Latest News

107 suspects detained and over 900 potential victims identified in pan-European hit against sexual exploitation

EUROPOL - 11 hours 39 min ago
Europol supported a Europe-wide action week carried out by law enforcement agencies from a total of 22 Member States and Third Parties  aimed at organised crime groups (OCG) trafficking vulnerable individuals for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Between 26 June and 2 July, two crime areas - trafficking in human beings (THB) and facilitated illegal immigration (FII) - were targeted with actions undertaken to safeguard victims and identify those responsible for their trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Categories: Latest News

Tool to help police in opioid crisis draws privacy concern

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:32

By Michael Catalini Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey is the latest state amid a national opioid crisis to consider allowing police and law enforcement officials to access its prescription drug monitoring database without a court order, pitting patient rights to privacy against the government's ability to investigate so-called doctor shopping.

Republican state Sen. Robert Singer introduced the legislation Tuesday after discussions with a county prosecutor, arguing that the legislation will help officials target physicians who might be illicitly prescribing powerful prescription medications.

"We are in a crisis in this country, and when you're in a crisis form, you have to take certain actions," Singer said. "This action is another tool in their arsenal."

But the legislation faces powerful opponents in New Jersey, chiefly Republican Gov. Chris Christie who says he's opposed to the idea.

Nationally, the number of deaths from opioid drugs topped 30,000 in 2015, nearly double the rate from a decade ago, according to the National Institutes for Health. Across the country, states have implemented prescription drug monitoring databases that allow pharmacists, doctors and law enforcement to track who may be giving out too many controlled substances.

The proposed law in New Jersey comes as states across the country are grappling with how much leeway to give officials and law enforcement when it comes to examining the databases. In Rhode Island, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimnondo a new law similar to Singer's proposal.

In California, the Supreme Court ruled recently that the state Medical Board can dig through prescription drug records without a warrant or subpoena.

Christie has made addressing the state and nation's opioid epidemic his top priority, including chairing a White House commission on the crisis. A video showing him discussing a friend with an addiction to opioid painkillers was the moment during his failed presidential campaign that most connected with voters.

Christie put his opposition to the new bill in constitutional terms, saying that he doesn't want prosecutors to "troll that stuff."

"You shouldn't just be able to look at it for jollies," said Christie, whose anti-opioid commission is set to publish an interim report by the end of July after its release was delayed by more than a month. "If you have a case and you have some probable cause, OK that's fine. Go to a court and get a judge to give you permission to look at that information."

Other opponents have privacy concerns about the New Jersey proposal. Roseanne Scotti, state director of the nonprofit nonpartisan Drug Policy Alliance, says allowing broader access sets the state down a "slippery slope" toward privacy erosion.

"Broadly allowing local police to look into people's private medical records without a warrant or reasonable suspicion is appalling," Scotti said.

Singer says he's heard from New Jersey prosecutors who say they need the tool and that the privacy concerns are overblown compared to the effects of the opioid crisis.

"Talk about things being tracked. E-ZPass, Amazon, your phone. Everything is being tracked today," he said. "The world has changed on privacy."

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni inspired Singer to write the bill, according to Singer, who's been in the Senate since 1993.

Gramiccioni says the legislation would loosen restrictions for the collection and analysis of valuable information in the database.

Singer also added that his bill would require officials to "certify" that they are engaged in a specific investigation, cutting back on concerns about fishing investigations.

"It's not a hostile thing but the governor's wrong," he said.

Christie, a former U.S. attorney, didn't rule out looking more closely at the bill if it gets to his desk, but said that as a prosecutor he's opposed to it.

"Prosecutions work best when you actually have facts. If you've got enough facts to be able to look at the prescription monitoring program then go to a court and prove that," he said.

Categories: Latest News

Ariz. tells armed drivers how to avoid deadly police stops

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:22

By Jacques Billeaud Associated Press

PHOENIX — Gun-friendly Arizona is trying to avoid deadly encounters between police and people behind the wheel by teaching armed drivers how they should handle themselves when they are pulled over.

Arizona, which allows residents to carry weapons without permits, recently changed its rule book for the road in a bid to avoid confrontations such as the one that killed Philando Castile. The Minnesota man, who had a gun permit, was fatally shot during a 2016 traffic stop after telling an officer he was armed.

Arizona is among a small number of states instructing drivers on what to expect during traffic stops. It appears to be the first to use its driving rules to address situations in which motorists are armed.

Democratic state Rep. Reginald Bolding said Castile's death inspired him to seek changes to the state's driver's manual. He said the revisions were necessary because Arizona does not require gun permits and some owners have not been trained to handle firearms.

"The goal was to create a set of standards," Bolding said.

The new edition of the driver's manual, published about a month ago, advises drivers with guns to keep their hands on the steering wheel during traffic stops and tell officers right away that there's a firearm in the car.

It also tells drivers not to reach for anything inside the vehicle without getting permission first. And officers can take possession of guns, for safety reasons, until the stop is completed. The firearms would be returned if no crime has been committed.

Lawmakers in Tennessee, Virginia and Illinois have enacted laws over the last year that require driver education courses to teach people how to react when they are pulled over. Unlike the guidelines published in Arizona, none of the laws explicitly mentions what to do when armed motorists are stopped.

