Latest News

Abuse victim grabs police baton, helps fight off suspect attacking deputy

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:03

By PoliceOne Staff

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — An abuse victim helped fight and detain her alleged abuser after the suspect attacked a deputy during the arrest.

Police received a call of a battered woman who was dragged into a vehicle Sunday, KXLY reported. Deputies arrived to Kanon M. Charbonneau attempting to flee the scene in a car.

An injured woman exited the suspect’s vehicle when it came to a stop and ran to the deputy’s patrol vehicle. The deputy attempted to arrest Charbonneau, but he resisted, headbutted the officer and began fighting him.

The abuse victim witnessed the attack, grabbed a baton from the deputy’s car and began beating Charbonneau until the deputy could take him into custody.

The woman was transported to a local hospital for facial injuries. The deputy was treated at a local hospital was well.

Charbonneau was arrested and charged with felony domestic battery, attempted strangulation, grand theft, battery on a peace officer, second-degree kidnapping, DUI, malicious injury to property and destruction of a telecommunications device.


Categories: Latest News

17 people arrested in 3 countries in Australian drug bust

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 08:58

Associated Press

SYDNEY — Police in three countries arrested 17 people on Tuesday and seized nearly 2 tons of drugs in connection with what Australian authorities said was an effort by organized crime groups to transport large amounts of drugs into Australia.

Ten people in Sydney, five Australians in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and two people in the Netherlands were arrested as part of an investigation into what Australian police say were two interlinked crime syndicates operating across the three countries. Officials in the Netherlands seized 1.8 tons of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, 136 kilograms (300 pounds) of cocaine and 15 kilograms (30 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine, all bound for Australia, the Australian Federal Police said. The drugs were worth around 810 million Australian dollars ($640 million).

"We will allege that the two syndicates have long been involved in organizing high-volume imports of illegal substances into Australia, and laundering millions of dollars and dealing in the proceeds of crime, both domestically and internationally," Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters.

MEDIA RELEASE: International organised crime syndicates dismantled, 17 arrested. Read more here: https://t.co/fV7gQ3clsj pic.twitter.com/nvJO0Lzgw0

— AFP (@AusFedPolice) August 8, 2017

The five Australians arrested in Dubai were expected to be extradited to Australia within the next 60 days, Gaughan said. Dubai police and government officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Those arrested in Sydney face a variety of charges, including conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of drugs, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Police dismantle major international organised syndicate, 17 arrested https://t.co/rWTGC1svss

— AFP (@AusFedPolice) August 8, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Suspects threw explosive devices at Mo. police during pursuit

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 08:52

By Jeff Lehr The Joplin Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Two suspects who purportedly threw explosive devices at Joplin police during a traffic stop and ensuing pursuit Monday were captured later in the day by deputies with the Jasper County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies located Keith A. Wald, 34, of Joplin, and Nathan J. Felton, 22, of Neosho, at a residence outside the city and took them into custody on felony counts.

At 3:28 a.m., a Joplin police officer stopped a Ford F-150 pickup truck pulling a trailer at Fourth Street and Sergeant Avenue for having no working lights on the trailer. The officer had made contact with the two male occupants of the truck and a second officer had arrived on the scene and exited his vehicle when the driver started backing the truck and took off.

"While fleeing from the stop, (the driver) threw an explosive device out of the driver's side window, which exploded approximately 15 feet from me," Officer Joel Taber later wrote in a probable-cause affidavit.

Joplin, Mo., police search for 2 men accused of throwing explosives at officers during traffic stop Monday morning https://t.co/KLnTbQn00z pic.twitter.com/ysGxoVkBLM

— G.Alexander(BRKNEWS) (@MajorNews911) August 7, 2017

The affidavit identifies the driver as Wald.

A police pursuit ensued, during which a second explosive device was thrown from the passenger side of the truck and exploded next to Taber's patrol vehicle, according to the affidavit. A Joplin Police Department news release stated that the second explosive device was thrown from the vehicle at E Street and Sergeant Avenue.

The pursuit continued along streets on the northwest side of the city. A third officer responding to the chase lost control of her patrol car at Lone Elm Road and Surrey, crashing into a tree. The pursuit continued into Cherokee County in Kansas, where officers lost sight of the fleeing truck and trailer near Highway 400 and Messer Road.

Capt. Trevor Duncan, with the Joplin Police Department, said no officers were injured by the explosive devices and the officer whose car struck the tree declined medical attention.

Duncan termed the explosive devices thrown by the suspects "significant" in terms of the danger they posed to the officers involved. He said the type of explosive devices thrown remains under investigation.

"The trailer was determined to have been stolen here overnight," Duncan said.

Police issued descriptions of the truck and trailer, and both were recovered inside city limits on Monday. The suspects were caught by midafternoon.

Charges

Keith Wald and Nathan Felton are each facing counts of second-degree assault of a special victim, armed criminal action, resisting arrest, and unlawful possession and transport of an illegal weapon.

———

©2017 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.)


Categories: Latest News

The key to overcoming stress is in your relationships

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 07:40

By Ed Kelley, Executive Pastor of Bay Area Community Church, Chaplain for INLETS

Why does stress strike us so hard? Sometimes acute stress puts us on our back immediately, whereas at other times, stress hurts us a little at a time (death by a thousand papercuts, if you will). Either way, stress can be a killer of our joy, if not our health.

