Latest News

NY man charged for giving trooper fake police badge during traffic stop

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:36

By Kira Maddox Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When a man was pulled over by state police in North Syracuse on Monday, he showed the trooper a badge on his belt.

He told the trooper he had the badge because he was a federal police officer.

But that turned out to be a lie, state police said in an announcement Tuesday.

Anthony J. Carbonaro, 48, of Crandon Terrace in Baldwinsville, had a fake police badge, troopers said.

After a brief search of the vehicle, officers found a rifle, tactical vest, handcuffs and a forged sheriff's office ID card in the trunk, according to police.

Carbonaro was arrested and charged with criminal impersonation of a police officer, a felony; seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

He was issued an appearance ticket for the Town of Salina court on Nov. 30, troopers said.

©2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

Categories: Latest News

Dangerous necrophiliac killer escapes Hawaii psych hospital

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:06

By Audrey McAvoy and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher Associated Press

HONOLULU — A man acquitted of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital over the weekend, took a taxi to a chartered plane in Honolulu bound for the island of Maui and then boarded another plane to San Jose, California, police said.

Randall Saito, believed to be in Northern California, is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached, Honolulu police said late Tuesday.

Saito left the state hospital outside Honolulu on Sunday at 10 a.m. and didn't return, police said. Hospital staff called 911 to report his disappearance shortly after 7:30 p.m. — two hours after he landed in San Jose, police said. An all-points bulletin was issued at 8:30 p.m.

It wasn't immediately known how he was able to charter a plane. Police wouldn't provide details about his flight to California.

The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have reviewed security footage from San Jose International Airport in connection with the manhunt, said Jon Vaden, a spokesman for the airport. He said police have not advised him of any threats at the facility.

Late Tuesday night, the Hawaii Attorney General's office charged Saito with felony escape and issued a $500,000 bench warrant for his arrest. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said officers in all 50 states may enforce the arrest warrant.

"This is a dangerous individual," Chin said. "We need him off the streets."

Saito was committed to the hospital outside Honolulu in 1981, two years after he was acquitted in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro.

The victim was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car at a mall.

"He is a very dangerous individual," said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying there's a concern he could commit the same "very heinous and violent offense" again. Authorities asked anyone with information to call police.

It was not immediately clear under what circumstances Saito left the facility in Kaneohe, a Honolulu suburb.

Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William May said officials are fully cooperating with law enforcement and appropriate steps would be taken if Saito had help from someone inside the facility.

Defense attorneys sought to have Saito released in 2000. But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito "fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer."

In 1993, a court denied Saito's request for conditional release, saying he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.

The state Department of Health operates the hospital, which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape.

"There is a serious lack of information for the public," said Nicholas Iwamoto, who was stabbed 18 times on a popular Hawaii hiking trail in 2009. His attacker was found legally insane and sent to Hawaii State Hospital. He was later granted conditional release to attend community college, a decision Iwamoto wasn't notified about.

"Public safety has certainly been compromised," Iwamoto said. "It's extremely alarming. But nothing from the state surprises me anymore."

Irving Tam, who has lived near the hospital in Kaneohe for about 30 years and was walking by the facility on Tuesday, said he worries about hospital patients getting out in his neighborhood.

"When they do escape, especially someone with this kind of a record, there is a high degree of concern, he could be violent and who knows," Tam said. "That's why I have a gun, for this very reason. Hopefully I never use it."

Tam said he heard about the escape from a neighbor, not the police, hospital or the media, and that patients have gotten out several times in the past.

"This is not totally uncommon, we have had similar incidents in the past, and fortunately nothing has ever happened," Tam said.

Tam thought that someone with a violent past like Saito should closely monitored. "It is disturbing that he was given that much freedom," he said. "You would think he would be under heavier security."

Saito was the impetus for a rule change in 2003, when the state attorney general's office decided mental patients committed to Hawaii State Hospital have no legal right to conjugal visits.

The issue came to light when the hospital administrator learned Saito had been escorted home for weekend conjugal visits over two years. The administrator blocked the visits away from the facility and on its grounds.

Dangerous psychiatric patients have escaped recently from other facilities in the United States.

In Washington state in 2016 a man accused of torturing a woman to death broke out of the state's largest mental hospital. Anthony Garver crawled out of a window of his ground-floor room at Western State Hospital, rode a bus 300 miles to Spokane and was captured days later without incident.

After the escape Washington Gov. Jay Inslee fired the hospital's CEO and brought in the Corrections Department to inspect the building for security improvements.

A review of police reports by The Associated Press found 185 instances in the 3 ½ years before Garver's escape in which Western State patients escaped or walked away.

Categories: Latest News

Calif. gunman who killed 4, wounded 10 was out on bail

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:02

By Don Thompson and Paul Elias Associated Press

RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. — The gunman behind a rampage in Northern California was out on bail charged with stabbing a neighbor, others had complained about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house, and he had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before the attack.

Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, in seven different locations across his rural community, including an elementary school, before he died in a shootout with police.

It's not yet clear what the terms of Neal's bail were, and whether he would have been allowed to possess and fire the weapons on his property at the end of a dirt road in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Nor did sheriff's officials give details on the domestic violence call.

But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims.

Cristal Caravez and her father live across a ravine from the roadway where the gunman and his first victims lived.

She said they and others heard constant gunfire from the area of the gunman's house, but couldn't say for sure it was him firing.

"You could hear the yelling. He'd go off the hinges," she said. The shooting, "it would be during the day, during the night, I mean, it didn't matter."

She and her father, who is president of the homeowners association, said neighbors would complain to the sheriff's department, which referred the complaints back to the homeowners association.

"The sheriff wouldn't do anything about it," said Juan Caravez.

The gunman's sister, Sheridan Orr, said her brother had struggled with mental illness throughout his life and at times had a violent temper.

She said Neal had "no business" owning firearms.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the shooter was facing charges of assaulting one of the feuding neighbors in January and that she had a restraining order against him.

Johnston did not comment on the shooter's access to firearms.

Johnston declined to identify the shooter until his relatives were notified, but he confirmed the gunman was charged with assault in January and had a restraining order placed against him. The district attorney, Gregg Cohen, told the Sacramento Bee he is prosecuting a man named Kevin Neal in that case.

Neal's mother told The Associated Press her son, who was a marijuana grower, was in a long-running dispute with neighbors he believed were cooking methamphetamine.

The mother, who spoke on condition she be named only as Anne because she fears for her safety, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she raised Neal. She said she posted his $160,000 bail and spent $10,000 on a lawyer after he was arrested in January for stabbing a neighbor. Neal's mother said the neighbor was slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife out of the hand of the neighbor who was threatening him with it.

She wept as she told The Associated Press she spoke to Neal on the phone on Monday.

"Mom it's all over now," she said he told her. "I have done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area."

She said Neal apologized to her during their brief conversation, she thought for all the money she had spent on him, saying he was "on a cliff" and the people around him were trying to "execute" him.

"I think the motive of getting even with his neighbors and when it went that far — he just went on a rampage," Johnston said.

Police said surveillance video shows the shooter unsuccessfully trying to enter a nearby elementary school after quick-thinking staff members locked the outside doors and barricaded themselves inside when they heard gunshots.

Johnston said the gunman spent about six minutes shooting into Rancho Tehama Elementary School before driving off to continue shooting elsewhere. Johnston said one student was shot but is expected to survive.

He said the 45-minute rampage ended when a patrol car rammed the stolen vehicle the shooter was driving and killed him in a shootout.

Johnston said officials received multiple 911 calls about gunfire at an intersection of two dirt roads. Minutes later, more calls reporting shots flooded in from different locations, including the school.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at the school, which has one class of students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

The shootings occurred in the rural community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, a homeowners association in a sparsely populated area of rolling oak woodlands dotted with grazing cattle about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Many there live in poverty, but others are better off.

"It's not a bad community at all," said Harry Garcia, who was minding his parents' convenience store La Fortuna Market. "Some people keep their properties nice- some don't. They rough it out here. Some go with minimum stuff. Some don't even have power out here."

Categories: Latest News

Fla. LEO who was shot in the face gets visit from country music star

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:08

By Trey Crumbie Lexington Herald-Leader

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida police officer who was shot in the face this year got a weekend visit from Lexington native and country music star Chris Stapleton.

Stapleton met a police officer with the Jacksonville, Fla., sheriff's office while the singer was in Florida for a music tour, according to a post on the sheriff's office Facebook page. Jeremy Mason, a K-9 officer, was shot in the face in July while chasing a suspected bank robber and a three-time convicted felon, the post read. Mason was shot while he was driving.

Despite being shot in his chin area, Mason continued to pursue Michael Joseph Harris, the suspected bank robber, The Florida Times-Union reported. After a two-mile chase, Harris’ vehicle crashed and Harris came out of the car with a gun. Harris was shot dead by Mason and another police detective.

Stapleton heard about Mason’s injury and wanted to meet him, as well as other police officers, the Facebook post read.

Stapleton, who was born in Lexington and grew up in Johnson County, has won several music awards including Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards in 2016. Stapleton’s albums include "Traveller" and "From A Room: Volume 1.” A future album, “From A Room: Volume 2," is scheduled to be released Dec. 1.

The sheriff’s office was happy to grant Stapleton’s wish.

“Thank you Mr. Stapleton for taking the time out of your day to honor us. From all of us at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, we thank you for your support,” the post read.

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Chris Stapleton requests to meet JSO officer that was shot. In July 2017, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K-9 Officer...

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Sunday, November 12, 2017

©2017 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

Categories: Latest News

Injured Mich. cop forces way inside damaged home to aid elderly resident

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 07:51

By Bill Laitner Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A police chase north of Detroit ended early Sunday when the fleeing driver's car smacked into the side of a mobile home, knocking its elderly resident out of her TV chair, police said.

