Veteran Alton Missouri Police Officer Disarmed By Petite Mentally Ill Woman – Who Then Used Officer’s Gun To Commit Suicide In His Patrol Car

July 6, 2012

ALTON, MISSOURI – A mentally ill Missouri woman committed suicide by shooting herself in the head with a police officer’s gun while getting a ride to a local hospital in a squad car on Wednesday.

The St. Louis County Police Department said Stephanie Hicks, 20, got into a struggle with an Alton police officer over his weapon.

Hicks’ former boyfriend Eric Perry said she had been dealing with a bi-polar disorder and decided to seek professional help, according to the TV station KSDK.

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Stephanie Hicks, 20, fatally shot herself in the head on Wednesday after wrestling a gun away from a police officer

Untimely death: Stephanie Hicks, 20, fatally shot herself in the head on Wednesday after wrestling a gun away from a police officer

Loved ones said Hicks had been struggling with a bi-polar disorder and other mental issues

Troubled: Loved ones said Hicks had been struggling with a bi-polar disorder and other mental issues

On Wednesday morning, she set out on foot in the sweltering heat from her home in Alton toward Christian Northeast Hospital about nine-and-a-half miles away.

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An officer found Hicks walking across the Clark Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Alton, and called for an EMS crew to examine her, St. Louis Today reported.

Alton Police Chief David Hayes said on Thursday that Hicks was not suicidal on the bridge, but simply trying to reach the hospital. She was medically cleared by the paramedics.
An officer found Hicks walking across the Clark Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Alton

Chance encounter: An officer found Hicks walking across the Clark Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Alton

Hicks was walking in the heat to Christian Northeast Hospital located more than nine miles from her home

Seeking help: Hicks was walking in the heat to Christian Northeast Hospital located more than nine miles from her home

Hicks got into the passenger seat of the patrol car because police said she was not in custody, and it was too hot in the back

Courtesy ride: Hicks got into the passenger seat of the patrol car because police said she was not in custody, and it was too hot in the back

At around 9am, the officer pulled over and asked Hicks if she needed a ride. The 20-year-old got into the front seat because the back of the car is for prisoners, and Hicks was not in custody.

‘In the back seat of those police cars, whatever the temperature is outside it’s usually 15 to 20 degrees hotter inside,’ Hayes said.

While it is not customary for Alton police officers to offer citizens courtesy rides, the officer called his commanding officer and received permission to drive Hicks, who was apparently known to the department.

When the vehicle reached Dunn Road and Highway 367, officials said the woman unexpectedly grabbed the pistol carried in a holster on the policeman’s right hip.
Officials said the woman did not say a word in the moments before she grabbed the officer’s gun at Dunn Road and Highway 367

Chaotic scene: Officials said the woman did not say a word in the moments before she grabbed the officer’s gun at Dunn Road and Highway 367

Police said the officer told them Hicks didn’t say anything in the car before unsnapping his holster and shooting herself.

She was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she died from her injury.

The patrol car was equipped with a video camera, Hayes said, but it is wired to the emergency lights and was not running. The officer turned on the lights after the shooting, and the camera captured the tragic aftermath.

The officer driving Hicks is a 13-year veteran on the Alton police force. He’s been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
Hicks’ mother, Robin, said her daughter should have never been allowed to be in a position to take the pistol

Devastated: Hicks’ mother, Robin, said her daughter should have never been allowed to be in a position to take the pistol

Hayes emphasized that the unnamed officer did not violate department procedures.

However, the victim’s relatives have expressed anger at the police, questioning how a 5-foot-1-inch woman who weighed only about 80 pounds managed to wrestle a gun away from the officer.

‘She got that gun and there’s no way she should have got that gun,’ the victim’s mother, Robin Hicks, told Fox 2 Now. ‘And I’m angry, and I’m pissed, and this is not right!’

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Halls Tennessee Police Officer Jason Colvin Arrested After Indictment For Theft, Official Misconduct, And Other Charges – Bought Stolen Gun From Felon And Tried To Sell At A Pawnshop

June 6, 2012

HALLS, TENNESSEE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested a Halls Police Department officer on Tuesday after he was indicted by the Lauderdale County Grand Jury on Monday.

Jason Colvin, 32, of Halls, Tenn. was charged in the indictments with three counts of official misconduct, one count of theft more than $500 and less than $1,000, one count of accessory after the fact, one count of facilitation of a felony and compounding.

According to a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation release, the TBI was requested to open an investigation on Colvin on April 12, 2012, after the Halls Police Department received a complaint on him. The allegations against Colvin included that while he was working as an officer for the Halls Police Department, he obtained a handgun from a person known to be a convicted felon and attempted to sell a stolen handgun at a pawnshop in Halls.

Colvin was arrested and booked into the Lauderdale County Jail on Tuesday. He has been on paid leave from the department, but he has now been placed on unpaid leave.

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Tallahassee Florida Police Officer Lyle Ottley Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Armed Home Invasion

June 5, 2012

TALLAHASSEE; FLORIDA – A Tallahassee Police officer has been charged with aggravated assault without the intent to kill and burglary with assault.

Lyle Ottley, 33, has been placed on paid suspension from the Tallahassee Police Department.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Ottley allegedly entered Herman Samuel’s home and threatened him with a gun. The report states that around 2 a.m., Samuel was sleeping next to officer Ottley’s ex-girlfriend Erica Brooks in their home.

Ottley was in uniform at the time when he allegedly banged on the front door and asked for some of their son’s belongings. The officer then entered the home uninvited and went inside the master bedroom, questioning Samuel about why he was there.

Ms. Brooks reportedly ran to a neighboring house owned by another local police man. While Mr. Ottley remained in her home, Ottley allegedly pulled out his hand gun and also punched the wall and bedroom door several times.

Samuel reported that he felt threatened for his life. We spoke to neighbors and they all stated that they had no idea that this had gone on right next door to them.

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Dumbass Harrisburg Pennsylvania Police Officer William Owens Suspended After Shooting His Wife In The Ass

June 2, 2012

HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA – Prosecutors in Pennsylvania said a police officer who shot his wife in the buttocks was showing his gun to family and friends when it discharged.

Dauphin County District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr. said Harrisburg police officer William Owens was showing off his gun at his home around 6 p.m. Saturday when the firearm accidentally discharged several times, striking Lakita Owens once in the buttocks, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, reported Thursday.

Marsico said investigators are working to determine whether alcohol played a role in the incident, and charges could be filed if the shooting is determined to have been reckless.

Owens, who was suspended without pay, declined to comment on the investigation. He said his wife is recovering from her injury.

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Marion County Indiana Deputy Sheriff Michael McKittrick Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Shooting High Power Rifle In His Apartment

May 30, 2012

MARION COUNTY, INDIANA – Marion County Deputy Michael McKittrick was arrested by Marion County Criminal Investigators early Saturday morning on a preliminary charges of criminal recklessness.

Investigators were called to the deputy’s apartment following the discharge of his personal high-powered rifle. The single round did not injury anyone but did travel through other apartments.

McKittrick, who appeared to be intoxicated, told investigators that he discharged the weapon because he thought there was an intruder in his apartment.

He was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital for blood tests prior to his being taken to the Arrestee Processing Center.

Deputy McKittrick, is assigned to the Jail Division, and has been placed on administrative leave pending resolution of the Internal Affairs investigation and the criminal proceedings.

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Marysville Washington Police Officer Derek Carlile Charged In Shooting Death Of His 7 Year Old Daughter – Moron Left Loaded Handgun With Safety Off In Car Full Of Kids

May 26, 2012

MARYSVILLE, WASHINGTON – Prosecutors charged a Washington state police officer Tuesday in the accidental death of his 7-year-old daughter, saying it was unconscionable for him to leave his loaded handgun loose in the family van, where the girl’s younger brother grabbed it and shot her.

Marysville police officer Derek Carlile could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of second-degree manslaughter, a charge that involves criminal negligence.

Carlile “failed to heed … a substantial risk that death would occur when he placed and left his loaded, unsecured revolver in an enclosed van with four children inside,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul wrote in charging papers.

“Though the undeniable tragedy and grief that has stricken the defendant and his family is staggering, compassion must be balanced with accountability,” she wrote.

The shooting occurred March 10 while the van was parked at a store in Stanwood. Carlile and his wife were outside the van when the 3-year-old, who had a fascination with guns, got out of his booster seat, grabbed the weapon and shot his sister Jenna in the torso, investigators said. The safety of the gun was off, they said.

Carlile’s attorney, David Allen, said the family was disappointed in the charging decision. Carlile takes full responsibility for his daughter’s death, but his actions weren’t criminal, Allen said.

“This is a double tragedy for the Carlile family that not only lost Jenna, but now also faces the possibility of losing Derek to prison,” Allen wrote in a news release.

The charging papers say the 31-year-old Carlile, a police officer since 2009, had worked until 2 a.m., then woke up that morning to go antique shopping with a friend. He was late returning from the shopping trip, and he and his family had to rush to get ready to attend a wedding reception.

When he got into the van, he placed his personal .38-caliber revolver – not his service weapon – in a bin on the floor between the driver’s and front passenger’s seats, a space typically reserved for cups and keys, the deputy prosecutor wrote.

His wife asked what he was doing because he usually wore the gun or placed it in a locking compartment on the driver-side door. She later told investigators that she assumed he moved the gun after she brought it to his attention.

On the way to the wedding, the family stopped at the art studio and store in Stanwood. Carlile’s wife, Forrest, went inside, and Carlile spoke with the owner, the same friend with whom he had gone antique shopping that morning.

Carlile heard the gunshot, and another daughter, age 5, got out of the van, saying something about the boy, Jenna and the gun. Carlile ran to the van, opened the sliding door, and saw Jenna slumped over, still wearing her seatbelt. He tried to save her life, but she died at a hospital.

Carlile later refused to let detectives speak with his other children, and prosecutors used a special court proceeding to compel the testimony of the 5-year-old. She told them she and her older sister remained in their seats while the 3-year-old ran up and grabbed the gun, the documents state.

“She said she heard a boom and saw smoke coming from the victim,” Paul wrote.

Detectives did not interview the 3-year-old because of his age. The other child in the car was a 1-year-old.

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Lawsuit Filed After Nutcase Culpeper Virginia Police Officer Harmon-Wright Threatened, Shot, And Killed Unarmed Female Motorist Who Rolled Up Window

May 15, 2012

CULPEPER, VIRGINIA – The husband of Patricia Cook, 54, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Culpeper, Virginia police officer who shot her to death on February, 9, 2012.

Gary Cook is asking for $5 million in damages from Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright (a/k/a Daniel W. Sullivan).

