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Thread: Bad Cops. BAD! BAD!

  1. #1951
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — Video released by the Beverly Hills Police Department Friday shows an officer pat down, frisk and search a Versace shoe designer who says he was racially profiled as a Black man.

    The footage shows an officer tell Versace’s Vice President of Sneakers and Men’s Footwear Salehe Bembury that he jaywalked across the street early Thursday evening. The luxury shoe designer admits he did and says he’s been using the GPS on his phone to get around. The officer asks him for his identification. Then the officer says he wants to search Bembury.

    Bembury, who can repeatedly be heard saying he’s “nervous” and “uncomfortable,” apparently allows the search. The officer asks more than once if Bembury has any weapons on him — even after Bembury tells him he does not. He later pats down Bembury with his arms held behind his back.

    Bembury posted a clip to his Instagram page Thursday showing a few seconds of the encounter, with the following caption: “BEVERLY HILLS WHILE BLACK. I’M OK, MY SPIRIT IS NOT.” In the clip, he says he’s being “searched for shopping at the store I work for and just being Black,” while holding up the black Versace shopping bag he was carrying when he was stopped.

    Donatella Versace showed support for the designer in an Instagram post Friday. She said she is “appalled” by the actions of police.

    “I am appalled this happened to Salehe Bembury today,” Versace wrote alongside the clip originally posted by Bembury. “He has been a consultant at Versace for a long time and the behavior he experienced is totally unacceptable. He was stopped on the street solely for the color of his skin.”

    Following the designer’s comments, the Beverly Hills Police Department released body camera footage of the encounter with Bembury.

    The footage starts with the officers pulling up to Bembury as he stands on a sidewalk. According to police, officers detained Bembury at the intersection of Camden Drive and Wilshire Boulevard.

    The officers get out of the police car and walk toward him. Then the audio begins playing.

    “We were over here and we saw you walk across the red hand over here. So we just want to make sure — what’s going? How come you did that? You didn’t want to wait for the light?” the officer asks Bembury.

    “What did I do again? I’m a little…,” Bembury replies, saying something inaudible.

    The officer responds “Rodeo,” gesturing toward a nearby street and apparently referring to Rodeo Drive, where Versace and dozens of other designer stores are located.

    “Oh, I jaywalked, I guess,” Bembury replies.

    “Right, right, right,” the officer says, explaining he and the other officer saw him walk across the street and decided to follow him in their vehicle. Then he asks: “How come you did that, man?”

    “I jaywalked. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what to say,” Bembury responds.

    “OK, well just cuz the area you did it — you see there’s a like a bus, and stuff like that,” the officer says. “Do you have any ID on you by chance, man?”

    Bembury begins feeling around his pockets, apparently trying to find his ID.

    “Without reaching into your pockets, you don’t have any weapons or anything, right?” the officer says while Bembury is gesturing toward his pockets.

    Bembury then raises up both his hands and responds: “I don’t. I’m like super nervous because I’m just going to my car. Want to take my phone or something like that?”

    “No, you can hold onto it,” the officer tells him.

    “So what do you want me to do right now?” Bembury asks.

    “I just wanted to see if you have any ID. But, without reaching into your pockets…” the officer replies.

    “I do have an ID,” Bembury tells him.

    “Awesome. Do you have any weapons or anything on you? Do you mind if I just check to make sure?” the officer says, asking him the same question again.

    “You can do whatever you need to do, man. I’m just nervous. Can I put my phone down at least?” Bembury says.

    “Absolutely, yeah, yeah. No worries, man. What’s your name?”


    “OK, I’m Officer… (the officer’s name is not audible) Nice to meet you, bro. I’m just going to check to make sure you don’t have any weapons, if you don’t mind, OK?” the officer tells him. Then he instructs him to turn around.

    “Face that way real quick. Put your hands behind your back, palms together like you’re praying,” the officer tells him. Bembury places both arms behind his back.

    “Awesome, thank you,” the officer says. “All the way — like you’re praying. Spread your feet.”

    “Cool, man,” the officer tells Bembury as he begins running his hands over parts of his body.

    “Don’t want to mess up those shoes, those are pretty nice,” the officer says as his hand appears to run downward toward Bembury’s groin area.

    “You said I can search you, right?” the officer says.

    “You do whatever,” Bembury replies before muttering: “This is embarrassing, to be frank.”

    “Well, what we like to do, like when we stop someone, is just to make sure you don’t have any weapons or anything,” the officer tells him, now feeling down the knee area of Bembury’s pants.

    “The pat-down feels a little excessive,” the footwear designer tells the officer.

    The officer continues to reach into one of Bembury’s pockets.

    “What’s unfortunate is I literally designed the shoes that are in this bag, and I’m being f—ing, like, searched for it,” Bembury says.

    “Really? You did?” another officer in the background asks.

    “Yeah, I do…” Bembury responds before the officer doing the questioning quickly cuts him off.

    “That’s why I’m not…that’s why, like I said, man, you’re not in handcuffs or anything,” the officer says. “I’m just talking to you right now, OK?”

    “I’m just walking down the street, and it’s a little ridiculous,” Bembury tells him.

    “Well, look, I told you though why, right?” the officer replies, gesturing toward the street where the alleged jaywalking occurred.

    “I understand but the pat-down feels excessive. So what else can I do for you?” Bembury says.

    “No, no just relax man,” the officer replies.

    “Can I turn around?” Bembury asks.

    “Absolutely, yeah, yeah. It was just to make sure you don’t have any weapons,” the officer tells him.

    Then, Bembury asks the officer if he can pick up his phone, which was placed on the ground earlier.

    “Leave it down for now,” the officer says. Then the officer asks if he can take Bembury’s ID out of his wallet — apparently reviewing the designer’s ID for the first time since detaining him.

    “You mind if I pull it out? How do you say your first name, sir?”

    “Salehe,” Bembury responds.

    The first officer asks the other officer there to run Bembury’s ID and tells him to “make sure everything checks out OK.”

    “Can I take my phone please now? It’s like clearly a phone. Is that at least OK?” Bembury says.

    “No, so. Yeah, yeah, sorry,” the officer replies. “If that makes you feel more comfortable, absolutely. Take a look at it.”

    “I have to record this because I just don’t feel comfortable,” Bembury tells him.

