Category: #GoodCops

Autopsy Shows Trans Woman in ICE Custody Beaten Shortly Before Death

An autopsy released Monday suggests that a transgender woman who died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody after being held in a privately operated detention center was likely physically abused shortly before her death.

Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, 33, from Honduras, Hernández Rodriguez was detained by immigration authorities at the border in early May and died on the 25th of that month, just nine days after being transferred to dedicated unit for transgender women at the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico, which is operated under contract by CoreCivic, the second-largest private prison company in the United States.

“There she developed severe diarrhea and vomiting over the course of several days,” wrote forensic pathologist Kris Sperry, “and finally was emergently hospitalized, then transported to Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she remained critically ill until her death.”

“According to observations of other detainees who were with Ms. Hernández Rodriguez, the diarrhea and vomiting episodes persisted over multiple days with no medical evaluation or treatment, until she was gravely ill,” Sperry wrote.

Early reports suggested Hernández Rodriguez died due to complications from pneumonia that were exacerbated by the freezing cold conditions of the detention center. She also reportedly lacked adequate food and medical care and was held in a cell where the lights were turned on 24 hours a day. ICE initially claimed her death was the result of cardiac arrest and HIV complications.

The autopsy concluded that Hernández Rodriguez’s cause of death was most likely “severe complications of dehydration superimposed upon HIV infection,” which made her susceptible to the physiologic effects of untreated dehydration.

Hernández Rodriguez told BuzzFeed News she contracted HIV after being raped by members of the MS-13 gang.She added that violence against the transgender community in Honduras was part of the reason she fled to the United States. Hernández Rodriguez told BuzzFeed, “Trans people are chopped up and put into bags in Honduras. I am scared of that”

Sperry’s autopsy, the second conducted on Hernández Rodriguez’s body following her death, also found evidence of physical abuse, with “deep bruising” on her hands and abdomen, evidence of blunt-force trauma “indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with blunt object.” An accompanying diagram illustrated long, thin bruises along Hernández Rodriguez’s back and sides, as well as extensive hemorrhaging on Hernández Rodriguez’s right and left wrists, which Dr. Sperry found were “typical of handcuff injuries.”

In a statement to The Daily Beast, CoreCivic said “we take the health and well-being of those entrusted to our care very seriously,” while adding that they are “committed to providing a safe environment for transgender detainees.”

Police Accidentally Shoot ‘Good With a Gun’ at Crime Scene

Just hours after proclaiming an officer had fatally shot a man suspected of opening fire in a mall, Alabama police said Friday that they now believe the armed man they killed hadn’t fired any shots at all.
 
Officers had been responding to a shooting on Thanksgiving Day that took place at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, sending the mall into chaos as shoppers fled for their lives.
 
Police said an 18-year-old man involved in a fight with another man was shot twice, injuring him, while a 12-year-old girl bystander was also wounded.
 
When an officer saw 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. run from the scene with a gun in his hand, the officer opened fire, killing him.
 
Their initial police release on Friday morning described Bradford only as “a suspect brandishing a pistol.”
 
But later on Friday, Hoover police said that although Bradford “may have been involved in some aspect of the altercation, he likely did not fire the rounds that injured the 18-year-old victim.”
 
“We regret that our initial media release was not totally accurate, but new evidence indicates that it was not,” police spokesperson Capt. Gregg Rector said.
 
This change in the official version of events was based on Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators interviewing witnesses and crime scene technicians examining “new evidence” at the scene, authorities said.
 
The suspect who possibly shot the 18-year-old and young bystander is still at large, according to Rector.
 
The officer who killed Bradford was placed on administrative leave while the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency investigates the police shooting, authorities said.
 
Bradford’s father said his son was a 21-year-old Army veteran with a permit to carry a weapon. The statement police released early Monday suggested Bradford shouldn’t have pulled it out.
 
The department also released a statement saying “We extend sympathy to the family of Emantic J. Bradford of Hueytown, who was shot and killed during Hoover Police efforts to secure the scene in the seconds following the original altercation and shooting. The loss of human life is a tragedy under any circumstances,” the statement said.
 
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a good guy with a gun, if you’re black the police shoot and kill you and ask questions later,” Ben Crump, an attorney for the family said.
 
The news of Bradford’s death comes one week after the killing of a Chicago security guard, who had apprehended an active shooter and was mistakenly shot by police outside a bar, sparked outrage online.

Internal Investigation Determines Cop’s Nazi Tattoo Did Not Violate Department Policy

An Internal Affairs investigation has found a Philadelphia officer did not violate department policy by having a Nazi tattoo on his left arm.