The revision in the Arizona manual would mostly be seen by those who are getting a driver's license for the first time. Most people who move to Arizona and have a license from another state don't have to take a written test. That's also true for Arizonans renewing their license.

The changes in Arizona happened without a law being passed. The Department of Public Safety worked with Bolding to produce the new guidelines.

"It all comes down to safety," said Quentin Mehr, a spokesman for the state police agency.

Arizona's gun laws are less restrictive than other states, allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit in most places. Gun owners are seen with some frequency in public places with guns holstered on their hips.

Will Gaona, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, said it's not a bad idea to tell drivers what to expect when getting pulled over. But the manual's new section does not include descriptions of a driver's rights, he said.

For instance, the rules say a driver can be arrested for disobeying an officer's order. Gaona said the rule book should tell people that they have a right to refuse an officer's request to search a vehicle.

"You also need to tell them what their rights are — not just what you think they should do, but also what they are allowed to do," Gaona said.

In the Minnesota case, the officer said Castile was pulling out his gun despite his commands not to do so. Prosecutors said the officer never saw the gun because it remained in Castile's pocket until paramedics removed him from his car. The officer was acquitted of a reckless-homicide charge.

The material from the new section of the Arizona manual could appear on driver's license tests, said Doug Nick, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division, which produces the rule book.

Categories: Latest News

Officials rush to secure funding after DPS announces crime lab fees

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:14

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Law enforcement agencies across Texas are rushing to secure additional funding after the state Department of Public Safety surprised them by announcing it will start charging for crime lab services.

Police chiefs and sheriffs said they weren't expecting Thursday's announcement that charges will be imposed starting Sept. 1.

Ryan Phipps, the police chief in Manor, northeast of Austin, told the Austin American-Statesman that his budget is due in the coming days so he needs to scramble to determine just how much additional funding he must request from the city.

"It is going to have a big impact," Phipps said. "This is going to be DWI-related, sexual assault-related (and) drug cases. There's quite a bit of stuff that we take over there to them."

Some of the charges will include $75 to analyze a controlled substance and $550 for a DNA analysis.

Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said the announcement "caught us off-guard."

"Our budget is in solid draft form and has already been sent to the city manager," he said. "I wouldn't say (it's) too late because our budgets are not finalized, but it certainly did not give us advanced warning or time for preparation."

Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said the new charges became necessary after state lawmakers approved an agency budget that required the department to collect $11.5 million to fully cover the cost of operating the state crime lab.

The agency notified law enforcement departments of the fees as quickly as possible, Vinger said.

The department plans to provide vouchers to cover some services in an effort to minimize the impact, but the value hasn't been determined.

"We understand that they have costs," Phipps said of the state agency. "But at the same time, the citizens are already paying taxes that fund the DPS. It's like they are being double taxed to pay out of our tax base to have these tests done."

Categories: Latest News

8 found dead in sweltering truck in immigrant smuggling case

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:09

By Eric Gay and Will Weissert Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Authorities called to a Walmart parking lot found eight people dead and 20 others in dire condition in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer, victims of what police said Sunday was an immigrant-smuggling operation gone wrong.

The driver was arrested, officials said.

It was just the latest smuggling-by-truck attempt to end in tragedy. In one of the deadliest cases on record in the U.S., 19 immigrants locked inside a stifling rig died in Victoria, Texas, in 2003.

This time, 30 survivors were taken to the hospital, where 20 were in extremely critical or serious condition, many suffering from extreme dehydration and heatstroke. Others had lesser injuries.

"They were very hot to the touch. So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water," San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

Authorities said they were investigating where the immigrants were from.

They did not say whether the rig was locked when they arrived, whether it was used to smuggle the occupants across the border into the U.S., or where it might have been headed. San Antonio is about a 150-mile (240-kilometer) drive from the Mexican border.

"We're looking at a human-trafficking crime," Police Chief William McManus said, adding that many of those inside the 18-wheeler appeared to be in their 20s and 30s but that there were also what appeared to be two school-age children.

He called it "a horrific tragedy."

The temperature in San Antonio reached 101 degrees (38 Celsius) on Saturday and didn't dip below 90 (32 C) until after 10 p.m. The trailer didn't have a working air conditioning system, Hood said.

The tragedy came to light after a person from the truck approached a Walmart employee in the parking lot and asked for water late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, McManus said.

The employee gave the person water and then called police, who found the dead and desperate inside the rig.

The driver's name was not immediately released.

Some of those in the truck ran into the woods, leading to a search, McManus said. Hours after the living and the dead were taken away, a helicopter hovered over the area after daybreak, and investigators were still gathering evidence from the tractor-trailer, which had an Iowa license plate but few other markings.

The police department said the U.S. Homeland Security Department was taking the lead in the investigation.

Investigators checked store surveillance video, which showed vehicles arriving and picking up people from the truck, parked in the midsummer Texas heat, authorities said.

"By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished," Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement.

In the May 2003 case, the immigrants were being taken from South Texas to Houston. Prosecutors said the driver heard them begging and screaming for their lives but refused to free them. The driver was sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison.

The Border Patrol has reported at least four truck seizures this month in and around Laredo, Texas. On July 7, agents found 72 people crammed into a truck with no means of escape, the agency said. They were from Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Authorities in Mexico have also made a number of such discoveries over the years.