As a pastor who regularly works with police officers and other law enforcement personnel, I am often asked about a wide variety of topics. Officers talk to me about personal things such as problems facing their kids, communication problems in their marriages, issues of faith, and questions regarding God, the Bible and our society mores.

But the one question I get repeatedly is: “There is so much stress… How do I handle the pressure?” A lot of the time, officers are referring to the stress from their job, but they may not realize how the cause of their stress can be broader than that. Officers face many stressors in their life, including:

    Schedule. Sometimes an officer’s shift schedule is so subject to change that it’s impossible to set regular hours for things in their personal life. Officers often want to do things like coach, attend their child’s performances or school functions, or join different groups, but their schedules make committing to plans extremely difficult. It takes a lot of effort to try to make things work from a scheduling perspective and it can be a source of frustration for many people in the law enforcement community. For example, an officer I spoke with in Seattle had three straight 12-hour days, then three days off, and then three long days back on. This meant his days off were always different and he couldn’t commit to joining any group that met on a regular basis. This particular officer was interested in joining a men’s bible study, but couldn’t do it with his schedule, so I agreed to do ride-alongs with him. Once a week for six months, I joined him on his night shift and we’d talk about some scripture or other theological questions that he was grappling with. It was a great experience for both of us, but again, it was something that had to be worked around his challenging schedule. Social Unrest. There has been a lot of animosity towards law enforcement in recent years. There have undoubtedly been some incidents where individual officers have acted inappropriately. Everyone believes people who violate the law should be held to proper accountability, including police officers. However, the vast majority of police are hard-working men and women who joined the force because they wanted to help and protect people. Unfortunately, these are the officers who are taking the brunt of the public’s criticism of law enforcement. Sometimes officers will go weeks without running into someone with a chip on their shoulder and other times, it’s every other call that they have to deal with someone who disdains police. This is a major source of stress and anxiety for many officers. Law enforcement folks see the worst side of the human condition and, from my perspective, need to have spiritual guidance to help them keep a positive and healthy outlook on the world. Personal Problems. Stress can result from the lack of healthy relationships with friends and family. Especially considering an officer’s crazy schedule, it can be extremely difficult for an officer to be there for his or her family and friends. Many officers have schedules different than their spouses and children. This can lead to major communication challenges, which, of course, leads to stress. Officers must dedicate time and energy to working on their relationships. Talk with your spouse regularly and figure out the best way for the two of you to communicate. Be sure to spend time together, away from the craziness of life to remind yourself why you married each other. Marriage will always be difficult, no matter your profession, but it’s critical for officers to be deliberate about communicating with their spouse. And, if you are running into problems, seek out help sooner than later.

While these three things are often primary sources of stress for officers, there are many more things that can cause stress. The most important step towards dealing with whatever stress you face is to first acknowledge it’s there.

Once you’ve acknowledged and accepted the fact that you’re under stress, I believe the best way to fight it is to turn to your relationships. It is my contention that a person can be seriously lonely in the midst of a crowd. Facing stress alone is much more difficult than with the support of others. Remember that everyone needs to be needed!

Let me propose something that can be learned from the Bible, and stay with me on this. Everyone needs a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy in their life (these are people from the New Testament). Paul was the chief Apostle. He was an older guy with a strong pedigree. People looked up to him and wanted to be taught by him. In fact, Paul was the writer of a good part of the New Testament. He was the intelligent, well-balanced, wise one of the group. His closest follower was Timothy, a novice whom Paul mentored. Paul was the teacher, Timothy the student. Lastly, there was Barnabas who was a peer of Paul’s. His surname meant “son of encouragement” and he was an inspiration to others. He was the kind of guy you’d like to hang around with.

I think we all need someone to look up to, someone to guide, and someone who will stand beside us. I believe these are three types of people who can help us deal with the stress in our lives. Paul represents someone who is perhaps older and wiser who can mentor you. He is someone you can share your stresses with and can help walk you through all the “stuff” you’re dealing with. This is a person who’s been around and someone you can learn from.

Then there’s Timothy. This is someone who is possibly younger and naïve who needs a mentor, whether they know it or not. This is someone you can share your knowledge and experiences with and who sort of “needs” you. You are more of a teacher to this person.

And lastly there is Barnabas. This is someone who is not impressed by you. But they are someone who will just be a cheerleader in your corner. We all need someone to encourage us and be a good wingman. This is a person who gives us energy, just by hanging out with them, and someone who makes you better.

Striving to have people like this in our lives can help us handle stress. Work to build relationships with individuals who can teach you things, individuals you can teach things to, and individuals who are fun and encouraging. We all need other people in our lives, but remember that it takes work to find these people and foster these relationships. Start looking for your Paul, Timothy and Barnabas. And then work on those relationships. Life will be better if you do.

About the Author: Ed Kelley has been a pastor for 35 years and is currently working as the Executive Pastor of the Bay Area Community Church in Annapolis, Maryland. As part of his ministry, he has been working with law enforcement officers for the last 30 years and is the Chaplain for the last four years with INLETS. If you have questions about life or the Christian worldview, feel free to contact him at Ed.Kelley@bayareacc.org.


