Friday, January 31, 2014

Veteran Officer Rodney Williams Charged with Stealing from Evidence Room

A D.C. police officer with 24 years on the force was charged Thursday with stealing property from an evidence room, according to the department.

Officer Rodney Williams was charged with one count of second-degree theft and has an appearance scheduled in D.C. Superior Court on Feb. 20. He was issued a criminal citation and set free.

Officer Araz Alali, a D.C. police spokesman, said members of the Internal Affairs Division arrested Williams on Thursday after a tip from another police employee. He said the theft occurred from the Evidence Control Branch, located in Southwest Washington, where the officer had been assigned.

Police would not disclose which items were stolen. The evidence branch handles about 100,000 items that are either seized or recovered by police throughout any given year. Items include evidence from crime scenes, found property and possessions from a person found deceased.

The arrest comes just days after D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier testified before the D.C. Council’s public safety committee about a spate of recent arrests of officers that includes one charged with running a prostitution ring involving minors out of his apartment. Another officer was recently charged with taking semi-nude pictures of a teenaged girl; his body was found in the Washington Channel last month in what police have said was an apparent suicide.

Lanier has complained that several officers she has fired were ordered back during an appeals process, and she asked lawmakers to help change the law to strengthen her ability to terminate officers convicted of crimes. She also has said many officers recently arrested graduated from the academy in 1989 and 1990, a time when hiring standards were lowered to quickly boost the size of the force. Williams was in the 1990 class.

The chief has said many of the officers hired then would not be hired under tougher standards in place today. At the Council hearing Jan. 24, Lanier said 47 District officers have been convicted of crimes since 2009. There were four in 2013, eight in 2012, 20 in 2011, 10 in 2010 and five in 2009.

Officer Emmanuel Augustine Arrested for Prostitution

Emmanuel Augustine was off duty when he propositioned what he thought was a hooker.

It turns out the woman was an undercover deputy from the same Houston, Texas precinct he works in.

Or used to work in.

Augustine’s co-workers arrested him for soliciting the woman for sex.

The department then released a statement saying,"

"Following his identification, the administration was notified and responded to the arrest location. Emmanuel Augustine was placed on immediate administrative suspension without pay pending an investigation into the incident."

ABC13 in Houston reports Augustine was wearing his department issued pants at the time of his arrest.

Augustine has worked at Precinct 4 since 2009; he faces a fine of up to $2,000 and/or jail time of not more than 180 days.

The deputy was kept away from other inmates while in custody but has since been released on his own recognizance.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Officer Mark Ridley Arrested for Forcing Ex to Have Sex with Him at Gunpoint

MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma

A suspended Muskogee police officer was placed behind bars without bond Thursday after he allegedly forced an estranged love interest to have sex with him.

Mark Ridley is accused of chasing her down the street in his vehicle, ultimately ramming her off the road, before ordering her to perform sexual acts with him at gunpoint.

Ridley was arrested Thursday morning, hours after the Muskogee County district attorney say the crimes occurred, and charged with kidnapping, sodomy and assault and battery with a motor vehicle. A judge entered a not guilty plea for the officer, who was placed on leave in December for another matter related to the woman, Thursday afternoon.

The judge granted the DA's request that Ridley be held without bond after the DA explained he had tried to commit suicide in his jail cell earlier in the day. The DA also expressed concern he might try and hurt his alleged victim.

Court records show the woman filed two protective orders against the man: one in December and another Wednesday, the day of the alleged assault.

To avoid any conflicts of interest, the case will now be handled by the Delaware County District Attorney's Office. Muskogee County DA Larry Moore said following Ridley's arraignment that the decision was made to avoid any "appearance of impropriety."

"So ... there won't be any accusations that either we were too harsh or not harsh enough. We just want the right thing to happen in the case," he said.

Delaware County is also tasked with investigating the incident that led to Ridley's suspension.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Officer Jason Lowder Accused of Selling Police Issued Vest

A Murfreesboro police officer is accused of selling police-issued bulletproof vests in a Walgreen's parking lot.

Officer Jason Lowder is on administrative leave with pay and has been decommissioned from his duties as an officer pending the investigation into his alleged personal sale of police department property.

According to a police report, another officer saw a man placing a ballistic vest in the trunk of a car in the store's parking lot on Northfield Boulevard. The officer asked the man about the vest, and the man said he bought it from a website.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Murfreesboro Police Department are investigating.

