Hard to ignore, but worth the effort
- West Drayton
Summary execution is wrong and third degree murder outweighs denying someone their day in court as far as I'm concerned.
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Former Florida Sheriff's Deputy Found Guilty of Planting Drugs on Motorists
I don't think the common public understands how invasive it can be to have photons that have scattered from your body and gear collected against your will by an unknown third party. They could be doing anything with those photons.George Floyd's killer likely would not have been held accountable at all if it wasn't for bystander video evidence that showed the staggering lack of humanity in his actions. This is a problem. Florida aims to change things:
A Dallas police officer was placed on administrative leave after a video circulating on social media shows the officer punching a man several times on the ground outside a bar in Deep Ellum.
On Wednesday, the Dallas Police Department released a statement saying that the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs administrative investigation. A criminal inquiry is also being reviewed by the department, police said.
According to WFAA sources, the officer, normally assigned to SWAT, was working an off-duty job when the incident happened outside the Off the Cuff bar at 2901 Elm St.
Those sources also said that the officer on leave already has two pending use of force investigations against him.
Two other officers dealt with two other people when a man in a white shirt came towards them, the video shows. A third officer (presumably the officer placed on leave) tells the man to back up.
It appears that the officer knocks the man to the ground and punches him about five times before two other officers pull him off, the video shows. It's not clear when the incident happened.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said in a news release that he would like to commend the officers who recognized their duty to intervene in the incident and deescalate the situation.
The officer's name was not released. No other information was available.
Five Miami Beach police officers have been charged with first degree battery for allegedly using excessive force during arrests at a Miami Beach hotel.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle made the announcement Monday afternoon regarding the charges against police Sgt. Jose Perez, Officer Kevin Perez, Officer Robert Sabater, Officer David Rivas and Officer Steven Serrano.
All five officers turned themselves in earlier Monday and they were given notices to appear in court after being charged with the misdemeanors.
Fernandez Rundle condemned the use of excessive force by police. She said that does a disservice to the community the officers serve. She called their actions “alarming and disturbing.”
Miami Beach Police Chief Robert Clements said “This in no measure reflects the men and women in the Miami Beach Police Department. As an agency we can learn from this and grow from this.”
Police say it all started when officers spoke to 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup about how he had illegally parked his scooter near 9th St. and Ocean Court early in the morning of July 26. They say he fled and struck an officer who had to be hospitalized and tried to strike another officer. He was pursued to the Royal Palm Hotel.
That’s where surveillance camera video shows him dashing into an elevator. The video shows an officer ordering him at gunpoint to come out of the elevator.
The State Attorney said a total of 22 officers converged at the hotel and then she said excessive force is used as Crudup is placed in handcuffs.
She credits the Police Chief for taking action after seeing the videos.
“You see officer Kevin Perez kicking Mr. Crudup. You see him being kicked in the head. You see Kevin Perez kick him 4 times. Then you see officer Jose Perez, who is no relation to Kevin Perez, kick him three times,” said Fernandez Rundle.
She said excessive force was also used on Khalid Vaughn, a bystander who used his cell phone to take video of the arrest.
“You see officer Robert Sabater run and tackle him,” she said. “You see a bunch of punches to his rib area and kidneys. Then you see Officer David Rivas punch Mr. Vaughn in his rib cage area. And you see Officer Steven Serrano repeatedly strike him,” she explained.
All five officers have been relieved of duty with pay.
Vaughn’s mother told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that neither she nor her son could comment right now on the advice of their attorney.
The President of their police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, urges the public not to “rush to judgement” and wait for the investigation to run its course.
Crudup still faces a series of charges including battery on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding police. Police say the officer who he struck was hospitalized and then released with a brace and will have to use crutches.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber released a statement saying the video is “not who we are” and that’s why his department acted swiftly.
Last Friday, he told CBS4 “I agree with what the Chief did and what he said.” He commended the Chief for taking “appropriate action.”
Charges against Vaughn of resisting an arrest with violence and impeding a police investigation have been dropped.