Categories: Latest News

What first responders should seek in mental health clinicians

PoliceOne - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 07:31

By Heather Lemke, NCC, LCPC, Clinical Content Coordinator, Acadia Healthcare

A career in public safety is unlike any other. Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics wake up each morning with the mission of keeping communities safe—often risking their own lives to protect others. While these noble professions can be exceptionally rewarding, they also regularly expose men and women to traumatic scenes and situations that can challenge their ability to cope with stress.

This ongoing exposure to trauma can often affect a person’s ability to function both in their personal and professional life. In many cases, continual trauma can lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When this happens, treatment may be needed to help a public safety professional live a healthy and full life.

Knowing When to Get Help is Crucial

Nowadays, people are a bit more aware of how mental health treatment can help alleviate emotional upheaval. In fact, many police and fire departments have taken steps to make sure first responders are maintaining their emotional wellness throughout their careers. For example, many departments offer employee assistance programs, or EAPs, that can give public safety professionals access to mental health services. However, these programs are often not enough.

Both administrators and public safety professionals must recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma and know when to seek additional care. Some of the signs of PTSD include experiencing flashbacks, frequently feeling uneasy, or suffering from sleep problems. Additionally, unprovoked emotional outbursts, hypervigilance, profound anxiety, oscillating moods, and emotional detachment can often serve as warnings that a person needs help.

Agencies that offer EAPs can refer police, firefighters, and paramedics to providers who specialize in treating those who work in public safety. However, if the symptoms of PTSD are not detected by an individual’s employer, but he or she notices them in him or herself, it is important to seek treatment independently. It is critical to find a mental health professional who is trained in providing treatment care designed to heal and overcome the effects of trauma.

Selecting a Clinician

Much like a cardiologist knows the ins and outs of the human heart in a way that’s more extensive than a general practitioner, clinicians who specialize in treating trauma are more familiar with the multifaceted nature of trauma than mental health professionals. Trauma-trained clinicians can address the sensitive nature of a public safety professional’s experiences.

Receiving specialized trauma treatment from an experienced clinician can make a huge difference for police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. These clinicians typically demonstrate the compassion, empathy, patience, and understanding of their specific experiences that can make for a holistic and transformative treatment experience. A positive experience is important because it often leads public safety professionals to refer their coworkers for treatment if they also start to face trauma-related concerns.

Techniques Used by Trauma-Trained Clinicians

Clinicians trained in trauma use a host of therapeutic techniques and approaches when working with public safety professionals. Some of these techniques include:

Prolonged exposure therapy. This can give public safety professionals the relaxation and coping techniques that can help them manage the stress of their careers. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).This gives police, firefighters, and paramedics the ability to recognize problematic and negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones that can support positive behaviors. Didactic behavior therapy. This teaches techniques that can help public safety professionals practice mindfulness so that they can manage turmoil and their emotions in more effective ways. Experiential therapies. Therapies like hypnosis, breathwork, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and somatic experiencing can assist first responders in developing a greater understanding of how trauma impacts their minds and bodies. It can also teach them the methods required to heal from the effects of past trauma.

These methods of care are just a few of the invaluable approaches that are used by trauma-trained clinicians to help restore wellness and happiness to the lives of public safety professionals struggling with trauma.

The Effectiveness of Trauma-Trained Clinicians

Fortunately, first responders are starting to recognize and understand the benefits of getting specialized trauma treatment. Now more than ever, public safety professionals are accessing services to heal and overcome trauma, and are sharing their positive experiences with peers.

For example, therapists across the country are able to work with a team of Treatment Placement Specialists who collaborate with the FBI National Academy Associates’ Officer Safety and Wellness program. This program offers police officers and other first responders mental health support and guidance to overcome the trials they face as public safety professionals. Fortunately, trauma-informed care is becoming more commonplace, and first responders are beginning to feel more comfortable seeking mental health treatment when they need it.

About the Author: Heather Lemke is a clinical content coordinator at Acadia Healthcare with six years of clinical experience working with a wide range of clientele. Heather is passionate about raising awareness and writing about current topics related to mental health. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter, traveling, and learning about new approaches to treating mental health concerns. To contact the author, please email IPSauthor@apus.edu.


Categories: Latest News

Director of bombed Minn. mosque says it lacks security cameras

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:33

By Jeff Baenen Associated Press BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — A Minnesota mosque that was bombed over the weekend doesn't have outside security cameras that could have captured what happened, its executive director said Monday.

Mohamed Omar, of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, told The Associated Press that his community, which is made up mostly of Somali immigrants, can't afford security cameras. He also said the mosque didn't receive any threats beforehand or claims of responsibility afterward.

Officials say witnesses saw someone throw something from a truck or van before the blast and saw a vehicle speed away afterward.

Nobody was hurt in the explosion, which happened just before morning prayers on Saturday, but the blast damaged the imam's office across the hall from the worship space. Ceiling tiles still littered the office floor Monday along with tiny glass shards. The explosion left a small hole in the ceiling and damaged the imam's desk. The shattered window had been boarded up. On the window ledge outside were flowers left by well-wishers.

The FBI has not announced arrests or said whether it has identified any suspects. An FBI spokesman did not reply to a call Monday seeking an update on the investigation. The FBI's Minneapolis office tweeted a picture Sunday of its command center, showing over a dozen people, most with their faces blacked out, and said it was "All hands on deck!"

