Latest News

Texas governor announces $23M grant for rifle-resistant vests

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:26


DALLAS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was in Dallas Tuesday to announce grant funding that will provide rifle-resistant vests for nearly 33,000 Texas police officers.

Abbott announced the $23 million grant at the Dallas Police Association, though the vests will be handed out statewide.

The governor signed SB 12 during the 85th Legislative Session, authored by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) and Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford), which created funding for the grant program to provide personal body armor to law enforcement agencies throughout Texas.

Full Story: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Announces $23 Million in Grant Funding for 33,000 Rifle-Resistant Vests for Texas Police Officers

Categories: Latest News

Police: Concealed carry holder fatally shoots armed robber in Chicago

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:42

By Rosemary Regina Sobol Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A concealed carry permit holder shot and killed an armed robber in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side, according to Chicago police.

The shooting happened around 5:45 p.m. Monday in the 5500 block of West Thomas Street when Shaquille A. Gales approached a 58-year-old man, pulled out a gun and demanded his property, police said.

The man pulled his own gun and fired at Gales, hitting him in the back of the head, police said. Gales was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and pronounced dead.

Police said the 58-year-old man had a concealed carry permit.

Gales lived in the 3700 block of Butterfield Road in Bellwood, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Tuesday determined Gales died of a gunshot wound of the arm into chest and his death was ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said. He was among five people shot in Chicago between Monday and Tuesday mornings, authorities said.

In the other fatal shooting, a man was killed in the parking lot of a laundromat in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side just after 3:50 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

He was arguing with two other men in the 1500 block of West Garfield Boulevard when one or both of them fired shots, hitting the man in the chest, back and leg. The man was pronounced dead on the scene.

Other shootings:

On the Far South Side, a 46-year-old man was shot in the head during a home invasion in the West Pullman neighborhood about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said. The man heard knocking at his door in the 12100 block of South Bishop Street, then two masked men and a woman tried to force their way inside the home. When the man resisted, the attackers shot him and beat him. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with two gunshot wounds to his back and blunt-force trauma to his head. His condition was stabilized.

On the West Side, two men were wounded in the West Garfield Park neighborhood while sitting in a car about 7:20 p.m. Monday, police said. The men, 21 and 26, were sitting in a black Buick sedan in the 4000 block of West Monroe Street when someone in a gray pickup truck fired shots and then fled west on Monroe, police said. The 21-year-old was shot in the left hip and taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized. The 26-year-old was struck in the arm and went in a private vehicle to Stroger Hospital, where he was in good condition, police said.

©2018 the Chicago Tribune

Categories: Latest News

Police: Man caught with ‘full rack of ribs’ in his pants

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:31

By PoliceOne Staff

INDIANTOWN, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested after he removed a “full rack of ribs” from his pants, according to police. The Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that the suspect, 26-year-old Maeli Aguilar-Alvarez, was spotted exiting a grocery store by a sheriff’s sergeant. During a search, police found a “full rack of ribs” hidden in the suspect’s trousers. Police also found two packs of hamburger buns, nine pieces of fried chicken and even some mashed potatoes, all of which were stolen by Aguilar-Alvarez. Investigators said the suspect smelled of alcohol and was intoxicated. Aguilar-Alvarez was arrested on a retail theft charge in connection with the $32.49 worth of stolen goods.

Categories: Latest News

Man arrested after using TASER on 2 Okla. officers

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:24

By PoliceOne Staff

SEMINOLE, Okla. — A man was arrested after getting ahold of a TASER and using it on two Oklahoma cops during a struggle.

KFOR-TV reports that Seminole police responded to a possible home invasion in progress on Thursday when they encountered 30-year-old Dakota Jones. Lt. Michael Burnett attempted to arrest Jones before a fight broke out.

During the struggle, Burnett deployed his TASER at least two times before Detective Adam Good came to his colleague’s assistance. But Jones was able to get a hold of a TASER and used it on Burnett and Good.

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On Thursday January 4, 2018 Dakota Jones was involved in what was dispatched to Seminole Police Officers as a possible...

Posted by Seminole Police Department on Friday, January 5, 2018

Lt. Burnett then drew his handgun, prompting Jones to drop the TASER. Jones was transported to a hospital for unspecified injuries. Burnett said he was struck in the left knee by the suspect.

Chief David Hanson said the incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable situations officer can find themselves in on a daily basis.

"The little old man that you come across that’s 80 years old might be the one who pulls a gun out and shoots you," he said. "You just have to make a split-second decision and hope you’re right with your decision. Whatever your decision is, you’re going to be second guessed for."

Jones faces several charges, including the assault and battery of a police officer.

Categories: Latest News

Police agency’s breakfast photo sparks vegan controversy

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:58

By PoliceOne Staff

WALES — Photos of a police squad’s breakfast gained some attention after one Twitter user said their breakfast photos could offend vegetarians and vegans.

WalesOnline reports that the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team posted a picture of their breakfast in support of local farmers. But one Twitter user was not particularly happy about the team’s photos.

Not bad eh....not one egg broken..... let the team meeting begin!

— RuralCrimeTeam™ (@NWPRuralCrime) December 18, 2017

The user, who goes by the name “Diana,” wrote in a now-deleted tweet that as a taxpayer “I’d prefer them to be less selective when answering questions and perhaps not post breakfast pics that offend vegetarian/vegan followers - pretty thoughtless considering the job title they have.”