    “Well, just because, right now, you are being detained, just because we’re talking to you, um, we don’t know — not saying you would do this — people have called and they have friends come. And then it becomes an officer safety issue,” the officer says.

    “I’m literally just going to record right now — that’s all I’m doing. You see this recording?,” Bembury says, showing the officer his phone screen. “And that’s all I’m doing because I feel — you hear it in my voice? I’m uncomfortable. I’m nervous. You understand the climate that we’re in?”

    “No, I understand. Is there anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable?” the officer asks.

    “Not really dude, not really. Like your boys are pulling up. I’m uncomfortable. I’m not making any like fast movements but this is uncomfortable for me.”

    “Are we?” another officer asks.

    “No, but this is uncomfortable for me. I just want to get to my car so I’m just going to hit record for you,” he tells the officer.

    “Yeah, yeah. Whatever you wanna do, sir. But like I said, you understand why we stopped you, correct? And you admitted to jaywalking?” the officer says.

    While recording on his phone, Bembury says while facing the screen: “I’m getting f—ing searched for shopping at the store I work for,” he says while raising a shopping bag, “and just being black.”

    “See, now what you’re doing is making it completely different to what we just talked about. You’re making a completely different narrative,” the officer says.

    “So you checked my ID. What’s going on? Do I have anything on my record?” Bembury asks while another officer hands the ID to the officer still questioning Bembury.

    The other officer tells him “You’re good to go.” Both officers agree Bembury is free to go, and he turns off the recording on his phone.

    But then, the officer doing the questioning continues speaking.

    “Yeah, man. But listen, so you can’t jaywalk, correct?”

    “Understood. Yeah, yeah,” Bembury responds. “Can I have my stuff back, please?”

    The officer hands him something and then tells him: “But see how you just switched that complete narrative?”

    Bembury shakes his head and replies: “Nah, nah, nah. I know how you guys saw it. Am I good to go?” he asks again, now turning toward the other officer. They both assure him he can leave.

    “Alright, you guys have a good day,” Bembury tells them as he walks away.

    “Next time, don’t change the narrative like that, though,” the officer says just as the video ends.

    NewsNation affiliate KTLA contributed to this report.

  2. #1952
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    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City police are sharing new surveillance video from the area where they took a pregnant woman into custody earlier this week.

    Social media video of the arrest, which many argue shows an officer putting his knee into the woman’s back as he takes her into custody on the ground, has prompted calls for justice in the community.

    Police said they released the 30-minute video to show why they were called to the gas station where the arrest occurred. But the woman’s arrest isn’t actually captured in the new footage. It happens outside the camera’s view.

    See the footage in the video player above.

    Police said the incident began just before 11 p.m. Sept. 30 outside the business near 35th Street and Prospect Avenue.
    BACKGROUND: Video shows Kansas City police detaining pregnant woman, sparking calls for justice

    KCPD Capt. Dave Jackson said officers were dispatched to the area after a security officer at the gas station called 911 for help. There were 10-20 people fighting on the property, and the owner wanted everyone to leave, Jackson said.

    The video police released doesn’t show people brawling, but they are getting in each other’s faces, arguing and, at times, shoving. At one point, you can see a man in a blue shirt lift the pregnant woman off her feet and hold her onto the hood of a car. There is no audio in the video.

    After about 15 minutes, Kansas City police show up. Police try to get everyone to leave, but one man, identified as Troy Robertson, keeps coming back to the property.

    Then as police move to arrest Robertson, for trespassing, police said the pregnant woman tried to block officers. They labeled the action in the video as “hindering arrest.”

    The actual moment where the woman was taken to the ground and arrested are not shown in the video as they were out of the camera’s frame.

    But video of the woman’s arrest was briefly captured in a video that’s been shared widely on social media.

    Jackson said the officer tried to take the woman into custody while standing, but she resisted, according to police, so the officer moved her to the ground.

    In the video, you can see the pregnant woman lying on her stomach briefly before being turned to her side. Jackson said after that, the officer moved the woman to a seated position.

    But what many are outraged over is the officer’s knee.

    Some who have viewed the video believe the officer’s knee was pressed against the woman’s back while she laid face-down on the ground. Jackson, however, said the officer said and the video shows his weight was on his foot.

    “The officer who arrested the woman said he took care not to apply pressure with his legs,” Jackson said Thursday.

    Medics took the woman to the hospital where she was evaluated and released. Jackson could not say if she was injured.

    Attorney Stacy Shaw, who said she is representing the woman, said the woman was nine months pregnant.

    “Why was it necessary to handcuff and to put a knee on a pregnant woman’s back when she is nine months pregnant?” Shaw said. “What sort of monster would do that?”

    Jackson said it’s too early to tell if any of the officers involved did anything wrong, but KCPD will continue to investigate, looking at more video potentially available. If someone makes an official complaint, that will bring on another level of investigation.

  3. #1953
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    A Black man who was led by mounted police down a Texas street while bound with a rope last year is suing the city and its police department for $1 million, court documents show.

    In August 2019, Donald Neely was arrested on criminal trespass charges in Galveston, just outside of Houston. Images and video of his arrest, during which two white police officers led him down the street handcuffed with a rope tied to their horses, sparked outrage.

    A petition filed this week in Galveston County's district court called the officers' conduct "extreme and outrageous" and claimed that it caused Neely injury, emotional distress and mental anguish.

    "Neely suffered from handcuff abrasions, suffered from the heat, and suffered from embarrassment, humiliation and fear as he was led by rope and mounted officers down the city street," the lawsuit claims.

    The lawsuit charges that the arresting officers should have realized that Neely "being led with a rope and by mounted officers down a city street as though he was a slave, would find this contact offensive."

    The lawsuit is also alleging malicious prosecution over Neely's criminal trespass charge, which was ultimately dismissed in court.

    MORE: No criminal investigation for Texas police who led a black man by a rope through streets
    A Galveston spokesperson told ABC News the city does not comment on pending litigation.

    A status conference is currently scheduled for Jan. 7, 2021. Neely is demanding a trial by jury, court records show.
    Galveston Police Chief Vernon L. Hale III issued an apology in the aftermath of the arrest on behalf of the department, saying the officers "showed poor judgment." The department said at the time it would cease the use of mounted horses to transport a person under arrest.

