Author Topic: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch  (Read 29286 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #75 on: May 09, 2019, 03:45:24 pm »
Thursday, 9th May 2019
Departmental trial to start Monday for NYPD pig accused of using banned chokehold that led to death of Eric Garner
by Rocco Parascandola

A judge on Thursday shot down a Staten Island cop’s attempt to delay his departmental trial for using a banned chokehold that led to the death of Eric Garner, paving the way for what will be the only public accounting of the 2014 incident that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement.

A lawyer for NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo had argued that the Civilian Complaint Review Board does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute him in the trial room at One Police Plaza because the complaint against Pantaleo was filed by a woman who didn’t witness what happened July 17, 2014, when Garner died after he was forced to the ground by several cops.

Police were arresting the 43-year-old Garner for allegedly selling loose untaxed cigarettes near Bay St. Cellphone video obtained by the Daily News captured Pantaleo, then 29, putting him in a chokehold banned by the NYPD and forcing him to the ground.

The disturbing footage, which went viral, showed Garner pleading for help as he yelled “I can’t breathe” 11 times.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden refused to issue an injunction Thursday, which would have delayed the Monday start for the departmental trial.

"It’s been five years since this tragic incident,” Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden said.

“And the Garner family, the police officer and the public should have resolution of these issues in this trial.”

Stu London, Pantaleo’s lawyer, afterwards said he was not surprised at the ruling and that he will argue at trial that Pantaleo did not use a chokehold, but rather a department approved take-down tactic.

The CCRB said Madden made the right call, as did Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr.

“They tried every trick in the book to keep the case from going forward,” Carr said.

"We all seen Eric being murdered on video. It wasn’t just me. It wasn’t just an eyewitness ... It was all of us who seen Eric being murdered on camera.”

Pantaleo, who is on desk duty without his gun and shield, was cleared in Garner’s death by a Staten Island grand jury in December 2014.

The feds have completed their investigation but have not yet released their findings.

They have until July 17, the five-year anniversary of the incident, to do so.

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« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 03:48:12 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2019, 09:12:23 am »
Friday, 11th May 2019
NYPD Detectives Racially Profiled Over 360 Black and Latino Men While Searching for Howard Beach Killer
by Aliya Semper Ewing

Just two weeks after Chanel Lewis, 22, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano, shocking new details have emerged about the initial manhunt that left black and Latino men stripped of dignity, if not also their rights.
According to the Daily News, in the months after Vetrano’s sexual assault and murder, law enforcement had no leads on a suspect other than a DNA test showing a black male as the culprit.
Based on this, then-Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce demanded DNA swabs from over 360 black and Latino men simply because they had been previously arrested in Queens, N.Y.
There appears to be no cohesive reason as to why these men were named on a list of potential suspects other than their race and having been previously arrested in Howard Beach.
The majority had been arrested for non-violent crimes including misdemeanors such as shoplifting or low-level drug possession.

There was also no pattern to the men’s ages, which widely ranged from early 20s to mid-60s.

The News learned of this biased swabbing campaign from an anonymous letter that included a list of 50 of the profiled men and their photos taken off a police database.

Only three of those 50 men who’d been swabbed were previously arrested for violent crime.

Legal experts say this act likely violated the civil rights of the men and is a calling card of the NYPD’s “racially biased” policing tactics.

The mandatory swabbing was not simply an inconvenience on the path to proving innocence; it was dehumanizing, and in some cases caused emotional distress and reputation damage.

One man told the Daily News his parents were so deeply disturbed by repeated visits from detectives that they sold their house and moved to Westchester County.

Another man said he was embarrassed and stigmatized after his neighbors saw detectives questioning him at his door.

Terri Rosenblatt, supervising attorney of the DNA Unit at the Legal Aid Society tells the Daily News:

“This DNA dragnet of black and brown New Yorkers brings the NYPD’s racially biased policing to a new low. The police aggressively collect DNA from New Yorkers using a variety of racially biased and sometimes secretive means. These tactics are fundamentally inconsistent with the fair policing that our city lawmakers claim to support and only serves to sow more distrust of the police without any significant law enforcement purpose.”

It’s important to note that while the swabbing request was technically voluntary, power dynamics combined with fear from those unfamiliar with their rights put these men in a troubling situation, often feeling they must comply or face worse consequences.

Civil rights lawyer Joel Berger detailed:

“ ‘Consent’ rarely is voluntary. The law is clear that a waiver of one’s right must be “knowing and intelligent,” and that must include awareness that one has the right to refuse. Police illegally put pressure on people to ‘consent’ in various ways such as claiming that they can arrest or return speedily with a warrant, or threatening other consequences.”