Last December, they found 110 migrants trapped and suffocating inside a truck after it crashed while speeding in the state of Veracruz. Most were from Central America, and 48 were minors. Some were injured in the crash.

Last October, also in Veracruz state, four migrants suffocated in a truck carrying 55 people.

Categories: Latest News

Proposed next Minneapolis police chief has deep community roots

PoliceOne - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 10:59

By Rebecca Boone Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — People who have worked closely with the man tapped to lead Minneapolis' embattled police department say he has qualities that will fit well with the role: He's friendly, forthright, has deep city roots and is African-American, which could help improve sour relations between police and the city's black community.

But Medaria Arradondo's rise from school resource officer and patrolman to assistant chief during 28 years on the force has some wondering whether an outsider would be better suited to changing the culture of a department accused of being too quick to use force.

Facing public anger over an officer's fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed, white 40-year-old Australian woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home, Mayor Betsy Hodges asked police Chief Janee Harteau to resign, which she did Friday. Hodges nominated Arradondo as Harteau's replacement and dismissed protesters' calls for her to resign, too.

"Inside the department, outside the department, fans, critics, everybody — he builds relationships with people, which is going to be crucial as the department moves forward," Hodges told The Associated Press Saturday. "What's needed at this time is someone who is good at making change and helping usher people through change, which Arradondo has done and is doing,"

The police department has stepped up training in recent years, focusing on community policing, Hodges said. She said Arradondo will work to cement those changes.

Arradondo, nicknamed "Rondo," needs the city council's approval before he can begin the job. He served as the department's public face for most of a week after the July 15 police shooting of Justine Damond, until Harteau returned from vacation on Thursday.

Linea Palmisano, a city councilwoman who represents the ward where the shooting happened, said she's impressed with Arradondo, but wonders if someone from outside the department would be better able to make changes and enforce procedures such as turning on body cameras.

Neither the Somali-American officer who shot Damond, Mohamed Noor, nor the officer with him, Matthew Harrity, turned on their body cameras.

Others say an insider is exactly what the department needs: Someone who was brought up in the Twin Cities and can spot the dysfunction beneath "Minnesota nice."

"He's a fifth-generation Minnesotan, and he's appreciated and well-respected as a police officer," said Raeisha Williams, a 5th Ward city council candidate and the former communications director for the local NAACP. "He's African-American, obviously, and he knows the climate, he knows the community, he knows the culture."

That's vitally important when policing a region where 40 percent of residents are people of color, Williams said.

Arradondo has also experienced discrimination: He and four other officers sued the city in 2007 alleging they were the victims of systemic racial discrimination and a hostile working environment. They contended black officers were offered fewer training and overtime opportunities and received fewer appointments than white counterparts, among other problems. The city settled two years later, paying the officers a total of $740,000.

Williams dealt closely with Arradondo following the 2015 police shooting of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man whose death sparked large protests and an 18-day occupation outside of the north side police station. The officers involved weren't charged.

Williams said Arradondo was respectful. Arradondo's hometown experience contrasts with many officers who live outside the city, in mostly-white communities, Williams said.

"So they come in with bias because they're not racially diverse in their own environment," she said. "It feels like they're the predators and we're the prey."

Large police departments like Minneapolis often struggle with bureaucracy, inertia and political pressures, said Remy Cross, an associate professor of criminology at Webster University. Arradondo's department history gives him more credibility to make changes, Cross noted.

"But it's still going to be a real up-hill kind of fight," he said. "He has to walk carefully here and not alienate (fellow officers)."

Police Lt. Bob Kroll, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis president, frequently criticized the former chief and the mayor. Kroll says Arradondo is smart and respected by the rank and file.

"One of the first calls he made was to me yesterday. We had a good talk," Kroll said.

Kroll said the department is understaffed, with 30 authorized positions going unfilled. He says Arradondo should fill those positions immediately and seek authorization to hire more.

"It hurts your engagement with the community — the officers are short tempered, they don't take time on the calls," Kroll said.

Kroll says the department should focus on what he calls "proactive policing," where officers stop people for minor infractions or suspicious behavior. Critics point out that approach easily turns into police profiling, which contributes to increased police violence.

"The only people that are using the term 'profiling' are committing crimes and they want to get away with the little crimes so they can commit the bigger crimes," he said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is overseeing the investigation into Damond's shooting. Noor is not required to submit to an interview with the bureau and has not agreed to one or provided a statement, the bureau said Friday. The bureau also said a cyclist who was nearby when the shooting happened spoke to investigators.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the investigation said a witness filmed part of the encounter. It doesn't say whether that video includes the actual shooting or only the aftermath.

Categories: Latest News

Ex-escort gets 16 years for trying to have husband killed

PoliceOne - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 10:04

By Terry Spencer Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A former Florida escort convicted of trying to hire a hit man to murder her newlywed husband was sentenced Friday to 16 years in prison, perhaps ending a drawn-out case that drew notice for its startling videos and salacious characters.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley imposed the sentence on Dalia Dippolito, who was convicted last month of solicitation of first-degree murder. She was recorded on video and audio in 2009 as she plotted to have Michael Dippolito killed, telling an undercover detective she was "5,000 percent sure" she wanted her husband dead.

Kelley said Dippolito acted in a "cold and calculated manner."

