Police Misconduct

Police Misconduct

Mississippi Police Officer Who Shot Mother Faces Murder Charges

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In Oxford, Mississippi, on Sunday afternoon, Police responded to a potential domestic disturbance. When authorities arrived at the Suncrest Drive home, they discovered the body of 32-year-old Dominique Lashelle Clayton. She was unresponsive, and pronounced dead shortly after. Clayton had been shot in the back of the head and was discovered by her 8-year-old son.

As the police began to investigate, they learned of Clayton’s current relationship with Matthew Paul Kinne, who was currently serving as an officer with the Oxford Police Department. This information was provided by Shyjuan Clayton, Dominique’s sister, who claimed that Kinne was having an affair with her sister.

The investigation was handed over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, who continued to follow through on Clayton’s death. Further developments in the case led investigators to arrest Kinne on Monday night. He was taken to the jail in Panola County. There, he was officially charged with murder.

Kinne had served four years with Oxford Police, but it is unclear as to why he might have shot Clayton. However, Clayton’s sister and friends told investigators that it was the result of a domestic issue. Investigators to not have enough information at this time for this to be conclusive. Kinne will receive his bond hearing later next week.

Sherry Brown, Clayton’s neighbor commented on the killing, “It’s terrible. It’s shocking. You know it happened so close to my mom’s and everybody here is like a tight community and talk to each other. I just think it’s a sad situation.”

There are witness claims that a police cruiser was parked on the street near Clayton’s house on Saturday night. This raises questions as to whether or not Kinne was on duty when the homicide took place. If Kinne is found guilty, not only will prosecutors likely seek the death penalty, but it opens the door for civil action against the Oxford Police Department. This is especially true if Kinne was in an official capacity at the time of the killing.

Clayton’s family only wants answers as to why Dominique was killed and suitable justice.

Police Chief Faces Charges of Misconduct Connected With Wife’s False Rape Accusation

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The Chief of Police in Potterville, Michigan, is facing multiple charges of misconduct in his official capacity. These charges involve misconduct surrounding allegations of rape from his wife, involving an Eaton County sheriff’s deputy.

Charges were filed on Tuesday against Shane Bartlett, Potterville Police Chief, and include misconduct in office, false felony reporting and lying to police. The Barry County Prosecutor lists all the charges as felony offenses.

According to investigators, the Bartlett’s alleged crimes revolve around his wife Kellie Bartlett, who filed a rape report against a sheriff’s deputy she worked with in Eaton County. The claim states that he sexually assaulted her while at work.

Kellie Bartlett claimed that she was assaulted in March of 2017. Upon investigation, it was determined that she had been a “willing and consenting partner in the act.” She had worked at the sheriff’s office for almost nine years before being fired in 2017. She had an ongoing relationship with the accused deputy from 2015 to 2017. When she was fired, according to State Police Detective Sgt. Eric Darling’s testimony, she started stalking the deputy. She claims the following and ongoing contact with the deputy regarded money she was owed from a loan to the deputy. She had not immediately filed charges, fearing accusations of lying.

“I felt like I kept getting the treatment that I’m just a scorned woman, that I’m just crazy and I think if I had come out with it at that time it would have looked even worse,” Kellie stated. “I think it would have just been chalked up to that.”

Julie Nakfoor Pratt is the Barry County Prosecutor, and she states that it is believed that Shane helped his wife in making the false allegations. A press release from the Prosecutor’s office showed, “Suspicions about Shane Bartlett’s statement arose early in the case but it has taken several months to analyze his phone and work computer records.”

Shane Bartlett denies the charges, and his attorney, Matt Newburg, has stated his intent to fight the allegations vigorously. In his statement, he said, “Shane Bartlett has been a pillar of the community for over a decade. As we continue to receive discovery from the prosecutor’s office, we intend to defend him in court against the allegations.”

Aaron Sheridan, Potterville City Manager, commented that Bartlett was placed on paid leave until the city has a chance to review the charges and investigation. While the investigation is ongoing, the city is working to maintain police coverage in Potterville.

An arraignment was held for Bartlett in the Eaton County District Court on Wednesday. He was able to secure release on his own recognizance with a $10,000 bond. The case is being prosecuted by Barry County Prosecutors, as the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office chose to recuse itself due to conflicts of interest in both Shane and Kellie Bartlett’s individual cases.

