US Wandering cops move from department to department
Chicago's Little Village divided over police shooting of 13-year-old
Video of Chicago police officer shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo fuels peaceful protests.Elizabeth Toledo, 44, wore dark glasses and didn’t speak to the half-dozen onlookers. But Toledo, who lives a few blocks away in the neighborhood of La Villita, Little Village, has said through her attorney that she feels judged by the community since her son’s death last month.
St. Louis (AP) — Timothy Loehmann wanted to be a police officer like his father. He got a job in Independence, Ohio, but his supervisors allowed him to quit after he suffered a “dangerous lack of composure” during firearms training.
Cleveland Police didn’t check on Loehmann’s history. So it was Loehmann who responded in the fall of 2014 to the Cleveland park where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with what turned out to be a toy gun. Loehmann shot him dead.
Stop Trying to Replace the Police | Opinion
Since the death of George Floyd, activists and political leaders have redoubled their longstanding calls for a radical overhaul of American policing. Whether it's "defund," "abolish" or simply "reimagine," they seek a revolution in public safety: scale back cops' role, hand responsibility to unarmed civilians, and divert budgets to social welfare in order to target crime's "root causes." © JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty People carry signs during a "Defund the Police" march from King County Youth Jail to City Hall in Seattle, Washington on August 5, 2020.
“Wandering cops” who lose their jobs in one place only to be rehired pose a persistent roadblock to police accountability.
There is a straightforward solution, experts say:
- a national database open to the public with the names of all officers who have engaged in misconduct;
- a requirement that all law enforcement agencies consult that database before hiring.
This reporting was funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
A study of wandering officers in the Yale Law Journal last year found a problem bigger than expected. About 1,100 officers in Florida walk the streets having been fired in the past, 800 for misconduct.
A national database - the nonprofit National Decertification Index (NDI) - collects police decertification records from 45 states. It now has records on 30,172 officers.
States tackling 'qualified immunity' for police as Congress squabbles over the issue
The fight in Congress to reform how the nation's police officers go about their jobs has reinvigorated a discussion over so-called "qualified immunity," a controversial federal doctrine that protects officers accused of violating the Constitution while on duty. © Erik McGregor/LightRocket/Getty Images In this July 4, 2020,file photo, thousands of New Yorkers join the Coalition to Honor Black and Indigenous Activists at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, New York, for a massive protest march to honor those activists and demand justice for all victims of police brutality.
But the database is badly flawed, experts say. Most departments don’t check it before hiring. The names in the database are not public. And, some of the biggest states in the country - California and New Jersey among them - are not in the system.
In St. Louis, wandering police are so common that there is a name for it - the Muni-Shuffle. St. Ann, a small suburb near Lambert Field, is a refuge for exiled officers.
One was Eddie Boyd III who as a St. Louis officer pistol-whipped a 12-year-old girl in 2006. He said it was an accident. In 2007 he struck a child in the face with his gun and handcuffs before falsifying a police report, according to state records.
Video Shows Colorado Cops Laughing at Violent Arrest of 73-Year-Old Woman With Dementia
Two Colorado cops violently arrested a 73-year-old woman who has dementia—then were caught on camera celebrating and laughing when they reviewed their horrific body-cam footage hours later at the police station. The two officers have been identified as Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali of the Loveland Police Department. They arrested 73-year-old Karen Garner on June 26, 2020, after she left a Walmart with $13 of goods that she hadn’t paid for. Garner’s family says she forgot to pay because of her condition. According to the Denver Post, Hopp found Garner walking home after Walmart staff had reported her.
St. Ann hired Boyd who shuffled his way to nearby Ferguson in 2012 and was on the force leading up to the death of Michael Brown. When a federal worker got in his car after a game of basketball, Boyd tried to cite him for not wearing his seat belt. Boyd drew his gun and pointed it at the man’s head when he used his cell phone.
Another St. Louis police officer who found refuge in St. Ann was Christopher Tanner who shot a former Black St. Louis officer Milton Green at Green’s home in 2017. A police chase sped into Green’s neighborhood while he was off-duty working on his car in his driveway. Tanner told him to drop her service revolver and immediately shot him.
Then there was Jonathan Foote, who resigned from the St. Louis Police Department after a traffic stop led to a crash where a bystander was killed - and Christopher Childers, fired from the St. Louis department after assaulting another officer by firing a stun gun at her.
It’s Not About Convicting a Cop. It’s About Rehabbing the Police.
The world exhaled in relief and gratitude as Derek Chauvin, a murderous cop, was convicted on all three counts for kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes, surrounded by cops who did nothing as another unarmed Black man died while pleading for his life. However, real justice won’t be achieved by securing a rare conviction of one cop. In addition to reforming the police, we must change how we talk about law enforcement, which has often terrorized the very communities it is allegedly trained to protect and serve. © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty “This verdict was important.
St. Ann’s elected Police Chief Aaron Jimenez also hired officer Ellis Brown. Brown was forced out of the St. Louis department after he lied about a 2016 incident where he tailed a car, which accelerated, crashed and started burning. Brown left the scene instead of calling for help and then claimed he hadn’t been there.
In 2017 St. Ann hired Mark Jakob, one of two St. Louis County police officers fired for lying about a high-speed chase that ended in two deaths.
Chief Jimenez’s department favors aggressive tactics such as police chases. Despite its small size, St. Ann police conduct as many high-speed chases as the nearby St. Louis and St. Louis Police Departments that are 20 times bigger.
Roger Goldman, a professor emeritus at Saint Louis University Law School, isn’t surprised by St. Ann. He has spent a career crusading to stop wandering cops.
The crusade began 41 years ago when two bullets from Joseph Sorbello’s Bridgeton Terrace service revolver tore through the body of an alleged car thief in Maplewood, Mo.
Goldman remembered Sorbello had lost his police job in Maplewood in 1977 after it was disclosed he allegedly pointed his gun at a prisoner’s head in a one-way game of Russian Roulette - a game that resulted in another Maplewood police officer shooting Thomas Brown to death in the police headquarters that year.
The evolution of 'defund the police'
Far from an abandoned fringe idea, "Defund the Police" is influencing police retirements and helping to downsize departments.In the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody, captured for all the world to see on nine-and-a-half minutes of excruciating video, violent protests in big cities across the nation transformed the phrase "Defund the Police" from a Black Lives Matter mantra into a policy reality.
How was it, Goldman wondered, that Sorbello had been hired by a neighboring department. Weren’t there safeguards against dangerous police, like dangerous doctors and lawyers. He found there weren’t and spent the ensuing decades getting police licensing laws passed in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
“My work is not anti-cop. It’s pro-good cop,” he says.
Freivogel and Wagman are former reporters for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who covered the death of Thomas Brown in the Maplewood Police Department headquarters in 1977. Emily Gross, a Pulitzer intern and graduate of Washington University in St. Louis contributed to the Missouri reporting and Meredith Howard, a senior at Baylor to the reporting on Texas.
Pennsylvania Man Accused of Shooting His Small Dog and Grilling the Remains .
Authorities in Northampton Township, Pennsylvania say a local man shot his dog, and charred the remains on a charcoal grill. Nikolay Lukyanchikov, 49, was arrested Friday. The post Pennsylvania Man Accused of Shooting His Small Dog and Grilling the Remains first appeared on Law & Crime.Authorities in Northampton Township, Pennsylvania say a local man shot his dog, then charred the remains on a charcoal grill.