Friday, September 04, 2009

Deputy Cpl Shane Clevenger Charged with Domestic Violence

A Beaufort County sheriff's deputy was fired Friday following an internal affairs investigation into allegations he beat his girlfriend, making him the second officer dismissed for misconduct in the past two weeks.

Cpl. Shane Clevenger was relieved of his duties after being on paid suspension for about a week during the probe. He faces a charge of criminal domestic violence.

The incident occurred Aug. 26 in the parking lot of Walmart in Beaufort. Clevenger, 42, turned himself in at the Beaufort Police Department two days later, when police obtained a warrant for his arrest, said Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy.

He was booked at the Beaufort County Detention Center and released hours later on his own recognizance.

Clancy doesn't think the victim required medical treatment.

Clevenger, a patrol deputy working the northern part of the county, served three stints at the Sheriff's Office -- from September 1999 to December 2000; from March 2003 to September 2007; and from April 2009 until Friday.

He was one of two sheriff's deputies under investigation for criminal domestic violence.

On Tuesday, Cpl. Tony Serrato resigned amid an internal affairs inquiry and a criminal investigation.

According to a sheriff's report, police were called to a Jib Sail Court home in Yacht Cove on Hilton Head Island on Aug. 27.The victim, a girlfriend with whom Serrato had previously lived, told dispatchers and responding officers that Serrato had assaulted her and pinned her against a refrigerator.

When a detective interviewed her, the woman recanted many of her previous statements and described the incident as an argument fueled by alcohol, the report stated. She declined to press charges.

Serrato began work with the Sheriff's Office as a reserve deputy in 1992. He was hired full-time in 2001 and worked as a patrol deputy in the southern part of the county.

A third deputy is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division for allegedly having "improper contact" with a Bluffton woman he had arrested and was taking to jail Aug. 15.

Lance Cpl. David Singleterry was fired last week after an internal affairs investigation concluded he engaged in "conduct unbecoming of an officer," said Sheriff P.J. Tanner.

SLED is expected to report its findings to 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, who will then decide whether criminal charges are warranted in that case.

A SLED investigation can take months to complete.

Minneapolis Police Accused of Police Brutality

New video released Thursday shows a man surrendering only to be beaten by Minneapolis Police—the second video of alleged police brutality in a month.

The last video of alleged police misconduct released two weeks ago led Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan to order all of his 800 officers to watch a video in which six officers punched and kicked Derryl Jenkins, 42, during a traffic stop.

In this new video—which is now at the center of a lawsuit and internal affairs investigation—a veteran Minneapolis officer is seen kicking a man suspected of breaking into cars in a downtown parking ramp.

It starts when a car driven by Brian McCarthy rams a squad car trying to block his escape. McCarthy flees but his passenger, Nicolas Kastner, gets out and lays down—apparently giving up after being shot by police.

Officer Sherry Appledorn, a 16-year department veteran, thought her rookie partner was dead, according to people who know her. The video shows Appledorn standing over Kastner. She then begins to stomp on him approximately four times before kicking him about nine times.

Officer Joe Will, with 14 years on the force, sits on Kastner and six seconds later, Appledorn kicks him again.

"That wild movement of [Kastner's] legs is the result of getting shocked with 50,000 volts," said Kastern's attorney Fred Goetz.

Appledorn is seen in the video tasering him twice.

"The tasing, like the kicks, were nothing but torture. Nothing but gratuitous acts of violence," Goetz said.

He says they've filed a federal lawsuit alleging police brutality, excessive force, and a cover-up - especially by Appledorn.

"What happened is just an unjustified, unprovoked, unreasonable police beating," Goetz said.

"The passenger failed to get on the ground. I grabbed him and threw him on the ground face first. [He] started crawling under the squad in an attempt to get away. The suspect refused to place his arms behind his back," Appledorn said in a video statement three days later.

"She deliberately and blatantly lied to justify her unreasonable use of force," said Goetz.

Chief Dolan says his department referred this case to the St. Paul City Attorney for possible prosecution.

Both Officers Appledorn and Wills were not charged. Both McCarthy and Kaster have prior criminal theft and damage to property convictions. McCarthy had a warrant out for his arrest for violating his probation at the time of the incident.

Dolan says he takes any allegations of misconduct "extremely seriously" and says as chief, he has raised the bar for expectations around officer conduct and accountability.

The department says the officers cannot comment.

Officer Chad Bradley Charged with Rape

Chattanooga police have arrested and charged one of their own for allegedly having sex with a Meigs County girl.

Officer Chad E. Bradley, 35, has been charged with aggravated statutory rape, statutory rape by an authority figure and tampering with evidence, said Lt. Kim Noorbergen, police spokeswoman.

The investigation was initiated on Wednesday. Since then, investigators have determined that Officer Bradley had consensual sexual encounters with an underaged girl from Meigs County, she said.

Chattanooga police and Meigs County sheriff’s investigators located the victim today and interviewed her. The victim is a 17-year-old white female, police said.

She confirmed several consensual sexual encounters with the officer, police said. Two of those were while he was on duty, Lt. Noorbergen reported. The relationship began in July and the pair reportedly had engaged in sex four days ago in Meigs County, police said.

He is being charged locally for an encounter that allegedly occurred on Pan Gap Road in August, Lt. Noorbergen said.