    A subsequent investigation by the Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety determined the arrest didn't warrant a criminal investigation.

    MORE: Newly released footage shows police on horseback walking a handcuffed man by rope
    Following that investigation, the department released body camera footage of the incident. In it, the officers can be heard acknowledging the optics of the scene.

    "This is going to look so bad. I'm glad you're not embarrassed, Mr. Neely," one of the officers is heard saying.

  4. #1954
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    A Los Angeles police officer who served as a bodyguard for Mayor Eric Garcetti for seven years has sued the city, alleging that he was sexually harassed repeatedly by one of the mayor?s top advisors and that Garcetti witnessed some of the inappropriate behavior but did not stop it.

    LAPD Officer Matthew Garza, who worked on the mayor?s security detail, alleged that longtime Garcetti consultant Rick Jacobs made crude sexual comments and touched him inappropriately over several years. The harassment took place on trips Garcetti took to Arizona, New Hampshire and elsewhere, the suit alleges.

    In an emailed statement, Jacobs said, ?This lawsuit is a work of pure fiction, and is out of left field. Officer Garza and I worked together for many years without incident. I will vigorously defend myself, my character and my reputation.?

    Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar said, ?the mayor has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and unequivocally did not witness the behavior that Officer Garza alleges.?

    Garza, a sworn LAPD officer since 1997, began working on Garcetti?s security detail in October 2013, according to the lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges sex/gender harassment and the existence of a hostile work environment in violation of the California Fair Housing and Employment Act.

    The harassment began around 2014 and continued until October 2019, except for a period beginning in mid-2016 when Jacobs was absent for unknown reasons, the lawsuit alleges.

    Garza alleged that Jacobs would extend his hand for a purported handshake, but then pull Garza towards him to give a ?long, tight hug,? while simultaneously saying, ?I love me my strong LAPD officers? or some other ?inappropriate comment,? according to the suit.

    Jacobs also repeatedly talked about his young gay lover, his lover?s penis and having ?rough sex? with his gay partners, according to the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit also alleges that ?Garcetti was present on approximately half of the occasions when Jacobs behaved in this way, and witnessed Jacobs? conduct, but he took no action to correct Jacobs? obviously harassing behavior.?

    ?On some occasions, the mayor would laugh at Jacobs? crude comments,? the lawsuit said.

    Garza?s lawsuit says he traveled with the mayor?s team to Phoenix in March 2016 for a fundraiser. At one point, Garza entered a hotel bar where he spotted Jacobs, who motioned for Garza to come over and ?sit on his lap,? according to the lawsuit.

    In May 2018, Garza accompanied Jacobs and Garcetti to New Hampshire so the mayor could give a college commencement address, and as Garza was driving the group, Jacobs on several occasions massaged Garza?s shoulders from the backseat. Garcetti sat next to Jacobs, but didn?t stop the unwanted advances, the lawsuit alleged.

    And on an October 2018 trip to Mississippi, the group stopped at a gas station. Jacobs pointed to some Magnum brand condoms and asked Garza if he wears Magnum large condoms, according to the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit also alleges that on ?over a dozen occasions, both while Jacobs was employed by the city and after he left city employment, staffers in Mayor Garcetti?s office apologized to [Garza] for Jacobs? harassing conduct.?

    ?Nevertheless, the mayor?s office never took any action to stop Jacobs? harassment of [Garza],? the lawsuit states.

    Garza refused to return to the mayor?s security detail last month because of Jacobs? behavior, the lawsuit says. He lost wages and other benefits because he was no longer working the higher-paying assignment, his suit claims.

    Jacobs raised millions of dollars in support of Garcetti?s 2013 mayoral campaign and was later given a top post in the mayor?s office before stepping down in 2016. He works on several Garcetti-backed initiatives, including the Mayor?s Fund for Los Angeles, a nonprofit.

    The head of a Los Angeles County business organization accused Jacobs last year of threatening her group if its members opposed a tax measure supported by the mayor. Jacobs denied making the threat.

    For his part, Garcetti has sought to position himself as a leader in combating sexual harassment at City Hall. Amid the national #MeToo movement in 2017, Garcetti ordered new reporting protocols, unveiled a city website for employees to lodge allegations and hosted a panel at the mayor?s official residence on sexual harassment and assault.

    When asked at the time if his office had dealt with harassment allegations by employees, Garcetti indicated he didn?t know of any incidents.
    Not a good look man

  5. #1955
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    HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Island police officer has been arrested for an incident in Kailua-Kona on Sunday, officials said.

    According to authorities, 38-year-old Adrian Ruiz has been charged with robbery, terroristic threatening and trespassing.

    Police said Ruiz and three other men threatened a family on Holoholo Street around 10 p.m. over an alleged theft.

    One of the men reportedly had a baseball bat.

    Ruiz was arrested, along with a second man, 42-year-old Rafael Garcia. The two other suspects are still on the loose.

    According to police officials, Ruiz works at the Department of Motor Vehicles and worked as a patrol officer in 2015.

    Bail has been set at $12,250 for Ruiz and $61,000 for Garcia. Both men have posted bail.

    The department has opened an internal investigation.

    Anyone with further information is asked to call (808) 935-3311.

    This story will be updated.

    Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

  6. #1956
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    A former Alexandria, Virginia, police officer who trained other officers on how to deal with mentally ill subjects was found guilty of assaulting a man he took to the hospital for care.

    Former Officer Jonathan Griffin was a neighbor of the man he’s accused of assaulting. They lived on the same floor at an Old Town high rise for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

    Griffin was there as part of a community policing program.

    Griffin testified James Lenzen was known to have mental health problems.

    He said on Jan. 27 when he approached Lenzen, the man took a fighting stance and moved toward him.

    Griffin handcuffed him and took him to Inova Alexandria Hospital under an emergency custody order.

    Video played in court shows Griffin walking the handcuffed man to the emergency room check-in desk when Lenzen suddenly hits the floor after the officer kicks his legs out from under him.

    “Because he was getting more and more aggravated and trying to resist my control of him,” Griffin testified. “I thought he might be trying to harm others in the ER, himself or me.”

    Griffin said a doctor was walking toward them when he made the decision to take the 53-year-old to the ground.

    Lenzen suffered a broken knee and his face was bruised and bloodied.

