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Atlanta Citizen Review Board to hold public forum on executive ...

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board, an oversight body that reviews allegations against the Atlanta Police Department and Department of Corrections, will hold a public forum to meet the final candidates being considered for the ...
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Police Problems and Policy
Examining the possibilities of abuse of power without the constraint of New Public Administration.
Curated by Rob Duke
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Three high-profile police shooting trials ended this past week. Here’s what happened

Three high-profile police shooting trials ended this past week. Here’s what happened | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Three police brutality trials concluded this week, all of them without a conviction for the officers involved.
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Second Mistrial Declared in Ray Tensing Murder Case

Second Mistrial Declared in Ray Tensing Murder Case | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A second mistrial was declared on Friday in the murder case of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, reports the Associated Press.

Tensing fatally shot Sam DuBose, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015.

Tensing testified in his own defense during both trials, claiming he was forced to fire his weapon after being dragged by DuBose’s car as he attempted to speed away.

“I meant to stop the threat. I didn’t shoot to kill him. I didn’t shoot to wound him. I shot to stop his actions,” Tensing said during the second trial.

After body camera footage was reviewed prior to the first trial, it was determined that Tensing was justified in stopping the vehicle but not in using deadly force. Tensing fired his weapon once, shooting DuBose in the head.

Reports show Tensing made the most traffic stops and arrests in his department. He also gave out the most citations and had the highest racial disparity in traffic stops of all University of Cincinnati officers.

“Ray was an aggressive police officer as he was instructed to be because UC had a crime problem,” stated Stew Mathews, Tensing’s attorney.


Related: What to do When Scandal Strikes Your Department
The first mistrial was declared back in November after 25 hours of deliberation when the jury deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of a charge less severe than murder.
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Prosecutors use Joe Arpaio's immigration talk against him

Prosecutors use Joe Arpaio's immigration talk against him | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal trial opened Monday over his defiance of the courts in traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, marking the most aggressive effort to hold the former lawman of metro Phoenix accountable for tactics that critics say racially profiled Latinos.

In opening arguments, prosecutors displayed comments Arpaio made in news releases and during TV interviews in which he bragged about immigration enforcement, aiming to prove that he should be found guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court.

"He thought he could get away with it," prosecutor Victor Salgado said, adding that at least 170 were illegally detained because Arpaio didn't stop. "He never thought this day would come."

Arpaio's defense lawyer vigorously disputed that a person with nearly 60 years in law enforcement would violate a court order, putting the blame on a former attorney who gave bad legal advice.
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So what exactly do those Sacramento police PODs do?

So what exactly do those Sacramento police PODs do? | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
PODs -- or police observation devices -- are essentially cameras that serve several purposes for the city of Sacramento in terms of crime fighting.

The cameras are strategically placed at intersections and locations based on crime data.

The boxes are clearly marked and visible to the public with a flashing blue light.
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Man pretending to be cop arrested after trying to pull over an actual police officer

Man pretending to be cop arrested after trying to pull over an actual police officer | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Milton Morales-Perez, 46, was arrested Wednesday evening after attempting to pull over a real Miami police officer, authorities said.
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Teen accidentally killed by L.A. Sheriff's deputies while trying to stop pit bull attack on officers

Teen accidentally killed by L.A. Sheriff's deputies while trying to stop pit bull attack on officers | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A teenager fatally shot by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in Palmdale early Thursday was accidentally killed as he tried to stop his aggressive dog from attacking the officers, according to an internal sheriff's department memo. 
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If Law Enforcement Were a Private Company ... - Calibre Press

If Law Enforcement Were a Private Company ... - Calibre Press | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
When I first became a supervisor I attended a course where the instructor spoke about private businesses compared to government organizations. And I tuned him right out.

“We aren’t private industry,” I said to myself. “Apples and Oranges. So move on, no point in this discussion.”