Patricia Cook was shot multiple times in her Jeep Wrangler in a parking lot of a school annex on North East Street in the Town of Culpeper.

The lawsuit, filed on May 11, 2012 in Culpeper County Circuit Court, says Officer Harmon-Wright carried through on his threat to shoot Mrs. Cook if she did not stop rolling up her car window and do as he demanded. It says he shot her at close range and continued firing at her as she attempted to depart.

The lawsuit says “Defendant Harmon-Wright did not have his hand or arm trapped inside the car window of Mrs. Cook’s Jeep at any time during this incident.”

It also says the officer was not dragged by Mrs. Cook’s vehicle and that he suffered no injuries as a result of Mrs. Cook’s actions. It says she did not user her vehicle as a weapon and did not try to strike or injure the defendant.

The lawsuit says, “When Defendant Harmon-Wright attempted to bully and coerce Mrs. Cook into complying with his commands by raising his voice and threatening to shoot her, she was lawfully entitled to refuse to comply with his commands and was was lawfully entitled to depart unharmed and unhindered.”

Virginia State Police first said that the officer fired in self-defense because she had caught his arm in her window and was dragging him. But an eyewitness told WUSA 9 News that he clearly saw the officer’s left hand on the door handle and his right on on his gun. The witness said that the officer’s arm was not caught as he yelled at the woman to stop. The witness said he was stunned when he saw the officer shoot and continue shooting as Cook drove away.

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Former San Francisco California Transit Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, Who Still Claims He Didn’t Know The Difference Between His Taser Weapon And Pistol, Files Appeal To Overturn Manslaughter Conviction After Tiny Slap On The Wrist For Killing Unarmed Man

May 12, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Johannes Mehserle, a former San Francisco Bay Area transit police officer, is appealing his involuntary manslaughter conviction for the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant in Oakland.

The move has deeply angered Grant’s family, who say the appeal is an attempt for Mehserle to clear his name so that he can become a police officer again.

“I’m here to denounce his attempt to clear his record. He committed such gross negligence that he should not be allowed back on the streets to protect and serve again,” said Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson at a news conference Friday in Oakland.

The appeal to overturn the conviction was filed this week and argued during a court hearing on Wednesday, according to Michael Rains, Mehserle’s defense attorney. The appeal questioned some of the evidence and instructions that were given to the jury at Mehserle’s 2010 trial.

The three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco could make a decision on the appeal in 90 days.

Mehserle was accused of fatally shooting Grant on New Year’s Day 2009 on a platform of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station. Mehserle said at the trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun.

He was sentenced to two years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, but was released last year because of a California law that allowed him to reduce his sentence to nearly a year.

Grant’s family members said they were also angry that they were not informed about the court hearing.

“We’re angered. We are hurt,” said Cephus Johnson, Grant’s uncle. “We were denied our right to be at this hearing. We applied to be informed about any hearing that pertained to Johannes Mehserle. This proceeding is an example of shutting victims out of the process. The family is outraged.”

This case has been controversial in California’s Bay Area community for years. The 2009 shooting was captured on a bystander’s cellphone video camera. The video showed Mehserle pulling his gun and fatally shooting Grant in the back as another officer knelt on the unarmed man. The video was widely circulated on the Internet and on news broadcasts, and it spurred several protests in and around Oakland.

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US Gun Sales Jump Since Beginning Of Current Recession – Accounts For 98,750 Additional Jobs – $31 Billion In Sales Last Year

April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Gun sales are up 66 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession, providing an unexpected shot in the arm for the economy, according to a new study.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation claims that firearm sales hit $31 billion in 2011, up from $19 billion in 2008.

The increase in sales accounted for a 30 percent increase in jobs to 98,750 last year.

It also led to $2.5 billion in federal taxes in 2011, an 66 percent increase.

“Ours is an industry with a rich history and heritage that remains vital and important to the American economy today,” NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence G. Keane said in a statement. “To millions of Americans our industry’s products represent liberty, security and recreation.”

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3 Park County Colorado Deputy Sheriffs Suspended After Shooting Beer Keg At Party In Woods

April 12, 2012

PARK COUNTY, COLORADO – The Park County undersheriff says he has suspended two deputies after accusations they shot at a beer keg while breaking up an underage party in the woods.

A third deputy, a reserve, was going to be suspended on Friday, Undersheriff Monte Gore said.Two full-time deputies were suspended on Tuesday.

“I’m deeply disappointed,” Gore told 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn.

“Let me just say, as a husband and a father, I’ve got a 5 year old and an 8 year old, and I’m sure at sometime those kids are going to be at a party,” Gore said. “And if I had reports that a deputy discharged a firearm at that party, I would be furious. I would be steaming.”

“It was one, one two. It was consecutive. It wasn’t spread out,” said one student who didn’t want to be identified.

The investigation began after parents complained that deputies shot at a keg after catching the teens drinking last weekend in a remote area of the Pike National Forest.

One parent told 7NEWS more than one deputy fired shots in an effort to break a chain the teens had used to secure the keg to a tree or a fence.

“There was no reason to try and try to take down a keg with a gun. Chain cutters, wire cutters maybe,” said the student.

Gore said he’s doing an internal affairs investigation in possible misconduct by the deputies, and he has asked the Teller County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an independent investigation into potential criminal actions during the shooting incident.

“We don’t investigate our own people because that would be a conflict of interest,” Gore said. “We take this very seriously, and I can assure everyone we are going to do the right thing.”

Gore said the teens attend Woodland Park High School. Several of the partygoers were ticketed for being minors in possession of alcohol, he added.

“I mean we were just going to have fun. The cops had to take their job a little seriously. But in the end they got suspended. So an even situation I’d say,” said another student.

Parents of teenagers who attended the party told 7NEWS they thought the deputies’ actions were reckless.

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90 Shots Fired By Los Angeles California Police Officers At Unarmed Motorist

April 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Eight Los Angeles police officers fired more than 90 rounds at an unarmed 19-year-old man who had led them on a high speed freeway pursuit and called 911 to threaten them with a gun, authorities said.

The shooting played out on live television after Abdul Arian refused to pull over when police tried to stop him for erratic driving. He led police on a chase onto the 101 Freeway, where he stopped in dramatic fashion — turning his car and stopping across eastbound lanes.

He jumped out of the car and ran. Then he turned and appeared to run backwards. Police said he assumed a “shooting stance” and appeared to raise his arms and appear to point a weapon, prompting them to open fire.

No gun was found at the scene, but police released statements Arian made to a 911 dispatcher in which he claims he has a weapon and makes it clear that he’s not afraid to use it.

“I have a gun,” Arian said.

“I’ve been arrested before for possession of destructive devices; I’m not afraid of the cops.”

He also said: “If they pull their guns, I’m going to have to pull my gun out on them.”

According to a news release, the dispatcher pleaded with Arian to surrender peacefully, saying, “I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

Arian responded with expletives and a threat: “… these police, they’re going to get hurt.”

The department’s force investigation division kept the freeway closed all night as they collected evidence and conducted interviews. Department officials will review several factors related to the incident, including communication tactics and whether the large number of rounds fired endangered other freeway motorists.

No breakdowns were available about how many shots each officer fired.

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Sanford Florida Police Car Shot Up Overnight

April 10, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A Sanford police car parked near the Trayvon Martin shooting scene was found Tuesday morning with several bullet holes in it, according to authorities.

The cruiser was parked across the street from the Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex in the parking lot of Bentley Elementary School. Sanford police said the marked vehicle was shot around 4:30 a.m. by “unknown persons.”

Police said no one was inside the cruiser, but gunfire shattered a passenger window and at least two bullets pierced the front windshield. Witnesses said they heard six shots.

Police released pictures of the cop car Tuesday afternoon, showing the bullet holes in the windshield and passenger window, along with the left side fender of the car riddled with bullet holes.

Sanford police said the cruiser had been parked in front of the school as a visible deterrent because tour buses park during there day and night.

Police removed the cruiser from the scene, and no one was injured. An investigation is ongoing. The cruiser has been brought to the processing center at the police department.

Sgt. David Morgenstern said police don’t know if the shooting was in retaliation for not arresting Martin’s gunman, George Zimmerman.

“I don’t know what this is,” Morgenstern said when asked what the shooting was in response to. “It’s stupid and dangerous.”

Morgenstern said he couldn’t say if there were any cameras at the gates or outside of the school to capture who the shooter was. At this time, police don’t know who is responsible for the shooting.

Martin, 17, was shot and killed in late February by neighborhood watchman Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defense.

Zimmerman, 28, has not been charged with a crime in Martin’s death, a fact that has provoked demonstrations and calls that he be prosecuted for killing the teen.

On Monday, a group of students calling themselves the Dream Defenders marched to the Sanford police station. Six of the demonstrators wore hooded sweatshirts, as Martin did the night he was shot, as they blocked the department’s main entrance; others linked arms, sang and chanted as they stood facing the building.

The demonstration closed the Police Department headquarters, and City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. and Acting Police Chief Darren Scott met with leaders of the student group and community leaders.

Although details of the Feb. 26 incident remain murky, what is known is that Martin, who was African-American, ventured out from his father’s fiancee’s home in Sanford to get a snack at a nearby convenience store. As he walked home with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, he was shot and killed by Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, and who had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood.

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New Haven Connecticut Police Officer Lawrence Burns, Charles Kim, And Krzystof Ruszczyk Arrested After Firing Guns Outside Bar And Interfering With A Police Officer

April 6, 2012

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – Three police officers were arrested on charges of interfering with a police officer, and two of them were charged with unlawfully discharging their guns.

The arrests followed an investigation into a claim that one or more off-duty officers illegally fired guns early Sunday outside a bar. No injuries were reported.

Police said Friday that Officers Lawrence Burns and Charles Kim were charged with interfering with a police officer, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment, while Officer Krzystof Ruszczyk was charged with interfering with a police officer. They were placed on administrative leave and were ordered to surrender their weapons.

The interfering charge was because the officers left the scene after they were told by a responding officer to remain, police spokesman Officer David Hartman said. The officers were not firing their guns at anyone, he said.

Police say they voluntarily surrendered and are due in court April 20 for arraignment.

It was unclear if the officers had attorneys. A message was left with the police union.

Mayor John DeStefano called the officers’ behavior “unacceptable.”

“It is not representative of the hard work and commitment of the men and women of the police department,” he said. “The police department’s action is appropriate.”

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More Informaiton Emerges With Respect To Dead Druggie Trayvon Martin – Wannabe Gangster Asked Others On Twitter To Shoot Someone

March 29, 2012

FLORIDA – The Daily Caller has identified a second Twitter handle that was used by the late Trayvon Martin during the last weeks of 2011. Tweeting in December under the name “T33ZY TAUGHT M3,” Martin sent a message that read, “Plzz shoot da #mf dat lied 2 u!”

