Police Behaving Badly 1.29.15

Body camera captures Oklahoma cop fatally shooting man outside church wedding

In the video, Officer Chansey McMillin — who was responding to call that a man outside the Old Agency Baptist Church was telling people his ex-girlfriend “had a bullet with her name on it” — approaches 21-year-old Terence Walker and tells him he is going to pat him down for weapons.

“Just relax for me,” McMillin says as he pats Walker down. “What are you shaking for?”

At that point, Walker takes off running with McMillin in pursuit. After a few seconds, Walker bends down to pick an item he dropped and briefly turns toward McMillin with the item pointing towards him.

Officer McMillin fires six shots at Walker, striking him three times.

The pastor from a nearby church who initially called the police then rushes up to Walker’s body, which had half-fallen into the ditch. “I’m the pastor, let me check on him” he tells McMillin, who yells at him to “Get back! Get back! Sir, get back, he has a gun!”

Other police are on the scene within minutes. “I was in a bad spot,” McMillin tells them.

As they search Walker’s body, police find what they claim to be a loaded handgun on it. A few minutes later, the pastor who had implored Officer McMillin to allow him to render Walker aid can be heard telling other officers on the scene that Walker “resisted him.”

McMillin, the pastor says, “did everything by procedure. [Walker] resisted him, he resisted him. I’m the pastor who called it in. He asked him,” the pastor says, pointing at Officer McMillin, “‘do you have a weapon on you?’ then he jumped off him and jumped off running.”

After hearing that, McMillin leans against his car and asks, “Why did [Walker] have to do that?”

Officer McMillin has been placed on mandatory administrative leave after the shooting, as this was the second one he has been involved with in the last six months. In July, he shot — but did not kill — Angel Cerda, who had allegedly attacked a man with a knife and was advancing toward McMillin with a knife raised.

McMillin was praised by Police Chief Rex Eskridge for his use of non-lethal force in that shooting.

Yes, let’s offer our thanks that the white man didn’t shoot and kill the black man. ::Dons hat of respectability::  “Thank you my good man for making the honorable choice to shoot to wound instead of shooting to kill. I really appreciate that you think Black Lives Partially Matter.”  ::Burns hat of respectability::

While offering such praise, perhaps they could examine why so many cops assume black suspects are in possession of a gun.

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Police Chief:  Force ‘unreasonable’ in NSU student arrest

The Norfolk Branch of the NAACP is investigating claims by the NSU student that she was attacked by a Norfolk police K-9 early Sunday morning. According to a NAACP Spokesman, Army Reservist London Colvin was leaving an off-campus party when she was approached by officers.

The story of Colvin’s arrest has been circulating social media and was talked about on a national radio program and a news organization that focuses on historically black colleges. The account presented by those outlets claims Colvin was held down by police while a K-9 bit her. A picture is also being circulated. It shows a large gash in what is Colvin’s leg.

Colvin’s father, Norman, shared more photos with WAVY.com. He said they show wounds to his daughter’s legs after a police dog attacked her. The pictures are shocking.

“There were two gaping wounds, one they barely could close, the other they couldn’t and it’s still open right now, but wrapped,” Mr. Colvin said. “I was hurt, I was angry and I was in complete disbelief that something like this could happen to my child.”

Three days after the attack, Goldsmith made a statement Wednesday evening. He said emergency communications got a 911 call around 2 a.m. Sunday about a loud party in the 2900 block of Bayne Avenue. Then, 15 minutes later, he said a 911 call came in about an assault in progress a few blocks away, in the 1200 block of Godfrey Avenue.

“The caller stated that there were approximately 35 people in the street fighting,” Goldsmith said. “The caller also told dispatchers that the fight had gone on for some time.”

Goldsmith said Colvin was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

WAVY News 10 spoke to student witness Carman Chatman, who said she and a group of friends were leaving the party on Bayne Avenue when two of them were unknowingly punched by other people. Chatman said Norfolk police tried asking Colvin questions about that altercation, but she refused to answer and started walking away.

What happened next is unclear because police have not released details of the incident. Chatman admits she doesn’t know what led to her friend being put on the ground, but in the midst of the commotion, she saw Colvin there surrounded by several officers.

“She was laying down on the ground with her arms under her body like this, flat down, her face down to the ground,” Chatman said. “Her arms under her chest and her body flat down, the police officer was directly on top of her holding her down.”

Chatman said she heard officers yelling and a police K-9 dog barking, but doesn’t know what ultimately led to the dog attack.

“I heard someone yell ‘she got bit by a dog’ or ‘the dog is biting her.’ I looked over to see the dog was latched to her leg,” she said. “Her being bit was really unjustifiable.”

Rick James, part of the Norfolk NAACP legal team and a retired Norfolk police officer, said the NAACP’s investigation began Monday.

“The question is: did this young lady commit any crimes for the police to even take her into custody? If that’s the case, was the force used excessive, in terms of using the dog?” said Norfolk NAACP spokesman Rick James.

Even if she had committed a crime, she was laying on the ground face down, with her hands underneath her. Plus a police officer was holding her down.  That doesn’t sound like much of a threat. Certainly not one that calls for an attack dog. Here is what the Police Chief had to say about the use of force:

Since January 25th, my department has been investigating the arrest of London Colvin. While we continue to wrap up the final few interviews with witnesses and officers, I feel I have enough information to determine the use of force in Ms. Colvin’s arrest was unreasonable.

