Today In Policing Part I

    Austin, Texas Tampering With Evidence in Homicide While In Police Custody

    In June, The Root reported that 40-year-old Black man Javier Ambler died in police custody in Austin, Texas, in 2019. After several months of slow news coverage relating to Ambler’s death and failed attempts by media outlets to pry information out of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office pertaining to the case, the department released documents and video footage that put a spotlight on Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and his department’s involvement with the Live PD reality show. Now, Chody is charged with evidence tampering in connection with the destruction of crucial Live PD footage that allegedly showed what transpired the night Ambler died.


    Prince George’s County, Maryland $20:Million  Settlement By Police In Death Of Handcuffed Man

    In Maryland, officials for Prince George’s County have agreed to pay $20 million to the family of a man who was shot and killed by a police officer while handcuffed in a police cruiser. 

    The Baltimore Sun reports that Michael Owen Jr., the officer responsible for shooting William Green, has been in jail since being arrested and charged with second-degree murder in January. During a news conference on Monday, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks noted that Owen is the first officer in county history to be charged with murder for an on-duty shooting.

    The 43-year-old Green was unarmed, handcuffed and sitting in the front seat of a police cruiser when Owen, who is Black, shot him six times. Investigators couldn’t find any evidence a struggle occurred between the two men before the shooting. This runs contrary to statements made by a police spokeswoman Christina Cotterman on the night of the shooting.




    Stephen F Austin State University

    Christin Evans was suddenly awakened in the early hours of Sept. 14 by the sound of campus police storming into her dorm room at Stephen F. Austin State University with guns drawn and bright lights shining into her eyes.

    A resident adviser had called campus police after a group of students, who included Evans’s three White roommates, said Evans, who is Black, had threatened them, her lawyer, Randall Kallinen, said at a news conference on Monday.

    But soon after the 3 a.m. raid, police said the accusation against 17-year-old Evans was made up.

    If this is an umbrella column for various policing posts, great!
    will make it easier to find like info here in 1 spot.
    For things that are a bit more culture, history, or focused on an iconic person
    (less ones in the news every day, & preferably not only obits, but...) -
    perhaps the Guston piece, I've been vandalizing the largely unused Creative Corner.

    I've introduced "Stuff" as a grab bag, though preferably as the more bizarre
    or out of the daily routine, but occasionally when nowhere else fits...
    (so German veggie, a letter of support for JK Rowling, a diss against Tucker Carlson,
    Amnesty International in India, a political ad in Spanish... generally stuff
    that won't attract a big long thread to dominate. A voting blurb might have attracted
    more commentary, but it didn't.

    And I've had several Trump/DOJ/Corruption threads that handle all the trials & overreach
    and leftover detritus so we can document the atrocities somewhat linearly in one piece,
    rather than dig them out through 100s of news items. Quite a few owe a debt to Emptywheel.

    And then Belarus seemed worthy to highlight as a continuing topic, while I've piggybacked the
    invasion of Armenia as a likely ongoing flareup somewhat "over there" kinda nearby
    (both involving Russia as well, but rather focused on 2 identifiable crises).

    Since I started this, things don't scroll off the "In the News" section nearly as fast, and it's 
    even possible to match up numerous comments & longer back-and-forths with the story
    they fit with without scrolling back through 2 or 3 prior screens once the news item has faded.

    The trigger was the announcement that a juror on the Breonna Taylor case was suing Daniel Cameron to release the transcript. Law enforcement is held to a higher standard if police are maiming people, we should keep that in mind. If an AG is not honest with what is presented to a grand jury, we should know that. You can argue about the best way to protest misconduct in the legal system, but pointing out the misconduct is important.

    Georgia corrections officer

    A 61-year-old Georgia corrections officer has been fired for the third time in a decade after calling an inmate on suicide watch a racial slur.

    Officer Gregory Hubert Brown, a corrections officer at the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, called a prisoner on suicide watch a “crazy” N-word, according to a colleague and other inmates who were nearby. An official statement from the sheriff’s office released Sunday night offered scant details but said Brown was placed on administrative leave without pay immediately and would be fired from the job within 72 hours.

    The racist incident will mark the third time Brown has been fired from a correctional facility job in a decade, according to Georgia Peace Officer recorders obtained by the Atlantic Journal-Constitution. The first was in December 2010, after getting into a heated argument with a fellow corrections officer after he was asked to complete a form keeping track of inmate headcounts at the Coweta County Prison. Records say that Brown replied by threatening the officer with physical violence before pushing him with his chest.