And to finish 2017 I had to post this recent reply about our Twitter account, to show why we are withdrawing from answering questions or comments on Twitter for the time being. Nothing more I can say really....... Happy 2018

— RuralCrimeTeam™ (@NWPRuralCrime) December 31, 2017

But Diana’s outrage was not shared among a large number of Twitter users. Her tweet went viral, leading many users to mock her.

One user wrote, “As a taxpayer, I think you should tweet photos of your breakfast unless it’s a protected species.”

As a tax payer, I think you should tweet photos of your breakfast unless it’s a protected species ????????

— Penguin Yark (@debbo_fisko) December 31, 2017

Another tweeted, “What if I'm offended that your not posting pictures of cooked breakfasts? As a contentious breakfaster I only think it's within my moral and ethical rights to see how good your breakfast is.”

What if I'm offended that your not posting pictures of cooked breakfasts? As a contentious breakfaster I only think it's within my moral and ethical rights to see how good your breakfast is........

— David Burden (@OfficalDB) January 1, 2018

Vegetarian users also joined in and said the photos didn’t offend them.

“Vegetarian here but not offended. Not a banner waver. People have a right to live their lives as and how they choose,” the tweet said.

Vegetarian here but not offended. Not a banner waver. People have a right to live their lives as and how they choose.

— Lorraine. ???? (@Lorrain27048741) December 31, 2017

The team regularly shares photos of their breakfast alongside incident updates on their Twitter page. But team manager Rob Taylor said they have decided to suspend their responses with the public. He added that it was due to a lack of resources and that the reports of a vegan backlash leading to the suspension was “fake news.”

Categories: Latest News

Hacker hijacks New Zealand police radio, plays ‘F--k The Police’ on repeat

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:53

By PoliceOne Staff

DUNEDIN, New Zealand — Police in New Zealand were forced to listen to an expletive-laced rap song through their radios.

The Otago Daily Times reports that multiple versions of N.W.A.’s “F**k The Police” song were played through the police frequency over the past few days. Officials said that there were no missing police radios and that they believe the broadcasts were made by an outside party.

Commander Inspector Kelvin Lloyd said he was attempting to coordinate a police response on Friday when the music was broadcast through the radios. Lloyd said whoever is interfering with the frequencies is putting people in danger.

"There's no question that if it carries on and if they do what they're doing it will delay a response,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said police had some confidence that the interference was not being made through a police radio since they require specific chargers that would be difficult to source.

Last August, there were reports of someone broadcasting pig grunts and abuse over police radios in another area in New Zealand.

Categories: Latest News

Judge orders officer to pay $15K to couple she snooped on 167 times

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:36

By Paula McMahon Sun Sentinel

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — A South Florida police officer owes $15,000 in damages to a Broward County couple she illegally snooped on 167 times in two years, jurors decided Tuesday.

Pembroke Pines Police Officer Melodie Carpio admitted she broke the law and used her job to look up information about the couple — her boyfriend’s ex-wife and her new husband — on confidential law enforcement databases.

Carpio, a 41-year-old patrol officer, is personally liable to pay the civil judgment to Cindy Thibault and Claude Letourneau. She will also owe significantly more in legal fees to the attorneys for the victims and her defense.

The couple smiled and looked relieved when jurors announced their verdict after a one-day trial in federal court in Miami. They declined to comment.

Carpio, who cried during her testimony, also declined to comment.

Though the case was based on civil violations of federal law, which makes it illegal for officers to abuse public trust and privacy laws, the Pembroke Pines case was complicated by the fact that Carpio’s boyfriend went through a messy divorce with Thibault and the two couples have court-ordered shared custody of a child from that marriage.

One male juror told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the jury believed Carpio had wronged the couple and needed to be held liable but they thought both sides in the case played a role in perpetuating the conflict.

The jury said its verdict of $7,500 to each of the victims was intended to cover a combination of their actual damages as well as punitive damages, intended to punish Carpio and deter her — and other officers — from committing similar violations of the law in the future.

The couple’s attorneys, Michael Glasser and Eric Rudenberg, said they welcomed the verdict and believe it sends a message to law enforcement officers who abuse their powers.

“I don’t think it sent a strong enough signal that this level of abuse won’t be tolerated,” Glasser said. “But I respect the jury’s verdict and it did send a signal — she owes them $15,000.”

Thibault and Letourneau had wanted to settle the case outside of court and want everyone to focus on getting along for the sake of their children, he said.

Carpio’s attorney Robert Buschel said his client also hopes everyone can put the dispute behind them and move on, also for the children’s sake.

“As for the dollar amount, it’s perfectly within reasonable levels for the conduct,” Buschel said. “Nobody is happy to pay that kind of award. She’s not a corporation and she’s not the city, this is a significant amount of money to her.”

Carpio will end up owing the attorneys for both sides more than she owes the victims.

She testified she paid her attorney, Buschel about $20,000 in fees last year and still owes him more money. He declined to say how much she owes him. The couple’s attorneys said they have not yet estimated their legal fees and it will be up to a federal judge to rule on how much Carpio owes them.

Carpio has worked for the police department for 14 years and testified that she earns more than $100,000 a year from her basic salary, off-duty details and other compensation from the department.