Kelli Bartlett herself faces multiple charges including, two felony charges of committing a crime through a computer, two identity theft counts, three counts of unauthorized computer access, one count of felony conspiracy, two for stalking as a misdemeanor, a count of dissemination of visual material of a sexual nature intentionally and two misdemeanor counts of committing a crime by computer.

Shane Bartlett could receive up to 13 years in prison for the three charges he faces.

Rally Draws Dozens to Glendale Police HQ in Protest Against Police Brutaly Tasing Man

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A crowd of protesters gathered at Glendale Police Headquarters in Glendale, Arizona on Monday. The group was there to protest against police brutality. The protest is in response to a recent video release showing the aggressive tasing of Johnny Wheatcroft during a July 2016 traffic stop.

During the traffic stop, it was discovered that the vehicle’s driver didn’t have a license. Since Wheatcroft was in the front seat, Officers Matt Schneider and Mark Lindsey asked Wheatcroft to identify himself. He refused to do so.

The officers said that Wheatcroft was reaching both under the seat and around the center console. They then attempted to remove Wheatcroft from the vehicle, who resisted their attempts. Wheatcroft claims the officers’ claims are untrue, saying he was compliant and did not offer resistance.

Once Wheatcroft was removed and handcuffed, he was summarily and repeatedely tased by Officer Schneider. Wheatcroft claims to have been kicked in the testicles, as well as having his shorts pulled down and being tased in the testicles. Wheatcroft’s attorneys allege that Wheatcroft was tased no less than 11 times during the incident.

After he was arrested, Wheatcroft proceeded to spend the next two months in jail for charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest. The prosecutor eventually requested the charges be dropped and Wheatcroft was released from jail.

Wheatcroft asserts, through his attorneys, that he and is family were traumatized by the events. Wheatcroft’s wife Anya was in the back seat of the vehicle with their two children. According to his attorneys, Wheatcroft was under no legal requirement to produce ID, despite what he was told by the officers involved.

Body cam footage has been released that shows the incident as it happened. Wheatcroft alleges that what was done to him was tantamount to torture. Not only has body cam footage been supplied for the case, but also footage from a nearby surveillance camera. Marc Victor, Wheatcroft’s attorney, believes the footage shows enough evidence to win Wheatcroft’s lawsuit.

Wheatcroft seeks compensation for the incident, but also wants justice in regard to Officer Schneider. The lawsuit also demands that Schneider be fired from the Glendale Police Department, and that he be arrested for assault.

The rally drew dozens of protestors after a news release about the rally was put out. “Arizonans of all walks of life are asking that people remain vigilant and engage in an active role to combat the militarization of police, abuses of power, and violations of human rights here in our state in 2019 and beyond.”

Wife Killed by Army Husband, Then He Flees to Thailand

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Peter Lian, 21, has been charged with murder for the death of his wife. Khuang Par, Lian’s wife, was found dead on December 23rd. Her body had been hidden inside a suitcase, then dumped in a dumpster in Indianapolis.

According to investigator reports, the 27-year-old woman, and Lian, lived together in Colorado Springs near Fort Carson, where Lian served. Par had left Lian after accusations that he assaulted her in November. She had gone to Indianapolis to be with family. Par had obtained a restraining order against Lian after the assault. Lian was placed under arrest shortly after and officially charged with the assault.

After getting out of jail, Lian flew to Indianapolis on December 22nd, three weeks after Par left. Investigators say there are flight records showing Lian departing the country two days after arriving in Indianapolis. His destination was Bangkok. The Army has classified Lian as a deserter, since he did not return to duty as expected. It is unknown where Lian is at this time.

The last time Lian was seen was via surveillance video obtained from various locations in Indianapolis. He was seen drawing money from cash machines, making purchases and also driving Par’s vehicle.

A homeless woman found Par’s body in the suitcase on December 23rd and reported it to police. Investigator’s reports show indications of neck trauma, and that Par may have been raped before her death.

Police in Colorado have shared information from Par’s interview at the time of the domestic assault. She said an argument began over her plans to return to Indiana. The argument became physical and Par said Lian began choking her with one hand first, then proceeded to choke her with both. She alleged that once he released her, he threatened her before she could leave. He told her, “I’m going to kill you,” in Burmese, which is Par’s native language.

Warrants have been issued for Lian’s capture, one of which is for desertion from the U.S. Army. After the discovery of Par’s body, Army investigators found a matching suitcase in Lian’s room in the barracks.

Lian served the Army in the 4th Sustainment Brigade as a financial technician.

