Thursday, January 29, 2009

Deputy Michael Arrington Arrested for Selling Drugs to Inmates


A Richmond County deputy was arrested after investigators say he sold marijuana to an inmate. Investigators arrested Deputy Michael Arrington on Thursday and placed him inside the same jail where he worked.

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength says Arrington’s arrest comes after a month long investigation.

Investigators say an inmate tipped them off about contraband being sold inside the Law Enforcement Center on Walton Way.

Strength tells 26 News officers caught Arrington selling some marijuana to an inmate. Arrington is also accused of selling cigarettes to other inmates.

"We in law enforcement are no different that anyone else. We have to stay in the guidelines of the law. And we have no problem taking what ever actions are warranted," said Strength.

Arrington is on administrative leave without pay, until the end of the investigation. He's worked at the sheriff's office for a year and a half. Investigators say has no prior disciplinary history.

Arrington is charged with selling marijuana and crossing a guard line with drugs. Both are felonies.

Officer Ryan Wilcox Arrested for Break-in and Assault

A Chandler Police officer was arrested Monday in connection with an alleged break-in and assault at a home in the Brownsboro area.

Thirty-year-old Ryan Michael Wilcox was booked into the Henderson County Jail Monday afternoon and released a short time later after posting $2,500 bond.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a woman Monday night telling of the incident. According to the complaint, Wilcox entered the home at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Because the accused in the case is a police officer, the investigation is being conducted by Texas Ranger Trace McDonald.

McDonald, who was working on his arrest report Tuesday, said he did not wish to reveal the address of the break-in or the identity of the victim at this time. He said the break-in was not an attempt to steal from the victim.

“It wasn’t a theft type situation,” McDonald said. “It was a case of him entering a home without consent and committing an assault.”

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits a burglary if he or she “enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft or an assault”

McDonald and Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Michael Teal arrested Wilcox without incident.

Athens Review attempts to reach Chandler Police Chief Ron Reeves concerning Wilcox’s arrest were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Officer Michael Strobele Fights Over Parking Spot

An off-duty Buffalo Police officer is suspended following an incident Thursday morning outside Buffalo City Court.

Several patrol cars responded to the scene shortly before 10 A.M.

According to police spokesperson Mike DeGeorge, it's believed Michael Strobele, a 10-year veteran of the force, and John Stronka of Cheektowaga, got into a fight over a parking spot.

Strobele, 35, is charged with assault and harassment. Stronka suffered injuries to his face.

Officer Matthew Brown Charged with Inappropriately Touching 16-year-old


An Albany Police Officer is in jail charged with inappropriately touching a 16-year old girl in his custody.

G-B-I Agents arrested 25-year old Matthew Brown Wednesday night.

He's charged with sexual assault, sexual battery, and violation of oath of office, all felonies.

A-P-D fired the 3-year veteran Tuesday

On January 5th Brown was supposed to drive a 16-year old runaway back home to South Albany.

She told her family Brown instead touched her.

GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mark Pro said "After the intiation of the report that he did, evidently she stayed in the vehicle , and they went to another location where the incident occured."

Brown is in the Dougherty County Jail without bond.

Officer Brian Carswell Accused of Assaulting 16-year-old

A BURLY policeman has been accused of assaulting a 16-year-old cafe worker.

PC Brian Carswell took David Shields to Ayr police station to question him about money which had gone missing from the cafe the teenager worked in.

But it is alleged that Carswell, 48, assaulted the youngster before grabbing his mobile phone and deleting a recording of the attack.

During a trial at Ayr Sheriff Court this week, Sheriff Carole Cunninghame heard that despite no money being found on him at a search in O’Briens’s sandwich bar, David agreed to go with Carswell to the police station.

While the two were alone, David claimed that Carswell flew at him, grabbing his clothes and pinning him against a wall. He said that he was seized by the throat and that Carswell tried to take his mobile phone from him.

The court heard that when three other officers came to the interview room they found David with marks on his throat, crying and distressed.

Carswell said that he was restraining David because he feared he had a knife in his hand.

Carswell, who has 25 years service, denies two charges of assault and a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by taking David’s mobile phone with the intention of deleting incriminating evidence.

