Latest News

Search underway for man who stole guns, wrote manifesto threatening to kill cops

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:49

By Robert Salonga The Mercury News

SAN JOSEm Calif. — Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for a burglar who stole guns from a San Jose home and left behind a note threatening to shoot police officers and people in San Francisco, authorities said.

A San Jose family returned from vacation Wednesday night and discovered that their Husted Avenue home in the Willow Glen neighborhood had been burglarized and that their 357 pistol and shotgun were missing, police said.

The family also found an erratic, meandering 20-page note written by 44-year-old Dustin Hamilton, in which he made threats to “kill people in the city of San Francisco and any law enforcement personnel,” according to police.

San Jose police alerted police in San Francisco, and also obtained an arrest warrant for burglary, criminal threats, and firearms possession. Authorities also said Hamilton has active arrest warrants for assault and vandalism in San Francisco.

Police added that Hamilton, a transient who lives in the San Francisco area, specified he would commit a shooting Wednesday, but that did not transpire.

SJPD Chief Eddie Garcia said Hamilton’s alleged threat rose to the level of public alert because of its specificity and the fact that he is armed.

“When it became known to law enforcement about the threat, and the capability to carry out the threat, we felt the public needed to know,” Garcia said.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the man or spots him directly should call 911, or SJPD Detective Emilio Perez and Detective Matt Brackett at 408-277-4161. Anonymous tips can be left at 408-947-STOP or at svcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.

©2018 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)


Categories: Latest News

Video shows NC police shoot armed man who held pregnant woman hostage

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:19

By Jane Wester The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Body camera videos released Wednesday show Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers shooting an armed man while his pregnant hostage crawls to safety.

Johnathan Autry, 28, survived the Sept. 25, 2017 shooting, and he is still in Mecklenburg County Jail. He's been charged with kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon, among other offenses.

The three officers who shot Autry were all placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, but the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office found they acted lawfully, CMPD said.

Police said Autry broke into the pregnant woman's home on Holly Street, off Beatties Ford Road in north Charlotte, and asked for money.

When officers arrived at the house, they found him holding her at gunpoint. On video, the officers repeatedly told Autry to drop the gun before shooting him.

"I'm pregnant!" the woman said in the officers' body camera video, just before Autry was shot.

In September, CMPD said the woman managed to separate her body from Autry's before the officers fired their guns. The videos showed her drop her body to the ground and crawl to safety while officers shot Autry.

"I'm dying!" Autry said in the videos.

"Listen, we're not going to let you die," one officer said. "But you've got to work with us."

Officers demanded to see his hands and asked where the gun was, according to the videos. A minute after shots were fired, one officer announced he'd found the gun by his foot.

Just over 90 seconds after Autry was shot, the officers lifted him into a clearing to provide medical help.

Autry was in critical but stable condition in the hospital the day after the shooting, police said at the time.

Police said the break-in was not random, because Autry mentioned the pregnant woman's husband by name. The husband wasn't home at the time. The woman was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but she wasn't hurt.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); CMPD VIDEO RELEASE

CMPD FOOTAGE RELEASED: We're getting a closer look at what happened last September when three Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers shot at a man who was holding a pregnant woman hostage. WARNING: You will hear gunshots.

Posted by Reporter Kirstin Garriss on Thursday, April 5, 2018

©2018 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)


Categories: Latest News

Ashes of Fla. officer recovered, suspect arrested

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:10

By Mike Ferguson The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — One man is in jail and a deceased police officer's ashes have been recovered, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Daniel Antonio Nolasco Cardona, 27, from Honduras, is being charged by the Sheriff's Office with four counts of criminal mischief, four counts of burglary of a dwelling, four counts of conspiracy to commit burglary of a dwelling, four counts of an unlawful two-way communication device, two counts of grand theft and one count of destruction of a monument. Cardona was arrested Tuesday in Miami.

Cardona is accused of committing four burglaries in the South Lakeland area, including taking the urn with the ashes of former Lakeland Police Department Officer Curtis "Buddy" Newsome. Cardona has also been accused of committing at least 14 other burglaries in at least nine other counties.

"They specifically picked neighborhoods that were high-end communities — very nice homes," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Wednesday. "Buddy Newsome and I actually grew up in the same area of Lakeland. He was a few years younger than me, but I watched him grow into a great police officer and a wonderful man."

Cardona was in the U.S. on a tourist visa, Judd said. According to Judd, Cardona had two passports and three sets of identification — two of which are fake. The burglaries were being committed with cars rented in South Florida.

"He began to rent cars and commit burglaries in cars he rented all throughout Florida," Judd said. "He would sneak into homes, take things and go back to Miami. He didn't stay anywhere for an extended period of time, but he made one mistake: He came to Polk County."

The Sheriff's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement worked with nine other agencies throughout the state to arrest Cardona. Cardona also is accused of crimes in Brevard, Citrus, Hernando, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota and St. John's Counties. Judd said there could be other suspects and further charges.

"It was well-organized and planned out," Judd said. "They took a lot of property."

The ashes of Newsome were found intact. Newsome spent 28 years with LPD before retiring more than a decade ago and helping start "Faith Riders," a motorcycle group at First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland. Newsome died of cancer in 2015.

"The sheriff said this was a miracle," said the widow, Michele Newsome. "It's miraculous, and I agree 100 percent. I knew God was in control. I knew Sheriff Grady Judd was in control. There are no words. 'Thank you' doesn't seem adequate enough."

The crimes that happened in Polk County, Judd said, consisted ofinvolved property and cash. Judd suspects thatCardona assumed the urn was made of gold and could have been melted down.

"I've been in this business my entire adult life," Judd said. "This is one of the more special events. We deliver so much bad news from this podium. It's exciting to be able to deliver some good news."

©2018 The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.)


Categories: Latest News

Lessons in Leadership: Is the man or the mission more important?

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 11:01

Author: Rich Emberlin

Policing has historically been a job; today it is recognized as a genuine profession. Today’s police force is comprised of highly trained, exceptionally smart individuals who possess specialized knowledge and skills. Whether it’s a police chief overseeing a department or a patrol officer responding to 9-1-1 calls, law enforcement leaders exist in all ranks of our profession.

Lessons in Leadership is a 10-part series covering the most important principles I learned during my nearly 30-year career with the Dallas Police Department. From explosive confrontations to quiet defining moments, there’s no shortage of wisdom to be earned in one of the world’s most dangerous professions.

