Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 06:03 PM
Number of posts: 1,818
Number of posts: 1,818
AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin police officer is named in a federal lawsuit that claims excessive use of force.
The suit filed in federal court Monday shows Officer Jason Cummins arrived at a domestic dispute call Aug. 11, 2013. While other officers handled the female caller’s complaint, Cummins focused on the next door neighbor Enemencio Roy Alaniz Jr., who was watching the scene from his doorway.
When the man refused the officer’s command to leave his apartment, the suit alleges Cummins kicked in the screen door and fired his Taser striking Alaniz. Police justified the take-down because Alaniz engaged in ‘empty hand defensive resistance,’ according to the lawsuit. He was arrested and taken to the Travis County jail.
A court judge later dropped a charge against Alaniz of failing to obey a lawful order, according to the suit. An Austin Police spokesperson says the department will not discuss pending litigation.
An appendix attached to the lawsuit lists 46 ‘use of force’ incidents dating back to Oct. 2010 said to involve Cummins. They range from using pressure points or a kick to subdue a suspect to deploying a Taser or pepper spray."
* To confirm if the number shown in the suit is accurate and to ask if 40 is an unusual number of use of force incidents for a younger officer, KXAN requested the same list from APD as well as Cummins’ personnel file which would show performance reviews and any commendations. City records show Cummins, 28, joined the city payroll Sept. 14, 2009. This year he earned about $83,000 total, superceding his base salary of nearly $70,000.
The suit goes on to allege Cummins was trained by the Austin Police Department and that “the customs and policies allowed…provided for Officer Cummins’ conduct.”
Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Jul 24, 2014, 09:50 AM (0 replies)
New Jersey's largest police department will be placed under federal oversight for repeatedly violating residents' civil rights, using excessive force and failing to discipline officers for a wide range of misconduct, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The Newark Police Department, a 1,000-member force that patrols one of the most violent cities in the Northeast, will be subject to court-ordered reform, a move that comes after a three-year investigation into rampant misconduct in the agency, according to the Justice Department and court documents.
The federal investigation was launched in 2011, less than a year after a scathing report from the American Civil Liberties Union said the police department was incapable of policing itself."
The investigation found that city police officers had no constitutional basis for 75% of the pedestrian stops they conducted in recent years. It also determined that officers often used excessive force during arrests but underreported the level of force used."
“Our investigation uncovered troubling patterns in stops, arrests and use of force by the police in Newark. With this agreement, we’re taking decisive action to address potential discrimination and end unconstitutional conduct by those who are sworn to serve their fellow citizens,” Atty. Gen. Eric. H. Holder Jr. said in a statement."
*The department received 989 excessive-force complaints against officers from 2000 to 2009, according to records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
Only 21 of those cases, or 2%, resulted in disciplinary action or criminal charges against the officers.
Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 09:49 PM (0 replies)
Rev. Al Sharpton weighs in on the disturbing video, that went viral over the weekend, of 43-year-old Eric Garner struggling as a police officer appears to place him in a chokehold. Plus, the tape of a California woman beaten by a patrol officer on a highway. Rev. Al Sharpton calls both attacks “unjustified.”
Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 09:02 AM (0 replies)
Every time I comfort a grieving family member who has lost a loved one to police brutality, I hope and pray that it will be the last time. But deep down, I know it won't be.
Saturday morning, I was joined at National Action Network's (NAN) weekly rally by relatives of the late Eric Garner, a father of six who died as police officers in Staten Island placed him in an illegal chokehold. At our rally, Garner's widow was so overcome with grief that she collapsed on stage right near me as several of us then rushed to assist her. NAN also held a march in Staten Island over the weekend after family members came to us for help, and I preached at Riverside Church in Manhattan yesterday to call for a restoration of humanity. As Garner's children have to face the harsh reality of living without their father for the rest of their lives, we must demand that they receive justice. At the same time, NAN's Los Angeles chapter has rallied with others for Marlene Pinnock, a 51-year-old grandmother, who was repeatedly pummeled in the face reportedly by a California Highway Patrol officer. Both outrageous incidents were caught on videotape, and both cases demand swift action. But after watching continuous acts of police abuse and brutality from coast-to-coast, perhaps the real question is, have we reached a point where federal authorities need to step in?"
