Friday, May 29, 2009

Two Jefferson Parish Deputies Arrested for Beating Up Teens

Two Jefferson parish sheriff's deputies have been arrested and kicked off the force after brutality allegations. A couple of teenagers say the deputies beat them up in Marrero.

According to the teens, they were playing paintball at an abandoned Marrero apartment complex last weekend when approached by deputies Cornell Farlin and Shawn Henry. The teens claimed Farlin and Henry handcuffed them, and then began punching and kicking them, even using their police batons, before releasing them with a summons.

"I think the message here is the quickness in which we responded to the complaint, that we take this very seriously," said Sheriff Newell Normand at a news conference Friday. "This type of conduct by our officers will not be tolerated."

Sheriff Normand said the two accusers also said there were other deputies present during the beating. The sheriff says the investigation continues.
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Trooper Robert Czora Arrested Again

A former trooper who was involved in a 2007 official-misconduct investigation has been arrested again.

Plattsburgh-based State Police arrested Robert Czora midday Friday and believed the former 14-year veteran of the force possessed property that was recently stolen from a local business.

Czora, 40, resigned from the State Police in November 2007 after a police investigation revealed that he scammed an unsuspecting out-of-state driver.

An investigation found that the former Valcour-based trooper stopped a speeding driver on Interstate 87 and then drove her to a Keeseville bank, where she withdrew $300 that Czora told her she needed for bail.

Czora took the money and never issued the woman a ticket.

He soon became the focus of an official-misconduct investigation after the woman contacted local authorities inquiring about her court appearance, unaware that she had never actually been ticketed.

During the investigation, Czora attempted to return the money to the woman through a third party but never explained why.

He later resigned, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor misconduct charge and paid a $1,000 fine.

Czora, who joined the agency in 1992, has never publicly commented on the misconduct.

The Morrisonville resident is now behind bars at Clinton County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

He is facing a felony charge of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

It was initially unclear what items had been taken from Northeast Printing and Distribution Company and how the items allegedly came into Czora’s possession.

Investigators handling the case could not be reached for further comment early Friday evening and no additional information about the case was immediately available.
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Deputy Richard Silva Charged with Domestic Violence

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office arrested Deputy Richard Silva on May 21 on charges of assault per domestic violence against a 9-year-old child and on two charges of disorderly conduct per domestic violence, the office said in a press release.

Silva is a deputy in the Bagdad area but at the time of the incident was serving a 160-hour suspension without pay for violations of the YCSO code of conduct, the release said.

Deputies booked Silva into the jail in Camp Verde. Authorities released him the next afternoon after he posted bond. A court date in the matter is pending.

Deputy Jeff McCall Arrested for Stealing Confiscated Money

A Narcotics Deputy with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office has been arrested for stealing money confiscated during a drug deal.

34-year old Deputy Jeff McCall, who has been with the Sheriff's Office since 2001 and assigned to the Narcotics Bureau since 2006, was taken into custody late Thursday afternoon.

"Within the past several weeks, information was received from cooperating sources that our Deputy was taking money confiscated during illegal drug deals. We immediately began an investigation which led to his arrest," said Shelby County Sheriff Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

During a sting Thursday afternoon, Deputy McCall was called to the scene of a traffic stop in South Memphis. A confidential informant posing as a drug dealer had been detained by Deputies. McCall and two other Deputies responded to initiate an investigation.

According to the Affidavit of Complaint, marijuana and a bag of cash was taken from the vehicle. When the drugs and money were taken back to the Sheriff's Narcotics bureau, $400 was missing.

After confronting McCall, he admitted taking the money and resigned.

McCall was taken to the Shelby County Jail and charged with Official Misconduct, a felony, and Theft of Property under $500, a Misdemeanor.

The investigation continues about McCall and allegations he took money confiscated during other deals. The F.B.I. is working alongside of Deputies in the investigation.

Officer Rene Guillen Arrested for Molesting 7-year-old Girl

A Bal Harbour police officer was arrested Thursday and accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl, police said.

Rene Guillen, a five-year-veteran who works with the city's motorcycle unit and who has a clean police record, was charged with sexual aggravated battery on a minor, according to the police report.