Right before I joined SWAT, I heard a story that had become infamous around the department halls. Operators were being briefed for a warrant execution on suspected dope dealers; in this case, a militant group of bikers not afraid of confrontations with the police. The lead sergeant, an Army veteran, solemnly told the group, “This place is heavily barricaded, and I expect to lose a few of you today.”

As the SWAT team members picked their jaws up off the floor, the captain dismissed the sergeant from the briefing, killed the operation on the spot and declared, “The man is more important than the mission.” Those words stuck with me ever since as a succinct, yet powerful, leadership philosophy.

Is the man or the mission more important?

Police officers are killed at an alarming rate in this country. Whether it’s fueled by a lack of understanding about the profession, or the desensitization that results from unrealistic Hollywood portrayals and news headlines, there’s a societal expectation that cops should lay down their lives on a daily basis, no matter what kind of call we’re responding to. We do accept a certain amount of risk with the job, but I’m certain the operators in that briefing room didn’t agree with or appreciate the sergeant’s presumption of their imminent death. They would agree that we’re supposed to go home to our families every night.

I knew I’d go into harm’s way and potentially take a bullet to save someone’s life at some point in my career, just like every other police officer. That’s where priorities of life come in. Law enforcement officers learn about this hierarchy that answers the question, who should live and in what order? Victims represent the highest priority, followed by friendlies (innocent bystanders), first responders/police, and lastly, suspects.

Priorities of life are in play in virtually all police encounters. It’s important to deploy the right strategy for each scenario. A warrant execution can easily be called off if evidence suggests it is strategically or tactically flawed. If it’s a hostage rescue or active shooter situation, officers must deploy a strategy that is infinitely more dangerous. In those situations, the mission does become more important than the man.

When to kill an operation

Police commanders can’t afford to make poor decisions that will cost people their lives, whether it’s due to inexperience, a cowboy mentality, or a naïve assumption that people will do what we say because, “We’re the police.”

Leaders must create a culture that focuses first and foremost on the safety of their officers. This includes declaring an operation a no-go when circumstances change unfavorably or present an unacceptable level of risk.

My SWAT team had spent 24 hours planning a drug warrant execution. We staged at a fire station not far from the suspect’s home. Sixteen operators waited in two raid vans and prepared to make the hit. As I settled into the passenger seat next to my sergeant, new intel came in from one of our undercover narcotics detectives. He had just visited the target location to buy drugs and reported that the suspect appeared extremely skittish and thought his location was about to be assaulted. Apparently, one of his buddies had seen us staging, alerting him to our presence.

Our sergeant said, “In that case, we better hurry up and get over there.” Those words I’d heard years ago – the man is more important than the mission – went through my head. I took off my helmet, yanked off my gloves and said, “Are you kidding? I’m not going. He knows we’re coming. He’s probably barricading the place now. This is SWAT 101 – do not show up if they know you’re coming. Remember the Branch Davidians in Waco? Taking this guy off the streets is important, but are we really willing to get hammered in an ambush?”

This was a classic example of man vs. mission and fortunately, our sergeant was reasonable enough to realize the danger in proceeding as planned. In his defense, he was a relatively new sergeant in SWAT and willing to listen to advice. He called off the operation, and a few weeks later, we eventually took down our guy.

I have worked with supervisors who let their egos direct their decision-making, rather than common sense. Officers working under these types of leaders need to speak up. Voice your concerns and escalate the matter up the chain of command if necessary. This isn’t snitching – it’s about keeping your fellow officers alive.

If the suspect has a tactical advantage, take him down at a different venue that poses less risk. There’s no reason to show up on his home turf if he goes to the market on Tuesday afternoons and you can safely isolate him in the parking lot. Even if your operation is about to get underway, it’s never too late to call it off, send your troops home and wait for a more favorable tactical advantage.

Reduce risk if time permits

When time and circumstances dictate, law enforcement officers should go on the offensive. But if there’s an opportunity to step back and generate a plan of attack, that’s a better alternative. Each time my team responded to a barricaded subject situation, one of the first things we would do is put an emergency assault team in place. Six or eight experienced operators would stage near a point of entry and go in immediately if ordered by the command post. With this countermeasure in place, we bought ourselves some time to step back and devise an action plan – turn off the power, kill the phone lines and gather intel on the suspect.

Good leaders educate their troops about risk assessment and how to apply it in the field. Officers must always be ready to respond under less-than-ideal circumstances. During the recent shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, School Resource Officer Blaine Gaskill responded to the scene in less than a minute, entered the building by himself and engaged the suspect. His courage and quick actions undoubtedly saved countless lives. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office should be proud to have Officer Gaskill in their employ.

Police work is always changing so we must ensure our tactics and training evolve in this dynamic environment – because the mission is nothing without the man.

Author’s note: The Lessons in Leadership series contains stories about real people and actual events that are portrayed to the best of my memory. Dialogue has been reconstructed from my recollections, which means it may not be a word-for-word transcript, but the essence of what was said is accurate.


Categories: Latest News

How PDs can use video to recruit new hires

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 10:35
Author: Rich Emberlin

By Dan Cohen, West Street Productions

Captain Greg Guiton of the Ocean City Police Department faces some unique challenges in his annual search for officers. Located on Maryland’s eastern shore, Ocean City is a resort town in the heart of the state’s lucrative tourist industry. The population balloons in the summer, and so does the size of the city’s police department. Guiton’s task every year is to find seasonal officers to fill the ranks.

Thinking outside the box

Guiton knew he needed a police recruitment strategy that would attract a bigger pool of candidates in a very competitive environment. Using video was a key part of that strategy, along with a new website and a greater social media presence for his team’s marketing effort. But creating a recruitment video isn’t as simple as bringing out your smartphone and pressing record, which is why Ocean City PD hired a production company to assist with the project.

Considerations when using video

Video production must be carefully crafted. Every word and image communicates a message about your department and how you relate to the community you serve.

Social media also means your video can reach a global audience, viewed by people who want to be cops – and everyone else. A well-produced and thoughtful video can become an important multipurpose tool for every law enforcement agency.

In the case of Ocean City, the family vacation image weighed heavily in the shots we chose, and the scenes Captain Guiton and his team helped put together for us to film. The messaging we developed and the editing decisions were all deliberately crafted.

The idea of recruiting for a resort community also became a useful recruitment tool for summer help. It’s a great way to start out: get paid to spend a summer at the beach, while at the same time starting a law enforcement career with real police experience to put on a resume. Once they make it through an intense training academy, the seasonal officers at Ocean City are on the streets patrolling and answering calls. It’s the real deal.