Photos of Officer Ian Hans Lichterman and his tattoos spread across social media late last summer, prompting angry reaction online and an Internal Affairs investigation.

The Internal Affairs investigation cleared Lichterman of any violations, closing the case in December, police said. They did not respond to follow-up questions inquiring whether any specific determinations were made about the tattoos.

Meanwhile, nearly five months after the controversy erupted, police  have yet to deliver a promised tattoo policy for its ranks.

Mayor Jim Kenney, who previously called the tattoos “disturbing” and “incredibly offensive,” released a statement that voiced the same reaction. But without an existing tattoo policy, Kenney said police could not dismiss Lichterman.

His statement reads:

“I am deeply offended by the tattoo and I think it is completely inappropriate for any law enforcement officer to have such a tattoo given its impact on those they are sworn to protect and serve. Since the investigation determined that the officer couldn’t be dismissed because PPD does not have a policy against tattoos, we will draft such a policy so this cannot happen again.

Additionally, PPD will continue to conduct thorough background checks and psych tests for new recruits. We also work to foster a culture of acceptance, diversity and inclusion throughout the police academy and the force.

That spirit has been on display the past several weeks as officers have protected thousands of individuals’ right to protest and done so with respect and with dignity, and not a single arrest. I am confident that the actions of this officer is not reflective of our entire force.”

On Tuesday, John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, reiterated his prior statements defending Lichterman, saying there was “nothing wrong” with the tattoos.

“There was nothing there to investigate,” McNesby said. “He had a tattoo. There was no policy. He had it for years. He had no discipline. There was no issue with it.”

McNesby said he did not know what investigators determined the eagle to represent. He declined to make Lichterman available for comment.

After the photos spread across social media, Philadelphia police pledged to determine an “appropriate policy” regarding tattoos, saying the department “does not condone anything that can be interpreted as offensive, hateful or discriminatory in any form.”

A tattoo policy has not yet been finalized, police said Monday.

Indiana Mayor Orders Review of Elkhart Police Department

ELKHART, INDIANA— Mayor Tim Neese has asked the Indiana State Police to investigate his city’s police force, a move that comes two weeks after misdemeanor criminal charges were announced against two officers who beat a handcuffed man.

SouthBend Tribune reporter first asked last month for video of the Jan. 12 incident. The police department released the video — which showed Newland and Titus repeatedly punching the man in the face after he spit at one of them — and announced the officers would face charges. The video shows two other officers, including the mayor’s son, Sgt. Drew Neese, watching the beating. The fourth officer, Cpl. Jason Ray, walks over as the beating ends and tells Newland and Titus to stop.

Five months earlier, in June, Elkhart Police Chief Ed Windbigler issued written reprimands to Newland and Titus. Speaking to the city’s Police Merit Commission, Windbigler said the officers used “a little more force than needed” with a man in custody and “went a little overboard.”

Last week, Neese said “in hindsight” the chief should have handed down more severe discipline. Newland and Titus are now on administrative leave pending the criminal case.

 

Neese asked for the state police probe just as the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica prepared to publish an investigation of disciplinary matters within the Elkhart Police Department, and a week after a Tribune reporter asked the mayor about the news organizations’ findings.

Meanwhile, the Tribune and ProPublica have published online a new report. Of 34 Elkhart police supervisors, the report reveals, 28 have been disciplined, 15 have been suspended, 7 have been involved in fatal shootings. And 3 have been convicted of criminal charges. Also, under Ed Windbigler, the current chief, the department appears to have scaled back discipline compared with his immediate predecessors, the report found.

When Windbigler became Elkhart’s police chief in January 2016, one of his first tasks was selecting his top command staff. For assistant chief, his second in command, Windbigler named Todd Thayer. Less than three years before, Thayer had been demoted two ranks for making flippant comments about a fatal shooting. Witnesses reported he said a fellow officer could now check shooting a person off his “bucket list.”

For patrol captain, Windbigler named Brent Long. Less than two years before, Long had received a four-day suspension for sending inappropriate emails to fellow officers. One email included gruesome photos of a man in another city who, while running from police, jumped or fell from an overpass and was decapitated on a wrought-iron fence.

Under Windbigler, Thayer and Long are not aberrations, according to a review of personnel files by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica. Twenty-eight of the Elkhart Police Department’s 34 supervisors, from chief down to sergeant, have disciplinary records. The reasons range from carelessness to incompetence to serious, even criminal, misconduct. Fifteen of them have served suspensions, including Windbigler himself, who was once suspended for three days — and ordered to pay punitive damages in a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force.