A federal judge in New York on Tuesday sentenced one of Long Island’s former top prosecutors to five years in prison for his role in covering up the brutal police assault of a handcuffed prisoner who was accused of stealing a bag of sex toys from a car belonging to the chief of police.
U.S. District Court Judge Joan Azrack handed down a 60-month sentence to ex-Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, who in Dec. 2019 was found guilty of several crimes, including witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Additionally, Spota was ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
One of Spota’s former top aides, Christopher McPartland, 55, who previously served as the county’s top anticorruption prosecutor, also received a five-year sentence.
According to a report from Newsday, the 79-year-old Spota, who was indicted in 2017, told Judge Azrack that his conviction was “the lowest point” of his life and that his only hope now was “not to die in prison alone.”
“I’ve also left [my family] with a shattered legacy and the stain of being a convicted felon,” the disbarred Spota said. “My family will forever be marked by my disgrace.”
Spota’s troubles began in Dec. 2012, when Suffolk County Chief of Police James Burke—Spota’s one-time protégé—discovered that someone had broken into his car and stolen a duffel bag containing his gun belt, sex toys, pornography, Viagra, and cigars. A few hours later, officers arrested a known heroin user who had the bag in his possession and handcuffed him to the floor in the station’s interrogation room. When the suspect learned who Burke was, he allegedly taunted the chief, calling him a “pervert,” which reportedly caused him to fly off the handle.
“For a few minutes, prosecutors said, Mr. Burke assaulted the suspect, screaming and threatening to kill him until a detective in the room finally said, ‘Boss, that’s enough,’” according to a report from The New York Times.
Following the vicious assault, prosecutors say that Burke ordered all of the highest-ranking officers in the Suffolk County Police Department to close ranks and ensure that any “officers who had witnessed the assault would never reveal what they had observed,” according to a report from The Associated Press. Burke then recruited Spota and McPartland, both of whom were his personal friends, to help conceal what had happened.
During Spota’s trial, an officer testified about a 2015 meeting held in Spota’s office where the then-district attorney discussed how to combat the federal probe into Burke’s assault. The officer said Spota ordered him to find out whether anyone in the department had “flipped” on Burke.
“Somebody’s talking. You better find out fast if it’s not too late,” Spota said, according to the AP.
Burke was sentenced to 4 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2016. He refused to testify against Spota and McPartland at their trials.
In a statement, acting Eastern District U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis cheered the sentence, saying the defendants had committed “reprehensible violations of the public trust.”
“When a sitting District Attorney and one of his top prosecutors are corrupt and use their power to intimidate witnesses and cover up a brutal assault by a high-ranking law enforcement official, they not only jeopardize the safety of citizens who are entitled to the protection of the law, they also undermine confidence in the integrity and fairness of our criminal justice system,” she said.
“Instead of serving the people of Suffolk County, these defendants brazenly abused their exceptional positions of power and public trust to protect their friends and hurt their enemies. With today’s sentences, justice has been served and the defendants have learned the consequences of their crimes, just like anyone else who has broken the law.”
An attorney for Spota did not immediately respond to an email from Law&Crime.
For years, St. Paul police officer Heather Weyker was swamped. She gathered evidence, cultivated witnesses, filled out the police reports, testified under oath—all in connection with an interstate sex trafficking ring run by Somali refugees. But perhaps most impressive is that she did all that while fabricating the same ring she was investigating, which resulted in 30 indictments, 9 trials, and 0 convictions.
Hamdi Mohamud, then a 16-year-old refugee from Somalia, found herself caught up in that scheme in 2011, when one of Weyker's witnesses, Muna Abdulkadir, tried to attack her and her friends at knifepoint. Mohamud called the police, and Weyker intervened—on behalf of Abdulkadir. She arrested Mohamud and her friends for allegedly tampering with a federal witness, and Mohamud subsequently spent two years in jail before the trumped-up charges were dismissed.
While Mohamud lost those two years of her life, Weyker has not paid any price—not in spite of her position, but because of it. Since the officer conducted her investigation as part of a federal task force, she is entitled to absolute immunity and cannot be sued, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled last year.