    Blacks are delivering "the talk" at an earlier age.

    For generations, Black parents have worked through difficult coming-of-age conversations with their children about how to deal with police, peers, school and the workplace. The widespread protests this year over violence against Black Americans, including deaths at the hands of police, have prompted Black mothers and fathers to adapt these conversations about racism on the fly, sometimes leading the family into action.

    Some families are having the talk with their children at a much earlier age. Others say the talks no longer center on how to cope with racism but how to be proactive and push back against it.

    Suspect arrested in shooting of two LA sheriff's deputies

    After a three-week manhunt, a Los Angeles man was arrested and charged Wednesday with attempting to murder two sheriff’s deputies who were ambushed as they sat in their car.

    Deonte Lee Murray, 36, is facing two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm after allegedly walking up to the car parked outside a Metro station on Sept. 12 and opening fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

    No motive for the shooting was given, “other than the fact that he obviously hates policemen and he wants them dead,” Wegener said.

    Murray is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $6.15 million.

    If convicted as charged, Murray faces a possible maximum life sentence in state prison, the DA’s Office stated.


    THE FBI HAS long been concerned about the infiltration of law enforcement by white supremacist groups and its impact on police abuse and tolerance of racism, the unredacted version of a previously circulated document reveals.

    The FBI threat assessment report was released by Rep. Jamie Raskin, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, ahead of a hearing about the white supremacist infiltration of local police departments scheduled for Tuesday.

    A heavily redacted version of the 2006 document had previously been published, one of a handful of documents revealing federal officials’ growing concern with white supremacists’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” A different internal document obtained by The Intercept in 2017 had also noted that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers.”

    The unredacted version of the first document sheds further light on the FBI’s concerns, as early as 2006, about “self-initiated efforts by individuals, particularly among those already within law enforcement ranks, to volunteer their professional resources to white supremacist causes with which they sympathize.”

    “Having personnel within law enforcement agencies has historically been and will continue to be a desired asset for white supremacist groups seeking to anticipate law enforcement interest in and actions against them,” the report notes in a section that was previously redacted.n

    Another previously redacted section warned of “factors that might generate sympathies among existing law enforcement personnel and cause them to volunteer their support to white supremacist causes,” which could include hostility toward developments in U.S. domestic and foreign policies “that conflict with white supremacist ideologies,” the report warns.



    A Pro-Trump Militant Group Has Recruited Thousands of Police, Soldiers, and Veterans

    NYPD attacked peaceful protesters in the Bronx

    Human Rights Watch, an organization that specializes in investigating and reporting civil rights abuses all over the world, released a report Wednesday that claims the New York Police Department trapped and then brutally attacked peaceful police violence protesters in a predominantly Black and Latino Bronx neighborhood on June 4.

    The report alleges that around 300 protesters marched through the streets of Mott Haven, a lower-income neighborhood in the South Bronx.

    From the HRW report:

    Less than an hour into the march, and about 10 minutes before an 8 p.m. curfew went into effect, the marchers encountered scores of police officers with riot gear, including helmets, shields, and batons. Bicycle police used their bikes to form a wall and prevented the protesters from moving forward, while other officers pushed from behind – a tactic known as “kettling.” The protesters were trapped, with no way to disperse.

    “We were being packed and packed like sardines,” one protester later recalled. Many started chanting, “Let Us Go!” and one person cried out, “You’re gonna kill us – I can’t breathe.”

    Just after 8 p.m. and the start of the city-wide curfew – imposed a few days earlier due to looting in other areas– the police moved in on the protesters, unprovoked and without warning, whaling their batons, beating people from car tops, shoving them down to the ground, and firing pepper spray in their faces.

    Report link

    Thanks for the link

    To Hold Police Accountable, Ax the Arbitrators

    Since the death of George Floyd sparked a wave of national protests, at least 42 of the 50 largest cities in the country have adopted new rules aimed at curbing abuses by the police, according to a tally by Samuel Walker, an expert on police accountability who is affiliated with the University of Nebraska Omaha. From May through August, 15 cities banned chokeholds. A dozen passed “duty-to-intervene” statutes, requiring police officers to act if they see a fellow officer endanger a civilian. Still others banned so-called “no knock” warrants or changed policies related to the use of force.

