Saturday, April 25, 2009

Captain Randy Burke Accused of Stealing $100

An internal investigation into theft and misconduct has led to the firing of a Bunnell Police Department captain.

According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Captain Randy Burke was fired after he was accused of stealing $100 meant as a gift for a former officer in 2007.

According to the internal investigation documents, police department employees pooled together $100 and some household items to help out fired officer Ed Culver.

Investigators say because Burke lived next door to Culver, they asked him to present the gifts to Culver.

When the department moved into its new facility, officers told investigators the household items were found in Burke's old office.

Investigators say Burke told them he forgot to give the donations to Culver.

The investigation couldn't confirm Burke stole the money, but concluded he did misappropriate it.

Taser Policy Examined

The video, now made famous by youtube and other sites, shows San Louis Obisbo man Christopher Felch tasered by police at the Coachella Music Festival. Police asked the man to put his clothes on. He refused and resisted when officers tried dressing him. They eventually used their taser to subdue the man. Law enforcement's use of tasers varies which each department.

"Some departments are going to the taser prior to going to the baton or if theres an incident with a lot of people or a closed indoor area you may not want to use the pepper spray and therefore go directly to the taser so each department has there own policy and procedure that they follow," says David Chandler, President of the Coachella Valley Security Academy.

Three officers made the arrest, two from Indio P.D.and one Banning, he's the one who tasered the man police say was drunk in public. We couldn't reach the Banning Police Department for comment. Video shows the officers tasing the man several times after the first tase. Dozen sat and watched the incident unfold, making it hard for officers to use other non-lethal weapons.

"From somebody looking on from a distance it may look like it's excessive force but it's a lot less lethal then using a baton on someone or pepper spray on entire crowd," says Chandler.

There's a difference between a consumer taser and a law enforcement taser. The consumer taser's last 30 seconds so the victim can taser the suspect can drop the taser and run away. Law Enforcement taser's last 5 seconds just enough time for the officer to gain control of the suspect.

Some festival-goers supported Felch, some even going up and shaking the man's hand. They voiced their anger after police tasered the man. The incident has the internet community talking. Indio Police are confident they did what's right.

"Everybody's entitled to give there opinions and what not. All our purpose is that people are safe and enjoy themselves and be able to leave on there own terms and not break the law," says Indio Police Department's Ben Guitron.
News Video: After the Arrest: Law Enforcement Taser Policy Examined (4/24)

Detective Russell Littleton Arrested for Drunk Driving

An undercover Little Rock police officer was suspended for 30 days after being arrested for drunken driving and trying to get out of it by asking for "professional courtesy."

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, using records it obtained through a public disclosure request, says detective Russell C. Littleton completed his suspension in January. The newspaper says the 35-year-old also lost the privilege of taking an unmarked police truck home at night and had to have an interlock installed on the truck.

Littleton is an 11-year department veteran assigned to a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task force. He was arrested in August 2008 by Benton police, who say he tried to talk his way out of being arrested.

Retired Deputy Terrence Greenwald Charged with Sexually Abusing Two Children

A retired Waukesha County sheriff's deputy was charged Friday with sexual crimes involving two children that occurred between July 1, 1997, and September 1, 2008, according to a criminal complaint.

Terrence L. Greenwald, 55, of Summit was charged with seven counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, eight counts of child enticement and one count of causing a child age 13 to 18 to view sexual activity. All the charges are felonies.

He was arrested on a warrant Friday, sheriff's Capt. Karen Ruff said.

Greenwald retired from the Sheriff's Department on Dec. 7, 2007, said Sue Zastrow of the Waukesha County Human Resources Division. He was hired as a correctional officer Oct. 10, 1992, and promoted to deputy Aug. 27, 1994.

According to the complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court, the incidents involved Greenwald committing sexual acts individually with a boy and a girl. The girl told authorities that the first incident involving her that she could recall occurred when she was a first-grader in 1998. The last incident occurred in fall 2008, the complaint says. All of the sexual assault charges involve indecent touching, according to the complaint.

The boy told authorities that Greenwald exposed himself to the child in July 1997, when the boy was about 8, and that Greenwald caused the boy to view sexual activity in May 2004, the complaint says.

District Attorney Brad Schimel said Friday that he has appointed a special prosecutor from the Racine County district attorney's office to handle the case because the charges involve a former Waukesha County sheriff's deputy.

Former Officer Shane Alldredge Arrested for Domestic Violence

A former Arab police officer who just got out of prison is now back behind bars.

Investigators said Shane Alldredge was arrested on domestic violence charges. He told sheriff's deputies he would turn himself in this past Monday for these charges, but no one heard from him until 3 p.m. Friday.

Alldredge was paroled from prison just 11 days ago. Since then, his wife has filed a domestic violence charge and Cullman County sheriff's deputies issued an arrest warrant.

Alldredge was a former Arab police officer convicted in 2006 on ethics violations and sentenced to three years in prison. He was found guilty of soliciting sexual favors from women in exchange for dismissing traffic tickets and other charges.

