Law Enforcement

Bronx, NY man arrested for Leandra’s Law DWI, Reckless Endangerment, and multiple other charges following a pursuit on the Thruway with children in the car.

State - NY Police - 4 min 41 sec ago
State Police report the arrest of Luis Rosa, 44, of Bronx, NY, for Felony Parole Violation, Felony Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Felony Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, Reckless Endangerment, Possession of a Forged Instrument, Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer, Obstructing Governmental Administration, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Disorderly Conduct, and multiple vehicle and traffic violations.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Florida Supreme Court Deals Blow to Suspended Sheriff Scott Israel

Law Officer - 37 min 1 sec ago

FLORIDA – Florida’s Supreme Court dealt a blow Tuesday to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, ruling Gov. Ron DeSantis had the legal authority to remove the embattled lawman from office amid widespread criticism Israel failed to prevent the Parkland high school shooting.

According to FOX News, the state’s highest court said DeSantis was within his rights when he suspended Israel from the Broward post in January. Nevertheless, the justices noted that, under the Florida Constitution, the state Senate is responsible for deciding whether the removal should be permanent.

“Today’s Florida Supreme Court opinion leaves no doubt of my authority as governor to suspend a government official for neglect of duty and incompetence,” DeSantis said in a statement shortly after the decision was handed down. “Scott Israel failed in his duties to protect the families and students of Broward County, and the time for delay tactics is at an end. I look forward to the Florida Senate resuming the process of formal removal.”

The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 28, according to the Associated Press.

During legal arguments before the court, Israel’s lawyers tried to make the case that DeSantis overstepped his constitutional authority and interfered with the public’s right to elect the sheriff. Furthermore, he intends to challenge the suspension in the Florida Senate, his lawyer said.

“With today’s ruling, local elected officials now need to be aware of the potential for governor overreach when discharging their duties,” Israel’s attorney Ben Kuehne said.

Effective immediately, I am officially suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for his repeated failures, incompetence and neglect of duty. https://t.co/tkHzxTHhjH

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 11, 2019

Israel was widely criticized for his leadership following the high school shooting massacre. People called for his ouster and the largest deputy association made their opinion known. In April 2018, one union representing about 1300 deputies and sergeants had 628 members cast a vote. They voted 534 – 94 that they did not have confidence in Israel, sending a strong message to the BSO leader, reported CBS Miami.

The heat on Israel increased after inquiries revealed the sheriff’s office received—and disregarded—calls in 2016 and 2017 warning that Nikolas Cruz, who carried out the bloodbath, was a potential school shooter. Deputies also had about 20 contacts with Cruz as a juvenile—mostly due to arguments with his now-deceased mother.

Israel has said none of those contacts warranted an arrest. Law enforcement members of the state commission investigating the shooting have agreed with that conclusion.

Cruz remains jailed, charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder.

 

The post Florida Supreme Court Deals Blow to Suspended Sheriff Scott Israel appeared first on Law Officer.

Categories: Law Enforcement

State Police add additional helicopter to North Country fleet

State - NY Police - 1 hour 11 min ago
The New York State Police Aviation Unit, based out of SP Saranac Lake, have added another Bell UH-1-A Huey helicopter to help serve the people of the North Country.
Categories: Law Enforcement

40 Burglary Cases Closed Through Connecting Data

Police Magazine - 1 hour 12 min ago
A spike in property crimes indicated the city of Clovis was under attack by a serial burglar. Using public safety software tools, law enforcement officials were able to gather data to connect each incident and bring the burglar to justice.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Pleasant Valley man arrested for falsifying Family Court documents

State - NY Police - 1 hour 28 min ago
Poughkeepsie, New York – On April 18, 2019, the New York State Police from the Poughkeepsie barracks arrested Christopher Zambas, age 31, of Pleasant Valley, for Falsifying Business Records in the 1st degree, a class E felony, and Providing a False Sworn Statement in the 2nd degree, a class A misdemeanor.

 

Categories: Law Enforcement

Auburn man gets arrested for driving while intoxicated.

State - NY Police - 1 hour 40 min ago
On April 24, 2019, Troopers out of SP Auburn arrested Joshua M. Wright, 35, of Auburn, New York for driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a BAC greater than .08%, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, improper signal and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Categories: Law Enforcement

17 year old gets arrested for driving while ability impaired by drugs.