It's not because the "sex trafficking" investigation—which consisted of Weyker conjuring fake information, editing police reports, fabricating evidence, and lying under oath, among other things—was legitimate. On the contrary, the court says it was "plagued with problems from the start" and notes that Weyker employed "lies and manipulation" to put people behind bars. Legally speaking, none of that matters.
What does matter is a line of Supreme Court jurisprudence that has made suing a rights-violating federal officer almost out of the question. Had Weyker acted in her capacity as a state or local cop, Mohamud would have been permitted to bring her claim before a jury of her peers. Yet the most powerful officers are held to the lowest standard of accountability.
Mohamud hopes to change that standard by asking the Supreme Court to hear her case, which she made official last week.
The problem here isn't qualified immunity, the doctrine that shields police officers and other state actors from federal civil suits unless the way the government violated your rights has been litigated almost exactly in a prior court precedent. That's an onerous standard to meet. It has, for example, protected two police officers who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant, because no prior court ruling had said stealing in those circumstances is unconstitutional. The legal principle has been at the center of criminal justice reform efforts over the last year.
But Mohamud cleared that hurdle. The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota ruled that Weyker's actions so clearly made a mockery of the Constitution that she could not skirt the suit. The 8th Circuit then overturned that decision on appeal, citing Weyker's temporary federal badge, while in the same breath acknowledging the depravity of her actions.
"Qualified immunity makes it very, very difficult to sue government officials," says Patrick Jaicomo, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, the libertarian public interest law firm representing Mohamud. "This makes it impossible."
There's a Supreme Court decision that should, in theory, give Mohamud the avenue to redress she needs. In Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (1971), the high court allowed a victim to go before a jury after federal cops conducted a drug raid on his apartment without a warrant and later strip-searched him at the courthouse.
But since then the Court has undermined its own decision in almost comical ways. In 2017, the justices ruled in Ziglar v. Abbasi that lower courts should pinpoint "special factors counseling hesitation" when considering suits against federal cops. In practice, that has meant just about whatever a judge can cook up.
Yet even Abbasi notes that Bivens should be applied robustly for Fourth Amendment claims, and Mohamud's suit rests on the Fourth Amendment. That has been lost on the 8th Circuit.
"Bivens is actually a great decision," says Anya Bidwell, another attorney for Mohamud. "It does provide a cause of action for a violation of Fourth Amendment rights. We want Bivens to be interpreted robustly and allow individuals to seek damages for violations of constitutional rights."
Whether or not the Supreme Court will clarify its oscillating guidance remains to be seen. But last year the justices may have given a hint about where they're leaning when they unanimously ruled that a group of Muslim men should have the right to sue a group of federal cops who violated their religious freedom rights. Jaicomo distills Justice Clarence Thomas' opinion in that case down to its core: "He [essentially] says the availability of damages against federal officers is as old as the Republic itself."
A decade after wrongly losing the end of her teenage years in jail, Mohamud has not yet been able to make use of that lever against the perpetrator, who is still employed by the St. Paul Police Department. "It simply makes no sense that the Fourth Amendment applies with less rigor for someone who happens to work for the federal government," says Bidwell. "This is unsustainable. It just makes no sense."
The bulk of the American public supports qualified immunity reform. It's not hard to see why: The legal doctrine allows state officials to violate your constitutional rights without fear of being sued. It has emboldened cops to commit some shocking misdeeds: killing innocent people, shooting children, beating people needlessly, and outright stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is at the very foundation of our culture of police un-accountability, which destroys trust and makes it more difficult for good officers to do their jobs.
So, naturally, the Senate has reportedly taken reform off the table, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
The proposal was part of the Justice in Policing Act, the legislation in the works since the death of George Floyd. Outright abolishing the doctrine was always a tough sell among Republicans. But Sen Tim Scott (R–S.C.), who is leading GOP negotiations, floated a compromise that would make law enforcement departments, not individual officers, liable for misconduct claims.