"This particular crime was committed not in an unsophisticated way, but in a sophisticated way in a calculated fashion," Kelley said. "There was a plan put in place by Dalia Dippolito to kill Mike Dippolito." He said the evidence showed that Dalia Dippolito may have been manipulating two other men in her effort to kill her husband.

Neither Dippolito nor her family showed any reaction when the sentence was handed down.

A 2011 conviction and 20-year sentence had been thrown out on appeal. A retrial last fall ended with a 3-3 hung jury. This time, it took the six-member jury 90 minutes to convict Dippolito, 34, who had a child last year while under house arrest.

Prosecutors believe she wanted control of the couple's town house and her husband's savings. The case gained national attention when Boynton Beach police video from the investigation went viral on the internet and was featured on the TV shows "Cops" and "20/20."

Boynton Beach's cooperation with "Cops" had been a key part of the defense, as Dippolito's attorneys argued detectives manipulated her and their investigation to play to the cameras. Kelley said that while "theater" should not be part of law enforcement and the investigation wasn't perfect, he believes the detectives saved Michael Dippolito's life.

"The evidence supports that Miss Dippolito wanted him killed," Kelley said. While prosecutors argued for a 30-year sentence, Kelley said he agreed with the previous judge's sentence but gave her four years credit for the eight years she spent on house arrest.

Michael Dippolito, a convicted conman, testified Friday that his wife's actions ruined his life. He said her unsubstantiated claims of spousal abuse as the reason for her actions still haunt him. He said that when he was arrested for stock trading fraud, he plead guilty and accepted his prison sentence and she should have done the same.

"People will say, 'You're really lucky to be alive,'" Michael Dippolito said. "I guess but I can't get to that because I had to deal with this nonsense for nine years," referring to the three trials. He testified he met his ex-wife in October 2008 when he hired her for sex, but they hit it off so well they were married in February. Within a month, he said, she was stealing money from him and trying to get his probation revoked by planting drugs in his truck and, he believes, spiked his ice tea with antifreeze in an attempt to kill him.

Prosecutor Craig Williams called Dippolito "a master manipulator" who needed to be imprisoned "to protect society."

"If she wants something, first-degree murder is not enough for her," Williams said. "She'll do whatever it takes."

Defense attorney Craig Rosenfeld unsuccessfully argued for probation, saying Dalia Dippolito had lived an "exemplary life" and she should not be judged by "the worst moment of her life." After the hearing, he said he respected Kelley's sentence but an appeal is planned.

Williams and co-prosecutor Laura Laurie argued during the latest trial that the evidence against Dippolito was overwhelming. They played a 23-minute video in which Dippolito told undercover officer Widy Jean she wanted her husband killed and agreed to pay $7,000. She also discussed various plots before Jean said he would kill her husband at the couple's home, making it look like a botched burglary while she was at the gym.

Prosecutors also read for the jury X-rated text messages Dalia Dippolito exchanged with a now-deceased lover, Mike Stanley, in 2009 after she got married.

She had Stanley impersonate a doctor, to help her hide the $100,000 theft by pretending to be pregnant, and later a lawyer, to make her husband wrongly think he had completed probation, prosecutors said. She hoped that if her husband stopped visiting his probation officer, he would be found in violation and returned to prison. In one text message, she rejoiced after persuading her husband to put their town house in her name only; in another, she complained after learning she still couldn't sell it without his signature.

Categories: Latest News

SC to require psychological tests for aspiring officers

PoliceOne - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 10:01

By Seanna Adcox Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Becoming a law enforcement officer in South Carolina will require psychological testing under a new requirement aimed at weeding out people not suitable for the job.

The board that oversees the state's Criminal Justice Academy voted unanimously Wednesday to mandate the screening for all aspiring officers. Starting Jan. 1, all law enforcement agencies' potential new hires must bring proof of the testing to enroll for training.

"In the environment we're policing in today, with the scrutiny of law enforcement, obviously this is more important than ever," said State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, chairman of the Law Enforcement Training Council.

Psychological screening is already a standard part of the hiring process for the 59 agencies in South Carolina that are either state or nationally accredited, said the academy's director, Jackie Swindler. But there are nearly 300 law enforcement agencies statewide.

Lawmakers provided $550,400 for the tests in the budget that took effect July 1, as the council requested.

That will be used to reimburse agencies, up to $300 per screening, Swindler said.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster called the funding a "blessing."

"So many agencies — especially small, rural agencies — are not able to afford a psychological evaluation and testing," said Foster, a council member.

Screenings take several hours and include online and written tests as well as an interview, said Andrew Ryan of Columbia, a retired NCIS chief psychologist and former chairman of psychological services for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

After an analysis, candidates are deemed suitable, not suitable or marginally suitable, meaning some answers are concerning, Ryan said.

The goal is to "make sure we don't let anyone into the system that there's some question about because it's very hard to argue down the road if a mistake is made, 'Well, we thought he was a good guy,' or, 'He looked like he was going to be a good guy.' No, this is the validation," said Ryan, a Columbia native who started his police psychology career in 1990 with a research project at the academy, testing people already enrolled.

Generally, less than 10 percent of candidates are obviously not suited for the job and roughly 20 percent are questionable, he said.

The screening isn't a catchall, but it is a useful prediction tool before someone's hired, Swindler said. The new mandate requires only that the screening occur. Each agency's chief or sheriff remains responsible for the hiring decision.