Omar said his community is grateful for the support it has received from people throughout the Twin Cities, including other religious groups. Members of an Eden Prairie church dropped off a basket of notes Sunday night. Visitors continued to drop off flowers and donations Monday.

While the bombing was "horrific and tragic," Omar said, "on the other hand, good people came out, and they outnumber that one bad guy, and we are so pleased and so happy to see this community coming together in our support."

Gov. Mark Dayton called the bombing an act of terrorism when he and other officials visited the mosque on Sunday.

In a sign of the ongoing safety concerns, a car from a private security company was parked outside the mosque Monday.


Categories: Latest News

Idaho police receive grant to combat aggressive driving

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:08

By Lisa Dayley Smith Standard Journal

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — The State of Idaho recently awarded the St. Anthony Police Department a $4,000 Highway Safety Grant for the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer."

The police department started using the grant funds on July 24 and will continue to use them through Labor Day. The grant is designed to fight aggressive driving, said St. Anthony Police Chief Terry Harris.

“This particular grant targets speeding, erratic lane changes and road rage behavior,” he said.

Full story: St. Anthony Police receive $4,000 grant to combat aggressive driving


Categories: Latest News

Aftermath of knife-throwing fight captured in graphic viral video

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:54

By Liz Farmer The Dallas Morning News

SAN ANTONIO — The apparent aftermath of a knife-throwing fight in San Antonio got captured in a graphic Facebook video that's gone viral.

The confrontation was reported about 5:30 p.m. Friday in the 800 block of Division Avenue, near Interstate 35, on the city's South Side, the San Antonio Express News reports.

Robert Heredia, 46, threw at least two large knives at a younger man, who has not been identified, police told the paper.

The younger man then allegedly threw the knives back, striking Heredia in the head.

The Facebook account that shared video from after the fight claimed that the pair are father and son who'd returned from drinking, but police have not confirmed that to news outlets.

The cell phone footage has been viewed nearly 6 million times since being posted Monday evening.

It starts with the younger man in a blood-splattered shirt behind a fence. He's yelling at an older man, believed to be Heredia, who is on the street drenched in blood from his head to his torso.

The younger man tosses two large knives on the ground just outside the fence.

"You were trying to kill me," he tells Heredia. "That's why I did what I did."

He then opens the gate and walks toward the older man as people tell him to go back. Soon after, the person filming shuts the gate with the younger man behind it again.

"I deserve to be mad," the younger man screams.

The person filming takes the knives across the street as another person tells the older man he should sit down.

"Stop touching it," he says, as the older man feels a loose flap of flesh on his head.

Moments later, officers approach the younger man who puts his hands up and kneels on the driveway. They then handcuff him.

Heredia was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police told the Express-News.

No arrests have been made.

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Categories: Latest News

Peelian principles of policing: Securing public respect

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 11:55

Author: Tim Barfield

In my first article in this series, I laid out the foundations of Sir Robert Peel’s principles of policing. My second article reviewed the importance of building community relationships. The third of Peel’s nine principles focuses on how gaining public respect is key to successful policing.

The Path to Securing Public Respect

Peel’s principle #3 reads: “To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.”

Peel understood human nature and the need for the public to be policed by their “equals” so people could relate to the police and not feel “ruled” by them.

In the 1800s, England was controlled by a class structure where different rules applied depending on your family background. The idea of fairness was, and is, an important concept in policing and life in general. Even a five-year-old understands fairness. Try cutting a birthday cake for a child in different sizes and see how quickly they understand fair. The principle of mutual respect was fundamental to developing a civilian force, so the police did not “rule over” but were “peacekeepers.”

By the nature of their job, police officers have the authority to use force and take away freedom. A necessary part of rules enforcement is the ability to use force. As power can easily be abused, it takes a person of high moral character to keep that power in check.

Police officers often see people at their worst. Officers are not super human and the job takes its toll as they try to make sense of what they see on every shift. All of life is perception and seeing the worst of people, left unchecked, can lead to an “us versus them” mentality.

In this principle, Peel understood the importance of working with all of the public to gain cooperation and help police officers understand our role as public servants and not rulers.

It is important that police officers respect the people they serve. When we treat people with respect, public cooperation increases, job-related stress decreases, and we improve our odds of obtaining information and solving crime.

A Better Public Image

When you connect with the public, you begin to earn interest on deposits made to the community trust bank. If a difficult situation occurs in your community, this positive interaction not only provides a buffer for the public to compare the overall situation with, but provides a springboard for dialogue that would otherwise not have existed.

Better Public Cooperation

It is much easier to speak with someone you respect. When there is a lack of mutual respect between law enforcement and the public, there is less cooperation in working through problems and solving crimes. Every cop knows how hard it is to get information about crimes in areas where respect for the police is low.

Building that respect takes time, but we have the opportunity to do it every time we hit the streets. Line officers make contacts on every street on every call and with every interaction they have.

The respect I am talking about though is not necessarily generated by shooting hoops, giving away ice cream or taking photos for social media posts. The kind of respect that has an impact on communities is when police officers stop to talk and connect with people. You have to listen, not just hear people, when they tell their story.

Our role in the criminal justice system is to gather facts, not administer justice. We must remember that while each person we come into contact with may not share our values, they share a mutual desire for happiness and success.

Less Stress on the Job

I have worked in a couple of different police environments in my career and watched one of those communities change from a town with respect to a town without.