Lowder has been a Murfreesboro officer since 2006, the department said.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Officer La'Cori Johnson Charged with Sexual Assault

La'Cori Johnson, a five-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, was arrested at police headquarters Tuesday, just after he resigned.

He was charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony.

According to the arrest affidavit, the assault occurred September 9, 2013. Johnson detained a woman and a man in the 9200 block of Larga Drive, near Bachman Lake. He ordered the man to leave, but told the woman she had an outstanding warrant.

The affidavit states he ordered her into the back seat of his marked car and when she began to cry, he said, "Why are you crying? You don't have to go to jail if you do what I tell you to do."

According to the affidavit, Johnson drove his squad car a short distance, to a dead end circle in the 3300 block of Storey Drive, behind an apartment complex. The affidavit said he got into the back seat, took off his gun belt, placed it beside them, and raped the woman.

"With any sexual assault, the victim is going to have lasting damage from that attack; but in this particular case, the damage extends beyond the victim, and it impacts the entire public," said Dallas attorney Kimberly Priest Johnson.

She is not directly involved in this case, but is outraged by it, saying it shakes the public trust.

"You know, the public thinks things like, 'Is this person the only Dallas police officer who has done this? Might there be other victims that Johnson has attacked?'"

The affidavit says Johnson dropped off the victim on nearby Clydesdale Drive and she walked home, telling her mother what happened.

Police said the victim reported the incident to them on October 4. Johnson was placed on leave at that time, according to a statement from Dallas police, and a public integrity investigation began.

An internal affairs investigation started January 24. Johnson was questioned by internal affairs Tuesday.

Then he submitted his resignation, was arrested, and booked in jail.

His bond was set at $25,000.

"When it's by a police officer, on a citizen, while that police officer is on duty, in a marked car, pulling someone over, seeking this out, it's at the top of egregiousness," Kimberly Priest Johnson said.

The Dallas Police Department says La'Cori Johnson was hired as an officer in April 2009 and was assigned to the Northwest Patrol Division.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has cost Phoenix Taxpayers $49 Million dollars

Link to Video

A political feud among county officials in metro Phoenix that led to a spate of costly lawsuits and unsuccessful public corruption investigations against some participants in the disputes has cost taxpayers at least $49 million.

County officials on Monday released the nearly final price tag for the disputes that mired county government from 2006 through 2010 when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and then-County Attorney Andrew Thomas squared off against county officials and judges.

The disputes centered on cuts to agency budgets, a plan to build a new court building complex and other issues.

Arpaio and Thomas lost most of the key battles.

"I was unjustly prosecuted," said Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor who was one of the people targeted by Arpaio and Thomas.

"[I was] hit with 44 felony counts and I was cleared of everything. But it was hell," she continued.

Monday, documents obtained by CBS 5 News shows that $49 million in taxpayer money was spent on litigation costs and other settlements.

"No one was ever prosecuted. None of the cases stood. Everything fell apart. It was political vindictiveness," said Wilcox.

CBS 5 News reached out to Thomas by phone and through email. He never responded. Arpaio, however, released this statement:

"My office is only a small piece of the county's past internal disputes.  I am glad those difficult days are behind us."  

Arpaio and Thomas loomed large in many of the disputes, but other officials also took part in power struggles that, in some instances, didn't involve the sheriff or prosecutor.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chief Brian Fanelli Charged with Possession of Child Porn

The police chief of Mount Pleasant, New York, was arrested Thursday on charges of possession of child pornography, authorities said.

Brian Fanelli, 54, was arrested at his home in upstate Mahopac after a months-long investigation by federal officials, said James Hayes, Jr., special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York.

The chief allegedly used a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download more than 120 images and videos of child pornography, prosecutors said.

Fanelli was released on $50,000 bond Thursday evening, according to CNN affiliate WCBS. A judge ordered him to home confinement with electronic monitoring. His computers and guns were confiscated, WCBS reported.

Investigators identified Fanelli in October 2013 while investigating peer-to-peer networks being used to download sexually explicit content.

“We moved rather swiftly given his prominence in the community, his trust that had been placed upon him by those in the community and his close relationships with the community,” Hayes told CNN.

As police executed a search warrant at his home Thursday, Fanelli voluntarily told investigators that he began viewing child pornography about one year ago. Fanelli told investigators that he first started collecting the child porn as research for a sexual abuse awareness program he taught to elementary and middle-school students. But he said he later continued downloading it for personal interest , according to the office of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara.

