Monday, December 08, 2008

Officer Bradley Weimer Arrested for DUI


A Muncie police officer was arrested on drunk driving charges.

State police stopped Bradley Weimer for speeding early Saturday morning. Police say the trooper smelled alcohol and said Weimer had bloodshot and glassy eyes.

According to jail records Weimer refused a field sobriety test.

Weimer is a 14-year veteran with Muncie police. The deputy chief described Weimer as a good officer and said no official action has been taken.

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Former Deputy Roger Hall Arrested for Hiring Man to Kill Former Sheriff


A former deputy has been arrested for complicity in the 2002 slaying of a former Harlan County sheriff who was attempting a political comeback in the Kentucky mountains.

Kentucky State Police spokesman Walt Meachum says Roger Hall of Benham was taken into custody Monday for allegedly paying a man to kill former Harlan County Sheriff Paul Browning Jr.

A statement from state police says Hall was charged with complicity to murder and complicity to drug trafficking. Bail was set at $1 million.

The 41-year-old Hall was a deputy when Browning disappeared while campaigning for election. Browning was later found shot in the head and burned inside his pickup truck along a mountain road.

Harlan County Circuit Court Chief Deputy Clerk Barbara Arvin said paperwork hasn't yet been filed that shows who Hall's attorney is. Hall was represented previously by London attorney Warren Scoville. But Scoville said Monday afternoon that he no longer represents Hall.

Officer Accused of Raping Daughter Still on Duty

A Cape Town police detective captain accused of raping his teenage daughter is still on the beat investigating criminal cases pending his court case.

Sources within the Kuils River Community Policing Forum (CPF) said the forum was outraged that the policeman has not been suspended.

The 45-year-old detective is the third officer accused of rape at the same Cape-based police station.

The first two - one a police constable and the other a student constable - were suspended about three months ago after they were charged with raping a woman while on duty.

Sources close to the police said that the detective captain had not been suspended because he was not in uniform at the time of the incident.

The detective, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, was charged with rape in September.

Police sources said the charge sheet showed that the detective went to his home on September 3 where he confronted his daughter.

"The charge sheet said he then forced his daughter to have sex with him against her will. He also penetrated her with his fingers," a source at the police station said.

The accused, who at the time was a detective captain at another police station - has since been transferred to another police station due to a shortage of skills, said provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Billy Jones.

The move has infuriated the CPF who said that the captain's pending trial - in addition to the two other constables' case - was detrimental to the relationship between the community and the police.

"How am I expected to explain to the community that this man is working here? They are up in arms that he is working here and we can't get any answers as to why he hasn't been suspended along with the other two officers," said a CPF source, who declined to be named.

The source questioned how the community was expected to trust police officers charged with such crimes.

The CPF source said the police station's involvement in the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children was a "farce" considering that senior members charged with sexual offences.

He added that the CPF was told that the constables were suspended because they were in uniform at the time of the alleged crime while the detective was dressed in civilian clothes.

Commenting on the matter, Jones said before officers are suspended, police management look at the strength of the witnesses' statements before determining which action to take.

He said the constables being in uniform at the time of the alleged incident was not taken into account.

"The suspension or temporary transfer of the officer was considered in terms of the SAPS disciplinary regulations.

The employee was also given the opportunity to make a written representation - a decision was taken not to suspend the employee at this stage."

Jones added that a disciplinary hearing would take place as soon as the Director of Public Prosecutions gave permission for the witnesses in the court case to testify in the disciplinary hearing.

Jones said he was unaware of the constables' case but that there was probably prima facie evidence against them, but not against the detective.

DA spokesperson on community safety Lennit Max said the police code of conduct did not differentiate between ranks.

"The disciplinary code is applicable to everyone and I can't understand why the detective has not been suspended because as a SAPS member, he is a custodian of the Constitution and an instrument of government meant to protect citizens."

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa also told the cape Argus that there was no threat to rape investigations as these were dealt with by the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.

But Max rubbished this statement, saying that detectives did not always wait for the FCS before arresting a suspect.

"I'm not saying he is guilty but considering that there is an upcoming trial, there is prima facie evidence and he should be removed from a place of authority until the criminal proceedings come to a halt."

Earlier this year the Cape Argus reported on the public outcry after a Khayelitsha-based constable, convicted of indecent assault after fondling a gang-rape victim, was redeployed at his station.

He was later transferred to court duty in another area.

At the time, Chantel Cooper, director of Rape Crisis Cape Town, said the attitude of the police officer and his reinstatement was "likely to deter even more women from coming forward to report rape and sexual violent crime".

The detective's trial is set to resume on January 9 at the Blue Down's magistrate's court.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Argus on December 08, 2008

Three Officers Indicted for Inserting Police Baton in Man's Buttocks

Three city cops at the center of a sodomy investigation turned themselves in to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office early today to face criminal charges.

Officers Richard Kern, Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales were ushered into the downtown Brooklyn office by the attorneys around 6 a.m. They each declined to comment.

The three cops are expected to be indicted this morning for assaulting 24-year-old Michael Mineo in a subway station Oct. 15.

A fellow cop accused Kern of inserting his police baton between Mineo's buttocks as officers tried to arrest and cuff the tatoo shop worker for allegedly smoking marijuana.

Kern's lawyer John Patten declined to discuss the indictment Monday. Kern, 25, has previously denied he acted improperly.

Mineo originally said it was Cruz, 26, who violated him as he lay face down in the Prospect Park station, held down by two other police officers.

But NYPD transit Officer Kevin Maloney testified before a grand jury that it was Kern who wielded the baton, sources said.

"My client steadfastly maintains his innocence and he observed no misconduct," Cruz' lawyer Stuart London said Monday.

