Category: #GoodCops

Swatting prank leads to death of Kansas man

Wichita, Kansas- Swatting is what happens when someone makes a call to a police department with a false story of an ongoing crime – often with killing or hostages involved – in an attempt to draw a large number of police officers to a particular address. Swatting has gained traction across the country with online gamers, and the FBI estimates there are about 400 cases of swatting each year.

In Kansas, a man is now dead because of swatting prank. Wichita police originally received a call that a man had an argument with their parents, shot them and the shooter was holding his remaining family members hostage.

Officers went to the 1000 block of McCormick, preparing for a hostage situation and after they “got into position and a male came to the front door,” according to Deputy police Chief Troy Livingston. “As an unidentified man came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon.”

Livingston didn’t say if the man, Andrew Finch, 28, had a weapon when he came to the door, or what caused the officer to shoot the man. Finch’s family says he did not have a gun and there are no guns in the house. Livingston added  he doesn’t think Finch fired at officers, but the incident is still under investigation. Finch later died at a local hospital. The name of the officer, who is a 7 year veteran of the force, has not been released, but a spokesperson for the department has said the officer will be on paid leave while the incident is being investigated.

A series of Twitter posts screenshotted by the Wichita Eagle suggests that Finch became the unintended victim of a “swatting” prank stemming from a heated discussion over a Call of Duty bet. Two gamers had an argument over a $2.00 bet and eventually one of the gamers called police to swat the other. However, the swatter had the wrong information and sent police to Finch’s home, not the other gamers home.

 

 

Imprisoned Cop Convicted of Statutory Rape After Impregnating 13-Year-Old, Tried to Contact Victim From Prison

A police officer now serving prison time for impregnating a then 14-year-old girl was recently disciplined over renewed efforts to contact his victim.


James “Paul” Blair pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a child in March. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but that came with the agreement that the former Lowell cop make no contact with the girl for the rest of his life.

Blair violated those restrictions, according to information from the Division of Adult Correction as relayed by Gaston County’s district attorney and the victim’s mother.

“I have begged and I have asked for them to stop and they never stopped,” said Karen Vaughn, the victim’s mother. “I called the prison several times and said there’s letters getting out… Every time I try to push this back out of my mind, he just continuously does this.

This child is (now) 15 years old. This has made her sick.”

Vaughn is now raising the baby for her daughter, who she says is in a hospital. She says Blair sent a letter to one of his family members with instructions to forward it to the teen.

District Attorney Locke Bell says corrections officials have told him a similar story, and that it’s up to them to determine how the offense could impact his sentence. The maximum term on the range of his plea agreement was nearly 20 years, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

“I was amazed that he was stupid enough to do it,” Bell said.

Department of Public Safety officials wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the infraction, other than to say it was a Class B offense, which includes “communicating directly, indirectly, via a third party, or in any manner with victims, or family members of the victims.”

Before his conviction Vaughn said that Blair, 52, tried to contact her daughter while in jail. Blair began work as a police officer with the Belmont Police Department in 2001.

He joined Lowell Police in 2003, and worked there until his firing last year.

Vaughn trusted the man to be a mentor to his child, believing that his role in the community would be a positive influence. Instead, she says he abused her power by impregnating her daughter and then refusing to leave her alone.

“It makes me want to kill him,” she said. “Whatever with jail. Jail doesn’t mean anything. The man is still doing it. Apparently he’s getting by with everything.”

Killer cop revealed to be cleared of excessive charge force before committing murder

The former Arizona cop who was acquitted for the murder of Daniel Shaver had previously been investigated for body slamming a teenager during an arrest captured on video.

The footage shows Mesa police officer Philip Brailsford and other cops arresting 2 men at a gas station in 2015. While attempting to apprehend a group of teens for criminal damage to a store … Brailsford put one of them in a headlock, spun him around and slammed him to the ground.

