Monday, August 17, 2009

Officer Anthony Miller Sentenced to Prison for Child Porn

A police officer, who lives in western Wisconsin, is sentenced to serve time in prison for possessing child pornography.

Monday, Anthony T. Miller was sentenced to five years in prison. He lives in New Richmond, but works in Minnesota. He has been a police officer with the city of Hastings for 11 years.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice says Miller admitted downloading and trading child pornography for the past two years.

Press Release:

NEW RICHMOND - Anthony Miller, who told investigators he was a Hastings Minnesota police officer, was sentenced by Judge Vlack today on two counts of Possession of Child Pornography. He received 14 years on the first count with 4 years of initial confinement and 10 years of extended supervision. On count two Miller received 15 years with 5 years of initial confinement and 10 years extended supervision to be served concurrently.

In addition, Miller must provide a DNA sample, register as a Sex Offender, not use a computer or access the Internet without prior written approval, not possess pornography and may not have contact with any child under 18 without prior written approval.

Miller was originally charged on December 18, 2008 with Possession of Child Pornography and Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

"Sadly, a man sworn to protect society has committed a crime victimizing our most vulnerable," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, whose office investigated the crime with the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the New Richmond Police Department. "Today's sentence sends a strong message: download and distribute child pornography and you will go to prison for a long time."

Audra Harmon Sues Sheriff's Department for Tasering

A mother who was zapped with a stun gun in front of her children during a New York traffic stop has filed notice she’ll sue the sheriff’s department.

A police video captured by a dashboard camera shows Deputy Sean Andrews yanking Audra Harmon out of her minivan by the arm and knocking her down with two Taser shots in January.

Harmon was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and speeding. Her lawyer says prosecutors dismissed the charges after watching the videotape.

Harmon claims Andrews was improperly trained. She says a Taser isn’t supposed to be used against people who pose no threat.

In a notice of claim filed Thursday with the Onondaga (ahn-uhn-DAH’-guh) County clerk, Harmon accuses Andrews of wrongful conduct. She’s seeking unspecified monetary damages.

You Tube Video:

Officers Kevin Fujioka & Shayne Souza Arrested

Two Honolulu law enforcers in Las Vegas to play in a softball tournament for police and firefighters were arrested on marijuana charges after leading authorities on a short chase.

Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said officers Kevin Fujioka, 37, and Shayne Souza, 47, were arrested Saturday night near Desert Breeze Park, about six miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

Scott Wilson, a 38-year-old social worker from Honolulu, also was arrested, Welling said Monday.

Park police approached the men in a white van because it was parked sideways across two spots in the parking lot, Welling said. As officers approached, the van drove off.

After a short pursuit, Souza and Fujioka got out of the van and ran from police, authorities said. Welling said officers pepper-sprayed Souza when he resisted arrest.

All three men were charged with marijuana possession, Welling said. Fujioka also was charged with driving under the influence of a narcotic, and Souza was charged with drug paraphernalia possession, resisting a police officer and obstruction of justice. Wilson was charged with having an open alcohol container in a vehicle, Welling said.

Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department, confirmed that the agency has two officers with the same names as Fujioka and Souza, but she said the department had not heard about the arrests and could not immediately comment.

Yu said Fujioka is a patrol officer who has worked at the department 13 years, while Souza is a SWAT officer who has been with the department 20 years.

Welling said the men identified themselves as police officers from the Hawaii city.

Tom Wagner, president of the Nevada Police Athletic Federation, said the arrests happened during a men's softball tournament that was part of the 2009 Nevada Police & Fire Games. The five-day event of various sports and games involves about 2,000 police and firefighters from across the country, Wagner said.

He called the arrests "shocking" and said it's possible that the players and their team would not be invited to return to the games.

"It's unfortunate but we definitely are going to be speaking to that coach and that police department and getting the story and deciding what our action will be as a federation," Wagner said.

Andron Reed Dies After Beating At County Jail

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is supposedly conducting an investigation into the death and possible murder of an 18-year-old boy who was taken to the Rutherford County jail in Tennessee.