This tweet, retrieved via the social analytics website PeopleBrowsr.com, shows the late Trayvon Martin tweeting a message that read, “Plzz shoot da #mf dat lied 2 u!” He was using the handle “T33ZY TAUGHT M3” near the end of 2011. (PeopleBrowsr/Twitter)

It’s unclear who Martin intended the message for, or whether he intended it to be taken literally.

The photo Martin chose to represent himself on Twitter as “T33ZY TAUGHT M3″ depicts him in a black Polo cap, looking into the camera and extending his middle finger. The photo’s file name on Twitter’s server indicates that it was taken on the afternoon of June 17, 2010.

At least one website issued a retraction this week after mistakenly linking Martin to a middle-finger-salute image on a Facebook account corresponding to a Georgia teenager who shares Martin’s name. This image, however, was uploaded to Twitter by the teen himself.

On Tuesday TheDC published 152 pages of Martin’s Twitter activity that were retrieved using the social analytics product PeopleBrowsr.

Additional searches via the same website yielded the Twitter handle “T33ZY TAUGHT M3,” whose activity spanned just one month and ended shortly before Martin began tweeting as “NO_LIMIT_NIGGA.” His Twitter activity under that newer screen name began with the tweet: “NEW NAME, NEW BACKGROUND, NEW TWEETCON, I MAKE CHANGS B4 NEW YEARS!”

Although The Daily Caller has not confirmed with Martin’s family that the earlier Twitter handle belonged to the 17-year-old, there is significant evidence for the conclusion.

A basic Google search for “@T33ZY_TAUGHT_M3″ on Wednesday indicated that corresponds to a defunct Twitter account once used by someone named “Tray.” The same name, entered into the Google Images search engine, generated the photo of Martin flipping off the camera.

Upper-arm tattoos visible in that photo match those depicted in the Trayvon Martin’s MySpace page, which TheDC has also identified. That account includes numerous features, including photos of family members, indicating that it belonged to the slain teen.

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Self Defense: Chicago Illinois Charged 80 Year Old Man After He Shot Burglar Stealing Liquor In His Home

March 27, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Neighbors are calling on prosecutors to drop charges against an 80-year-old owner of a local tavern who allegedly shot a burglar in his Englewood home on the South Side.

“If a man can’t defend himself from harm, what can he do?” asked Darryl Smith, surrounded at a news conference by dozens of longtime Englewood residents and activists. “If he hadn’t defended himself, we would be here for a different reason — because an intruder came in and killed him.

“We’re outraged as a community and we’re calling for the state’s attorney’s office to drop the charges,” he added. “This man has done nothing wrong.”

Police say Homer Wright and his wife were sleeping when someone broke into their home in the 6400 block of South Morgan Street about 6:30 a.m. Monday. The intruder, identified by police as Anthony Robinson, broke through several boards and entered through a rear bathroom window attempting to steal some liquor.

Wright was awakened by his wife and grabbed a handgun and shot Robinson in the lower right leg, police said.

Robinson, 19, of the 6000 block of South Wood Street, was charged with felony burglary after he was treated at St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center and released.

Robinson, wearing a white-and-blue hospital gown and his left hand wrapped in a bandage, limped into bond court this afternoon, where Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered him held on $150,000 bond.

Wright was charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon after police discovered he had two prior weapons convictions from 1968 and 1994, officials said. Records show Wright also was convicted of theft in 1990. Wright turned his gun over to detectives.

Panarese ordered Wright released on his own recognizance.

On his South Side block, Wright is known as a hard-working neighbor who runs a bar that has become a neighborhood institution. Known as “Tank,” Wright has operated the bar next to his home for more than 40 years, neighbors said.

“He doesn’t fiddle around and he’s strictly business,” said Delmar Dunn, who operates a barber shop across the street from the bar. “He tries to keep order and he tolerates no foolishness. He’s not an aggressive man, so I’m surprised he shot. He must have been pretty afraid or concerned for his own safety.”

Anita Dominique, head of the block club in the neighborhood, said she has known Wright for more than 30 years. “He is a pillar of our community,” she said. “What does it say to me and other senior citizens that we will be arrested if we defend ourselves?”

Smith said police and prosecutors should have found a way to avoid charging Wright. “Just take the gun,” Smith said.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at an unrelated news conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to talk about Wright’s arrest. “I cannot comment on it in the middle of an investigation. It would be inappropriate,” he said.

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US Secret Service Pisses Away Tax Dollars Trying To ID Woman Who Said “Pretend Its Obama” While Candidate Was Firing Pistol At Target On Shooting Range

March 23, 2012

WEST MONROE, LOUISIANA – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Friday that he will support the eventual GOP nominee, if it isn’t him, despite what he insists are similarities between front-runner Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama that make them indistinguishable on some issues.

“I will support whoever wins the Republican primary to beat Barack Obama,” Santorum told supporters at a police gun range in northern Louisiana.

Poised to do well in Louisiana’s primary Saturday, Santorum sought to explain his comment Thursday in Texas that Romney and Obama are so similar on the issues that Republicans might just as well vote to give the president a second term instead of casting their ballots for Romney.

Santorum argues that he is the only Republican candidate who can offer voters a stark contrast with Obama.

After testing his marksmanship with a .45 caliber semiautomatic Colt pistol, Santorum told reporters: “If you don’t have a choice, then a lot of voters are going to vote for what they have. That’s why we have to have a choice.”

“I’ve said repeatedly and will continue to say, I’ll vote for whoever the Republican nominee is and I will work for him,” he added. “Barack Obama is a disaster, but we can’t have someone who agrees with him on some of the biggest issues of the day.”

While Santorum tamped down one fire, a supporter in the audience added an off-message wrinkle. As he fired the pistol, a woman in the crowd shouted: “Pretend it’s Obama.”

Santorum was wearing protective ear muffs. He said later that he didn’t hear the remark but denounced it as “absurd.”

“It’s a very terrible and horrible remark and I’m glad I didn’t hear it,” he said.

The Secret Service, which provides security for Santorum, was trying to identify the woman.

“Typically, in an incident like this, we attempt to identify the individual, speak to them and then figure out what the next steps are,” said spokesman Edwin Donovan. “People have a right to free speech but we have a right and an obligation to determine what their intent is.”

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16 Shot In Overnight Chicago Illinois Gunfire

March 17, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – One man was killed and 15 others wounded by gunfire across the city Friday night and Saturday morning, according to authorities.

A 42-year-old man died after getting shot in the head on the 5200 block of South Troy Street in Gage Park about 12:15 a.m. Saturday. He was a passenger in a car and after he was shot, the driver drove to 59th and Sacramento Avenue and called 911, police said.

He was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and pronounced dead at 1:02 a.m., a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Other circumstances surrounding that shooting weren’t immediately available.

Another shooting a couple hours later and a few blocks away prompted a car to flee police from near 51st Street and Maplewood Avenue in Gage Park, police said.

A 21-year-old man standing with a friend was shot there about 2:15 a.m., police said. Someone fired at the two from inside a passing black car and police noticed a car nearby that matched that description. The car fled when police started following, police said.

The car wrecked near 44th Street and Wasthenaw Avenue, prompting the Chicago Fire Department to summon six ambulances to the scene.

Four people inside were taken to area hospitals in serious-to-critical condition, according to a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, but police said a woman and two men were taken from the scene.

The man shot was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he’s in stable condition, police said.

The shooting appears gang-related, police said. Nobody has been been charged.

About 6:15 a.m. a man was shot in the back on the 4100 block of South Rockwell Avenue in Brighton Park, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said, citing early reports from responding officers. No other details were available.

A 35-year-old man was shot in the Chatham neighborhood about 5 a.m., police said. He was walking on the 7800 block of South Langley Avenue when someone in a light-colored car pulled alongside and opened fire, police said. He’s in critical condition at Stroger Hospital, police said. The shooters fled the scene.

Two women, 30 and 33, were shot in the legs on the 5700 block of South Lowe Avenue in the Englewood neighborhood about 2:45 a.m., according to police. They were taken to Stroger Hospital and are expected to be released after getting treated for their wounds, police said. Someone fired at them from down the street and fled on foot, police said.
A 20-year-old man was shot in the pelvis on the 6400 block of South Normal Boulevard in Englewood about 1:50 a.m., police said.A friend drove him to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center – about three blocks east – where he is in stable condition, police said.

Two men in their 20s were standing on the 7400 block of South Blackstone Avenue in the Grand Crossing neighborhood when someone emerged from an alley and opened fire, according to police. One, 22, was shot in the chest. The other, 21, was shot in the right leg, police said.

They arrived at Jackson Park Hospital about 1:30 a.m. and police think the shooting happened about 1:20 a.m. They “self-transported” to Jackson Park Hospital from the scene of the shooting, police said. The 21-year-old was transferred to Stroger Hospital, police said.

Police said the two both initially refused to give their names to responding officers and described the pair as “uncooperative.”

A 36-year-old man was shot on the 2100 block of West Fletcher Street in the Lakeview neighborhood about 11:20 p.m., police said. The man was shot in the face by someone inside a passing white pickup truck, according to police.

The victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in stable condition, police said.

A 19-year-old man was shot about 9:45 p.m. on the 6300 block of North Oakley Avenue in the West Rogers Park neighborhood, Greer said. Someone called the man over to his vehicle and opened fire as the victim approached, hitting him in the head, according to police. He’s in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital.

A 40-year-old woman was shot in the buttocks on the 1400 block of South Pulaski Road in the Lawndale neighborhood about 10:10 p.m., police said. She was driving south when a bullet came through the door of her vehicle, police said.

About 40 minutes before that, a 22-year-old man was shot in the chest on the 11800 block of South Sangamon Street in the West Pullman neighborhood. He was sitting on his porch with a friend when they heard gunfire, police said. The man’s relative drove him to Roseland Hospital, and he was transferred to Stroger Hospital, police said, where his condition is “stable.”

Two people were shot about 5:30 p.m. Friday on the 7700 block of South Essex Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood. A 17-year-old girl was shot in the hand and a 20-year-old woman suffered a graze wound to her nose. The circumstances surrounding the shooting weren’t available from police but one person is in custody. Both victims treated at South Shore Hospital, police said.

About 5 p.m., a 34-year-old man was standing in front of a store on the 5200 block of South Damen Avenue in the Back of the Yards neighborhood when someone shot him in the ankle. He went to Holy Cross Hospital without help from the Chicago Fire Department, police said.