The couple, a nurse and a pilot, filed a civil lawsuit against Carpio after they found out she was repeatedly prying on them.

Officers are allowed to look up people on the state’s driver and vehicle database for legitimate law enforcement reasons, such as during a traffic stop or to find emergency contact information for an accident victim. But it is a violation of criminal and civil law to use the database for unauthorized reasons like looking up addresses for Christmas card mailing lists or checking a family member’s driving record.

The couple testified they suspected Carpio might be to blame because they were harassed and received “vile” and distressing anonymous texts and other communications they suspect she sent. She denies any misconduct other than looking up their information on the state’s Driver and Vehicle Information Database, which includes names, addresses, dates of birth, driving record, insurance, emergency contact and vehicle information.

Carpio was caught after the couple filed a public records request with the state to find out whether law enforcement officers were illegally running their information.

The police department later conducted an internal affairs investigation, which revealed she had improperly used the database more than 560 times between 2013 and 2016 to look up information about fellow officers, former co-workers and others she was curious about. She most often conducted searches on Letourneau and Thibault but also sought information about their relatives.

Police officers in the U.S. rarely face criminal charges for such misconduct, records show.

Broward state prosecutors said they file criminal charges against officers only in cases where the information is used to commit other crimes, such as stalking or fraud. They declined to charge Carpio.

Pembroke Pines police officials disciplined Carpio after an internal affairs investigation in 2016, but she kept her job. The department forced Carpio to give up $18,000 worth of compensatory time she had earned, the equivalent of a three-month suspension. She was switched from a weekends-off schedule to a 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift that included working weekends. She was banned from working off-duty police details for one month, worth about $2,000.

©2018 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Categories: Latest News

Former NYPD officer dubbed 'cannibal cop' pens horror novel

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:30

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A former New York City police officer whose bizarre online exchanges about kidnapping and eating women landed him behind bars and earned him tabloid infamy as the "cannibal cop" has penned a horror novel.

Gilberto Valle was convicted in 2013 of kidnapping conspiracy, but the judge threw out the verdict. He was instead sentenced to time served on a lower-level charge of using a restricted law enforcement database to secretly look up personal information about women he knew. He was also fired from the NYPD. He argued the women were never in danger and it was a sexual fetish.

According to the Daily News, his book, "A Gathering of Evil" was released Jan. 4 and is about sadists who kidnap two young New Yorkers. He says it's very graphic.

Categories: Latest News

Fired officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice fights to get his job back

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:20

By Adam Ferrise Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Fired Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice, will begin fighting Wednesday to get his job back.

The embattled rookie police officer, fired not for shooting Tamir but for lying on his police application, will begin arbitration proceedings on Wednesday, according to four sources familiar with the proceedings.

The proceedings are expected to last three days and there is no set timetable for the arbitrator's decision. Arbitrators typically try to get decisions finalized within 60 days but can request an extension if both parties agree.

Loehmann's partner, Officer Frank Garmback, went to arbitration last month, the four sources said. The arbitrator who heard the case has not yet made his decision.

Garmback is fighting a 10-day suspension for his role in the incident. He was disciplined for driving his police cruiser and stopping in front of Tamir, putting Loehmann face-to-face with Tamir.

Calls and an email sent to Cleveland city spokesman Dan Williams were not immediately returned.

Cleveland police Det. Steve Loomis, who was the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association president when Loehmann was fired, previously said he believes that Loehmann will get his job back, despite being in his probationary period, which gave Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath more flexibility in letting him go.

He said Loehmann never intended to misrepresent himself on the application and simply ran out of space because the application gave him only so much room.

Loomis also previously said the firing was politically motivated, especially because Loehmann was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting by a county grand jury and a Cleveland police-commissioned review of the incident.

Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, praised the city for firing Loehmann but said she wished it was because of the shooting, not for lying on his application.

Loehmann was a Cleveland police officer for less than eight months before the November 2014 shooting. He shot Tamir in less than three seconds after arriving at Cudell Recreation Center.

A disciplinary letter released in January 2016 specifically says that Loehmann lied about how his short stint at the Independence Police Department ended.

Loehmann was allowed to resign from the Independence department after six months following a series of incidents where supervisors determined he was unfit to be a police officer.

The disciplinary letter cites a letter in Loehmann's personnel file from Independence that says he was emotionally immature and had "an inability to emotionally function." The letter also cites an emotional breakdown Loehmann had on the gun range in Independence.

Cleveland officials said in the letter that Loehmann was supposed to disclose that information. He was also supposed to say in his application that he failed a 2009 written exam when applying to work as an officer in Maple Heights. Loehmann never mentioned the Maple Heights test.

Three officers -- a detective, sergeant and lieutenant-- in the police department's personnel unit, which conducts background checks on potential hires, were disciplined for failing to discover the circumstances surrounding his resignation from Independence police.

They also failed to find out that Loehmann failed a portion of his test to try and become a Cuyahoga County Sheriff deputy that showed he was mentally unfit for police work, according to the transcript of his disciplinary hearing. He also did not disclose that he failed his test for a position with Maple Heights police. He never put on his application that he even took the test in Maple Heights, which is a violation of the city policy.

The city paid a $6 million settlement to Tamir's family, which is likely the largest settlement the city has paid in a police-shooting case.

