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Posts Tagged ‘Police’

Police Officer is Acquitted on Charges Related to the Death of Philando Castile

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

English: U.S. President Barack Obama speaking ...

English: U.S. President Barack Obama speaking on the . (Cropped from YouTube video widescreen, due to watermark) Español: El Presidente Barack Obama en rueda de prensa sobre el tiroteo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A video was taken by the girlfriend of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, moments after he was allegedly shot multiple times by a police officer in July 2016. That video went viral, and there has been widespread outrage over Castile’s death since that time. The case recently went to trial by jury. On Friday, June 16, 2017, the officer who allegedly fired the deadly shots was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm.

The jury trial involved a week of testimony, and it focused primarily on what Castile was doing just before being shot. The jury was in deliberations for five days. The courtroom was tense when the verdict was announced, revealing that the officer was cleared of all charges. Castile’s mother immediately left the courtroom and later expressed her disbelief that a person allegedly got away with murder, in the death of her son.

Research indicates that this may have been the first time in the history of Minnesota that an on-duty officer was charged with a fatal shooting. The verdict was decided on the question of whether or not the officer had a reason to be afraid that Mr. Castile was reaching for the gun that he had informed the officer he had, after the officer pulled over the vehicle he was in.

The officer who allegedly shot Castile said during the trial that he believed Mr. Castile was making a grab for his gun. The deceased’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said he was reaching for identification to give to the officer. Although there is a video from the dashcam from the police vehicle of the events and the live-stream video taken by Reynolds, no video provides footage of the critical moments in the front seat of the car, indicating how Castile moved before shots were fired.

The death of Castile has been the rallying cry for large protests in the twin cities. Not long after the deadly shooting, a question of racism became a major focus, partly as a result of U.S. President Barack Obama and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton both verbalizing the question of whether the shooting would have occurred if the driver or passengers had been white.

Following the verdict, an estimated 1,500 people marched in protest at the Minnesota Capital in St. Paul. They caused transit delays and backups in traffic.

–Guest Contributor


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Hundreds Protest the Alleged Deadly Police Shooting of a Pregnant Woman in Seattle

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

English: The top of the Space Needle in Seattl...

English: The top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington Deutsch: Turmkorb und Spitze der Space Needle, in Seattle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Police officers allegedly shot and killed a pregnant African American woman in her home Sunday night, June 18, 2017, while responding to a burglary call in Seattle, Washington. According to police, one police officer typically goes to a burglary scene, but there had been an incident at that address earlier in June in which the same woman, Charleena Lyles, had allegedly threatened an officer with shears. The 30-year-old mother of four weighed under 100 pounds and police could have easily overpowered her rather than using lethal force, her family says. They also say Lyles had mental problems. On Tuesday night, hundreds gathered in a vigil and rally to protest Lyles’ death and demand justice.

Police transcripts indicate that the officers engaged in a discussion about a supposedly stolen X-Box when they got to the apartment, and then the scene took a dramatic turn. One of the officers addressed Lyles, repeatedly telling her to get back. Then the other officer asked for quick back-up and said help was needed and a woman had two knives.

One officer told the other to Tase the woman, and the response was that he didn’t have a Taser. There were more commands to get back, by both officers. Then both officers allegedly fired shots.

The officers immediately called for medics. When they arrived, Lyles was declared dead. Lyles’ children were in the apartment, but Lyles was the only person harmed. Relatives took custody of the children.

According to the Seattle Police Department, the officers did have other equipment providing them with options that did not involve lethal force. Both of the officers had been through training for crisis intervention.

–Guest Contributor


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A Man is Allegedly Killed in an Officer-Involved Shooting in Pleasant Grove, Dallas, Texas

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

English: This is an image I created with Photo...

English: This is an image I created with Photoshop Category:Law enforcement insignia in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fatal officer-involved shooting occurred in Pleasant Grove Monday night, June 19, 2017, and the Dallas Police Department is investigating the incident. According to law enforcement officials, at about 5 p.m., police were called to a scene with an active shooter. Assistant Chief Randall Blankenbaker said a man allegedly fired multiple gunshots into a neighbor’s home. When police arrived at the scene, a home on Eastham Drive, they found that the front door was open. A noisy disturbance between a man and a woman could be heard inside, as well as a crying infant.

Police officers ordered the man to go to the front door. The man complied, but officers say he was holding a handgun. According to investigators, an officer allegedly opened fire, having no other option. The 28-year-old male in the doorway was allegedly struck by police gunfire. He was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where he later passed away.