Police work is stressful and finding ways to reduce the stress benefits everyone. Making the effort to connect with and develop respect of the community will create a better environment to spend your career in.

Obtaining Information

If you have done this job for a few years you know which officers are successful in closing cases or obtaining confessions. If you watch or talk to them, you will discover the relationships they create are built on respect.

Final thought

Let me close with the words of advice columnist Abigail Van Buren, “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”


Categories: Latest News

Cop buys shoplifter shirt, tie for job interview

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 11:46
Author: Tim Barfield

By PoliceOne Staff

TORONTO — A man caught shoplifting received a new outfit for a job interview thanks to a kind officer.

Const. Niran Jeyanesan told CP24 that he and his partner responded to a reported theft Sunday night. A loss prevention officer said an 18-year-old man attempted to steal a dress shirt, tie and socks.

Jeyanesan spoke to the man, who told him he needed the outfit for a job interview. Police released him without charge, but not before buying him the shirt and tie.

“This individual didn’t have any resources,” Jeyanesan said. “He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake.”

Sgt. Paul Bois praised Jeyanesan, saying he “showed some humanity in dealing with this particular individual.”

“Every circumstance is different, and in this particular case the individual had undergone some personal difficulties and the officer wanted to help him out with that and I think collectively that’s why we are all here doing this job,” Bois said. “We need to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I think he did.”

Toronto police officer buys shirt, tie for shoplifter who needed outfit for job interviewhttps://t.co/thQzBtg6oB pic.twitter.com/uw64wmgIDI

— CP24 (@CP24) August 7, 2017


Categories: Latest News

DOJ revives effort looking at forensic evidence

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:14

Author: Tim Barfield

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is reviving work on federal standards for what forensic experts can say in court and plans to create a program to monitor the accuracy of forensic testimony.

The department initiated the effort following revelations in 2015 that FBI hair examiners had overstated the strength of their evidence in cases dating back decades. Longstanding concerns remain about the quality of forensic evidence in criminal cases across the country.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Monday in prepared remarks that the effort will resume.

"We must use forensic analysis carefully. But we must continue to use it," Rosenstein planned to tell a gathering of forensics professionals in Atlanta. "We should not exclude reliable forensic analysis - or any reliable expert testimony - simply because it is based on human judgment."

Earlier this year, the Justice Department's work to set guidelines that clarify what forensic experts can say while testifying at trial or preparing scientific reports was suspended. About the same time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended an Obama-era commission of independent scientists that aimed to improve the reliability of forensic science, raising concerns among defense attorneys and other advocates about the future of the Justice Department's work in that arena.

Taking the commission's place will be a "forensic science working group" whose top mission will be setting uniform standards for testimony, with input from defense attorneys, academic and forensic scientists and other stakeholders, Rosenstein planned to announce Monday. Its leader will be Ted Hunt, a longtime prosecutor from Missouri whose online biography says he has worked on more than 100 felony trials, most of which have involved DNA or other forensic evidence. He was also involved with the National Commission on Forensic Science, the group Sessions allowed to expire. A new group with an in-house adviser had been anticipated, but Rosenstein said it will seek feedback from outside experts, after critics were concerned it would be too insular.

Hunt will "assist the department in deciding its next steps to enhance forensics," Rosenstein said, according to the remarks. He will rely in part on more than 250 comments and suggestions the department received after the commission disbanded.

The group will also conduct a broad look at the personnel and equipment needs of the nation's overburdened crime labs, among other aims.

The Justice Department in 2016 issued a draft of standards for examining and reporting forensic evidence, following the discovery of flawed forensics testimony in hundreds of older criminal cases involving microscopic hair analysis. The department found errors relating to hair analysis in at least 90 percent of trial transcripts and covered a period before 2000. The FBI says it has improved its practices since the late 1990s by using more reliable mitochondrial DNA hair analysis in addition to microscopic hair analysis.

The draft guidance covered seven forensic science disciplines, including drug and chemical analysis, body fluid testing, latent fingerprints and toxicology. And it was slated to apply to Justice Department personnel at component agencies including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Officials sought and received public comment on the drafts but the new administration halted work on them so Rosenstein could weigh in on the best course of action.


Categories: Latest News

Video shows mom shooting heroin in front of young son

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:07
Author: Tim Barfield

By PoliceOne Staff

CINCINNATI — A woman and man were arrested after they were caught on surveillance video shooting up heroin in front of a young boy.

Lauren Story, 29, and an unidentified man were arrested Friday after footage surfaced showing the duo using heroin in an alley near Story’s son, WLWT reported.

The video helped police identify Story and arrest her. They did not recover any drugs at the time of arrest, but Story was carrying four syringes and a tie-off, the news station reported.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

SHOCKING: Police said this mom shot up in front of her 4-year-old son on an Over-The-Rhine sidewalk yesterday. A neighborhood watch member caught it on his surveillance camera and called police. bit.ly/2vxgmHV

Posted by WLWT on Friday, August 4, 2017

She entered a not guilty plea of child endangerment and drug-related charges. Story was ordered to have no contact with her son unless it’s approved by Job and Family Services. The boy was taken into custody and placed in the care of a relative.

“People have sympathy for people who use heroin but that sympathy ends when you’re doing it in front of your children,” Dave Wood, with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, said.

