 2004. Nguyen had been “on the run” for more than 12 years, after the incident outside an Oklahoma City Asian food restaurant for which he was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon and intent to kill. Two days after the sentencing of Nguyen, he was discovered hanging in his cell in the Oklahoma County Jail. It was later reported that he died, and the apparent cause was suicide. Nguyen is the seventh person to die in the Oklahoma County Jail in 2017. The sheer number of fatalities at the jail has created public alarm.

When the sixth person died in the Oklahoma County Jail this year, it was pointed out that the death toll in the facility was higher than for the entire year of 2015. In addition, by that time, some among the first five fatalities had already been the subject of legal proceedings against the county. Fifty-nine-year-old Larry Prather – who, like Nguyen, is also from Oklahoma City – is believed to have died in the county jail as a result of natural causes related to diabetes. Prather, who died in early June, had been jailed since February 2017 on various charges, allegedly including assault on a police officer, two counts of domestic assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, and marijuana possession.

One of the county jail fatalities that has resulted in a lawsuit against Oklahoma County is related to the April 19 death of Charlton Cash Chrisman, who was 40 years old. An autopsy found that the cause of his death was acute methamphetamine intoxication leading to agitated delirium. A contributing factor, according to the autopsy, was alleged multiple hits from pepper balls, which were fired by detention officers. The mother of the deceased alleges that police used excessive force and were negligent, with regards to her son.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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3 Jail Suicides Suggest Troubles at a New Orleans Jail are Far From Over

Monday, July 10th, 2017

English: 1200 Jail, the headquarters of the Ha...

English: 1200 Jail, the headquarters of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Español: El 1200 Jail (“Carcel 1200”), la sede de la Oficina del Sheriff del Condado de Harris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas death rate of inmates who die while in custody, including deaths from suicide, is approximately double the national average. But Texas isn’t the only state with problems. Adjustments have recently been made to address major concerns in a New Orleans jail, though results of significant changes have not proven to be promising. The death of 15-year-old Jaquin Thomas on October 17, 2016 has led to further controversy and a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, the state, and others, filed by his family.

Thomas was incarcerated at a new jail that was specifically intended to solve such problems as attempted suicides and alleged excessive force used by guards. Yet, he allegedly hung from the bars of a jail window for more than 90 minutes before being noticed by a guard. The previous jail was notorious for allegedly being dangerous, and there is mounting evidence that things have not noticeably improved.

According to Lance Africk, U.S. District Judge, there has been virtually no progress in implementing changes which have been ordered by the court. At a meeting in June 2017, he says he was optimistic about a new jail director being put in place to help improve things.

Inmates are supposed to be checked on by a guard every 15 minutes, according to the sheriff’s office. It was found during an investigation into Thomas’ death that he was at his desk writing something hours before being discovered. A suicide note was found in the jail cell where Thomas was found hanging.

A guard allegedly walked past Thomas’ cell four times before she finally noticed his body hanging. She was allegedly charged with malfeasance, to which she pled “not guilty.”

It is believed that Thomas moved to the adult facility by September. The next month he committed suicide in the jail.

Inmates were moved into the new jail facility, called the Orleans Justice Center, about a year before Thomas’ suicide. A 63-year-old allegedly hanged himself to death in a jail shower about seven months before Thomas’ death. Other troubling occurrences have also taken place, including a third suicide earlier this year.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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Perjury Charge Dropped Against Police Officer Who Arrested Sandra Bland

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

English: A traffic stop executed by an officer...

English: A traffic stop executed by an officer of the Durham Police Department on Gregson Street in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, a perjury charge was dropped that was brought against the officer who arrested Sandra Blanda three days before her death. She was found dead, hanging in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell a few days after being arrested following a traffic stop for an improper lane change. She allegedly got into an altercation with the officer who pulled her over, and she was arrested on an assault charge. Her encounter with the officer was mostly caught on dashcam video from the police cruiser. The video went viral, setting off nationwide, if not worldwide, controversy. The primary protest in connection with the incident is against policing with alleged racial bias.

The former state trooper who pulled Bland over had been charged with perjury for allegedly making a false statement about the arrest. Papers filed at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead, Texas, on June 28 show that that charge was dropped. The grand jury had found that he lied in an affidavit in which he allegedly falsely justified the arrest.

After Bland was arrested, she was unable to pay her $5,000 bond. Her death three days after arrest has been ruled a suicide. Since that time, there have been widespread protests about her allegedly needless arrest.

The officer was formally fired from his job in law enforcement in March 2016, after being indicted.

This latest development seems to be the close of year-long investigations, civil court proceedings, and legislation surrounding the arrest and death of Bland. Her family settled on $1.9 million to be paid by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Waller County in a wrongful death lawsuit. In June 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Sandra Bland Act into law, which provides help for people who are incarcerated and have mental issues.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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