Police said the woman inside the home had significant lacerations. She was also transported to the same hospital for treatment and is expected to fully recover. The infant was not injured.

According to investigators, the woman may have been assaulted by the man, who allegedly threatened to kill her and the baby. The identities of the individuals involved have not yet been released.

The man allegedly did not fire at the officer, a preliminary investigation shows. Body camera footage is being reviewed, to determine whether the suspect pointed the handgun at the police officer, according to Blankenbaker.

The investigation hasn’t yet uncovered a motive for the man allegedly firing gunshots into the neighbor’s home.

–Guest Contributor


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A Fleeing Suspect is allegedly Shot to Death by Police in Hunting Park, PA

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.

–Guest Contributor


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Police Misconduct Attorney Corpus Christi – A Police Commander in North Miami to be Fired in Connection with the Charles Kinsey Shooting

Friday, June 16th, 2017

A SWAT team enters the CII building of Renssel...

A SWAT team enters the CII building of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute after the discovery of the body of Anson Tripp. See en:Body of alumnus found at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 18, 2016, Charles Kinsey, an African American, was allegedly shot in the leg by police as his hands were raised in the air on a North Miami street. Kinsey was trying to coax Arnaldo Rios, a 27-year-old disabled man, to go back inside his group home when the alleged shooting occurred. Rios was holding a silver tanker truck at the time, and police officers involved in the incident said they mistook the toy for a gun. The police allegedly fired three rounds, one of which struck Kinsey. An internal affairs investigation has been underway since the incident occurred. On Wednesday, June 15, 2017, the police commander in charge of the above-described scene was notified that he is being fired. The investigation concluded that the commander allegedly misled the police chief and hindered an investigation into the shooting.

The investigation concluded that Kinsey, a mental healthcare worker, was lying on his back, had his arms raised in the air, and was begging officers not to shoot when a member of the North Miami SWAT team allegedly fired his rifle and struck Kinsey in the leg. According to the investigation, the commander who has now been fired was in charge when this occurred, and Kinsey was being compliant with police commands.

When the alleged shooting occurred, Kinsey was lying next to Rios, who is severely autistic. Rios had been sitting in the middle of the street, playing with the shiny silver toy. The SWAT team member is among those who say they thought the toy was a weapon. He also said that he was aiming at Rios when Kinsey was allegedly shot. Kinsey survived the injuries sustained in the alleged police shooting.

The internal affairs findings, which were released Wednesday, basically allege that the commander gave false or misleading statements with regards to his whereabouts and involvement at the scene.

The commander claims that he has become a scapegoat in this incident and says that he hopes to be fully exonerated.

This has occurred during public backlash directed at the state attorney over alleged lack of prosecution of violent or corrupt law enforcement officers.

–Guest Contributor


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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

English: Clinton Warren Hunter Austin Police S...

English: Clinton Warren Hunter Austin Police South Substation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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.

–Guest Contributor


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Police Misconduct Lawyer – Some in Garland TX Community Are Outraged Regarding a Former Police Officer

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Image showing front of North Garland High School

Image showing front of North Garland High School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

–Guest Contributor


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Family of Teen Shot by Police to Receive $850,000 from the City of Arlington

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

English: Student Center at Angelo State University

English: Student Center at Angelo State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was announced on May 23, 2017, that the City of Arlington, Texas, has agreed to pay $850,000 to the family of Christian Taylor, in settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit. On August 7, 2015, 19-year-old Taylor, an unarmed African American, was allegedly fatally shot by an Arlington, Texas, police officer during a suspected burglary. The police officer who allegedly shot Taylor was fired from his job two days later. In June 2016, the Tarrant County Grand Jury voted not to take action against the former Arlington officer for the events leading to Taylor’s death.

The events leading to the alleged police shooting were largely caught on surveillance videos, though the shooting itself was not. At about 1 am, 6-foot-tall, 180-pound Taylor, a football player at Angelo State University, drove up to a car dealership in his own vehicle. Video footage shows that he allegedly began smashing windows on several of the cars in the lot.

Six officers with the Arlington Police Department showed up at the scene, having been called by a security guard. The officers discovered that the suspect had driven his car through the window of the dealership and was in the showroom on foot. A 49-year-old officer, a rookie who was still on probation who lacked policing experience, pursued Taylor inside the dealership. The rest of the officers stayed outside.

The officer claims that he confronted the suspect and ordered him to get on the ground. Taylor allegedly did not comply but began advancing toward the officer. At this point, the field training officer had entered the dealership and was preparing to deploy his Taser when the rookie allegedly shot Taylor from a distance of 7 to 10 feet. The suspect allegedly continued to approach, and the officer shot his gun at Taylor three more times.