A review committee comprised of city officials that took the place of a normal internal affairs investigation, called the Critical Incident Response Committee, found that neither Loehmann nor Garmback violated any police policies.

They concluded that Garmback took a path towards Tamir that other officers regularly used, that he wasn't driving too fast and that he tried to stop sooner than he did, but skidded on the wet grass.

That put Loehmann in a position where he got out of the cruiser and was directly in line with Tamir. Dispatcher Constance Hollinger had told the officers that someone had a gun at the park, but failed to tell them the initial 911 caller said that it was "probably a juvenile" and that the gun was "probably fake."

©2018 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland

Categories: Latest News

ICE conducts sweeps of 100 7-Eleven stores in immigration probe

PoliceOne - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:10

By Elliot Spagat Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — U.S. immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Donald Trump's presidency.

Agents targeted about 100 stores nationwide, broadening an investigation that began with a 4-year-old case against a franchisee on New York's Long Island. The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores' hiring practices.

The action appears to open a new front in Trump's sharp expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests and plans to spend billions of dollars on a border wall with Mexico. Hardliners have been pressing for a tougher stance on employers.

Derek Benner, a top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told The Associated Press that Wednesday's operation was "the first of many" and "a harbinger of what's to come" for employers. He said there would be more employment audits and investigations, though there is no numerical goal.

"This is what we're gearing up for this year and what you're going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters. From there, we will look at whether these cases warrant an administrative posture or criminal investigation," said Benner, acting head of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.

"It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big medium and small," he said. "It's going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there."

7-Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, with more than 8,600 stores in the U.S., didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Though agents arrested 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally during Wednesday's sweep, the action was aimed squarely at management.

Illegal hiring is rarely prosecuted, partly because investigations are time-consuming and convictions are difficult to achieve because employers can claim they were duped by fraudulent documents or intermediaries. Administrative fines are discounted by some as a business cost.

George W. Bush's administration aggressively pursued criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained nearly 400 workers. Last month, Trump commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of what was the nation's largest kosher meatpacking operation.

Barack Obama's administration more than doubled employer audits to more than 3,100 a year in 2013, shunning Bush's flashier approach. John Sandweg, an acting ICE director under Obama, said significant fines instilled fear in employers and draining resources from other enforcement priorities.

Trump is pursuing "its own kind of unique strategy" tied to its broader emphasis on fighting illegal immigration, including enforcement on the border, Benner said. Some workers may get arrested in the operations but authorities are targeting employers because they are job magnets for people to come to the country illegally.

"We need to make sure that employers are on notice that we are going to come out and ensure that they're being compliant," Benner said "For those that don't, we're going to take some very aggressive steps in terms of criminal investigations to make sure that we address them and hold them accountable."

Wednesday's operation resulted from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in New York and Virginia. Eight have pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages, and the ninth was arrested in November.

In the 2013 investigations, managers used more than 25 stolen identities to employ at least 115 people in the country illegally, knowing they could pay below minimum wage, according to court documents. The documents say 7-Eleven corporate office does automated payroll, requiring franchisees provide employee names and Social Security numbers to pay workers through direct deposit or check.

The 7-Eleven stores served on Wednesday will be required to produce documents showing they required work authorization, which Benner said will become more common. Audits may lead to criminal charges or administrative penalties.

In Los Angeles' Koreatown, seven agents arriving in three unmarked cars closed a store for 20 minutes to explain the audit to the only employee there, a clerk with a valid green card. Agents, wearing blue jackets marked ICE, told arriving customers that the store was closed briefly for a federal inspection. A driver delivering cases of beer was told to wait in the parking lot.

The manager was in Bangladesh and the owner, reached by phone, told the clerk to accept whatever documents were served. Agents said they would return Tuesday for employment records they requested.

Neither 7-Eleven nor was its parent company, Seven & i Holding Co. based in Tokyo, was charged in that case.

"Just as the IRS performs audits of people all the time of their tax returns, the same purpose here is to ensure a culture of compliance in this area," he said.

Categories: Latest News

NYPD sergeant who overturned car in DUI crash charged in officer’s death

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:02

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — An NYPD sergeant has been charged with manslaughter and drunk driving after flipping his car in a fiery crash that killed his rookie officer passenger, authorities said.

The New York Daily News reports that on Feb. 1, 2017, Sgt. Randolph Price, 33, and rookie Officer Bianca Bennett, 27, were on their way home from the shooting range when Price, who was speeding, lost control of his Dodge Charger, hit a tree stump and flipped over, sparking a fire. Bennett died when flames engulfed the vehicle.

Authorities said Price’s blood alcohol content was .12, well over the legal limit of .08.

Thank You everyone for the outpouring of support during this difficult time as we prepare to say goodbye to a true shining star #NYPD

— NYPD 9th Precinct (@NYPD9Pct) February 3, 2017

Price was indicted for vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bail.

Bennett was on the force for 10 months before her death. Her relative said she was two months away from marrying her fiance.

“A young officer who was his passenger died at the scene, her promising life cut short,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clarke said. “This tragedy is all the more senseless because it was avoidable.”