Now she's in the hospital and he's in jail, thanks to the fast action of pursuing cop, whose own patrol car had been smashed into earlier by the fleeing driver, said the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The pursuing deputy, despite having his own injuries, yanked the fleeing driver from the wreckage and took him into custody, then sensed that someone inside the trailer could be hurt -- so he kicked down the door and found its 76-year-old resident lying on the floor in need of medical care, Oakland County Sheriff Mike McCabe said in a news release.

Minutes later, firefighters and paramedics arrived to treat the woman and the officer. Both were taken to McLaren-Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, where the officer was treated and released but the elderly woman remained hospitalized Sunday, McCabe said.

As for the other driver? The 37-year-old Highland man, whose burgundy 2002 Chevrolet Malibu was apparently has been totaled, has questionable behavior to answer for – starting with allegedly rear-ending at high speed the patrol car as the officer was driving about 40 m.p.h., on southbound Milford Road, McCabe’s report said. After the rear-end collision, the suspect immediately did a U-turn and sped about a mile northbound, then turned into the Highland Greens Estates mobile home community, followed by the officer with his lights and siren activated, the report said.

The deputy gave chase through the residential area by following a “fluid trail” dripping from the rammer’s car until finding the Malibu driver’s car embedded in the side of the woman’s mobile home. The driver – who reeked of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes -- was transported to a nearby hospital for a blood draw to determine his level of intoxication, then relocated to a more modest setting: the Oakland County Jail, according to McCabe’s report.

The injured deputy is a 16-year police veteran, having joined the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office four years ago after serving as a Walled Lake police officer, McCabe said.

©2017 the Detroit Free Press

Categories: Latest News

Police: Off-duty NY deputy dies after gunshot to head

PoliceOne - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 07:12

By Richard J. Bayne The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.

TOWN OF WOODBURY, N.Y. — An off-duty Rockland County sheriff's deputy was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in a vehicle that ran off the road Tuesday on Route 6, police said.

Police identified the sheriff's deputy as Frank Farina, 42, of Stony Point.

State police at Troop F headquarters in the Town of Wallkill said Farina was driving on Route 6, also known as Long Mountain Parkway, about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when he suffered the single gunshot wound. Police said the vehicle then crossed the double-yellow center line, left the roadway, and struck a rock embankment.

Farina was transported by ground ambulance to Orange Regional Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill, where he was pronounced dead.

Police identified a passenger in the vehicle as Jennifer Farina, also 42 and of Stony Point. Police said Jennifer Farina was also transported by ground ambulance to ORMC, where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash occurred on the section of Route 6 just east of Lake Te-Ata, where Bailytown Road meets Route 6.

Police said an investigation remains ongoing.

©2017 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.

Categories: Latest News

France, Germany and Austria dismantle international firearms trafficking group with the support of Europol

EUROPOL - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 04:32
On 9-10 November 2017, 11 individuals suspected of firearms trafficking were arrested simultaneously by law enforcement authorities in France, Germany and Austria. The main provider, alongside two buyers, was arrested by the Austrian authorities. Around 50 weapons, numerous ammunition and more than EUR 115 000 were also seized as part of this operation.
Categories: Latest News

International vehicle theft and trafficking ring busted in Spain

EUROPOL - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 02:18
The Spanish Guardia Civil, supported by the Bulgarian Police, Portuguese Police and Europol, have dismantled an international crime group dedicated to vehicle theft and the illicit trafficking of the vehicles from Spain to Europe. The operation resulted in the arrest of 19 individuals and the investigation of five other suspects, who are accused of belonging to a criminal organisation, vehicle theft, document fraud, and money laundering.
Categories: Latest News

Gunman picking random targets kills 4 in Calif.

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 15:54

By Don Thompson and Paul Elias Associated Press

RED BLUFF, Calif. — A gunman choosing targets at random opened fire in a rural Northern California town Tuesday, killing four people at several sites and wounding others at an elementary school before police shot him dead, authorities said.

The gunfire began around 8 a.m. in the community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Police offered no immediate word on the assailant's motive, but a sheriff's official said the shooter's neighbors had reported a domestic violence incident.

"It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets," Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at an elementary school about five miles down a road from where the shooting is believed to have started.

Several people were wounded at the school, said Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District.

Salvador Tello said the gunman fired at a truck in front of him as he was dropping off his three children. Tello said he was about three blocks from the school when bullets made "big holes" in the truck in front of him.

He said he forced his children to duck down and slammed his truck into reverse and headed to the children's grandmother's house.

"I put my kids down and put my truck in reverse and went out," he said. "I don't believe it because I wake up, take my kids, feed them cereal and put them in the truck and says 'Let's go to school like a normal day.'"

On the way, he said, he saw an apparent gunshot victim and police at another scene.

Details were still sketchy hours after the shootings, and authorities did not have a firm count of the wounded due to the number of places the gunman attacked, Johnston said.

Authorities recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.