How social media magnifies your message

The “Your Career Starts Here” video series has produced stunning results with more than 100,000 video views alone since the series debuted.

“Video allows us to reach thousands more potential applicants than we ever could before. People are hearing about the seasonal positions we offer for the first time thanks to this new recruiting tool,” said Guiton.

Facebook advertising also has had a great payoff. With a small investment, OCPD was able to target specific ad placements, translating into a larger pool of officer candidates.

“Now that we have a video series at our disposal, we are realizing much more innovative recruiting opportunities than we did before,” said Lindsay Richard, the public relations affairs specialist for OCPD who runs the department’s social media sites. “Not only are our recruiting teams using the videos during their presentations, but we are also able to reach potential applicants who we can’t physically speak to through social media and web advertising.”

New research shows that Captain Guiton’s instincts about video are right on target, and why it is paying off so well.

According to a study by Cisco, by 2019 video will represent over 80% of all internet traffic worldwide and, for the U.S., it will be over 85%. Visitors to a website stick around for about 10-20 seconds before clicking away, according to the Neilson Norman Group. Video is the tool that keeps people from leaving your site. Video also has a major impact on messaging, with Cisco reporting that 90% of users saying videos are helpful in the decision-making process.

How to hire a video production company

A professional video production is an investment; if it is successful, it can have a big payoff.

The best video producers are companies who have spent time around law enforcement, who understand the profession and instinctively know the impact of an image in a social world. One inadvertent image can easily send the wrong message.

The producer should help you focus your messages, what you want to communicate to officer candidates about the job, and what makes a career in your department more unique than others. They should help you identify who might be best in front of the camera as the face of your department to the world.

The producer should be able to give you an idea of cost with an estimated budget and a production timeline. While not set in stone, the estimate will help paint a picture of not only the cost in dollars, but resources as well. There are a lot of people to schedule if you are filming a number of units within your department. A good production company knows the complicated logistics that are involved with pulling all the people together while remaining on budget.

The producers should be able to guide you on the most effective ways to get your video seen. Once you have filmed a scene, it can be repurposed for different platforms such as social media, websites, movie theatres, TV advertising and personal appearances.

Video is not a one-size-fits-all business. Every agency has a unique story – a good production company should be able to tell that story in a creative and unique way.

Conclusion

For OCPD, the investment in a well-designed recruitment video has paid off. It is now a key element of their recruitment marketing strategy.

While it will always be important to shake hands at recruitment events, with video, just one click allows you to reach thousands of people at a time.

About the author Dan Cohen is president of West Street Productions, specializing in award-winning public safety, police and first responder video. Contact Dan at dancohen@weststreetproductions.com.


Categories: Latest News

4 ways to keep good cops after you hire them

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 10:02

Author: Rich Emberlin

By Lt. Mike Walker, P1 Contributor

A revolving door of police recruits creates stress and strain on any law enforcement agency.

As the selection, academy and FTO training process can take a year or longer to complete, core personnel are at risk of burnout from covering understaffed shifts, while police training and equipment budgets are quickly depleted. Inexperienced staff may expose the agency to increased liability, while providing less than optimal levels of performance during the course of learning the job.

Just as a savvy mayor or commissioner knows that a big part of their job is to foster those elements that attract and retain residents to the community – such as a vibrant economy, good schools, access to quality health care, recreational activities and a low crime environment – savvy law enforcement leaders know it is their job to foster those things besides salary that attract and retain police officers.

A slightly higher starting pay may attract a new employee, but it won’t keep them. As we all know, merely throwing money at an issue will not solve the problem. A good employee who feels like they would rather take a beating than come to work will not stay at your agency for long.

Let’s explore some of the things officers want from their police career and how law enforcement leaders can fill those needs.

1. Value and recognition

Law enforcement is at many times a thankless profession so it is critical law leaders express appreciation to personnel. The results of good police work are often intangible, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. There are easy ways to tell your folks when they do a good job:

Show your appreciation and recognize a job well done with a citation or letter of commendation; Encourage peer recognition through Officer of the Quarter and Officer of the Year selections; Reward employees and their families with a spring picnic or fall awards banquet.

Performance awards don’t have to be expensive to be valuable. Recognition may be as simple as a reserved parking place or an extra day off. Good employees are like good health – ignore them and they’ll go away.

2. Training and equipment

If you want good officers who produce superior results, you need to provide them with training and equipment.

Training doesn’t have to be costly; it just needs to be relevant and geared toward the officer’s interests.

You should already know which of your employees has an aptitude for training. Send them to an instructor school. If somebody enjoys photography, there’s your crime scene tech. Work with your folks to match the training they want with your agency’s needs.

Once trained, make sure they get good, serviceable equipment.

Evaluate your agency’s process for issuing personal equipment. Do you issue equipment and uniform items, or do you provide a uniform allowance for employees to provide their own equipment? Can you improve this process to better fill agency and employee needs?

3. Uniforms and vehicles

We take better care of things we are proud of and take ownership in. Is it time to consider upgrading the look and performance of your agency’s uniform? Are you taking advantage of today’s performance blends and moisture-wicking technology? If the answer is no, then consider doing so and letting your employees take an active role in deciding what the new police uniforms will look like.

Do you have a replacement schedule for your vehicles or are cars driven “until the wheels fall off”? Are new cars provided to officers or do they get hand-me downs from the top brass? Could their design use a bit of updating? These changes can go a long way toward making your employees feel invested with your agency.

Speaking of vehicles, consider assigned cars. Employees will take better care of them and it’s an attractive benefit for your agency to offer. Take-home cars and off-duty use are even better; just make sure you also have the accompanying policies that fit your agency.

4. Professional growth and career advancement

No one wants to feel they are stuck in a dead end job. Cops thrive on a challenge, and most are every bit as competitive as professional athletes.

Specialized units such as traffic, K-9, SWAT, crime prevention, drug education, SROs and Honor Guard can help your agency accomplish its mission of service while allowing your employees to develop into well-rounded and knowledgeable law enforcement professionals.

If you are a small agency or have issues with funding, consider alternatives to full-time unit assignments such as part time/seasonal duties, collateral duty assignments and multi-agency task forces.

Validate and recognize your officer’s specialized experience with a unit patch, pin or service bar. Help your officers to see what their future with your agency can look like. Reward loyalty and seniority with merit promotions. And provide a fair, clear and consistent set of requirements for competitive promotion to sergeant, lieutenant and above.

Our employees are our most valuable resource. Give them the time and consideration they deserve. By helping them to become invested in your community and your department, you will greatly increase your chances of attracting and retaining top caliber law enforcement professionals.