Fanelli had worked for the police department in Mount Pleasant, a town about 30 miles north of New York City, since November 1981, according to Joan Maybury, the town supervisor.

He has been suspended as chief, a post he took in November — one month after he became the target of the child porn investigation.

“The fact of the matter is the general public impression of people who commit these crimes is [that of] an unemployed pervert in his mother’s basement,” Hayes said. “That’s not our experience. We’re finding that the people who commit these crimes are educated professionals, people in many different fields, and unfortunately this is not the first law enforcement officer that we’ve arrested for this crime.”

Homeland Security investigators have been more involved in child pornography cases in recent years because they often involve the transmission of sexually explicit images of children from outside the United States, Hayes said.

Fanelli faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted, according to the statement.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Officer Joshua Boren Shoots Entire Family then Kills Himself

More horrible news of a parent taking his or her life and the lives of their children. This time, it happened on Thursday in Spanish Fork, Utah. Reports say that 34-year-old police officer Joshua Boren shot his entire family dead, including his 55-year-old mother-in-law Marie King, his wife, Kelly, and his two children, 7-year-old Joshua (who was called Jaden) and 5-year-old Haley. He then reportedly took his own life. The family was found when officers became concerned after Boren didn't show for his night shift with the Lindon Police Department.

Authorities said that the couple appeared to be having marital difficulties, but despite that, they had all gone on a trip to Disneyland at Christmas.

Pictures show a family looking happy and healthy. The kids are smiling with painted faces; Kelly and her daughter dressed up like princesses at Disneyland. The husband wife are both athletic-looking and attractive. They had everything to live for. What could make someone feel that things are so incredibly hopeless that the entire family needs to be wiped out in such a horrifying manner?

It has been only two days since another family murder-suicide in Utah, that of Kyler Ramsdell-Oliva, whom police believe killed her 13-year-old and 6-year-old daughters before turning the gun on herself after her fiance moved out.

Kelly's Facebook page shows a beautiful young woman and her gorgeous, blonde children. "Kelly, how sadly ironic that you post a loving picture of your children the day you and them were taken from us. You will always be in my heart," a devastated friend posted on her wall. She also was a fan of working out and posting motivational quotes from Tony Robbins. In fact, it appears she had been struggling lately with making a major decision, and quoted Robbins:
Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them or one that can literally save their lives.
Unfortunately, Kelly's life and that of her children were not saved.

Please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in case you are worried about yourself or someone else.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Officer Scottie Brothers Arrested for Possession of Stolen Property

A Union City police officer has been arrested after a lengthy investigation by the Canadian County Sheriff's Department.

According to Canadian County Sheriff's Department, Scottie D. Brothers was arrested Tuesday at his Union City home.

Brothers was arrested on charges of possession of stolen property and providing firearms to a convicted felon.

The Canadian County Sheriff's Office has planned a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the arrest.

Former Officer Harold Wells Back in Court for Corruption Charge

A former police officer may head back to court.

Harold Wells, a former corporal with the Tulsa Police Department, was sentenced in 2011 after a two-year corruption probe resulted in 11 officers being charged or named as unindicted co-conspirartors.

His lawyer said he'll petition an appeals court for a rehearing.

Wells is serving a 10-year prison sentence for stealing money during a drug bust.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Retired Captain Curtis Reeves Charged with Murder

An argument over texting inside a Wesley Chapel theater led to a fight and shooting that left a man dead and his wife wounded Monday afternoon.

The suspect is a retired Tampa Police captain, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
Curtis Reeves, 71, now faces a second-degree murder charge.

"It's crazy. I never thought something like this would happen at our theater," said Leny Vega, a theater employee.

The shooting occurred at the Cobb Grove 16 Theater at at 6333 Wesley Grove Boulevard near State Road 54 and I-75 around 1:30 p.m.

The victims are identified as Chad and Nicole Oulson. Chad Oulson was texting before the movie started, Sheriff Nocco said. Sitting behind them were Reeves and his wife.

Nocco said Reeves asked Oulson to stop texting. When he didn't, Reeves went to the lobby to complain. When he returned to his seat, an argument ensued and then turned physical.

Reeves pulled a .380 pistol and shot Oulson, Nocco said. Witnesses told deputies Oulson had just texted his 3-year-old daughter. Oulson's wife had put her hand in front of her husband and was shot in the hand.