 

Atlanta Officer with History of Disciplinary Issues Under Investigation Again

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The Atlanta Police Department has placed Sergeant Byron Rainey on administrative leave due to claims the he was allowing his brother to masquerade as a police officer. Rainey’s brother, in this capacity, arrested someone illegally while working for private security. However, this is not Rainey’s first time facing discipline while with the department.

The suspension, and ensuing investigation, comes after Erika Shields, Atlanta Police Chief, was made aware of the situation following a news interview with Elroy Pena. Pena works for Wal-Mart at the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive location and claims that Rainey’s brother was allowed to carry a badge and gun, having been cleared to do so by Rainey.

In the interview, Pena told the reporter that management and employees believed Rainey’s brother to be an actual police officer. Following the interview, Rainey received a four day suspension. Rainey’s brother received probation for three years after his conviction in Fulton County for the crime. The conviction occurred in August, yet the Atlanta PD was unaware of the allegations by Pena at that time.

Rainey has served with the department since 1995. According to personnel files for Rainey, there are multiple allegations in his past with the force. In his first year, Rainey received a reprimand for using excessive force with a driver, after the driver ignored a police roadblock and drove through. This would not be the end of Rainey’s issues.

Rainey was serving as a Zone Four supervisor in 2009, when two women accused him of sexual assault. The complaints were separate, having happened about one week apart. At the time, dismissal was recommended by the APD Office of Professional Standards. Instead of dismissal, George Turner, the then-current Chief of Police overrode the decision and only gave Rainey an eight-day suspension. When reached for comment, Turner stated, “There had to be a reason I did not sustain. I do not have access to the files to review it.”

One of the victims that claimed Rainey sexually assaulted her, told investigators that he had put his hands in her pants and under her shirt, fondling her in both areas. “I don’t want him to be able to do it to nobody else,” she said.

Later in 2013, Rainey dealt with a four-day suspension after accusations from a female co-worker that Rainey showed her a sexually, inappropriate image. However, regardless of the previous claims, Rainey has still been an officer “in good standing” until the accusations by Pena.

Chief Shields made a statement about Rainey, calling his record “far from exemplary.” She believes that previous chiefs were to be respected in the decisions they made about Rainey’s previous incidents. She believes there would have been proper reasoning for the decisions made with regard to discipline.

Rainey has surrendered his gun and badge, but still remains on the APD payroll until the investigation is complete.

Texas sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually abusing child and threatening to deport her mother

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A sheriff’s deputy in San Antonio is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening the child’s mother, who is undocumented, that she would be deported if she told authorities about the abuse. Jose Nunez, 47, who was employed by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, faces a charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. Nunez faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, according to Leslie Garza of the Bexar County district attorney’s office.

The victim is related to the suspect, according to Sheriff Javier Salazar, but details of their relationship has not been made public. Salazar noted that investigators believe there may be more victims, and that the abuse against the known victim may have taken place over a period of months or years.

“The details of this are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar said.

A case of ‘super aggravated sexual assault of a child’ occurs if the victim is less than six years old, or if a victim is less than fourteen years old in combination with other factors, like the use of a deadly weapon, during the assault.

William Chumbley, who is representing Nunez, did not respond to requests for comments by Monday morning.

Authorities became aware of the case after the victim’s mother fled to a fire station at night, according to Salazar. Nunez was arrested before sunrise on Sunday, while he was off duty. He was arrested by his former colleagues of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities are planning to give the victim’s mother protected status, Salazar said. “I would urge anybody that may be undocumented that is a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime to please come forward and report it”.

San Antonio Police Accidentally Shoot Six-Year-Old Boy

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In a police chase outside of San Antonio, Texas just a few days before Christmas, a six-year-old boy was accidentally but fatally shot by a police officer. The boy, who was later identified as Kameron Prescott, was actually inside his family’s mobile home when a bullet went through the home’s wall and hit Prescott in the chest. The police was in pursuit of 30-year-old Amanda Lee Jones, who was suspected of stealing a car and an attempted break-in; the police also ended up fatally shooting Jones once the pursuit was over and done with. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar commented on the death of Prescott, calling it “a tragic accident”. Salazar also said that the investigation into the incident would continue before the district attorney could determine if there was additional legal action required. Two other members of the Prescott family were also in the mobile home when the shots were fired, but only Kameron resulted injured.