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U.S. Marines Forced To Disarm Themselves On U.S. Military Base Prior To Secretary Of Defense’s Speach

March 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Marines waiting for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to speak at Camp Leatherneck were ordered by Sgt Maj. Brandon Hall to go out and leave their weapons outside the room. Panetta arrived in Afghanistan Wednesday for a two-day visit amidst heightened tensions after an American soldier was alleged to have killed 16 Afghan civilians.

It was an unusual request as it is not customary to disarm for a defense secretary visits.

The Marines did as they were told. There were about two dozen Afghan soldiers in attendance who were unarmed.

Hall was told to do so by Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus, who commands troops in Helmand province. Asked about the order to disarm, Hall told the New York Times’s Elisabeth Bumiller: “Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust.” The Times was told

Gurganus later told reporters the decision had nothing to do with this weekend’s shooting.

“This is not a big deal,” Gurganus said. But he then added that “you’ve got one of the most important people in the world in the room,” referring to Panetta.

Gurganus said reason to disarm was that the Afghan soldiers in attendance were unarmed and he did not want them treated differently than the Marines.

“There’s a new sheriff in town,” Gurganus, who is new to the post, responded when asked why he ordered them to leave their weapons outside the room when it was not what had been done previously.

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Defendant In Jefferson County Texas Criminal Trial Shot At Least Three People Outside Courthouse During Lunch Break – Killing Elderly Woman

March 14, 2012

JEFFERSON COUNTY, TEXAS – At least one person was killed and at least two others were injured in a shooting Wednesday at a Texas courthouse, a judge said.

The shooting occurred outside a courthouse in Jefferson County, Texas, Judge Larry Gist said.

Witnesses saw an elderly woman dead on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, said Kevin Steele, a reporter for CNN affiliate KBMT-TV.

“There was a defendant on trial. It was break time, lunchtime, and he apparently shot three people, maybe four,” Gist told CNN.

A witness in the case against the suspect was one of those shot, said Gist, who had left the courthouse for lunch and heard shots fired from a block away.

Police shot the suspect, and the courthouse was evacuated after the shooting, Gist said.

The suspect was in police custody Wednesday afternoon, Steele told CNN.

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Obama Re-Election Fears Drive Citizens To Buy Guns And Ammunition – Simiar To Spike In Sales After His 2008 Election

March 6, 2012

TEXAS – Gun sales are booming across Texas, and some buyers say their growing belief that President Barack Obama’s re-election is inevitable is fueling their race to bear more arms.

So brisk have sales been that the rush has created a nationwide shortage of firearms and ammunition, the Star-Telegram reports. Fort Worth gun shop owner DeWayne Irwin said the rush is similar to one seen shortly after the president’s 2008 election.

Alan Korwin, author of nine books on gun laws and operator of a gun laws website, tells the Star-Telegram that some are worried that Obama’s re-election would embolden a major gun control push.

Korwin said people worry that if Obama wins “he will go after firearms in a way we have never seen before.” He added the belief is fueled by perceived disarray in the field of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Orange County California Killed Marine Sergeant In School Parking Lot In Front Of His 2 Daughters

February 15, 2012

SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA – A veteran Orange County sheriff’s deputy feared for the safety of two young girls sitting in a parked car when he shot and killed a Marine sergeant in a dark parking lot near San Clemente High School, authorities said Friday.

Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. was shot early Tuesday as he started to get into the SUV where his two daughters — 9 and 14 — were sitting, authorities said. Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the department, said the deputy was fearful that Loggins — who he said appeared to be acting irrationally — was about to drive off with the girls.

“The deputy formed an opinion that he had a deep concern for the children, that he would not allow Mr. Loggins to drive away with the kids,” Amormino said. A former commanding officer said Loggins routinely went to the school with his daughters during the early-morning hours to walk the track and read the Bible.

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Pedophile Santa Maria California Police Officer Shot And Killed While On Duty And By Offiers In His Own Department

January 29, 2012

SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA – A police officer under investigation for sexual misconduct with a teenage minor was shot and killed while on duty by fellow officers Saturday as they tried to arrest him on California’s central coast, authorities said.

The officer was manning a DUI checkpoint when the shooting occurred shortly after 1 a.m. He was declared dead after emergency surgery at Marian Medical Center, Santa Maria police Chief Danny Macagni said in a statement.

The officer, a four-year Santa Maria department veteran, had just learned of the internal investigation of an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, and it became necessary to arrest him immediately, Macagni said.

“We had no choice,” Macagni said in video of an afternoon news conference posted by KCOY-TV. He said investigators had evidence “that demanded that we go out and take this officer off the street immediately.”

Supervising officers were sent to make a felony arrest, but he struggled with them when they arrived, first putting up a physical fight, then firing his gun but hitting no one, Macagni said.

“He chose to resist, he drew his weapon, a fight ensued, he fired his weapon,” the chief said.

Several officers came to help the police making the arrest, and one of them shot the suspected officer in the chest once, Macagni said.

Detectives had begun investigating the alleged relationship on Thursday night, and minutes before the shooting had confirmed that an “inappropriate” and “very explicit” relationship had been going on, Macagni said.

He said he could not give details because of the sensitivity of the investigation, but “there was some witness intimidation involved” and the arrest couldn’t wait for a more proper time or place.

“The information that we had in hand demanded that we not let him leave that scene, get in a car, drive somewhere, it would put the public at risk,” Macagni said at the news conference. “We just did not know what was going to happen, we did not expect him to react the way that he did.”

Macagni said police had expressed condolences to the officer’s family.

The officer who fired the fatal shot, an eight-year department veteran, has been placed on administrative leave, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the shooting, Macagni said.

The name of the officer killed has not been released because some family members were still being notified, and the name of the officer who fired the shot was withheld while the incident was under investigation, police said.

Santa Maria is a city of some 100,000 people about 60 miles northwest of Santa Barbara and 160 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

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On Duty New York City Police Officer Kills Himself While Talking To Girlfriend On Cellphone

January 20, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A police officer with the NYPD ended his life with a gun shot to the face late Thursday night, said an NYPD official.

The 28-year-old cop was reportedly on his cell phone with his girlfriend when he turned his gun on himself in Hollis Hills.

He was rushed to Long Island Jewish Hospital where he died at about 11 p.m.

His identity is being withheld pending family notification.

The officer was responding with his partner to a call about several vehicle break-ins when he committed suicide, the NY Daily News reported Friday.

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TSA Agents At Dallas/Fort Worth Texas Airport Allowed Handgun onto Airliner In Woman’s Carry-On Bag

January 18, 2012

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS – A plane left the gate at DFW Airport with a gun on board before transportation officials alerted the pilot about the problem, FOX 4 has learned.

Airport spokesman David Magana said a 65-year-old woman from Little Elm, Texas had a gun in her carry-on bag that got through the security checkpoint .

By the time the woman took her bag and walked away, a TSA agent scanning the D-30 checkpoint noticed the .38-caliber handgun.

Magana said the TSA shut down only the security checkpoint, not the entire terminal, and began searching the D concourse and other terminals for the woman.

At least 90 minutes elapsed before she was in custody, Magana said.

The plane, American Airlines flight 2385 to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, returned to the gate before it got on the runway.

It’s not clear if the gun in the luggage was loaded.

The woman, identified as Judith P. Kenny, told police she had forgotten the gun was in her bag. She was arrested on weapons charges and released a few hours later.

TSA spokesman Luis Casanova told FOX 4 that no review of procedures was needed and that standard operating procedures were followed. No harm came to anyone, he said.

But airport passengers were clearly concerned and puzzled.

“It is amazing for the liquids they remove and the scrutiny they put you through. For something as blatant as a pistol to get through is unacceptable,” one passenger said.

“You got toothpaste or anything they will stop you real quick, but a gun? They got to figure something out,” another passenger said.

The security breach comes on the same day that the Homeland Security Department acknowledged that some TSA agents went too far by strip-searching two elderly women in New York.

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Phillipsburg Pennsylvania Police Detective James P. Stettner II Charged After Shooting Grave In Cemetery At 2 AM

November 19, 2011

PHILLIPSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA – Off-duty Phillipsburg police Detective James P. Stettner II is charged with firing his personal gun early Monday in the United Presbyterian Cemetery in Alpha.

Stettner — son of Phillipsburg Town Councilman James P. Stettner — is accused of violating a borough ordinance prohibiting firing a weapon within 300 feet of a residence, according to police.

Pohatcong Township police Chief Paul Hager said four .40-caliber shell casings were found in the cemetery on Fifth Avenue and were around the grave-site of the late Jason Lee Frey, who was a Phillipsburg wrestling coach and teacher.

Frey, of Easton, died Dec. 26, 2003. The 24-year-old Phillipsburg Middle School math teacher and seventh-and-eighth-grade wrestling coach went into cardiac arrest and died on the way to Easton Hospital.

An autopsy failed to determine the cause of death. Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek today did not immediately return a call seeking comment on any new developments in his office’s investigation.

Frey’s father would not comment on the shots fired in the cemetery.

Hager said police made an attempt to retrieve the bullets from the grave site, but were unsuccessful.

“It was an unfortunate act,” Hager said, when asked about a motive. “There was no criminal intent.”

Hager added Stettner was in the area of Fifth Avenue in Alpha when police responded to reports from residents of the gunshots.

“He was not spoken to as a suspect at that point in time,” Hager said.

Hager said Stettner had a female passenger in a car.

The penalty for shooting a gun within 300 feet of a residence in Alpha includes forfeit of the gun. Additionally, the court may deny a person the right to apply for or obtain a gun license or hunting license for a period of time.

There are other penalties and fines for violating the Alpha ordinance that were not immediately clear tonight.

Calls for comment to Stettner, his father and Phillipsburg police Chief Ed Mirenda were not immediately returned.

Residents on Fifth Avenue say they were startled by the incident.

“Our windows were cracked and I was on the edge of falling asleep,” said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “All the sudden I heard four shots right in succession.”

The resident added that the area where the shooting occurred is quiet.

“It’s definitely strange to happen in this part of Alpha,” the resident said. “There are not too many gun incidents in the area, and I hope it doesn’t lead to more.”

Hager said he would have a police report ready Thursday documenting the incident at further length.

Phillipsburg police detective charged with firing gun near Alpha cemetery grave | lehighvalleylive.comOff-duty Phillipsburg police Detective James P. Stettner II is charged with firing his personal gun early Monday in the United Presbyterian Cemetery in Alpha.

Stettner — son of Phillipsburg Town Councilman James P. Stettner — is accused of violating a borough ordinance prohibiting firing a weapon within 300 feet of a residence, according to police.