And I was stupid. It took me years of being a boss and a degree in higher education to understand the point he was trying to make. Which is: Private companies are focused on producing a product or providing a service while government focuses on avoiding overt failures.
Rob Duke's insight:
He makes an excellent point.  The fire service has done a much better job at adapting: 1. they do more than respond to fires (prevention, medical aids, etc.); 2. when they do respond, it's all about p.r. and service; 3. they've done a better job justifying why they need to have equipment and personnel available as contingencies (i.e, they move equipment to backfill a station on a call, they stage equipment that might be needed, they respond more than is needed, but document the response in order to better justify the need); and, 4. they do a better job showing that their service is value added in terms of mitigating losses, but that also keeps fire insurance low (i.e., through the I.S.O. rating system so that you have lower rates if your department is a higher ISO rating).  We have similar opportunities with traffic and home owner's insurance, but we fail to take advantage.
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john's comment, June 23, 5:53 PM
This article was a great read. The author makes a good point of how police departments scratch or invest little in training. Private businesses look at the economy and people when they make decisions and the author was correlating how the lack of training produces civil lawsuits against the police department. The stress that officers had affected their performances and Glennon was arguing that every police department needs to commit and have their officers understand stress at every level. He also stated that officers need excellent communication skills to understand the wants and needs and what actions should they take. Glennon stated that these two were the most common errors that officer should receive training at. What I learned was that when police departments do not invest a lot of time in training, they simply maintain their skills mandated by the law.
Rob Duke's comment, June 24, 1:48 AM
John, all good observations. I really liked the California model where Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) required officers to have basic training, plus 24 hours of training as a minimum amount of training every two years; and, POST paid for up to two weeks of training per year. POST also had training points, which officers used, along with education and years experience, to qualify for Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced certificates. Supervisors, Managers, and Executives also had training and certificates that they could earn. Finally, they had a series of institutes ranging from advanced investigator certification, sergeants leadership institutes, and command college. This created a comprehensive web of training that an officer climbed from hiring through retirement. I always felt like my training was advanced and up-to-date, and because POST paid for it all, I never felt like it was a budgetary burden.
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Basketball Cop Foundation

A 501c3 non-profit organization on a mission to improve Police/Youth/Community relations nationwide.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is the first thing (or something like it) that we should be doing in every community. Basketball may not be right for your town, but skatepark or baseball or whatever your kids like to do....it creates relationships and builds up soft power...or smart power...which is available to power the community through times when you were forced to use hard power.
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Officer Found Not Guilty in Milwaukee Police Shooting That Sparked Unrest

Officer Found Not Guilty in Milwaukee Police Shooting That Sparked Unrest | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Dominique Heaggan-Brown, the former Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot Sylville Smith during an August 2016 foot chase, was found not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide on Wednesday. Members of Smith's family could be heard crying in court as the verdict was read.
Rob Duke's insight:
The attorney for the family is going to build a civil case against this officer because of 16 use of force incidents?  That was a couple month's work when I was working the street in San Berdoo County....
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NFL's Kaepernick Compares Cops to Fugitive Slave Patrols

NFL's Kaepernick Compares Cops to Fugitive Slave Patrols | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick compared police officers to fugitive slave patrolmen after a Minnesota officer was acquitted in the shooting death of a black motorist.
Rob Duke's insight:
We just read the history--is this a fair statement?
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Police: Mother of 4 killed by officers was wielding knife

Police: Mother of 4 killed by officers was wielding knife | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A pregnant mother of four was shot and killed by Seattle police after she confronted officers with a knife, authorities said Sunday.
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Parisian police targeted again in suspected terror attack

Parisian police targeted again in suspected terror attack | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Paris was hit Monday by yet another suspected terror attack — this time involving a motorist who was killed after he plowed his car into a police convoy heading down the Champs-Elysees.