State - NY Police - 1 hour 45 min ago
On April 23, 2019, Troopers out of SP Waterloo arrested a 17 year old for driving while ability impaired by drugs, moving from the lane unsafely and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Calif. LE loses round in legislative fight over UOF

Police One - 2 hours 28 min ago

Anita Chabria Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO — California law enforcement has been trying to fend off tighter restrictions on the use of deadly force. But police unions lost a round on Tuesday when the state Legislature gutted parts of a bill they were pushing that would have effectively codified the status quo.

Until this week, California legislators were debating two competing pieces of legislation as they faced sustained calls for reforming the state’s use-of-force laws, largely to prevent shooting deaths of black and brown men.

Assembly Bill 392, backed by activists, has been called the toughest standard in the nation for when police can use deadly force. It was written months after Sacramento police shot a black man, Stephon Clark, last March, mistaking his cell phone for a gun.

Senate Bill 230, backed by law enforcement, attempted to codify into state law long-standing federal legal standards that justify deadly force when an average officer would find it reasonable to use it — and provided a softer option for moderate Democrats who might have wanted to appease activists while ducking substantive change.

In a move that surprised many on both sides, a Senate legislative committee Tuesday removed all mention of use of force from Senate Bill 230, leaving the activist-backed Assembly measure as the only option for legislators to consider and forcing police to either negotiate on new rules or oppose change in a politically fraught moment.

Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee, told audience members at the packed gathering that the “majority of (committee) members are not willing to put into law the use-of-force standard as it exists today” and as written in SB 230, because it is “antiquated, inadequate and unjust.”

Skinner apologized to the hearing audience for the late amendments, which were so last minute that lawmakers made available only mocked-up copies of the proposed changes before a unanimous vote to move the measure to its next committee.

Senate Bill 230 now solely deals with increased training for law enforcement and has been tied to AB 392 as a subsidiary measure, meaning it can’t be passed into law unless the Assembly bill is passed. It is rare that bills are linked in this fashion.

Law enforcement representatives acknowledged that removing any use-of-force discussion from their bill was unexpected and not a decision they were happy with but said they were willing to sit down with the author of the opposing measure, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), to work on a compromise.

Previous talks have not been productive. Representatives from both sides of the issue met last year on a measure, Assembly Bill 931, a precursor to this year’s Assembly bill, that ultimately failed after compromise could not be reached. They again have held a series of talks this year that have not elicited a deal.

“We went through several months of conversations with law enforcement in the fall and again nothing came out of it, everybody went their own way,” said Joe Kocurek, communications director for Weber. “All I can say now is, I don’t know and we’ll see.”

Kocurek said he believed the joining of the two bills could be beneficial for the momentum of AB 392, despite the “very strange development.”

Ron Lawrence, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said some provisions in the Assembly bill are “nonstarters,” including a change in the use-of-force standard from when force is “reasonable” to when it is “necessary.” Many in law enforcement feel that change would endanger officers and open the door for more criminal charges when officers do use fatal force.

“It’s hard to say this, but if you start making cops second-guess things, it’s going to be a public safety nightmare,” said James Wheeler, vice president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.

If law enforcement is unable to find language that AB 392 backers are happy with, police might oppose the bill — bringing on a showdown between the powerful law enforcement lobby at the Capitol and activists who have marched, rallied and filled hearings for more than a year with emotional testimony from families of victims.

“If we can’t find the middle ground here, then I think that we are not going to compromise our communities and … put our officers in a dangerous situation,” said Lawrence. “The fact that we agreed to these amendments does show a good faith effort. We could have taken our bat and ball and went home but we didn’t. We said, ‘Okay, we’ll take it.’ ”

Reform advocates did not uniformly applaud Tuesday’s move, and several feared that negotiations could lead to a watering down of AB 392 or an exclusion of activists from bargaining.

“They are saying they want to come to the table and they want to discuss it, but … families impacted are never included at those table discussions and we need to be there,” said Laurie Valdez, partner of Antonio Guzman-Lopez, who was shot by San Jose State University Police. “They need to have our voices, because we are the ones that have to live with this day in and day out.”

