Maui Police Officer Facing Federal Charges For Robbing a Citizen During Traffic Stop

Anthony Maldonado

A former Maui Police Department officer is facing federal charges alleging he stole money from a man during a traffic stop two years ago and conspired with others to bribe the victim to withdraw his theft complaint.

Anthony Maldonado, 28, of Pukalani was arrested Thursday morning on an indictment handed down Nov. 9 by a federal grand jury.

During his arraignment Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, Maldonado pleaded not guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to commit witness tampering and engaging in misleading conduct.

He was released on a $50,000 bond.

Maldonado, who is also known as Ikaika, was working as a Lahaina patrol officer when he made the traffic stop Sept. 30, 2015, and stole about $1,800 from the driver, according to court documents.

The indictment alleges that from Oct. 10 to 15, 2015, Maldonado and others, including two other police officers, participated in trying to bribe the driver so he would falsely report to the Police Department that he had found his missing money and would withdraw his theft complaint against Maldonado.

Maldonado’s wife obtained $4,500 in cash from a relative and provided some of the money to Maldonado to use for a bribe, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Maldonado communicated with officer Chase Keliipaakaua about the bribery plan on Oct. 13, 2015, and later that night met with police Sgt. Walter “Kepa” Ahuna and Damien Kaina Jr. to discuss the plan. Ahuna reportedly agreed to pick up his cousin Kaina after he offered the bribe to the victim on behalf of Maldonado on Oct. 13, 2015.

The next day, while he was working at the Lahaina police station, Keliipaakaua repeatedly texted Maldonado to say that the victim hadn’t shown up at the police station to withdraw his complaint, according to the indictment. At Maldonado’s request, Keliipaakaua called the victim and told him “to go to the police station soon,” according to the indictment.

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Texas Police Officer Fired After Sexually Assaulting Woman While on Duty


An Amarillo police officer accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman while on-duty has been fired, police said in a news release.

Officer Micah Meurer, initially placed on administrative leave, was terminated effective 9 p.m. Monday for “violations of internal rules, including acts which bring discredit to the officer and the department,” according to the release.

The 22-year-old woman accused Meurer on Monday. Detectives with the department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit — conducting a separate criminal investigation with the Potter County District Attorney’s Office — found that Meurer had responded to the woman’s home in Northwest Amarillo on Sunday.

An internal affairs investigator determined that the officer “had sexual contact with the victim while on duty,” the release said. The criminal investigation is ongoing as of Wednesday.

Officers have conducted interviews with Meurer and the victim, the release said.

Investigators collected bodily fluids, towels, clothing, a Walmart receipt and a rape kit, according to an incident report obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

Meurer had worked with the Amarillo Police Department since Dec. 5, 2013. He graduated from the department’s police academy on June 11, 2014, and began a four-month training shortly after, according to an Amarillo Police Department news release.

A former San Antonio police officer who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while on duty in November 2013 was hit last week with a $2.1 million judgment in a lawsuit filed by his accuser after he failed to show up at a hearing in federal court.

Jackie Neal, 41, was later fired from the department and is awaiting trial in the 226th District Court.

Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-police-officer-allegedly-sexually-assaulted-6333299.php

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[WATCH] South Carolina Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Motorist to be Sentenced in December

North Charleston officer Michael Slager (L) and Walter Scott

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A former South Carolina police officer filmed as he fatally shot an unarmed motorist in the back two years ago will be sentenced on Dec. 4 on a federal civil rights charge, court officials said on Friday.

Ex-North Charleston officer Michael Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating motorist Walter Scott’s civil rights by using excessive force in the April 2015 shooting.

A widely distributed cellphone video of the shooting taken by a bystander heightened a national debate about police treatment of minorities across the United States.

The Dec. 4 sentencing hearing will be held in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Judge David Norton, who heard Slager’s guilty plea in May, has blocked out a week for the proceedings, his office said.

Slager, 35, faces a sentence ranging from zero years, or time served, to a maximum of life in prison on the civil rights charge. He has been in federal custody since his guilty plea just weeks before his federal trial was to start.

Slager fired eight shots at Scott’s back, hitting him five times. He opened fire after the motorist fled a traffic stop for a broken brake light and he and Slager fought.

Slager’s attorney Andrew Savage told Charleston’s Post and Courier newspaper on Friday that he would emphasize the fight and that the video did not show the whole story of what happened.