 

On Thursday, Neese said he had asked Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter to have the agency conduct what the mayor called a “very thorough and far-reaching” investigation into not only the Jan. 12 beating depicted in the video, but also any patterns of excessive force by Elkhart police.

“The Elkhart Police Department is made up of very good officers, and I want to preserve that integrity,” Neese said after a town hall meeting Thursday evening. “But also, if there is a situation that is not becoming of an Elkhart police officer, then it’s going to get attention.”

 

Neese said state police investigators would work alongside the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office. The mayor also said the state police probe would not be limited to that case. While the precise boundaries of the investigation were undetermined Thursday, Neese said he wanted the state investigators to look at “anything that relates to the Elkhart Police Department.”

 

When the state police investigation is complete, Neese said, he would like to release a report to the public. He said he did not know when the probe would start and had no timetable for its completion.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome To Our Black, Leftist News And Comment Podcast #RoseTwitter

Hey gang.

We didn’t focus so hard on any particular story or topic to make it the core of the show. So we’re titling this one as a good introductory episode to our program in general.

Prince George County Police Investigated for Sex Scandal Involving Sex Workers

Multiple police officers from Prince George’s County and Washington, DC – are under investigation for allegations involving coercing sex acts from sex workers.

A transgender sex worker who spoke with FOX5 said that the officers are using their authority to coerce the sex workers into sexual acts in exchange for not arresting them. She couldn’t reveal her identity for fear of retaliation, but said she had talked to DC and Prince George’s county detectives about the pending investigation.

The officers have not been publicly identified, nor have they been formally charged with any crimes, but the departments involved have confirmed the officers are under investigation.

In the case of a Prince George’s county officer, his department says the officer was off duty when the alleged incidents would have taken place. A video shows an officer – dressed in plain clothes – arriving at a location on Eastern Avenue in Northeast – where one of the incidents is alleged to have occurred – in a marked Prince George’s county police cruiser.

Other images show a man wearing only a DC police polo shirt and naked below the waist. Multiple sources have suggested  that the man is a DC police lieutenant.

Prince George’s county police offered the following statement:

There is an allegation that an off-duty Prince George’s County police officer exchanged money for a sexual act while he was in his marked cruiser in the District of Columbia.  The case is being investigated by Metropolitan Police.  Our internal affairs division is handling the administrative investigation.  Within hours of learning about the allegation, the officer was suspended with pay while the case moves forward.

DC police also offered a statement:

We are aware of the allegations of misconduct against one of our sworn members. MPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the allegation. The member has been place on non-contact status pending the outcome of the investigation.

20,000 New Jersey DUI Cases May be Tossed After Police are Accused of Evidence Tampering

Trenton, NJ- More than 20,000 Breathalyzer tests might be tossed out after it was discovered the machines were apparently not properly calibrated.

New Jersey State Police Sgt. Marc Dennis allegedly mishandled the devices that determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), the state’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, according to NJ Advance Media.

Sgt. Marc Dennis was in charge of calibrating the devices, and authorities have alleged that he skipped a required step in the calibration process. Dennis has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to records tampering and other charges.

The accusations against Dennis called into question any test result involving a machine he handled, including devices used by local police in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties between 2008 and 2016.

The sergeant pleaded not guilty in January 2017 to official misconduct and records tampering charges after he was accused in 2016 of lying about the Breathalyzer machines on official documents.

The court’s decision means that as many as 20,667 DWI convictions could now be challenged, according to state authorities and the lawyer for the now-dead plaintiff who brought the case that the court ruled on.

The Supreme Court sided with Judge Joseph Lisa, who was appointed as a special master to handle the issue. He found the step omission raised substantial doubts about the reliability of the machines.

As part of their decision, the justices ordered state authorities to notify anyone whose case involved results from machines Dennis calibrated. They must tell them that those results were not scientifically sound, so they can decide whether they want to go to court and seek to have their convictions vacated

 

National Guard Member Deployed to Border Arrested for Attempted Rape

Police in Alpine, Texas, have charged a National Guardsman stationed near the Mexico border with sexual assault after they say he drunkenly tried to rape a woman in a hotel.

Luis Ontiveros, 30, was arrested early Monday morning at the America’s Best Value Inn on U.S. 90 in Alpine, police said in a news release, which is about 50 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. He is stationed there in anticipation of the arrival of migrant caravans from Central America.

“Luis Ontiveros was arrested for sexual assault of a female,” the press release stated. “Ontiveros is in the National Guard stationed in the area.”