Though his proposal frustrated advocates who want to see more individual accountability, others thought it might be a decent middle ground, as many cities already indemnify officers against having to pay damages: out of $730 million in judgments awarded to police conduct plaintiffs between 2006 to 2011, individual officers paid a grand total of 0.02 percent, according to Joanna Schwartz, a law professor at UCLA, who surveyed 44 of the largest police agencies across the U.S.
But last month, we learned the National Sheriffs' Association met with Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.); they objected to the idea that their departments would have to take the heat for the actions of supposed rogue officers. Shortly thereafter, the National Association of Police Organizations sent its members a message headlined "Urgent, Action Needed! Senator Booker Proposes Horrible Police Reform Bill."
Law enforcement groups claim that abolishing or even limiting qualified immunity in any meaningful way would spur an avalanche of frivolous misconduct lawsuits. But without qualified immunity, plaintiffs would still need to prove before a judge that their constitutional rights were violated by a police officer or other government official. Qualified immunity doesn't determine the outcome of a civil suit, it simply allows government officials to avoid being sued altogether. Abolishing it won't make government officials liable if plaintiffs fail to prove that their rights were violated.
The legal principle of qualified immunity says that, in order to sue most state actors in civil court, the alleged misbehavior and the circumstances surrounding it must have previously been ruled unconstitutional in a prior court precedent. That means that cops can, for example, throw explosives into an innocent person's home and not have to pay for the damages if there is no prior ruling discussing such behavior. (That actually happened.) It also means that had the city of Minneapolis chosen to not settle with George Floyd's family, Derek Chauvin—the former Minneapolis Police Department officer convicted of murdering him—could have skirted the impending lawsuits if the Floyd family failed to present a perfectly identical precedent.
The latter speaks to the heart of why so many argue qualified immunity reform is an imperative: Chauvin is the exception, not the rule. As I wrote after his conviction, misbehaving police officers are almost never prosecuted; when they are, a conviction is even rarer. That leaves victims with one final road to justice—civil court—which they often find blocked off before they can state their case to a jury.
"Ending qualified immunity would simply allow more victims or their families to receive restitution," writes Evan Johnson, a former Washington, D.C., police officer, in The Hill, "and give agencies more financial incentive to ensure the officers they put on the street respect the rights of those they serve." On the latter point, perhaps an insurance market would make sense, where departments assess the risk of repeat offenders—like, for instance, Derek Chauvin.
"The bottom line is that policing reform without qualified immunity reform is going to be mostly hollow and ineffective," says Jay Schweikert, a research fellow with the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice. "If you don't have accountability in place, then in some sense it doesn't matter what other rules Congress implements." In the context of the Justice in Policing Act, legislators also hope to address things like no-knock warrants and racial profiling. "If those rules can be violated with impunity," adds Schweikert, "then they're not actually protecting anyone."
A grand jury has returned a 32-count indictment against officers and paramedics involved in the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was put in a chokehold by Aurora police and injected with a sedative during an August 2019 arrest, Colorado's attorney general announced Wednesday. The charges include manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
McClain's death gained widespread attention last year amid a national reckoning on police brutality and racial injustice that followed the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In June 2020, Colorado attorney general Phil Weiser launched an independent investigation into McClain's death, and in January announced a grand jury would determine whether the officers and paramedics involved should be charged. A local district attorney had in 2019 declined to file charges, citing inconclusive evidence surrounding how McClain died.
Weiser said two Aurora police officers, a former police officer and two paramedics have each been charged with one count each of manslaughter and one count each of criminally negligent homicide. Two of the officers face additional assault and crime of violence counts, and the two paramedics also face assault counts, in addition to counts of recklessly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon -- the sedative ketamine.
McClain had been walking home from a convenience store wearing a ski mask when someone called 911 to report a suspicious person. Three arriving officers tried to arrest the unarmed man, using a carotid hold — a technique where pressure is placed on both sides of the neck — and tackling him to the ground. Aurora Fire Department personnel later injected him with the sedative ketamine. He suffered a heart attack and was later removed from life support.
