Latest News

EMT recounts moments after driver hit first responders

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 08:03

By PoliceOne Staff

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. — An EMT recalled the moment a driver hit first responders on the scene of a crash over the weekend. reported that Sumner County EMT Ricky Slack was aiding the victim of a motorcycle crash at an intersection when he became a victim himself.

"I was standing here looking out, and I came out and went to this side over here and landed in the gravel on the side of the road," Slack said.

Slack was one of three responders injured by the driver, who backed into another car and began driving around traffic before slamming into the back of an ambulance.

Chief Martin Bowers, with New Shackle Island Fire and Rescue, said the driver had a diabetic incident.

"His blood sugar was 26 or 29," Chief Bowers said. "When you get that low, you can't think right. That's what caused it actually."

“The next thing, he hit the ambulance and I closed my eyes and lost sight of the officer, and didn't see her," Slack said. "Well, of course, I thought he had crushed her under the ambulance. I looked up, and I kept looking for the officer. I looked down and she was laying down the hill. She wasn't moving, and I could see her blinking her eyes."

Deputy Michelle Scott has been released from the hospital and is expected to be OK. A firefighter was also injured after the driver ran over his foot.

Categories: Latest News

Calif. police: Gunman targeting whites chose 3 men at random

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 07:14

By Scott Smith Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. — Three men were having a seemingly ordinary day in downtown Fresno, California, before they were singled out at random and killed by a black gunman targeting white victims, police said.

The men happened to be on the same block, but had no known connection to each other or to the shooter, Kori Ali Muhammad, who told police he wanted to kill as many white people as he could before he was captured.

One victim, a 34-year-old father of two preschoolers, was on the job when he was shot Tuesday in the passenger seat of a Pacific Gas & Electric utility truck. The driver wasn't hit and sped toward the police department, but his partner couldn't be saved.

Another victim, a 37-year-old man, had just picked up a bag of groceries Tuesday at a Catholic Charities building when he was gunned down.

Stephen Hughes, 66, said he and his wife rushed home Tuesday after receiving a frantic call from a neighbor to find a body draped in a blanket on the sidewalk leading to his front door.

"It looks like a guy carrying his groceries home from the store," Hughes said.

The third victim, a 59-year-old man, was gunned down in the parking of the Catholic Charities building.

"These were unprovoked attacks," Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Two Latina women and a child crossed paths with Muhammad but were luckier. Muhammad pointed the gun at them as they sat in their car trying to flee, but didn't shoot.

Muhammad, 39, is in custody and is expected to be charged with four counts of murder — for Tuesday's three victims and 25-year-old Motel 6 security guard, Carl Williams, another white man who Muhammad shot last week. He also faces at least two additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Police had been looking for Muhammad in the Williams killing, and Muhammad said seeing his own name and picture in a press release Tuesday morning helped spur the rampage.

Muhammad had shorn off the braids featured in his wanted pictures and YouTube videos, fired 16 rounds in less than two minutes at four places within a block.

"I did it. I shot them," Muhammad told officers as they arrested him, according to the chief.

During the arrest, Muhammad shouted "Allahu Akbar," but Dyer said the shootings had "nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statement he made."

"This is solely based on race," Dyer said.

Police are searching for the revolver Muhammad said he tossed into a pile of clothing. The gun may have been picked up by someone else, Dyer said.

On what appeared to be Muhammad's Facebook page, he repeatedly posted "#LetBlackPeopleGo" and encouraged "black warriors" to "mount up." A flurry of posts emerged in the past day.

He wrote that his "kill rate increases tremendously on the other side" and also posted about "white devils," themes he dwelled on in hip-hop videos that he posted on YouTube.

Muhammad has a criminal history that includes arrests on weapons, drugs and false imprisonment charges and making terrorist threats. He had been associated with gangs but he was not a confirmed member, police say.

Muhammad was charged in 2005 with possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, court records show. Federal prosecutors said at the time that he was also in possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and two rifles after being convicted of a felony.

He claimed insanity, and his attorney requested a psychiatric examination for his client, saying Muhammad "appeared eccentric with some bizarre beliefs."

He also "suffered auditory hallucinations and had at least two prior mental health hospitalizations," according to court documents. His attorney said that Muhammad had "paranoia" and thought the justice system and his defense attorney were conspiring against him, court papers said.

The attorney who represented Muhammad in that case did not return a call for comment Tuesday.

Public records list Muhammad as Cory Taylor and other aliases with addresses in Fresno and Sacramento. Fresno's police chief said his former name was Cory McDonald. A woman who identified herself as Taylor's grandmother said Tuesday that the family last saw him on Easter Sunday. She hung up the phone before giving her name.

"I never would have thought he would do anything like this," sad Muhammad's brother, who asked not to be identified by name. "I'm just kind of shocked."

Categories: Latest News

Sessions vows tougher approach on drug cartels

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 06:50

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration vowed Tuesday to crack down on MS-13, a notoriously brutal Central American street gang blamed for a recent series of killings in suburban New York, and accused Obama-era border policies of allowing its ranks to flourish.