Phillip Walzak, a police spokesman, declined to comment to The Daily News about the swabbing practice, as did former Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
However, Michael Palladino, head of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, claims the DNA swabs were justified by the facts of the case.

“I don’t see it as an issue of race,” he said to The News.

“It’s really about following up on the evidence left at the scene. In this case the DNA recovered at the scene indicated the killer was black so our detectives requested samples from people consistent with the evidence.”

Clearly, Palladino believes that the heinous acts of one black man makes all black men suspect regardless of disposition, history, age, location, alibi, or any other differentiating detail.

Maurice Sylla, 56, was one of the men asked to be swabbed.

Sylla was “consistent with the evidence” of being a rapist and murder as Palladino claims, because in 2014 he was arrested for driving without a license.

“Because I had a fender-bender a mile away from the murder scene, they profiled me,” he said.
Not only was he profiled, Sylla claims that detectives interrogated and terrified his teenaged niece after they mistakenly went to his sister’s home in search of him.

But he didn’t cave into the intense police pressure.

Instead, Maurice Sylla called the 106th Precinct and demanded to speak to the officer in command.

When a sergeant ignored Sylla’s request and refused to connect him, Sylla told them he’d call Internal Affairs and the Civilian Complaint Review Board if they didn’t leave him alone and stop harassing his family.
“They left me alone after that,” Sylla said.
“They realized I would be their worst nightmare because I know my rights.”

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2019, 10:54:50 am »
Monday, 6th May 2019
~Here's a story about 6 lovely Jail Guards~
by Victoria Bekiempis and Jan Ransom

A woman who arrived at the jail next to Manhattan criminal court to visit a detainee last August was given a curt instruction: sign a consent form and undergo a search.

Believing that she had no choice, the woman complied, a prosecutor said in court on Monday.

A correction officer told her to pull down her pants and spread her legs, while other officers stood nearby and watched.

She was then instructed to lower her underwear and remove a sanitary napkin.

The officers found no contraband, the prosecutor said.

This search was one of five illegal searches described in a 27-count indictment unveiled on Monday against five guards and a former supervisor who worked at the Manhattan Detention Complex on Centre Street, a jail known colloquially as the Tombs.

The corrections officers were arrested and arraigned in State Supreme Court on charges including official misconduct, conspiracy, unlawful imprisonment and filing false documents.

They all pleaded not guilty and were released without bail.

Staff at the city’s jails must get written permission to search people they think may be smuggling contraband into the prison.

If a visitor consents, a correction officer may only pat their outer clothing and examine the seams and pockets, the indictment said.

Staff may also ask people to remove outerwear like a coat, hat and shoes.
The correction officers “blocked exits, surrounded visitors on all sides, forcibly removed visitors’ clothing, including underwear, touched visitors’ breasts, examined visitors’ vaginal and buttocks areas, forced visitors to squat without pants or underwear, and forced visitors onto the floor,” the document said.

They also are accused of forcing visitors to sign consent forms under false pretenses, and lying on official reports to cover up their actions, the district attorney’s office said.

“These officers flagrantly abused their power,” the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in a statement.

The officers accused of illegal searches in the indictment were Alifa Waiters, 45, Daphne Farmer, 49, Jennifer George, 32, Lisette Rodriguez, 51, and Latoya Shuford, 36. Leslie-Ann Absalom, 53, a retired correction captain, was also charged.

Lawyers for two of the accused officers declined to comment, while lawyers for the other four did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Peter Thorne, a spokesman for the city Department of Correction, said in an email the five guards have been suspended.

“People visiting loved ones in our city’s jails should feel safe, period,” Mr. Thorne said.

“If these allegations are proven true, the officers involved face termination.”

Elias Husamudeen, the president of the correction officers’ union, said in a statement that the officers at the Manhattan jail had arrested more than 50 visitors last year for attempting to smuggle in heroin, marijuana, cocaine, razors and other contraband.

“Every day they do everything they can to keep this jail safe for visitors, inmates and correction staff,” he said.

“They deserve more public support for the diligent professionalism they exude every day.”

The arrests coincided with the release of a new report from the city Department of Investigation, which found that staff in city jails “continues to subject visitors, mostly women, to invasive searches that violate D.O.C.’s own policies and are inconsistent with the dignity and rights of visitors.”