Another independent investigation into McClain's death, which wasn't tasked with determining whether criminal wrongdoing occurred, found in February that officers used force or threat of force "nearly constantly" against McClain in the 18 minutes from the time police first approached him until he was placed on a gurney to be transported to the hospital. The officers justified the use of force by saying McClain resisted and showed extraordinary strength, but body cam audio portrayed a starkly different scenario, the report said.
"The audio captured by the body worn camera contains two sharply contrasting narratives — on the one hand, Mr. McClain pleading, apologizing, and expressing pain, and on the other hand, the officers continuing to perceive resistance," the report found.
The report found that officers took McClain into custody within seconds of their interaction with him, failed to assess whether there was reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime had occurred, and continued to use force against McClain after it was justified. It found paramedics who responded didn't didn't immediately provide care to McClain, accepting the officers' suggestion that he was experiencing "excited delirium" without evaluating him. Paramedics also overestimated McClain's weight before administering the ketamine, affecting the weight-based calculation for dosage, the report found.
Weiser's office is continuing to investigate whether the Aurora Police Department has a pattern or practice of violating citizens' civil rights.
A former Georgia prosecutor was indicted Thursday on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings.
A grand jury in coastal Glynn County indicted former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson on charges of violating her oath of office and hindering a law enforcement officer.
The indictment resulted from an investigation Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr requested last year into local prosecutors’ handling of Arbery’s slaying after a cellphone video of the shooting and a delay in charges sparked a national outcry.
“While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice,” Carr, a Republican, said in a statement.
Arbery was killed Feb. 23, 2020, after a white father and son, Greg and Travis McMichael, armed themselves and pursued the 25-year-Black man in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood outside the coastal city of Brunswick, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah.
A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun. The McMichales said they believed Arbery was a burglar and that he was shot after attacking Travis McMichael.
Police did not charge any of them immediately following the shooting, and the McMichaels and Bryan remained free for more than two months until the cellphone video of the shooting was leaked online and Gov. Brian Kemp asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take over the case.
Both McMichaels and Bryan were charged with murder and other crimes in May 2020 and face trial this fall. Prosecutors say Arbery was merely jogging in their neighborhood and was unarmed when Travis McMichael shot him. They say there is no evidence Arbery had committed a crime.
Greg McMichael had worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office, having retired in 2019. Evidence introduced in pretrial hearings in the murder case shows he called Johnson’s cellphone and left her a voice message soon after the shooting occurred.
“Jackie, this is Greg,” he said, according to a recording of the call included in the public case file. “Could you call me as soon as you possibly can? My son and I have been involved in a shooting and I need some advice right away.”
A record of Greg McMichael’s cellphone calls that day does not show that Johnson called him back.
The indictment says Johnson showed “favor and affection” toward Greg McMichael in the investigation and interfered with police officers at the scene by “directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.”
Johnson did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Thursday afternoon. She has previously insisted she did nothing wrong, saying she immediately recused herself from the case because Greg McMichael was a former employee.
“I’m confident that when the truth finally comes out on that, people will understand our office did what it had to under the circumstances,” Johnson told The Associated Press in November after she lost reelection.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother, said in a statement Thursday that prosecutors “must be held accountable when they interfere with investigations in order to protect friends and law enforcement.”
He said Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, “is grateful for everyone who continues to advocate for justice for Ahmaud and for accountability at every level.”
In his call for an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct, Carr asked the GBI not only to investigate Johnson’s actions related to the killing but also those of Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill. No charges have been announced against Barnhill.
After the shooting, Johnson called Barnhill to handle questions from police about how to handle the shooting.
Carr ended up appointing Barnhill to take over on Feb. 27, four days after the shooting. In his letter ordering an investigation last May, Carr said he was never told that Barnhill had already advised police “that he did not see grounds for the arrest of any of the individuals involved in Mr. Arbery’s death.”