The rural subdivision is described on its website as a "quiet private country community" where "the people are friendly and the pace is relaxed." The homeowner association's website says there are 2,016 lots in the community and 1,346 voting members.

Two hospitals said they were treating a total of seven gunshot victims, including at least three children.

At least one student was wounded at the school. Another child was shot while driving with a woman, who also was wounded, Johnston said.

He declined to release the name of the shooter but said he was "aware" of a domestic violence incident that neighbors reported.

Brian Flint told the Record Searchlight newspaper in the city of Redding that his neighbor, whom he knows only as Kevin, was the gunman and that his roommate was among the victims. He said the shooter also stole his truck.

"The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines," Flint said. "We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he's been threatening us."

Officials say there at least 100 law enforcement officers on scene of about 5 different sites where the shooter opened fire.

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

BREAKING: At least 3 dead in shooting in Tehama Co. it started at a home and moved to the school. Shooter shot and killed by police.

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Tenn. cop forms partnership with 4-year-old boy

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:47

By PoliceOne Staff

NEWPORT, Tenn. — A Tennessee police officer who has been on the job for more than a decade has now found a young partner to help him direct traffic.

WRCB-TV reports that Cocke County Sgt. Justin Vinson has formed a partnership with 4-year-old Sawyer. The young boy is responsible for helping Vinson put out traffic cones and even use his whistle as he directs afternoon traffic.

Allison Schimming, Sawyer’s mother, said she bought her son a police costume last Halloween and that one of his dreams is to become a police officer, WATE reports. He took it upon himself to direct traffic from his yard. That’s when he formed a bond with Vinson.

Sawyer practices traffic enforcement on pretend traffic as Vinson directs real drivers. The two have grown close ever since they formed their partnership.

"Honestly, I'm just doing my job. And, you know, if someone can look up to me, because you never know who may be looking up to you, to give them that guidance," Sergeant Vinson said. "To give them that hope. And if I can be a role model to somebody-- it makes me happy knowing that I can be."

TONIGHT: @LesterHoltNBC introduces us to an unlikely crime-fighting duo in Tennessee: Sgt. Vinson and his 4-year-old apprentice Sawyer.

— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) November 13, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Video shows suspect fire shotgun at Minn. cop during traffic stop

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:42

By PoliceOne Staff

LA CRESCENT, Minn. — Footage released Thursday shows a suspect fire a shotgun at a Minnesota police officer w during a traffic stop.

WXOW reports that on July 31, La Crescent Officer Ryan Quanrud and Officer Christopher Frick pulling over a vehicle after they saw two men behaving suspiciously. When Quanrud approached the vehicle, the driver, Wyatt Helfrich, fired his shotgun at the officer, who returned fire.

Frick got back into his squad car and began pursuing the suspects, reaching speeds of almost 100 miles per hour. The suspects were shooting at the officers during the pursuit before their vehicle’s tires were punctured and they went off road.

After their car stopped, the suspects fled into a nearby cornfield with their weapons, but they were soon captured and taken into custody by police.

"We just want the public to realize how incredibly close we came to losing at least one of our police officers that night," Houston County Sheriff Mark Inglett, said. "We live in a low crime area, but that doesn't mean these things can't happen and it is exactly why we train as hard as we do for these kinds of situations."

Helfrich and the passenger, William Wallraff, face attempted first-degree murder and assault charges. The officers were cleared in the investigation and returned to work.

Categories: Latest News

Video shows struggle between Conn. officer and teenager

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:35

By Daniel Tepfer and Michael P. Mayko Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, Conn.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A female police officer, under fire after a video was made public showing her repeatedly punching a black teenager following a minor traffic accident Friday night, defended her actions in a report obtained Monday by Hearst Connecticut Media.

“I feared for my safety as well as officers on scene that suspect was pulling away and actively resisting due to concealing a firearm. Due to these reasons I then struck (Aaron) Kearney multiple times in the face with both fists in an attempt for him to loosen his grip of his arms and bring them out from his body,” Officer Christina Arroyo states in her addendum to the main report on the incident.

@bptpolice the name of this female officer needs to be released! I have no words besides disgusted by the actions of The Bridgeport Police. It has been long overdue that everyone allows the BPT police department to get away with all they do. #PoliceBrutality

— Justice For Jayson (@Justice4JaysonN) November 11, 2017

But City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez said she did not find the officer’s story convincing.

“This kid didn’t have a weapon, the excessive force she (Arroyo) used wasn’t called for,” Martinez said.

The councilwoman said Arroyo, who has been put on administrative duty pending an investigation, has a history of excessive force allegations but she said she has full confidence that Police Chief Armando “AJ” Perez will do a thorough investigation.

Following the Friday night incident 18-year-old Aaron Kearney, who graduated Harding High School in June and was captain of the school’s football team, was treated at Bridgeport Hospital for abrasion on his neck and face and a cut on his lower lip.

Arroyo states in her report she had Kearney’s blood on her uniform and suffered pain in her right hand and swelling to her middle finger.