Others saw the abrupt modifications as proof that momentum built over many months and outrage over dozens of police shootings is having an effect in the Capitol, where law enforcement has long been an unassailable force.

“It gave us more power,” said Cephus Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant, who was shot by a BART police officer in 2009. “We have the strength to win, that’s what this has been all about.”

———

©2019 the Los Angeles Times


Categories: Law Enforcement

Boy Scouts Could Be Hit With More Sex Abuse Claims

Forensic Magazine - 2 hours 32 min ago
NewsIn New York and elsewhere, lawyers are hard at work recruiting clients to sue the Boy Scouts, alleging they were molested as youths by scoutmasters or other volunteers.Contributed Author: David Crary, Associated PressTopics: Sexual Assault Investigations
Categories: Law Enforcement

Ala. deputy on leave for homophobic comment over teen's suicide

Police One - 2 hours 36 min ago

Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — An Alabama deputy has been put on administrative leave for posting a homophobic comment on a Facebook post about a gay teen who killed himself.

Al.com reports Madison County Deputy Jeff Graves wrote the comment Sunday on a WZDX-TV Facebook post about the death of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby, who killed himself last week. His family says he was bullied for his sexuality.

Graves wrote "Liberty Guns Bible Trump BBQ That's my kind of LGBTQ movement." He said LGBTQ people are offensive and shouldn't be accepted. Graves has deleted his comment.

Belle's Smokin' BBQ in northern Kentucky offers shirts with a nearly identical slogan : "I support LGBTQ: Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump, BBQ."

Sheriff Kevin Turner says an internal investigation will be conducted. Graves didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


Categories: Law Enforcement

How to decontaminate your cruiser: A step-by-step guide (infographic)

Police One - 2 hours 42 min ago

Sponsored by Decon7 Systems

Policing is a challenging line of work, and it’s all too easy to forget about the threats you can’t see. But did you know that bacteria, viruses and dangerous narcotics like fentanyl can survive for weeks on contaminated surfaces, including your cruiser’s seats and steering wheel?

Using a decontamination solution properly can eliminate the majority of these threats. Download this free step-by-step guide to learn how to protect yourself by decontaminating your cruiser.

Fill out the form below to download the FREE graphic:


Categories: Law Enforcement

Troopers investigate fatal pedestrian accident involving a tractor trailer on I-90.

State - NY Police - 2 hours 44 min ago
State Police are investigating a fatal pedestrian accident that occurred early this morning on I-90 in the town of Sullivan, Madison County.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Police Release Father's 911 Call Reporting Son Missing

Forensic Magazine - 2 hours 47 min ago
NewsA father told police that he'd looked around his house, garage and the surrounding neighborhood in suburban Chicago, looking for his 5-year-old son who was not home when he returned after a doctor's appointment, according to a recording of a 911 call released Tuesday.Contributed Author: Don Babwin, Associated PressTopics: Unsolved
Categories: Law Enforcement

She Was Fired After Raising Questions About a DNA Test. Now She’s Getting $1 Million.

Forensic Magazine - 3 hours 5 min ago
NewsMarina Stajic, who was fired from the New York City medical examiner’s office in 2015, sued in 2016, claiming she was pushed out in part because she had challenged a controversial DNA testing technique. On Monday, the city agreed to settle her case for $1 million.Contributed Author: Sharon Otterman, The New York TimesTopics: DNA
Categories: Law Enforcement

Couple charged with attempting to run over Ala. trooper

Police One - 3 hours 20 min ago

Kirsten Fiscus Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.

DEATSVILLE, Ala. — A Deatsville couple were arrested Monday night after being found in possession of methamphetamine and attempted to flee while nearly running over a state trooper.

Brad Edgar Wyatt, 37, and 27-year-old Kayla Ashley McClellan were charged with trafficking meth and second-degree assault following the incident, according to court records.

McClellan and Wyatt were on their way to meet an undercover officer with the meth when an unmarked patrol vehicle attempted a traffic stop near the intersection of South Lawrence Street and Clanton Avenue about 8:30 p.m., according to the records.

McClellan, driving a black Cadillac CTS, stopped when Wyatt told her to put the car in reverse and flee, according to court records. McClellan struck a patrol vehicle and nearly missed an officer "giving loud verbal commands to stop."

