There are police officers who dutifully perform their jobs. They police their communities with an eye on treating people fairly and equitably. These law enforcement officials also engage suspects with the minimum level of force sufficient to resolve a situation and they set an example as morally upstanding agents of the state who use their power and positions responsibly. Sadly, there are a great many police officers who are the opposite of good cops. These are the law enforcement officers who stalk, sexually assault, and rape people, whether on the job or off. These are the cops who use their power and privilege to terrorize, harass, and berate citizens, or to assault and kill them. These are the police officers who are supposed to set an example of proper behavior, yet lie under oath, falsify evidence, accept bribes, and undermine criminal investigations. The following stories are examples of these shameful, immoral, unethical, deplorable officers of the law:
An Austin Officer, later identified as Cameron Caldwell, closes the door to a police van while a man is inside. He then opens it again and yells at an unidentified black man inside to stop kicking the door. Caldwell opens the door a second time saying, “What did I tell you about kicking the door?”
The man inside says, “I didn’t do nothing.” Caldwell then sprays his face and body with pepper spray.
“What did I tell you about kicking the door? I told you,” Caldwell yells before closing the door once more.
“Wow, you asshole,” the woman recording the video yells. “I saw that, I got that on film, you abusive asshole.”
“Listen, we see these cops violating policy and committing crimes all the time, but usually there is some gray area that they like to dance (in),” Buehler said. “This was just crystal clear, there is no way by law or policy that what this guy did was acceptable. There is zero gray area.”
The beating of cuffed inmate Jean Belot was so intense that state correction officers pulled out the dreadlocks from his scalp and stuck a hard object into his rectum.
The violence stopped after a boss watching the beatdown ordered the officers to stop throwing punches at Southport, the state’s maximum security prison near Elmira, according to court records.
“It was the longest minutes of my life,” Belot recalled of the 2008 pounding.
Belot is not alone.
At least four other inmates have filed suits alleging abuse against Southport correction officers that has left them with intense nightmares years later.
Two of those cases each settled for $175,000 and the other two are winding through the court system.
Prison rights advocates contend that’s particularly galling because Southport inmates are almost always cuffed and in isolation cells.
Despite the costly payouts, jail officials are slow to discipline officers and frequently take no action, records show.
One of the officers named in the Belot case, Craig Skelly, was never punished and remains on active duty, a correction official said Friday.
Another officer, Peter Mastrantonio was also cleared in the Belot cases due to insufficient evidence, according to the department. But he was suspended without pay in a separate case, records show.
All told, the state has doled out approximately $10 million to prisoners in 175 settlements over the past five years, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Law from the state Attorney General, which litigates the cases. The figures were first reported by the Poughkeepsie Journal.
In the video, uploaded to Facebook by Steven Ba, the man can be seen standing with his arms behind him and not struggling when five police officers first slam him into a wall before dragging him to the ground.
As Ba noted on his Facebook post, “Looks like each cop wanted to rip a limb off of him!” while claiming that the man was “Arrested for being Chaldean.”
Once on the ground the cops keep piling on him as one officer is heard saying “Taser” followed by the buzz of the device.
The video is available here.
Ryan Robert Ferguson, 29, was arrested and charged with child abuse on March 17.
According to an arrest affidavit, the girl told investigators that Ferguson put liquid hand soap in her mouth because she lied about something. He then threw her onto the couch and slapped her on the bottom repeatedly.
After that, the girl said Ferguson pulled her off the couch, dropped her on her back to the tile floor and began hitting her on both sides of the face with an open and closed hand. She said Ferguson choked her as he held her down by her neck, making it difficult for her to breathe as he hit her.
Detectives say the girl’s face, neck, forehead and lower back were red the next day. A doctor found that the girl had bruises under her eyes, which were consistent with being choked. She also had bruising on her forehead, which was consistent with being hit with a closed fist.
The Fort Worth Police Department said that it has removed an officer from uniformed patrol and launched an administrative investigation after receiving a video that appears to show him using pepper spray on a group of bikers.
“He definitely put a lot of lives at risk,” said Brittany Botello, the driver of a red pickup truck seen parked in front of the officer in the video.
Botello was driving alongside the bikers as part of the same group. Her passengers were shooting video of the bikers with their cell phones. She said that the officer, identified by the department only as six-year veteran Officer W. Figueroa, had pulled her over.
Figueroa had yet to approach her truck, Botello recalled, when she and her passengers suddenly began coughing. “I thought it was sand up off the bikes that was making everyone choke and stuff, but it ended up being the mace,” she said.
Marcus Hernandez said that he was sitting in the bed of the truck when he saw a cloud of the spray drifting toward him. “I got asthma, so I couldn’t breathe. It was pretty bad,” Hernandez explained. “I said, ‘Why you’d spray us?’ and he said, ‘Because I felt the bikes were too close to my vehicle.’”