 

According to deputies, Jones was spotted to have a weapon when she was first encountered by the police. Jones reportedly proceeded to threaten to shoot an officer. Once the police caught up with her outside of the Prescott home, Jones also threatened to attack the family that was inside that home, which led police to kill Jones. After the fact, police have been unable to locate a gun around Jones, but they did find a pipe with Jones’ blood left behind under the deck of the home Jones attempted to break into. Sheriff Salazar has since expressed his belief that Jones was pretending to be armed, although he says that deputies on the scene are still asserting they saw a weapon on Jones, which led to their course of action.

 

John Aguilon, George Herrera, Jesse Arias and Johnny Longoria all shot at Jones, and they have since been placed on a five-day administrative leave as the situation is being sorted out. The department is going through available audio and limited video footage, as the only body camera on the scene was partially obstructed during the key moments in the confrontation.

 

The family of Prescott has mostly stayed out of the public eye so far following the loss of their six-year-old. Salazar mentioned that he has been a friend of Steve Prescott, Kameron’s grandfather, for over 20 years. Steve Prescott is a long-time member of the nearby San Antonio Police Department. Steve Prescott, on behalf of the rest of the Prescott family, did give a public statement asking for privacy during the investigation.

Euclid Officer Suspended After Violent Arrest Video

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Earlier this week, the Euclid, Ohio Police Department announced that officer Michael Amiott has been suspended without pay for 15 days and ordered to enter a re-training program as a result of investigations following the release of footage showing Amiott violently tackling someone to the ground during a traffic stop on August 12th. In the video, Amiott was seen punching 25-year-old Cleveland man Richard Hubbard III more than a dozen times. Amiott accused Hubbard of driving under suspension and resisting arrest before the video came out. The police department said they made the video public “so that the public can have a full and open understanding of the series of events that eventually led to this violent encounter.” This move to punish Amiott in some capacity has led local authorities to hope it’s enough to assuage the anger of the local community, which has rallied together to demonstrate against the town’s mayor and police chief in the past week.

According to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, Amiott’s previous conduct will be further investigated, due to an increase in reports regarding people’s previous encounters with Amiott. For example, there was reports of an April incident where Amiott used unnecessary force while handcuffing a 16-year-old girl at a public library. Shawn George, a 25-year-old soccer coach, alleges he was tackled and pepper sprayed by Amiott just last month. George says he was recording an arrest Amiott was making of a white juvenile who was carrying a BB gun when Amiott confronted the African-American adult. According to the Associated Press, Amiott has received four letters of reprimand and one formal citizen complaint during his tenure with the Euclid Police Department despite never being disciplined beyond written warnings. Some of those letters stemmed from incidents such as pistol-whipping a driver with his handgun, crashing with other police vehicles and other moments of lost temper.

Furthermore, according to the Ohio News-Herald newspaper, Amiott resigned from the Mentor, Ohio Police Department in 2014 after making a false statement in a police report, as it was determined he fabricated an accusation of weaving in traffic after realizing that a traffic stop he had made was invalid. It was after his resignation from the Mentor department that he was hired by Euclid’s department.

Amiott was the latest in a series of tense police-civilian encounters in the state of Ohio. On Tuesday, fellow Euclid officer Matthew Rhodes was cleared of charges by a grand jury during a case in which Rhodes fatally shot an unarmed 23-year-old driver on March 13th. County Prosecutor O’Malley took over the role for Timothy J. McGinty, who was in office when a grand jury cleared Cleveland police of wrongdoing in the nationally notorious case of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old shot by the police in November 2014. O’Malley, in conjunction with Lieutenant Mitch Houser, has ordered the police departments in the area to review its procedures and to accept specialized training in de-escalation in response to the rise in police misconduct over the past couple of years.

Virginia Officer Back on Trial

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David Cobb (PHOTO: Chesterfield Police)

Chesterfield County, Virginia officer David Cobb is being tried again for the murder of Patterson Brown Jr. at a car wash in the county.

The officer’s first trial ended in mistrial due to the jury unable to return a unanimous verdict on the second-degree murder charge. The 47-year-old Richmond Police officer was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr. He pleaded not guilty. After nearly eight hours of deliberation, the 12-man jury remained “significantly divided,” according to the judge.

Cobb’s defense attorney, David Baugh, said the jurors in the case carried a tremendous weight in trying to reach a decision. Baugh explains how thankful he is that the jurors have taken this case so seriously enough to deliberate for eight hours.