McClellan then tried to put the vehicle in gear and flee in the direction of officers standing outside. After failing to do so, Wyatt and McClellan were forcibly removed from the car and arrested, according to records.

One officer suffered minor cuts to his hand from the Cadillac, according to the couple's charging documents.

Wyatt and McClellan were found in possession of "a large sum of U.S. currency bundled in increments of $1,000." They also had 168 grams of meth in their car, according to records. By state law, any amount over 28 grams of meth is considered trafficking.

Both Wyatt and McClellan were charged with second-degree assault, for the injury caused to the officer, and trafficking. If convicted of trafficking, both face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

McClellan and Wyatt each remain jailed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility on a $1,015,000 bond.

———

©2019 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

In Rambling Note to Judge, Pipe Bomb Mailer Blames Steroids

Forensic Magazine - 3 hours 24 min ago
NewsA Florida man who mailed crudely made pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump said he abused steroids for over 40 years, an issue his lawyers say they'll cite at sentencing.Contributed Author: Larry Neumeister, Associated PressTopics: Forensic Psychology
Categories: Law Enforcement

Manson Follower Van Houten Gets Another Shot at Release

Forensic Magazine - 3 hours 27 min ago
NewsCharles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten is getting another chance at getting out of prison following a years-long saga that has seen a board recommend her parole three separate times.Contributed Author: Amanda Lee Myers, Associated Press
Categories: Law Enforcement

California Pushes Talks on 1st-in-US Police Shooting Rules

Forensic Magazine - 3 hours 30 min ago
NewsCalifornia lawmakers worked to find common ground Tuesday between law enforcement groups and reformers intent on adopting first-in-the-nation standards designed to limit fatal shootings by police.Contributed Author: Don Thompson, Associated PressTopics: Police Procedure
Categories: Law Enforcement

NY trooper's murderer sentenced to life in prison

Police One - 3 hours 40 min ago

Craig Fox Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.

WATERTOWN, NY — No one knew Justin Walters’s zest for killing until it was too late.

The convicted cop killer who also murdered his wife hid that his true reasons for joining the Army was to legally kill people.

And he fooled his wife’s family in making them think he was one of their own and that he was a good husband.

On Tuesday, Walters was sentenced in Jefferson County Court to life in prison without parole for the 2017 murders in front of the Walters’ county Route 46 home in Theresa.

Walters, 33, was found guilty by a jury on March 20 of intentionally killing his wife, Nichole V., and state police Trooper Joel R. Davis on July 9. A third person, Rebecca Finkle, was shot in the back while hiding in a shed on the couple’s property.

Walters was found guilty on 52 counts that included two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and multiple counts of weapon possession.

The victims’ families and a large contingent of law enforcement officers filled the courtroom as it took Judge Kim H. Martusewicz several moments to go through the sentences on each of the 52 counts, including two consecutive terms of life without parole for first-degree murder in the two killings.

Walters also received three terms of 25 years to life for the attempted murder of Ms. Finkle, her daughter Chevy and his son Axel, in addition to concurrent terms for all of those other charges.

Trooper Davis’s brother, Josh, looked relieved that it was over.

“This is what was supposed to happen,” he said. “Good words to hear. Life without parole.”

The mothers of both murder victims and Ms. Finkle described how their lives have been changed by what happened in front of the Walters’s home on that summer night. And how much they miss their loved ones.

Trooper Davis’s mother, Mary, told the judge that her son will never take another ride on his boat, share laughs around the campfire, see his three children graduate from college or walk his daughter, Jaila, down the aisle.

Taking the trooper away from his family was “a demonic act” and “sinister,” his mother said. Walters will get his sentence when “he meets his maker,” she said.

Kristin Lum described her daughter Nichole as a devoted, loving mother “who was loved by everyone” and said her family thinks about her every day. Sadly, her daughter’s three-year-old son, Axel, will never know her.

“She wanted to grow old with her family and go to college. She had great goals for herself,” her mother said. “We all lost our best friend.”

Family members also had high hopes for her.

But Walters fooled them into thinking that he would protect her and be a good husband and father, Mrs. Lum said. It’s particularly difficult since they took him in as part of their family.