Pohatcong Township police Chief Paul Hager said four .40-caliber shell casings were found in the cemetery on Fifth Avenue and were around the grave-site of the late Jason Lee Frey, who was a Phillipsburg wrestling coach and teacher.

Frey, of Easton, died Dec. 26, 2003. The 24-year-old Phillipsburg Middle School math teacher and seventh-and-eighth-grade wrestling coach went into cardiac arrest and died on the way to Easton Hospital.

An autopsy failed to determine the cause of death. Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek today did not immediately return a call seeking comment on any new developments in his office’s investigation.

Frey’s father would not comment on the shots fired in the cemetery.

Hager said police made an attempt to retrieve the bullets from the grave site, but were unsuccessful.

“It was an unfortunate act,” Hager said, when asked about a motive. “There was no criminal intent.”

Hager added Stettner was in the area of Fifth Avenue in Alpha when police responded to reports from residents of the gunshots.

“He was not spoken to as a suspect at that point in time,” Hager said.

Hager said Stettner had a female passenger in a car.

The penalty for shooting a gun within 300 feet of a residence in Alpha includes forfeit of the gun. Additionally, the court may deny a person the right to apply for or obtain a gun license or hunting license for a period of time.

There are other penalties and fines for violating the Alpha ordinance that were not immediately clear tonight.
Jason Lee FreyView full sizeExpress-Times File PhotoJason Lee Frey

Calls for comment to Stettner, his father and Phillipsburg police Chief Ed Mirenda were not immediately returned.

Residents on Fifth Avenue say they were startled by the incident.

“Our windows were cracked and I was on the edge of falling asleep,” said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “All the sudden I heard four shots right in succession.”

The resident added that the area where the shooting occurred is quiet.

“It’s definitely strange to happen in this part of Alpha,” the resident said. “There are not too many gun incidents in the area, and I hope it doesn’t lead to more.”

Hager said he would have a police report ready Thursday documenting the incident at further length.

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Not Guilty: Queens New York Prosecutors Targeted Battered Woman – Former Police Officer Husband Abused Her For Many Years

October 7, 2011

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – She had always admitted to killing her husband, using two guns to fire 11 bullets inside the couple’s home in Queens. But she insisted she had no choice: if she had not shot him, he would have surely killed her first.

On Thursday, a jury in State Supreme Court in Queens agreed, clearing the woman, Barbara Sheehan, of second-degree murder charges in a case that had been viewed as a strenuous test of a battered-woman defense. Her son and daughter, the children of her slain husband, wept with joy.

During the trial, the jury heard how Ms. Sheehan had been relentlessly abused by her husband, Raymond Sheehan, a former police sergeant, during their 24 years of marriage. But the critical question at trial was whether Ms. Sheehan was in imminent danger when she killed her husband; New York State’s self-defense law justifies the use of lethal force when a threat to a person’s life is deemed immediate.

The trial offered two narratives so diametrically opposed that jurors said it had often been difficult to decipher who the real Barbara Sheehan was.

In one version, Ms. Sheehan and her children testified that Mr. Sheehan smashed her head against a cinder-block wall during a family vacation in Jamaica in 2007, threw boiling pasta sauce at her and punched her in the face the evening before the killing took place in their Howard Beach home in February 2008.

But prosecutors characterized Ms. Sheehan as a pathological liar who executed her husband because she despised him after years of a sexless, dysfunctional marriage, and then cloaked herself in a false story of chronic abuse to escape justice.

The physical evidence appeared unpersuasive: Mr. Sheehan had been shaving before he was killed; his body was found on the bathroom floor, the faucet still running.

Ms. Sheehan testified that the couple had a fierce argument the day before, and she had decided to leave, carrying one of her husband’s guns for protection. When her husband saw her, she said, he reached for a gun on the bathroom vanity and aimed it at her.

Ms. Sheehan and her children burst into tears when the verdict was announced, and her lawyer, Michael G. Dowd, put his arms around her. Her supporters, adorned in purple in solidarity with victims of domestic violence, began cheering.

The killing had divided the Sheehan family. Mr. Sheehan’s twin brother sat alone on one side of the courtroom, while Ms. Sheehan’s children and various supporters sat on the other side. The case had also divided the jury: a day before the verdict was reached, the jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked.

Nonetheless, the jury of nine women and three men unexpectedly reached a consensus on Thursday, in their third day of deliberations. Ms. Sheehan was acquitted of murder and of a gun possession charge, but was found guilty of a second gun possession charge, which carries a sentence of 3 1/2 to 15 years. The judge ordered her to return to court on Wednesday, when she will be remanded into custody. Her sentencing will follow.

Outside the courtroom, Ms. Sheehan, a school secretary, could not contain her tears, clasping the hands of her children. Mr. Dowd said she would not be speaking and wanted to spend time with her family.

“There is no joy today,” he said. “The only thing that can bring joy to this family would be to bring them back 17 years before the first blow was struck.”

In an interview, the jury forewoman, Barbara Fleisher, said jurors ultimately decided to exonerate Ms. Sheehan of murder because the family’s accounts of chronic and vicious abuse had rung true. She said they had believed that Ms. Sheehan reasonably feared she faced an imminent threat of bodily harm when she shot her husband the first time.

“We believed she was justified with all the things she went through over the years,” she said. “We didn’t believe that Raymond Sheehan was the perfect family man or the photographs that were supposed to make him look like a pillar.”

She said that the jury had decided, however, to find Ms. Sheehan guilty of possessing the second weapon, since she had shot her husband even after he no longer posed a danger. The verdict, she indicated, was something of a compromise.

Ms. Sheehan’s son, Raymond Sheehan, said he was happy that his mother had been exonerated of murder, but added, “We don’t want her to go back to jail.”

Mr. Sheehan’s twin brother, Vincent Sheehan, said it was a “bad verdict.”

Asked if his brother would be able to rest in peace, he said: “I think the truth is what makes you rest in peace — not what 12 citizens say about it. But this is the system and you’ve got to live with it.”

“People make decisions based on emotion,” he added.

Ms. Fleisher said the jury’s impasse had been overcome once jurors agreed that they had several doubts about the prosecution’s case. In particular, she said the jury doubted the attempt to show that Mr. Sheehan’s bizarre sexual behavior, which included forcing his wife to watch while he masturbated dressed in an adult diaper, had been a motive for a murderous rage.

Legal experts said the verdict was a vindication for the so-called battered-woman defense. Under this strategy the battered woman chronicles her abuse in intimate and graphic detail with the aim of convincing the jury that she reasonably feared for her life based on her abuser’s past behavior.

“The case is a good marker of the willingness of jurors to realize that a history of abuse can inform a woman’s sense of the need to act in self-defense,” said Holly Maguigan, a law professor at New York University.

Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said the case was a cautionary tale that those claiming domestic abuse should not take the law into their own hands. “This is a terribly sad and tragic case,” Mr. Brown said. “A family has been torn apart. Their two children will have to pick up the pieces.”

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Detroit Michigan Police Officer Joseph Weekly Charged With Shooting And Killing 7 Year Old Girl During Botched Police Raid That Included Video Crew From A&E Reality Show “First 48”

October 4, 2011

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Detroit Police Officer Joseph Weekley has been arraigned on charges of involuntary manslaughter and careless and reckless discharge of a firearm in the death of Aiyana Stanley Jones. The 7-year-old girl was shot and killed during a police raid in May of 2010.

The shooting made national headlines because police were accompanied by a camera crew filming the A&E reality cop drama “First 48.”

Weekley is a 14-year veteran who had been a member of the department’s Special Response Team (SRT) since 2004. He reportedly told his sergeant moments after the shooting, “A woman inside grabbed my gun. It fired. The bullet hit a child.”

But the Stanley-Jones family lawyer Geoffrey Fieger told the Detroit Free Press he was shown a video immediately after the shooting that shows police as the aggressors. The video in question has not been found was reportedly not investigated by police.

“All I know is that the [missing] video is pretty dramatic,” he said. “You can see the gunman shooting into the house from the outside.”

The video that police have “is very different,” he said. “It doesn’t show a thing.”

Fieger is arguing the shot came from outside of the house and struck Aiyana while she was sleeping with her grandmother on a living room couch.

The Michigan State Police conducted a 10-month investigation into Aiyana’s killing, and in March submitted a warrant request to prosecutors.The Detroit police department has also been federally sanctioned twice in less than a decade for excessive force and inhumane conditions at the city’s county jail.

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Keystone Kops: San Francisco California Police Shoot, Miss Target, Hit Two Innocent Bystanders

September 17, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – According to KCBS and Bay City News Service, two bystanders were hit by gunfire after an officer-involved shooting in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood early this morning.

According to police, at 2:06 a.m., officers located a wanted person in the 400 block of Broadway. The suspect ran away from police and produced a weapon, they said.

Officers then fired at the suspect, who was not hit. However, two bystanders were hit by the gunfire. They were taken to a hospital to be treated for their injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, according to police.

The suspect, who was not wounded, was taken into custody. The suspect’s weapon was recovered, police said.

Police did not have information available about how many officers were involved in the shooting or how many rounds were fired.

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Livingston County New York Sheriff John York Lost Two Loaded Handguns From His Car While Shopping In Mall

September 12, 2011

HENRIETTA, NEW YORK – Police are investigating the theft of two loaded guns from a western New York sheriff’s vehicle while he shopped with his grandchildren at a suburban Rochester mall.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says John York, the sheriff in neighboring Livingston County, was at the Marketplace Mall in Henrietta Friday afternoon when someone smashed a window on his car and stole two .45-caliber handguns and other items.

York reported the incident when he left the mall and returned to his vehicle.

Monroe County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the thefts.

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New York City Police Officers Caught On Video Dirty Dancing With Scantily Clad Women When Shootings Took Place Along Parade Route

September 12, 2011

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – An online video shows some men who appear to be uniformed NYPD officers enjoying the festivities at the West Indian Day Parade. But some are criticizing what the men were doing, especially since some shootings took place during the parade.

The annual West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn, which took place September 5, 2011, is always colorful. It celebrates the culture of the Caribbean islands.

A video has surfaced on a website called worldstarhiphop.com shows what appear to be cops in uniform dirty dancing with scantily clad women who were part of the parade.

Someone at the parade took plenty of video of the officers having a good time. While these officers were having fun gunfire broke out along other portions of the parade route. At least two shootings took place along the route during the parade.

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Drunk Washington DC Police Officer Kenneth Furr Crashed Into Car, Opened Fire On Transsexuals

August 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – The D.C. police officer accused of drunkenly shooting at transgendered people has been punished at least twice before for alcohol-related incidents, records and sources said.

