Friday, October 30, 2009

Correction Officer Timothy Munroe Charged with Beating Two Inmates

A New York City correction officer has been charged with beating two inmates at Rikers Island in separate incidents.

Timothy Munroe pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with assault and falsifying records.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson says Munroe punched an inmate in the face and broke his nose as punishment for disruptive behavior on Dec. 12, 2008.

The inmate reported the alleged assault after he was taken to a clinic.

In another incident, Munroe is accused of punching another inmate in the face over an argument on Jan. 24. He was also accused of filing a report with fake details on the incident.

Munroe's attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

He faces four years in prison, if convicted.

Officer Ismael Ramirez Charged with Coercing Woman to Have Sex

A Medina police officer has been accused of coercing a woman to have sex to make charges against her go away.

Officer Ismael Gaston Garcia Ramirez is charged with official misconduct. The 30-year-old is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 12 in King County Superior Court.

Documents from Issaquah police say he pulled over the woman in November 2008 and found a small amount of marijuana in her car.

Prosecutors say he told her she was sexy and could make the charges go away.

About a week later they met at an Issaquah pub and he took her to his home where he is accused of having sex with her over her objections.

He asked the prosecutor to drop the marijuana charge because the amount was too small.
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Trooper Casey Myers Arrested for DUI

What happens in Pullman obviously doesn't stay in Pullman.

A State Patrol trooper who works in King County is on administrative leave after being charged with drunken driving near Washington State University earlier this month.

Casey Myers, 26, was arrested for DUI shortly before 3 a.m. on Oct. 9, according to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. According to the newspaper report, Myers was stopped by Pullman police for failing to stop at a stop sign.

State Patrol Capt. Jeff DeVere tells The Seattle Times that Myers was on vacation when he was stopped. When Myers returned to work on Oct. 16 he was placed on administrative leave with pay.

Myers has been with the State Patrol for four years, DeVere said. The trooper will remain on administrative leave until after the State Patrol completes its own investigation, DeVere said.

Myers was the arresting officer in several pending DUI cases in King County, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. The cases won't likely be impacted by his arrest, Donohoe said.

Court Rules Fatal Tasering Wasn't Justified

The 11th Circuit rebuked Orlando officers for Tasering an unarmed man eight to 12 times in two minutes, causing his death. Judge Stanley Marcus said the repeated shocks were "grossly disproportionate to any threat posed and unreasonable under the circumstances."

According to an eye witness, Anthony Carl Oliver Sr. flagged down officer Lori Fiorino from a grassy median. She allegedly pulled out her Taser gun and asked him what was wrong. "They're shooting at me," he told her, and pointed across the street.
Fiorino tried to calm him down, and later said he had been "very fidgety."

The witness said Oliver wasn't belligerent and threatened or cursed at the officer.

Fiorino called for backup, and she and responding officer David Burk considered taking Oliver in for a psychiatric evaluation, because they thought he might be mentally unstable.

When Burk tried to get Oliver to cross the street, Oliver "struggled and pulled away from him," according to the ruling.

Without warning, Fiorino Tasered him in the stomach, bringing him to the ground. Once the five-second pulse wore off, she Tasered him again. The witness said Oliver never got up after the first Tasering, and never hit, punched, kicked or threatened the officers.

Oliver, who was lying on the hot asphalt, allegedly screamed that it was "too hot." Fioriono said she may have Tasered Oliver 11 or 12 times, explaining that she kept pulling the trigger until he stayed on the ground. Her Taser log showed eight times in two minutes, with each shock lasting five seconds.

After officers handcuffed Oliver, he began foaming at the mouth, according to Fiorino. She said she was unable to remove all the Taser prongs from his body.

Paramedics put him on a stretcher and loaded him into an ambulance, where he began to have a seizure. He was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital, a result of "being struck by a Taser," according to a forensic pathologist.

Amy Shirley Oliver filed suit on behalf of Oliver's estate, claiming the officers' use of excessive force had killed him.

Fiorino and Burk asked the district court to dismiss the case on the basis of qualified immunity, but the district court refused.

The Atlanta-based appeals court affirmed.

"The justification for the repeated use of Taser force, at least beyond an initial Taser shock, was minimal," Judge Marcus wrote.

Oliver was not accused or suspected of any crime, posed no immediate threat to officers or others, did not act belligerently, was not trying to flee, and
was "largely compliant and cooperative with officers," Marcus noted.

"We agreed with the district court's determination that the force employed was so utterly disproportionate to the level of force reasonably necessary that any reasonable officer would have recognized that his actions were unlawful," the court concluded.