“He (Slager) certainly was not looking for trouble that day, with the idea to hurt somebody,” Savage was quoted as saying.

Justin Bamberg, a lawyer for the Scott family, said he favored a long prison sentence, perhaps life, as a deterrent to others in positions of public trust.

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  • I don’t get it. If he pleaded out, how was a sentence not part of the plea?

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[WATCH] Officer Earned $175,000 on Leave Since Controversial Police Shooting But Wants $5M More


It’s a standoff that has cost North Miami taxpayers close to $175,000, left the city with one less senior police officer, and remains a sticking point for a city trying to move past a controversial police shooting.

And now, 16 months after behavioral specialist Charles Kinsey was shot lying flat on his back with his hands in the air while trying to protect his severely autistic patient, it’s finally got a legal name: Police Cmdr. Emile Hollant vs. the city of North Miami.

Hollant, in charge of a chaotic July 2016 shooting that put the city in an unwanted national spotlight, hasn’t worked a single day since. Yet he hasn’t lost a paycheck or any benefits, either. The city, wading through investigations and trying to avoid a lawsuit, never fired him. Hollant, expecting a legal settlement, has refused to quit.

Now, trying to force the city’s hand, Hollant on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding $5 million in compensatory damages and claiming the city has violated his civil rights, inflicted emotional distress and is punishing him for a being a whistle-blower, among other things.

“Emile Hollant has been crucified and had his life destroyed and placed on virtual house arrest for almost two years,” Hollant’s attorney, Michael Pizzi, said on Friday. “They’ve engaged in a pattern of lies, deceit and an irresponsible witch hunt.”

The conditions of Hollant’s leave if he wishes to continue to be paid his salary and benefits, which add up to $131,000 each year: He must remain home during working hours. He can leave only with the consent of a supervisor. On nights, weekends, holidays and mornings before work, he’s free to do as he wishes. Holland, 55, also gets vacation time off.

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Monterey County California Highway Patrol Officer Faces Child Sex Charges – Again


A former Monterey County California Highway Patrol officer has again been charged with sex crimes involving children, this time out of Washington state. 

Jacob Duenas, 36, has been charged with four counts of first-degree child rape that allegedly took place in 2000, according to a Wednesday article in the News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.

Duenas previously served as a CHP officer based in Salinas, where in 2008 he later pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of molesting two girls, 13 and 14. 

Duenas was fired by the CHP, sentenced to three years’ probation and required to register as a sex offender. 

In April 2015, he was arrested in Chico on a warrant for molesting a 10-year-old boy and pleaded no contest, receiving a sentence of 180 days in jail and five years probation, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record. 

Duenas also previously testified during his father’s trial for the murder of Duenas’ mother in Shasta County. 

Source: http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2017/11/15/former-salinas-chp-officer-faces-child-sex-charges-again/869156001/

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Cop snaps, drags man from car, beats him for no reason, and fellow officer tries to cover it up (VIDEO)

    

Dashcam video of a senselessly violent assault by a cop on a then 21-year-old Laotian American was released earlier this year and quickly became the subject of an ACLU report and subsequent lawsuit. The video shows Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak stop Anthony Promvongsa in Worthington, Minnesota and immediately begin a violent attack.

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed an excessive force lawsuit against the Worthington Police Department, the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force and the City of Worthington along with a number of individual officers on behalf of their client, Anthony Promvongsa a local Worthington resident. Promvongsa was assaulted by Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Officer Joe Joswiak in Worthington in 2016.

The beating was captured on another officer’s dashcam who is caught disabling the audio to cover up Joswiak’s insanely violent fury.

According to police, Promvongsa was driving erratically for several city blocks sticking his head out of the window and yelling at Joswiak. Joswiak claims Promvongsa was swerving toward him repeatedly while making threatening remarks and unidentified hand signals.

None of this was captured on any of the dashcam footage involved in this case.

Joswiak claims he turned on his lights to make the stop and that Promvongsa refused to stop. However, from the dashcam, the young man appears to be driving quite safely and pulls over when he sees the actual patrol car with his lights on.

“Get the fuck out of the car, motherfucker. Show me your hands,” Joswiak screams as he immediately begins assaulting Promvongsa before he could even take off his seat belt. As he lays into the young man with knees, fists, and elbows – as if he’s in some UFC fight – the officer on the other side of the car is seen inexplicably turning off the audio recording.