The gang is known for hacking and stabbing victims with machetes, drug dealing, prostitution and other rackets. Their recruits are middle- and high-school students predominantly in immigrant communities and those who try to leave risk violent retribution, according to officials.

"These organizations enrich themselves by pedaling poison in our communities, trafficking children for sexual exploitation and inflicting horrific violence in the communities where they operate," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in remarks before meeting with top federal law enforcement officials on ways to dismantle ultraviolent transnational gangs.

His warnings were echoed in a separate address by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and came just hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that "The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!"

MS-13 — or the Mara Salvatrucha — traces its origins to Los Angeles, where thousands fleeing El Salvador's bloody civil war in the 1980s arrived, to protect the immigrants from Mexican and African-American gangs. As Central American communities have grown, so has the gang, which is now estimated at 30,000 members operating in semi-autonomous cliques mostly in Central and North America. More than 10,000 MS-13 are in the U.S., according to federal law enforcement officials. However, the FBI doesn't break down its national crime statistics by gang affiliation, and the bureau doesn't collect MS-13-specific data, a spokeswoman said.

The Justice Department suspects major gang leaders are using cellphones from Salvadoran prisons to instruct members who have crossed into the U.S. illegally to kill rivals and extort legal and illegal businesses owned by immigrants. Authorities suspect members of the gang are behind last week's slayings in central Long Island of four young people, which are among 11 killings that have rattled the working-class immigrants of Central Islip, New York, since September.

Sessions has called for more aggressive prosecution of crimes such as illegal border crossing and smuggling others into the U.S. as a way to deter violence.

"We cannot allow this to continue. We will secure our border, expand immigration enforcement, and choke-off supply lines. If you are a gang member: We will find you," said Sessions, who also alleged that so-called sanctuary cities, which limit local cooperation with immigration authorities, undermine law enforcement efforts to stop such gangs.

The president later tweeted that "Sessions is doing a fantastic job: announced today new steps to dismantle violent gangs like MS-13. I promised to get tough and we are!"

Kelly, during a separate speech at George Washington University, said transnational criminal groups, such as the drug cartels and MS-13, are engaged in kidnapping, torture and human trafficking and pose one of the greatest threats to the U.S. "They are utterly without laws, conscience or respect for human life," he said.

During the Obama administration, the government focused on immigrants in the country illegally who posed a threat to national security or public safety and recent border crossers. More than 2.5 million people were deported under Obama's policies, many of them characterized as suspected or confirmed gang members.

The Obama administration made unprecedented efforts to fight MS-13, targeting the gang's finances by declaring it an international criminal group subject to sanctions by the Treasury Department. The goal of that 2012 maneuver was to stymie the gang's ability to funnel money back to leaders in El Salvador or launder criminal proceeds through otherwise legitimate businesses.

Federal prosecutors have targeted MS-13 before, pursuing racketeering cases throughout the 2000s in places such as San Francisco, Maryland, northern Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and elsewhere. The Justice Department said it made progress in 2009 and 2010. The FBI last week added an MS-13 member to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for his suspected role in the 2011 killing of a man with a baseball bat and a screwdriver.

But James Trusty, who headed the department's organized crime and gang section before he left in January, said the group appeared to be experiencing a recent revival in some of those same places.

Stricter vetting at the border is necessary to stop MS-13 members from coming into the U.S., Trusty said, noting some are coached to tell immigration officials they're escaping violence in their home country in order to stay.

"My own view is there has to be some correlation between lax immigration policies and replenishment of the gangs in places where they already existed," he said.

Categories: Latest News

More details emerge in fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 06:42

By Silas Allen The Oklahoman

MULHALL, Okla. — Not long ago, Logan County Sheriff Damon Devereaux told his wife there was one thing he feared more than anything else in the job: losing one of his own deputies in the line of duty.

On Tuesday, it happened.

A man shot a Logan County sheriff's deputy helping serve an eviction notice Tuesday morning before speeding away in the deputy's patrol pickup as officers returned fire, authorities said.

Minutes later, the gunman stopped at a convenience store just west of Langston, where he stole a car at gunpoint and drove southwest on State Highway 33, toward Guthrie. Law officers would comb the area for hours before taking the suspect — Nathan Aaron Leforce, 45, of Perry — into custody shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Deputy David Wade, 40, was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his face and body. Wade went into cardiac arrest, but doctors were able to revive him long enough to get him into surgery. Wade died at 11:51 a.m. on the operating table, Devereaux said.

"This is my first experience with this, and it's hard on all of us," Devereaux said.

The shooting occurred about 9 a.m. Tuesday. Hours later, officers from the sheriff's department, as well as the Oklahoma County sheriff's office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation swarmed an area about five miles west of Langston between Midwest Boulevard and Post Road between east-west county roads 77 and 76 as police helicopters buzzed overhead.

At a news conference about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Devereaux said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had taken Leforce, who has a long criminal history in Noble County, into custody.

Sgt. Greg Valencia, a spokesman for the Logan County sheriff's office, said officers found Leforce hiding in an outbuilding at 4250 Jaxton Road, about seven miles southwest of Langston. Officers threw four gas grenades inside before storming the building, Valencia said.