Barnhill later recused himself as well, after Arbery’s family learned his son worked for Johnson as an assistant prosecutor. But before he stepped aside, Barnhill wrote a letter to a Glynn County police captain saying the McMichaels “were following, in ‘hot pursuit,’ a burglary suspect, with solid first hand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/ telling him to stop.”
“It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia Law this is perfectly legal,” Barnhill advised in the letter, referencing Georgia’s citizen arrest statute. That law was quickly repealed, with overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats, as a reaction to Arbery’s death.
Johnson blamed the controversy over Arbery’s death for her election defeat last year after a decade as top prosecutor for the five-county circuit in southeast Georgia. She was defeated by independent candidate Keith Higgins, who had to collect thousands of signatures to get on the ballot.
Body camera footage has been released in the shooting death of Jeffery Parker by a now-convicted Huntsville, Ala. police officer.
Parker, 49, was suicidal and was holding a gun to his own head when police were called to intervene in April 2018. William Darby, the officer who pulled the trigger, pulled up to the scene, pulled a rifle from his squad car, ran to the home where Parker was sitting, and fired a fatal bullet approximately one minute after he exited his cruiser.
Two other officers were already on scene. Darby pushed past both of them before firing his weapon.
Darby was sentenced on Aug. 20th to 25 years in prison for murdering Parker. Darby touted his Christian faith before learning his fate. A judge previously agreed to release Darby on bond after conviction but before sentencing.
The video and audio shows Darby arriving at the scene, cussing in his cruiser, pulling his rifle, and jogging to Parker’s home. When he arrived at Parker’s doorstep, Darby, who is white, quickly pushed past two other officers who both appear to be people of color after attempting to tell them how to manage the situation.
The two other authorities at the scene were identified at Darby’s trial as officer Genisha Pegues and officer Justin Beckles. Pegues was reportedly the “senior officer” on the scene, but all three police personnel present appear to have held the same rank as Darby.
Pegues testified at Darby’s trial that she was trying to talk Parker out of harming himself. She said her gun was drawn but was “not pointed at Parker” through most of the incident.
The video backs up her testimony.
“Huntsville police!” Beckles said as he and Pegues approached Parker’s open front door.
“Huntsville police!” Pegues repeated.
Beckles maintained radio contact with dispatch while Pegues spoke to Parker.
“Hey, what’s your name?” Pegues asked Parker. “Why you want to take your life, man? Huh? Strung out on drugs?”
Pegues asked if anyone else was in the house. The reply was difficult to ascertain, but Pegues repeated that a woman was apparently “upstairs.” Pegues then asked the name of the woman; it was also inaudible.
“What’s going on today that you want to take your life?” Pegues asked Parker.
Darby arrived separately from the other two officers.
“Point your ****ing gun at him,” Darby told Pegues when he showed up.
“Put the gun down!” Darby yelled toward Parker from the suicidal man’s doorstep.
“He has it to his head,” Pegues said to Darby with reference to Parker and the pistol the suicidal man was holding.
“I don’t want anything to happen to you right now,” Pegues said to Parker. “I don’t.”
“He can shoot you,” Darby said to Pegues.
“Listen. He’s right here in front of me,” Pegues said to Darby.
“Hey, look,” Pegues apparently directed to Parker.
“Hey, brother,” Beckles said several times.
“Put the gun down,” Darby told Parker as he crossed the threshold into the suicidal man’s home and pointed his rifle at the man’s head. “Put the gun down!” he again yelled.
“Hey, brother. Put it down, bro! Put the gun down!” Beckles said.
“Put it down; I’m not going to tell you again!” Darby yelled.
“We don’t want you to take your life. Please, please! Lower the gun right — ” Pegues pleaded.
Darby fired a single shot.
“Thirty-four,” Beckles repeated to dispatch. “Shots fired.”
Darby approached Parker, took the pistol from the victim’s lifeless hands, and placed the victim in handcuffs.
A sobbing woman — presumably the woman who was said to have been upstairs — could be heard asking officers what happened.