In saying that her life will never be the same, Ms. Finkle described the emotional toll that the murders have taken on her and her family, as she and her two children have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

She laid on top of her daughter, Chevy, and the Walters’ son, Axel, while bullets riddled the shed they hid in on the couple’s property during the shooting.

At one point, Ms. Finkle paused and became overwhelmed with emotion as she tried to talk about the impact the tragedy has had on her. She stopped for several seconds before she regained her composure.

She witnessed Nichole getting shot in the face and suffer at least 12 other bullet wounds. It’s an image that she cannot get out of her head, she told the judge. The “flashbacks and nightmares” are sometimes too difficult to go through, she said.

Calling Nichole her “soulmate,” Ms. Finkle said Nichole was like her sister and an aunt to her two children. They had so many plans.

And now, her daughter no longer trusts adults. Her son lost a man who was like a second father. Even the family dog suffers from the physical scars from getting shot that night, she said.

Ms. Finkle wonders whether the military could have done more to prevent what happened. Walters, a former staff sergeant at Fort Drum, received treatment for mental health issues, including for PTSD and alcoholism.

During the sentencing, Judge Martusewicz said Walters knew exactly what he was doing that night, pointing out that Walters wore a t-shirt that read, “Guns don’t kill people, I do.”

With a reference to the Second Amendment on its side, he fired off 60 rounds from the AR-15 he used to wipe out two lives, the judge remarked.

Talking to reporters outside the courthouse, District Attorney Kristyna S. Mills said it was an “appropriate” sentence for the suffering that Walters caused three families.

In asking for the most serious sentence, the district attorney reiterated that Walters was a marksman and that he made sure his wife suffered before she died and that it took only one shot to kill Trooper Davis while he was getting out of his patrol car at the end of the couple’s driveway.

She believes that Walters “masked” who he really was to the military and to those he was closest to. It was only in journal entries he wrote while receiving inpatient care in a hospital in Texas that he revealed his true self.

He joined the Army to legally kill people, the district attorney said.

In the journal entries, Walters talked about a desire to shoot people’s faces off, rape and assault women, and wrote that he was a racist who would like to kill billions of people.

Trying the murder case has also been difficult on the district attorney, who doesn’t typically show her emotions in the courtroom. But for a brief moment — while describing the loss that Trooper Davis’s family has gone through — her voice cracked.

She later explained to reporters what happened.

“You become so close to the families. I obvious knew Joel and I’m part of that family of blue,” Mrs. Mills said... “So I think it was a little bit of that coming out.”

While admitting there were no excuses for his client’s actions, Walters’s attorney, Edward F. Narrow, asked the judge to give his client an opportunity to be rehabilitated in prison and for a chance to rejoin society.

Mr. Narrow had argued during the trial that Walters suffered “mental disease and mental defect.” The only witness for the defense, Dr. Stephen Price, a psychologist who has a private practice in Albany, testified that Walters didn’t know what he was doing that night.

Walters suffered from PTSD and severe alcohol disorder after serving two deployments in Afghanistan in which he saw friends killed during combat, Mr. Narrow contended.

In the end, Walters and his actions left “a stain” on the Army and on his uniform, Mrs. Mills said.

“If there was ever a crime that deserved life without parole, this was it,” she told the judge.

But the district attorney said Walters blamed his deployment, his drinking and his mental health for what he had done. He never took any blame for killing the trooper and his wife, she told the judge.

When the judge asked him if he had something to say to the families, to say that he was sorry, Walters remained mostly silent.

“No, your honor,” he told the judge.

———

©2019 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Former Fla. police chief elected mayor in landslide victory

Police One - 3 hours 50 min ago

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa's openly gay former police chief has been elected mayor in a landslide victory.

Voters elected 59-year-old Jane Castor in a runoff against 76-year-old retired banker and philanthropist David Stratz.

Castor said her victory with more than 73% of the 53,144 votes cast on Tuesday sends "a resounding message that Tampa is a positive community."

Castor is Tampa's first openly gay mayor-elect. She had come within 2 percentage points of winning the March 5 general election.

Stratz spent nearly $5 million on his campaign. He told his supporters it's now time to rally around the new mayor. Both are Democrats.

Castor succeeds outgoing Mayor Bob Buckhorn in the non-partisan office.


Categories: Law Enforcement

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