Officers located Leforce by tracking the use of a cellphone, said Lt. John Vincent, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman. Leforce surrendered without resistance, Vincent said.

Devereaux said it was unclear what precipitated the shooting. Wade, a three-year veteran with the sheriff's department, had gone to the home in a rural area between Interstate 35 and Mulhall, to serve an eviction notice. But Devereaux said Leforce wasn't the person being evicted.

After shooting Wade, authorities say Leforce drove the deputy's patrol pickup to Smitty's One Stop, a convenience store at State Highway 33 and Henney Road, just west of Langston.

A worker at the convenience store said video surveillance showed Leforce trying to break into a car in the store's parking lot before he stole a woman's car at gunpoint. Worker Bashir Ahmed was inside when the woman's car was stolen.

"I was so busy with customers until she came in I didn't know what happened," Ahmed said.

Langston University and the Coyle and Mulhall-Orlando school districts went on lockdown during the manhunt. Mautra Jones, Langston's vice president of institutional advancement and external affairs, said university officials locked the campus down as a precaution because the incident took place relatively close by. Smitty's One Stop is about a mile and a half west of the university's north entrance.

Leforce's criminal past

In 2001, Leforce pleaded no contest to use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and eluding an officer, records show. At the time, officers said they suspected the incident was an attempted "suicide-by-cop." He was ordered to four years probation.

In that incident, police said Leforce drove at speeds greater than 90 mph, looking for an officer to provoke into a pursuit. When an officer gave chase, Leforce led the officer to the cemetery where his father was buried, where he climbed out of the car and pointed an AR-15 rifle at the officer.

The officer ordered Leforce to drop his gun. When he refused, the officer fired at the car, blowing out a tire. Leforce sped away, and the officer lost him in a cloud of dust. Stillwater police later found the car abandoned at a farm house and LeForce was taken into custody several hours later as he walked along a road. Police found the rifle about a quarter-mile from the farmhouse.

He also pleaded no contest in 2007 to obstructing an officer. He was ordered to a year in the Noble County jail, records show.

In 2010, Leforce was charged in a bogus check case. That case was later dismissed after he paid restitution.

In 2015, he was charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and domestic abuse. That case was dismissed in 2016. The victim told police Leforce had bragged about his associations with the Irish Mob and the Universal Aryan Brotherhood, two gangs active in the Oklahoma state prison system.

In August, authorities charged him with harboring a runaway child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. That case also was dismissed “in the interest of justice,” records show.

'A blow for the county'

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Devereaux, the Logan County sheriff, said Wade's death is a blow for the county. Wade leaves a wife and three children, one of whom is in the U.S. Marine Corps. Devereaux said he'd already received a deluge of texts and Facebook messages from residents upset about the deputy's death.

A visibly emotional Devereaux recalled a recent conversation he'd had with his wife about the dangers that professional law enforcement officers face. Devereaux told his wife that his worst fear was having to bury one of his own deputies.

"It looks like it came to fruition, sadly enough," Devereaux said.

Devereaux praised Wade for his bravery, noting that the deputy, a U.S. Army veteran, was able to return fire even after being shot several times.

"Deputy Wade lived like a warrior and died like one," Devereaux said. "He gave his life serving his community, and I don't think you can have a bigger honor than that."

Contributing: Staff Writers Robert Medley, Kyle Schwab, Matt Dinger, Juliana Keeping and Josh Dulaney


©2017 The Oklahoman

Categories: Latest News

Europol and the People’s Republic of China join forces to fight transnational crime

EUROPOL - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 05:19
The Vice Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Meng Hongwei, and Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, signed today a strategic cooperation agreement to expand cooperation to combat cross-border criminal activities. The agreement will enable both partners to work on key areas such as migrant smuggling, cybercrime, drug trafficking, asset recovery, money laundering, organised property crime and trafficking in human beings.
Categories: Latest News

Critically wounded Mo. cop's recovery 'a miracle in the making'

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 02:00

By Mike Genet The Examiner

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Centerpoint Medical Center said Friday afternoon that Independence police officer Tom Wagstaff, who was critically wounded after responding to a burglary and home invasion call March 29, has been released to a long-term rehabilitation facility for continued recovery.

The neurosurgeon who treated Wagstaff, who was shot in the head, said his case has been one of a kind.

"In my 30-plus years as a physician, I've yet to see such a remarkable recovery – truly a miracle in the making," Dr. Roger Ray said in a hospital news release. "While Officer Wagstaff has a long road to recovery, we are confident that he will continue to make improvements, and we will be by his side throughout his journey.

"We thank the community, the Independence Police Department and the support from around the nation that has helped support this family and our first responders."

On April 4, Independence Chief of Police Brad Halsey had posted a social media message saying that Wagstaff showed "optimistic signs" but also that his condition remained critical and his recovery would be long.

Four suspects have been arrested and charged in the case – two who allegedly forced their way into the house where officers responded, then fled in a stolen vehicle, breaking through a closed garage door, during which the shooting happened – and two who allegedly drove the suspects to the western Independence neighborhood.