"We do not make them show us the results. That's on that agency. That's where the liability falls," Swindler said. "Hopefully, people will use it properly."

Categories: Latest News

Ohio Highway Patrol trooper hospitalized after falling from overpass

PoliceOne - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 09:59

The Blade

TOLEDO, Ohio — An Ohio Highway Patrol trooper is hospitalized Friday after falling from an I-75 overpass while trying to stop a fleeing motorist in North Toledo.

Trooper Brian Mull, who has served about five years with the patrol, is recovering from broken bones and some bruising, Toledo post commander Lt. Shaun Robinson said.

The trooper about 4 a.m. on I-475 attempted to stop a vehicle wanted by Blissfield police. The car, which had its headlights off, continued onto I-75 northbound. It weaved through a construction zone and struck a trooper’s car, according to the patrol.

Lieutenant Robinson said the man then entered the median near Stickney Avenue and ran from his car. When Trooper Mull tried arresting him, both men fell onto Stickney Avenue.

They are in treatment at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center. The lieutenant said he did not know the suspect's name or condition.


©2017 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Categories: Latest News

Cook County sheriff lays off 110 recruits, trainees

PoliceOne - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 09:48

By Megan Crepeau Chicago Tribune

COOK COUNTY, Ill. — More than 110 Cook County sheriff's office recruits and trainees were laid off this week after a proposed countywide tax on soda was put on hold, officials said.

The sheriff's office layoffs are in addition to more than 300 county job cuts announced last week to make up for the loss of anticipated revenue from the soda tax.

"These are very difficult times for everyone," said Cara Smith, chief policy officer for the sheriff's office.

Sixty-six incoming recruits who were expected to start training next week have been notified that their class is suspended, and 47 trainees who began at the academy last month were laid off.

In addition, 12 other employees, including eight people who work at county courthouses, were laid off. Members of two specialty units will be reassigned to the Cook County Jail.

Smith said she is hopeful that the budget crisis passes and the training classes can be resumed, but in the meantime, security is the first priority.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep our staff safe and keep the public safe," Smith said.

The sheriff's office is responsible for several essential operations in the county's justice system, including the Cook County Jail, the sheriff's police and courthouse security.

Other county agencies felt the budget pinch last week as 10 percent across-the-board cuts were ordered after the soda tax was held up by a Cook County judge.

The Cook County state's attorney's office announced last week that 17 prosecutors and 22 other employees would be laid off. The Public Defender's office cut 69 employees, most of them lawyers.

The soda tax was supposed to go into effect July 1. But a judge issued a temporary restraining order June 30 after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers filed a lawsuit against the county Department of Revenue seeking to block the tax as unconstitutional and too vague.

Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak is scheduled to take up the county's motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Friday, but he isn't expected to announce his decision until a week later, according to Frank Shuftan, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's spokesman.

"We can't predict what the judge may or may not do, how long the court case may last, and, as such, have to proceed with the holdback," Shuftan wrote in an email to the Tribune last week.

Cook County had projected collecting about $67.5 million in revenue from the tax this year and more than $200 million for fiscal year 2018.


©2017 the Chicago Tribune

Categories: Latest News

Old police uniforms find new life as children's teddy bears

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 11:59

By PoliceOne Staff

KALKASKA, Mich. — When the Kalkaska Police Department challenged the staff find a creative solution to dealing with the 150 retired uniforms in its basement, one officer’s wife had the perfect idea on how to recycle the uniforms.

“It just kind of popped in my head -- well why don't we make teddy bears for children that need a little extra something special,” Eva Grey told 9 & 10 News.

Almost every part of the uniform, which date back to 1990, is used to make the bears. The buttons are used for the eyes, the shirts for the coats and the pants are used for the bears’ bodies.

“I actually have been able to incorporate the signature lines from the police officer uniforms into the bears,” Eva said.

Each bear takes nearly two and a half hours and Eva will make about 75 bears, the news station reported. The bears will be gifted to children involved in critical incidents like car crashes or family issues. At least two bears will be kept in the back of each patrol car for easy access.

“In times of critical incidents children become very upset and sometimes they can get the view that the police might be against them and we really want to make sure that they know the police are there to help,” Lt. Artress said.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Kalkaska City Police had nearly 150 old uniforms just sitting in their basement until an officer's wife decided to make...

Posted by 9&10 News on Friday, 21 July 2017

Categories: Latest News

Photos: Officer brutally attacked by felon receives therapy dog visit

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 11:57

By PoliceOne Staff

EL CAJON, Calif. — An officer who was brutally attacked by a felon Monday received a special visitor Wednesday.

Chopper the Bike Dog, whose mission is to “bring smiles, joy, love and happiness to all,” visited the Officer Sioson in the hospital to show him some extra love and thank him for his service.

“Today I made a special trip over and spent some time comforting this police officer, sharing my love and yes giving him lots of #ChopperKisses,” the Facebook post reads. “Please join me in supporting this officer, keeping him in your prayers for a full recovery. Let's hope and pray that the man arrested for this attack stays behind bars this time. No police officer deserves this!”

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Sharing my Chopper love with this Local Hero, an El Cajon Police Officer, today. Monday, this El Cajon Police Officer...

