Police Behaving Badly 1.14.15

Prior to these regular link round ups, I had no idea how often police brutality or use of excessive force by law enforcement occurred. Now I know:  this shit happens all the fucking time (and the stories I’ve highlighted are U.S.-based. I’m sure if I expanded my searches, I could find a great deal more around the globe). I could probably post daily ‘Police Behaving Badly’ updates if I had the time. Anyways, here are 5 more stories:

Iowa cop tries to shoot dog, kills woman instead

The officer, identified as Jesse Hill, shot Autumn Mae Steele in front of her husband and 4-year-old son. Steele had been arrested a day earlier on domestic abuse charges, and Hill was there to escort her as she retrieved items from her home after being released from jail on Tuesday morning.

Steele and her husband reportedly began arguing as she was putting the boy into her car. Hill was allegedly trying to break up the dispute when the couple’s German Shepherd approached him.

“The dog startled the officer. The officer began shooting at the dog,” one witness told the Hawk Eye. “The officer was still shooting when he fell down in the snow.”

Steele was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead from a gunshot to the chest.

* * * *

 Prosecutors seek to raise the bail on officer described as ‘serial abuser of women’

Cuyahoga County prosecutors on Monday filed an eight-page motion asking a judge to raise Anderson’s bond to $100,000 to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the charges and his three previous violent episodes with women.

Anderson is scheduled to be arraigned on the latest charges on Thursday in Common Pleas Court, at which time a new bond will be set, he will be asked to enter a plea, and a judge will be assigned to the case.

Anderson, 51, a city police officer since 2007, is free on a $10,000 bond posted by Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association president Jeffrey Follmer. He was released from jail Dec. 16 — the day after his arrest.

Anderson, a Second District patrol officer, is suspended without pay pending the outcome of his case. His lawyer Henry Hilow said he would plead not guilty to the charges at the hearing. He decried the prosecutors’ motion.

“Officer Anderson is a good public servant and an outstanding police officer,” Hilow said. “He is ready to vigorously defend himself against these charges. The request for a $100,000 bond for a fourth-degree felony is ridiculous.”

According to the prosecutors’ motion, Anderson already has violated a no-contact order with the victim, his 43-year-old live-in girlfriend, who told police that Anderson called her after his arrest.

“The state is extremely concerned that Anderson will do so again,” the motion reads, “and that the mere possibility of any further contact between Anderson and the victim poses an unjustifiable risk that he will harm her.”

According to the motion, Anderson attacked his girlfriend three times on consecutive days, beginning Dec. 13, when he shoved her to the ground, causing her head to strike the pavement and knocking her unconscious.

The next day, Anderson again shoved the woman to the ground outside their home on South Hills Avenue in Cleveland. The following day, he kicked in her bedroom door, chased her down the stairs and shoved her to the landing, where her head was bloodied, the motion said.

In 2010, North Royalton police arrested Anderson after he threatened a different girlfriend, knocked out drywall in her home, broke dishes and slashed the tires on her car, the motion said. Anderson later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct.

In 2009, the girlfriend’s daughter called police to report that Anderson was on top of her mother and threatening to punch her. But the girlfriend declined to press charges.

In 2005, Cleveland police arrested Anderson after the same woman accused him of threatening to snap her neck. He later called her from jail and told her, “If I could have, I would have snapped your neck. You better fix this,” according to the motion. City prosecutors declined to charge Anderson then.

County prosecutors contend that police officers must be held to a higher legal standard than the public, and that Anderson’s violent crimes damage the trust essential for officers to properly perform their duty to protect and uphold the laws.

“When a bad officer breaks the law, he makes the job of every good officer less safe,” the motion said.

“Because of that heightened legal standard, this court should set bond at a level that is above and beyond what this court would normally set for a serial abuser of women with a history of threats and violence, who has already violated the no-contact order against him,” the motion concludes.

* * * *

 Cop accused of pressuring girlfriend to have an abortion, then beating her when it took too long

Officer Sierra Shivers was placed on unpaid leave by the North Charleston Police Department pending the outcome of an internal investigation of the incident.

An affidavit accuses the 38-year-old Shivers of punching the unidentified woman approximately five times in the left side of her face the morning of Jan. 3.

Investigators said Shivers had given the woman a ride to the women’s health clinic to terminate her pregnancy but became angry about 11 a.m. because the procedure had made him late for work.

The officer said the delay had gotten in the way of him filling out required paperwork when he arrived at the police station, the affidavit shows.

Police said Shivers told the woman not to say anything about the assault before dropping her off at a hotel.

The woman called police later that day, and officers said her face was still swollen when they met with her about 6:30 a.m. Monday.

North Charleston police initially responded, but the woman asked to make her report to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office because Shivers is a police officer.