About the author Lt. Mike Walker is a 27-year veteran of local and federal law enforcement. He has served in a variety of assignments with a concentration in investigative work. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the 247th Session of the FBI National Academy.


Categories: Latest News

Court order halts parole of killer of 2 NYC officers

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 09:17

Author: Rich Emberlin

By Chris Carola Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — The scheduled prison release of a former member of a violent 1970s radical group who killed two New York City police officers in 1971 has been put on hold by a state court.

State Supreme Court in Albany issued a temporary restraining order halting Herman Bell's release after the Patrolman's Benevolent Association of the City of New York requested the order in a lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of Diane Piagentini, widow of one of the slain officers.

The state parole board last month approved Bell's release from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. The 70-year-old former Black Liberation Army member has served 44 years for fatally shooting officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini at a Harlem housing development.

Bell was scheduled to be released April 17. The court order puts his release on hold pending an April 13 hearing on the lawsuit.

The PBA's lawsuit against the parole board contends board members failed to consider the comments of the sentencing judge and prosecutors, who indicated Bell should never be released from prison. Parole was granted after Bell's eighth parole hearing.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said the parole board "blew the call" by approving Bell's release. He called Bell a "cold-blooded assassin" whose parole must be rescinded.

"Parole may be appropriate for some who have committed crime, but it is not for cold-blooded cop-killers," Diane Piagentini said in a statement released by the PBA.

Bell's Manhattan attorney, Robert Boyle, called the lawsuit frivolous and said it shouldn't impede Bell's release from Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County.

"The parole board considered everything they were required under the law to consider," Boyle told The Associated Press. "Their decision was in accordance with the law."

State correction officials say the agency is complying with the court's order. The parole board is being represented in the lawsuit by state attorney general's office, which didn't respond to a request for comment

Bell and two other members of the BLA, a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party, were convicted of killing the officers after luring them with a bogus 911 call. Co-defendant Anthony Bottom is serving 25 years to life but is scheduled for a parole hearing in June. The third accomplice has since died in prison.

During his last parole interview, Bell called the slayings "horribly wrong" and said he had remorse for killing the officers. Bell has earned bachelor's and master's degrees while in prison and counseled other inmates, factors that were considered as part of the parole board's decision that his "debt has been paid to society."


Categories: Latest News

International police union leader questions firing of cop who fatally shot Alton Sterling

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 07:53

Author: Rich Emberlin

The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE, La. — The president of an international police union on Wednesday questioned the Baton Rouge's police chief's decision to fire the officer who fatally shot Alton Sterling in 2016, saying that the chief's boss, the mayor, told him to terminate the officer.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul fired Officer Blane Salamoni on Friday, saying he violated department policies on use of force and command of temper during his encounter with Sterling in July 2016 outside of the Triple S Food Mart.

Separate investigations were conducted by the Department of Justice who in May declined to bring federal civil rights violations against the two officers, and the Louisiana Attorney General who announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the two officers.

Sam Cabral, the president of the International Union of Police Associations, questioned if Paul's decision to fire Salamoni was a political one, according to a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

“Very publicly, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome called for officer Salamoni’s termination, long before either of the two independent investigations had been completed," Cabral said. "Chief Murphy was hired by the mayor and certainly is expected to follow her direction. This termination is just that.”

The International Union of Police Associations works on legislation that impacts law enforcement officers, including the national police officers bill of rights.

Cabral said he wants to see an "impartial fact finding hearing" and a "successful appeal" of Salamoni's firing before the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board. Salamoni's attorney said Friday that they would appeal the decision, but a timeline for that appeal has not yet been set.

Paul responded to Cabral's statement Wednesday by saying that his decision was not influenced by politics.

"My findings were based on a review of the facts presented in the disciplinary hearing," Paul said in a statement.

Paul also announced Friday that the second officer involved in the shooting, Howie Lake II, violated the command of temper policy and would serve a three-day suspension before re-joining the force.

Police published two previously unreleased videos of the encounter from the officer's body cameras and a third video from the The Triple S Food Mart surveillance cameras on Friday.

The two officers responded to the store after a man called 911 to report that a second man, matching Sterling's description, had threatened him with a gun. When Salamoni arrived seconds behind Lake, he shouted profanities at Sterling and threatened to shoot him in the head if he didn't comply. The scuffle between Sterling and the officers ended when Salamoni yelled that he thought Sterling had a gun and shot him six times. A gun was later recovered from Sterling's pocket.

Cabral said he doesn't think the events of that night are in question, and he blames Sterling for the outcome of the situation.

"Mr. Sterling’s actions, and those actions alone, determined the fatal outcome of this incident,” Cabral said.

©2018 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.


Categories: Latest News

Baltimore police commissioner to name panel that will probe LEO's death

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 07:16

Author: Rich Emberlin

By Luke Broadwater The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said Wednesday he is close to signing an agreement with a six-member panel — including two former Baltimore police detectives — to investigate the unsolved death of Detective Sean Suiter.

De Sousa said he has a memorandum of understanding with the former detectives “sitting on my desk right now” to investigate the fatal shooting of Suiter — which is one of the only unsolved killings of a police officer in the Baltimore department’s history.

“What I can say is it’s going to be two former Baltimore City police detectives,” De Sousa told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday, adding that the detectives were “well-respected” in the field. “When I share the names you’ll understand what I’m saying. They’re well-respected.”

The police chief said the two former detectives will be joined by “a few other outside police leaders.”

“I added up the years of the six members on the panel. It was 220 years of law enforcement experience,” he said.

De Sousa said he hoped to finalize the agreement with the investigators “in the next couple of days” and bring in the outside panel next week.

He declined to provide more information, including the investigators’ identities, until the agreement is finalized. It was unclear how long they would work on the case and how much they will be paid.

“The mandate is for them to take a look at the case, come up with findings and come up with recommendations,” De Sousa said.

Suiter was shot about 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in a vacant lot in the 900 block of Bennett Place in Harlem Park. He died the day before he was to give testimony before a federal grand jury investigating Baltimore’s corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. Suiter was not a target of that investigation, police have said.

His death has been the subject of much debate within the police department, including some who argue the detective killed himself while others maintain it was a homicide. The state Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

De Sousa’s comments came as he and Mayor Catherine Pugh outlined their policing strategies during a media briefing at City Hall.

After three consecutive years of more than 300 homicides in Baltimore, the city is beginning to see crime declines.

Homicides have declined by 27 percent to begin 2018, while violent crime has dropped by 20 percent compared with last year.