The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. local time and police smashed the windows of the vehicle to drag the motorist out and used fire extinguishers to douse the flames.
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Toms River Police Cleared In 'Suicide By Cop' Attempt: Prosecutor

Toms River Police Cleared In 'Suicide By Cop' Attempt: Prosecutor | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The state attorney general's office says Toms River police officers were justified when they shot a man in the dark in October after he first called 911 to report a man with a gun to draw their response and then pointed a television remote them pretending it was a firearm.
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john's comment, June 18, 8:49 AM
Looks like the defendant was at an all time low. He traveled to meet his girlfriend and became homeless once things did not work out. I havent heard any solid arguments that this was not a justified shooting given the circumstances. I think if he was younger like in that police shooting involving the young teen with the bb gun it could of been a similar story. I thought an interesting piece to add is how often does suicide by cop occur? Has it been increasing over the last few years or what?
Joe Dugan's comment, June 18, 6:36 PM
This truly has to be the situation every officer dreads. I also wonder if this is an increasing theme that we are going to see. As the media increases their stance on officers being trigger happy, I wonder if this will drive more people in tough situations that see no other way out to go this route. This not only hurts the suspect, but in many cases can have a detrimental effect on the police officer as well.
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Witnesses to fatal Punta Gorda police shooting testify at chief's trial

Punta Gorda's police chief is fighting to stay out of jail.

Chief Tom Lewis is charged with culpable negligence in the death of Mary Knowlton even though he didn't pull the trigger.

His officer, Lee Coel, claims he thought his gun was loaded with blanks instead of bullets during a "shoot don't shoot" exercise at a Chamber of Commerce event in August.

In the second day of the chief's trial, the state points to Lewis, saying he's responsible because he's the leader of the department.

The defense argued there's a lot of responsibility to go around.

Taking the stand Monday were witnesses that include Knowlton's husband, law enforcement, and investigators.

The question at the center of it all: Did the chief do something criminal that left a 73-year-old retired librarian dead?

The state says Lewis was one line of defense in preventing Knowlton's death.

"Many things went wrong, but we're here because of the role Tom Lewis took," said Assistant State Attorney Stephanie Russell.
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Family of Philando Castile reaches $3M settlement with city

Family of Philando Castile reaches $3M settlement with city | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Family of Philando Castile reaches $3M settlement with city
Rob Duke's insight:
While a jury couldn't find the officer guilty, the civil system was always likely to hold the City liable.  This settlement suggests that the City wasn't sure a jury wouldn't award significant damages.
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California’s boldest pension reform, five years in - Capitol Weekly

California’s boldest pension reform, five years in - Capitol Weekly | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
San Diegans voted five years ago to switch all new city hires, except police, from pensions to 401(k)-style individual investment plans.
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KING: 2 Supreme Court rulings must change to end police brutality

KING: 2 Supreme Court rulings must change to end police brutality | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
For all intents and purposes, police brutality is legal in America.
Rob Duke's insight:
King wants to roll back the standard from "objective reasonableness" in the Graham v. Connor case to something else--maybe due process...but he doesn't like Tennessee v. Garner either, which was built on a due process model.  The courts overturned TN v. Garner after only 3 years because it was too difficult and too time consuming to review every case for due process violations (e.g. did the officer move from verbal to taser too quickly...and did that escalate the force to unconstitutional levels because of that escalation?)  Instead the court found itself always having to judge the reasonableness of the situation (they're all unique).  Since this is a job that lower courts could due if they were allowed to use a "reasonableness" standard, the courts adopted this rule in Graham.
The problem, of course, is that some groups and elements in the U.S. don't agree with this rule and continue to assert that some other rule is present.  I'm all for a rule that fully protects citizens from unreasonable force, but only if it reasonably protects officers from harm as well.  I haven't figured out an alternative and neither has the courts.  If you've got an idea, let me know, because it would be snatched up by law journals if you've got a viable idea.
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Bethany M's comment, June 25, 1:21 PM
For police brutality to end consequences and punishments must not only be harsh, but consistent as well. We are so quick to blame our officers police brutality, but often forget to place any sort of blame on our courts for failing to prosecute officers for their crimes. What happened to Philando Castile makes me sick. I’ve seen the live Facebook video his girlfriend posted of the incident, the dash cam video, and a video of his little girl and girlfriend in the back of the cop car after he died. There is no way that this officer was justified in his actions, and the fact that he was not found guilty for Philando’s murder is flabbergasting. Philando Castile was not reaching for his gun, and the officer had no reason to believe he was. The fact that the officer shot at all (let alone more than once), with a little girl in the backseat is unjustifiable. The video of his little girl and his girlfriend in the back of the cop car after he died was probably the most gut-wrenching thing I’ve ever seen. Their daughter told the mom not to do anything because she didn’t want her to get shot too. My heart will forever ache for this family.