I will address my officers’ actions through our disciplinary process.

My review of the policies governing the use of police canines continue. This review will ensure that Norfolk canines are used appropriately in all circumstances. As Chief, I am responsible for the policies and procedures that govern my officers’ actions. While I expect my officers to make the best judgment in all circumstances, if the policy doesn’t support the outcomes I expect, I have failed them. I am committed to having the best trained department and I will make this right.

I will make the revised policy available once I have completed my review.

Chief Michael Goldsmith

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 Cop arrests and detains defense attorney so he can illegally question her client

A San Francisco police officer literally took away a defendant’s right to an attorney in the middle of a courthouse when he handcuffed and detained a public defender so he could interrogate her client.

As she was standing just outside of a courtroom on Tuesday, Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson found her client being questioned and photographed by San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury. As a defense attorney, Tillotson knows that this is a violation of her client’s constitutional rights, so she immediately stopped the interaction by inserting herself between police and her client.

But instead of backing off, Stansbury threatened to arrest Tillotson on a trumped up charge of resisting arrest if she didn’t allow him to interrogate and harass her client at will without her being present. Tillotson refused, insisting that she has a duty to represent her client. Stansbury then handcuffed Tillotson and hauled her to a jail cell while officers continued to blatantly disregard her client’s rights. She remained there cuffed to a wall for an hour.

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11-year-old asks public safety officer what a taser feels like, so he tased him

An Alaskan public safety officer reportedly shocked an 11-year-old boy with a taser because he was asking about the device. According to the boy’s mother, he was tased by the officer after asking him what it felt like to get shocked. The officer then apparently gave the boy a live demonstration, hitting him in the arm with the barbs of the taser.

“They were talking about being Tased, and my son did ask to be Tased,” the boy’s mother, Terrie Ward, Juneau Empire newspaper.

Public safety officers are basically cops in every way aside from the fact that they are not sworn in and are not allowed to carry firearms while on duty. Public safety officers are used by police departments to patrol remote areas that they cant afford to staff with better paid officers.

Alaska’s Public Safety spokeswoman Megan Peters told reporters that investigators were working to determine “whether a crime was committed” or whether it was an “administrative matter for the tribal government.”

The mother was out of town at the time and was not even informed about the incident from police, instead she had to hear about it later from a neighbor who asked how the child was doing. The boy apparently did not tell his parents about his encounter with the officer because he was afraid that he would get in trouble.

“She was asking me how my son was doing after the incident, and I was like, ‘What is she talking about?’ I was in shock because, I mean, I did not hear of it. I did not know about it,” Ward said, recalling the conversation when she had learned of the attack.

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Wrongfully arrested musician suing NYPD, vows to give any money won back to the community

In the early morning of October 18th, musician Andrew Kalleen was assaulted and arrested by the NYPD for simply playing a song, even after the officer read the law out loud and verified Kalleen was not breaking any laws.

In the video, which quickly went viral, Kalleen cites the exact law the officer needs to look up to prove he was well within his rights.  Kalleen has become well versed with this law, as he informed us that this is at least the 6th time he has been asked to stop.  The officer reads the law out loud, but is unphased and continues his harassment.

Kalleen was ultimately arrested, and screams of “f*ck the police” echoed through the platform as he was dragged away.

Since the incident, the NYPD have repeatedly lied in statements about the arrest.

“This incident has also exposed a lack of integrity in the NYPD extending above the streets. When the Gothamist first broke the story, they quoted an NYPD saying I was “a ‘transit recidivist,’ which the spokesperson explained as someone having an open ticket or warrant, perhaps related to turnstile jumping or a similar offense.” However, I was released with a DAT, which can only happen after they’ve sent my information to Albany, making sure I have no open warrants in the entire country. And when the story made national news a few days after the incident, CBS quoted the NYPD as saying the charges had been dropped. I’ve been to the court house four times now. The first two times I was called in for my hearing, only to be told my paperwork had not been filed by the police. I’ve gone in twice since to check the status and mailed a letter to the DA. The charges have not been dropped; they just won’t file the paperwork for some reason, and I have to keep checking in with it to make sure it doesn’t eventually get filed and I end up with a warrant for my arrest. So in both these cases the NYPD is clearly giving false information, demonstrating their concern is for how they are perceived, not for actually doing right by someone they’ve wronged.” Kalleen wrote.

Now, several months later, the musician has put out a video to announce he will be filing a lawsuit against the department.  He has also vowed to donate any money he receives back into the community.

“It is for this reason that I have decided to donate any money I receive through litigation for this incident. I will be filing a lawsuit, and the lawyers I’ve talked to have said that with such clear video evidence for my case, it’s likely I’ll be getting not a huge amount, but in the thousands and potentially tens of thousands of dollars for the assault, wrongful arrest, and jail time. I want to put it back into Bed-Stuy. This community has felt the brunt of police misconduct in ways I doubt I’ll ever be able to fully appreciate. And if money is being doled out for misconduct it feels best to me that it goes towards vitalizing this community. When the case is over I’ll make an announcement of how much and where the money will go. At this time I’m leaning towards Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration.” Kalleen wrote in a written statement accompanying the video.

Police Behaving Badly 1.29.15