In her budget, Pugh included funding to expand the police department with 100 new officer positions and increase funding for the anti-violence Safe Streets program.

Her budget also included money to help fund an intervention program for boys and young men called Roca and extra services in seven Violence Reduction Initiative Zones throughout the city.

De Sousa said he’s deploying a mobile command vehicle to parts of the city where violence is most intense.

“We’re definitely trending in the direction we want,” De Sousa said of crime. “We have a lot of work to do.”

The commissioner also described some additional technologies his officers will soon be using.

Starting in June, De Sousa said the Baltimore Police Department will begin employing crime analysts in East and West Baltimore, who will use “crime forecasting software” to predict where criminal activity will occur and position patrol officers there.

“The crime analysts will direct the officers per shift, telling them where to go,” De Sousa said, adding that officers will be told how long to monitor certain locations based on a computer algorithm. “The whole concept behind the crime forecasting software is to tell us where to go before the crime occurs.”

The predictive policing strategy was created by Sean Malinowski, a deputy police chief in Los Angeles, who has built a national reputation as a math-saavy commander. Part statistician, part crime fighter, he has spent the past year helping Chicago police open high-tech “nerve centers” in violent neighborhoods.

Inside the centers, computers predict retaliatory shootings and transmit reports of gunfire to patrol officers. Those reports hit officers’ cellphones an average of three minutes before the first 911 call, according to Chicago police.

Predictive policing has won over police chiefs around the country, but also stirred debate among civil libertarians.

De Sousa said he hopes to allay any community concerns over predictive policing by sharing the algorithms the analysts will be using with the community.

“We’re going to be completely transparent about what those algorithms are,” he said.

Pugh said she heard about predictive policing while researching which police departments were being successful in other cities.

“The reduction in violence in Chicago has been attributed to these types of centers,” she said.

©2018 The Baltimore Sun


Categories: Latest News

NYC officers fatally shoot man pointing metal pipe like gun

PoliceOne - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 07:00

Author: Rich Emberlin

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Officers responding to reports of a man threatening people with a gun fatally shot a man carrying a metal pipe, mistaking it for a firearm, the New York Police Department said.

A tense crowd gathered after Saheed Vassell, 34, was killed around 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Police had encountered the man before and classified him as emotionally disturbed, according to The New York Times .

Three 911 callers reported that a "man was pointing a silver firearm at people on the street," according to NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.

Five officers responded and encountered a man matching the description in the 911 calls.

"The suspect took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers, two of whom were in uniform," Monahan said.

Four of the officers then fired a total of 10 rounds, striking the man, who was later found to be holding a "pipe with some sort of knob at the end," he said.

Vassell was pronounced dead at a hospital; four officers were treated for minor injuries.

Dozens of police cars converged on the area, and a crowd of about 200 people gathered around the cordoned-off intersection, said 33-year-old resident Shaya Tenenbaum, who added that a few people in the crowd shouted at police.

Andre Wilson, 38, told the Daily News that he had known the victim for 20 years, describing him as a quirky neighborhood character.

"All he did was just walk around the neighborhood," he said. "He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange Bible or a rosary in his hand. He never had a problem with anyone."

Wilson said he was shocked that it would come to this.

"The officers from the neighborhood, they know him. He has no issue with violence. Everybody just knows he's just mentally challenged. This shouldn't have happened at all."

The shooting comes after the police killing of an unarmed black man on March 18 in Sacramento, California, sparked two weeks of protests and calls for police reform.

Stephon Clark, 22, was shot by officers responding to a report of someone breaking car windows. Police said they thought he had a gun, but he was carrying only a cellphone.

In a private autopsy commissioned by Clark's family, prominent pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu announced that Clark was hit by eight bullets — six in the back, one in the neck and one in the thigh — and took three to 10 minutes to die. Police waited about five minutes before rendering medical aid.

New photo of the man shot by cops in Crown Heights @nypost pic.twitter.com/XarwOxJ4Bg

— Joe (@JoeTacopino) April 5, 2018

Crown Heights residents demanding answers. #Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/po1dsCHVAn

— Josmar Trujillo (@Josmar_Trujillo) April 5, 2018


Categories: Latest News

Ohio Attorney General releases model policy for police UAS use

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 16:01

By PoliceOne Staff

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Advisory Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has issued its final report, which includes a model policy for use by law enforcement. “With advancements in technology and a decrease in the cost of unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned aircraft have become more common in communities and as tools of law enforcement,” said Attorney General DeWine. “The recommendations in this report will help law enforcement develop best practices and protocols that will ensure appropriate privacy, accountability, and oversight when unmanned aircraft are used.” Unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly referred to as drones, can be used by law enforcement for a number of investigative purposes, such as crime scene and traffic accident investigations, missing persons cases, SWAT operations and active shooter incidents. In addition to the creation of a model policy, the report made 14 recommendations, which addressed topics such as licensure, training, protocols, and data/records management. As a result of the recommendations, DeWine also announced that the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is offering UAS courses including investigating UAS complaints, appropriate law enforcement uses for UAS and implementation of UAS programs. DeWine created the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on UAS in October 2016. The group was comprised of subject-matter experts and was chaired by Cuyahoga Community College Police Chief Clayton Harris.

Advisory Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems by Ed Praetorian on Scribd


Categories: Latest News

RI union criticizes vote to remove memorial outside police station

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 14:07

By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — A Rhode Island police union is criticizing the removal of a memorial commemorating fallen officers.

The Middletown Town Council initially planned to repair the memorial but voted on Monday to remove it instead of spending $41,000 to repair it, WJAR reports. Detective Michael Kravchuk, president of the Middletown Police Officers Union, said it’s “disheartening” the council voted to remove the memorial.

"Given the current climate regarding attacks on police officers in our nation, it's saddening they would choose to remove a memorial dedicated to the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers, including the ultimate sacrifice made by two Middletown residents,” Kravchuk said.

The union also said a council member referred to the memorial as a “doormat,” which the union said is "distasteful and completely disrespectful."

Middletown council votes to remove walkway officers memorial outside police station rather than pay $41k to repair it. Union is upset. @ 6 pic.twitter.com/EsqYL0ls1y

— Brian Crandall (@nbc10_brian) April 3, 2018

The memorial statue has been cordoned off for some time. The town has also been sued after someone slipped on it several years ago.

Councilwoman M. Theresa Santos the removal of the statue has nothing to do with the council’s support for the town’s police and its officers, according to the Newport Daily News.