Story is currently held on bond, but could be released with an ankle monitor to go into treatment. She still owes the court 29 days on an earlier criminal trespassing conviction.


Categories: Latest News

Shaq officially announces 2020 Ga. county sheriff run

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:04
Author: Tim Barfield

By PoliceOne Staff

HANOVER, Md. — There’s officially a new candidate in the running for Henry County, Georgia sheriff: Shaquille O’Neal.

The former NBA star teased a run back in May, but hadn’t decided on where to run for sheriff.

According to the Washington Post, O’Neal said he always wanted to run for sheriff near Orlando, where he has a home, but changed his mind because of a new TV deal he recently signed in Atlanta.

“I don’t think I could be sheriff in Florida and work in Atlanta,” he said. “So I bought a house in Atlanta, and I’m going to be in Atlanta full time, so it’s like, let me try here first, and maybe when it’s all said and done, I could go back and be the sheriff in Florida.”

O’Neal said he wants to bring communities and police closer together, as the divide between the two has grown larger over the past couple of years.

“When I was coming up, police were real respected. I don’t know how it’s gotten so far apart, but I know in the community that I live in, I know that I could change some of that,” O’Neal said. “I’d just have to do it piece by piece and piece by piece, the way I do business, and the way I won championships, I’m very confident that I can run a successful operation.”

O’Neal told the Post that he plans to recruit 30- and 40-year veterans for his force, and he’ll preach accountability, respect and “really teach to treat people as human beings.”

“There’s a lot of stuff going on, I don’t want to comment on what’s going on, but not on my watch,” he said. “You can’t TASER an old lady. For example, you can’t put a 6-year-old in handcuffs. Can’t do it. Not going to do it.”

Shaq has a long history in law enforcement. He has been sworn in as a reserve officer in Florida, a deputy in Georgia and a deputy sheriff in Ohio. In January, he met up with Sheriff Victor Hill to test out a Hellcat patrol car.


Categories: Latest News

Body cam shows shootout between Las Vegas officers, suspect

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:51
Author: Tim Barfield

By Ricardo Torres-Cortez Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS — Before bullets flew in an exchange of gunfire between a suspect and a Metro Police officer, leaving the man dead and the officer wounded, Miguel Salas spent minutes sitting in the driver’s side of a pickup truck repeatedly asking why the policemen — who were investigating a stolen cellphone — wanted him out of the vehicle.

Officer Richard Nelson, 33, who was hit by a round that made its way through a gap in his bulletproof vest — in the armpit area — and dug into his chest and through his lower back, is OK and at home after being medically cleared, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said Friday.

Nelson and his partner, who barely dodged injury, are “very lucky” to be alive, Roberts said.

Salas, 25, wasn’t as fortunate.

As he fired nine rounds, divided evenly between the officers who scattered in opposite directions, Nelson returned fire, pulling the trigger 10 times, pumping one bullet into Salas’ head.

Investigators originally thought Salas was hit in the shootout, but later took own his life, because from a distance, officers could see him breathing but couldn’t approach him due to him being armed and not complying with police commands.

So Salas sat gravely wounded and Metro — deeming the incident a barricade with an armed-and-dangerous suspect — dispatched SWAT. It wasn’t until officers approached alongside armored vehicles that they discovered he had died.

Roberts said Salas likely wouldn’t had survived the wound even if police had gotten to him earlier.

For the 15th time this year — the fifth in less than a month — the shooting was captured in the officers' body-worn cameras. Those videos were exhibited publicly by Roberts for the first time on Friday.

The images depict what began as a routine call about stolen property quickly escalating to loud bangs and tense moments.

The aftermath also was recorded. “Shots fired; I’ve been hit. Shots fired, I’m hit,” Nelson tells dispatch as he coughs. He later expresses that he’s having trouble breathing, something obvious from the video’s audio.

An arriving sergeant rushes him to University Medical Center. “The decision by that sergeant was critical in helping him to ensure that Officer Nelson survived this incident,” Roberts said.

The buildup to the shooting began two days earlier.

The 911 caller on Tuesday had his vehicle broken into at a valley grocery store.

That person tracked his stolen phone through GPS technology to a pickup truck parked in front of 4185 Tompkins Ave., and he arrived at the scene and called 911 at 2:15 p.m.

Nelson and his partner arrived at 4:09 p.m. and found Salas sitting inside the truck, which was stolen nearby last month, Roberts said. At the time they didn’t know the vehicle and the license plates on it were stolen.

For the next six minutes, Nelson and his partner interacted with Salas, who was evasive and at least twice tried turning the car on.

Salas did not present an ID — which he said was somewhere inside the truck: “I swear to God, it’s right here” — and refused to step out.

“I’m asking you to step out, man,” Nelson says. “Just get out of the car.”

“Why, why, come on dude, I’m not doing anything wrong,” Salas says. “Why, why, what the hell.”

Police ask him to relax and sometime during the interaction, Nelson grabs on to Salas’ left arm and tries to open the door, but Salas shuts it.

“Why do you guys want me to get out,” Salas says.

“Because it’s safer for us,” responds one of the officers.

“Do you want to get (shocked)?” an officer asks.

In a sudden move soon after, Salas grabs a Glock 23 sitting next to his right leg and begins firing, first at the second officer, and then at Nelson, Roberts said.