Court documents do not mention the shooting in which Wagstaff was injured. However, Independence police said during a briefing the day of the shooting that the suspects had fired while fleeing and officers returned fire. Kansas City police have been investigating the shooting.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has acknowledged the slight possibility of friendly fire causing Wagstaff's injuries but said such a scenario would be a "freakish event" and "one-in-a-million" that couldn't be replicated. She said she holds the suspects "accountable in every possible way" for Wagstaff's injuries.

Numerous fundraisers have taken place, are ongoing or have been scheduled in to raise funds for Wagstaff's recovery and his family.

Categories: Latest News

Baltimore police create homicide review panel

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 02:00

By Justin Fenton The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Baltimore police have ended an agreement with city prosecutors and taken back the authority to charge homicide suspects without first getting approval from the state's attorney's office.

The agreement, in place for about six years, was an effort by previous administrations to reduce the number of cases charged by police but dropped by prosecutors due to concerns about proving a suspect's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

But the Police Department has formed a committee of four commanders who review homicide cases in which detectives and prosecutors disagree on whether evidence is strong enough to proceed. Prosecutors are not part of the panel, and the committee can authorize police to charge over their objections.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis signaled the change at a January news conference during which he bemoaned the criminal justice system's revolving door.

"It's in existence nowhere else in Maryland," Davis said of the previous agreement on charging homicides. "That protocol that's been in place for several years in Baltimore quite frankly is leaving people we believe we have probable cause to charge with murder still out on our streets."

Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Goldberg, a supervisor in the homicide unit, said when differences have arisen in the past, police and prosecutors would convene intensive case review meetings to iron out problems. Such meetings were convened only 11 times over the past two years, leaving prosecutors puzzled as to why police sought a change.

"At the end of the day, it's your prosecutor who is charged with trying the case," Goldberg said in an interview. "While you might have probable cause to charge, there's so much more that needs to be done and we need to have it done before charging."

"We have the same goal: We want murderers off the street," she said. "We want the right people charged, with accurate evidence."

Police and prosecutors say the change affects a small number of cases. Since the police committee was created in February, four cases have been reviewed. The panel approved filing charges in two of them, over the disagreement of prosecutors.

The other two cases brought by detectives were rejected by the commanders, who said more work needed to be done. But prosecutors eventually brought charges in those cases after detectives did additional work.

The panel has to be unanimous in its decision to go forward with charging a homicide suspect.

Police declined to discuss the individual cases.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the new panel "is not a way to circumvent" prosecutors. "They're still in the conversation," he said.

Police have been trying to improve their diminishing rate for solving homicide cases, called a clearance rate. It for years was regularly above 50 percent but dropped below that threshold the same year prosecutors asserted more control.

When killings increased sharply two years ago, the homicide clearance rate fell to 30 percent. The year-end closure rate last year was 38.5 percent.

As of April 10, the rate of closed cases was more than 53 percent, the same figure as this time last year.

When police file charges in a homicide, they fill out a statement of "probable cause," a standard that is lower than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which prosecutors must meet to win a conviction in court.

Charles Wellford, a University of Maryland criminologist who has studied homicide units in Baltimore and elsewhere, says the different charging standards for police and prosecutors can lead to conflict.

"It's not unusual to have the issue come up, but in my experience, in most cases the police and prosecutors reach some kind of accommodation that works for both of them," Wellford said. "That appears not to be the case in Baltimore."

Joe McCann, a former Prince George's County police commander, was hired last year by Baltimore police to the newly created position of director of quality control. McCann said he created the new charging review committee.

In an interview, he and Maj. Donald Bauer, the commander of the homicide unit, said police want to move more quickly to charge in cases but still have proper oversight.

"Unfortunately with the increased amount of violence we had in 2015 and 2016, we don't have time to slow down on these cases," Bauer said.

McCann said police did not have to defer to prosecutors in Prince George's County. In Baltimore County, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said police don't have to consult with his office, but with only 25 to 30 homicide cases a year the agencies are typically in close communication.

Goldberg, the homicide prosecutor, said Baltimore police have long deferred to prosecutors on charging of homicides even before the formal policy in 2011. But the approach to developing cases has changed over time.

"There was a time when cases could be charged, and there was a hope that we could" continue investigating and uncovering new evidence, Goldberg said. "As the criminal justice system has evolved, we're not charging people without having every duck in a row."

Goldberg noted that prosecutors can lose the power to use the grand jury to conduct investigations if a case has already been charged and indicted. When the grand jury is involved, prosecutors can subpoena witnesses in an effort to elicit more evidence. "If we charge a case prematurely, we may have roadblocks," Goldberg said.

But Davis, in January, said taking a suspect off the street by charging him may open up new investigative avenues. "That's when people feel comfortable coming forward and cooperating more with police," he said. "Sometimes, a really great prosecution begins with a really good arrest, and the case gets enhanced before the trial date."