Posted by Chopper the Biker Dog on Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Iesha Booker helped save the officer, a 28-year veteran, during the attack when she repeatedly yelled “officer down” into his walkie talkie. The El Cajon Police Officers’ Association has established a GoFundMe account for Booker, a mother of seven who is living in her vehicle.

The suspect, Daniel Moses Cook, was taken into custody shortly after the attack and has been charged with assault on a police officer, resisting a police officer with force, robbery, possession of methamphetamine and being under the influence of meth. He also faces added allegations of causing bodily injury to the officer.

Categories: Latest News

Ford reveals first police pursuit pickup truck

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:45

Ford Media Center

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is revealing the industry’s first pursuit-rated pickup, the 2018 F-150 Police Responder, giving law enforcement agencies a more versatile and capable patrol vehicle.

Capable of speeds up to 100 mph, the all-new F-150 Police Responder features a powerful and efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and Ford SelectShift® 10-speed transmission, plus four-wheel drive for all-terrain police performance. The truck offers 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque – more than any other pursuit-rated police vehicle.

Based on the F-150 FX4 off-road model, the Police Responder’s 145-inch wheelbase sits on a high-strength steel frame, and features Ford’s high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy SuperCrew body – giving it the largest passenger volume, payload and towing capacity of any pursuit-rated police vehicle. The truck features best-in-class front and rear shoulder and hip room, as well as rear legroom.

“Ford’s 2018 F-150 Police Responder is the perfect all-terrain law enforcement vehicle,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager. “Aside from its industry-first on-road pursuit capability, this purpose-built pickup can comfortably seat five, while providing capability in off-road patrol situations for officers in rural environments patrolled by sheriff’s departments, border patrol operations and the Department of Natural Resources.”

Additional F-150 Police Responder performance enhancements include a police-calibrated brake system with upgraded calipers and pad friction material, upgraded front-stabilizer bar for improved braking and handling and 18-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires. An upfit-ready interior features a column shifter with center-seat delete, heavy-duty cloth front seats with slim bolsters and anti-stab plates, vinyl rear seating and heavy-duty vinyl flooring for easy cleanup.

A high-output 240-amp alternator is included to support on-board electrical devices, along with a police-calibrated speedometer, and engine hour and engine idle hour meters. Underbody skid plates protect the truck from curbs and rough terrain. A standard class IV hitch gives F-150 Police Responder best-in-class towing capability of 7,000 pounds.

F-150 Police Responder joins the broadest lineup of law enforcement vehicles in the industry. From its Police Responder Hybrid Sedan – the first pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle – and market-leading Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility, to the Special Service F-150 and Expedition, Special Service Police Sedan and Transit Prisoner Transport Vehicle, Ford offers the right vehicles for a variety of law enforcement needs.

Categories: Latest News

Woman convicted of murder after parrot witness repeats 'don't shoot'

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:40

Associated Press

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. — A jury has convicted a western Michigan woman of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband in a crime apparently witnessed by the man's pet parrot.

The Newaygo County jury deliberated about eight hours before finding 49-year-old Glenna Duram guilty Wednesday of killing 46-year-old Martin Duram. He was shot five times in May 2015. Glenna Duram suffered a head wound in what prosecutors said was a suicide attempt, but survived.

Martin Duram's ex-wife, Christina Keller, has said that after the slaying, the pet parrot, Bud, repeated "don't (expletive) shoot" in Martin Duram's voice. Keller took ownership of the bird after Martin Duram's death.

Duram is due to be sentenced Aug. 28 on the murder and a felony firearm charge.

Categories: Latest News

Grisly photos show officer’s injuries after Samurai sword attack

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 10:33

By PoliceOne Staff

ROCKINGHAM, Australia — An Australian officer “is very lucky to be alive” after a man attacked him with a Samurai sword.

Police Union President George Tilbury told WA Today the 55-year-old officer responded to a domestic incident Wednesday. The suspect allegedly left the house before police arrived, but returned and attacked the officer with a Samurai sword.

The officer received a large head gash, lost a liter of blood and a fractured skull. He received 25 stitches and remains hospitalized in stable condition, the publication reported.

(Photo/WA Police Facebook)

Tilbury said this attack highlights the dangers officers face daily.

"What this is is another incident where one of our members has been attacked, and they are attacked on a daily basis,” he said. “This is so vicious and cowardly that it's something that now everyone is interested in because this officer could have lost his life."

The suspect, 45, has been charged with breaching a violence restraining order, armed in a way to cause fear, criminal damage and intent to maim by unlawful wounding.

(Photo/WA Police Facebook)

(Photo/WA Police Facebook)

Categories: Latest News

Body cam video released, shows officer shooting dogs in yard

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:53

By Paul Walsh and Sarah Jarvis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Body camera video from a Minneapolis police officer who shot and seriously wounded two dogs in a residential backyard not only shows the best view yet of the animals’ temperament and movements during the encounter, but the officer is heard moments later apologizing to a sobbing resident while declaring his love for dogs.

The shootings on the night of July 8 behind the home in the 3800 block of Queen Avenue N. also were captured nearly in their entirety on residential surveillance video, which Jennifer LeMay, the dogs’ owner, posted on Facebook, quickly leading to hundreds of thousands of views.

The Police Department has yet to take a position on officer Michael Mays’ actions while he responded to a false security alarm call at the house, only noting that he is under investigation and that officers will be trained on how to best handle encounters with dogs.