While the suspect was pinned down, Brailsford put him in cuffs. Two other officers used a similar tactic to take down another suspect who appeared to be resisting. The suspects were booked for criminal damage, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest.

According to police docs, obtained by TMZ, Brailsford and 3 other cops on the scene were investigated by Internal Affairs for using an “inappropriate amount of force.” They were eventually cleared.

Brailsford was found not guilty of 2nd degree murder in the death of Shaver. Attorneys for Shaver’s family called it an “execution” upon seeing the dramatic body cam footage of the shooting.

As has been reported, Brailsford was a failed actor before he joined the police force.

Former prison guard pleads guilty to child porn charges

A former Dallas county jailer pleaded guilty Tuesday to posing as a film director in order to entice young boys into making pornographic films, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Kevin Scott Morris, 44, used a camera as a pretext to molest young boys and create child pornography, the report said, citing court records.

The report said Morris would travel with the victims back in 2009 for film and modeling sessions, and would act like he wanted to advance their careers to build trust.

An investigation into Morris began in 2016 when authorities from Orange County, Calif. contacted the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office in Texas about a boy’s complaint that Morris had touched him “all over” at a hotel and at Morris’ home in 2012, the Dallas Morning News reported. The boy was reportedly 13 at the time.

Morris, who worked at Dallas County jails from May 2013 to October 2016, was eventually indicted in January 2017 on enticement and child pornography charges.

Morris pleaded guilty Tuesday to enticement of a minor, which covers all of the sexual abuse allegations. His plea agreement mentions 10 other victims, some of whom are still unknown to law enforcement. At the time of Morris’ arrest, federal authorities asked the public to help identify other children whom Morris may have sexually abused.

He faces up to life in prison at sentencing.

Killer cop sentenced to 19-24 years in prison

Diamond Reynolds wins lawsuit, #GoodCop Accuses her of being a drug user

Diamond Reynolds, who watched in horror when her boyfriend Philando Castile was fatally shot in front of her by a police officer in 2016, received an $800,000 settlement this week from two Minnesota cities for the trauma she endured, both for witnessing the shooting and for being wrongly arrested afterward.

On Tuesday night, the St. Anthony City Council voted to pay Reynolds $675,000 for her emotional distress and wrongful arrest. The League of Minnesota Cities and the city of Roseville pitched in $125,000.

However, noteveryone is happy with the settlement. Elysian city councilman Tom McBroom predicted would be spent within six months on crack cocaine. When challenged on why he’d think a woman with no crack-related criminal history would squander her boyfriend’s blood money that way, McBroom answered, “History.”

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In addition to being an elected official in the tiny southwestern Minnesota town of about 600, McBroom is also a sergeant of the Rice County Sheriff’s Office. That had Twitter users who stumbled upon his racist invective worried about his ability to objectively enforce the law.

Rice County Chief Deputy Jesse Thomas said Wednesday that he will be reviewing the incident.

City Pages reached out to McBroom on Facebook, asking him to address the tweets.

McBroom responded, “Who said I was Law Enforcement or council member. I’m a general contractor. Wrong person. Sorry.”

Nevertheless, several photos in McBroom’s Facebook profile showed him wearing the Rice County Sheriff’s Office uniform, and another is identical to his official portrait on the Elysian City Council website. City Pages asked Chief Deputy Thomas to verify the Facebook profile.

Later, McBroom called and admitted to denying his identity, “Just to screw with you. Because I can.”

He claimed people misunderstood his comment about “history,” explaining he was referring to the universal temptation of spending, rather than saving, large instant payouts. He lamented the lack of money management in cases of police settlements.

“I’ve seen them come to court. They’ve lost their children, but they come to court dressed to the nines with Michael Kors purses. To be frank with you, they don’t have a pot to piss in,” McBroom said. “I see it time and time again and I just shake my head and say why wasn’t there anyone to help that person?”

Asked then why he invoked crack cocaine specifically, McBroom rejected the notion that his comment had anything to do with race. Instead, he thought it was a common purchase for anyone in the cities.

