Browsing: Bad Cops

5267408454_4d9b964b3f_z-2_1_H. Michael Karshis/Flickr

He didn’t want to go to sleep, because sleep meant nightmares, and nightmares meant reliving a rape.

Courtney Richardson, incarcerated in the Harris County Jail on charges of vehicular manslaughter, thought he was going crazy, and in many ways, he was. His eyes were so red from lack of sleep that it looked like he had been on drugs. He told the jail’s mental health staff he had been tempted with thoughts of suicide — the nightmares would stop then — and so he was placed in solitary confinement for more than a month, stripped of his clothes and given only a protective suicide blanket. He hated it there but, still, was fearful of leaving his cell, scared he would run into the guard he says sexually assaulted him on March 7.


When Martin County Police arrived Monday to find 19-year-old Austin Harrouff standing over the bodies of two bleeding victims while violently biting one man’s face, police first fired stun guns. When those didn’t work, cops unleashed a dog. When that didn’t work, three officers pulled Harrouff off the man and took him to jail — alive.

Some activists are drawing a stark contrast between that approach and those employed in other recent police actions in South Florida. Take, for instance, the July incident when North Miami cops sent a SWAT team with military-style assault rifles to surround unarmed African-American behavior therapist Charles Kinsey, who was trying to help an autistic man “armed” with a toy car. Police shot Kinsey in the leg, although video showed him lying on the ground with his hands up.

Critics say Harrouff’s treatment highlights the vast disparity between how whites and blacks are treated by police. After all, Florida cops were able to take calm, measured steps to subdue a white, possibly drug-addled cannibal armed with a knife and no shirt, but somehow felt it was necessary to shoot Kinsey — who was cooperating and unarmed — from afar.

7606416730_26cb8b5536_z (1)Victor/Flickr

His attorney told him he could be out of jail in ten days if he took the plea deal — but 58-year-old Gilbert Cruz refused, saying he wasn’t going to plead guilty to something he didn’t do.

He had just been booked on charges of interfering with the duties of a public servant, after a former neighbor, whom Cruz says was recently homeless, called the police on him when Cruz told her he wouldn’t allow her to stay with him. Then she accused Cruz of beating her.

The arrest that would lead to more than two months in Harris County Jail and cause Cruz to lose his job and his car and almost his home, however, had nothing to do with assault — an accusation police and prosecutors agreed did not withstand scrutiny. The Houston Press has the story.

Today, a major metropolitan law enforcement organization said something cops rarely say: We shot the wrong unarmed black man.

The department says the man one of its deputies fatally shot, 27-year old Donnell Thompson, was not the suspect they were looking for at the end of a vehicle pursuit. But they say he failed to comply with cops’ orders and ultimately charged at officers.

According to a sheriff’s department statement, “No weapons were recovered” after Thompson’s demise. He was dead at the scene following the 5:29 a.m. bloodshed July 28.


paul-tanaka-sentenced-ted-soquiTed Soqui/L.A. Weekly

Federal authorities continued their winning streak in uprooting corruption in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department when a federal judge today sentenced former second-in-command Paul Tanaka to five years in prison — serious time.

The question now, however, is whether Tanaka’s influence at the department has created a cancer of bad cops who remain on the job.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson today said the former undersheriff “perpetrated an environment of excessive deputy conduct” and recruited members into his “clique” who remain in “positions of authority” at the department.


A Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community police officer has resigned following accusations that he sexually abused a woman in his squad car.

On May 26, Scottsdale police arrested 45-year-old Jay Wu, a decorated Salt River officer who’d been with the department for 10 years. He was released on his own recognizance.

He reportedly made admissions regarding the March incident to a friend and fellow officer who visited his home on June 1, the day he resigned.

“Damn, Sarge,” he confided to the officer, according to an investigative report New Times obtained on June 3. “All I did was give that bitch a hundred dollars to feel on her titties and she blew it all out of proportion.”

unnamed_1_Another Harris County Sheriff’s deputy has been fired this year — and no, it’s not for having an inappropriate relationship with the key witness in the shooting of Deputy Darren Goforth. Police have arrested former deputy Jose Ramirez for misuse of official information, which is a felony, after Ramirez was caught conducting random license plate checks outside his wife’s game room so he could alert her if anyone coming inside was a police officer. Looks like that didn’t work out too well for Ramirez.

shielded-artA jury acquitted a former Phoenix police officer of criminal sexual assault charges last week, clearing the way for his accuser to seek damages via a civil lawsuit – which she’s already in the process of doing.

Court records indicate that the 23-year-old woman, whose name New Times is withholding, filed a lawsuit on March 23 against Timothy Morris, his wife, and the City of Phoenix. As detailed in a December 2, 2015, New Times article by Miriam Wasser, an obscure Arizona law protects a “public entity” such as the City of Phoenix from liability in a felony act committed by an employee unless the entity had knowledge the employee had a “propensity” to commit the act. That means the accuser — called “Jane” in the article — would not have been able to collect damages from the deep-pocketed city.

With the help of her lawyer, she’s now seeking the justice in civil court that she believes she was denied by the jury’s May 5 decision in the criminal case.