When Gregg Bernstein was a candidate for state's attorney, he criticized his predecessor, Patricia C. Jessamy, for cases in which police would file charges in a homicide that prosecutors would drop before taking it to a grand jury. So after Bernstein took office in 2011, then-Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III agreed to change the process.

After the change, detectives stewed that they were being blocked from making arrests. But officials say tension between the agencies was overstated. Bauer, the homicide commander, said "not every case they [detectives] want charged is chargeable."

Melba Saunders, the spokeswoman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office, said prosecutors were "open and willing to explore new ways to support BPD's pursuit to increase homicide closure rates."

"The overall impact to active cases appears to be minimal; however, we will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach unless and until it proves to be detrimental to the overall pursuit of justice," Saunders said.


©2017 The Baltimore Sun

Categories: Latest News

Criminals arrested for domestic burglaries following French-Moldovan operation supported by Europol

EUROPOL - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 00:08
Europol has delivered crucial support to France and Moldova in dismantling a mobile organised crime group composed of Moldovan nationals specialised in domestic burglaries in the region of Alsace, France. Simultaneous judicial operations were carried out in 17 locations in the region of Strasbourg and in Moldova. Europol deployed specialists on-the-spot, who supported the national authorities and performed live crosschecks using the mobile office.
Categories: Latest News

Why the Sacramento cop's UOF was justifiable

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 17:29

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

There has been an uproar on social media over the release of a video that shows an officer throw a subject to the ground and repeatedly strike him in the face.

A pedestrian named Nandi Cain Jr. was stopped by an unknown officer from the Sacramento Police Department. The stop appears to have been initiated as a result of an observed jaywalking offense.

The officer exited his vehicle and repeatedly ordered the man to stop and talk with him, saying, “Hey can I talk with you real quick bud?” and “Come here buddy.”

Despite clearly hearing those commands, the subject refused to stop, continuing on his way down the sidewalk and then eventually into the street. The officer then said, “Stop right now before I to take you to the ground. If you do not stop right now I will take you to the ground.”

The man, clearly agitated, then threw off his coat and got into an aggressive fighting stance and said, “If you’re a real man, you can take your gun away and fight me like a man.”

It’s not clear from the video whether or not the officer observed other pre-attack indicators (target glances, gritted teeth, etc.), but the subject throwing off his coat, squaring up to fight, and uttering that sentence certainly changed the dynamic of the contact.

A simple solution: Comply and complain

Critics have said that the officer took Cain to the ground for merely jaywalking. No so. The officer took Cain to the ground because of his failure to comply with lawful commands.

However, since there has been so much discussion about the validity of the jawalking stop (with some people saying that there was no basis for it to begin with), let's spend a moment on that matter.

My read on the pertinent California Vehicle Codes relating to pedestrian jaywalking in this instance comes from 21950(b) CVC:

“The provisions of this section shall not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian shall unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

It looked to me that the vehicle that passed closely behind Cain was near enough for him to fall into the abovementioned code violation. That is a subjective call, for sure, but I can reasonably see the officer making that determination.

We can argue until we’re all blue in the face about the necessity of enforcing jaywalking laws, but the fact is those laws are on the books because someone illegally walking in the street is a danger to themselves, other pedestrians, as well as motorists.

That's just a fact.

Had Cain complied with the officer and not taken an aggressive stance in preparing for a fight, he would not have gotten taken down and forcibly handcuffed. In fact, he probably would have been sent along on his way without so much as a summons for the jaywalking infraction. As can be clearly heard toward the end of the video, the officer told his sergeant, “I just wanted to talk with him.”

Had Cain complied with lawful commands and felt that any of his Constitutional rights had been violated during the encounter, he could have filed a complaint with the department.

Police use of force never looks nice

Does the video look ugly? Sure it does. Is police use of force unpleasant to watch? Most definitely.

I’m reminded of the famous quote by Chief William Bratton. Paraphrasing him: Police use of force is never nice to look at. It’s even worse to view from the perspective of the combatants at the time of the event. Neither the subject nor the officer is enjoying the experience — it is scary and the outcome is uncertain.

Applying the Graham standard

Was the officer’s use of force lawful? It would appear to me (and countless other officers who have viewed the video) that the cop’s actions were reasonable. In other words, this officer’s use of force met the Graham v. Connor standard.

However, the department didn’t see it that way, placing the officer on paid administrative leave pending an IA investigation. They even went so far as to condemn him in written statements.

“The videos of this incident portray actions and behavior that we would consider unacceptable conduct by a Sacramento Police Officer,” the department said.

This raises the question: How would the department like to have seen this contact resolved?

The officer was in a no-win situation. Sure, he could have let the subject continue to refuse to comply with lawful orders — even going so far as to posture for a physical confrontation — but that could have led to the incident escalating beyond the officer’s control. The longer he allowed the subject to defy lawful orders, the more likely it was that something really bad happens.

The fact is, the subject determined the level of force necessary to bring the incident to an end.

One final point of order: One is left to wonder why Cain didn’t comply with commands to stop. Well, perhaps he didn’t want to go to jail. He had an open arrest warrant related to an incident in Fresno in which he “resisted arrest and threatened to headbutt officers,” according to the Fresno Bee.