Although off duty at the time of the murder at the Sunoco gas station on Midlothian Turnpike, Cobb did admit to shooting and killing Brown on October 17, 2015. However, David Cobb explains that the act was in self-defense.

In his initial trial, Cobb admitted to shooting and killing the teenager, but only because he believed Brown had a weapon and was a threat to himself and others.

According to the investigation, Patterson Brown entered a car owned by Cobb’s girlfriend while it was parked at the gas station. Brown drove it through the car wash.

As Cobb took the stand, he explains how his “intent was not to kill Brown, the intent was to stop a threat.” After repeatedly asking Brown to stop moving, Patterson Brown continued to reach across his waist. That is when Cobb pulled the trigger.

Cobb told the jury that he asked a car wash attendant to call 911 in order to have Chesterfield County officers on scene and take over.

After identifying himself as an off-duty Richmond Police officer, Cobb said Brown yelled out ‘I don’t f*** with the ops.” Serving years as a gang specialist, Cobb testified that the phrase was commonly used among Blood gang members.

On the stand, Cobb cries out “I didn’t want to be a causality,” “I didn’t want to be a victim.”

Prosecutors said Brown was unarmed and believe the officer’s intentions were to prevent the teen from stealing the car. Also, toxicology reports say that the victim had only marijuana in his system that day.

Cobb’s new trial is set to last five days.

Lawyer Says Reno Boy Shot by School Cop Had Been Bullied, Beaten

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RENO, Nev. — An emotionally distressed 14-year-old armed with a knife had been bullied and beaten and was trying to escape from a crowd of classmates this week who had gathered to capture video of an anticipated fight when a campus police officer shot the boy, his lawyer told The Associated Press on Friday.

The Reno teen had been showing signs of improvement from a critical gunshot wound to his chest, but suffered a “major stroke” Friday and underwent emergency surgery and his condition was unknown Friday night, Reno attorney David Houston said. Before the stroke, he said the boy was critical but stable.

Houston, a prominent Reno attorney, said in an interview earlier Friday he was hired by the boy’s father to defend the teen against any potential criminal charges stemming from Wednesday’s shooting.

He said he was still reviewing videos of the incident posted on social media but said several suggest none of the students felt threatened by the knife-wielding boy and many appeared shocked when the officer opened fire in a high school courtyard.

“Those kids were alerted there was going to be a beat-down at a specific time and a specific location. They had amassed with their cellphones for the purpose of filming it,” Houston told the AP.

He added: “Half the student body is out there cheering them on. He’d been punched in the face and was running around screaming, ‘Get away from me!’ He was trying to extricate himself from a situation that had become like spectators in the Roman Colosseum.”

One online video appears to show the teen wielding a large knife in a circle of dozens of onlookers. Another appears to capture the sound of a single gunshot and several students screaming before the camera shows the boy writhing in pain on the ground. A student’s voice says, “They shot the kid.”

“The video tells the story,” Houston said. “No one anticipated the officer is going to shoot the kid.”

“There was no attempt to calm the situation. There was not this genuine sense of panic or alarm by the students watching until the officer attempted to execute the 14-year-old who was screaming, ‘Get away from me,'” he said.

No charges have been filed. The campus officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while Reno police lead an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

“Any charging considerations are a part of that process,” Washoe County District Attorney spokeswoman Michelle Bays said Friday, declining further comment until the investigation is complete.

Reno Police Chief Jason Soto said earlier the boy threatened other students and failed to comply with the officer’s orders to drop the knife before the officer shot him’

School Superintendent Traci Davis said Friday she continues to believe “the officer’s judgment saved other students from deadly force.”

The school district’s chief lawyer criticized Houston for speaking out on behalf of his client.

“It is disappointing to think that such a tragic event can be sensationalized by one side and by the media in order to spread false truths, innuendos, and disparage the efforts of a law enforcement officer protecting children,” said the lawyer, Neil A. Rombardo.

Houston’s past clients have included ex-pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and Joe Francis, founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” video empire.

He said the boy “brought some kitchen knives to school” because he feared “he’d get jumped by the same group of seniors who had beaten him the day before.”

Houston said the officer could have tried more to calm the boy down and convince him to put the knife down.

“They could have said, ‘It’s OK, nobody is going to hurt you,'” Houston said. “One of the primary rules of our society is we don’t shoot our children. We simply don’t shoot first and ask questions later.”

Source: NBC News