He was taken into custody after being arrested at the village's police department, according to a police report. He confessed to sexually assaulting his young victim when she visited his home.


Cpl Jason King Accepts Suspension for Using Excessive Force

A police officer accused of excessive force has decided to accept a demotion and suspension for his actions, but may soon be off the force anyway.

On Thursday, Cpl. Jason King told the city's Board of Public Safety that he would accept the disciplinary measures recommended by Police Chief Darryl Boykins, even though King said he did nothing wrong.

King was accused of using excessive force when arresting Skee Katlun after a high-speed chase Feb. 14.

Boykins, after a department internal investigation, said videotape evidence of the incident showed King attacking an unresisting Katlun, who lay prone on the ground. Boykins also alleged King lied about the incident on a police report.

On Thursday, however, King disputed those allegations and said he had followed standard police procedure. His lawyer, Thomas Dixon, said other officers, including Lt. Robert Black of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, had reviewed the tape of the incident and were willing to testify that King's actions were legitimate and right.

That testimony, however, was not heard at Thursday's hearing after King announced his decision to accept the chief's recommended discipline.

King said he chose not to fight the allegations for personal reasons — his wife recently gave birth to their first child — and because he feared the board could jeopardize his request to be placed on disabled leave from the department.

King is scheduled to appear before the department's pension board today to ask that he be placed on full-time disability stemming from a December 2007 on-duty accident.

On Dec. 20, 2007, King received multiple injuries — including a broken neck — after his squad car crashed with another officer's vehicle.

King was placed on disabled leave after the accident, but had returned to active duty by the time of the Feb. 14 incident. King was returned to light duty after the incident with Katlun, but before allegations of wrong-doing were filed with the Board of Public Safety.

King said doctor reports have shown he is physically unfit to serve as an officer, and that seeking disability is the best option for him and his family.

"I have to think about my future and my family," King said.

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Former Officer Brian Bedsworth Accused of Unlawfully Shooting His Gun During High Speed Chase

A former Mt. Pleasant police officer is fighting criminal charges because he fired his police issued pistol.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested Brian Bedsworth. He's accused of unlawfully shooting his gun at a suspect during a high speed chase.

The incident happened on March 21. When neighbor Ricky woke up he said his front yard was a crime scene.

Minutes earlier, Mt. Pleasant police officer Brian Bedsworth pulled over Eddie Roberts.

After a brief discussion, police said Roberts sped away; the officer pulled his pistol and started firing.

"Gunshots - saw a lot," said Ricky. "I think the officer was in the right for doing what he did. Anybody would protect their own life."

The TBI and the Mt. Pleasant police chief disagree. On Thursday, Bedsworth was charged with reckless endangerment with a weapon and reckless aggravated assault.

"As the vehicle was fleeing, leaving the scene, officer Bedsworth drew his gun and discharged it a total of nine times at the vehicle," said Mt. Pleasant police chief Tommy Goetz.

In Goetz' opinion, his officer violated the use of deadly force policy, which allows officers to use deadly force ‘to defend themselves or other persons from what the officer reasonably perceives as an immediate threat of death or serious injury.'

"The greatest fear would have been that an innocent bystander would have got hit, or the gas pumping station's line would have got hit," said Goetz.

The officer was firing in the direction of a natural gas station. Bedsworth's patrol car had a camera, that camera was not working during the particular traffic stop.

Bedsworth is out of the Maury County jail on bond. Soon after the incident Bedsworth resigned from the Mt. Pleasant Police Department, and he did not want to comment on his case.

Since this incident, Goetz said supervisors have once again briefed officers on the department's policy on the use of deadly force.

Officer Ronald Debello Arrested for Puncturing Tires

A Shreveport police officer faces a charge of simple criminal property damage as a result of a citizen report of seeing a uniformed officer get out of a marked patrol unit and puncture a vehicle tire.

Ronald Debello, 34, a three-year member of the Police Department, was issued a misdemeanor summons Thursday to appear in court and was put on paid administrative leave by Shreveport Police Chief Henry Whitehorn, according to a Police Department news release

The tire slashing May 2 involved a vehicle parked in the 9000 block of Youree Drive in Shreveport, according to the news release.