“The chief has called for an investigation and we are looking forward to the end result of that investigation,” said police union President Charles Paris.

Aggressive tactics

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Friday police were called to a motor vehicle crash on Seaview Avenue, according to the report of Officer David Ortiz.

“Mr. Kearney, the party who caused the accident was found not to have insurance on his vehicle. Responding officer checked Mr. Kearney on Channel 2 for any outstanding warrants, he was then found to have a suspended license since Sept. 6, 2017,” the report states. “Mr. Kearney immediately became verbally aggressive towards responding officer saying, ‘How is my license suspended?”

The report continues that Ortiz called for additional officers because Kearney was acting in an aggressive manner.

“Mr. Kearney bladed his body and balled up his fist while yelling towards officers, responding officer and Sgt. Trevor Niestemski then attempted to grab Mr. Kearney’s arms and place him in handcuffs, at this time Mr. Kearney began to flail his arms away from officers, the report states.

The report continues that more officers arrived and were able to force Kearney against a police car.

“Mr. Kearney then spit on Officer Arroyo’s face and head area,” the report states. It does not state that Arroyo hit Kearney.

In a video of the incident that has been posted on the Internet, four police officers can be seen forcing Kearney face-first onto the hood of a police car as Kearney’s mother is screaming, “Don’t hurt my son, don’t hurt my son.”

At one point Arroyo begins hitting the side of Kearney’s face as other officers hold Kearney’s head against the car.

“Get back,” the female police officer yells to Kearney’s mother who is taking the video. “Or you are next.”

In her report, Arroyo said as officers are still trying to get control of Kearney she notices a woman standing behind the officers screaming.

“Fearing this female would harm officers on the scene I gave her loud verbal commands for female on scene to get back to which she refused to comply and remained stationary,” she stated.

Body cameras, training

Activists renewed their calls to outfit police with body and cruiser cams, require police sensitivity training and establish a civilian review board.

“We need to re-evaluate our positions,” said Ernest Newton, who come December will be back on the City Council. “A lot of this involves how we talk to each other.”

“If I talk to you respectfully, you’re going to answer me the same way,” he said. “If I break the law you have the right to arrest me, you don’t have the right to beat me.”

Newton said he has the support of Councilwoman Anita Martinez and others to outfit police and their cruisers with cameras.

“If we can find $7.9 million to rebuild the ballpark into an amphitheater we can find the money for these cameras,” he said.

Additionally Newton said the “time has come for a civilian review board.”

“We’re not getting any help from the police commission and the police can’t be expected to govern themselves...It’s time that the police have become more transparent.”

The Rev. Anthony Bennett, pastor of Mount Aery Baptist Church, agreed with Newton’s suggestions, but added there is a need for police to undergo diversity and de-escalation training.

“There’s not one magic solution but a synergistic combination of things,” he said. “There has to be a mind-set change among police.”

Bennett, who is co-chair of CONNECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut) said police need to learn “how to control and deescalate a situation as opposed to participating in its escalation.”

But he added CONNECT “would want to see the curriculum and the actual hours devoted” by participants.

Camelle Scott-Mujahid, training officer of CTCORE-Organize Now!, said there “is an obvious pattern of abuse” in Bridgeport as well as other departments across the state.

“There’s just more noise in Bridgeport because the community has organized,” she said.

Scott-Mujahid said she got a first-hand view of Bridgeport police violence during last Thursday’s rally outside police headquarters recognizing the six-month anniversary of the police shooting death of Jason Negron and wounding of his companion Julian Fyffe following a car chase.

“Within 60 seconds police arrested one of our organizers, assaulted another and an officer with a baton threatened our whole group,” she said.

She said the Bridgeport as well as the state needs “a system of police accountability.”

“In the case of Jason’s death you had the State Police handling the investigation and then turning it over to the State’s Attorney’s office,” she said adding that the state’s attorneys rarely find accountability on the part of police.

“We need a system in which police are accountable to the citizens,” she said. “Just because someone is accused of committing a crime doesn’t mean they deserve to be executed or beaten,” she said. “We believe there is still a right to due process.”

©2017 the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Conn.)

Categories: Latest News

Shootings at multiple Calif. sites kill 3, wound children at school

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:45

Associated Press

RED BLUFF, Calif. — Authorities say three people have been killed in shootings at multiple locations in rural Northern California, and the shooter has been killed by law enforcement. Students also were shot and wounded at an elementary school.

It's not clear if the shooter is included among the dead Tuesday.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston tells a TV station in the city of Chico that officers are investigating at least five crime scenes in and around the school in Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, says no one was killed at the school but a "number" of students were shot and wounded.

Officials say there at least 100 law enforcement officers on scene of about 5 different sites where the shooter opened fire.

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

BREAKING: At least 3 dead in shooting in Tehama Co. it started at a home and moved to the school. Shooter shot and killed by police.