It seems things went a little bit too far. Young Andron Reed died or was killed soon after he was handed over to County Sheriff’s deputies late Friday night. He had been arrested after leading state troopers on a high-speed chase down Interstate 24, which ended in a slight accident. Luckily for all no one was injured according to the highway patrol officers who took Andron and his brother Octavius into custody at the scene. Of course Andron was arrested on a variety of charges ranging from evading arrest to driving under the influence and even assault, but how many times have we heard about people being falsely charged with assault by the police to justify or cover their actions.

After Andron was booked at the Rutherford County jail, they immediately took him to a cell, apparently within ear shot of his brother Octavius, who was able to hear Andron's screams as he was being beaten by Sheriff’s deputies. The TBI said Andron Reed was found unconscious and not moving by the jail house nurse who had him taken by ambulance to the Middle Tennessee Medical Center, where he later died.

TBI agents only have the information provided by the same jailers who may have murdered Andron. They claim that he was combative during the arrest and booking process. Since Andron Reed is dead he can't dispute the claim. If The TBI really is investigating the tragic death of this eighteen year old boy it will all hinge on the the autopsy. If it is a real autopsy and not another cover up, the results should tell us how Andron Reed died, or was murdered. If it is determined that he was murdered, one of the 'untouchable' police could actually be charged with the murder, something which almost never happens in the US unless the police are actually careless enough to be video recorded by witnesses while shooting an unarmed person in the back.

Bush is no longer the president and yet the corrupt police state he turned America into continues. Obama promised change, but has changed nothing about the egregious cruelty and abuse of authority by the police. Hundreds die in police custody each year, when will the American people rise up and say no more, no more tazer torture deaths, no more stripping naked and molesting of our wives, sons, and daughters, no more permanently disfiguring and disabling beatings. When will America start screening police applicants to weed out the sublimated sadists and killers? When will the legal system start punishing the police instead of consistently finding them innocent?

Cst. Sheldon Cook Accused of Stealing Fake Cocaine

A Peel Regional Police officer accused of stealing bogus bricks of cocaine from a delivery truck in Mississauga testified today that he saw his immediate boss take a box containing the unknown substance from the vehicle and walk away with it.

Cst. Sheldon Cook, 40, told court he didn't know why Det. Marty Rykhoff removed the box from inside the truck on the night of Nov. 16, 2005. But he suspected Rykhoff had a good reason because of his morality experience.

Cook, one of several officers working under Rykhoff that night, is accused of stealing 15 of 102 bricks of the "cocaine" seized hours earlier from a courier cargo truck at the force's Lakeshore community station in Mississauga.

Cook has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges.

The drugs turned out to be flour, part of a botched RCMP controlled delivery from Peru to Canada that went missing 12 hours earlier after arriving at Mississauga's Pearson International Airport.

Cook, a 14-year veteran, said he never thought the drugs he's accused of stealing were real.

Having some street crime experience with drugs, Cook rubbed a bit of the white, chalky, powdery substance found in a football-sized beige package between his fingers to see if he could tell what it was.

"Usually cocaine has a crystal look and it breaks down into an oily substance when it's rubbed between your fingers," Cook said. "This was dull. It remained chalky. There was also no odour usually associated with cocaine or heroin ..."

In February, Rykhoff denied taking any of the boxes with the cocaine-like substance when he testified as a federal Crown witness in the trial that began last November.
He also denied framing Cook by stealing what he thought were bricks of cocaine and then placing them in the trunk of the accused man's police cruiser.

Rykhoff, a 24-year-veteran officer, also denied telling Cook to “secure” the box - and that he would return it to morality the following day.

Defence lawyer Pat Ducharme has suggested this trial that Cook didn’t take any of the suspected drugs and didn’t know anything about them until he opened the trunk of his cruiser at the end of his shift.

He suggested Cook took the box home and put it in his garage under Rykhoff’s orders, believing his immediate boss would pick it up the next day. But Rykhoff didn’t show up. Instead, he went to Halifax with friends for a college football game, faking illness and phoning in sick.

Rykhoff was subsequently convicted of Police Act offences and docked five days pay. He was also suspended until mid-January 2006.

Two days later, RCMP investigators used a GPS signal hidden in the missing box to locate the 15 bricks in a compartment in a Sea-Do in the garage at Cook’s Cambridge home. Officers executing a search warrant also found marijuana and several MP3 players allegedly taken from an un-related investigation.