Charging documents released Monday described how Kenneth Furr crashed his Cadillac into another vehicle early Friday morning, stood on the hood of the victims’ vehicle and shouted, “I’m gonna kill all of you.”

There were five people in the other vehicle, police said. One person suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the arm and hand, and two others were hurt in the attack.

Police said Furr, a 20-year-veteran, blew a 0.15 on an alcohol breath-test machine after the shooting — nearly twice the legal limit for drivers in D.C.

He remains held on charges of DWI and assault with a deadly weapon. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, and he has been segregated from the other prisoners.

Furr’s attorney said he could not comment about the case or Officer Furr, who police say is on paid leave.

According to charging documents, Furr got into an argument with several transgendered people outside the CVS pharmacy at 400 Massachusetts Avenue at about 4:40 a.m. Friday. He pulled a gun on one of the victims, who then reported the incident to an off-duty D.C. police officer working security at the pharmacy, charging documents said.

The CVS officer determined that Furr was an “off-duty officer, and therefore no further action was necessary,” the charging document said.

The victims later saw Furr driving his Cadillac and followed him in their car, police said.

Furr got out of his vehicle, pointed the gun at the driver. The sequence of the events that followed is unclear is unclear. Patrol officers nearby said they heard the cars crash and then rapid gunfire. The victims said Furr fired first and then the cars struck.

Officers found Furr standing on the hood, pointing his off-duty service weapon at the windshield. Police recovered five shell casings that matched Furr’s weapon.

A spokeswoman said she could not comment about whether police are looking to see if Furr might be connected to the two early morning shootings of transgendered people in Northeast Washington earlier this summer.

It wasn’t the first time Furr has gotten into trouble.

He was arrested in 2004 for driving while intoxicated and operating while impaired, according to court records. He pleaded no contest and the charges were dropped after he completed a diversion program.

He was suspended for between 30 and 90 days in that case, according to city records.

On Christmas Day 1996, Furr and another officer were on duty when they got into a drunken argument with a mother and son. Police brass placed Furr on administrative leave and tried to fire him, but he was reinstated in 1998 after a change in police chiefs.

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Union Township Ohio Police Officer Shoots Dog, Hits Another Officer

August 23, 2011

UNION TOWNSHIP, OHIO – One police officer shot and killed a dog that was attacking another officer – and then the bullet hit the officer who was being attacked, but the officer’s boot stopped the bullet from penetrating his skin, said police Lt. Scott Gaviglia.

The officer, Joseph Pangello, suffered an “impact” injury where the bullet hit his ankle, Gaviglia said.

He expected Pangello to be released after undergoing treatment at University Hospital.

The incident happened around 7 p.m. Monday in this Clermont County community.

While police were serving a warrant at a home in the 1000 block of Old State Route 74, a dog – possibly a pit bull – started biting Pangello.

“The officer that was being attacked was unable to free himself,” a news release said, so the other officer fired once, hitting the dog.

But police say they believe the bullet traveled through the dog and struck Pangello.

The name of the officer who fired his weapon was not released.

Under department policy, any officer who fires his gun is placed on a paid, three-day leave, Gaviglia said.

The incident remained under investigation.

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New York City Police Officer Michael Pena Arrested, Charged After Armed Rape Of Teacher He Grabbed Off A Residential Street

August 20, 2011

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A drunken off-duty police officer grabbed a teacher off a
residential street, showed her a gun and forced her to a deserted
backyard where he raped her, authorities said.

“You’re coming with me,” he told the woman, after opening his jacket to display his weapon, police said.

Officer
Michael Pena was arrested Friday by responding officers after a witness
who lives in the upper Manhattan building saw through her window that
something was happening in the backyard and called 911, police said.

Pena
is an officer in the New York Police Department’s 33rd Precinct in
Washington Heights, south of the Inwood neighborhood, where he’s accused
of raping the woman. He was arrested on charges of forcible rape and
was behind held pending an arraignment.

Pena
was suspended without pay, chief police spokesman Paul Browne said. He
couldn’t be reached for comment because he was being held by police, and
it was unclear if he had an attorney. A call to a telephone number
believed to be his home rang unanswered.

Earlier
this summer, two NYPD officers were acquitted of charges they raped a
drunken woman they had been summoned to help get out of a cab. The
officers were convicted of official misconduct for repeatedly returning
to the woman’s apartment while telling dispatchers they were elsewhere.

The
police department fired the two officers within hours of the May
verdict, which ignited criticism from women’s rights activists and some
city councilwomen who said it spotlighted what they considered unfair
attitudes toward women who bring sexual assault complaints.

Pena
approached the teacher shortly before 6:30 a.m. Friday as she walked to
work, asking her for directions to the No. 1 train, Browne said. She
could tell he was drunk, and he grabbed her, showing her his gun.

Pena
walked the 25-year-old woman several blocks before stopping at the
backyard, police said. The woman told police she knew he was armed
didn’t know he was an officer.

A passer-by walked through the backyard but, perhaps not realizing the woman was being raped, left without helping, police said.

Responding
officers from the 34th Precinct arrived about a minute later. Pena and
the woman were standing, and the woman ran to the officers, warning them
Pena had a gun, Browne said.

The officers
took Pena to the ground and realized he was a colleague when they
checked for identification and came up with his police ID and shield,
Browne said. A loaded handgun was found at the scene. Emergency services
responded and took the woman to a hospital.

Pena,
27, has been on the police force since 2008, assigned to the 33rd
Precinct since January. He wasn’t working Thursday evening and wasn’t
expected back to work until late Friday for the midnight shift. It’s
unclear whether he was carrying his service weapon or his off-duty
weapon, police said.


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Prince George’s County Maryland Deputy Sheriff Jennifer Nicole Douglas Arrested After Pulling Her Gun During Argument

August 15, 2011

OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND – A Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputy was
arrested by Ocean City Police for an assault involving a handgun.

According
to police, 26-year-old Jennifer Nicole Douglas, of Fort Washington,
Md., became involved in physical confrontation with another female
during an argument over keys to a vehicle. Douglas allegedly produced a
star-shaped badge and pointed a handgun at the female.

Douglas
left the scene in a vehicle and was later arrested by Ocean City Police.
Authorities recovered a .40 caliber Glock handgun.

Douglas has
been charged with first-degree felony assault, second-degree misdemeanor
assault and reckless endangerment. She was held on $150,000 bond.

Appeared Here

OCEAN CITY, Md. – A Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested by Ocean City Police for an assault involving a handgun.

According to police, 26-year-old Jennifer Nicole Douglas, of Fort Washington, Md., became involved in physical confrontation with another female during an argument over keys to a vehicle. Douglas allegedly produced a star-shaped badge and pointed a handgun at the female.

Douglas left the scene in a vehicle and was later arrested by Ocean City Police. Authorities recovered a .40 caliber Glock handgun.

Douglas has been charged with first-degree felony assault, second-degree misdemeanor assault and reckless endangerment. She was held on $150,000 bond.


Crazed Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Harass, Threaten To Shoot, And Falsely Charge Man Legally Carrying A Gun

May 17, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A story in today’s Philadelphia Daily News shows why it’s so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops – it can be citizens’ only way to fight back against police abuse of power.

This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.

But he didn’t count on attacks by police:

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: “Yo, Junior, what are you doing?”

Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing – openly carrying a gun on the city’s streets – was against the law.

“Do you know you can’t openly carry here in Philadelphia?” Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.

“Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms,” Fiorino said. “It’s Directive 137. It’s your own internal directive.”

Fiorino was right. It was perfectly legal to carry the gun. But that didn’t matter to the cop:

Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver’s and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.

“Excuse me?” Fiorino said.

“Get down on your knees. Just obey what I’m saying,” Dougherty said.

“Sir,” Fiorino replied, “I’m more than happy to stand here -“

“If you make a move, I’m going to f—— shoot you,” Dougherty snapped. “I’m telling you right now, you make a move, and you’re going down!”

“Is this necessary?” Fiorino said.

It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty’s calls for backup.

Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.

“You f—— come here looking for f—— problems? Where do you live?” yelled one officer.

“I’m sorry, gentlemen,” Fiorino said. “If I’m under arrest, I have nothing left to say.”

“F—— a——, shut the f— up!” the cop hollered.

The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.

Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.

When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.

But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:

A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney’s Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police… He’s scheduled for trial in July.

If one listens to the audiotapes, it’s hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct.

Appeared Here


San Ramon California Police Officer Louis Lombardi Arrested On Theft And Other Charges Amid Investigation Into Drug Task Force

May 9, 2011

MARTINEZ, CALIFORNIA – A San Ramon police officer was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with an ongoing investigation into a Northern California drug task force, authorities said.

Officer Louis Lombardi was arrested when he reported for duty, San Ramon police Chief Scott Holder said.

Lombardi, 38, was being held on suspicion of being an accessory to aiding and abetting, conspiracy, grand theft, possession of stolen property and possession of an illegal assault rifle.

Lombardi became the target of an investigation after Norman Wielsch, the former commander of the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, and private investigator Christopher Butler, were arrested in February on suspicion of stealing and selling drug evidence, Holder said.

Lombardi was being held in County Jail in lieu of $760,000 bail. It was not known if he had retained an attorney.

The arrest of Lombardi comes after a newspaper reported that a private investigator told authorities he hired women to drink with men involved in divorce cases who were later arrested for drunken driving.

Christopher Butler told authorities in Contra Costa County in March that in 2008 female clients hired him to get evidence of infidelity by their estranged husbands, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The newspaper said it obtained a partial transcript of Butler’s statements from one woman’s ex-husband, who got it from a Contra Costa County prosecutor.

“It all
centered around the introduction of the decoy to the subject,” Butler, 49, told detectives, according to the transcript. “It had to be what I referred to as seamless. … No one just plowed into a bar, called the guy and said, hey meet me at this bar and let’s go drinking.”

Prosecutors believe Butler’s actions led to the arrests of at least five men.

Butler told police he enlisted decoys through online dating sites and random public encounters but never promised clients the night would end with a DUI arrest.

Butler’s attorney, William Gagen, told the newspaper the tactic described in the transcript may be unseemly but it’s not criminal. Gagen didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment from The Associated Press.

Butler has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bribed a sheriff’s deputy to arrange a November drunken-driving arrest in Danville.

He also has pleaded not guilty to separate charges alleging he sold drugs that were stolen from evidence lockers then given to him by the former head of a state-run drug task force.

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Gunman Grounds Los Angeles California Police Helicopter

April 24, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — A Los Angeles Police Department helicopter had to make an emergency landing Sunday morning after a gunman opened fire on the chopper, authorities said.