It was a simple “failure to appear” warrant, but still, maybe that was on his mind.

The aftermath: De-policing and deadly hesitation

Cain was initially charged with resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped and he was released. It is unclear whether or not the five-year-old warrant out of Fresno will be acted upon.

This officer’s firing is almost inevitable — leadership has telegraphed the move as plain as day with its statements about the officer and the incident. This is sad not only for this individual officer, but for everyone else on the force. This increases the possibility that those at the Sacramento PD will be more hesitant to use force even if they know they force is justified. This could lead to tragedy.

I’ve written repeatedly on the conjoined trends of de-policing and deadly hesitation (see here and here and here). This is just one more example. We at PoliceOne even just released the results of an extensive survey conducted by LSU that those trends are real and they are happening.

Unless and until law enforcement professionals find a way to convince people that their compliance is the key to the level of force an officer uses, we will still see videos like this lead to the demise of good officers.

That, too, is a tragedy.

Categories: Latest News

Ambushed trooper: 'Coward' shot me and killed comrade

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:25

By Michael Rubinkam Associated Press

MILFORD, Pa. — Alex Douglass used to be 180 pounds of muscle and sinew, a CrossFit and running enthusiast who ran a 50-mile ultra-marathon when he wasn't working his day job as a state police trooper.

All of that was ended by a sniper's bullet.

Douglass survived the ambush that took his comrade's life on Sept. 12, 2014, but the devastating wounds caused by that single rifle shot still haven't healed. On Monday, Douglass got the chance to confront his alleged assailant, describing years of pain and rehabilitation for a jury weighing capital murder charges against the man he called a coward.

"I started back into CrossFit," explained Douglass, who has a replacement hip and walks with a brace on his foot. "It's not like it used to be."

Limping to the witness stand, Douglass testified against Eric Frein, the anti-government marksman and survivalist who prosecutors say targeted the Blooming Grove barracks in hopes of sparking a revolution against the government. Frein allegedly hid in the woods across the street and shot Douglass and Cpl. Bryon Dickson II during a late-night shift change. He was caught after a 48-day manhunt.

Douglass was shot through both hips as he tried to rescue his mortally wounded comrade, the .308-caliber bullet leaving an exit wound the size of a silver dollar. He has undergone 18 surgeries to repair the damage but said he still has no feeling below one knee.

He's also incontinent, the result of a perforated intestine and devastating injuries to his rectum. He described a severe burning sensation that feels like "taking a serrated knife and sticking it in your rectum and twisting."

He choked up, glancing at Frein and asking for a tissue.

Frein, who could face a death sentence if convicted, looked back at him with a blank stare.

Douglass' testimony was the most anticipated of a trial in which prosecutors have introduced hundreds of pieces of evidence tying Frein to the crime. The prosecution plans to rest its case Tuesday.

Douglass told jurors how he had just gotten to work and was in the parking lot when he heard two loud bangs and a scream. He got off the phone with his girlfriend, drew his gun and began walking toward the front of the barracks, where Dickson — who'd just left the barracks after working his shift — was lying face up on the sidewalk.

Douglass said he grabbed Dickson by the leg and was preparing to drag him into the barracks when "it felt like I got hit in the back with a baseball bat." He opened the barracks door with his right hand, fell into the lobby and began crawling, trying to take himself out of the sniper's line of fire.

"At that point I knew that either some coward or cowards were shooting at us from across the street," he said.

A colleague dragged him through an interior door, where troopers began packing his wound while waiting for an ambulance.

"It was probably the worst pain you could imagine," Douglass said. "It felt like your whole body was on fire."

The bullet shattered Douglass's hip and thigh bone and left him with other injuries. He said he dropped from a "solid 180 pounds" to 135 in the months after the shooting. He had his latest surgery two months ago with "possibly more to go."

Frein has said he didn't know Douglass or Dickson before the attack, telling police after his capture that he chose to ambush the Blooming Grove barracks because it's surrounded by woods and offered good cover.

In a letter to his parents that was read to the jury on Monday, Frein complained about the loss of liberty, spoke of a revolution and said, "The time seems right for a spark to ignite a fire in the hearts of men."

The author wrote: "I tried my best to do this thing without getting identified, but if you are reading this then I was not successful."

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Judge rejects effort to reinstall painting depicting cop as pig in Capitol

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 10:21

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has rejected efforts to reinstall in the Capitol a painting some lawmakers and police groups found offensive.

David Pulphus, a student artist from Missouri, and Rep. William Clay, his Democratic congressional representative, had sued Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers for removing the painting in January.

The painting, which shows what appears to be a pig in a police uniform, divided members of Congress for its depiction of Ferguson, Missouri.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates says the government has used its editorial discretion in the selection and presentation of the art.

As a result, it's engaging in "government speech" and the plaintiffs have no First Amendment right to display the painting.

Leah J. Tulin, a lawyer representing Pulphus and Clay, says they are likely to appeal.

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Police: Man sought in Cleveland Facebook killing is dead

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 09:00

By Mark Gillispie Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The man who randomly killed a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook shot himself to death on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, police said.