.@FDNY douses flames after car wreck the Bronx kills a woman and injures off-duty NYPD officer. 2 cops freed fellow officer. ??: @dmiento87

— Anthony DiLorenzo (@ADiLorenzoTV) February 2, 2017

Categories: Latest News

Officials: La. officer shot himself before crashing patrol car

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:58

By PoliceOne Staff

MONROE, La. — A Louisiana police officer who died in a single-vehicle wreck on Sunday apparently shot himself before crashing his patrol car, officials said.

The News Star reports that officials investigating the incident confirmed that Officer Chris Beaudion shot himself before his vehicle crashed into a tree. It’s not clear if he shot himself accidentally or intentionally.

Investigators said they are continuing to determine the official cause of death and that a preliminary autopsy report could be released as soon as Tuesday.

Monroe PD officers went searching for Beaudion after he failed to report for work on Saturday. The officer was later found dead early Sunday morning.

Beaudion joined the Monroe PD in 2016 and worked as a patrol officer, but also took extra duty as a truancy officer.

Categories: Latest News

NFPA fast-tracks new standard for unified response

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:43

By PoliceOne Staff

QUINCY, Mass. — Due to a rise in active shooter incidents, the NFPA has fast-tracked a unified response standard.

According to a press release, NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, was processed as a provisional standard, marking the second time in 121 years that the NFPA Standards Council has authorized this type of process.

"Hostile events are happening with greater frequency and ferocity today. It’s critical that we take steps to protect people from this increasing threat,” NFPA president Jim Pauley said. “By employing the unified response outlined in NFPA 3000, first responders, facility managers, hospital officials and community members can minimize risk before, during and after these devastating incidents.”

NFPA 3000 focuses on integrated protocol and safety to establish preparedness, response and recovery benchmarks. The standard aims to provide guidance for organizing an active preparedness and response program to minimize risk.

NFPA 3000 Fact Sheet by Ed Praetorian on Scribd


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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio running for Senate seat

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:24

By Jacques Billeaud Associated Press

PHOENIX — Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was spared a possible jail sentence last year when his political ally President Donald Trump pardoned his criminal conviction for disobeying a judge's order, announced Tuesday he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Jeff Flake.

The 85-year-old lawman tweeted he is seeking the post to support Trump's policies.

"President Trump needs my help in the Senate," Arpaio added in an email to supporters seeking funds for the race.

Arpaio, who served 24 years as metro Phoenix's sheriff before suffering a crushing 2016 defeat by an little-known Phoenix police sergeant, would face former state Sen. Kelli Ward in the GOP primary and possibly U.S. Rep. Martha McSally. She has told colleagues that she is planning a Senate run but hasn't yet made an announcement.

The retired sheriff did not immediately return a phone message left Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Arpaio 's re-election defeat came amid a crush of criticism over the $141 million in legal costs that Maricopa County taxpayers footed for defending him in lawsuits over his contentious immigration policies, deaths of inmates in his jails and a child sex abuse case that was botched by his department's investigators.

He became internationally known for jailing inmates in outdoor tents during triple-digit heat, forcing them to wear pink underwear, conducting dozens of immigration crackdowns over a nine-year period, retaliating against his political enemies and failing to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes complaints that were made to his office.

Arpaio was found last year guilty of criminal contempt of court for intentionally disobeying a federal judge's 2011 order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

His pardon by Trump in late August gave new life to a politician who left office battered after years of scandals.

Arpaio endorsed Trump in his presidential run and appeared alongside him at 2016 presidential campaign appearances, including a large outdoor event in the lawman's hometown of Fountain Hills outside of Phoenix.

The former sheriff is known for his fundraising talents.

He raised $12.6 million in his last campaign for sheriff, compared to the $1 million spent by the winning candidate. A political group funded primarily by liberal hedge-fund tycoon George Soros also spent $3.2 million in opposition to Arpaio.

Arpaio flirted with running for governor five times while he was sheriff but ultimately decided against doing so each time.

Categories: Latest News

NY police union files lawsuit over release of body cam footage

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:21

By Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — A union representing New York City police officers sued the department Tuesday, saying its release of body camera footage without a court order violates a state law that makes officer disciplinary records confidential.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which represents about 24,000 uniformed officers, said the public release of footage, which began last summer on a limited basis, also violates the privacy of everyday citizens caught on camera.

"This conduct disregards not only the clear prohibitions, but also the very serious safety, privacy, due process, and other interests" of everyone seen in such videos, said the lawsuit, filed in a state court in Manhattan.

The city's law department said it is reviewing the complaint.

"The mayor and the police commissioner have spoken to the need for increasing transparency into the way our city is policed. The release of body camera footage, when possible, is an important extension of that commitment," said Austin Finan, a spokesman for the mayor.

In its lawsuit, the union cited New York Civil Rights Law 50-a, which bars the public release of all police "personnel records used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion," unless a judge has signed off on the disclosure.

The law is silent on what, exactly, constitutes a personnel record, but in practice the department has not interpreted that to mean video footage of officers interacting with the public. It has routinely released video footage showing officers doing their jobs, including recordings made by security cameras or by department personnel, and began selectively disclosing body camera footage in September.

Use of body cameras in police departments has exploded in the past five years, in part as a way to address transparency concerns amid tensions over killings of unarmed black men by officers. The public has largely been in favor of using cameras and departments have advertised them as a way to protect police from false accusations.