— Sara Stinson (@SaraStinsonNews) November 14, 2017

Categories: Latest News

SC trooper publicly resigns in protest

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:17

By Maayan Schechter The State (Columbia, S.C.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. David Whatley wanted to hand his resignation letter to Gov. Henry McMaster’s office.

Instead, near tears, Whatley handed his letter of resignation to his boss, S.C. Department of Public Safety director Leroy Smith, in front of S.C. House members Monday.

Whatley — a nearly 29-year employee of Highway Patrol and a combat veteran — said he is just one of many state troopers who are unhappy with the state agency’s handling of internal matters and its leadership.

For some who leave, low pay is an issue, Whatley said. The starting salary for a trainee S.C. trooper is about $38,000 a year. That increases to $42,100 after they complete training.

But declining morale within Highway Patrol is the bigger issue, the Aiken native said of the agency, where troopers determine whether a speeding motorists or drunken drivers are stopped.

A 2017 study of the Department of Public Safety cited pay as the top reason employees left, followed by low morale. Fear of retaliation, retribution and reprimands, as well as scare tactics and threats also were among the main concerns that employees have.

“We, the citizens of South Carolina, and the taxpayers are getting shortchanged, shortchanged by the Department of Public Safety,” said state Rep. Eddie Tallon, R-Spartanburg.

For the past two years, Public Safety has been under fire from state lawmakers, struggling to understand why the Highway Patrol has a high turnover rate and low morale. Much of that fire is directed at Smith, appointed by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in 2012.

During the 2017 fiscal year, the turnover rate at Public Safety was 15 percent, slightly better than the 17.8 percent average for all state agencies.

Among those who left the agency in the past seven years — 74 percent — were Highway Patrol employees. The 2017 study said the Highway Patrol, on average, loses seven uniformed officers a month, or 84 a year, due to retirement or other reasons. Troopers who left the agency this year mostly cited “personal reasons” for quitting, the study said.

Currently, there are 756 troopers on the road and 39 in training, compared with 761 in 2012 and 2013. The Highway Patrol’s budget has money for 850 troopers.

Since the study’s publication in September, Smith said several changes within the agency have occurred, including the creation of an internal employee council and one-on-one ride-alongs with troopers by Smith to hear their concerns. “I take it very seriously. We take them very seriously, and we are really committed to this.”

State Rep. Katie Arrington, R-Dorchester, didn’t appear swayed, saying she was “beyond words” that Whatley, a veteran trooper with a clean record, was leaving an agency that he loves.

“It’s our job and your job to make sure they’re the ones who get protected,” she said to Smith.

Whatley said he would consider coming back to Highway Patrol if Smith resigned. However, Whatley is not calling for Smith’s resignation.

“I’m calling for him to open his eyes and listen to us, and make changes in the agency and make them now.”

©2017 The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Categories: Latest News

Man who shot and killed NY trooper granted parole

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:03

By Elizabeth Doran Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

NEW YORK — John Ruzas, a man who shot to death New York State Trooper Emerson Dillon on the Thruway near Canastota in 1974, has been granted parole, a state corrections department spokeswoman said Monday.

Ruzas, who was 32 at the time and is now in 74, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. This was his 11th try to get parole.

Ruzas and another man had just robbed a jewelry store in DeWitt in 1974 when the police officer stopped the car for speeding on the Thruway. Ruzas shot and killed Dillon.

NYS State Police Benevolent Association President Thomas H. Mungeer today called the parole board's decision "a travesty of justice."

Ruzas could be released from Fishkill Correctional Facility as early as Dec. 18, said Rachel Heath, speaking for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. However, he must have approved housing in place prior to his release, she said.

The parole board had recently rejected parole for Ruzas twice, but a judge from the Hudson Valley ordered the board to hear his case a third time

State judge Victor Grossman earlier this year barred the parole board from considering dozens of opposition letters from law enforcement protesting Ruzas' possible release. He also held the board in contempt.

The judge said considering those letters violated the law, and then ordered a whole new parole board to consider Ruzas' bid for release.

In his 14-page decision, Grossman insisted that he wasn't ordering the parole board to ignore community opposition to Ruzas's release. But the judge said only those people defined under law -- namely, the victim's family and representatives -- could be considered by a parole board.

Grossman noted that Ruzas is nearly 75 years old and needs a cane or a wheelchair to get around. He's hard of hearing. And he's had a clean prison record since 1990 and has repeatedly acknowledged guilt and expressed remorse, the judge said.

PBA's Mungeer disagreed with the judge's decision.

"We were precluded from having a say in the matter," he said. "The family had to fight this on their own."

Mungeer said it's unfair that the parole board could accept letters of support in Ruzas's favor, but none from law enforcement.

©2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

Categories: Latest News

Tampa police seek possible serial killer after 4th death

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:44

By Tamara Lush Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Police blockaded a neighborhood and searched with a SWAT team and dogs for a possible serial killer Tuesday after a fourth person was shot dead for no apparent reason.