The indictment also comes on the heels of dozens of lawsuits alleging illegal strip searches have occurred at city jails. A review of these lawsuits uncovered a pattern:

Visitors claimed they signed waivers for routine “pat frisk” searches, but instead were given full searches, sometimes even cavity checks, in bathrooms or search rooms.

Alan H. Figman, a lawyer representing at least 50 women who have accused correction officers of conducting improper searches at jails, said the city “has done absolutely nothing to rein in a systemic violation of visitors’ well-being and rights.”

He applauded the indictment.

“It’s good they’re finally doing something about this,” Mr. Figman said.

Mr. Figman, who also represents many women who were searched during visits to Rikers Island, criticized the Bronx district attorney’s office for declining to prosecute correction officers there.

“It’s gotten to the point of ridiculousness,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Bronx district attorney did not respond on Monday to requests for comment.

Under city policy, visitors may be required to take off coats, hats and shoes during a frisk search, but no other garments.

If contraband is discovered, the officers involved in the search, as well as the supervising captain, are required to fill out a report, according to the indictment.

If visitors do not want to be searched, they can leave voluntarily; correction officers can also offer them a visit in which they have no physical contact with the prisoner or deny them a visit outright.

Prosecutors said several of the officers charged tried to hide evidence of the illegal searches by filing false paperwork with the Correction Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

The people subjected to illegal searches were restrained with “physical force, intimidation, and deceit, even after visitors asked to leave or visitors affirmatively stated that they did not consent to be searched,” prosecutors said in court papers.

The guards did find contraband during the searches, including marijuana, Xanax and tobacco, and arrested three women as a result. But prosecutors said these arrests were tainted because the searches were improper.

The district attorney’s office dismissed charges against one of the women after reviewing security camera footage of the search, according to the investigation department report.

Charges were eventually dismissed against a second woman, and the last one pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, prosecutors said.

Scott Simpson, one of the lawyers who filed a class-action lawsuit in 2015 on behalf of several women who said they were improperly searched at Rikers Island, said the searches had caused his clients lasting emotional pain.

“Hopefully these indictments lead to a safer, more respectful visiting process where visitors do not have to endure a traumatic experience simply to see their loved one,” he said.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #78 on: May 14, 2019, 09:25:37 pm »
Monday, 13th May 2019
Ex-State Trooper sentenced to prison for up to 15 years in death of Detroit teen riding on ATV

Former Michigan State Police trooper Mark Bessner has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.

Bessner was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes.
Damon Grimes was riding an ATV on Detroit’s east side in August 2017 when Bessner used a taser on Grimes from a moving car — the move led to Grimes crashing his ATV into a pickup truck killing Grimes from a blunt force trauma injury.
Inside the Third Judicial Circuit courtroom of Judge Van Houten, Bessner fought back tears explaining that he thought of Grimes every day.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child,” he said, turning back to look at the Grimes family which spoke on the deceased teens behalf moments earlier.
“I understand their anger, the anger at me — but judge I hope this court will not be driven by anger.”
After carefully going over sentencing protocol, Judge Van Houten explained that the guidelines are not mandatory.

She estimated that the traditional sentence would be between 19 and 38 months, but chose to give a longer sentence after considering Damon Grimes age, and the amount of training Bessner was given and prior warnings he’d received while on the job.

She also singled out Bessner telling him that it is “the few officers like you” that create mistrust for all other officers who fulfill their duties.

It’s a concern that the Grimes family didn’t shy away from afterwards.

Inside the courtroom Damon Grimes aunt addressed Bessner directly explaining the loss they have in their home, how the teen’s death has changed their lives — noting he’ll never have a first kiss, a first date, a graduation or any other milestones they’d long looked forward to.

Outside the courthouse, more family members addressed the fear created by violence against a teen by an officer.

“To be honest no,” said Dezanique Grimes when asked whether she still trusts police.
“They’re supposed to protect and serve us. He wasn’t protecting and serving nothing that day — I feel like if it comes to me dealing with the law I’ll be nervous, I’ll be scared.”

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #79 on: May 14, 2019, 09:57:25 pm »
Monday, 14th May 2019
~It's the story of 6 cops from Louisville~

by Darcy Costello and Matthew Glowicki

Six Louisville Metro Police officers were indicted Monday on felony theft charges, accused of working private security jobs while clocked in for their patrol shifts.

A Jefferson County grand jury returned an indictment for one count of theft by deception for six officers:

Michael Abnerathy Jr., Dontae Booker, Cortez Ernest, Jackie Miller, Ashley Spratt and Roniqua Yocum.

