More than 800,000 people serve as local and state law enforcement officials in the United States. These police officers are charged with upholding and enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general services. To carry out these duties, police officers possess certain powers, granted by the state. If the situation calls for it, police officers can frisk, detain, and arrest civilians, as well as seize property. In addition, depending upon the situation, police officers are empowered to use force to defend themselves or civilians (the amount of force extends along a spectrum from police presence through deadly force). Given the powers that police officers have, it is incumbent upon them to maintain a level of professionalism in the course of their duties and to wield their powers responsibly and ethically. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of cops engaging in a range of irresponsible, unethical, immoral, and/or illegal activities from bribery and unjustified arrests to illegal search and seizure and the use of excessive force. Here are five examples of
Antwun “Ronnie” Shumpert was driving a friend’s vehicle around 9:30 pm on Saturday, June 18 when he was pulled over by Tupelo Police Officer Tyler Cook, according to attorney Carlos Moore, who’s representing Shumpert’s family. The 37-year-old father of five immediately exited his vehicle and ran for unknown reasons.
In response, the officer released a K-9 who found Shumpert hiding under a nearby home. The dog attacked him, gashing a hole through his testicles and scratching him across his body. When the officer found Shumpert, he shot him four times.
According to Moore, Shumpert was also found with injuries to his face and teeth, indicating that there may have also been a physical altercation between him and the officer.
Shumpert was handcuffed and transported to the North Mississippi Medical Center where he died roughly five hours later.
“We believe the officer just went berserk,” Moore told ThinkProgress. “It was a modern day lynching.”
On Monday, Moore announced in a press conference that an eyewitness he interviewed said that Shumpert did not instigate violence. In fact, according to his attorney, Schumpert was voluntarily surrendering to the police and coming out of his hiding space when the K-9 violently attacked him in the groin, mutilating his testicles. While Schumpert was attempting to get free from the dog, the officer allegedly walked up and shot him four times — three times in the chest and one time in the stomach.
Cook has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which has been handed off to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Moore said it’s unclear why Cook decided to use the K-9, but noted that he has a complaint on his record for using excessive force just two months ago.
“From my understanding, officers are allowed to use K-9s in a search for a suspected felon,” Moore said. “What we do know is that at the time that Mr. Shumpert was being chased, he was not a suspected felon. They didn’t even know his name. It was a simple traffic stop.”
Moore said that the Tupelo Police Department has not yet provided him or Shumpert’s family with an explanation for why the initial traffic stop occurred, why shots were fired, or why the K-9 was released. Shumpert’s friend and the owner of the vehicle who was in the passenger seat at the time of the incident told officers that there were no drugs or illegal items in the vehicle, according to Moore. The friend was interviewed by police but released without charge.
So let’s get this straight-
- Shumpert was not known to be a felon to the officer
- there were no drugs or illegal items in the vehicle
- Shumpert was unarmed
- Shumpert was running from the officer
And yet Officer Cook felt the need to not only unleash his attack dog who them brutalized Shumpert, but he also felt the need to shoot the guy multiple times? I would think that after having his testicles shredded that Shumpert wouldn’t be in much of a position to put up a fight. Leaving aside the question of why the dog was released, shooting the poor man was waaaaaaay excessive.
A Honolulu police officer was caught raping a friend’s 14-year-old daughter by the girl’s horrified mother, authorities charge.
Officer Jessie Laconsay, 37, yelled and cried before fleeing in his police car following the June 7 sexual assault, according to a police affidavit.
Authorities caught up with him the following day, finding him parked at a beach on Oahu’s North Shore with cuts on his wrists.
As they waited for an ambulance, Officer Laconsay kept saying he was sorry for “letting us down,” the affidavit said.
A serrated knife was found on the floor of Laconsay’s vehicle, the Star Advertiser reported.
The teen victim told her mother they have had sex before, which Laconsay denied. However, he did admit to the girl’s mother that he had sex with the teen twice before, according to court documents obtained by the Star Advertiser.
Oh, he’s sorry for “letting us down”. So he feels apologetic for (most likely) letting down his fellow officers. I don’t suppose the asshole has any expression of regret for oh, I DON’T KNOW, his victim?!
‘He Has a Poster, You Have a Shot Gun’: This Quote Perfectly Captures Disgusting Reality of Militarized Police at Black Protests
— Jordan (@jordansdiamonds) July 11, 2016
In the aftermath of the shooting of 37-year-old Alton Sterling on July 5, young protesters have since taken to streets in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to demand justice for the CD salesman.
The clip above is one of the police interactions with Black Lives Matter protesters that resulted in 102 arrests, per The Times-Picayune.
Twitter user Jordansdiamonds posted the video Sunday depicting numerous riot gear-clad SWAT officers charging into protesters at a local Baton Rouge residence. In the video, protesters can be heard saying “this is private property” as officers made arrests.
There is something that is deeply disturbing about the deliberate violation of the rights or private citizens by these law enforcement officials. It’s also frustrating that there are so many people who are comfortable with cops engaging in such unconstitutional acts.
Four Minneapolis officers working a Minnesota Lynx game walked out of their jobs in response to comments made and shirts worn by the team’s players Saturday.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune first reported the walk out.
Lynx players wore shirts saying “Change starts with us, justice and accountability” as well as the phrase “Black Lives Matter” before their Saturday game against the Dallas Wings. Before the game, Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson said the players would wear the shirts “to honor and mourn the loss of precious American citizens and to plead change for all of us.”
The officers left their jobs to show disagreement with the players’ message.
What’s messed up is that if they actually understood what the players’ message was, they would likely realize how wrong they were for walking out! Once again for the people in the back:
THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT WANTS TO REFORM POLICING IN THE UNITED STATES AND REMOVE THE ELEMENTS THAT LEAD TO DISPROPORTIONATELY NEGATIVE OUTCOMES FOR BLACK PEOPLE. THE MOVEMENT IS NOT ANTI-COP. THE MOVEMENT WANTS POLICE OFFICERS AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS TO BECOME MORE FAIR AND JUST.
It read: “We’ll see how much her life matters soon. Better be careful leaving your info open where she can be found 🙂 Hold her close tonight it’ll be the last time.”
Police Chief Francis Donchez Jr. said the department launched an investigation after receiving information about the posting Friday morning.
By the end of the day, the department determined that the officer had in fact posted the comment and terminated the officer.
“This quick action demonstrates our commitment to our core values, including integrity and respect,” the chief said in a written statement.