The woman told deputies that Shivers had been pressuring her to have an abortion and threatened to have her loved ones arrested using planted evidence if she did not.

She was 10 weeks pregnant when she had the abortion, authorities said.

* * * *

 Where is the media attention over the death of Aurora Rosser at the hands of an Ann Arbor police officer?

What happened after the officers arrived is unclear. Stephens has said he and Rosser were in a heated argument when he made the call, according to local reports. He says he called the cops to escort Rosser out of his home. When officers arrived, they claim Rosser “confronted” them with a knife. Officer Reid shot Rosser, killing her. Michigan State Police say Rosser was shot once but declined to say where. Stephens said she was shot twice; once in the head and once in the chest. “Why would you kill her?” Stephens said to local news outlet MLive a day after the shooting. “It was a woman with a knife. It doesn’t make any sense.”

It was the first police shooting in Ann Arbor since the ‘80s, police officials say. But amidst national outcry about the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, it barely registered a blip. Ann Arbor police have gone on record to defend the officers’ actions, but many residents are suspicious of the cops’ version of events. On December 14, more than 200 protesters marched down Fifth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor to protest the slow pace of the investigation into the shooting. Many were holding signs reading, “Black Lives Matter” and “White silence = white consent.”

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on leave pending the investigation, which is slated to release its findings this week. Aura Rosser has been dead two months and apart from a few Huffington Post pieces, no national outlets have covered her shooting.

There are no reliable numbers of how many black women and girls are killed by police, but none of their deaths have sparked collective national outcry. It is not that people don’t care about them. Local activists took to the streets of Chicago to protest the killing of unarmed Rekia Boyd. Detroiters demanded justice for 7-year-old Aiyana Jones after she died from a gunshot fired during a botched Special Response team operation at the home she was sleeping in at the time. But not a single national protest followed.

Shirley Beckley, who was born and raised in Ann Arbor, helped to organize the December march and is working with other activists in the city to raise money for Rosser’s three children. “I think it’s important that [Rosser’s story] go national because all of these killings of these men,” Beckley told AlterNet, “and now we have had a killing of this black woman.“

Where’s the outrage? It is almost as if the collective consciousness figured that their lives weren’t important enough to cover.

Kirsten West Savali explains in Dame Magazine that, too often, black people become black men by default. She quoted Treva B. Lindsey, an assistant professor of women’s studies at Ohio State University, who said that such a gender-exclusive narrative tends to dominate conversations of violence against black people.

“Both historically and contemporarily, when many people working towards racial justice around the issue of racial violence, the presumptive victim is a black male,” Lindsey told Dame. “From lynching to police brutality, the presumed victim is a black male. Therefore, black women and girls are viewed as exceptional victims as opposed to perpetual victims of anti-black racial violence. Our narratives around racial violence, unfortunately, have yet to evolve into ones that are gender inclusive. Black victim = black male.”

* * * *

“I had to beat up those paramedics! I thought my life was in danger!”

We sure are hearing a lot of these “my life was in danger” justifications for police brutality, and here is yet another example. A San Diego cop assaulted two paramedics, and it was caught on tape:

The trial began Tuesday for Anibal Solis, a parking enforcement officer with the SDPD, who is accused of attacking a paramedic and EMT from Rural/Metro.

During the trial Solis says he heard the paramedics call him a “Nazi.”

“As he’s holding the door, he hears it: ‘F*** Nazi.’ He sits in his vehicle. He says, ‘You know, this isn’t right,’” said attorney Michael Bordeaux.

The EMT and paramedic, Derek Shubin and Steve Cogle, say they never said that and never even spoke to the officer.

However, even if the paramedics did refer to Solis as a Nazi, it did not justify the the following aggressive actions of this cop.

The surveillance video shows that Solis came back into the store and aggressively approached Shubin.

“He got extremely heated and then he proceeded to tell me, ‘I will f*** you up,’” testified Shubin, “He moved his left hand into a fist … He grabbed my left arm and jerked my arm back.”

The video then appears to show Solis, who is a former amateur boxer, delivering a punch.

“I shoved him back and immediately when I shoved him back he took a swing, striking my right side jaw,” said Shubin.

At this point is when Cogle stepped in to help Shubin by placing Solis in a chokehold. According to ABC 10, prosecutors pointed out that Solis was still shouting and clearly breathing fine during the hold.

After he releases Solis from the chokehold, Cogle appears to try to diffuse the situation. Defense for Solis then made the predictable argument that Solis “feared for his life” after the chokehold, which is why instead of running away, he attacked Cogle

Police Behaving Badly 1.14.15

One thought on “Police Behaving Badly 1.14.15

Comments are closed.