The Arlington police chief said, four days after the deadly incident, that the rationale expressed for using deadly force raised serious concerns.

Family and friends of Taylor saw footage of his behavior that night, and they all said he was obviously not behaving like himself.

–Guest Contributor


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Police Misconduct Attorney Fort Worth – Two Fort Worth Police Department Assistant Chiefs are Demoted Regarding Leaked Video

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Fort Worth, Texas. Taken from the Amon Carter ...

Fort Worth, Texas. Taken from the Amon Carter Museum looking east. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald of the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) announced on Friday, May 19, 2017, that two assistance police chiefs have been demoted to captain in connection with the unauthorized leak of a body camera video that shows the controversial arrest that a white officer made of a black woman and her two daughters. Fitzgerald also said that he will recommend that one of the officers is bumped down further to sergeant. The other of the two will also be suspended for three days. The chief said that the decision was difficult, since both men were friends as well as colleagues that he trusted. The investigation into the leakage of the video, which went viral, has continued since it was uploaded to a public website on January 18. The reason for the investigation was because the video contained juveniles. Also, personnel files are confidential and are supposed to remain that way, according to the FWPD.

The leaked video was taken of a December 21, 2016, incident that has been the cause of widespread outrage. A woman in the neighborhood of Rock Garden in southwest Fort Worth called the police to report that a neighbor assaulted her 7-year-old son. Fort Worth police officers went to the scene, and that’s when the controversial police incident involving alleged excessive force occurred.

The footage shows the white police officer at the scene allegedly wrestling the woman who called the police to the ground. He also allegedly pointed a stun gun at her daughters. He then arrested all three of them. The officer was suspended for 10 days for what occurred on December 21. The charges were later dropped against the woman and her daughters.

The woman’s attorney pointed out that the core values of the FWPD seem clear, with one officer allegedly assaulting black women and allegedly falsifying documents getting a 10-day suspension and officers who break the alleged tradition of turning a blind eye to alleged racism, corruption and, and brutality being far more severely punished. The officers who have been demoted are both black, as is Chief Fitzgerald.

–Guest Contributor


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Police Misconduct Attorney Dallas – A Cuffed Man is Repeatedly Tazed, a Leaked Balch Springs Police Video Shows

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

A motor officer patrolling in Arizona on a BMW...

A motor officer © by Jeff Dean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Balch Springs Police Department that is currently under criticism for the recent death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards is again in the news for alleged police misconduct. A police video was release this week that shows an incident that occurred on April 28, 2016. A white officer cuffed black suspect Marco Stephenson and then is seen jabbing the stun gun into Stephenson’s side. The cuffed man cried out in pain and fell to the ground and was later tazed repeatedly. The video was mailed to a Dallas television station with what seems to be the obvious intent of exposing the alleged police brutality.

Further details of the video are fanning flames of outrage. Before the officer allegedly tazed Stephenson, the officer is heard repeatedly demanding that the suspect not pull away. “You understand? Don’t pull away.” The cuffed man appears to display apprehensive calmness before the use of the stun gun.

Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathon Haber acknowledged the video and its content Tuesday night, May 16, 2017. He provided assurance that changes are being made to the force, but those changes were not specified. He also mentioned that officers “went over his head” to report the incident, according to reporters.

When the footage in an undisclosed residential neighborhood begins, a police officer has his gun drawn and is kicking away what appears to be a weapon. The officer approaches the suspect, who has his hands on his head and is on his knees. Stephenson was being detained because a group of kids claimed he threatened them with what looked like a firearm. The suspect was adamant that what he had was a BB gun.

One officer told Stephenson that the perceived threat is why he was being arrested. Officers answered the suspect’s attempts to defend his behavior with statements about his having to be dealt with on almost a daily basis. Court records allegedly show Stephenson is allegedly a repeat offender who has allegedly pled guilty to mischief, criminal trespass, and resisting arrest.

In the video, the officers have a conversation, and the sergeant allegedly shoved the stun gun against Stephenson repeatedly as he was lying on the grass.

Haber said that no criminal charges were brought against the officer for his behavior, after the video was reviewed by the Texas Ranger Division, the Balch Springs Police Department said in a statement. It was determined also by an independent agency and an internal review that the officer who did the alleged tazing in the video would not be charged, but he was forced to take anti-bias classes and conflict resolution classes.

–Guest Contributor


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