Pennsylvania State Police said Steve Stephens was spotted Tuesday morning in Erie County, in the state's northwest corner. Authorities say officers tried to pull Stephens over and, after a brief pursuit, he shot and killed himself.

He was wanted on an aggravated murder charge in the shooting death of a 74-year-old man who was picking up aluminum cans on Sunday after spending Easter with his family.

Stephens posted a video of himself killing Robert Godwin Sr., a former foundry worker who had 10 children, police said. In it, he said, "I snapped, I just snapped."

Stephens, 37, shared a recording on Sunday of himself announcing his plan to kill someone, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing Godwin, Facebook said. A few minutes after that, he went live and confessed, the company said.

The company said it disabled Stephen's account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the video of the fatal shooting and two hours after receiving any report.

Facebook has since announced it was launching a review for reporting harmful content.

Police would not speculate on what was behind the killing, but videos Stephens posted showed him talking about losing everything he had to gambling and trouble with his girlfriend.

Stephens filed for bankruptcy two years ago despite holding down a job as a counselor helping young people develop job skills and find employment. The behavioral health agency where he worked said an extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome.

In one video posted on Facebook, Stephens said that he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but did not, without saying why.

In the video of the shooting, Stephens told Godwin the name of his girlfriend and said, "She's the reason that this is about to happen to you." Godwin did not seem to recognize the name.

The woman Stephens spoke of, Joy Lane, said in a text message to CBS that "we had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened."

Investigators said that Godwin was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite his claim on Facebook that he killed over a dozen people.

Officers searched dozens of places around Cleveland without finding Stephens or any other victims before expanding the manhunt. Detectives spoke with the suspect on Sunday by cellphone and tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Within a day, authorities expanded the search nationwide and offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to his capture and prosecution.

Law enforcement officials said on Monday that his cellphone was last tracked Sunday afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles east of Cleveland.

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Cop who caught FDNY EMT's killer: 'She's the real hero'

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 08:10

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A police officer was honored Monday by the FDNY for his efforts in capturing the suspect accused of killing EMT Yadira Arroyo. reported that MTA K-9 officer Daniel McDade was presented a plaque inside Station 26 — where Arroyo worked.

"Officer McDade acted bravely just as Yadi did. He stopped a dangerous individual from hurting anyone else," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

McDade was starting an overtime shift and traffic diverted him through the Bronx. He jumped into action to help subdue the suspect.

Jose Gonzales, who has pleaded not guilty, backed up and ran over Arroyo after stealing her ambulance March 16. The 14-year veteran and mother of five sons was killed.

"This is an honor to be here but the true honor and the true heroism goes to Yadi," McDade said. "I'm here today for her, not for me. Every day, I think of Yadi and her family and members of the FDNY. My heart goes out to them. Speaking to all her friends and family, she was an amazing person, it's sad I'll never get to know her."

On Monday, April 17, FDNY members thanked @mtanyctransit Police Officer Daniel McDade, a member of the MTA Police Department’s Special Operations Division K-9 Unit, for his courage and bravery displayed on March 16, when he stepped into action while off-duty, apprehending EMT Yadira Arroyo’s killer before the individual could bring harm to others around him. #FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said, “As her killer attempted to flee in the ambulance he violently stole, Officer McDade stopped him. He was off-duty at the time, but as all first responders know, you are never truly off-duty. Officer McDade acted bravely, just as Yadi did. He stopped a dangerous individual from hurting anyone else… He went into action to help others, and to stop a killer, just as he was trained to do.”

A post shared by FDNY (@fdny) on Apr 17, 2017 at 12:17pm PDT

Monique Williams, Arroyo's partner, hugged and thanked McDade.

"On behalf of our family, thank you, a very small phrase compared to the immense gratitude we feel for your courageous act. You're a hero in our heart and in our eyes. Right now, our family is in complete turmoil, the pain is unbearable. Nevertheless, we acknowledge your heroic act and are very grateful that because of you, who chose not to look the other way, this case did not become a cold case file," Ali Acevedo-Hernandez, Arroyo's aunt, said.

HONORING MTA Officer Daniel McDade at #FDNY Station 26 #BX. He's credited for apprehending the man suspected of killing EMT Yadira Arroyo

— Asha McKenzie (@AMcKenzie_News) April 17, 2017

#NYCSheriff gives thanks @MTAPD Police Officer Daniel McDade & others for quickly apprehending the suspect in EMT Yadira Arroyo's murder.

— NYC SHERIFF (@NYCSHERIFF) March 17, 2017

An EMS station was filled with gratitude Monday for MTA Officer Daniel McDade, who helped catch the man accused of killing Yadira Arroyo.

— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) April 18, 2017

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Calif. police seek more suspects after violent rallies

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 06:41

Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — Northern California authorities are seeking suspects involved in violent clashes between supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump over the weekend in downtown Berkeley, officials said.

City spokesman Matthai Chakko said Monday officials are seeking to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in crimes last Saturday. He said they are evaluating photographs and video of the skirmishes. Among the videos that have drawn attention is one posted online showing a man punching a female protester in the face.