But their use has been met with resistance. Chicago's police union is fighting body cameras on the grounds that their implementation wasn't properly negotiated with the union and violated the labor contract. Seattle's police union filed a complaint over the summer.

Decisions about whether to release or withhold footage have also been contentious. In Chicago, city officials initially fought the release of video showing a white officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014, and protests erupted when the footage was eventually released.

In some cities, the decision to release such video is made by mayors or prosecutors. In San Diego, the district attorney has said videos would not be released until her office has completed a review and only sections relevant to the investigation would be released. In Washington, D.C., the mayor's office decides with input from police and prosecutors.

NYPD officials released the first footage of a fatal police shooting caught on a body camera in September 2017. In a note to officers, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the department was releasing the footage because it was committed to being transparent. The Bronx district attorney objected to the release, because she had not yet finished her investigation of the fatal shooting of Miguel Richards.

Footage from other shootings has since been released; department officials have said they are taking it on a case-by-case basis. That includes decisions about how much footage to release, whether to edit excerpts or whether to make it public at all.

Patrick Lynch, head of the union, said the mayor and police commissioner, also named in the suit, are "selectively releasing portions of videos to suit their own interests."

"Nobody with a stake in these issues should be comfortable with this politicized, secret and unchecked process: not the district attorneys, not good government advocates, not the public, and certainly not police officers and their families whose personal safety is being placed at risk."

Categories: Latest News

Video shows Kan. cops fatally shooting disturbed woman armed with gun

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:10

By Joe Robertson The Kansas City Star

OLATHE, Kan. — Ciara Howard’s last act of defiance was slamming closed the laundry room door that stood between her and an arsenal of officers determined to arrest her one more time.

Suddenly, in chilling body camera footage obtained after The Star filed a lawsuit, the lead Olathe police officer forced the door open and three-plus hours of standoff came to a deadly end for an emotionally troubled 26-year-old woman with a history of nothing but small, nonviolent crimes.

For 13 harrowing seconds, Howard stood shouting and trembling in the small room with a gun in her hand, waving it aimlessly at first but at times clearly pointing it at officers who screamed at her to drop the weapon.

The officers opened fire and Howard pitched forward, falling dead on the concrete floor.

Two Olathe officers and a Johnson County deputy sheriff shot Howard in the Aug. 23 confrontation, and a review by the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office determined the shooting was justified.

But family members who have seen the video are anguished by decisions police made to even enter the house, knowing Howard was alone, emotionally disturbed and had a handgun with her.

Her crime was that she had not returned to a residential center as required under her probation; she had been charged with a felony of escape. A call two days later to 911 tipped police that she was at her boyfriend’s house. Distraught friends and family say she was a threat to no one.

“Ciara was the only person in danger,” her mother, Kathy Arnold, said.

The ruling of a justified shooting did not address the police decisions to enter the house, Johnson County Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris McMullin told The Star at the time of the ruling.

“I’m a prosecutor, not a police tactician,” McMullin said. “Our sole determination is (to assess) were their actions justified under Kansas law. … We don’t ask, in the spectrum of options police have, did they choose the best course of action.”

The Star sued the city of Olathe for body camera footage last month, and the city released this footage to The Star late Tuesday.

The Olathe Police Department through a spokesman said it could not comment on the video or the officers’ actions Aug. 23, because that litigation is still pending.

The video, recorded by a camera worn by the Johnson County deputy, shows how a large team of officers moved in on Howard through the small Olathe home over the course of some 25 minutes.

Multiple officers and vehicles had surrounded the house for some three hours before the team decided to enter the home with a police dog. Howard was in a closed room at the back of the house.

“Ciara! I need you to go out the back door and I need you to do it now!” the lead Olathe officer shouted repeatedly inside the house.

As officers slowly made their way to the back of the house, the lead officer threatened many times that they would release the dog, which barked at its handler’s command.

Howard’s shouts back to officers were hard to hear, often confusing, but revealed her fear of having to spend time in the county jail.

Near the end, she cracked open the door and barked back at the police dog.

“It seemed like she was almost delusional,” said Arnold’s husband, Mark Arnold, who viewed the footage. “She was more like a scared little girl than someone ready to shoot a police officer.”

Eventually, the officers were standing right outside the door. Howard cursed them and slammed it shut. The lead officer immediately forced it open and barged in. Howard, screaming that they weren’t real cops, never lowered the gun until she was shot.

Officers, in stunned voices, called for medical help. The Johnson County deputy put on gloves and dragged Howard into the hallway. He is heard pleading, “Breathe. Breathe, Ciara. Breathe.” But another officer standing over her recognizes, “She’s gone.”

Howard had a history of minor offenses that she frequently compounded by failing to follow court directives. But court officials always treated her as a non-violent offender, placing her under supervision in community settings — urging her to get help for substance abuse concerns and mental health issues.

Howard was emotionally disturbed in her final days, her mother said, but Howard also believed she had a chance to make things better. In letters to Arnold, Howard shared her plans to marry her boyfriend, build on to their house, find a new job and go back to school again.

“But she discourages so easily,” Kathy Arnold said.

Howard had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Arnold said, though that may have not been known to the officers.

Advocates for people with mental health concerns have been working with law enforcement in developing protocols to de-escalate confrontations when police encounter someone who is emotionally disturbed.