The indictment provides few details but alleges the theft occurred between January and November 2018.

It's also unclear how much money was involved, though the officers' charges are for an amount over $500 but less than $10,000.

A press release from the Jefferson commonwealth's attorney office said the "work fraud scheme" involved the officers working and getting paid for private security jobs during their city government patrol shifts.

The security jobs were arranged by a company created by Miller, according to prosecutors.

Department policy allows officers to work secondary jobs, though they can't conflict with the officer's work for the department.

In a statement, Col. Michael Sullivan, the deputy chief of police, said an investigation by the Public Integrity Unit — which investigates possible criminal wrongdoing by Metro Government employees — was initiated several months ago after "we discovered possible criminal behavior by several officers."

"We take allegations of officers involved in criminal wrongdoing seriously," Sullivan said.

All except Abernathy were also indicted on a charge of criminal syndication: engaging in organized crime.

Abernathy was indicted on a criminal facilitation to criminal syndication charge, accused of facilitating the acts of others.

Miller also was indicted on a charge of tampering with physical evidence.

The tampering happened on March 19, 2019, the indictment notes. 

All six officers are on administrative reassignment, Sullivan said.

Arraignment is set for 9 a.m. May 20 in Jefferson Circuit Court.

Attorney Steve Schroering, who represents Spratt, declined to comment.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #80 on: May 16, 2019, 08:16:40 pm »
Thursday, 16th May 2019
White Cop Resigns After Video Shows Him Pulling Gun On Black Man Picking Up Trash
by Justin Wise

A white Colorado police officer has resigned after being caught on video drawing his gun on a black man who said he was picking up trash at his property.

The city of Boulder said in a statement Thursday that officer John Smyly violated multiple department policies when he confronted Zayd Atkinson, 26, in March.

The city added that Smyly resigned before the city concluded an investigation into the incident.

"While the finding likely would have resulted in suspension or possibly termination, Officer Smyly resigned prior to the conclusion of the disciplinary process," the statement said.

Smyly's resignation comes more than two months after he and other officers confronted Atkinson, a student at Naropa University, at the patio area of his apartment, according to ABC News.

Cellphone footage shot by a neighbor showed Smyly holding his firearm amid the confrontation.

Atkinson can be seen holding a bucket and a metal trash grabber.

Smyly reportedly asked Atkinson if he was permitted to be at the location.

Atkinson responded by showing the officer his school identification card and telling him that he lived there.

Smyly then detained Atkinson for further investigation, which prompted Atkinson to grow frustrated.
Atkinson's behavior reportedly led Smyly to radio for backup because the resident was "being uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object," a police statement obtained by ABC News said.

ABC News noted that other officers arrived on the scene soon after.

They left after determining that Atkinson had a right to be on the property.

A police internal affairs report said that Smyly's choice to detain Atkinson was "not supported by reasonable suspicion that Mr. Atkinson was committing, had committed, or was about to commit a crime."

The city said that an investigation did not find evidence of racial profiling.

The confrontation between Smyly and Atkinson sparked massive backlash in the community.

Atkinson also told ABC News's "Good Morning America" in April that he's been struggling with stress and trauma since the encounter.
"I thought that once the firearm was out that that meant that he was going to try to kill me," Atkinson said.

"It was a frightening experience. I didn't know what else to do besides, you know, to fight with my voice and to practice my rights, which were thoroughly being breached."

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #81 on: May 17, 2019, 05:04:35 pm »
Friday, 17th May 2019
Officer Arrested For Trying To Hire Hitman Against Ex-Husband
by Jonathan Dienst and David K. Li

A New York City police officer was arrested on Friday for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-husband, a police official told NBC New York.

The FBI and NYPD internal affairs officers took Valerie Cincinelli, a 12-year veteran of the department, into custody, NBC New York reported.
Cincinelli works out of the 106th Precinct in the borough of Queens, which serves the neighborhoods of Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach, and Old Howard Beach.

She had been on modified duty since 2017 for a previous unrelated domestic incident, the police official said.
Cincinelli is set to appear before a federal judge in Central Islip, New York, on Friday afternoon.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #82 on: May 18, 2019, 07:52:20 pm »
Saturday, 18th May 2019
Fatal police shootings will become a crime under proposed California law

by Marco della Cava

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) — A showdown over when police in this state can use deadly force is set to unfold in the California Legislature next week, one that could bring sweeping changes to local law enforcement departments that give officers broad latitude in deciding when to shoot to kill.