The helicopter landed safely and the pilot and observer on board were not injured, said police Detective Gus Villanueva.

The incident occurred in the Van Nuys area, when police got a call at around 6 a.m. local time (9 a.m . ET) of shots being fired, police said. The helicopter was responding as backup to a patrol car dispatched to the scene.

The helicopter was at the Van Nuys airport after the incident, and was to be put on a flat-bed truck to be towed downtown for investigation and repair, authorities said.

The apparent shooter eventually was subdued by his family members, Villanueva said. A semi-automatic rifle was recovered, he said.

Police got multiple calls that a second gunman was involved, and a search was conducted Sunday afternoon, Villanueva said. That search was called off later, Villanueva said.

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Brainless FBI Agent Left Handgun In El Paso Texas Airport Bathroom – Beyond Security Checkpoints

April 15, 2011

EL PASO, TEXAS – A passenger using a public restroom at El Paso, Texas, International Airport found a bit of a surprise: a gun left behind by a federal agent.

The firearm was found Tuesday morning past the security checkpoints, said Terry Sharpe, the airport’s operations manager.

“It was found in the sterile area,” he said. “The investigation is still in place and is ongoing with the airport and the TSA.”

Sharpe said the weapon was discovered in a women’s restroom by a flight passenger, who notified authorities.

“At that point, law enforcement took over,” he said.

Sharpe did not disclose further details on the agent who left the gun behind, citing the current investigation.

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Former Los Angeles County California Deputy Sheriff Reymundo Lainez Arrested, Charged With Breaking Into Ex-Girlfriend’s Home, Beating Her Boyfriend, And Threatening Him With A Gun

April 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on charges that he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and threatened her boyfriend with a gun.

Prosecutors say 42-year-old Reymundo Lainez of Pasadena was arrested Thursday morning at his home.

He was held on $50,000 bail. It’s not immediately known whether he has a lawyer.

Prosecutors say Lainez was off duty last April when he broke into his former girlfriend’s Pasadena home, pointed a gun at her boyfriend, threatened the man and punched him.

Lainez has been charged with burglary, assault with a firearm, battery and making a criminal threat.

He faces more than 16 years in prison if convicted.

Appeared Here


Crazed Elberta Alabama Police Chief Mickey L. Pledger Arrested For Firing His Gun Into His Office, Lying, And Bogus Evidence

March 5, 2011

ELBERTA, ALABAMA – Chief Mickey L. Pledger of the Elberta Police Department has been arrested on charges of firing a gun into an occupied building, filing a false police report and tampering with evidence, Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack announced in a media statement this evening.

The arrest came following the investigation of an incident that took place last month.

According to the sheriff’s office news release: Pledger agreed to take a polygraph test but failed it. During a subsequent interview with Pledger he admitted that on Feb. 13 he fired his backup .38 caliber weapon into his office window while an Elberta Police Officer was inside the building. Pledger then admitted that he fired his duty .40 caliber Sig Sauer weapon into the ground and told responding law enforcement officers that he pursued and returned fire at the perpetrator.

Three days after the incident, according to the release, Pledger called investigators with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and advise them the he had located a bullet casing across the street from the police station that he believed was the casing of the shot fired in his direction. But Pledger later admitted that he planted the shell casing in order to bolster his previous story, the release states.

Pledger, 56, was transported to the Baldwin County Correction Center. He is being held on $12,000 bail.

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Dumbass Pennsylvania State Trooper Nicholas Petrosky Leaves His Gun Within Reach Of His 4 Year Old Son, Who Shoots Himself

October 19, 2010

DONORA, PENNSYLVANIA – Channel 11 News learned Friday that the 4-year-old son of a Belle Vernon Pennsylvania State Trooper accidentally shot himself in the leg with his father’s gun Thursday night.

According to Donora police, Trooper Nicholas Petrosky was drying his son after a shower when the little boy grabbed his father’s gun, which had been placed on the bathroom counter.

Police said it was the trooper’s personal gun, not his state-issued weapon, that went off.

The child, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken to Children’s Hospital for treatment. The family put a block on information from the hospital and the child’s condition was not immediately known.

“Micah, his name is Micah. We see him all the time,” said neighbor Paul Brown.

Brown said he didn’t hear the gunshot but saw the commotion afterward.

The boy’s injured do not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

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Senior Atlanta Federal Judge Jack T. Camp Arrested On Drug And Gun Charges After Sex And Drugs With A Whore

October 4, 2010

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – A federal judge faces drug and firearms charges after an exotic dancer at an Atlanta strip club told authorities the judge used cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs with her.

Attorneys for Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp’s said after a hearing Monday that the 67-year-old intends to plead not guilty. He was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond.

Authorities say in an affidavit Camp paid a dancer at Goldrush Showbar to have sex with her in early 2010. The informant also told authorities the two used drugs together on several occasions.

FBI agents who arrested the judge Friday said they found two illegal firearms in his car along with a bag containing blue pills and a white powdered substance.

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Names Of UK’s Killer Cops Hidden From The Public

September 26, 2010

UK – The identities of just two police officers involved in 33 fatal shootings have been made public in the last 15 years, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed.

Since 1995 a total of 55 officers have opened fire on and killed members of the public, but in only two cases have their names been revealed.

The figures can be revealed as the inquest into the death of 32-year-old barrister Mark Saunders continues – and the policemen who shot him dead in May 2008 are allowed to remain anonymous while giving evidence.

The trend was criticised last night by Tory MP and security expert Patrick Mercer who said that officers should be identified in cases where they drew weapons.

And a barrister who represents bereaved families at inquests said the odds were stacked in favour of the police.

Divorce lawyer Mr Saunders, who was drunk, was gunned down by marksmen in a hail of bullets after he opened fire with a shotgun on his neighbours’ homes from a window of his £2.2 million Chelsea mansion.

Giving evidence at the inquest on Friday, one member of the firearms team said he did not shoot at Mr Saunders because he ‘could not justify it’.

It is up to coroners to decide whether to grant anonymity to police officers and there is nothing explicit in the law to help them reach a decision. The coroners’ ‘bible’ – Jervis On Coroners, first published in 1829 – says ‘any departure from open justice must be a stringently regulated exception.’

It says neither a ‘wholly irrational’ fear of possible reprisal against a police officer, nor a ‘vague and unspecified threat’ is enough to justify the granting of anonymity. And when a police witness is allowed to hide his or her identity, ‘this does not lessen the court’s task but instead increases the need for vigilance,’ says Jervis.

But the laxity of the system has come under growing criticism and last night barrister Stephen Simblet, who specialises in representing bereaved families at inquests, called for new rules to be drawn up.
The victims…but will we ever know who killed them?

He said: ‘At the moment the odds are stacked in favour of the police. It is likely that not only the individual officers will be represented by lawyers at the hearing, but also their force and sometimes the local police authority.

‘There is a tendency for coroners to be outweighed by the sheer number of lawyers making the application for anonymity. All these legal representatives will have been paid for by the taxpayer.

‘It seems to me that public money is being invested in trying to cover things up rather than get to the truth. Police firearms officers are given the extremely rare privilege and responsibility of being allowed to carry a gun on the basis that they are trained, controlled and properly briefed.
Mark Saunders

Divorce lawyer Mark Saunders was gunned down by marksmen in a hail of bullets

‘If we don’t know who they are, how do we know, for example, that a particular officer may not be suffering from psychiatric problems or taking drugs? I would like to see stricter, case-specific reasons (for granting anonymity) based on actual, real and substantiated concerns rather than a feeling that they might be some form of unidentified risk to an officer’s safety.’

Mr Mercer said: ‘Every police officer wears an identification number on their uniform. The reason for that is that they are easily identifiable to members of the public. If that is the case in normal circumstances, I do not see why officers should not be identified in cases where they draw their weapons.’

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said its policy was not to name officers involved in fatal shootings unless they were charged with a criminal offence.

And a Police Federation spokesman said: ‘Firearms officers are often involved in sensitive covert and overt operations. Revealing their identity could threaten their safety and the safety of those around them when deployed on such operations.’

Inquiries by this newspaper revealed that since 1995 there have been only two fatal shooting cases in which police marksmen have been named.

One involved Andrew Kernan, a schizophrenic shot dead near his home in Liverpool, in July, 2001. At a coroner’s court, PC Michael Moore said he decided to shoot Kernan with a high-powered rifle when the 37-year-old refused to drop a 3ft-long Samurai sword.

At the inquest – where no order was made to keep secret the firearms officers’ names – PC Moore described how he and fellow police officer Glen Mitchell had hoped to restrain Kernan with a CS spray, but failed to do so.

A four-year investigation by the IPCC cleared the Merseyside firearms officers from blame and said they had acted ‘bravely’ under the circumstances.

In the other case, PC Chris Sherwood was acquitted of murder and manslaughter after the death of James Ashley, 39, who was shot in front of his girlfriend while he was naked and unarmed.

Sussex Police admitted negligence after the killing at St Leonards in West Sussex, and Paul Whitehouse, the chief constable, resigned. PC Sherwood said he had opened fire in self-defence.

But in 31 other fatal shootings, the identities of police marksmen have been kept secret.

They include that of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who on July 22, 2005, was shot dead by unnamed Metropolitan Police officers on board a tube train at Stockwell in South London in the belief he was a suicide bomber. Mr de Menezes was shot in the head seven times.

Following an investigation by the IPCC, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that no charges would be brought against any officers in connection with his death.

Other infamous cases include that of Diarmuid O’Neill, 27, an unarmed IRA suspect, who died in a hail of bullets when police raided his home in Hammersmith, West London. No officers were named and no charges were laid against police.

And in September 1999, decorator Harry Stanley, 46, was shot dead as he walked home carrying a table leg in a plastic bag, which police officers mistook for a gun.

Two officers were arrested after a second inquest recorded a verdict of unlawful killing but the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was insufficient evidence for the marksmen to be charged. They were never named.

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Prince George’s County Maryland Police Beat Up Crime Victims And Kill Their Dog

September 24, 2010

LANDOVER, MARYLAND – Family members claim they called police for help Wednesday morning, but when officers arrived, they were treated like criminals and an officer shot and killed their family dog. It all unfolded in the 1100 block of Fiji Lane in Landover.

Four-year-old Mercedes, a Rottweiler mix, is the latest dog shot and killed by police in Prince George’s County.

Dog owner Sterling Barlow said about Mercedes, “Cold blood… Shot in the head for no reason.”

The problem started when owner Sterling Barlow’s brother pulled into the family driveway after work early Wednesday morning. The family claims two men immediately approached, armed with a gun and demanding his car. The brother managed to fight them off, ran into the house and came back out firing his gun.