When such a confrontation turns violent, there are reasonable questions, said Rick Cagan, the executive director of the Kansas office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“If there is some doubt (about forcing an arrest), what is the hurry?” he said. “Why do we have to serve a warrant now? We ought to look at protective measures to keep this from happening.”

Howard had recently lost her job at a convenience store shortly before she failed to report back to Johnson County’s Adult Residential Center. A warrant was issued for her arrest Aug. 21 because she had violated the conditions of her probation.

She was completing a sentence for theft and obstruction from an arrest in July 2016 after Howard drove away in an acquaintance’s car from her mother’s home after an argument, and then abandoned the car and ran off when police tried to stop her.

In other cases — from domestic fights with her mother, or driving on a suspended driver’s license — she at times failed to comply with court orders and had warrants issued for her arrest, records show. Eventually the law caught up with her and she tried again to set things right for herself and her 3-year-old daughter, her family said.

“Why couldn’t they have waited?” Mark Arnold said. “If they’d packed up and gone home — left a couple of cars on the street — they probably could’ve picked her up an hour later going to the store to get cigarettes.

“…and she’d still be alive.”

©2018 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Categories: Latest News

Video shows moments leading up to fatal 2015 OIS in Skid Row

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 08:35

By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The controversial police shooting of Charly “Africa” Keunang on skid row was watched by millions around the world when a bystander posted video online.

But for almost three years, the Los Angeles Police Department has kept crucial recordings captured by the officers under wraps.

Those body camera videos, obtained by The Times, offer a unique look at the dramatic moments leading up to the March 2015 killing including how police officers treated Keunang and the violent struggle with him before shots were fired.

Keunang’s family has cited the footage in court documents as proof that police were too aggressive and provoked the shooting. The LAPD, prosecutors and the city’s Police Commission have said the recordings and other evidence show the officers were justified in shooting Keunang after he grabbed an officer’s gun.

The graphic recordings show how quickly the encounter escalated. A rookie officer can be heard shouting “he has my gun,” but it is difficult to see whether Keunang grabs the holstered weapon.

On Monday, hours after The Times published the recordings, the LAPD provided two enhanced images from the footage that it said showed Keunang’s hand and fingers on the officer’s gun. Those images, Chief Charlie Beck said, were “extremely important” in his analysis of the deadly encounter.

“When you watch that video in real-time, it is difficult to see the suspect’s hand on the officer’s gun,” Beck said. “But when you slow it down, frame by frame, it is quite easy to see.”

An attorney for Keunang’s family said they too had watched enhanced footage and didn’t see Keunang grab the gun.

“This was a cop-created killing. This did not need to happen,” attorney Joshua Piovia-Scott said. “And the reason it did happen is because of the conduct of these officers.”

Keunang’s death became a lightning rod in the heated debate over policing, one fueled by police killings of black men across the country. The shooting on skid row touched other corners of that debate: how police interact with people who are homeless and might be mentally ill. Whether officers do enough to de-escalate. And what to do with body camera recordings.

Since LAPD officers began wearing body cameras in recent years — roughly 6,000 now have them, and more are being rolled out — the department has never publicly released videos captured by the devices. The Times obtained the skid row footage from federal court, where the recordings were recently filed as part of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Keunang’s family against the city.

The department’s policy could soon change, however. The Police Commission, the five-person panel that oversees the department, is drafting new rules that could bring more transparency — a draft that the panel’s vice president, Matt Johnson, said could be released by the end of the month.

Peter Bibring, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the recordings provided valuable context to the skid row shooting that until now, the public had only read about in news reports and public records.

“There’s nothing on this tape that justifies keeping it secret,” he said. “The public has a right to know what happens when a police officer, who’s paid with public money, kills somebody. It’s absurd that it took this long.”

Beck said it was important to put the recordings in context, something he often mentions when discussing the public release of police video. He pointed to other evidence — including the rookie officer’s testimony that he felt Keunang tugging at his holster — that he said was key in evaluating what happened.

“Rather than just releasing video and saying: ‘Well, here it is. This is all there is to know,’ I think it is much more important to say that this is a good piece of evidence, but it has to be weighed with many, many other good pieces of evidence,” Beck said.

Keunang’s death renewed long-standing complaints from skid row residents and advocates who say police use heavy-handed tactics against a population plagued by mental illness and drug use. It also occurred before the Police Commission revamped LAPD rules to require that officers try to defuse tense encounters — “de-escalate” in police speak — whenever possible before firing their guns.

The officers approached Keunang after responding to a report of an attempted robbery on South San Pedro Street. When the officers arrived, police have said, they were told that Keunang had also threatened the caller with a baseball bat.

The body camera videos — one recorded by Officer Francisco Martinez, the other by Sgt. Chand Syed — begin at different times. At one point, Martinez can be heard questioning Keunang outside his tent.

“Listen, listen,” Keunang says.

“No, no,” Martinez says. “It doesn’t work like that.”

Martinez asks another officer for a Taser and warns Keunang he will be Tased. Syed tells Keunang the Taser will hurt if he doesn’t comply, and asks him to relax.

“Let me express myself,” Keunang says.

Martinez repeatedly orders Keunang to stand against a nearby wall. Instead, Keunang ducks back inside his tent.

“Leave me alone!” he shouts.

As Martinez orders Keunang outside, Syed and another officer pull the tent open.

