Thursday, January 01, 2009

Transit Officer Shoots 22-Year Old


A 22-year-old man died Thursday after being shot on an Oakland train station platform by a transit agency police officer responding to reports of fighting on an arriving train, officials said.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit officer's gun went off while police were trying to restrain 22-year-old Oscar Grant at BART's Fruitvale station around 2:15 a.m. Thursday, agency spokesman Jim Allison said.

Grant was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead later Thursday morning, Allison said.

Authorities said they were still investigating whether the gun was fired on purpose or accidentally.

"It's clear that it was a volatile situation with young men who were arguing and in fact had continued to argue even in the presence of multiple police officers," Allison said.

Five officers had gathered on the platform as the train arrived from San Francisco following reports that two groups of men were fighting on the train near the West Oakland station two stops earlier, officials said.

The men continued to yell at each other after the train stopped, and police were in the process of separating the men when the bullet struck Grant, Allison said.

No one involved in the alleged fighting was arrested following the incident. Two men were detained for questioning but released.

Officials have not publicly identified the officer, who has served on the force for just under two years.

The officer was placed on administrative leave as authorities investigate whether proper police procedures had been followed and whether the shooting was a crime, Allison said.

Officer Mike Briseno Facing Battery Charge


Farmington police officer Mike Briseno is facing misdemeanor battery charges following an altercation with his daughter's 17-year-old boyfriend.

San Juan County sheriff's investigators said Briseno apparently did not approve of the teen's relationship with his 13-year-old daughter and went to the boy's home Tuesday.

Briseno, who was off-duty at the time, allegedly got into a verbal altercation with the boy and his mother. It then turned physical.

Briseno is now on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

A six-year veteran of the force, Briseno was named in a civil rights lawsuit in November 2004 in which a Farmington resident accused him and five other officers of police brutality. He also was the subject of a 2003 lawsuit involving another resident who claimed Briseno arrested him without probable cause and entered his home without a search warrant.

Briseno also was investigated on 22 allegations of police misconduct in 1997 while working for the Bloomfield Police Department. The investigation came after 200 people signed and delivered a petition to the department.

Briseno was cleared of any wrongdoing in all of the cases.

Truby said the investigation into Tuesday's altercation is ongoing.


Information from: The Daily Times,

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Deputy Cornelius Davis is Accused of Rubbing his NutSack On Women in Stores


Raleigh police have arrested a Warren County sheriff's deputy in bizarre incidents at two stores.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue says his department has charged 40-year-old Cornelius Orlando Davis with two counts of sexual battery.

Davis allegedly walked up to women in the stores and rubbed his genitals on them.

The first time, it happened at the Brier Creek Wal-Mart store on Glennwood Avenue on May 30. The second time, it happened this past Wednesday at both the Wal-Mart and a Kohl's store on Alexander Promenade.

Detectives say although the attacks did not involve bare skin, they're still considered sexual assaults.

In the first incident, the victim was able to get out her cell phone and snap a picture of her attacker as he walked away.

"That's pretty brave. I think I would have been a little in shock and I don't know if I would have reacted that quickly," said shopper Libby Powers.

Despite the image, and video from surveillance cameras in the store, detectives weren't able to make the connection to Davis until after the second incidents.

Kohl's security says it noticed Davis' alleged behavior and called Wal-Mart when it appeared he was heading there. Davis was arrested inside the Wal-Mart when security there called 911.

Investigators say they're concerned Davis may have done the same thing to other women.

"It's the sort of experience that some people would report. Others might just be so startled by it they wouldn't know exactly what to do. If anyone else has had a similar experience, we would ask them to come forward," said Sughrue in a May interview.

Women who shop at the stores that we spoke with in May said they were worried what else the attacker was capable of.

"If someone's willing to do that, they'd probably be willing to take the next step," said Powers.

Davis bonded out of the Wake County Jail Thursday afternoon.

His brother said the deputy has done nothing wrong.
"I know my brother's innocent. There's been no wrongdoing. We have a tight knit family and we're going to work through it," offered Torrance Davis. "He's a war veteran. He's a good father, a good provider, a good brother, good friend.

More Information:

Sgt. Andrew Gallagos Charged with Running Over Woman


An off-duty Albuquerque police sergeant has been charged with running over and killing a woman in a bar parking lot in April.

Court records show Sgt. Andrew Gallegos was charged Dec. 12 with tampering with evidence and leaving the scene of an accident involving death or injury, a third-degree felony.

Gallegos, a 19-year-old veteran of the department, is accused of running over and killing Vera Haskell, 47, who was lying next to his truck in the Sidewinders parking lot. Police have said Gallegos drove off and did not call authorities.

Gallegos' attorney, Sam Bregman, said Wednesday his client is innocent.

Police Chief Ray Schultz said Gallegos has been on leave without pay since the incident, and internal affairs is investigating.

Information from: Albuquerque Journal,

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Joe Arpaio World's Worst Sheriff

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., which includes Phoenix and its sprawling surroundings, is an aggressive self-promoter with a new claim to fame: a reality show on Fox called “Smile … You’re Under Arrest!” It’s a “Candid Camera” for crooks, with actors luring fugitives into compromising situations, for laughs.

It’s easy to snicker at the sight of a publicity-addicted law-enforcement official wallowing with the dregs of reality TV, sharing a channel with shows like “My Bare Lady,” “The Glutton Bowl” and “World Famous for Dicking Around.”

But Sheriff Arpaio is armed and dangerous. He is a genuine public menace with a long and well-documented trail of inmate abuses, unjustified arrests, racial profiling, brutal and inept policing and wasteful spending.

For years he has won fawning press coverage by playing the role of “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” But now another side of the story — that is, the truth — is leaking out.

The latest example is a report released this month that sums up, in devastating detail, the cost of Sheriff Arpaio’s reign. It was issued not by the sheriff’s usual critics — whom he routinely dismisses as a band of bleeding-hearts — but by the Goldwater Institute, a think tank dedicated to the principles of the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, an obelisk of conservatism.

Read a summary here, or the full pdf.

Here’s the gist.

What has risen on Sheriff Arpaio’s watch: violent crimes (up 69 percent overall from 2004 to 2007, with homicides up 166 percent in those three years), 911 response times, unserved arrest warrants, racist sweeps of Latino neighborhoods, and dollars paid out in budget overruns, overtime and lawsuit settlements.

What has declined: the arrest rate, the number of satellite booking stations, public access to department records, Sheriff Arpaio’s reputation.

The Goldwater report must bring some comfort to the residents of Maricopa County who have spent years raising the alarm about Sheriff Arpaio, with little effect outside Arizona.

They include a Web site,, that has tracked the sheriff’s terrorizing sweeps through Latino neighborhoods, and a dogged reporter, Stephen Lemons of The Phoenix New Times, who keeps the heat on Sheriff Arpaio in his blog. Mr. Lemons recently posted some chilling video from a public meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, where Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies arrested citizens … for clapping.

Sheriff Arpaio was elected to a fifth term in November and is riding high, at least in the worlds of bad policing and jackass television.

But pride, they say, goes before a fall. Here’s hoping!