Berkeley Police on Monday released the names of 19 adults arrested during the demonstrations. A 17-year-old girl was also arrested but her name and hometown were not released.

Sixteen of those arrested are from the San Francisco Bay Area, though only four are from Berkeley. Three are from Southern California.

The charges they face include battery, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and inciting a riot.

Trump supporters announced a "Patriot Day" rally at the park featuring speeches by members of the alt-right, an amorphous fringe movement that promotes racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia.

Counter-demonstrators then announced a rally at the same place.

Video footage from a March 4 demonstration in Berkeley where the same groups clashed led to the arrest of Kyle Chapman, Berkeley Police said.

Chapman describes himself in social media as a "proud American nationalist" and "ardent Trump supporter."

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Ariz. governor signs bill protecting off-duty police officers

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 04:00

Associated Press

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation adding tougher sentences for assaults on off-duty law enforcement officers.

Ducey signed the legislation Monday after heated debates arose over it in the Legislature. The governor said in a written statement the legislation "sends the clear message that Arizona stands firmly with its men and women in uniform."

The "Blue Lives Matter" law drew criticism from Democratic lawmakers who called it an affront to the "Black Lives Matter" movement that protests police killings of black people and racial profiling. Republican backers say even off-duty officers deserve higher protections.

Prosecutors would have to show the assault was motivated by the officer's employment. Assaulting an on-duty officer or an off-duty officer acting in a law enforcement role already draws a harsher sentence.

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Police: Woman wearing pajama bottoms robs 6 Utah banks

PoliceOne - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 04:00

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman has been arrested after she was identified as the pajama-wearing robber in at least six bank robberies in the Salt Lake City area, including five in less than two hours on Saturday morning, police said Monday.

Nannette Louise Perkins, 40, was arrested Sunday afternoon at home in suburban Taylorsville home after Salt Lake City police received a tip about her identity, Unified police Lt. Brian Lohrke said.

According to police, the robber did little to hide her appearance during robberies Friday and Saturday morning at banks in Salt Lake City, Holladay, West Valley City, Cottonwood Heights and Sandy.

She was seen on bank surveillance camera images and described wearing pajama bottoms, black prescription eyeglasses, a dark shirt and a blue bandanna over dark hair in a ponytail or bun.

Lohrke said the robber passed notes to tellers, never showed a weapon and got cash in five of the six banks. She left one empty-handed.

The police spokesman said he did not know what Perkins was wearing when she was arrested.

She was being held at the Salt Lake County jail pending an initial court appearance on felony charges.

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Global action tackles distribution of child sexual exploitation images via WhatsApp: 39 arrested so far

EUROPOL - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 02:15
Europol and INTERPOL have supported the Spanish National Police on Operation Tantalio, a complex investigation targeting the distribution of child sexual exploitation material through darknet platforms and Whatsapp. So far 39 suspects were arrested in Europe and South America.
Categories: Latest News

Global action tackles distribution of child sexual exploitation images via WhatsApp: 38 arrested so far

EUROPOL - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 02:15
Europol and INTERPOL have supported the Spanish National Police on Operation Tantalio, a complex investigation targeting the distribution of child sexual exploitation material through darknet platforms and Whatsapp. So far 38 suspects were arrested in Europe and South America. The arrests took place in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, and Spain.
Categories: Latest News

Escaped inmate who allegedly attempted to kill Ala. cop turns self in

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 13:36

By William Thornton Alabama Media Group

FLORENCE, Ala. — A 10-hour standoff ended peacefully Saturday night after an Lauderdale County inmate on the run since April 7 turned himself in.

WHNT-19 is reporting that Christopher Wayne Kilpatrick, 43, gave up after staying inside a building off Cloverdale Road near Florence.

Police surrounded the address near Florence Saturday after receiving a report that Kilpatrick was in the area, Sheriff Rick Singleton said. A deputy spotted a stolen Toyota Tacoma pickup truck out of Tennessee at the address, and Kilpatrick was suspected to be traveling in the vehicle.

Lauderdale County officials shut down the roadways in the area. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded.

After several hours, Kilpatrick turned himself in peacefully. He escaped on April 7 from the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

©2017 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

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Coachella attendees use 'Find my iPhone' to nab man with 100 stolen phones

PoliceOne - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 13:26

By Veronica Rocha Los Angeles Times

INDIO, Calif. — Leave it to a group of tech-savvy concert-goers to solve a case of stolen cellphones at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over the weekend.

At a scene like Coachella, where any music act, art installation and fashion or food trend is Instagrammable or Snapchatted, it’s no wonder several festival-goers noticed their cellphones had vanished during the event Friday.

According to the Indio, Calif., Police Department, the music fans activated their “Find My iPhone” app and followed Reinaldo De Jesus Henao around the venue until he was detained by security workers.

Officers later arrived and found more than 100 cellphones in Henao’s backpack, police said.

Henao, 36, of New York was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property, police said.

Several cellphones were returned to victims, and others were left at lost and found, according to police.

©2017 Los Angeles Times

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