The woman he is accused of assaulting, who has not been identified by authorities, is also a member of the National Guard, stationed in the same area as Ontiveros, the Daily Beast reported.

Ontiveros walked his co-worker back to her hotel room after a night of drinking in another National Guardsman’s room, where the woman had already thrown up from drinking too much, early Monday morning, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by KOSA. When she lay down in her bed and closed her eyes, the affidavit says, Ontiveros told her “if she did not wake up that he was going to kiss her.”

He took her clothes off before she was able to get out of the hotel room, police say, according to KOSA, and knocked on the hotel room door next to hers, telling the man who answered that Ontiveros had tried to rape her.

Laura L. Lopez, press secretary for the Texas Military Department, told The Daily Beast the department was “taking these allegations very seriously and will be opening up an inquiry into what happened Monday night in Alpine, Texas.”

Alpine Police Lieutenant Felipe Fierro told the news outlet that the arrest represented the first incident of alleged misconduct reported to the police department in connection with the active troops recently stationed in the area.

National Guard officers have been deployed across border towns in Texas, Arizona and California, along with thousands of military troops, in anticipation of the arrival of thousands of migrants making their way to the U.S., which President Donald Trump has described as an “invasion.”

Cop’s Body Cam Catches Him Fabricating Evidence

A Baltimore police officer was found guilty by a judge Friday of fabricating evidence in a case in which his own body-camera footage showed him placing drugs in a vacant lot and then acting as if he had just discovered them.

During his trial, Officer Richard Pinheiro Jr. said that he intentionally recorded the body-camera video to serve as a re-creation of a legitimate discovery of heroin that he had made in a similar manner — but failed to record — moments earlier. He said the re-created video was for “documentation” purposes.

Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn did not accept that explanation, saying it was “without a doubt that he created the video to deceive” — namely in order to avoid being disciplined for not recording his initial discovery of the drugs. And in finding Pinheiro guilty of a second count of misconduct in office, Phinn said his actions represented a “willful abuse of his authority for his own personal gain.”

However, Phinn also said she did not consider Pinheiro “a bad person,” calling the day he recorded the video “an unfortunate day for everybody” and saying she did not believe Pinheiro deserved jail time.

She gave him a three-year suspended sentence and two years of supervised probation, the second year of which will be switched to unsupervised probation if he does not have any compliance issues during the first year. Pinheiro must also perform 300 hours of community service in Baltimore.

Prior to sentencing, Pinheiro told the court he was sorry that he made the re-created video but was “only being a proactive officer” and “had no intent to deceive anybody.”

2 Police Officers Arrested in Double Homicide Case

SODUS, New York — A third person has been arrested in connection with the deaths of a couple shot last month in Sodus.

Bron Bohlar was arrested Tuesday evening at his home in Dumas, Texas, announced the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. The 34-year-old police officer was wanted on a warrant accusing him of being part of the conspiracy that led to the deaths of Joshua Niles and Amber Washburn.

Bohlar has been charged with second-degree conspiracy, a felony. Deputies said he is a police officer in Sunray, Texas.

Niles, 28, and Washburn, 24, were shot to death in the driveway of their Carlton Street home on Oct. 22. At the time of the shooting, the couple’s 4-year-old son was in the back seat of a car parked in the driveway. He was not injured.

Bohlar was third person arrested this week in connection with the double homicide.

The ex-girlfriend of one of the victims and her current husband have also been charged in connection to the deadly shooting.

Charlene Childers, Niles’ ex-girlfriend, has also been charged with conspiracy. Her current husband, Timothy Dean is facing first and second degree murder charges. Investigators believe Dean, the former police chief in Sunray, Texas, pulled the trigger.

Dean is the former police chief in Sunray, the same department which now employs Bohlar.

Niles is the father of Childers’ two children. The exes were involved in a “heated” custody dispute before Niles’ death, reported WHEC. A few months ago, Niles was granted custody of their children, a family member told the Democrat & Chronicle.

Childers and Dean live in Sunray, Texas.

The sheriff’s office said it appears Childers was in Texas when Niles and Washburn were killed. She traveled to Sodus after the double homicide and attended a vigil for the victims.

Childers and Dean were previously charged with injuring a child in Texas in May 2018. Both were arrested last week in connection with the Texas case.

In the Sodus case, Childers has been charged with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Dean has been charged with first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree conspiracy and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Bohlar and Dean were both held in custody in Texas pending extradition to New York. Childers is being held in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash or a $200,000 bond.

Wayne County detectives and Texas investigators are continuing to investigate, deputies said.