Mays’ initial report filed that same night contended that the dogs, which he described as large pit bulls, “charged at” him. The police union defended Mays, contending that the first dog growled as it advanced toward him.

LeMay and her attorney, Mike Padden, have scoffed at that version of events, and have called for Mays to be prosecuted for filing a false report. They also suggested Mays be disciplined, possibly even fired.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon in north Minneapolis, where Padden made the officer’s body camera video available to other media outlets, the attorney said the imagery makes it obvious that Mays shot with the intention to kill.

No camera audio early on

As Padden had the video shown on a screen behind him, LeMay was at his side and turned away at the sight of seeing her first dog shot.

In Mays’ body camera video, the first dog, Ciroc, does not appear to be charging and is shot while slowly walking with tail wagging. After the gunfire, the second dog, Rocko, runs straight toward Mays before being wounded.

As for any growling directed at the officer at the incident’s outset, that was not picked up on Mays’ camera because the devices, when not manually activated, are always on for video only. It’s only when an officer activates it manually that the device goes back and captures the previous -- and silent -- 30 seconds and then records video and audio until turned off.

Padden alleged Thursday that the officer took “full advantage” of the lack of audio early on “because he knows in the first 30 seconds his audio isn’t activated.”

In a supplement to his initial report stating the dogs charged at him, Mays said, “After firing the first shot, I observed a larger size blue nose pit bull come rushing towards me from inside the residence.”

Mays’ initial report offered a “different story” from the supplemental information because, Padden alleged, the officer learned about the surveillance videos and was attempting to corroborate his story with what was revealed on camera.

Padden went on to make a connection with body camera use in this case and the lack of any at the time Justine Damond was fatally shot by a police officer in southwest Minneapolis on Saturday. He said there should be “no more excuses” for officers’ devices not recording images and sound.

“I know that some people in law enforcement are capable of, at times, engaging in conduct that knows no bounds from the perspective of audacity,” Padden said.

‘Sorry about this’

Once the audio on Mays’ camera captures sound, he is heard saying, “I dispatched both of them,” first Ciroc and then Rocko.

The camera shows the officer reaching up and scaling a wooden fence and making his way to the front door, where he speaks with LeMay’s 18-year-old daughter, Courtney Livingston, who came home early from a family trip because she had to work the next morning.

Fighting sobs, Livingston explains how she put in the wrong code for the home’s security system, leading to the police response.

“Hey, I’m gonna sit there and say sorry about this,” Mays tells her. “I don’t like shooting no dogs. I love dogs, so ... it’s unfortunate. Are they A-OK?”

Livingston says she’s not sure and points out that “I have blood all over my house, and they’re both walking, that I know of.”

Ciroc and Rocko will require thousands of dollars in treatment for their wounds. Police Chief Janeé Harteau offered her department’s help in paying the bills. That gesture was met with a cool response from Padden, who said the offer came after the family had to put up money before the dogs could receive medical care.

LeMay said the Police Department’s response to the incident was similar to its response in the November 2015 shooting death of Jamar Clark -- “PR B.S.” about implementing mandatory training.

“Either you get more experience, you get more training, or you get out [of the police force],” LeMay said.


©2017 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Categories: Latest News

Man livestreams as he speeds on beach, cursing and drinking

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:50

Associated PRess

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — A 27-year-old man broadcast live on Facebook as he sped down a Florida beach, running over beach chairs and umbrellas while drinking from a bottle of Canadian Mist whiskey.

Authorities said he was yelling expletives about the police cars that were chasing him.

The commotion along the beach on Florida's west coast Thursday afternoon sent beachgoers scrambling for safety, but no one was injured.

"It could have been a lot worse today," Clearwater Deputy Chief Donald Hall said.

Hall told reporters at a news conference that Ryan Stiles eventually came to a dead end where he had to make a decision — drive his black SUV into the water or surrender. He was taken into custody and faces multiple charges, including DUI, reckless driving, hit and run, and threatening a public servant.

It was just before 4:30 p.m. when Clearwater police started getting 911 calls, some from as far away as California, bringing their attention to the threats Stiles was making from his Jeep Cherokee, Hall said. Dispatchers kept callers on the line as police tried to locate him. Driving isn't allowed on the beach.

The Facebook video shows Stiles repeatedly said, "We're goin' die tonight," shifting his eyes from his phone to the windshield as he sped down the beach. He streamed about five minutes of his ride.

"We had no idea what this individual's intentions were," Hall said, adding that police officials secured the front door of the main police station out of precaution.

Stephanie Ball, her 14-month-old son Parker Daly and friend Emily Keene were enjoying the afternoon at the beach when they saw the SUV barreling toward them, following by police cruisers.

"We were lucky we were awake and alert," Ball told the Tampa Bay Times. The baby's playpen was about 5 feet (1 meter) away from the SUV's path.

A friend of Stiles made the first call to police. Sarah Lynn Wright, 26, told the Times that Stiles was trying to get out of a tough spot when she met him three months ago and let him move into a home she shares with her mother. On Thursday, she said he returned from a meeting with a public defender who told him it was unlikely he was going to get probation for a previous resisting arrest charge he is facing.

Wright said Stiles packed his stuff and left. She called police when she saw the video.