    Prosecutors challenged the use of force. Griffin testified Lenzen did not threaten him or physically try to harm him that day. He said he couldn’t recall if Lenzen said he wanted to harm someone else.

    The judge ruled there was no evidence he was defending himself or needed to be fearful others would be hurt. She gave him a suspended sentence so there will be no jail time. An appeal is likely.

    The victim was not present in court. He was arrested in July and charged with assaulting an emergency room nurse.

  7. #1957
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    Victor Dale Jr shot by Oregon City, OH Police officers

    OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - The Lucas County Grand Jury has chosen not to bring criminal charges against two Oregon Police officers who fired on a man during a domestic disturbance call in June. The officers will face a disciplinary hearing from the police department for firearms violations.

    The man they shot, Victor Dale Jr., was hospitalized following the incident but has since recovered.

    On the evening of June 13, officers Logan Nitkiewicz and Joel Turner responded to a call for a domestic dispute at the Kingston Court Apartments in the 3100 block of Navarre Ave. During the incident, the officers were forced to separate Dale and his girlfriend, after which Dale returned to his vehicle and attempted to leave.

    Turner positioned himself in front of the car. Dale pulled forward, striking Turner. Turner and Nitkiewicz then opened fire on the vehicle, firing 21 shots over a five-second period. According to Oregon Chief Mike Navarre, Dale was struck twice, in the neck and shoulder. Dale was taken to an area hospital and spent time in the Intensive Care Unit. Turner suffered minor injuries, including a possible broken wrist. The entire incident was captured on the officers' body cameras, which were released during the investigation.

    Following the incident, the Firearms Review Board and the Lucas County Grand Jury opened hearings. Those results were released this week.

    According to Chief Navarre, the Firearms Review Board determined that the initial few shots from both officers were justified, however, the remaining shots were not. Both officers have been formally charged with firearms violations and will face a disciplinary hearing from the police department.

    The officers have been on paid administrative leave since the incident.

  8. #1958
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    Arkansas police chief resigns after calling for violence against Democrats

    An Arkansas police chief who posted calls for violence against Democrats on social media resigned from his job on Saturday.

    Lang Holland, who was police chief of the roughly 1,300-person city of Marshall, Arkansas, drew outrage from both local residents and people around the country after making ominous comments online in recent days. In addition to repeatedly saying Democrats should be killed, he shared memes from conspiracy theory QAnon and claimed that the election was being stolen.

    "Death to all Marxist Democrats," Holland posted on Parler, a new social media site popular with conservatives and used as an alternative to Twitter. "Take no prisoners leave no survivors!!"

    One image he shared depicted a group of Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, wearing prison jumpsuits. Under the image he wrote: "I pray all those in that picture hang on the gallows and are drawn and quartered!!!! Anything less is not acceptable."

    CNN could not reach Holland for comment. His Parler account was made private on Saturday.

    Marshall Mayor Kevin Elliott issued a statement Saturday stating Holland had resigned from his position, effective immediately.

    "The City of Marshall strongly condemns the actions of Mr. Holland in his posts to social media," Elliot wrote in the statement. "The Marshall community does not in any way support or condone bullying or threats of violence to anyone of any political persuasion...the Marshall Police force is here to serve and protect EVERYONE."

    Elliott said he called a meeting with Holland on Saturday after his phone continued to ring off the hook with calls from people who had seen the chief's posts on Parler -- posts that were also spread across Twitter and Reddit.

    The mayor said he was surprised and disturbed to find out about the posts. He described Holland as a "hero" who had served multiple tours overseas and said he "is very, very United States." But he said Holland's social media posts were out of line.

    "It's not acceptable for the City of Marshall," he said. "We don't care if you're Republican or Democrat. You're a voice and you have a right."

    Holland made national news earlier this year when he publicly refused to enforce the state's Covid-19 mask mandate.

  9. #1959
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    An LAPD officer was arrested on suspicion of stealing a vehicle from a used car dealership in Orange, officials said Tuesday.

    LAPD Officer Matthew Calleros appears in a booking photo released by the Orange Police Department on Nov. 10, 2020.
    LAPD Officer Matthew Calleros appears in a booking photo released by the Orange Police Department on Nov. 10, 2020.
    Authorities arrested Matthew Calleros, a 45-year-old officer with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Division, in the city of L.A. Monday evening on suspicion of auto theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.

    He was booked into the Orange County Jail and released just before 3 a.m. Tuesday, inmate records show.

    The Orange Police Department said it received a report of a stolen vehicle from a dealership in the 1100 block of W. Chapman Avenue on Oct. 25, 2019. Detectives later identified Calleros as a suspect.

    LAPD said it has suspended Calleros’ peace officer powers pending the investigation by the city of Orange and its own personnel probe. He has been “assigned home,” according to LAPD.

    Orange police said they’re working with LAPD and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office on the case.

    Authorities in Orange asked anyone with information about the case to call detectives at 714-744-7444.

  10. #1960
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    SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office formally announced Monday morning indictments against the county's undersheriff and Apple's security chief as part of its ongoing investigation into a concealed weapons permit scheme.

    DA Jeff Rosen announced the charges against Undersheriff Rick Sung and Thomas Moyer, the head of Global Security at Apple.

    "It's a very sad day when law enforcement officers commit a crime," said Rosen. "When those who are sworn to uphold the law, violate the law, it tarnishes the badge, the reputations, and the effectiveness of all law enforcement agencies."

    According to Rosen, Sung held back issuing concealed weapons permits to Apple's security team, until Moyer agreed to donate $70,000 worth of iPads to the sheriff's office.

    Moyer's attorney is maintaining his client's innocence.

    "Tom Moyer has nothing to do with any improprieties in the sheriff's department," said defense attorney Ed Swanson. "He knows nothing about a bribery scheme, because he wasn't asked to make a bribe and he didn't offer one."
    Rosen says the iPad donation was pulled back once the DA's office issued search warrants into the case.

    A total of seven indictments have now been issued in the alleged scheme, where some of the money went to Sheriff Laurie Smith's 2018 reelection campaign.

    RELATED: Santa Clara County sheriff's captain among 4 indicted on felony bribery and conspiracy charges

    Smith hasn't been charged.

    Former undersheriff John Hirokawa says the sheriff should consider stepping down to preserve the integrity of the department.