I’d also like to add, that it also annoys me when people think you can’t support law enforcement but also hold officers to a high standard. (Many people believe when you criticize officers’ actions, that it somehow equates to you being anti-police. That is not the case. You can support law enforcement and simultaneously hold them accountable for their actions.)
Rob Duke's comment, June 26, 11:23 AM
The Phillando Castile video revealed, however, why the jury failed to convict. Officers aren't required to retreat (often there's no cover to which officers are able to retreat), thus what seems unreasonable to us (standing by the car door and escalating shouting as the officer demands that Castile not reach for the gun) is "reasonable" because the jury believed the officer feared for his safety (his tone of voice seems to be verging towards terror) and the jury also probably wonders why Castile didn't comply.
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Police chiefs to discuss offering guns to all frontline officers

Police chiefs to discuss offering guns to all frontline officers | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
National Police Chiefs’ Council paper is intended to spark debate, but change in policy unlikely to happen immediately
Rob Duke's insight:
As societies become more diverse, does violence follow?  Formerly peaceful European countries are now experiencing something like the violence that has been common in the U.S.
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Video Shows Minnesota Police Beating Driver

Video Shows Minnesota Police Beating Driver | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The Minnesota branch of the ACLU on Thursday released a police dashcam video showing what they termed "a textbook case of excessive force" and called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 2016 arrest.
Rob Duke's insight:
Looks hard to justify...
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john's comment, June 23, 4:54 PM
Excessive force is when an officer uses more power than reasonably necessary. Agent Joswiak claims that Promvongsa refused his commands and had to take him out of the driver seat. Promvongsa is well known to the police department because he has previous run ins with the police. In this incident the officers did not tolerate his behavior when he tailgated an off duty officer and made some threats to them. It is Promvongsa fault for taking his anger at them and paid the price. The ACLU of Minnesota states the police department, sheriffs office and drug unit have a history of racial profiling and brutality. In communities where there is no respect for police officers than they are more than likely to make an arrest. Promvonsga is one of them and the officers have zero tolerance here.
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Jury acquits Erie patrolman of assault charge

Jury acquits Erie patrolman of assault charge | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

Justin W. Griffith was accused of kicking handcuffed, prone suspect. Jurors found him not guilty after deliberating less than 30 minutes.

A jury deliberated less than a half an hour Wednesday before finding an Erie police patrolman not guilty of a misdemeanor simple assault charge.

 
After the verdict was read at about 4:20 p.m., a juror approached the patrolman, Justin W. Griffith, outside the Erie County Courthouse.

“I’m sorry you had to go through that,” she said.

The woman, who declined to give her name, said the jurors had agreed on the verdict shortly after starting deliberations late Wednesday afternoon.

Griffith, 36, left the courthouse with family members who had attended the trial since it began Monday. He had been accused of kicking a handcuffed and prone suspect during an Oct. 10 arrest at an apartment in the 2000 block of Wallace Street. Witnesses included fellow officers, some of whom testified they believed Griffith’s actions did not violate departmental policy on use of force.

“The Erie police department has been facing an uphill battle against the gun violence and heroin epidemic that has plagued our community and they have done a great job departmentwide, especially the officers on the street who are subject to those dealings on a daily basis,” Griffith said in a written statement.

