Friday, September 23, 2016

Tulsa Cop Who Shot Terence Crutcher Facing Manslaughter Charges

Tulsa Cop Betty Shelby

Tulsa, Oklahoma

On Thursday, prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma filed manslaughter charges against a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16. The dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath depicted Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air.

The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Shelby's attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that she opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window.

But Crutcher's family, however, denies that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers. Police have verified that Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.

Shelby has been a member of the Tulsa Police Department since December of 2011. She was en route to a domestic violence call when she encountered Crutcher's vehicle abandoned on a city street, straddling the center line. Shelby did not activate her patrol car's dashboard camera, so no footage exists of what first happened between the two before other officers arrived.

The police footage shows Crutcher approaching the driver's side of the SUV, then more officers walk up and Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle. A man inside a police helicopter overhead says: "That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something."

As officers surround Crutcher, he suddenly drops to the ground. A voice heard on police radio says: "Shots fired!" The officers back away and Crutcher is left unattended on the street for about two minutes before an officer puts on medical gloves and begins to attend to him.

Earlier this year, a former volunteer deputy with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eric Harris.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Police Officer That Killed Passenger During a Traffic Stop in Minnesota Identified

St. Anthony, Minnesota

We now know the identity of the police officer who fatally shot black school cafeteria worker Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop Wednesday. Authorities have ruled the death a homicide.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the police officer as 28-year-old Jeronimo Yanez. It also identified another cop on the scene as officer Joseph Kauser. Both officers have been with the St. Anthony Police Department for four years.

Jeronimo Yanez

Yanez opened fire on Castile Wednesday, and footage of the aftermath - in which the school worker lost consciousness - was live-streamed through Facebook by Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds.

Trigger-Happy Baton Rouge Cop Identified: Blane Salamoni Killed Alton Sterling

Police Officer Blane Salamoni Photo
Police Officer Blane Salamoni

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The trigger-happy Baton Rouge police officer that killed a subdued black man, Alton Sterling, has been identified.

Officer Blane Michael Salamoni, 28, has been a police officer for four years. He was caught on cell phone video shooting and killing Alton Sterling early Tuesday morning. Salamoni, a third generation law enforcement officer, is the officer without the hat in the deadly cell phone video. 

The video shows Salamoni yelling at Sterling to stop moving before pressing a handgun into the 37-year-old’s chest and pulling the trigger. About six shots are heard in the clips, and though neither video clearly shows Salamoni firing all of the shots, the Baton Rouge Police Department has said only one officer killed Sterling. Salamoni is heard crying “F***!” after the shooting ...

Officer Blane Salamoni has a history of abuse. He had a complaint sustained against him, for which he received a letter of caution in an automobile crash in June 2012. He was accused of improperly carrying out orders in a vehicle pursuit in July 2015 and using force on August 2015 in hurting someone he was trying to arrest. Both of the latter incidents were found “not sustained” records show.

The other officer seen in the cell phone videos has been identified as Officer Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran of the force. While the Baton Rouge Police Department has identified the two officers, they have remained silent about the actual firing of weapons.

Officer Howie Lake II also has a history of abuse. He had a use of force complaint lodged against him in April 2014, for injuring a 15-year-old boy while trying to arrest him. In another incident in December of that year, Lake was accused of using force after responding to an incident in which another officer fired at an armed man, striking the man. Records show Lake was “exonerated” of both complaints.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Video of Alton Sterling Shooting Police Don't Want You To See

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

New video shows police officers pinning down and shooting Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fort Worth Cop Maces Innocent Bikers

Fort Worth, Texas

This Fort Worth Asshole cop, with the last name of Figueroa, is having to explain this video. This could have easily ended with a deadly outcome as mace causes severe lacrimation and temporary blindness. Something you don't want to be experiencing while traveling 60 miles an hour down the highway on a motorcycle.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Texas Trooper Brian Encinia Indicted, Fired Over Sandra Bland Traffic Stop

Brian Encinia (Left)

Trooper Brian Encinia
Hempstead, Texas

The Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland after a questionable traffic stop last summer was fired on Wednesday after being charged with perjury for allegedly lying about his confrontation with Bland, who died three days later in jail.