Darby claimed at trial that he fired when he saw Parker start to move his gun. Pegues testified that she had the situation under control without Darby’s decision to escalate the matter.
Darby pulled the trigger about 10 seconds after he entered Parker’s home.
The mayor and the chief of police publicly slammed the jury’s unanimous decision to convict Darby shortly after the verdict. Darby’s lawyers have indicated they plan to swiftly appeal the conviction.
Darby is currently in custody at the Madison County Jail in Huntsville, according to an Alabama Department of Corrections website. His release date is scheduled for Aug. 17, 2046.
"A defense attorney said the flashlight in question was smaller than a pen, and the teen’s pants were on. The defense attorney said Roman was merely trying to deescalate the situation."A Chicago Police lieutenant has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery, on charges that he shoved a flashlight between a teenage boy’s buttocks while making an arrest in Belmont Cragin in February.
Chicago Police said Lt. Wilfredo Roman surrendered for arrest to members of the CPD Bureau Internal Affairs Division at the Central (1st) District police station on Wednesday night.
He was charged with felony aggravated battery in a public place and official misconduct.
His bond was set at $5,000 on Thursday afternoon. As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported, Roman walked out on an I-bond, meaning the police lieutenant didn’t have to post any money, with a promise to return for his next court date. He left custody about two hours after his bond hearing.
Roman did not comment to reporters as he left.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said on Feb. 9 around 8:35 p.m., two teenage boys – ages 6 an and 17 – approached a man sitting in a 2005 silver Mazda in the 1900 block of North La Crosse Avenue. The 17-year-old pointed a gun at the man and demanded the keys, prosecutors said.
The man handed over the keys, and the 16-year-old drove off in the car, prosecutors said.
Around 8:55 p.m., Roman spotted the Mazda and called over police radio that the teens and had bailed from the car and run off, prosecutors said. Roman informed dispatch of the direction the teens had run, and started chasing them, prosecutors said.
More officers responded and saw the two teens running in an alley around 2022 N. LeClaire Ave., prosecutors said. When the officers approached the 16-year-old, he tried to climb a fence and threw a Hi-Point C9 handgun over the fence, prosecutors said.
An officer gave the 17-year-old a verbal command to surrender, and he did so – putting his hands in the air and getting on the ground, prosecutors said.
The officer then placed the teen in handcuffs, and the teen complained that the handcuffs were too tight, prosecutors said.
The officer adjusted the handcuffs, and the teen stopped yelling and began saying he had just been running, prosecutors said. While the officer was adjusting the handcuffs, Roman told the teen to, “Shut up!” prosecutors said.
Roman then approached the teen from behind and shoved his flashlight between the teen’s buttocks, and told the teen again to, “Shut up!” when the teen yelled out, prosecutors said.
Roman then withdrew the flashlight, walked a short distance away from the teen, and then told him, “That’s what you get for carjacking,” prosecutors said.
The incident was captured on police body cameras, prosecutors said.
The teen was then placed in a squad car, and was later charged as a juvenile with aggravated vehicular hijacking and unlawful use of a weapon. That case is still pending.
Roman, 44, is has been with the Chicago Police Department since 2000.
A defense attorney said the flashlight in question was smaller than a pen, and the teen’s pants were on. The defense attorney said Roman was merely trying to deescalate the situation.
Roman’s attorney presented over 200 awards and other commendations to the court that the officer has received over the years. He also claimed the teen wasn’t injured by the flashlight.
As for Roman’s background, data collected by the watchdog group Invisible Institute shows Roman has been the subject of at least 40 misconduct allegations — 10 of which were for excessive force — but he wasn’t disciplined for any of the allegations except for a reprimand involving a prisoner escape.
Roman was also named in a federal lawsuit in which he and another officer were accused of using a stun gun on an 82-year-old woman.
A Cook County Judge did not order Roman to turn in his service weapon. He said he is leaving that up to CPD.
The CPD said it relieved Roman of his police powers upon learning about the incident in July. Further disciplinary actions could follow pending the outcomes of criminal and administrative investigations.