Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Charges of DWI Filed Against Officer Joshua Calder


A drunken driving charge was filed against a Farmington police officer who said he drank beer and crashed his motorcycle, injuring himself a passenger.

The 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed an aggravated driving while intoxicated charge against Farmington police officer Joshua Calder on Jan. 5. The charge also alleges Calder caused bodily injury to his passenger, Danielle Utton, when he crashed his motorcycle after leaving KB Dillon's Bar and Grill on Aug. 2.

Gallegos's office decided not to file the charge at first, but later reversed course. The office thought the case would be dismissed because Calder was not arrested, Gallegos has said. Gallegos disagreed and in November said his office would file a charge.

Gallegos's judicial district, which covers is Taos, Colfax and Union counties, is prosecuting Calder. The District Attorney's Office in San Juan County excused itself from the case because it wanted to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

Previous Post: http://whathappenedtoprotectandserve.blogspot.com/2009/01/officer-glenn-mearls-officer-josh.html

Former Officer Anthony Miller Appears in Court for Downloading Child Porn

A police officer accused of downloading child pornography while on duty, appeared in court.

Anthony T. Miller from New Richmond waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

Miller was arrested in December and was charged with possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child.

For two years, officers say Miller admittedly downloaded and traded pornographic images of children between 9 and 15 years old while he was on duty.

Officers say he is an 11-year veteran of the police department in Hastings, Minnesota.

Deputy Steven Slusser Arrested for DUI


A Lake County sheriff's detention deputy arrested on DUI charges has resigned.

Steven Slusser, 26, was arrested about 11 p.m. Sunday after being pulled over by a Mount Dora police officer. The officer, who suspected Slusser of speeding, said Slusser reeked of alcohol. The officer said he asked Slusser to perform sobriety tests, which he failed, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Slusser was arrested and took three breath tests, one of which registered a blood alcohol level of 0.223, according to the sheriff's office. A person is considered legally intoxicated in Florida if he or she has a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08.

Slusser, who had been employed by the Lake County Sheriff's Office since August 2007, resigned Monday as the sheriff's office launched an internal investigation into the incident.

There had been no disciplinary action against Slusser prior to his arrest, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

Police Chief Sam Granato Still Discriminating Against Union Members


After being found guilty of discriminating against police officers, what's next for Yakima Police Chief Sam Granato?

Yakima Police Patrolman's Association President Bob Hester said that officers can continue working with Granato, but only if he stops discriminating against union members and violating officers' rights.

Granato became chief in 2003. Since then, he's been found guilty of discriminating against officers four times.

Hester says the department - chief relationship is strained, but could be fixed if Granato changes his ways.

Those ways have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hester is not sure if or when City Manager Dick Zais will say enough is enough.

"I do believe that at some point you have to look at the entire portion of all the moneys that are being spent and try to figure out a way to reduce that liability to the city," Hester said.

Friday's verdict stems from a disagreement with Officer Elaine Gonzalez. The city of Yakima was also found guilty of withholding public records from the union.

There is also the matter of two civil cases filed against Granato last week by Sgt. Brenda George and Capt. Rod Light.

While the union won't get involved in those, Hester thinks this ruling helps the officer's cases.

Officer Sherri Barnes Accused of Prescription Drug Abuse


A seasoned city police investigator has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal probe into allegations of prescription drug abuse, according to individuals familiar with the situation.

Officer Sherri Barnes, who works in the department's Youth Aid Bureau, was placed on paid leave over the weekend for at least 30 days as the department's Office of Professional Standards looks into the matter. She did not return a call Monday to her home seeking comment, but the sources, who requested anonymity, said the prescription drug abuse accusations against Barnes were launched by the state Department of Health, which later notified her employer. Several calls Monday to the cellphones of members of the agency's press office were not returned.

Barnes is the latest Schenectady police officer to be forced off the job for alleged misdeeds.

Last week, Officer John Lewis, 39, was arrested for the fifth time in nine months for allegedly trashing his mother's home during a physical altercation with his police officer brother. He is on unpaid leave. Lewis' attorney later said his client was seeking treatment for substance abuse.

Lewis also face charges for a drunken-driving incident in which he is accused of running into another car and also for allegedly threatening to kill his former wife and anyone she dated.

In early December, Sgt. Joseph A. Peters IV, 42, was placed on paid leave after being issued a ticket for driving while intoxicated and another for having a blood alcohol level above 0.08. He had been pulled over after a motorist reported seeing an erratic driver. It's unclear whether he is back on the job.

Five other Schenectady officers recently cleared in an alleged police brutality case stemming from a run-in with a drunken-driving suspect in December 2007 have been on paid leave since then.

Officials have said the departmental probe into the actions of officers Andrew Karaskiewicz, Eric Reyell, Daryl Mallard, Gregory Haffensteiner, Kevin Derkowski is winding down.

Barnes has been on the force since October 1984, according to city records. Her husband, Donald, also a city officer, has been with the department just over 23 years. Both currently work in the city youth bureau. In 2005, Barnes and another officer suffered minor injuries when a city man resisted arrest after a failed attempt to rob a bank on State Street.

While police interviewed his father, Kendall Spraragen entered the residence and fought with Barnes and Officer Philip Feldhaus when they tried to take him into custody. As a result, Barnes injured her knee and wrist and Feldhaus injured his hand. Both were treated at Ellis Hospital and released.

Canada Investigating Taser Death of Robert Dziekanski

A public inquiry has begun in Canada into the case of a man who died on an airport floor after police officers used a Taser electric stun gun on him.

Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who did not speak English, was confronted by four policemen at Vancouver airport in 2007.

A bystander filmed the officers repeatedly stunning him with a Taser.

The police were heavily criticised when the recording emerged but no charges were brought.

The inquiry will hear from up to 80 witnesses and is expected to last six months. It could find the officers guilty of misconduct.

Heated debate

In October 2007, the 40-year-old Mr Dziekanski became agitated and began to behave erratically after wandering around Vancouver's airport for 10 hours.

Unable to speak English, he had become increasingly confused as he failed to find the public arrivals area where his mother had been waiting for him.

He was confronted by four Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who stunned him five times with a Taser gun.

The incident has led to a heated debate about the use of the stun guns, the BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto says.

Video: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7095875.stm