Nelson’s partner was struck on his work belt, but wasn’t wounded, and didn’t realize it until hours later, Roberts said.

Not many details on Salas were released Friday. Roberts said investigators spoke to his family, who told them that he’d recently lost his job and had other unspecified problems. He’s been convicted in six Nevada cases ranging from drug possession to robbery, at least one being a felony, since had he survived, he would have faced two charges of carrying firearms illegally. Police found a second gun in the truck.

He would have also faced counts of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Roberts said.

Investigators recovered the stolen phone inside the truck and returned it to its owner, who witnessed the shooting.

Roberts wouldn’t speculate on what may have led to Salas firing the gun, but said: “My guess is he pretty much knew that once the police dug into what he was going to do, they were going to end up arresting him, holding him accountable for the crimes that he did.”

The assistant sheriff also opined that he wished the officers would have pulled Salas out of the vehicle sooner.

Before the briefing commenced, Roberts began by praising all Metro officers.

“It’s been a tough month for us,” he said. “Every one of those (police shootings) has involved somebody or a suspect trying to harm us or harm our officers.”

“Despite that, our workforce is out there, day in and day out serving you and this community the way you expect us to,” he said. “Sometimes is pretty thankless and there’s not a lot of people that can do it.”

Once again, reporters asked Roberts what’s behind an increase of police shootings — Metro was involved in 12 total shootings last year, six between January and August.

It’s an issue the agency is looking into, Roberts said. Although there is no trend and they’re hard to predict, he mentioned a growing problem in Southern Nevada and nationwide — one being a rise in violent crime and the other the accessibility of guns “in our community and country.”

There are more guns being bought and stolen from homes, Roberts said.

———

©2017 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)


Categories: Latest News

Federal officials join search for Ohio rape suspect who escaped

PoliceOne - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 07:33

Author: Tim Barfield

Associated Press

PAULDING, Ohio — Federal officials joined local authorities on Sunday as the search continues for an Ohio rape suspect who overpowered a sheriff's deputy in a transport van, stole his gun and ammunition and fled.

Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said Sunday that authorities, including the FBI and U.S. Marshals, were working around the clock to find 32-year-old Branden Lee Powell, who escaped around noon Friday on an 80-mile (129-kilometer) trip from a psychiatric hospital in Toledo to the Paulding County Jail in northwest Ohio.

According to Landers, Powell was in leg shackles and in handcuffs secured to a belly belt when he jumped over the seat and put the deputy in a headlock, causing the van to crash into a ditch. Powell managed to get the deputy's gun during a struggle and ordered the deputy at gunpoint to remove his restraints.

Powell then handcuffed the deputy to the steering wheel and disabled the van's police radio and engine before fleeing with the deputy's wallet, cellphone, gun and 30 rounds of ammunition, Landers said.

The deputy suffered minor injuries.

"He fought as long as he could, and as well as he could," Landers said.

There was no mesh or other barriers separating the front and back of the van. They will be added, Landers said.

Powell was jailed July 8 and subsequently indicted on rape, attempted rape and sexual battery charges for an alleged assault in the Paulding County village of Antwerp. After being jailed, Powell slit his throat in a suicide attempt and underwent surgery at a hospital, Landers said. He was sent to Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital on July 13.

Doctors at the psychiatric facility "obviously concluded he was fit for incarceration in our facility," Landers said.


Categories: Latest News

Police investigating mystery hair shearer in northern India

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 12:28

By Biswajeet Banerjee Associated Press

LUCKNOW, India — Police are investigating a mysterious raft of attacks in which Indian women say they're waking up to find someone has chopped off their hair and left it neatly on their pillows.

A top official in northern Uttar Pradesh state said Friday that police have advised people not to believe or spread rumors following the death of a 65-year-old woman who was beaten by a mob on suspicion that she was a witch responsible for the hair cutting.

Anand Kumar said village committees have been ordered to quash rumors about ghosts or witches cutting off women's braids. Police are investigating the claims, he said.

Similar complaints have come from neighboring Haryana and Delhi suburbs, police officials said. They have spread fear that the hair could be used to cast spells. In some places in Uttar Pradesh, parents were keeping children indoors after school.

In the state capital, Lucknow, police said a rumor began last week about someone cutting off the hair of women.

"Within days it has spread to areas around Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh. Now almost every day, police are getting complaints from women about this unknown ghost," said Manish Rakesh, a police officer.

The women "come to the police station with their braids telling stories about how someone has cut off their hair," he said.

In Agra city, Munni Devi said she went to sleep as usual, only to find her hair chopped off and her braid neatly placed near her pillow. Neither she nor her husband sleeping next to her heard anything at night, Devi said Friday.

Some psychiatrists believe the stories may be due to mass hysteria or hallucination.

"Ghosts do not cut the braids of women. This is mischief, nothing else," said Rakesh Gaur, a psychiatrist at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Agra.


Categories: Latest News

Naked gunman threatening suicide shot by Las Vegas police

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 12:24

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A naked gunman reportedly threatening to kill himself was shot Saturday by Las Vegas police, authorities said.

The shooting happened about 11 a.m. in a church parking lot in southeast Las Vegas, police said. The suspect was reported to be threatening suicide and was found sitting there without clothes on and armed with a handgun.