    "If she has nothing to do with it, then she should be doing something about it," he said. "They need to feel as though they're free to speak up and point out things, and for me, in the last several years, those things were being discouraged because you had to be loyal to the sheriff."

    Criminal defense attorney and former Santa Clara County public defender Jaime Leanos says the district attorney's office is taking a methodical approach.

    "This is generally how the indictment process works," said Leanos. "You go after the low-level players, then you go after the mid-level players, and then ultimately, your target is the highest-level person who you can criminally charge."

    The District Attorney's office would not specify if the sheriff would be charged, but said the investigation was far from over.

    "There's more witnesses for us to interview in the case and there's certainly more evidence for us to uncover and we'll see where that evidence takes us," said Rosen.

    The Santa Clara Sheriff's Office issued a statement regarding Monday's indictments saying, "As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest moral and ethical standards. This is a difficult time for our organization, however our goal remains to provide the highest level of public safety to the residents of Santa Clara County."

  11. #1961
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    By Segun James

    The probe into the abuse of Nigerians by operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police continued Tuesday as a witness alleged that his cousin was brutalised, abused and tortured until he developed brain cancer.

    According to businessman Chukwu Vincent, his cousin, Basil Ejiagwa, who is now dead, suffered loss of memory and eventually developed a brain tumour after he was tortured by SARS operatives in May 2014.

    Vincent told the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel that after struggling with failing health for six years following the torture by policemen, Ejiagwa died in his village in Imo State, where he was relocated to from Lagos as his health continued to deteriorate and he became a shadow of his old self.

    He said his cousin was picked up by policemen in the Igando area of Lagos and taken to the Igando Police Station where he was detained for five days and tortured.

    Vincent told the panel that policemen at Igando Police Station broke his cousin’s two legs with a “brick iron hammer”.

    Led in evidence by his lawyer, T.O. Gazali, Vincent told the panel that his cousin was arrested in May 2014 while coming back from Alaba International Market, Lagos, where he worked.

    He said Ejiegwa was later transferred to SARS office in Ikeja, where he was further tortured, leading to the fracture of his skull.

    Vincent said when Ejiagwa was eventually released on May 31, 2014, his head had been broken with the butt of a gun.

    “Thereafter, he couldn’t walk anymore; he could not even remember certain things again,” Vincent said.

    Vincent said Ejiagwa was rushed to one El-Shadai Hospital in Igando but he was rejected and referred to the Lagos State General Hospital at Igando.

    “He could walk and do certain things,” after the torturing and fracturing of the man’s head.

    Vincent said the victim later sued SARS and the Federal High Court in Lagos entered judgment in his favour and ordered the police to pay him N40m damages, however, since the judgment was delivered on April 16, 2019, the police had refused to honour it.

    “This thing happened in 2014 and he could not do anything, he could not go anywhere. It took five years to get the judgment.

    “On behalf of the family of Bassil, I am appealing to this panel to help us enforce the judgment against the police. The judgment was delivered since April 16, 2019 and up till now, we have not heard anything from the police,” Vincent said.

    The panel admitted as exhibits hospital documents, including a bill of N1m and a doctor’s report; as well as the judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

    Counsel for the police, Joseph Ebosereme, sought an adjournment to cross-examine the witness.

    The panel adjourned till December 4, 2020.

  12. #1962
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    A sheriff's department in the US state of Alabama has come under fire over a Facebook photo showing a Christmas tree adorned with mugshots of suspects.

    It called the decorations "thugshots" in a Facebook post on Thursday that drew thousands of negative comments.

    Local civil liberties groups have described the post as "despicable".

    A sheriff spokeswoman for Mobile County Sheriff's Department defended the image, saying it represented criminals who were repeat offenders.

    In a Facebook post sharing the image, the department said: "We have decorated our Tree with THUGSHOTS to show how many Thugs we have taken off the streets of Mobile this year! We could not have done it without our faithful followers!"

    The post, which has since been removed, drew 7,900 comments, according to the Associated Press news agency. While some of the reaction was positive, many people responded saying the decorations were demeaning and cruel, the agency reports.

    Bernard Simelton, president of Alabama's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, criticised the "despicable behaviour" of the police department, news website reported.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama (ACLU) has condemned the tree, calling it "divisive and cruel".

    The civil rights organisation's director, JaTaune Bosby, said most of those arrested had struggled with mental health problems and drug abuse.

    "They need the community's assistance and care, not open scorn from leaders."
    A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department told the image had been photoshopped, and was not on display in the police building.

    Lori Myles, quoted by, said the tree was "a good thing", showing "they have taken these career criminals off the streets".

    The same spokeswoman told CBS News she had taken down the post after receiving death threats.

    It's not the first time the sheriff's department has got into hot water over its social media posts. In December last year, the chief of Mobile police department was forced to apologise for an "insensitive" Facebook post in which two officers held up a "homeless quilt" made up of signs used for begging.

  13. #1963
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    FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A former Fresno Police officer was arrested at the department’s headquarters Wednesday – and now facing charges for allegedly possessing child pornography.

    The Fresno Police Department said Jeffrey Logue had been an officer there for 17 years and was assigned to the homeless task force when he was arrested for alleged possession of child pornography.

    “We’re not going to talk specifically about quantities of images, but it was something that was very clearly an image of a child in an inappropriate nature,” Lt. Brandon Pursell the commander of the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children task force or ICAC.

    He said they’d been investigating Logue for a few weeks after receiving a cyber tip. They served a search warrant for his home, vehicles and electronics Wednesday and took him into custody at police headquarters.

    “We had very good cooperation from the Fresno Police Department from the onset and I do want to thank them for the amount of help that they’ve given us on this. They helped bring him in so that we could safely arrest him and so that we could safely interview him,” Pursell said.

    The police department also released a statement on the arrest, detailing that Chief Andrew Hall is shocked and outraged by the actions of Jeffrey Logue.

    “He shares in his disappointment with all the men and women of the Fresno Police Department. Chief Hall would like to thank the investigators assigned to the ICAC task force for their dedication and the important work they do protecting our children.”

    Pursell said the number of cyber tips they’ve received this year is more than double last year.

    “One of the scary parts about this is there’s no set profile. We will deal with men of all races, men of all ages, men of all sexual preferences. There’s really no set person you can look at. It’s really something that’s a behavior,” he said.