“If somebody did that to your family you will retaliate the best way you know how,” said Barlow.

After a shootout with the alleged robbers, the two brothers called police. When police arrived, Barlow says things got out of hand with the officers and his innocent dog paid the tragic price.

Barlow said, “One grabs me in the head lock and starts punching me in the face.”

Mother Dwana Barlow said, “The police officer wouldn’t even let me go to the bathroom… and held me hostage in my own house.”

While being wrestled to the ground by five different cops, Barlow and witnesses in the neighborhood tell us a female Prince George’s County officer shot the dog in the head.

Barlow stated, “While this was going on I said ‘please, don’t point a gun at my dog.’ I begged her. She didn’t need to be involved in this. She was in the yard.”

But Barlow was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including insulting an officer. Police say the officer acted appropriately when shooting the dog.

Neighbor Barbara Wells said, “The dog did not attack anyone. He never approached anyone. Even as the officers grabbed Sterling the dog didn’t do anything.”

Police spent hours Wednesday searching for the full police report. Around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, police called ABC 7 News on the phone and confirmed that an officer did shoot and kill the dog out of self defense. There will be a police investigation but that officer will not be placed on administrative leave.

The alleged robbers have not been found.

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Moron Lewiston County Idaho Deputy Sheriff Shoots Himself In Hotel Room Mirror

September 23, 2010

LEWISTON, IDAHO – There were some anxious moments late Monday afternoon, as police responded to a frantic call from a desk clerk of shots fired at the Inn America on 21st Street.

It turns out, it was an errant shot from a weapon fired by a Bonner County deputy who’s in town for firearms training.

Lewiston Police Captain Roger Lanier said the deputy was in his room practicing what are called dry firearm drills, but had not made sure the gun was unloaded.

The .40 caliber Glock Model 22 semi-automatic went off. The bullet went through a mirror, the wall and lodged in the wall of an adjacent room.

Fortunately the person in that room was in the shower, did not even hear the shot and was not injured. He did notice some drywall dust when he came out of the shower.

Lanier said no one else was in the deputy’s room. He said Lewiston Police conducted an investigation and determined the accident was not reckless discharge of a firearm, which is a crime.

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office is doing its own internal review.

Lanier said officers from around the state are in town all week for the training at the LPD training center put on by the Idaho Peace Officers Standard Training (POST).

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Dallas Texas Police Chief David Brown’s Son And A Cop Killed In Shootout With Police

September 18, 2010

DALLAS, TEXAS – A man suspected of killing a police officer and another person Sunday night at a suburban Dallas, Texas, apartment complex was the son of the Dallas police chief, authorities said Monday.

David Brown Jr., the son of Dallas Police Chief David Brown, was also killed during an exchange of gunfire with responding officers, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez said.

Lancaster, Texas, Police Chief Keith Humphrey said David Brown Jr. was a resident of the apartment complex. Humphrey also identified the slain police officer as Officer Craig Shaw, who local media said was a five-year veteran of the Lancaster force and the father of two children.

Authorities at an afternoon press conference Monday wore black bands around their shields to mark the death of their fellow officer.

The incident began when officers responded to a call of a shooting at the complex Sunday.

“According to our investigation, Lancaster officers were called out to a scene and shots were exchanged where two people were killed including Officer Shaw and the suspect,” Valdez told reporters Monday. “It appears the shooter is going to be David O’Neill Brown Jr.”

“Another male victim was also discovered dead at the scene, apparently from a shooting that had occurred earlier,” Valdez said, adding the younger Brown is also a suspect in that victim’s death.

Kim Leach, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, identified the victim as Jeremy Jontae McMillian. McMillian’s role in the incident is unknown, Leach told CNN.

Several weapons were found at the scene of the shooting, including a high-powered rifle, Leach said.

Charles Cato, the Dallas Police Department’s first assistant chief, said, “Chief Brown asks that the Dallas community keep his family in their prayers this evening — and in the days to come — as his family tries to comprehend the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

Humphrey later added, “Of course, he’s devastated. But Chief Brown also wanted to make that sure our officers were OK, and especially the family of Officer Shaw.”

Pat Miles lives at the River Bend Apartments, where the shootings happened. “I just heard lots of quick shots, you know, like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” she told CNN affiliate WFAA. “That’s all I heard. I jumped down on the floor.”

Resident Tiffany James said it may have been a case of mistaken identity. “I heard the officer say, ‘Ooh. I shot the wrong person,’ and he busted out crying. Another officer grabbed him and hugged him,” James told WFAA.

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Los Angles California Police Chief Charlie Beck Heckled And Booed While Trying To Explain Officer’s Third Shooting

September 9, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Los Angeles, California, police chief Charlie Beck was booed during a community meeting as protests over an officer-involved fatal shooting continued for the third night on Wednesday.

Beck, along with local lawmakers and community leaders, attended a meeting at a Los Angeles school Wednesday to talk about the shooting that has spurred violent protests.

Beck was greeted with boos and whistles and chants of “justice” as he tried to address the crowd.

“I hope we came to have a discussion,” Beck told the crowd. “Please let’s respect each other. Let’s hear each other speak.”

Beck promised the boisterous crowd “a fair and impartial investigation” into the shooting.

After the meeting, police mobilized on the streets to monitor the protests. On Tuesday, protesters amassed near downtown throwing eggs, fruit and other items at police.

About 200 officers worked to bring the incident under control, said Los Angeles police spokesman Cory Palka.

Police shot bean bag and foam projectiles to disperse the crowd, Palka said. Protesters also threw televisions and parts from air conditioners, according to officials.

“They threw anything they could find,” Palka said.

The protesters also set fires and, at one point, as many as seven fires raged in the area.

The protests were triggered by the weekend shooting of Manuel Jamines, CNN affiliate KTLA reported.

Jamines, 37, was killed Sunday by police after allegedly threatening someone with a knife, according to the affiliate.

Jamines was a Guatemalan laborer, a husband and a father of three, the affiliate reported.

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Nassau County New York Police Arrest Man Who Defended His Home And Family From Dozens Of Gang Members

September 7, 2010

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — He was arrested for protecting his property and family.

But it’s how the Long Island man did it that police say crossed the line.

He got an AK-47 assault rifle, pulled the trigger and he ended up in jail, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

George Grier said he had to use his rifle on Sunday night to stop what he thought was going to be an invasion of his Uniondale home by a gang he thought might have been the vicious “MS-13.” He said the whole deal happened as he was about to drive his cousin home.

“I went around and went into the house, ran upstairs and told my wife to call the police. I get the gun and I go outside and I come into the doorway and now, by this time, they are in the driveway, back here near the house. I tell them, you know, ‘Can you please leave?’ Grier said.

Grier said the five men dared him to use the gun; and that their shouts brought another larger group of gang members in front of his house.

“He starts threatening my family, my life. ‘Oh you’re dead. I’m gonna kill your family and your babies. You’re dead.’ So when he says that, 20 others guys come rushing around the corner. And so I fired four warning shots into the grass,” Grier said.

Grier was later arrested. John Lewis is Grier’s attorney.

“What he’s initially charged with – A D felony reckless endangerment — requires a depraved indifference to human life, creating a risk that someone’s going to die. Shooting into a lawn doesn’t create a risk of anybody dying,” Lewis said.

Grier said he knew Nassau County Police employ the hi-tech “ShotSpotter” technology in his area and that the shooting would bring police in minutes. Cops told Guzman he was very cooperative.

Grier also said he was afraid the gang outside his house was the dreaded MS-13. And Nassau County Police Lt. Andrew Mulraine, head of the gang unit, said MS-13 has 2,000 members in the county.

“They’re probably the most organized. They almost have a military hierarchy within the gang, so they are the most organized gang we encounter on a daily basis,” Mulraine said.

You may think a person has the right to defend their home. But the law says you can only use physical force to deter physical force. Grier said he never saw anyone pull out a gun, so a court would have to decide on firing the gun.

Police determined Grier had the gun legally. He has no criminal record. And so he was not charged for the weapon.

That ShotSpotter technology pinpoints where a gun has been fired within 35 feet. Police said it also detected two other shootings in nearby Roosevelt that night.

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Omaha Nebraska Police Officer Brian Miller Tried To Kill Shoplifter At Mall

August 29, 2010

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – An Omaha, Neb., police officer opens fire trying to stop a shoplifting at a mall, hitting one of the suspects as she drove away.

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Dumbass Drunk Off-Duty Dallas Texas Police Officer Kelly Beemer Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Firing Gun In Another Officer’s Squad Car

June 18, 2010

DALLAS, TEXAS – A Dallas police officer is on administrative leave after authorities said she fired off her gun while off-duty in a squad car with at least one on-duty officer.

The call came in at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, which was when police rushed to the scene at Abrams Road and Gaston Avenue and found three officers at the scene.

Police said the incident happened after Kelly Beemer, an off-duty officer who police said had a few drinks, had gotten into a squad car of an on-duty police officer. Beemer allegedly pulled out her service weapon from her holster and fired the gun into the floorboard. Sources said she was belligerent at the time. Part of the incident was captured on audio tape from a dash cam camera.

“You need to stop this [expletive] now,” Beemer can be heard saying on the tape before a gun fires.

“Oh [expletive], Kelly please drop the gun,” an officer in the car said. “Kelly, drop the gun.”

Prior to the incident, video from the dash cam showed two officers holding a stumbling Beemer up by her arms as they walked her towards the squad car. Throughout the drive, authorities said Beemer cried and acted belligerent, believing she was under arrest.

Sources said the on-duty officer driving the squad car was originally called to the bar where Beemer and other officers had been drinking. Prior to being picked up, Beemer was allegedly offered rides from other officers at the bar, and at one point ran and hid from officers, sources said.

Commanders were called to the scene, but did not arrest Beemer at the time, saying she was too drunk to be interviewed. It wasn’t until they viewed the tape that they decided to arrest and charge Beemer.

“We are disappointed in her behavior there,” said First Asst. Chief Charles Cato, Dallas Police Department. “I know I receive calls from friends, relatives who had a little too much to drink and needed a ride home, and all the people I’ve dealt with in that situation were just grateful that someone was willing to come out and pick them up. And so, in Officer Beemer’s conduct, that was certainly a discredit to herself and to the people that were trying to help her. She put them in a really bad situation.”

No officers were injured in the incident.

Beemer was arrested Thursday and charged with firing a weapon inside the city limits. If convicted, Beemer will lose her peace officer’s license. Meanwhile, she has been stripped of her weapon and badge until the investigation is complete. Two other officers are on restrictive duty as police investigate their role in the incident.

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