Residents of the Seminole Heights neighborhood reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Officers quickly moved in, and found the body of Ronald Felton, 60, who had been walking across the street when a gunman came up behind him and fired, interim Police Chief Brian Dugan said.

"Our officers responded within seconds," Dugan said, enabling them to quickly set up a perimeter.

"I believe that this person lives in this neighborhood," Dugan added as he spoke with reporters at the scene. "And we need everyone's cooperation; we need everyone to pay attention to what's been going on."

Dugan said that until his detectives can determine otherwise, Felton's shooting will be treated as if it's related to last month's 10-day spree where three people were slain. The previous three victims were alone and had gotten off a bus in the neighborhood when they were gunned downed at night. None was robbed.

"This has got to stop," Mayor Bob Buckhorn told a news conference on Tuesday. "We will hunt this person down until we find him."

Cynthia Murray told The Tampa Bay Times that Felton had been living with her near the shooting scene. She said Felton was an unemployed construction worker who volunteered at the nearby food bank run by a church, which is just feet from where he was shot. She said he would go to the church at 2:30 a.m. to help.

"He didn't need to come here every week but he loved it," she said about Felton's volunteer work. She said Felton and his twin brother Reggie were well known in the area.

"He was the sweetest person, never any problems," his cousin, Linda Daniels, told the paper.

Dugan urged Seminole Heights residents to stay inside and prepare to share with police any potential detail that might be useful as the SWAT team and police dogs cleared properties. Police said the suspect is a thin black man, about 6-feet tall, wearing black clothing and carrying a large handgun. They are asking residents to examine video from any security cameras they have.

Seminole Heights is a working-class neighborhood northeast of downtown Tampa that's slowly becoming gentrified. Run-down homes sit next to renovated, historic bungalows, and trendy restaurants have sprung up near auto body shops. Officers were at every street corner around the perimeter, questioning anyone trying to leave.

Robert Clark told the Times he was in a nearby Laundromat with his girlfriend when he heard five shots, turned and saw a man run past. He said he went outside and saw Felton's body.

After the earlier shootings, police increased patrols in the neighborhood and released surveillance videos of a hooded suspect. In a security video taken moments after 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell became the first victim on Oct. 9, the suspect is running from the scene.

Two days after Mitchell was shot, Monica Hoffa, 32, was gunned down. And on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot after taking the wrong bus home from his new job. Police patrolling nearby heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene to find Naiboa dead.

Jamie Rivera, 40, took his two children to school Tuesday and saw the heavy police presence. He turned on the radio and heard about the neighborhood's fourth killing.

"We're all panicking," said Rivera, who is a carpenter. "It's kind of scary because they don't have any idea who's doing it."

Rivera has changed the routine of his two children, ages 9 and 11.

"Normally they do play outside but since this happened, no," he told The Associated Press.

He had to go to a neighboring auto store for some parts Tuesday morning, and said he was headed to work. Otherwise, he said, he plans on staying inside.

Casimar Naiboa, Anthony Naiboa's father, told the Times that Felton's slaying "is like salt in the wound"

"It brings back dark memories," said Naiboa, 50. "I still dream about my son."

Police have told him they hope the killer makes a mistake.

"But every time he makes a mistake, someone loses their life," Naiboa said.

Categories: Latest News

Mich. chief 'embarrassed' after cops from neighboring precincts trade punches

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:39

By Elisha Anderson Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Police officers from adjoining Detroit precincts argued with each other, shoved and even threw punches Thursday night during a raid on a suspected drug house, leaving two cops injured, an investigation under way and a black eye on the department.

“This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said during a news conference Monday afternoon at police headquarters.

Two officers accused of exchanging punches as the incident unfolded in the 19300 block of Andover, near East 7 Mile and I-75, have been placed on restrictive duty and a supervisor was reassigned from special operations pending the outcome of the investigation, Craig said.

Poor communication led officers from the 11th and 12th Precincts to be in the same area, at the same time, without proper notification, Craig said.

Officers from the 11th Precinct planned to raid a suspected drug house in the area they are responsible for covering. As they approached it about 6 p.m., the officers confronted two people several doors away, apparently not realizing they were undercover cops from the 12th Precinct, Craig said.

The officers from the 11th Precinct ordered the undercover officers to the ground and at some point an officer pointed at shotgun at the pair. Shortly after, the 11th Precinct officers continued to execute the search warrant.

“This is when it started to go terribly wrong,” Craig said.

Officers from the 12th Precinct, who were working a drug investigation and had a team in the area, approached the 11th Precinct officers as they conducted the raid.

Video from the scene captured arguing and shoving among some of the two dozen officers there, Craig said. The video has not been released but is being reviewed as part of the investigation that will be turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed.

“At one point during this situation, one officer grabbed another,” Craig said, adding one was put in a headlock and a punch flew. Then an officer punched back.

One officer sustained an injury to his lip and the other officer has an injury to his eye. The officers, one from each precinct, were treated for their injuries and have been put on restrictive duty, officials said. Craig said assault and battery charges could come from the incident.