At issue is Assembly Bill 392, known as the California Act to Save Lives, which would put the onus on officers to justify discharging their weapon, shifting the standard from “reasonable” — as defined by the Supreme Court's 1989 Graham v Connor ruling — to “necessary.”

That means that, under the proposed bill, police must feel confident that it is truly necessary to shoot to protect themselves or others from danger, or they could be prosecuted for killing their victim.

Instead of reaching for their guns, officers would be pressed to engage in de-escalation tactics — in addition to considering options such as a Taser or a baton — that aim to reduce tension between officer and suspect.

Experts say these include listening to the suspect's story, explaining the actions an officer is about to take, and ensuring that the suspect's dignity is preserved throughout the interaction.

The change to the rules of engagement have the potential to reverse an alarming trend. California has the highest percentage of police shootings per 100,000 people among states with more than 8 million residents, says Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and now law professor at the University of South Carolina who is an expert on deadly force rules.

"The states are all over the map in the way they regulate deadly force, with some being very permissive, and that’s where California is right now," says Stoughton, noting that the Western state shares that reputation with Georgia, Texas and Florida. Among large states, New York has the fewest officer-related shooting deaths.

"This new bill would make the preservation of life law enforcement's top priority in California," says Stoughton, who wrote letters to California lawmakers in support of the bill. "Having the state Legislature tell police officers, 'This is the job we expect you to do' is an important piece of symbolism."

AB 392's co-sponsor, Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), says the law would encourage police to consider non-lethal methods when bringing suspects into custody.

"The piling on of killings of often unarmed civilians by police for the past six or seven years now is wearing on the conscience of this nation," she says. "The thought after these shootings often is, ‘Isn’t there something else police could have done?’ And maybe sometimes there are other things."
But critics say 392 ignores the nuanced difficulties inherent in police work and will have a calamitous effect on everything from policing practices to recruiting.

“This bill is an affront against anyone who wears a badge, and if people understood its consequences nobody would vote for it,” says Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), who served on the California Highway Patrol for 28 years. “Unless you’ve been in this arena, you don’t understand how fast things unfold.”

Lackey says officers take their power to kill extremely seriously, recounting a CHP colleague who became so distraught after one fatal shooting that he became an alcoholic and later committed suicide.

Lackey says a problem does exist with current policing protocols, which have resulted in the high-profile shooting deaths of civilians such as Stephon Clark, a Sacramento man who was killed by police officers in March 2018 while carrying only a cell phone.

“But this bill isn’t the solution to that problem,” he says, adding that adopting a new policy could lead to tragic results for officers. "You change the policy midstream and you’ll cause officers to think before reacting and that time gap is going to be deadly."

AB 392 pits victims’ relatives and the American Civil Liberties Union against a massive statewide force — state and local officers serving 40 million people across 600 agencies with 120,000 personnel — that until recently was protected by one of the toughest police privacy laws in the country.

On January 1, Senate Bill 1421 became law, allowing the public to seek access to police records and internal investigation files to get more information about incidents in which police either use lethal force or are suspected of criminal activity.

Theresa Smith is among many victims’ rights advocates that has spent time in Sacramento sharing her story in support of both 1421 and 392. Her son, Caesar Ray Cruz, was killed in 2009 in Southern California after a tipster told police he was a gang member and armed.

After being confronted by police in a Walmart parking lot, Cruz was fatally shot. Officers said they thought Cruz was reaching into his waistband, but he was not armed.

The deadly force “bill is important simply because if it had been in effect when my son was shot, there might be some accountability for their actions,” says Smith, who started a non-profit called LEAN to help relatives of those killed by police deal with grief and seek answers.

“This bill is about saving lives,” she says. “That includes police lives, and it includes the lives of bystanders. My son was shot in a Walmart parking lot at Christmas.”

Smith says she understands that police work is difficult and dangerous, and, “if you’re in imminent danger for your life, you have to make that decision. But if someone’s running from you, or has their back to you, or is having a mental breakdown, that’s something else.”

Advocates for stricter parameters on police use of force say that evidence abounds of instances in which violent armed shooters are taken into custody without incident.

Some also argue that there often is a racial component at play.

“Time and time again, officers manage to safely arrest people who are armed and dangerous, though often those people are white,” says Lizzie Buchen, legislative advocate for the ACLU of California.

“We know police have the tools and skills to apprehend people without harming them,” says Buchen. “But there are just dramatic discrepancies of outcomes when you’re dealing with people of color.”