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles granted him parole and Alldredge was released April 13.

The Cullman County Sheriff said probation violation charges are pending.

Suspended Officer Kyle Hunter Charged with Violating Protection Order


Suspended Schenectady police Officer Kyle Hunter, charged last month with stealing his girlfriend's car, was arrested Friday and charged with violating an order to stay away from her, police said.

Hunter was arrested on a felony contempt charge for violating an order of protection after a complaint that he was near the woman's home, said Sgt. Eric S. Clifford, police spokesman.

Hunter was being held overnight in the city lockup and was expected to be arraigned Saturday morning, Clifford said.

At 12:25 a.m. Friday, police responded to a city residence to investigate a reported domestic disturbance involving Hunter.

Hunter allegedly damaged the woman's property and fled the residence before officers arrived. A thorough search was conducted to locate him, including the use of a Schenectady County Sheriff's K-9 Team.

The investigation continued later in the day and led police to Amsterdam where Hunter was arrested, Clifford said.

Hunter was charged March 27 with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after police allege he fought with the woman, a corrections officer, then took her car without permission.

Hunter, an eight-year member of the force, was already the subject of an internal investigation for allegedly abusing the department's extended sick leave policy. He also lost his service weapon, but the department has declined to provide details about that prior incident.

Hunter was placed on unpaid leave for 30 days after the first incident and will be placed on another unpaid 30-day suspension beginning Tuesday, Clifford said.

Lethal Weapon: Tasers Kill

I thought the purpose of the Taser was to avoid lethal force… but I guess when you look at what T.A.S.E.R actually stands for (Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle) and the occurrences of deaths by taser, we must remember the R stands for Rifle. What do rifles do?

According to Amnesty International:

More than 330 people are reported to have died since 2001 after being struck by police Tasers in the USA 90 per cent of those who died after being struck with a Taser were unarmed and many did not appear to present a serious threat.

Many were subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks – far more than the five-second “standard” cycle – or by more than one officer at a time.

Perhaps tasers were not meant to be lethal weapons…The facts show that they are indeed lethal in some cases.

So why does law enforcement continue to use them? Is it because they believe Tasers are a safe non lethal means to subdue people?

There were a number of Police officers that were tasered voluntarily during taser training classes. These officers were under the impression that the taser was safe with no lasting affects. None of the officers died, but some of them experienced serious health problems after being tasered and have filed lawsuits against Taser International! What does that tell you?

How many more people have to die before we understand that the T.A.S.E.R. does not qualify as a non lethal weapon? How many more people have to suffer health problems and taser related injuries before we recognize that the T.A.S.E.R. is not safe?
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Death of Jerard Drew While in Custody Being Investigated

Tulsa police and relatives of a man who died late Wednesday while in police custody offered differing versions of the chain of events that preceded his death.

But both police and relatives will have to await the results of an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner's Office, which will determine the cause and manner of Jerard M. Drew's death.

Drew, 38, who was wearing only boxer shorts when he died, had recently been prescribed prescription pain and anti-inflammatory drugs and might have been drinking alcohol Wednesday, but he was otherwise healthy, relatives said.

Police said Drew became unresponsive while they were trying to put leg shackles on him after he was pepper-sprayed but continued to resist officers' attempts to detain him.

The man was cursing and kicking at officers, at which time the officers decided to put leg shackles on him "to keep him from hurting officers or hurting himself," police spokesman Officer Leland Ashley said.

Drew's mother, Ruth Woodfork, said officers were chatting and laughing when she came upon them and her son, who was lying face-down and handcuffed on the grassy north side of the road in the 2700 block of West Edison Street.

Ashley said officers performed CPR until an ambulance arrived and took Drew to St. John Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:55 p.m.

Ashley said there was no indication that excessive force was used but that homicide detectives will investigate.

Six officers — Jeff Dosser, Jason Kelley, Jay Chiarito-Mazzarella, Naresh Persaud, Herbert Hardman and Sgt. Mike Williams — were placed on restrictive duty as a routine matter, he said.

Ashley denied a request for a copy of the police report, saying such reports are not public documents.

Ashley said Dosser was on patrol when he reported seeing a man, wearing only boxer shorts, running in the 2700 block of West Edison Street just before 10 p.m.

The man fled, and the officer caught up with him in a drainage culvert just north of Edison, Ashley said.

The officer pepper-sprayed the man when he "clenched his fist in a menacing manner as if to punch the officer," he said.

The officer reported that the spray appeared to have very little effect on the man.

By this time, two more officers had arrived and helped detain Drew, Ashley said.

Woodfork said she could hear her son yelling from a block away.

"I could hear him screaming, 'Stop kicking me! Stop kicking me!' " she said.

By the time Woodfork made it to her son, he was unresponsive, she said.

"I'm not holding a grudge against anybody, because that's not God's will, but I think his life was taken before it should have been," Woodfork said.

"He's had his run-ins with the law, but he was changing his life," she said.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections records indicate that Drew had convictions for possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful possession of a controlled drug, false impersonation and escape.