Councilwoman Barbara VonVillas, the lone council member who voted against the memorial’s removal, questioned her colleagues’ motives and support for police.

“In my opinion, this council sends mixed messages,” VonVillas said.


Categories: Latest News

Verizon unveils public safety private core

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 14:02

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Verizon announced that its public safety private core is now generally available.

Verizon launched its dedicated private core on March 29, 2018, according to a Verizon press release. The private core is the centerpiece of expanded products and services that are designed to enhance the company’s 4G LTE network for public safety.

The private core gives public safety customers several features including traffic segmentation, priority and preemption, improved security and enhanced service management and control. The public safety core separates data traffic of public safety mobile users from commercial users across the Verizon network.

Mobile Broadband Priority Service and Preemption are some of the key new and enhanced features public safety customers will receive. During heavy commercial network congestion, MBP users will have priority service for public safety officials using applications on smartphones or tablets, transmitting data from first responder vehicles or video from surveillance cameras.

Preemption allows Verizon to automatically allocate network resources from commercial data/Internet users to first responders in the event network capacity is reached.

“We continue to make the investments necessary to give public safety access to the best possible network coverage, reliability and capability, whenever they need it,” Michael Maiorana, senior vice president, public sector for Verizon said. “Our public safety network will provide a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for public safety, and we’ll continue working to ensure first responders get the network reliability and access to innovative services they need to keep our communities safe.”


Categories: Latest News

Police: YouTube shooter was calm when found sleeping in car

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 13:36

By Michael Balsamo and Ryan Nakashima Associated Press

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Just hours before she shot and wounded three people at YouTube headquarters, Nasim Aghdam calmly told police who found her sleeping in her car that she was having family problems and had left her home.

During the 20-minute interview with officers early Tuesday, she did not mention being angry with YouTube or having accused the company of suppressing her video posts. She gave no indication she was a threat to herself or others.

Later that day, she went to a gun range before walking through a parking garage into a courtyard at YouTube’s campus south of San Francisco, where she fired several rounds with a handgun and wounded three people. She then killed herself.

The sequence of Aghdam’s activities emerged Wednesday as police continued gathering information about the attacker and her motives.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched two Southern California homes where Aghdam had lived. Spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun would not confirm the locations but reporters saw agents entering homes in the communities of Menifee, southeast of Los Angeles, and 4S Ranch, north of San Diego.

Police, meanwhile, visited a gun range not far from the YouTube headquarters.

Investigators do not believe Aghdam, who was in her late 30s, targeted anyone in particular, and there is no reason to believe she illegally obtained the semi-automatic 9mm pistol used in the shooting, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said.

Authorities are still trying to determine whether she got past security measures to enter YouTube headquarters, he said.

Two women wounded in the shooting were released Wednesday from a San Francisco hospital. The third victim, a 36-year-old man, was upgraded from critical to serious condition.

The day before the attack, the shooter’s father, Ismail Aghdam, said he warned police that his daughter was upset with how YouTube handled her videos and might be planning to go to its offices.

Aghdam “hated” YouTube and was angry that the company stopped paying her for videos she posted, Ismail Aghdam told the Bay Area News Group. Her video posts included segments about veganism, animal cruelty and exercise, along with glamor shots of herself.

Police in Mountain View said they spoke to Ismail Aghdam twice after contacting the family to report finding his daughter and that he never told them she could become violent or pose a threat to YouTube employees.

When officers found Nasim Aghdam, she was in her car near a strip mall in Mountain View, about 25 miles from YouTube and home to the company’s owner, Silicon Valley giant Google. She told Mountain View police who spoke to her around 2 a.m. Tuesday that she had come to the area to stay with relatives and was looking for a job, police said.

They let her go, saying there was no indication she needed to be detained.

Nasim Aghdam used the name “Nasime Sabz” online, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the case.

A website in that name decried YouTube’s policies and said the company was trying to “suppress” content creators.

“Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” one of the messages on the site said. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”

People who post on YouTube can receive money from advertisements that accompany their videos, but the company “de-monetizes” some channels for reasons including inappropriate material or having fewer than 1,000 subscribers.

“It was a woman and she was firing her gun. And I just said, ‘Shooter,’ and everybody started running,” Arnspiger said.

She and others hid in a conference room for an hour while another employee repeatedly called 911 for updates.

The world’s biggest online video site is owned by Silicon Valley giant Google. The headquarters has more than a thousand engineers and other employees in several buildings. Originally built in the late 1990s for the clothing retailer Gap, the campus south of San Francisco is known for its sloped green roof of native grasses.

Inside, Google several years ago famously outfitted the office with a 3-lane red slide for workers to zoom from one story to another.

“Today it feels like the entire community of YouTube, all of the employees, were victims of this crime,” said Chris Dale, a spokesman for YouTube.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a tweet that the company would “come together to heal as a family.”

Officers and federal agents responding to multiple 911 calls swarmed the company’s campus sandwiched between two interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno.

Zach Vorhies, 37, a senior software engineer at YouTube, said he was at his desk working on the second floor of one of the buildings when the fire alarm went off.

He got on his skateboard and approached a courtyard, where he saw the shooter yelling, “Come get me.” He said the public can access the courtyard without any security check during working hours.

There was somebody lying nearby on his back with a red stain on his stomach that appeared to be from a bullet wound.

He said he realized it was an active shooter incident when a police officer with an assault rifle came through a security door. He jumped on his skateboard and took off.


Categories: Latest News

Minneapolis police toughening body camera rules

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 13:24

By Steve Karnowski Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police officers dispatched to a scene must activate their body cameras well before they arrive and could face progressively harsh penalties for not doing so, ranging from suspensions to firing, the police department announced Wednesday.

The department's stricter body camera policy comes after it was criticized last summer when two officers involved in the fatal shooting of an Australian woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, failed to activate their body cameras when they were dispatched to her home. The officer who killed Damond, Mohamed Noor, has been fired and is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

"For the first time, we're giving the body camera policy teeth by providing the first clear disciplinary structure for instances when this policy is violated," Mayor Jacob Frey said at a news conference announcing the new rules. "It is a stronger, clearer and more precise policy."

After Damond's death, police Chief Medaria Arradondo instituted new rules requiring officers to hit the camera's record button when responding to every call or traffic stop, but compliance was lackluster and he acknowledged that no officers had been disciplined for failing to comply.

Arradondo said the new policy gives officers "clearly defined expectations" and will help build trust and accountability with the public.