    Those reforms are important in and of themselves, and they also serve as a reminder of the power of collective action to influence new policies. Yet this list’s potential to create real change will be seriously limited unless city leaders and state lawmakers take on an entrenched barrier to reform: labor arbitrators. These are the men and women who routinely reinstate abusive officers who have been fired for misconduct.

    Labor arbitrators have ordered police chiefs to rehire officers fired for deeds as outrageous as sexually assaulting a teenager in a patrol car, driving the getaway car in a murder and fatally shooting an unarmed driver, according to a 2017 investigation by The Washington Post.

    Cases like these have a corrosive effect on society, serving as proof to many Americans that the current system cannot be reformed. These cases also demoralize mayors and police chiefs who have worked hard to remove problem officers, only to face orders from unelected arbitrators to give those abusive officers their badges and guns back. It doesn’t matter how much a police department overhauls its use of force policy, or how strictly a police chief enforces those new rules if unelected arbitrators reverse the punishments of officers who violate the rules.



    Black Man Who Spoke in Support of Police Fatally Shot by Texas Police Officer


    A Black man was fatally shot by a police officer at a gas station in Wolfe City, Texas, Saturday night, and witnesses say it happened while he was attempting to intervene in a domestic situation. According to the man’s family, he was a city worker who was beloved in his community, but what makes this story even more tragic is that just months before the shooting, he spoke in support of police on social media.

    According to KHOU 11, police officials haven’t identified the victim or released many details related to the shooting. All they have said so far is that the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave and an investigation by the Texas Rangers into the shooting is underway, but the man’s family identified him as 31-year-old Jonathan Price.

    Relatives and friends said 31-year-old Price was a city employee and beloved in the Wolfe City community, about an hour northeast of Dallas.

    Marcella Louis was in bed when she got the call about the shooting. She rushed to the gas station to get near her son. 

    “And they wouldn’t let me get close to my baby. I just wanted to hold his hand and they wouldn’t let me do that,” Louis said. “I just wanted to crawl over there to him.” 

    The mother said she wasn’t surprised to hear her son was trying to intervene in a fight. 

    “That’s what he always did, tried to help others. I taught him that all the years,” Louis said. 

    Witnesses said a man and a woman were in an argument, and Price tried to step in. The man assaulted Price, and when officers arrived, they used a taser on Price before the shooting.


    A Fort Worth, Texas, police officer found himself unemployed Thursday because he was stupid enough to think that, even with a national spotlight continuing to air out police practices in America, he could get away with sharing a meme on Facebook that featured a Black man in a casket as a warning of what happens when you resist arrest.

    CBS 11 reports that last week, 18-year veteran police officer Roger Ballard was placed on restricted duty while he was being investigated for a Facebook post he made in September. The image Ballard shared that showed a Black man lying dead in a coffin was accompanied by text that reads, “The face you make when you don’t understand ‘stop resisting.’”

    Oscar Grant case reopened 

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — His shooting on New Year's Day more than a decade ago provided the nation an early look at the Black Lives Matter movement to come.

    Now the case of Oscar Grant, 22 and unarmed when he was fatally shot by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer in 2009, might get another day in court.

    Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced Monday that her office would reopen the Grant case at a time when Oakland, where the shooting occurred, and much of the country is engaged in an angry argument about the policing of minority communities.

    O’Malley, who has enjoyed strong support from law enforcement in her election campaigns, did not outline in her statement the direction that the new investigation would take. The BART officer who pulled the trigger, Johannes Mehserle, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2010 and served less than a year in prison.

    But Grant’s family for years has called for other BART officers to be held accountable for his killing, which still serves as a raw, unsettled moment in Oakland’s recent history. They asked again for justice as recently as Monday, before O’Malley officially reopened the case.

    One officer who was fired but was never charged after the incident was Anthony Pirone, who was shown in video presented in court pulling Grant off the train with such force that some riders protested. Pirone also knelt on Grant’s neck, according to a cellphone video recording of the incident, and shouted racist profanity at him during the struggle.

    Grant’s family has called for Pirone to be charged in the past and recently compared Grant’s death to that of George Floyd, the unarmed Black man who in May was filmed as a police officer knelt on his neck on a Minneapolis street corner, killing him.


    Excellent article on being Black and in law enforcement

    Latest Comments