Now, this entire incident is a case of the cop’s word against a 21-year-old who was beaten nearly to death on film.

One of the parties involved in this case is lying. However, only one of the parties, in this case, was captured on video violently attacking a barefoot young man half his size while another officer attempted to cover it up.

“I was left with physical injuries. The police ended up charging me with multiple offenses all because they thought I was tailgating them, and so I’ve been dealing with probation and fees. I lost my job. I’m scared to leave the house alone. Worthington has been my home since I was a child, but I don’t feel safe here anymore,” Promvongsa told the ACLU.

As the ACLU explains, the entire incident from when the vehicle was pulled over to when Promvongsa was under arrest and in the backseat of the vehicle handcuffed is less than two minutes. Promvongsa was not given proper time to obey the Officer Joswiak’s orders before excessive force was used against him, nor did Promvongsa represent any threat to the officers that warranted the use of force at all, let alone the level of force the officers used.

“Agent Joswiak’s use of force against Anthony Promvongsa is disturbing and completely unnecessary. We are calling for an investigation of Agent Joswiak’s behavior and for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution.”

Agent Joswiak has not been disciplined at all for the violent attack caught on video.

“Everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement. The brutal assault against Anthony Promvongsa violated his rights,” stated Teresa Nelson, Legal Director of the ACLU-MN. “This assault, and the lack of discipline against the officers involved, is part of a pattern and practice by the Worthington Police Department and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force who routinely fail to hold their officers accountable for their actions.”

Watch the videos below, does it look like a case of necessary force from a cop protecting society? Or, does it look like a case of road rage – backed by a gun and a badge? You decide.

Full video below:

I want the system to change, because the system is broken here. Everyone sees it. Worthington has a problem with policing and it’s only getting worse. Officers should not be above the law, and Officer Joswiak and Sgt. Gaul should be responsible for their actions. Our police need to be punished like anyone else and they need better training. That’s why I am working with the ACLU of Minnesota to file a lawsuit against the officers and other responsible parties,” Promvongsa wrote.

In its lawsuit, the ACLU-MN asks the Court to recognize this incident as part of a pattern and practice of misbehavior by the Worthington Police Department and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force. The ACLU-MN is also seeking damages for its client who suffered not only physical injuries but other harms stemming from the 2016 assault.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/368052-Cop-snaps-drags-man-from-car-beats-him-for-no-reason-and-fellow-officer-tries-to-cover-it-up-VIDEO

Animal Control Officer Fumes After Cop Kills His Dog With Shotgun


PASSAIC – As an animal control officer for Bergen County, John Timmins says he knows what it’s like to have to capture an aggressive dog.

You have to be careful, vigilant and patient.

But, he says, in the 17 years he’s been on the job, he has never ordered a police officer to shoot an animal. So, on Monday, almost two months after a Passaic police officer killed Timmins’ dog with a shotgun, he’s still wondering why those who responded that day weren’t more empathetic, and is preparing to fight it out in the court system.

Wildfire, a nearly 4-year-old American Bulldog who was killed in September

Timmins, of Passaic, said Wildfire, his nearly 4-year-old American Bulldog, was shot in September after she escaped from his fenced-in backyard.

Police responded on Sept. 23 to calls that the dog attacked other dogs and chased “innocent people in the area,” according to a police report by the responding officer.

Timmins, who works for Bergen County, disputed details in the police report, which he said incorrectly characterized his dog as a pit bull, and incorrectly stated he understood the officers’ approach and “did not object to the outcome.”

According to the report, Passaic Officer Samuel Rivera Jr., responded to a call of a dog attacking other dogs. When he got to the scene, he watched the dog chase and attack a cat and chase another dog, which got away.

Rivera, the son of a former police officer who went to federal prison as mayor, called for animal control and unsuccessfully tried to capture the dog.

Passaic’s animal control officer was 30 minutes away, so Clifton’s animal control officer, Robert Boyle, responded. Boyle advised Rivera that the dog should be “neutralized,” Rivera recounted in his report.

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[WATCH] Family of Man Shot by Troubled Chicago Police Officer Files Lawsuit


Two weeks after a civil jury found that Chicago police Officer Patrick Kelly shot and severely injured one of his best friends in the officer’s home, the troubled patrolman faces a new lawsuit from the family of a man who was fatally shot after Kelly responded to a domestic disturbance on the Southwest Side.