“I have friends of mine in the Minneapolis Police Department. And you know, that’s an epidemic up there, crack cocaine and opioids.”

Later in the interview, he inexplicably attempted to deny having mentioned crack cocaine at all.

“No where did I say they would spend all that money on crack. I said they would spend it in six months. At no point did I say on crack cocaine.”

Oklahoma gets new cameras to target drivers and increase revenue

Studies suggest that one out of every four drivers in Oklahoma is uninsured, and now prosecutors in the state are turning to new technology they hope will address that while also bringing in new revenue.

“It affects everybody one way or another,” Tyler Loughlin, chief of operations at the Oklahoma Insurance Department, told KTLA sister station KFOR in Oklahoma City in 2016. “If you get in a wreck, how are you going to get compensated for the medical expenses you incur?”

Last year, state lawmakers approved a measure that would allow the use of automated license plate readers to crack down on uninsured drivers, KFOR reported. The license plate readers will compare vehicle tags scanned with a list of insured drivers provided by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

The cameras will be able to detect uninsured vehicles – and then vehicle owners will be mailed a $184 citation, regardless of who was driving the car, according to Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit investigative journalism operation.

Drivers who pay the fee will avoid having a charge of driving without insurance on their permanent record. But if the fine isn’t paid, the information will be sent to district attorneys for prosecution.

Last week, Oklahoma finalized a deal with Massachusetts-based Gatso USA to set up those license plate scanners on highways around the state, bringing the program closer to being realized.

Gatso executives say they expect the system to issue about 20,000 citations a month, starting as early as next year.

“The first program of its kind in the country is certain to attract scrutiny,” Gatso states in a plan for the program, according to Oklahoma Watch. “Our program management is designed to limit the number of issued citations in the opening months, in concert with an inclusive and extensive public awareness campaign.”

The company will receive $80 of each fine for the first two years, but that will then drop to $74, according to a contract approved by the state. The company will receive $68 of every fine after five years of use.

The program will be overseen by the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council rather than police departments, and the district attorneys’ offices are expected to receive millions in revenue from the citations. The council, which supports the state’s 27 DA’s offices, has seen its funding reduced in recent years, and the new program will provide much-needed revenue, Oklahoma Watch reported.

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracked dozens of similar proposals – for automated license plate readers – that were weighed in 18 states last year, when Oklahoma’s law was approved. Most failed.

Fourteen states have legislation concerning the use of such readers, with most regulations related to privacy and use of the readers’ data.

Sex worker jumps to her death after fleeing police

New York City- A sex worker jumped to her death from the third-story window in Queens rather than be arrested by cops during a sting operation, police said Sunday.

The 38-year-old sex worker made a deal to perform a sex act with an undercover cop while they were inside 135-32 40th Road in Flushing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, according to officials.

When the officer called for backup, and the frightened woman leaped out the window, landing on the sidewalk below, police said.

She was taken to Booth Memorial Hospital, where she later died, officials said.

Cops have not released the woman’s name, but neighbors said she went by the name “C.C.” and worked inside a massage parlor there.

An unamed woman working at a nearby jewelry store said the victim had just gotten out of jail four months ago, but wanted to leave the industry. C.C. also confided to fellow massage-parlor workers that she would kill herself  before being arrested again.

“It’s really horrible. I Saw the paddy wagon this morning and I knew,” said Rob, 42, who lives nearby and said he sometimes spoke with CC about her search for a new job.

The death comes as lawmakers grapple with the seedy massage parlor industry.

Queens Councilman Jose Peralta introduced a bill in October that would require massage parlor owners register with the Department of State and apply for special four-year licenses or face fines and potential jail time.

This is not the first time that a sex worker leaped and jumped out of a window to evade arrest.

According to a report on a Nigerian website called Pulse.ng, in May a Nigerian woman who went by the name Sophia, who worked as a commercial sex worker in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, jumped from her balcony to avoid getting caught by the authorities.