Reeves then sat down and put the gun on his lap. An off-duty Sumter County deputy happened to be in the theater and acted to secure the weapon.

Nocco said the movie, "Lone Survivor," had not yet started when the shooting occurred. It wasn't immediately clear how many people were inside the theater during the gunfire.

According to Tampa Police, Reeves retired from TPD as a captain in 1993 and was instrumental in establishing the department's first Tactical Response Team. In a release, a department spokesperson said there was no indication that Reeves had any contact with TPD since his retirement.

"Something happening like that in little Wesley Chapel is just, I never even thought it would happen," said theater employee Gabriel Mena.

Traffic in the immediate area was shut down. "It is absolutely crazy that it would rise to this level of altercation over somebody just texting in a movie theater," Nocco said.

In summer 2012, a man killed a dozen people and injured 70 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Twenty-six-year-old James Holmes is charged in the killings.

PHOTOS: Aurora shooting, trial of James Holmes

"When the first call came in and you're hearing a shooting at a movie theater, The first thing you think is those critical incidents that have gone on throughout the country. That's why we train for them," Nocco said.

Late Monday afternoon, Cobb Theatres issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the events that occurred earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. The theatre is currently closed, and we are actively working with the sheriff’s office on this investigation. This was an isolated altercation between two guests that escalated unexpectedly. The safety, security and comfort of our guests and team members are always our top priorities, and we are truly heartbroken by this incident.”

Sgt. Michael Hames Charged with Destroying Evidence

A police officer with the city of Lyman has been arrested and charged with altering and destroying evidence.

The State Law Enforcement Division arrested Michael Gerald Hames, 44, of Lyman, and charged him with misconduct in office and obstructing justice.

According to warrants obtained from SLED, Hames, a Sgt. with the Police Department, "knowingly, willfully and dishonestly committed misconduct in office in the form of malfeasance and nonfeasance by altering and then destroying evidence related to an active criminal investigation thereby failing to properly and faithfully discharge the duties of his office." Between August 12 and August 16, 2013, the warrants further state that Hames knowingly and willfully altered and destroyed evidence related to an active investigation with the attempt to impede, obstruct, interfere with, or influence the proper administration of the criminal justice function.

Officials with the town of Lyman said that Hames has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by SLED. He is currently being held on $20,000 at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.  

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Officer Douglas Campbell's Charged with Sexual Assault has been Fired

A police officer arrested in October on allegations of sexual assault by a public servant, official oppression and theft has been fired.

Douglas V. Campbell’s indefinite suspension from the Fort Worth Police Department took effect Dec. 23, according to Civil Service documents obtained Monday by the Star-Telegram.

Campbell, 33, is accused of sexually assaulting a prostitute, threatening another that he would take her to jail if she did not engage in sexual activity, and stealing $2 from an abandoned vehicle.

He was indicted on the sexual assault and official oppression cases Dec. 18 and remains free on bail awaiting trial in all three cases, according to Tarrant County court records.
“Officer Campbell, of course, denies those accusations in the indictments and looks forward to his day in court,” said Jim Lane, his defense attorney.

Campbell has appealed his termination. His attorney in the appeal, Craig Driskell of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, declined to comment Monday.

The department’s special investigation unit began investigating Campbell after receiving information in August from other officers that Campbell was possibly having sex with prostitutes.

Investigators began conducting surveillance of Campbell, then interviewing women with whom he had contact.

One prostitute told officers that Campbell had removed his penis from his pants and had told her to engage in sexual contact with him or he would take her to jail. She said the conversation stopped, however, when another officer drove up, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Another prostitute told investigators that Campbell had touched her and pulled her G-string between her legs, causing her pain, the affidavit states.

According to the disciplinary letter signed by Police Chief Jeff Halstead, Campbell admitted paying for sexual acts at least five times since being commissioned as a Fort Worth officer in 2007.

The theft charge stems from allegations that Campbell removed $2 from an abandoned vehicle that he had been dispatched to, then give it to a female friend whom he had arranged to meet there. The incident was recorded, according to the disciplinary letter.

Campbell also did not accurately report the chain of custody of narcotics found inside the van, the disciplinary letter states.

Halstead said an internal investigation sustained eight allegations of misconduct against Campbell.

“His actions are a disgrace to our department, our city, and the policing profession,” Halstead said in an emailed statement. “I will continue to hold all employees accountable for any violations of policy that jeopardize the level of public trust within our community.”

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