The gunman initially appeared to be complying with their commands to put the gun down on the ground and walk away from it, but then he turned around and ran toward the gun, police said.

An officer then fired a single shot at the man after a K9 dog was unsuccessfully used to try to arrest him, police said.

The man was taken to nearby hospital in stable condition.

No officers were hurt.

This is the 16th police shooting in Las Vegas so far this year, a sharp increase from the 10 total police shootings in 2016. The Saturday shooting also marks the eighth instance where officers were shot or shot at in the past seven weeks.

On Tuesday, a man in a stolen truck died in a shootout with police, which also left an officer injured.


Categories: Latest News

Inmate charged with rape overpowers Ohio deputy, steals his gun

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 10:21

Associated Press

PAULDING, Ohio — A nationwide manhunt is underway for an Ohio rape suspect who overpowered a sheriff's deputy in a transport van and stole his gun and ammunition.

Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said Saturday that FBI agents and U.S. Marshals have joined the search for 32-year-old Branden Powell after his escape around noon Friday on an 80-mile (129-kilometer) trip from a psychiatric hospital in Toledo to the Paulding County Jail in northwest Ohio.

According to Landers, Powell was in leg shackles and in handcuffs secured to a belly belt when he jumped over the seat and put the deputy in a headlock, causing the van to crash into a ditch. Powell managed to get the deputy's gun during a struggle and ordered the deputy at gunpoint to remove his restraints.

Powell then handcuffed the deputy to the steering wheel and disabled the van's police radio and engine before fleeing with the deputy's wallet, cellphone, gun and 30 rounds of ammunition, Landers said.

The deputy suffered minor injuries.

"He fought as long as he could, and as well as he could," Landers said.

There was no mesh or other barriers separating the front and back of the van. They will be added, Landers said.

Powell was jailed July 8 and subsequently indicted on rape, attempted rape and sexual battery charges for an alleged assault in the Paulding County village of Antwerp. After being jailed, Powell slit his throat in a suicide attempt and underwent surgery at a hospital, Landers said. He was sent to Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital on July 13.

Doctors at the psychiatric facility "obviously concluded he was fit for incarceration in our facility," Landers said.


Categories: Latest News

Texas LEO killed in single-vehicle wreck while responding to crash

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 10:09

By Erica Pauda Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

YOAKUM COUNTY, Texas — A Yoakum County law enforcement officer was killed in a crash while responding to another crash Saturday evening in Yoakum County, according to Seagraves police and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Jason Fann, who was a police officer in Seagraves as well as a deputy sheriff in Yoakum County, was identified as the victim of a fatal crash Saturday evening in Yoakum County.

DPS troopers were called to a crash involving a tractor-trailer around 6 p.m. Saturday on State Highway 214, approximately two miles south of Plains, said DPS Sgt. John Gonzalez.

Fann was responding to the crash when he lost control of his patrol unit, rolling the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Gonzalez said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was taken to the hospital in Denver City with incapacitating injuries.

The Seagraves Police Department responded to the crash in a post through Facebook Saturday evening.

“(Fann) was involved in a traffic accident while answering a call in Yoakum County,” the statement reads. “Officer Fann did not survive the accident. We ask for prayers from the public for officer Fann’s family, friends and co-workers. Jason Fann will be sorely missed by all.”

The crash remained under investigation late Saturday.

———

©2017 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)


Categories: Latest News

FBI investigators seek suspects in Minn. mosque bombing

PoliceOne - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 09:37

Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — FBI investigators are seeking suspects after an explosive device tore through part of a suburban Minneapolis mosque as people were preparing for morning prayers, damaging a room but not causing any injuries, authorities and witnesses said.

The blast happened at around 5 a.m. Saturday at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, according to Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts. Windows of the imam's office were shattered, either by the blast or by an object thrown through them, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported .

One worshipper saw a pickup truck speeding away shortly after the explosion, said Mohamed Omar, the center's executive director. He said the mosque, which primarily serves people from the area's large Somali community, occasionally receives threatening calls and emails.

"We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here: freedom to worship," Yasir Abdalrahman, a worshipper at the mosque, told the newspaper. "And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this."

Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, described the attack as a firebombing.

Investigators will try to determine whether the incident was a hate crime and who may have been behind it, according to Richard Thornton, special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis Division.

Thornton said during an afternoon news conference that the explosion was caused by an "improvised explosive device," and that investigators have recovered components of the device to figure out how it was put together.

But he didn't take questions and declined to provide details about the device, citing the ongoing investigation, which is being led by the FBI.

Saturday's bombing comes amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the U.S., including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren. Just recently in Minnesota, an Islamic cemetery in Castle Rock Township reported it had been vandalized with spray painted profanities and swastikas.

The mosque in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, serves as a religious center and community organizing platform for Muslim activists and leaders in the area, according to the society. The group is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

A $10,000 reward also is being offered by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The group said its national office is urging Islamic centers and mosques to step up security.

"If a bias motive is proven, this attack would represent another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months," said Amir Malik, the local chapter's civil rights director.

Along with a mosque, the building houses a community center that hosts computer classes, a basketball league, religious classes, lectures and other events.

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S., roughly 57,000 people, according to the latest census figures. The immigrants have been coming to Minnesota from their war-torn homeland since the 1990s, drawn by generous social services and the sense of community among the diaspora.


Categories: Latest News

Pages