The trial continues next week.

Former Officer Nicholas Minet Pleads Guilty to Killing 2-year-old


A former police officer charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter changed his plea to guilty on Thursday.

Nicholas Minet, a former Kansas City, Mo., police officer admitted in a Clay County courtroom that he shook Alyssa Eickmeier violently and threw her on the floor or a mattress causing a deadly blow to the head.

Minet said he shook the girl because she wouldn't stop crying for her mother.

"He was a new boyfriend. You go through the whole divorce process, every boyfriend you have around your kids, of course, you hate them, but I was actually comfortable with him for the fact that he was a police officer," said Chris Eickmeier, Alyssa Eickmeier's father.

Minet was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

"It's hard to deal with, reliving all this stuff. That's why this plea I'm glad happened. Like I said, memories, bad memories," Chris Eickmeier said.

Alyssa Eickmeier's mother and several other family members were in the courtroom. They wore pink T-shirts in her memory.

"I know he's sorry. He said he was sorry in court. I believe that he's sorry," the girl's mother Amy Eickmeier said. "She paid with her life. She didn't get a chance to plead for hers."

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Tasering of the Mental Ill

One of the most distrubing aspects of the use of taser torture devices is its common use on the mentally ill. Here, you have schizophrenic man, in custody, tasered and pepper sprayed mercilessly because he woulodn't come out of his cell. He finally did when they told him he could call his mother.

New court documents reveal disturbing details of what happened to Reynaldo “Reny” Cabral, the young Orland man who became paralyzed from the neck down when he rammed his head against a wall during a schizophrenic episode in the Glenn County Jail.

The CN&R has previously reported (”Breakdown in mental-health care,” Dec. 13, 2007) how, in the morning of Jan. 6, 2007, sheriff’s officers arrested Cabral after he assaulted his girlfriend, Torrie Gonzales, at his family’s Orland home. At the time, Cabral’s brother Arturo and others told them he was ill and needed medications.

According to an amended complaint, the jail nurse, Donna Tomisch, and Jail Staff Cpl. Rosemary Carmen initially refused to receive Cabral until he’d had a psychiatric evaluation. However, a sheriff’s deputy, Brandy McDonald, told Carmen that there would be no evaluation “because inmate Cabral had tried to kill someone and that he needed to be in jail,” not sent to a mental-health facility.

Over a period of several hours, while Cabral was kept in a holding cell, various people—his brother; his mother, Rosa Cabral; his girlfriend, who didn’t want him jailed; Tony Nasr, MD, a family friend; and officials at Butte County Behavioral Health, where he’d been placed on an involuntary hold just three days before—contacted the jail to say Cabral was mentally ill.

Efforts to get him seen by health professionals were fruitless. A single call was made to Glenn County Mental Health, which punted responsibility to Dr. Robert Zadra, whose company, Sierra Family Services, was under contract to provide mental-health care at the jail. But Zadra was on vacation, and his office referred the matter back to GCMH, which in turn said it had no contract with the jail.

There was a contract, but it was with Glenn Medical Center, the local hospital. In any event, there is a “handshake agreement” between the jail and Mental Health, said Scott Gruendl, the Chico City Councilman whose day job is director of Glenn County Health Services. “If the jail requires our assistance, we’re going to provide it,” he said.

Not this time, apparently.

By early the next morning, court documents continue, Cabral began hearing voices and showing signs of mental illness. He took off his clothes, vomited, and began throwing feces, urine and vomit around his cell.

Jail staff wanted to move him into the padded “safety cell.” Lacking the help of a health-care professional, and without contacting anyone in Cabral’s family, they called in a total of four officers from the Willows Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office. Three Highway Patrol officers showed up later.

Cabral wasn’t being violent, but Deputy Paulette Blakeley testified that he was “scooping water from the toilet in his cell and rubbing it on his body, and that the water, possibly containing his own waste, was spread elsewhere in the cell.” At this point, Willows PD Officer Jason Dahl ordered Cabral to come out of the cell. When Cabral refused, saying “I’m fine,” Dahl pointed his Taser weapon at Cabral “and said he would shoot him with it if he did not do as Officer Dahl demanded.”