“You’ve gotta step outside, man. We’ve gotta figure out what’s going on,” Syed says. “Come on, brother. Just relax.”

Keunang stands, and Martinez appears to fire the Taser. Keunang then spins his arms wildly as he circles toward police. The officers take Keunang to the ground, and a struggle occurs.

“Stop resisting!” one officer shouts. One officer presses a Taser against Keunang’s leg.

Seconds later, the rookie officer begins shouting: “He’s got my gun!”

The first gunshot can then be heard, followed by a scream from Keunang. Syed draws his gun and fires. Martinez also shot at Keunang, as did a third officer, Daniel Torres.

Samuel Walker, a nationally recognized expert on policing, said the officers could have taken more time and calmly answered Keunang’s questions. Instead, he said, they yelled at him and threatened him with a Taser.

“What is the urgency?” Walker asked. “There are ways of resolving these situations more peacefully.”

Cue Jn-Marie, a skid row pastor, said he believed the videos show how police interact with those living within the sprawling tent city. Keunang “is a symbol of what’s going on in our community,” he said, just as Rodney King was.

The union representing rank-and-file LAPD officers defended the officers’ actions, saying they used “the appropriate level of force after attempting to de-escalate the encounter.” Keunang, the union said, became dangerous when he charged at police and grabbed the officer’s gun.

Steve Soboroff, president of the Police Commission, acknowledged that people would view the footage differently. He stressed that the panel’s review of the officers’ actions was thorough — and neutral.

”Some people will look at it and they will see exactly what they want to see: that it was one person’s fault,” he said of the footage. “And other people will look at it and see exactly what they want to see: that it was the other person’s fault.”

“We do neither. We’re in the middle,” he said. “And in this case, we had a lot more information than that video.”

©2018 the Los Angeles Times

Categories: Latest News

Man running from Kan. officers gets hit by semi-truck

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 08:26

By Erin Matthews The Salina Journal, Kan.

CHAPMAN, Kan. — A Manhattan man who had been on his knees being arrested by Dickinson County deputies Sunday afternoon got up and ran onto Interstate Highway 70 and was struck by a semitrailer, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

Andre L. Murphy, 38, was reported to be in fair condition at Salina Regional Health Center Monday following the 2:50 p.m. Sunday incident about a mile west of the Chapman exit.

According to a KHP report, a semi driven by Jeffrey M. Jones, 47, of Gore, Okla., which was traveling east, was moving to the inside lane and slowing for emergency vehicles when Murphy stood up in the ditch and ran across both eastbound lanes of traffic in an effort to evade law enforcement.

Trooper Ben Gardner said troopers had been assisting during the arrest, but he had no additional information about why Murphy was being arrested. Dickinson County Undersheriff James Swisher could not immediately be reached Monday.

©2018 The Salina Journal (Salina, Kan.)

Categories: Latest News

Man who shot Kan. officer charged with attempted murder

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 07:24

Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. — A research associate in Kansas State University's mechanical and nuclear engineering department has been charged with shooting and wounding a police officer.

Riley County prosecutor Barry Wilkerson says 38-year-old Mark Harrison was charged Monday with three counts of attempted capital murder in the shooting Friday in Manhattan, Kansas. Harrison made a brief first appearance Monday and is being held in Riley County on $6 million bond.

Harrison's attorney, Barry Clark, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment after the hearing.

Riley County police said in a news release that Sgt. Pat Tiede was released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Tiede was wounded Friday afternoon while responding to a report of a domestic situation. Harrison surrendered after barricading himself inside a home for two hours.

Categories: Latest News

Mo. officer shot in head transported to Colo. rehab hospital

PoliceOne - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 07:04

By Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ARNOLD, Mo. — Injured Arnold police Officer Ryan O’Connor left St. Louis on a flight to a rehabilitation hospital near Denver on Monday as he continues to recover from being shot in the back of the head by a burglary suspect last month.

First responders lined his route to an airport to be flown out Monday morning, and a large number of officers and firefighters saw him off from Spirit of St. Louis Airport.

Police say Chad Klahs, 29, of Arnold, shot O’Connor on Dec. 5 before fatally shooting himself, all while handcuffed in the back of O’Connor’s police SUV.

The shooting was on the parking lot of police headquarters, just yards from the police sally port where O’Connor was heading with Klahs.

O’Connor underwent a five-hour surgery after the shooting and in the weeks since continued to receive medical treatment that included more surgeries and a medically induced coma.

He has been treated at St. Anthony’s Medical Center and St. Louis University Hospital.

On Thursday, the Arnold Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page saying O’Connor, 44, had made some “small but significant improvements,” including the removal of a ventilator and opening his eyes.

On Monday, the department posted an update to its Facebook page noting that O’Connor will become at least the fourth St. Louis area police officer to be treated at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo.

The hospital is renowned for spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation.

Ballwin Officer Michael Flamion was the first.

He was shot during a traffic stop July 8, 2016, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor joined Flamion there for about two months after he was paralyzed from the chest down during an on-duty car crash on Aug. 25, 2016.

St. Louis police Officer Gary Glasby spent several months there and another facility in Nebraska recovering from a traumatic brain injury he suffered during a car accident while on duty. He returned in December.

Flamion and Tudor were among those at the airport to see O’Connor off on Monday.

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©2018 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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