Mineo said he felt vindicated by a grand jury's decision.

"At first a lot of people weren't believing me, but I left it in God's hands," he said Sunday on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show. "I'm pleased with how everything is going."

Mineo expressed gratitude to the transit cop for breaking the so-called Blue Wall of silence and telling the grand jury what happened.

"I do appreciate him coming forward," he said. "I'd like to thank him."

Lawyers for Mineo hailed the indictment and announced they plan to file a federal civil rights suit against the city, the NYPD and the officers involved.

"The man was held down and raped," lawyer Kevin Mosley said after Mineo spoke.

Lawyer Stephen Jackson said Monday all the cops involved should be charged with "serious felonies."

"Anything short of jail time will be a miscarriage of justice," Sharpton said.

Jackson said the grand jury interviewed more than 20 witnesses and examined physical evidence of injuries to Mineo's rectal area. Sharpton and Mineo's lawyers blasted the NYPD for rushing to publicly clear the officers after the alleged assault.

Days later, Maloney became the star witness at the grand jury that brought charges against Kern.

"The internal affairs department of the New York City Police Department repeatedly said that ... [Mineo's] charges were groundless," Sharpton said. "Clearly police cannot police themselves.

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Chicago Wants Police Department's Image to Change


More than a year after he last wore a badge and months after his boss said he wanted him fired, a policeman videotaped beating a female bartender remains the best-known officer in the Chicago Police Department.

Footage of the 250-pound officer punching, kicking and throwing the 115-pound bartender has aired repeatedly after it surfaced the next month.

It would be embarrassing for any police department, but for Chicago — which already withstood the humiliation once — it means much more. Especially now.

As bright as the media spotlight has shone on the department in the past, it will only get brighter because Chicago is the hometown of the next president of the United States and the city is vying for the 2016 Olympics.

It's unclear whether Anthony Abbate, the officer charged in the beating, will stand trial — it was supposed to begin Tuesday but has been delayed — or if the case will end with a plea bargain. A judge's gag order has prevented anyone from talking publicly about the case.

"I have to think it is important to get past (the case) not only from a PR standpoint, but Abbate has for the last two years defined what the department is," said Daniel P. Smith, author of "On the Job: Behind the Stars of the Chicago Police Department."

"So many officers do their job the right way but Abbate has defined who they are (and) I know for a fact many of them want it all erased."

Chicago officials already have set about to change the police department's image, starting 11 months ago, when they hired a new police superintendent, Jodi Weis, the former head of the FBI's Philadelphia office.

Police officers know that what they do is being watched like never before — starting on election night, when a quarter million people descended on Grant Park to be part of President-elect Barack Obama's historic victory.

"I talked to two sergeants who had their teams down there and one told his guys the eyes of the whole world are on (the park)," said Sgt. John Pallohusky, president of the police sergeants union.

It was the same message from the other sergeant. "He told his team, 'Do your part, show the world this is what we do,'" said Pallohusky.

Under the watchful eye of police, the scene at the park was peaceful. Department spokeswoman Monique Bond said that, despite the massive crowd, officers made fewer arrests than a typical Tuesday night.

That wasn't lost on observers, especially those who know the same park 40 years ago the world watched billy club-swinging police wading into crowds of protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

"It was a commercial for the city," said A.D. Frazier, the chief operating officer of the Olympic Games in Atlanta. "The fact that it went off flawlessly will stand out as a plus in everyone's mind who votes for an Olympic city."

Even so, Smith said, that scene will be hard-pressed to compete with the surveillance video from the night Abbate allegedly beat the bartender in February 2007 after she refused to serve him more drinks.

"All we see is the Abbate tape rolling over in our heads and we forget the absolute (great) job they did out there," he said.

It remains to be seen whether the Abbate case generates as much angst for the department as that of Jon Burge, the former commander of a unit that allegedly tortured black suspects decades ago.

Burge long has been a source of anger in Chicago, as politicians, community activists and others have complained that he remained free, living in retirement in Florida, while men they say were innocent and confessed only after being tortured remained in prison.

It was not until this year that Burge was charged by federal authorities with lying under oath when he denied participating in torture.

"Burge has haunted them for years," said Wesley Skogan, a Northwestern University political scientist who has studied the department extensively. "The Abbate case is difficult (and) because we've all seen the tape 10 times, it will linger longer in the public imagination."

Skogan said that how long Abbate casts a shadow on the department may depend on what attorneys are doing behind the scenes, and whether Abbate walks into court and pleads guilty or goes ahead with a trial.

"If there is a plea settlement as time gets really close, that might take the wind out of the sails," he said.

But, he added, even if that happens, "It could linger like O.J. (Simpson) or go away very quickly."

Bond, the police spokeswoman, would not specifically discuss the Abbate case. But Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor who has studied the department, said it's clear why Weis publicly denounced Abbate and recommended firing him.

"By making an example of him they're saying this is a new day, we don't tolerate this stuff in Chicago," he said.

But he wonders if the firing was little more than a public relations ploy.

"My fear is that the underlying issues that allowed Abbate to do what he did ... haven't been addressed," he said. "As much as they want to say, 'this is a new day' ... is this really true?"

Officer Eduardo Bermudez Arrested for Sexual Assault


Authorities say a Los Angeles police officer has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault for an incident at a hotel after a department holiday party.

Police say 29-year-old Officer Eduardo Bermudez was arrested Sunday, booked for investigation of attempted rape and was being held in a downtown jail on $100,000 bail.

Police say in a written statement that the alleged attack took place while Bermudez was off duty at a gathering at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport that followed the Pacific Division's holiday celebration, but gave no further details about the allegations.

The department's internal affairs division is conducting the investigation.

Bermudez has been an officer for two years.

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