Federal prosecutors David Rowcliffe and Ania Weiler say Cook took the fake bricks of cocaine, which he believed were real, during his involvement as part of Rykhoff’s crew.

Cook is charged with attempting to possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property (MP3 players) from a police investigation and breach of trust as a police officer. He remains suspended with pay.

The trial continues this afternoon.

Corrections Officer Accuses Superiors of Sexual Harassment


A former Dakota County corrections officer has sued the county, its sheriff and other superiors alleging they pressured female employees into sexual relationships and those who refused their advances were treated as outcasts.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Omaha last week on behalf of Toni Duncan, calls the work environment she chose to leave in 2007 a "cesspool" in which superiors misused their power for their own sexual gratification. It seeks unspecified damages.

Attorneys for the Sioux City, Iowa, woman say she's not the first and won't be the last to raise issues with the problems in the northeastern Nebraska county.

The county investigated related claims in 2007, but its findings were never made public, according to Duncan's lawsuit, which alleges a cover-up.

"This is a genuine mess. The more we get into it, the more messy it gets," said attorney Dewey Sloan, who along with Brian Buckmeier represents both Duncan and Williams.

An attorney for the county called Duncan's allegations mystifying and suspicious.

"I have no clue where these allegations are coming from," attorney Vince Valentino said Monday.

Sloan also represents Charvette Williams, another corrections officer who sued the county in June alleging unfair pay and harassment. The Sioux City woman alleged the hostile work environment left her feeling trapped in a sexual relationship with a chief deputy.

Sloan said he and Buckmeier are working to file several other lawsuits in coming weeks making similar claims.

Valentino said neither Duncan nor Williams took their sexual harassment allegations to the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission or its federal counterpart to investigate. He said that's always the first step for anyone serious about such claims.

Dewey said Williams did file a claim with the state commission, although it didn't address sexual harassment. It wasn't until later, when Williams became less fearful, that she felt willing to talk about the additional allegations.

In Duncan's case, she waited too long to take the claim to the state commission, Dewey said.

Duncan quit in November 2007, after a little over a year with the county, according to her lawsuit.

The Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission can investigate employment claims within 300 days of when the alleged harassment happened.

The report completed by a private law firm in 2007 was recently sealed by the Dakota County Board to protect people who offered confidential information, board Chairman Bill McLarty said.

McLarty said he never read the report and couldn't discuss its findings.

The report was shared with Attorney General Jon Bruning's office, which found that the allegations did not rise to the level of a criminal matter, according to a letter dated July 30, 2007.

A spokeswoman for Bruning couldn't immediately comment on the report or the attorney general's conclusions.

Captain William Frontz Arrested for DWI

A Myrtle Beach police officer is on personal leave after being arrested for DWI in North Carolina over the weekend.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department says Captain William Frontz was arrested in Guilford County, that's in the Greensboro area. Fontz was off-duty at the time.

He's been with the department since 1987.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department is conducting an internal investigation.

Rookie Officer Christine Thurston Arrested for Brandishing Weapon

A 23-year-old rookie San Diego police officer has been placed on administrative leave after being cited by Carlsbad police on suspicion of being drunk in public, officials said Monday.

The patrol officer, Christine Thurston, was at Hennessey's Tavern on Roosevelt Street, near Grand Avenue, Friday evening. About 10 p.m., a restaurant manager called police to report that someone was brandishing a weapon inside the tavern, said Carlsbad police spokeswoman Lynn Diamond.

When officers arrived, they found Thurston waiting outside with some bouncers. The weapon that had been in her purse was being held for police inside, Diamond said.
“Someone in the bar did take it away from her when the 911 call was made,” Diamond said. “The weapon had been taken away and she was outside with the bouncers awaiting our arrival.”

Officers determined that Thurston took her gun out of her purse at some point while inside the bar, but she did not display it in a threatening manner, Diamond said.
“The elements of brandishing a weapon were not felt to be met based on the interviews at the scene,” Diamond said. The weapon was removed from the purse, but never drawn, she said.

Thurston was taken by officers to Carlsbad police headquarters, where she was released to a family member about 1 a.m. Saturday. San Diego police officers were sent to Carlsbad to retrieve the officer's gun, which was issued to her by the department, Diamond said.

Thurston is scheduled to appear in Vista court on the misdemeanor charge.