The new rules specify that officers must activate their cameras at least two blocks from their destinations, or immediately if dispatched to a closer incident. That includes assisting squad cars. A list of other situations also requires activation. The new rules also specify when officers can deactivate their cameras. Officers are also required to notify their supervisor if a camera malfunctions and the supervisor will decide whether the officer remains on call.

Failure to activate the camera when the rules require can now result in a 40-hour suspension for the first offense and can get an officer fired if there are aggravating factors. Similar penalties will apply if officers deactivate their cameras before the rules allow. Suspensions start at 10 hours for failing to document premature deactivations. But department officials will have discretion to consider mitigating and aggravating factors.

"Any body camera policy worth its salt must have consequences. This one does," Frey said thumping on the podium for emphasis.

An internal audit in September found that officers were activating their cameras more often, but that use of the technology was inconsistent and some officers never turned them on at all. The City Council then instructed the department to report quarterly on compliance.

Deputy Chief Henry Halvorson conceded at a council hearing in February that the department still wasn't tracking whether all officers were routinely using their cameras and that it hadn't fully staffed the office that is supposed to review footage to ensure officers are complying.

Police union leaders reviewed a draft of the new policy and offered recommendations.

"We looked it over. We have no issues with it. It clearly defines the duties and expectations. ... We're good with it," said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation.

Arradondo also said the city will put data on its website before summer that will show citizens how well or poorly the department is complying, down to the precinct and neighborhood level.

Justin Terrell, executive director of the Council for Minnesotans of African American Heritage, told reporters he wanted to recognize Frey and Arradondo for their "good work" in their short times in their positions. Arradondo became chief in August and Frey took office in January. Their predecessors both lost their jobs partly over their handling of the Damond case.

"We see in the first few months of this administration that they're serious about working on police issues, which is really important to me and to our community," Terrell said. "We stand here 50 years to the day after losing Martin Luther King to a sniper's bullet, and we know that our country has very large issues around race and our state continues to face large racial disparities."

Minneapolis launched a body camera pilot project in 2014, just months after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, and the entire department began using the technology in 2016.

The fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis in November 2015 and the ensuing street protests added impetus to the project because the two officers involved in that incident didn't have body cameras.


Categories: Latest News

Fla. deputy helps reunite family with missing dog

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 13:03

By Carlos R. Munoz Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.

VENICE, Fla. — A vigilant kayaker and a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol deputy helped reunite a German shepherd missing for eight days with its family.

Bob Welter said the 5-year-old dog named Rex was a few pounds lighter when he arrived home Monday and smelled like "sea shells and clam," but the Welter family was happy to have him back.

"The next thing to do is treat him like a skunk," said Welter, who nuzzled the dogs neck with his feet as he spoke. "The smell doesn't mean nothing as long as he's OK. He had to go through some rough times out there. When he sleeps, he flinches. He perches his head up against the wall. He doesn't want to lay his head down."

Rex had a vet appointment scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to make sure the dog didn't pick up any parasites scouring the Manasota Key mangroves for food.

Welter left the dog with his aunt March 21, while the family attended a baby shower in Illinois. But several days later, the dog vanished from his aunt's home. They surmise the 105-pound canine missed his family and escaped through the lanai screen.

The family was devastated about the dog's disappearance, none more so than Welter's 9-year-old son, Chris, who upon their return, began searching the backyard of their Venice home for Rex. Chris has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, said Welter, who was worried the boy might wander off trying to locate the pet.

"The dog calms him down," Welter said. "It was unbelievable how we picked this dog out. After all the puppies came in, it was the only puppy who came all the way to us. My son (Chris) was on the floor, and he came up to him and put his head down on him. I said, 'I'll take him.' He was meant to be."

Recently, the family lost its dog Cubbie, another German shepherd, to cancer. They buried the dog in a Chicago Cubs baseball jersey.

Determined not to lose two dogs, Welter began a search for Rex moments after he got home. He called animal rescues, groups that specialize in missing animals and the animal shelter. Welter even set up meetings with people on Craigslist who were selling German shepherds locally, but many vanished from the online classified site when he began asking questions.

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An Illinois family is beside themselves today after Marine Deputy Mike Watson helped them find their 5-year-old German...

Posted by Sarasota County (FL) Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Welter had sleepless nights thinking about where Rex might go. The beautifully marked dog was drawn to children and men and might be attracted to construction sites, Welter thought.

The 56-year-old man didn't consider the dog might cross a narrow bridge on Manasota Beach Road to Manasota Key. His son Gavin urged him to check. Reports of Rex sightings began to pour in from residents on the key, and Welter checked the tips to no avail.

Welter needed closure and decided if his dog did not turn up soon, he would take out a classified ad asking anyone who might have found him to "take good care of him at least."

Gavin wasn't ready to give up.

"My youngest son said, 'We're going to find him; we're going to find him,'" said Welter.

Chris had become ornery and distant without his furry friend. He played in the lanai with his toys.

"I can't think about it, dad," Chris said of Rex.

The dog was Chris' savior. Rex didn't like swimming until Chris feigned drowning, and the dog bravely dove into the water to help. Later, with his paws in the water at the steps of the pool, Rex would watch Chris.

Rex was spotted swimming in the Intracoastal Waterway on Monday morning by kayaker Kara Mullen, who unsuccessfully tried to rescue the lost dog. Then, around noon Monday, Mullen reported the incident and a description of the dog to Sarasota County Animal Services, which provided Mullen with Welter's phone number. Mullen called Welter to let him know that she might have discovered his dog.

Meantime, the Sheriff's Office dispatched Marine Deputy Mike Watson and Air-1 helicopter. Watson met Welter and his son Kyle on the dock and took them to a mangrove island. They retrieved Rex within an hour with the help of a few good Samaritans.

"The way the officer took charge, it was like he was looking for a little kid," Welter said. "They had a helicopter up in the air — that's going way beyond. If it was a person or adult maybe, but they took it very personally."

Once the dog was safely aboard, the deputy gave the weary, mischievous canine a bottle of water.

"I don't know who to praise," Welter said. "The word hero to me is just a word, but what he (Watson) did was way beyond what he should have done."

On Monday night, Watson called to check on Rex. The deputy was off work Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

The Sheriff's Office posted a photo of the family reunion with Rex on the boat.

Welter slept next to the dog on the floor Monday night. Rex appears jittery and will be checked out at the Myakka River Animal Clinic and micro-chipped.

©2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla


Categories: Latest News

NC sheriff slams call for more training after new videos of UOF incident released

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:09

By PoliceOne Staff

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina sheriff criticized three commissioners’ proposal for more police training after additional video of a use-of-force incident was released.