"It's not out of character for him to get angry and storm off," she said. "I feel like he couldn't handle the stress and that was it for him."

Jail records don't list a lawyer for Stiles.

Categories: Latest News

Police: Woman steals taxi, picks up paying passengers

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 07:38

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police say a woman stole a taxi in Philadelphia and picked up a fare.

They say the 65-year-old woman caught the cab around midnight Thursday and asked to be taken to the SugarHouse Casino. On the way, she asked the driver to make a stop at a gas station.

It was at the station where police say the woman jumped into the driver's seat and drove off.

Police stopped the taxi 30 minutes later and found a 23-year-old woman and her infant daughter in the backseat.

The mother told officers she had hailed the cab earlier, not realizing it was stolen.

Police: Woman Steals Cab, Pretends To Be Taxi Driver

— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) July 20, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Deputy wounded in Baton Rouge ambush returns to work

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 06:58

By Emma Discher The Advocate

BATON ROUGE, La. — On his first day back at work after a year of recovering from a gunshot wound, East Baton Rouge Parish deputy Bruce Simmons thought he was asked to attend the swearing-in of new deputies to give them advice, but instead he was surprised to find out he was being promoted to lieutenant.

Simmons was shot in the arm July 17, 2016, when Gavin Long, of Kansas City, Missouri, ambushed a group of law enforcement officers, killing three and injuring three others, including Simmons.

After a year of recovering from the wound, Simmons returned to work Thursday to a standing ovation, many hugs and dozens of well wishes from his colleagues that he calls family.

“I had no idea I was being promoted to lieutenant so it’s very emotional for me,” Simmons said. “I had no idea that they were even thinking about something like this. It’s just a great day all the way around.”

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux recognized Simmons’ return during the swearing-in of 17 new deputies, other promotions and a few special awards for exceptional service at the Parish Prison chapel. More than 100 deputies and well wishers were on hand for the ceremony.

Gautreaux told the crowd that Simmons fought hard to be able to return to work after the shooting.

“Before Bruce ever got out of the hospital he told me, ‘Sheriff, I’m going to be back.’ He has fought and he has fought hard to get back to where he is today," Gautreaux said.

Simmons was shot in the left arm above the elbow.

"It’s not been easy," Gautreaux said. "Many of you saw the x-rays that I saw. … From what I saw in his shoulder and arm, I would have thought there’s no way that he’s going to come back.”

The bullet shattered the bone in Simmons’ arm, leaving him with no bone connecting his upper arm to his lower arm. Doctors put a titanium rod in his arm to connect the bones, but shrapnel still remains under the skin.

Though his arm is not yet 100 percent recovered, Simmons said the injury is healed and he is working now on regaining his strength.

Simmons will have a few days of retraining and re-qualifying with firearms that all deputies must complete annually before he will resume his duties in the motorcycle section of the Traffic Division.

While he was recovering, Simmons said he missed his motorcycle, which he should get back next week, and the people he works with the most.

“Law enforcement is a family,” Simmons said. “You need that interaction with all the people you work with and the public."

When asked what advice he would give to the 17 new hires, Simmons echoed Gautreaux’s advice of adhering to the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

“It’s a great profession just like the sheriff said and you get out of it what you put into it,” Simmons said. “If you treat people the way you want to be treated, and I look at it the way you would want your mother or family to be treated, you’ll never have a problem.”

Both Gautreaux and Simmons recognized deputy Nick Tullier. Simmons and Tullier were together on that Sunday morning a year ago, having breakfast at a restaurant on Airline Highway when they learned of the ambush. Both men responded. Tullier was seriously wounded in the shooting and is undergoing rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston.

Killed in the ambush were deputy Brad Garafola, and Baton Rouge police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald. Long was also killed by Baton Rouge police.

“Continue praying for Nick Tullier,” Simmons said. “That’s my inspiration. He’s fighting every day. I would pray that he would be able to come back and do this one day.”


©2017 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

Categories: Latest News

Minn. police chief resigns in wake of officer shooting

PoliceOne - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 06:47

By Amy Forliti and Steve Karnowski Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau resigned Friday amid calls for new leadership in the department following last week's shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman by a police officer.

In a statement released Friday, Harteau said: "I've decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be."

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she asked for the chief's resignation.

"I've lost confidence in the Chief's ability to lead us further ... it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well," Hodges said. "For us to continue to transform policing — and community trust in policing — we need new leadership at MPD."

Harteau said she was proud of the work she accomplished, but the shooting of 40-year-old Justine Damond by one of her officers, and other incidents, "have caused me to engage in deep reflection."

She added, "Despite the MPD's many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for the City, I have to put the communities we serve first."

Harteau was out of the city on personal time for nearly a week following Saturday's shooting of Damond, a 40-year-old life coach and bride-to-be who was killed by an officer responding to her 911 call of a possible rape.

The state is investigating the shooting. In Harteau's first remarks on the case on Thursday — when she returned to work — she was sharply critical of Officer Mohamed Noor while defending his training.

"The actions in question go against who we are in the department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers," Harteau said Thursday. "These were the actions and judgment of one individual."

That wasn't enough for some City Council members. Linea Palmisano, who represents the ward where Damond died, told her fellow council members Friday that she was "done with image control and crisis management." She said the department has systemic problems and it was time to consider a change in leadership.

Categories: Latest News