Sunday, July 06, 2008

Officer Charged in Security Guard Shooting


After seven years on the force, Atlanta police officer John Freeman is being charged with murder.

Investigators say he shot and killed an unarmed security guard at the apartment complex where Freeman lives with his wife and two children. It happened at 4:28am Saturday at the Ivy Ridge Apartments on Bentley Road.

Cobb County police say 37-year-old Xavier Mallet of Marietta, Georgia, who provides security at the apartments, was banging on Freeman's front door. Freeman's wife answered the door and Mallet reportedly forced his way in. Authorities will not elaborate on what happened inside the home, but say Freeman's wife ran from the home followed by Mallet and Freeman. There was some sort of physical altercation and investigators say Freeman went back into his apartment, got his gun and shot and killed Mallet as he was leaving.

Freeman made his first court appearance Saturday night, but had his attorney, Bruce Harvey, represent him in front of the judge. Two of Freeman's fellow officers watched the appearance and afterward Harvey insisted that once all the facts the charges should be dropped against his client.

"You know Georgia has a 'stand your ground law' meaning that you can defend not just yourself, but your wife, your children, or even your property," said Harvey.

Harvey says Freeman has been placed on paid administrative leave and the Atlanta Police Department says it is cooperating fully with Cobb County investigators and, at the same time, is conducting it's own internal investigation.

Former Officer Jake Shirley Charged with Murder


A former Lovington police officer has been charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of his father.

State police say 23-year-old Jake Shirley is being held at the Lea County Detention Center on a $250,000 cash only bond.

State police say Lovington officers responded to the home of 48-year-old Jimmy Shirley last night after getting multiple 911 calls regarding a domestic violence incident.

Police found the elder Shirley with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Lea County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators say Jake Shirley allegedly shot his father after the elder Shirley struck his wife, Brenda, in the face. The couple had been arguing earlier at their son's home.

Officer Jason Sandilands Charged with Theft


On the heels of the shocking news that Toronto Police had discovered two allegedly dirty cops in their ranks, Peel police admit one of their officers is also facing charges on an un related matter.

The officer was actually arrested May 16 following an investigation by their Internal Affairs Bureau, but Peel police only announced the arrest yesterday.

Const. Jason Sandilands, who has been on the force for four years, is charged with theft under $5,000 and breach of trust, Acting Staff-Sgt. Taufic Saliba said.


He said the charges stem from the accused's involvement in an investigation that took place while he was assigned to the Tactical and Rescue Unit.

"The property involved ... was money," Saliba said, refusing to elaborate.

Like Toronto Consts. Patrick Lee and Kevin Bourne, who are accused of operating dozens of mari juana grow-ops, Sandilands has been suspended with pay.

He is to appear in a Brampton court on July 9.

Sandilands was in the news in 2005 when he was the first officer to arrive at the scene of a stabbing and ended up in an altercation with two Mississauga men -- one of whom is in a wheelchair -- who were helping the stabbed man.


Stephen Miller, 20, and his pal Garrett Mannings, 24, who is paralyzed from the waist down, ended up charged with causing a disturbance. Both were found not guilty in 2006.

At their trial, Miller claimed he pleaded unsuccessfully with Sandilands to help him as he tried to stop his friend's bleeding.

Lawyer Jason Bogle, who defended the pair, said something should have alerted Peel police a long time ago. "They were asking him to assist a dying man and officer Sandilands would not," Bogle alleged. "That was abhorrent."

Demotion Recommended for Officer Chuck Johnson


An officer accused of making a questionable arrest during Speed Street in May has been recommended for demotion.

Major Chuck Johnson, a 26-year veteran, is being investigated for alleged misconduct.

On Thursday Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Rodney Monroe has recommended that Johnson be demoted to captain and receive a 30-day suspension.

The matter must now go before the Civil Service Board.

Officer Fernando Trinidad Pushes Woman Down Stairs


An Orlando police officer seen on video apparently pushing a woman down some stairs for no apparent reason could face criminal charges, Chief Val Demings said.

Jessica Asprilla, 27, was seen on video apparently being pushed down some steps by Officer Fernando Trinidad, who was working off duty at the now-defunct Club Paris in downtown Orlando.

The incident resulted in a battery charge against the woman. However, when prosecutors saw the tape, they immediately dropped the charges.

Asprilla filed a complaint after the incident that led to an Orlando police investigation of Trinidad.

Now, the department has found enough evidence of possible criminal behavior to forward it to the state attorney's office for review.

"When one is accused of doing something that is totally outside of our rules and regulations then we have to deal with it," Demings said. "We've relieved Officer (Fernando) Trinidad of duty, which means we suspended his police powers."

While the state attorney's office decides if it will move forward with criminal charges against Trinidad, he will take on administrative duties.

"He's still getting to work and getting paid for it," Aspirlla said. "So, really there hasn't been a change as far as I'm concerned."

Demings did not speculate about Trinidad's future with the department.

"We will just have to deal with that once the state attorney has an opportunity to review the case," Demings said.

It is not known how long the state attorney's office will review the case.