Hector Hernandez’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Friday, alleging that Kelly and another officer shot him without provocation in April 2014. The man, who had a young son and a daughter on the way, was shot 13 times, including eight bullets in the back and buttocks, the suit states.

Kelly was the first officer to open fire at the scene, firing 11 rounds at Hernandez until his gun jammed, according to records from an internal investigation. Officer Antonio Corral — who had been waiting for someone to bring a Taser to subdue Hernandez — followed suit and fired 10 rounds.

The Independent Police Review Authority, the now-defunct agency that previously investigated all officer-involved shootings, ruled the shooting justified, saying Kelly and his fellow officers could have reasonably been in fear for their lives. In interviews with IPRA investigators summarized in the report, officers on the scene contended that Hernandez was moving toward them with a kitchen knife when he was shot.

The Hernandez family’s lawsuit also names the city of Chicago as a defendant, saying Kelly benefited from the so-called code of silence in the department, an unwritten but widely acknowledged understanding that officers protect each other even to the point of ignoring each other’s wrongdoing.

Kelly, 36, has been found mentally unfit for duty twice, arrested two times, accused of beating a girlfriend and treated for alcohol addiction. He has been sued seven times during his 14-year career and has been the subject of more than two dozen investigations into his on- and off-duty conduct, including one in which he was found to have assaulted a female sergeant.

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Dearborn Heights Police Officer Charged With Felony in Fatal Car Crash That Killed Man in Taylor


A Dearborn Heights police officer who crashed his cruiser into a vehicle, killing the 59-year-old Wixom man behind the wheel, has been charged with a felony that could put him behind bars for 15 years.

Larry Little, 32, was charged Tuesday with reckless driving causing death in connection with the crash that killed Timothy Turner.

The crash happened at about 8:20 p.m. Jan. 1 near Van Born and Pelham roads in Taylor. Little was driving a marked police car with his partner at a high rate of speed in a 40 mph zone when he struck the vehicle Turner was driving, according to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

The patrol vehicle was eastbound on Van Born and entered the intersection of Pelham, striking the Lexus ES 350 driven by Turner, who was heading west on Van Born, attempting to make a left turn onto southbound Pelham.

According to Worthy, the police car sped through the intersection without its emergency lights or sirens on.

Turner remained in the hospital for several days before being taken off life support.

The two officers were extricated from the patrol vehicle and taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Both were later released.

Allen Park officers assisted in the investigation of the crash scene that was later turned over to Michigan State Police.

Little originally was charged with moving violation causing death, a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and/or $2,000 fine if convicted. His attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charge, which was denied by 23rd District Judge Geno Salomone. In his ruling, Salomone said that operating a police car without lights and sirens should be charged as a reckless act rather than as negligence.

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Woman Whose Eye Was Shot Out by Utah Police Officer Loses Excessive Force Lawsuit


A jury has rejected a claim in a lawsuit that a Morgan County sheriff’s officer used excessive force when he shot a woman in the left eye at the end of a 2012 police chase.

After deliberating for about an hour at the conclusion of a five-day trial in Farmington’s 2nd District Court, jurors returned a unanimous verdict on Oct. 27 that found Sgt. Daniel Peay did not violate the constitutional rights of Kristine Biggs Johnson.

“We are pleased with the verdict and appreciated the diligence of the jury and the court,” said attorney Julia Kyte, who with attorney Jeffrey Bramble represented Peay. “Sergeant Peay is an excellent officer and we believe the correct result was reached in this case.”

Johnson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, said Tuesday that he is considering an appeal. He said Peay’s assertion that he fired his gun because he believed a fellow officer — the sergeant’s brother, Deputy Christian Peay — was about to be run over by Johnson was a “made-up story.”

Johnson — who was a Colorado resident at the time of the shooting and now lives in California — was drunk on Nov. 24, 2012, and would not pull over when a Morgan County sheriff’s deputy tried to stop her for having a broken headlight, according to court records. She fled, setting off a 40-mile chase into Davis County and at times driving up to 90 mph on Interstate 84.

The 30-minute chase continued even after Johnson — who drove over spikes set up by officers that ripped off three tires on her pickup truck — ended on a road near South Weber. Blocked in by police vehicles, Johnson made a U-turn and struck two cruisers, according to court records.

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