    Logue’s bail was set at $20,000. Jail records show he is no longer in custody.

    Pursell encourages any instances of children being abused and illegal sexual material being shared online to be reported to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators can be reached at (559) 600-3111 or cyber tips can also be submitted online.

  14. #1964
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    CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time, police body camera video reveals what an innocent woman said happened to her nearly two years ago: police officers wrongly entered her home with guns drawn and handcuffed her naked as she watched in horror.

    Last year, Anjanette Young filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the video to show the public what happened to her that day. CBS 2 also filed a request for the video. But the Chicago Police Department denied the requests.

    Young recently obtained the footage after a court forced CPD to turn it over as part of her lawsuit against police.

    “I feel like they didn’t want us to have this video because they knew how bad it was,” Young said. “They knew they had done something wrong. They knew that the way they treated me was not right.”

    Hours before the TV version of this report broadcast, the city’s lawyers attempted to stop CBS 2 from airing the video by filing an emergency motion in federal court.

    If you believe police have wrongly entered your home, tell us about it here.

    The video reveals on Feb. 21, 2019, nine body cameras rolled as a group of male officers entered her home at 7 p.m. Not long before, the licensed social worker finished her shift at the hospital and had undressed in her bedroom.

    That’s when she said she heard a loud, pounding noise.

    Outside, officers repeatedly struck her door with a battering ram. From various angles, the video captured the moments they broke down the door and burst through her home.

    “It was so traumatic to hear the thing that was hitting the door,” Young said, as she watched the video. “And it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put on clothes.”

    As they rushed inside with guns drawn, officers yelled, “Police search warrant,” and “Hands up, hands up, hands up.” Seconds later, Young could be seen in the living room, shocked and completely naked, with her hands up.

    “There were big guns,” Young remembered. “Guns with lights and scopes on them. And they were yelling at me, you know, put your hands up, put your hands up.”

    Young looked terrified and confused as she watched officers search the home. An officer put her hands behind her back and handcuffed her as she stood naked.

    “What is going on?” Young yelled in the video. “There’s nobody else here, I live alone. I mean, what is going on here? You’ve got the wrong house. I live alone.”

    “It’s one of those moments where I felt I could have died that night,” she said. “Like if I would have made one wrong move, it felt like they would have shot me. I truly believe they would have shot me.”

    And like so many other wrong raids CBS 2 uncovered, the one on Young’s home could have been avoided.

    Using body camera video and police and court records, CBS 2 pieced together – moment by moment – not only how Young was treated during the raid, but also how police failed to check the bad tip that led them there.

    Young recently agreed to an interview to discuss the body camera video after she first spoke to CBS 2 last year. CBS 2 blurred portions of the video in which Young was unclothed.

    With her hands bound behind her back, the video shows an officer wrapped a short coat around her shoulders. But the coat only covered her shoulders and upper back – leaving her front completely exposed as she stood against the wall. Officers stood around her home – in the kitchen, the living room and the hallways – while she remained naked.

    “It felt like forever to me,” she said. “It felt like forever.”

    About two minutes after police entered the home, an officer found a blanket and wrapped it around Young as she sobbed and repeatedly asked officers who they were looking for.

    “They just threw something over me, and my hands are behind me and I’m handcuffed,” Young said in an interview. “So there’s no way for me to secure the blanket around me.”

    The blanket continued to slide open and expose her body. One video clip shows an officer stood in front of Young but made no attempt to cover her. Another officer walked over and held the blanket closed.

    Young continued to beg police for answers.

    “Tell me what’s going on,” she cried in the video.

    “You’ve got the wrong house, you’ve got the wrong house, you’ve got the wrong house,” Young repeated.

    “There’s no one else who lives in this apartment?” the sergeant asked.

    “No, no one else lives here,” Young said.

    Young told police at least 43 times they were in the wrong home. She repeatedly asked them to allow her to get dressed and told them she believed they had bad information.

    “Oh my God, this cannot be right,” Young said during the raid. “How is this legal?”

    Police did have bad information, CBS 2 Investigators uncovered, and they failed to do basic checks to confirm whether they had the correct address before getting the search warrant approved.

    According to CPD’s complaint for search warrant, one day before the raid, a confidential informant told the affiant – or lead officer on the raid – that he recently saw a 23-year-old man who was a known felon with gun and ammunition.

    The document said the officer found a photo of the suspect in a police database and showed it to the informant, who confirmed it was him. The officer then drove the informant to the address where the informant claimed the suspect lived.

    Despite no evidence in the complaint that police made efforts to independently verify the informant’s tip, such as conducting any surveillance or additional checks as required by policy, the search warrant was approved by an assistant state’s attorney and a judge.

    But CBS 2 quickly found, through police and court records, the informant gave police the wrong address. The 23-year-old suspect police were looking for actually lived in the unit next door to Young at the time of the raid and had no connection to her.

    CBS 2 also found police could have easily tracked the suspect’s location and where he really lived because at the time of the raid, he was wearing an electronic monitoring device.

    “That piece of paper [search warrant] gives them the right to, you know, that says you can do X, Y, Z based on what’s on that paper,” Young said. “So if you get it wrong, you are taking 100 percent control of someone else’s life and treating them in a bad way.”

    The body camera video also raises questions about the approval of the warrant. In one clip, officers in a squad car reviewed their notes and can be heard talking. CPD wouldn’t comment when CBS 2 asked what the conversation meant.

    “It wasn’t initially approved or some crap,” one officer said.

    “What does that mean?” the second officer asked.

    “I have no idea,” the first officer said. “I mean, they told him it was approved, then I guess that person messed up on their end.”

    Citing an ongoing investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), CPD also wouldn’t comment when CBS 2 asked about the raid or why officers acted solely on an informant’s tip.

    But the video shows Young made multiple attempts to ask CPD some of those same questions.

    “Who are you looking for?” Young asked.

    “I’ve been living here for four years and nobody lives here but me,” she yelled.

    “I’m telling you this is wrong,” Young continued. “I have nothing to do with whoever this person is you are looking for.”

    This is not the first time police failed to do basic checks that would have contradicted bad information given by an informant. Last year, CBS 2 interviewed the Blassingame family who were wrongly raided by police in 2015. Jalonda Blassingame’s young sons said officers pointed guns at them, leaving them traumatized, like dozens of other children CBS 2 interviewed as part of its two-year investigative series.