“Shoot me,” Cabral replied. The officers stormed the cell.

By the time it was over, Dahl had alternately demanded that Cabral come out of his cell and, when he refused, Tasered him a total of eight times, for five seconds each time, over a period of 4-1/2 minutes. “Each time, the [officers] watched … Cabral react with great pain and slide down the wall, seeking protection of the toilet,” the documents read. The Tasering stopped only when the weapon’s battery ran out of charge.

“The officers then left the cell but observed that … Cabral had reacted to the shocks by chewing on the telephone in the cell and observed that he was bleeding from the mouth.”

And so it went. The officers again stormed the cell, this time using an electric stun-gun-type shield that they applied directly to Cabral’s wet, bare skin. Cabral slid to the floor in agony. When that didn’t convince him to leave, Dahl subsequently Tasered him three more times.

Again the officers pulled back, this time to wait for the CHP to show up. Then, all seven officers went into the cell, determined to remove Cabral physically. Cabral was having none of it, continuing rather “to throw water on himself stating that he wanted to play with the water and that it was fun.” Officer Dahl then emptied a 4-ounce can of pepper spray on Cabral, covering his face, head, shoulder and back. Cabral used toilet water to try to wash it off but only got it in his eyes.

When he asked to speak with his mother, the officers said he could if he came out. He did so and was quickly handcuffed. He wasn’t allowed to make the call.

By 3:30 that morning, Cabral had finally been placed in the “safety cell.” It had “little or no light, no furnishings other than a drain in the floor, and no monitoring other than a small sliding window. … The walls had a thin coating of hard rubber.” Cabral was naked.

The rest of the story already has been told—how Cabral, hearing voices from God and still stinging from the spray, charged into the wall head-first, breaking his neck; how he lay on the floor unmoving from about 4:45 that morning until nearly 2 in the afternoon, more than nine hours; and how he told jail staff he was paralyzed and several times asked for help but was ignored.

Cabral’s civil suit names numerous defendants, from the officers at the jail to the heads of various county departments, including Gruendl. The CN&R left messages for several of the attorneys representing them, but only John Whiteside, of the Sacramento firm Angelo Kilday & Kilduff, representing the city of Willows and Officer Dahl, called back.

The firm has filed a motion to dismiss, he said, on the basis that nothing the complaint alleges to have occurred is a violation of federal or state law.

“In layman’s terms: ‘OK, so what?'” Whiteside said.

I won't comment on that sadistic and inhuman comment. It speaks for itself.

But the fact that there are no state or federal laws against torturing mentally ill citizens who are in custody seems to me to be an obvious problem in any country that considers itself to be even moderately civilized.

Former Sheriff Bill Keating Admits to Being A Rapist with a Badge

Law-enforcement officers are supposed to be protectors of the public. As such, they make claim to certain rights and privileges in the use of force and other techniques denied the rest of us. They demand deference from the masses for the supposed extra risks they take in keeping the peace. And then ... every now and then one of them reminds us that it's not always wise to hand carte blanche to normal humans with feet of clay -- or worse, the souls of sexual predators. Predators like former Sheriff William E. Keating of Montague County, Texas.

On January 29, 2009, 62-year-old Bill Keating pleaded guilty in federal court to extorting sex from a woman as the price for avoiding drug charges. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas:

[A]t approximately 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14, 2008, Sheriff Keating, dressed in civilian clothes with his sheriff’s badge and gun in plain view on his belt, and other Montague County Sheriff’s Office employees, executed an arrest warrant at a residence occupied by the victim, L.M., and her boyfriend. As they entered the residence, L.M. and her boyfriend were asleep in a bedroom of the house. Sheriff deputies arrested the boyfriend on the outstanding warrant and removed him from the bedroom. Deputies searched the residence and discovered a bag that contained utensils and other articles used to manufacture methamphetamine. Deputies also located a plastic container that appeared to have trace amounts of methamphetamine on it.