“I look forward to getting back in the community to assist with the issues the city has unfortunately been faced with,” the statement said.

Griffith was suspended without pay in December, when the second-degree misdemeanor count of simple assault was held for trial after his preliminary hearing.

Police Chief Donald Dacus said after the verdict that Griffith will remain on unpaid leave....

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john's comment, June 23, 5:22 PM
Several officers testified that Griffith kicked the handcuffed guy in the face and was found guilty. Eerie County at the moment is battling gun violence and heroin and I think the jury felt sympathy for the officer. They learned that the defendant had AIDS and was spitting blood at the officer. It was out of force or mistake when he hit the defendants mouth area. The Police Chief seemed satisfied that he would not be losing an officer given the community circumstances but he still needs to go through a lot of paper work.
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Video footage shows Minn. traffic stop that ended with Philando Castile’s death

Video footage shows Minn. traffic stop that ended with Philando Castile’s death | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
New video showed how quickly the deadly encounter unfolded.
Rob Duke's insight:
You be the judge....did the officer react too quickly?
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Michael Brown's parents, Ferguson reach settlement deal in lawsuit

Michael Brown's parents, Ferguson reach settlement deal in lawsuit | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The parents of Michael Brown, who fatal shooting by a white officer sparked protests around the country, reached a deal in a civil suit, according to documents.
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Ray Tensing trial: Jury deliberates fate of ex-Ohio officer in fatal traffic stop shooting

Ray Tensing trial: Jury deliberates fate of ex-Ohio officer in fatal traffic stop shooting | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Ray Tensing is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter in the 2015 death of Sam Dubose
Rob Duke's insight:
The last trial ended in a hung jury last November...
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Fairbanks Police officers shoot, kill armed man

Fairbanks Police officers shoot, kill armed man | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Officers with the Fairbanks Police Department shot and killed a man Monday morning after he allegedly confronted officers with a gun.

FPD spokesperson Yumi McCulloch said in a statement, “Officers encountered an armed gunman that confronted the officers. Officers returned fire. The suspect died at the scene.”

According to McCulloch, the shooting happened in a non-residential part of Fairbanks, shortly before 4 a.m.

The officers involved were not hurt.
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Man Shoots Two Officers with Lighting Speed

Man Shoots Two Officers with Lighting Speed | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Body camera footage captures the moment a suspect pulls a gun and shoots two Georgia officers.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is a good example of why: 1. one officer pat's down for weapons; then, gets the info to run warrants; 2. even when the first officer backs off to run the warrant check, the second officer remains away and (preferably behind cover) watching, but not talking to the suspect.  If you do this, then the guy will have a tough time getting shots off against the officers.
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Joe Dugan's comment, June 18, 6:40 PM
I see what you are saying professor Duke. However, being on different internships, and many ride along's, I have seen this behavior where they go right up to the suspect and make them take their hands out of their pockets. We can see in the background, right before the shooting, the officer in the background was either running information or doing something else, but was not paying close enough attention to his partner.
Phillip Hill's curator insight, June 19, 12:52 AM
After reviewing this blog, I immediately found fault within the officer’s proper protocol and procedure. With this said, every department has different protocol and procedures that law enforcement must obey and follow through. In this instance. The first initial officer ran the vehicle plate number and the vehicle came back reported stolen. Immediately the first officer should have waited for backup to arrive so there are two or three more officers to potentially apprehend a suspect that has stolen a vehicle. The video indicates that the second officer arrived on scene in which the suspect immediately had his hands directly in his pockets. I believe this is a fault of the first officer for the first officer should have never subjected himself to a suspect that has potentially stolen a vehicle, to initially have their hands in their pockets. In this instance, the officer should have waited for backup and then the officers should have approached the vehicle with caution due to the nature that the vehicle was reported stolen. This is not a matter of race upon the suspect, this is a matter of proper procedure and protocol upon approaching a reported stolen vehicle, and successfully detaining the suspect upon investigation.