The video footage that emerged of Eric Garner's encounter with police is disturbing on multiple levels and very difficult to watch. I caution anyone who is about to view it to be prepared to witness a level of disregard for human life that should disgust and outrage us all. I cannot understand how anyone can choke an unarmed man, and continue to do so despite the fact that he is saying he cannot breathe over and over and over again. Let's put aside the fact that chokeholds are illegal; where is the humanity? This man is literally telling you he cannot breathe. And to add insult to injury, EMS workers and others that arrive on the scene also fail to do anything to revive or assist Garner as this footage shows. The level of disregard is utterly frightening. And what might you ask was Eric Garner's alleged crime? Selling loose cigarettes. "
In both the Garner case and the Pinnock case, individuals of a different race sensed that something was wrong and recorded the events. Let's not fool ourselves, if it weren't for these videos, would we have even known about the tragic death of Garner, or the vicious abuse against Pinnock? These aren't isolated incidents; all across this nation police brutality is very much alive and impacting people who aren't lucky enough to have it caught on tape.
Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Jul 21, 2014, 02:59 PM (1 replies)
"The numbers are shocking. "
Every few weeks, a newspaper somewhere in America reports on a million-dollar settlement paid out in a case of police abuse. Sometimes the figures are jarring. In 2012, Chicago gave Christina Eilman $22.5 million after police released the bipolar woman into a violent neighborhood, where she was beaten and raped. Earlier this year, the NYPD agreed to pay out $18 million to various defendants roughed up at the RNC convention in 2004.
It’s true that most cases result in far smaller payouts, but they can add up to nearly a billion dollars a year for just one city. That’s eye-popping when you consider that state governments collectively spend roughly $10 billion on public assistance programs for the poor. When more money is spent consoling victims of brutality than providing assistance for low-income people, that’s both a fiscal and humanitarian crisis. "
Consider New York City. In 2012, taxpayers paid $152 million in claims involving the NYPD. That same year, Mayor Bloomberg voted to cut $175 million from childcare and afterschool programs, affecting 47,000 kids. Child programs not only provide relief to working families with maxed-out schedules, they are the best tools the city has to foster an equal society in the long term. Instead the city is spending money settling cases like the one last month involving Officer Eugene Donnelly, who drunkenly barged into a woman’s home one night and “beat the hell out of her.”
The NYPD forecasts it will spend even more on such cases by 2016. "
* Prosecutors have an extreme reluctance to pick up cases of police abuse. Federal prosecutors decline around 95 percent of such cases for two main reasons: juries are mostly conditioned to side with the police, and various impediments are in place to make prosecution more difficult
Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Jul 17, 2014, 12:20 AM (8 replies)
New Mexico's largest police department, mired in controversy over the use of excessive force, is about to supply military-style weapons to officers using taxpayer money.
The investigative team at KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned that Albuquerque Police awarded a bid to a local vendor for the purchase of AR-15 rifles -- the type of gun used to kill James Boyd in the foothills in March.
According to the request for bid, which ended two weeks ago, the department would likely purchase 350 guns in the first year of a two-year contract. Thereafter, it would order quantities of 50 as necessary.
"You're asking for trouble, in my opinion," Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Mexico said."
Simonson was unaware of the department's purchasing plans until KOB contacted him. He thought APD was moving away from using high-powered weapons after the Department of Justice said APD officers have a "pattern and practice" of using excessive and deadly force.
"I think it sends a contradictory message to the public, and I think it should raise concerns about how seriously they're actually taking the DOJ reforms," he said."
Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Jul 13, 2014, 05:26 PM (17 replies)
Police in Virginia will not proceed with controversial plans to photograph a 17-year-old boy's genitalia as evidence in a sexting case against him.
Manassas police backed down Thursday following criticism for obtaining a search warrant to take pictures of the boy's penis. Authorities planned to compare those photos with a pornographic video the teen allegedly sent to his 15-year-old girlfriend in January.
The teen's lawyer had said officials threatened to medically induce an erection in the boy if necessary"
Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Jul 12, 2014, 11:00 AM (3 replies)
A congresswoman said Wednesday that video of a California Highway Patrol officer repeatedly punching a woman he had pinned on the side of a Los Angeles freeway is unjustifiable police brutality.
Rep. Maxine Waters said the officer should be fired for "viciously" punching the woman and the CHP must thoroughly investigate.
She called the incident a "brutal attack" and said "there is nothing that can justify the officer punching a helpless woman on a freeway."
Water said she will organize women to speak out about police brutality again and "demand justice and reforms that will create change within law enforcement to prevent this kind of abuse from continuing to happen."
For now, Pinnock remains in the hospital under a psychiatric hold. Her family found her covered in bruises, ice packs and taking pain medication.
"I'm just so overwhelmed," daughter Maisha Allums told reporters Tuesday. "I can't believe a CHP officer that was supposed to protect my mom and help my mom beat her like a — I can't even say like a dog because if it was a dog getting beat like that he would have been in jail."
Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 10:10 PM (14 replies)
We’re No. 33!
That’s the bottom line in a new Gallup poll measuring the extent of freedom in 135 countries. Only 79% of Americans say they’re satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives, down from 87% in 2008. The top five nations where people feel most satisfied with their freedoms are New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. At No. 33, the United States is sandwiched between Bahrain and Cameroon."
* The United States is one of the few places where freedoms appear to be on the wane. Of the 100 countries where Gallup measured changes in freedom during the past five years, 75 of them registered an improvement, while 21 registered a decline. Four stayed the same. Of the decliners, only five nations report sharper drops than the United States. Two of them — Syria and Afghanistan —
* the percentage of Americans who believe the United States “stands above all other countries” dropped from 38% in 2011 to 28% in 2014. Young Americans are least impressed with their home country, with only 15% of 18-29-year-olds saying the United States is the world’s No. 1 nation. Among seniors, 40% feel that way "
* Many Americans seem to question the basic premise that everybody can get ahead in the so-called land of the free. A recent analysis by USA Today found living the American Dream, loosely defined, costs a typical family of four roughly $130,000 per year. That’s in a country where the median household income is only about $53,000, or less than half of what’s needed for a middle-class lifestyle."
Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Jul 7, 2014, 08:32 PM (1 replies)
LAFAYETTE, IN — An officer has been allowed to keep his job and face no legal consequences after accosting a paralyzed and dumping him out of his wheelchair into the street.
The incident occurred on October 1, 2013. Some Lafayette police officers had just finished issuing a warning to 25-year-old Nicholas Kincade, who requires a motorized scooter for mobility."
Nicholas Kincade’s with facial cuts following the attack.
Kincade had been dismissed, and began slowly rolling down the sidewalk. His wheel inadvertently grazed Lt. Tom Davidson’s foot.
Davidson’s fury erupted in an instant. With both hands he plowed into the paralyzed man, sending him sprawling helplessly onto the pavement.
“You did not drive over me, f*****!!” Davidson barked. “Now you’re going to jail. Now you’re going to jail.”
Officers swarmed the man as he lie awkwardly in the street. Mr. Kincade attempted to explain it was all an accident.
The incident was captured on dash-cam video, which has finally been released after 9 months."
Video at link: http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/nicholas-kincade/#prettyPhoto
Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Jul 7, 2014, 10:19 AM (5 replies)