After deputies removed the arrested man from the bedroom, Sheriff Keating ordered the other deputy to leave the bedroom so that L.M. could get dressed. Sheriff Keating then closed the door and, once alone with L.M., told her, “You are about to be my new best friend.” He told her that he found illegal drugs in the residence that belonged to her and that for her to avoid going to jail, she would be required to “assist” him. Keating admitted that the assistance he referred to included oral sex with him on multiple occasions and an agreement to act as an informant for the Montague County Sheriff’s Office. Keating told L.M. that if she complied with his request, that he would help her get a job, a place to live and that she wouldn’t be criminally charged with possessing any drugs or drug-making equipment that was found in the home. Keating also told her that if she didn’t comply, she would go straight to jail.

In court, Keating disputed none of the elements of the charges against him.

Of course, it's still good to be a cop. Keating was allowed to roam the streets until Judge Robert K. Roach decides what to do with him. According to news reports, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert "said he did not oppose Keating's remaining free until the sentencing because this crime and other alleged misdeeds happened when he was acting as the sheriff..."

Rape, apparently, isn't quite so bad when you're wearing a badge.

State authorities plan to take their own crack at Keating. Maybe they'll dig a little deeper and ask him just what he did, and who he did it to, with that "rack made of nails" discovered in the jail he administered until the end of last year.

Chief William B. Fuller Arrested for Soliciting Sex From a Minor

Virginia Commonwealth University's police chief faces sex charges stemming from an online investigation.

Chesterfield County police said Thursday that VCU Chief William B. Fuller has been charged with use of a communications device to solicit sex from a minor, and with attempted indecent liberties with a minor.

VCU has placed the 50-year-old Fuller on administrative leave without pay, said John M. Bennett, senior vice president for finance and administration. Capt. Carlton Edwards has been named acting chief.

Chesterfield police said Fuller thought he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl but he was actually conversing with police. He was arrested Wednesday.

"We regard this situation as extremely serious," Bennett said. "VCU has taken aggressive action to address it and we will fully cooperate with the Chesterfield County police investigation."

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Detroit Woman Files Lawsuit After Officers Break into Her Home - Assault Her & Children


A woman who claims a police lieutenant offered her cash and store gift cards to keep quiet about her allegation that several officers broke into her home and assaulted her and her children has filed a $15 million lawsuit.

Attorneys for Tasha Flowers filed a the suit Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court. The alleged incident occurred Jan. 3.

Flowers claims in the lawsuit that several Detroit police officers from the department's Western District were responding to a neighbor's complaint that she was selling drugs in her home on Shrewsbury when they rushed into Flowers' home without her permission and without a search warrant.

"They showed up at my door and pointed a gun at me," Flowers said. "Then the officers pushed past me into my house and started asking me about drugs and guns.

"My 13-year-old daughter asked them, 'What are you doing? You can't come into our house without a warrant.'"

Flowers said her 17-year-old son's friend also questioned officers about their actions. "They pushed my daughter, and threw me to the ground and twisted my arm," she said. "Then the lieutenant grabbed my 14-year-old son in a chokehold until he was unconscious."

Flowers said the group of about 10 officers began assaulting her other six children, ages 8 to 17. The children suffered cuts, scrapes and bruises, she said.

"The cops were all standing around afterward, bragging about how they beat up the whole family," Flowers said.

Then, the next day, Flowers said the lieutenant in charge of the officers paid a second visit to her home.

"He said he felt bad about what he'd done, and asked if there was anything he could do to make up for it," Flowers said. "Then he offered me two gift cards: One from Walmart and Target; and $100 -- like I'm supposed to take this money and keep quiet. He also told me to call the domestic shelter and tell him I got my bruises because my boyfriend had beat me up."

Flowers said she turned the money and gift cards over to Detroit Police Internal affairs investigators.

Cmdr. Brian Stair of the Internal Affairs Section acknowledged that investigators are looking into the allegations. He said all the pertinent witnesses have been interviewed, and that police officials are waiting for other materials, such as squad car video, to come back before making a decision on whether to discipline the officers involved.

"This is domestic terrorism, plain and simple," said Ron Scott, director of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.

Added Flowers' attorney, Karri Mitchell: "The police ran roughshod over these people. There is absolutely no justification for what they did."

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