A third person, a supervisor from the 12th Precinct, has been reassigned as the investigation continues.

“It appears that this supervisor did not have control of the situation,” Craig said. “And had a tendency to get the officers from the 12th Precinct excited to the point we have this very embarrassing situation.”

Craig said somebody from the 12th Precinct should have let the 11th Precinct know their offices planned to be in the area, but that didn’t happen.

Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, said there were “crossed wires with communications.”

“When you have both sides of this matter, both doing their jobs to control the scene, you can imagine the chaos,” he said in a text message. “They fortunately got control of the scene together and a potentially dangerous situation didn’t turn out as bad as it could have.”

Craig said officers could have been shot during the incident that took place near the border of the adjoining precincts. He pointed to a 1986 incident in which two Detroit cops were killed leading to new protocols in the department.

“I am thankful that no one was more seriously injured,” Craig said of last Thursday's altercation.

©2017 the Detroit Free Press

Categories: Latest News

Police: La. officer shoots, kills man during struggle at apartment complex

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:23

By Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A crowd of angry neighbors gathered overnight after the fatal shooting of a man by a police officer at an apartment complex in Baton Rouge, a city that was wracked by unrest after another police shooting last year.

The officer suffered minor injuries Monday night, Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Bryan Lee said. The man who was fatally shot was identified by the state police as 24-year-old Calvin Toney.

Toney died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office, which released preliminary results of an autopsy performed Tuesday.

Dozens of people, many shouting angrily at officers, gathered at the scene late Monday.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said a stun gun was deployed at least once during the struggle before the shooting, but he couldn't specify how many times it was used or who fired it. He emphasized that the man was not handcuffed at the time.

State police were called in to investigate the shooting and talked to witnesses, Lee said. He said investigators were reviewing footage from the officer's body camera. He didn't know whether the slain man was involved in the Department of Children and Family Service worker's case.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome expressed confidence that body camera video will "add value to the truth and transparency in this process."

"My message is 'Let's wait for the facts to come out,'" she said.

Police tape covered the entrance to the complex in northern Baton Rouge, and about 100 people gathered on other side, some yelling "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

The protesters had dispersed by Tuesday morning, and a maintenance worker at the apartment complex asked an Associated Press reporter to leave the site, saying tensions were high after the shooting.

Officials have not yet identified or released any details about the officer.

Calvin Coleman, who identified himself as the father of the man who was shot, said his son was black. Coleman said he had been standing behind the police tape for some time waiting for answers.

"It hurts," Coleman said. "It tears you apart knowing that he's right there and there's nothing you can do about it."

In July 2016, a white Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed a 37-year-old black man, Alton Sterling, outside a convenience store where he was selling homemade CDs. Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, sparking nightly protests in Louisiana's capital city. Nearly 200 protesters were arrested in the days after that shooting.

Democratic state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle was among those officials who spoke out after Sterling's shooting. She said Monday night she was trying to calm people down at the scene of the latest shooting.

"The emotions are extremely high," Marcelle said. "A lot of people are kind of blowing it up."

"I just wish that he did not have to kill him. I just wish there was some way it could have been avoided," she said.

Crowd now chanting "hands up, don't shoot!" and "black lives matter!" at Palms Apts on McClelland Dr in North Baton Rouge where an officer shot and killed someone tonight @wbrz

— Mark Armstrong (@TvMarkArmstrong) November 14, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Second meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group on Document Fraud

EUROPOL - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 07:35
Last week, Frontex hosted the second meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group on Document Fraud at the agency’s headquarters in Warsaw. The Horizontal Expert Group, led by France and supported by Frontex and Europol, consists of experts in investigating document fraud from EU Member States, as well as from European agencies, Interpol, the European Commission and the Council. The group has been set up to exchange intelligence, and provide operational and technical support to target document fraud and organised criminal groups behind this phenomenon.
Categories: Latest News

NY deputy dies suddenly while training for triathlon

PoliceOne - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 07:34

By PoliceOne Staff

SARATOGA, N.Y. — A New York deputy collapsed and died suddenly while training for a triathlon on Sunday.

WRGB reports that Deputy Sheriff John Brown, 45, was running by himself near his home when he suddenly collapsed. Police said he was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old son.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he got the call that Sunday about Brown’s death, which is still under investigation. He said his department is shocked and saddened after hearing they lost one of their own.

“Most of the members, men and women here are in a state of shock, but we're strong as a department so we'll get through this together as a group,” Zurlo said.

Brown, a former U.S. Marine, has served Saratoga County for 12 years. Police said they’re awaiting autopsy results to determine his cause of death.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced at this time.

It is with great shock and sadness that Sheriff Zurlo must announce the tragic death of Deputy Sheriff John Brown this afternoon. Deputy Brown, who was a triathlete, collapsed while on a training run in Albany.

— Saratoga Co. Sheriff (@SaratogaSheriff) November 12, 2017

Categories: Latest News