    “I felt scared for my life,” said her son Jaden, who was 10 at the time of the raid.

    CBS 2 quickly found the suspect police were looking for had no connection to the Blassingames and had been in prison at the time of the raid for years.

    That trauma experienced by innocent children and families as a result of wrong CPD raids was the subject of CBS 2’s half-hour documentary, “[un]warranted.” It also examines how Black and Latino families are disproportionately affected.

    “They are adding trauma to people’s lives that will be with them the rest of their lives,” Young said. “Children have to grow up with that for the rest of their lives. The system is broken.”

    Many of the families interviewed, including Young, filed lawsuits against police. Keenan Saulter, Young’s attorney, said he believes wrong raids are violating families’ constitutional rights.

    “If this had been a young woman in Lincoln Park by herself in her home naked, a young white woman — let’s just be frank – if the reaction would have been the same? I don’t think it would have been,” Saulter said. “I think [officers] would have saw that woman, rightfully so, as someone who was vulnerable, someone who deserved protection, someone who deserved to have their dignity maintained. They viewed Ms. Young as less than human.”

  15. #1965
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    . A North Texas man is suing two officers in the Keller Police Department following his arrest in August. Keller PD demoted Sergeant Blake Shimanek for his role in the incident.

    The arrest occurred Aug. 15 when 22-year-old Dillon Puente was pulled over for making a wide right turn. Puente was on his way to his grandmother’s house when he was stopped in the Riverdance neighborhood.

    Bodycam video shows Shimanek ask Dillon to get out of the car before he places him in handcuffs. In a police report obtained by WFAA, Shimanek said he detained Dillon because he was worried about his safety.

    “He was ticketed and taken to jail for a wide right turn,” said Dillon’s dad Marco Puente in an interview with WFAA.

    Marco Puente was following Dillon to his grandma’s house, and he pulled up his vehicle after he saw his son was pulled over by police.

    Bodycam video shows Shimanek threaten Marco Puente with arrest if he continued to remain in the roadway with his truck.

    After obeying the order to move his vehicle, Marco started recording his son’s arrest on his cellphone, while he was waiting on the sidewalk across the street from the scene.

    “The officer didn’t like me being there recording anything,” Marco told WFAA.

    Bodycam video shows Shimanek ordering Officer Ankit Tomer to arrest Marco too.

    “Put your phone down,” Tomer said, while his body-worn camera recorded. “Put your hands behind your head.”

    “This guy is arresting me for just standing here,” Marco said in video captured by the body-worn camera.

    “They tried to take me down and pepper spray me, and it was a fiasco,” Marco told WFAA.

    Dillon Puente ultimately paid a ticket for his wide turn.

    But a new lawsuit filed against the two officers said Keller PD leadership called the use of force and arrest of Marco Puente “inappropriate." The lawsuit says two days after the incident, the police chief met with Marco to apologize for the officers’ conduct “and to reiterate that Officers Shimanek and Tomer were in the wrong, not Mr. Puente.”

    When contacted, Keller police were quick to provide WFAA documents into their investigation of this incident, but said they cannot publicly comment due to the ongoing lawsuit.

    Scott Palmer is Marco's attorney. He said the lawsuit is about accountability.

    “Marco is not a criminal. This is a man, a concerned father, and if this can happen to him, it can happen to anyone,” Palmer said. “These officers knew better. I believe they were trained better, but why did they not execute better? I don’t know.”

    Police records show Shimanek has had previous problems as a Keller officer. In 2016, an Internal Affairs review found that he entered a home without a search warrant and without approval from the homeowner.

    In 2018, Shimanek's discipline file shows that he was reprimanded after he made a comment in reference to "women not carrying guns because they would not be able to protect the children during a school shooting."

    Now, in this 2020 incident, another Internal Affairs review has found misconduct. This time, it is has led to Shimanek's demotion from his rank as a sergeant to officer.

    Keller police said Officer Tomer, also named in the lawsuit, was not punished as he arrived later and was working under the orders of his then sergeant.

    “It’s disturbing to know that these are the people we are entrusting with providing safety in the community and they are abusing that power,” James Roberts, an attorney in Palmer’s law firm, told WFAA. “I know that they knew better. I know that they knew what they were doing was wrong, yet they still did it.”

    Now three months later, the Puente family remains troubled by the August incident.

    “Who gets pulled out of a car and cuffed for a wide right turn?” Marco said. “Nobody. Nobody.”

  16. #1966
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    EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – President Trump has pardoned two former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed alleged “drug mule” trying to flee back into Mexico.

    Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were serving reduced sentences for their role in the 2005 shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila on Feb. 17, 2005 near El Paso.

    The agents claimed that Aldrete brandished a gun at them while resisting arrest; the suspect later said he was unarmed and trying to surrender when Compean beat him with a shotgun, CNN reported.

    The suspect tried to escape to Mexico when Ramos shot him. Ramos and Compean were convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, lying about the incident and violating Aldrete’s Fourth Amendment rights. Ramos received an 11-year prison sentence and Compean a 12-year term for the charges. President George W. Bush later reduced the sentences, CNN reported.

    Aldrete was arrested in 2007 on charges of smuggling 750 pounds of marijuana into the United States but was offered immunity in exchange for his testimony against the agents, CNN reported.

    The White House on Wednesday released a statement saying Trump pardoned the former agents based on the support of 100 members of Congress. The statement highlighted how Ramos and Compean were active in their communities and in church.

    “Both men served as Border Patrol agents and put themselves in harm’s way to help secure our southern border with Mexico,” the White House statement said. “They stopped an illegal alien trafficking 700 pounds of marijuana. When the illegal alien, who was thought to be armed, resisted arrest, Mr. Ramos shot the suspect, who fled back across the border.”

    In all, Trump pardoned 15 individuals and commuted part or all of the sentences of another five.

    Others who receive pardons include four Blackwater private contractors convicted in 2014 of 14 unauthorized killings in Baghdad; former congressman Duncan Hunter; and former campaign aide George Papadopoulus.

    Hunter, a Republican, was scheduled to begin an 11-month sentence for conspiring to misuse campaign funds on Jan. 4 at the Federal Correctional Institution La Tuna, which is just outside El Paso.