In an affidavit, Trooper Brian Encinia claimed that Bland was "combative and uncooperative" after he pulled her over and ordered her out of her car. The grand jury pointed to that particular affidavit in charging Encinia with perjury, according to special prosecutor Shawn McDonald.

Hours after the indictment, the Texas Department of Public Safety said it would "begin termination proceedings" against Encinia, who has been on paid desk duty since Bland was found dead in her cell.

Bland's arrest and death, both of which authorities ruled a suicide, sparked national outrage and drew the attention of the Black Lives Matter movement. Protesters pointed to the similarities of Bland to other black suspects who were killed in confrontations with police or died in police custody, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Video of the stop shows Encinia drawing his stun gun and telling Bland, "I will light you up!" She can later be heard off-camera screaming that he's about to break her wrists and complaining that he knocked her head into the ground.

Encinia's affidavit stated he "removed her from her vehicle to further conduct a safer traffic investigation," but grand jurors "found that statement to be false," said McDonald, one of five special prosecutors appointed to investigate.

Bland was taken to the Waller County jail in Hempstead, about 50 miles northwest of Houston. Three days later, she was found hanging from a jail cell partition with a plastic garbage bag around her neck. The grand jury has already declined to charge any sheriff's officials or jailers in her death.

The perjury charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Encinia was not immediately taken into custody, and an arraignment date has not yet been announced. Encinia could not immediately be reached for comment; a cellphone number for him was no longer working.

Bland's sister, Sharon Cooper, told The Associated Press that Encinia's indictment was "bittersweet." Encinia also faces a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bland's family.

"We have always felt from the onset, from our viewing of the dashcam video, is what happened to Sandy was largely impacted by the fatal encounter that she had with Officer Encinia," Cooper said.

Cannon Lambert, an attorney for the family, said Encinia should have also been indicted for assault, battery or abuse of his official power.

"The public deserves accountability," Lambert said. "If you don't have public accountability, you don't have public trust. I want the public to be able to trust the police."

About two dozen protesters attended Wednesday's news conference where the indictment was announced. One protester's sign read, "Legalize black skin."

Speaking afterward, one protester, Jinaki Muhammad, called the misdemeanor charge "a slap in the face to the Bland family."

Encinia pulled Bland over on July 10 for making an improper lane change near Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater, where she had just interviewed and accepted a job. Dashcam video from Encinia's patrol car shows that the traffic stop quickly became confrontational.

The video shows the trooper drawing his stun gun after Bland refuses to get out of her car. Bland eventually steps out of the vehicle, and Encinia orders her to the side of the road. The confrontation continues off-camera but is still audible.

Encinia wrote in his affidavit that he had Bland exit the vehicle and handcuffed her after she became combative, and that she swung her elbows at him and kicked him in his right shin. Encinia said he then used force "to subdue Bland to the ground," and she continued to fight back. He arrested her for assault on a public servant.

Another of Bland's sisters, Shante Needham, has said Bland called her from jail the day after her arrest, saying she'd been arrested but didn't know why, and that an officer had placed his knee in her back and injured her arm.

Her family has said they were working to get money for her bail when they learned of her death.

Cooper, her sister, said Wednesday that the family still has unanswered questions about what happened in the days before her death.

"Our family's grieving process is at a standstill," she said.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Texas DPS Trooper Christopher Champion Accused Of Propositioning Woman For Sex

"Texas DPS Trooper Christopher Champion"
Texas DPS Trooper Christopher Champion

San Antonio, Texas

A Texas state trooper accused of stopping a driver for speeding and offering her $300 to have sex with him, was freed on bond Tuesday after his arrest.

Bexar County magistrate records show Department of Public Safety Trooper Christopher Champion, 31, was charged with soliciting prostitution and official oppression after his arrest Monday night.

Online jail records don't list bond details or an attorney to speak for the trooper.

Investigators say the traffic stop happened in September.

The trooper is accused of using the woman's cellphone to text himself, to get her contact information, before she left without getting a ticket.

An arrest warrant says the woman contacted Texas Rangers, who recorded the conversation when she and the trooper spoke later.

The DPS said the trooper has been fired.
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