Police investigate themselves and conclude murdering Charleena Lyles was unavoidable

The Seattle Police Department’s Force Review Board has found the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles by two officers in June to be reasonable, proportional and within policy, according to sources familiar with the decision.

The board’s unanimous vote occurred during a meeting Tuesday that began at 9 a.m. and lasted until about 5 p.m., said one source with direct knowledge of the proceeding.

The findings are subject to final approval from Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner, who presided over the meeting and oversees the department’s Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau, the source said.

Corey Guilmette, an attorney representing Lyles’ family, issued a statement Wednesday night, saying, “We cannot accept that Charleena Lyles’ killing was unavoidable. If her killing was within policy and training, we need changes in policy and training.”

Lyles, a 30-year-old African-American mother of four, was shot seven times by Officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson on June 18 after she called 911 to report a burglary at her Northeast Seattle apartment. Police said Lyles suddenly threatened the officers inside the apartment with one or two knives before they opened fire.

The officers found no evidence of a burglary, according to police.

The shooting unleashed a storm of public protest, with many seeing it as another example of unnecessary deadly force being used by police against people of color. Lyles’ family members have said they believe race was a factor. The officers who shot her are white.

The Force Review Board was created as part of a 2012 consent decree between the city and the U.S. Justice Department to address excessive force and biased policing in the Police Department. It replaced the Firearms Review Board, which had been criticized over the depth of its work.

In Tuesday’s review, the board, consisting of about 15 members of the department, found the officers used proper tactics and decision-making, followed their training and did not violate policies regarding de-escalation and crisis-intervention training, according to the sources.

The findings will be documented in a written report, which will articulate the basis for the conclusions.

#GoodCops steal drugs, try to sell them across state lines

Federal agents arrested a Philadelphia police officer Tuesday, accusing him of conspiring with officers in Baltimore to sell cocaine and heroin seized from that city’s streets.

Prosecutors say that Eric Troy Snell, 33, earned thousands of dollars serving as a conduit between corrupt members of a Baltimore police task force who stole the drugs and his brother, who sold them in Philadelphia.

Investigators also have accused Snell of threatening the children of a Baltimore officer who pleaded guilty in the case.

His arrest is the latest in a widening police corruption scandal that has rocked Maryland’s largest city, resulting in the arrests of eight members of an elite gun task force there who prosecutors have accused of robbing and extorting drug dealers for years.

A Philadelphia police spokesman said that Snell — a three-year veteran of the force who had been assigned to the department’s 35th District in Northwest Philadelphia — would be suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss.

Snell began his police career in Baltimore before arriving in Philadelphia in 2014. It was at the police academy in Maryland that he met Jemell Rayam, a fellow officer and his primary contact with the Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force.

The squad had been deployed to crack down on the proliferation of illegal guns in that city. But prosecutors now say that Rayam and several cohorts, including two commanding sergeants, used their positions to rob drug dealers and pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars uncovered while searching homes and cars of suspected criminals.

According to Snell’s indictment, the Philadelphia officer set up an October 2016 meeting between his brother, who is not named in court filings, and Rayam to arrange for the sale of cocaine seized by the task force.

After Snell’s brother sold the drugs, the officer allegedly deposited $1,000 in proceeds in Rayam’s bank account, keeping $1,000 for himself. Several similar transactions followed over the next two months, the indictment alleges.

Rayam, arrested along with six other officers in March, pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy last month.

But in recorded jailhouse phone conversations referenced in court filings, Snell allegedly pressured Rayam to keep his name out of the ongoing investigation.

“Snell told Rayam to ‘stand tall’ and said he would ‘keep an eye’ on Rayam’s kids, which Rayam perceived as a threat to harm Rayam’s children if Rayam told authorities about Snell’s illegal drug trafficking,” the indictment says.

Snell made his initial appearance Tuesday in federal court in Baltimore on drug conspiracy charges. It was not immediately clear whether he had retained a lawyer.

 

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