  17. #1967
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    Virginia deputy fired over 'disturbing' posts on social media site Parler

    A sheriff’s deputy in Virginia has been fired after authorities said that “disturbing comments” were posted by his account on a conservative social media website.

    The Washington Post reports that the Prince William County sheriff’s office announced the firing on Saturday.

    The former deputy said that he didn’t make the comments and that his account was hacked.

    Prince William Sheriff Glendell Hill said he promptly launched an internal investigation after becoming aware of the comments on Christmas morning.

    The comments had advocated violence, including against U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for allowing the dismissal of a case seeking to overturn presidential election results.

    “I find them very despicable, and that’s why I took the action that I took,” Hill told The Washington Post. “I certainly don’t approve of that, and, of course, it’s against our policy.”

    The deputy, Aaron Hoffman, told the newspaper that he did not post those comments. He said the account he opened on the website Parler was hacked.

    “I did not make those posts,” Hoffman said. “I’m trying to figure out who did.”

    Hoffman was employed by the county sheriff’s office for 15 years. He said he closed the Parler account after he noticed suspicious activity on his email.

    He disavowed the messages attributed to him and said he plans to consult with attorneys about his firing.

  18. #1968
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    California police department is investigating after a video of one of its officers pinning down and punching a K-9 in the head is going viral.

    Roberto Palamino, a Vacaville resident, shared the disturbing video on Facebook on Monday, December 28. He explained in the caption he was returning to his work warehouse, located next to the Vacaville fire station, when he heard “a dog crying.”

    What happened next inspired him to begin recording, he said, writing:

    When I looked, the officer was punching the dog over and over and got shocked about it, only thing I could think was recording, I as soon as I did at the end of the video you can see he looks towards me, and I hide behind the door of my warehouse, as I kept picking, he was looking towards my doors, so I’m sure he saw me, he stopped beating the dog when he saw me and went behind those trailers in the video were I could see their legs only, I finish loading my truck and as I left I saw him getting to his K-9 unit and put some stuff on the trunk and I left, it was all weird and I’m sorry if I fear for my life and didn’t confronted him….

    VideoVideo related to watch: video shows california cop punching k-9 in the head during training2020-12-30T15:16:59-05:00

    The video has since amassed over 500 comments and more than 300 shares, sparking a wave of criticism and questioning online.

    The man in the video has been identified as a Vacaville police officer, NBC Bay Area reported. Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon told the station that the department is now investigating the incident.

    If abuse is determined, the officer could face forfeiting the dog, the station said.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    Palamino Said the Video Does Not Capture the Worst of the Encounter, According to Local Media
    Vacaville cop caught trying to kill a police dog in training ������ #grindfacetv

    — IG: @Grind.Face.TV (@GrindFaceTV) December 30, 2020

    According to NBC Bay Area, Palamino expressed that the video does not show the worst of the encounter.

    “The dog was crying like somebody was running him over or something like that,” he told the station. “It was bad crying.”

    He added that he saw the man punch the dog at “least 10” times before he began recording, NBC Bay Area said.

    The video shows the officer pinning down the animal and appearing to hit it in the head multiple times.

    “I think he should have a better life, that’s all,” Palamino said of the dog, according to NBC Bay Area. “I was concerned about the dog.”

    The Vacaville Police Department Says There Might Be More to the Story
    Lydon told NBC Bay Area that it is still too early to denounce the encounter as animal abuse.

    “There is times during K-9 training, as I understand, that the dog can be struck,” the captain said to the station.

    Lydon said officers at times need to sit on their dogs in order to regain control if the animal attempted to bite or lunge at them, NBC Bay Area continued.

    “This requires immediate action in the training of the canine and to create that and establish the dominance over that dog to let the dog know that the handler is in charge,” Lydon said.

    According to NBC Bay Area, the police department is working with a third party specializing in in K-9 training to determine whether any abuse occurred.

    Lydon added that he would like to reach out to Palamino and discuss what he witnessed, NBC Bay Area reported.

  19. #1969
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    2 Seattle police officers being investigated for involvement in Capitol attack

    At least two Seattle police officers have been placed on leave and are being investigated for their alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol protests.

    The Seattle Police Department released a statement Friday night saying that it was made aware Friday of the officers' involvement in the Jan. 6 siege and is now taking the appropriate measures.

    "The Department fully supports all lawful expressions of First Amendment freedom of speech, but the violent mob and events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol were unlawful and resulted in the death of another police officer," Chief Adrian Diaz said in the statement, referring to Brian Sicknick, who died of injuries he sustained during the attack.

    Diaz said the case is now being reviewed by the Office of Police Accountability.

    "The OPA will investigate whether any SPD policies were violated and if any potential illegal activities need to be referred for criminal investigation," he said. "If any SPD officers were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I will immediately terminate them. While OPA investigates, these officers have been placed on administrative leave."

    Pro-Trump protesters clash with police during a rally at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington...

    This seems to be the first report of out-of-state law enforcement officials being involved in the violent pro-Trump protests.

    The FBI is currently working to identify those involved and has already made various arrests.

    In a statement late Friday, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D'Antuono said in a press call, "Just because you've left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out that you were part of criminal activity inside the Capitol. Bottom line—the FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation."

  20. #1970
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    LOS ANGLES (AP) — The California Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation to determine whether the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday.

    Those of us in positions of public trust know that the job comes with the solemn obligation to be accountable to the people we serve. Because of the nature of the work involved in law enforcement, that duty of care is heightened.

    There are serious concerns and reports that accountability and adherence to legitimate policing practices have lapsed at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. We are undertaking this investigation to determine if LASD has violated the law or the rights of the people of Los Angeles County.

    The investigation of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department was prompted by allegations of excessive force, retaliation and other misconduct, the Justice Department said in a statement.

    The statement did not identify any specific incidents.

    “As opposed to a criminal investigation into an individual incident or incidents, a pattern or practice investigation typically works to identify and, as appropriate, ultimately address potentially systemic violations of the constitutional rights of the community at large by a law enforcement agency,” it said.

    The department noted that the attorney general “has made no determinations at this time about specific complaints or allegations or about the agency’s policies and practices.”

    Becerra, who is President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stressed that it is not a criminal investigation.

    The attorney general said anyone with information relevant to this investigation may to contact DOJ’s Civil Rights Enforcement Section at

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