On Tuesday, three Buncombe county commissioners called for funding UOF and other police training for LEOs in the county, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. The proposals come in the wake of new body cam footage released Monday that shows additional angles of the UOF incident involving former Asheville Officer Christopher Hickman.

The commissioners also called for creating a human rights commission and an independent team to review BWC footage and provide legal assistance with filing reports on UOF incidents.

Sheriff Van Duncan said the commissioners’ proposals are “a slap in the face” and that they “basically told their sheriff and their sheriff’s office that the hard work we have done over the past 12 years has counted for nothing."

Duncan added that the commissioners were using the Hickman incident to “drive a very anti-law enforcement agenda.”

In August 2017, Hickman accused Johnnie Jermaine Rush of jaywalking and subdued him after Rush fled from the officer. Footage of the incident was leaked last month and sparked outrage in the community.

New videos released Monday show Rush being hit in the face, TASERed and put in a hold by Hickman.

Duncan said the commissioners’ proposals reflect what’s already being implemented at the department, including de-escalation training and TASER policy changes. He added that he opposed any mandatory policy review and that he’s open to additional training but says it’ll impact available personnel.

"I don't think you want people with no law enforcement experience or understanding directly dictating what training we do without actually running it through some of those folks who spent their career doing this job and doing this training," he said.

Hickman, who resigned in January, was arrested last month and faces several charges, including assault by strangulation. Hickman’s lawyer Thomas Amburgey said the former officer showed no criminal intent to harm Rush, according to the Associated Press.

“It’s unfortunate that so many individuals have rushed to judge my client. I am confident that when a fair and impartial jury hears the whole story that Mr. Hickman will be acquitted,” Amburgey said in a statement.


Categories: Latest News

SD sheriff’s deputy collapses, dies

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:08

By PoliceOne Staff

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of one of their own after a deputy collapsed and died while on duty.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that Minnehaha County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Maciejewski collapsed Tuesday while working on an assignment at the 24/7 desk. The deputy was taken to a hospital, were attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Maciejewski, a 23-year veteran of the department, first joined sheriff’s office in 1995 as a corrections officer and was promoted to deputy in the county jail. He was later moved to the Patrol Division.

Sheriff Mike Milstead said in a Facebook post that Maciejewski leaves behind a wife and two children.

"Steve’s steadiness, good nature, and excellent decision making was well known. Not from him, as he was a quiet man who would talk about his children and family, but not about himself," Milstead said in the Facebook post. "But we knew him to be a solid deputy, devoted family man, and great friend. Steve loved his work and those he worked with- and for. He will truly be missed."

Additional details about the deputy’s death were not released.

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It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Deputy Steve Maciejewski who collapsed yesterday while...

Posted by Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Categories: Latest News

The aftermath of a consent decree designed to limit proactive policing

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 09:31

By ALADS Board of Directors

This article is reprinted with permission from the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS)

Against the backdrop of decreasing arrests and a rising crime rate in California, we have explained that a fully staffed and motivated department will lead to less crime and be financially beneficial to the community. A just-released study (which you can see in full below) on the 2016 homicide and shooting spike in Chicago provides empirical support of our views regarding a motivated police department.

The authors of the study noted, there was a "lack of empirical effort devoted to exploring the causal factor or factors" behind the soaring rise in homicides and shootings, and that finding out why, was "to put it bluntly, of life and death importance." They decided to employ their empirical tools to identify what had changed in Chicago that caused a 58% rise in the homicide rate from 2015 to 2016.

The 96-page study concluded a reduction in proactive stops by Chicago police officers at the end of 2015, and continuing throughout 2016, was responsible for the spike in homicides and shootings. Most importantly, their conclusion as to what caused the proactivity rate to plummet was "a consent decree entered into by the ACLU and the Chicago Police Department."

That decree required a two-page form with 70 entries to be completed after every investigatory stop, whether or not a pat-down resulted. The form documented every aspect of the stop, including race/ethnicity/gender of the persons stopped, reasons for the stop, what occurred during the stop, whether contraband was discovered, and what happened as a result of the stop. These forms were then to be collected and forwarded to the ACLU for entry into a database.

In the three years prior to the consent decree, Chicago police officers averaged 40,000 stops a month. After the consent decree went into effect, the average number of stops plunged to below 10,000 per month, a reduction of at least 75%. What is most striking is that this was precisely what the ALCU desired to happen. The ACLU boasted on their website following the signing of the decree that, "We are confident the agreement will result in fewer stops on Chicago streets."

The empirical study provided a sobering takeaway of the human and financial cost of a consent decree the researchers concluded led to ending proactive policing in Chicago.

"Our equations permit us to quantify the costs of the decline in stop and frisks, both in human and financial terms. We conclude that, because of fewer stop and frisks in 2016, a conservative estimate is that approximately 236 additional homicides and 1115 additional shootings occurred during that year. A reasonable estimate of the social costs associated with these additional homicides and shootings is about $1,500,000,000. And these costs are heavily concentrated in Chicago's African-American and Hispanic communities," said the authors.

It is a study well worth reading.

The aftermath of a consent decree designed to limit proactive policing by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

About the author The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is the collective bargaining agent representing more than 7,900 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County. Follow ALADs on Facebook and Twitter.


Categories: Latest News

Colo. officer stabbed in the neck, suspect apprehended

PoliceOne - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 07:06

Associated Press

ROCKY FORD, Colo. — Police in southern Colorado have apprehended a woman they say stabbed an officer in the neck and took off in his patrol car.

Police say the woman was caught at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday by Colorado State Patrol troopers about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the town of Rocky Ford where the stabbing occurred.

The officer, who wasn’t immediately identified, was treated at a local hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

Rocky Ford Police Chief Mickey Bethel says the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon while the officer was conducting a welfare check at a home. Bethel says 21-year-old Shayanne Maestas came out and stabbed the officer before fleeing in his marked cruiser.

Rocky Ford is about 160 miles (257 kilometers) southeast of Denver.

Investigators surveying the home on the 500 block of 11th St where a Rocky Ford police officer was stabbed, 21 yo woman took off in marked police vehicle. Crime scene tape still draped over parts of home. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/Z5AOn5GgOE

— Jessica Barreto (@BarretoReports) April 3, 2018

#BREAKING: Officer stabbed during welfare check in #RockyFord expected to survive per Rocky Ford PD. Suspect is 21 yo female who fled in marked police car, search for her continues. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/WbF2eL0Yyf

— Jessica Barreto (@BarretoReports) April 3, 2018


Categories: Latest News

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