Philly Removes 72 Cops Over Social Media Posts

The Philadelphia Police Department pulled 72 officers off regular duties as authorities investigate inflammatory social media posts revealed in a database that found thousands of offensive postings by current and former officers, NPR reports. It was the largest removal of officers from the street in recent memory. “We are equally as disgusted by many of the posts that you saw and in many cases, the rest of the nation saw,” said Police Commissioner Richard Ross. It is the latest fallout since the advocacy group The Plain View Project this month released thousands of Facebook posts and comments by current and former police officers that range from racist memes, to celebrations of violence and messages containing Islamophobic themes. Police internal affairs officials in Phoenix, St. Louis and Dallas are probing whether the distasteful and sometimes violent material should warrant disciplinary action or terminations.

Ross said that at least “several dozen” of the 72 officers now on desk duty will be disciplined and others will be fired. Civil rights lawyer David Rudovsky called the decision to place 72 officers on desk duty “significant,” saying the social media posts appear to show conduct that is inconsistent with the department’s promise of fair and equal treatment for all residents. “More important will be the future decisions regarding sanctions or other measures to deal with this widespread problem in the police department,” he said. Criminal defense lawyer Paul Hetznecker cited “the underlining problems of implicit bias and explicit bias that these posts reflect that have existed for a long, long time.” The project tracking officers’ use of social media flagged offensive material posted by 2,900 current officers and hundreds of former police officers across eight police departments.

via The Crime Report

June 20, 2019 at 08:24AM

Body Cam Footage Doesn’t Convince Jurors: Study

Police departments are investing in body cameras as a response to calls for increased accountability after high-profile shootings, but a new study found that juries are less likely to blame officers for incidents based on footage from body cameras versus dashboard cameras, reports Courthouse News Service. Laws regulating, and in some cases requiring, the use of body cameras for police have been passed in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Many were prompted by a 2013 study that showed police use of force dropped by 50 percent in Rialto, Ca., when officers wore body cameras by community pressure after a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown, an incident for which no video recording was available.

It may seem obvious that video footage would help juries accurately assign blame in violent incident, but researchers say a viewer’s judgment may hinge on the viewpoint of the camera from which footage is shot. In a study published Monday by the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found mock jurors were less likely to find that an officer acted intentionally when viewing footage from a body camera rather than watching the incident from the vantage point of a police car dashboard camera. The study also showed that potential grand jurors were less likely to indict officers when they watched footage from a body camera than when they viewed an incident from a dash camera. Researchers attributed the discrepancy, which was consistent across eight experiments, to the amount of time an officer was visible in the footage. Viewers were reluctant to assign blame to an officer they could not see, who was obscured behind a body camera.

via The Crime Report

January 8, 2019 at 10:59AM

“Can Police Retaliate Against Loudmouths? 

Arctic Man is Alaska’s answer to Nevada’s more famous Burning Man. The writer Matt White once described it as “a weeklong booze and fossil-fueled Sledneck Revival bookended around the world’s craziest ski race,” during which “something like 10,000 partiers and their snowmachines disgorge onto Camp Isabel’s 300-acre pad to drink, grill, fight, drink and, at least while the sun is out, blast their sleds through the ear-deep powder in the surrounding hills one last time before it all melts away.”

As one can imagine, Arctic Man revelers sometimes attract the attention of law enforcement. One such meeting led to a casecalled Nieves v. Bartlett that will be argued before the Supreme Court on Monday, and that may finally resolve the question of whether a citizen can ignore or even talk back to police officers without fear of consequences.
Read more…

North Miami Beach Police Officer Ambar Pacheco Arrested for Beating Eight-Month Pregnant Woman

Just after 8:30 last night, Miami Beach Police rushed to Española Way to find a woman who was eight months pregnant in distress. The woman told police she was having severe abdominal pain and contractions after another woman had beaten her in the stomach.

Police quickly found her attacker: 26-year-old Ambar Pacheco, who works as a police officer in North Miami Beach. Pacheco didn’t deny the brutal attack on a “visibly pregnant” woman, MBPD officers say in an arrest report.

Read more… 

Officers Fired in Coin-Flipping Case

Two Roswell, Ga., who were caught on video flipping a virtual coin to determine if a speeding motorist would go to jail were fired on Thursday, reports WXIA-TV in Atlanta. In the body camera video, officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson are heard discussing what they should about Webb, who was pulled over for speeding in April. Brown, who had added a reckless driving charge because of wet pavement, tells Wilson that she didn’t have speed detection. Wilson says she doesn’t have any tickets. That’s when Brown opened a coin flip app on her phone. “A (arrest) head, R (release) tail,” Wilson says. Then, a tearful Webb was handcuffed and placed in the back of the police patrol car. The officers had been placed on administrative leave. On July 9, the charges against Webb were dismissed. It wasn’t until WXIA began asking questions two months after the incident that the officers were placed on administrative leave.

Read more… 

This Week’s Corrupt Cops Stories

Whoa! It’s prison and jail guards gone wild, plus some New York state cops get themselves in trouble. 

Let’s get to it:

In Wewahitchka, Florida, a state prison guard was arrested last Monday after being caught smuggling drugs in her bra and tampon. Officer Julia Eagerton voluntarily surrendered nine bundles of synthetic cannabinoids weighing 334 grams when confronted by security staff at the prison. She is charged with introducing contraband into a state correctional institution, possession of narcotics and unlawful compensation.

In Pendleton, Indiana, a county jail guard was arrested last Tuesday after being caught with drug contraband on him when he reported to work. Guard Joshua Myers faces a misdemeanor charge of trafficking with an inmate and a felony charge of official misconduct.

Read more…

Someone actually handed the police a fake ID featuring Homer Simpson

What a time to be alive. On Thursday Thames Valley Police tweeted a picture of a fake driver’s licence that was given to one of their officers by a motorist.

Earlier this week, @tvprp’s PC Phillips stopped a car in Milton Keynes.When she tried to identify the driver’s ID, she found the below…The driver’s car was seized and he was reported for driving with no insurance and driving without a proper licence.D’oh! ‍🤦‍♀️ — Thames Valley Police (@ThamesVP) March 15, 2018 Of course the officer spotted it was a fake, it has one glaring error.

Read more…

‘Testilying’ – NY Times Finds 25 Recent Cases in NYC

False testimony by police officers is a problem so old and persistent that the criminal justice system sometimes responds with little more than a shrug, the New York Times reports. “Behind closed doors, we call it testilying,” said New York City police officer, Pedro Serrano, echoing a word that officers coined at least 25 years ago. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.” The Times reports that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. The newspaper identified the cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges. Officers have lied about the whereabouts of guns, putting them in suspects’ hands or waistbands when they were actually hidden out of sight. They have barged into apartments to search them, only to testify otherwise later. They have given firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness. They have falsely claimed to have watched drug deals happen, only to later recant or be shown to have lied. No detail is too minor to embellish. “Clenched fists” is how a Brooklyn officer described the hands of a man he claimed had angrily approached him and started screaming and yelling. It was an encounter prosecutors later determined never occurred. Another officer accused a driver in a trial of recklessly crossing the double-yellow line on a stretch of road that had no double-yellow line. In many instances, the motive for lying was readily apparent: to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops. In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people with trumped-up evidence. In still others, the motive is not easy to discern.

Read more…