Buchen says the bill is not aimed at neutering police, but rather is suggesting a best-practices solution that should result in a lower use of force, fewer deadly incidents and a rebounding of trust between police officers and the communities they serve.

Another bill, Senate Bill 230, was put forth by law enforcement as an option to 392 and focuses largely on increasing training but doesn't address changing the standard for the use of force.

Lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the use of force issue remain tentatively optimistic that conversations between the two sides of this issue  will result in a bill that police officers and victims’ rights groups can support.

“We’re looking to pass what would be the strongest use of force bill in the nation, one that defines it as being useable only when necessary, not when reasonable,” says bill sponsor Weber.

“We’re in conversations with law enforcement, and we hope that will net some positive results.”

But Robert Harris, president of Protect California, a coalition of law enforcement associations and trade unions, says that changing the terms on use of force “is a line in the sand we don’t want to cross.”

The problem with requiring officers to, in the moment, determine "if force is necessary is that it creates a standard officers will never reach, and allows for 20/20 hindsight,” he says.

“I don’t think 392 will reduce incidents, and I fear that officers, out of fear of being second guessed, won’t be as proactive as they can be about their policing.”

For Smith, however, who lost her son to a deadly encounter with police, setting a new standard for when police should discharge their firearms is critical to rebuilding a rapport with law enforcement that is rapidly eroding.

“Right now, if you’re an officer, you can kill someone and have there be no consequences,” she says.

“A badge shouldn’t be equal to a license to kill. We just want law enforcement, with all their training, to be held accountable. Because no one should be above the law.”

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #83 on: May 20, 2019, 01:24:05 am »
"The Slop Thickens...yes?"
Friday, 17th May 2019
Cop Tried to Hire Hitman to Kill Her Estranged Husband and a Child
by Chris Agee

Authorities in New York say a fellow law enforcement officer has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband and a child.

According to WNBC, 34-year-old Valerie Cincinelli is accused of approaching her boyfriend to find someone willing to murder her ex.

One source told the network that she also wanted the hitman to target a child identified by investigators as the boyfriend’s teen daughter.

A federal sting operation focused on the suspect, who had reportedly worked as a police officer out of the New York Police Department’s 106th Precinct in Queens.

Records indicate a complaint regarding an unrelated incident led to her being placed on modified assignment about two years ago, as reported by Newsday.
Police reports indicate she allegedly took $7,000 out of a bank account in February with the intention of giving it to her boyfriend who would use it as payment for the homicides.

Cellphone communications during this period document further development of her deadly plans, according to a criminal complaint.

A few months later, investigators believe Cincinelli provided more specific instructions to her boyfriend, telling him that she wanted the female victim killed “over the weekend” and for the hitman to “wait a week or a month to kill John Doe.”

It was on Friday morning that a Suffolk County police detective arrived at her home to tell her her ex-husband had been killed.

Cincinelli reportedly believed the story, which was devised as part of the FBI operation.

She allegedly soon began talking to her boyfriend, who was cooperating with authorities and wearing a wire, about how to establish an alibi.

Shortly after the detective left, Cincinelli’s boyfriend reportedly received a test message from someone identified as the hitman, along with images of the fake murder scene.

The FBI agent writing the messages reportedly included a demand for $3,000 in order to carry out the hit on the teen girl.

Police say the suspect then instructed her boyfriend to destroy the evidence by deleting his text messages.

The one-time “cop of the month” — as awarded by the Rotary Club of Jamaica — was arrested on Friday and locked up without bail.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #84 on: May 23, 2019, 08:24:41 am »
Thursday, 23rd May 2019
Records for officer accused of manslaughter show violations & complaints

by WWESH (NBC News affiliate)

Documents from the Orlando Police Department show more history of an officer accused of manslaughter in a 2018 case of a police-involved shooting.

Anthony Wong Shue* is accused in the death of Juan Silva, who was suspected of being involved in shoplifting at a strip mall off Colonial Drive last year.
Wong Shue was also the center of another officer-involved shooting that injured a suspect in 2011.

The officer's disciplinary record shows several complaints made by citizens.

Internal investigations found only one of those complaints to call for disciplinary action.

In 2008, he was reprimanded after a man said Wong Shue was one of several officers who pulled him over, under the false assumption his car was stolen.

"(The citizen) alleged the officers pointed their firearms at him," wrote investigators in the internal review. "(He) said that although requesting the officers' names and badge numbers, along with an incident report of what had occurred, the officers departed the scene without providing him the requested information."

Other disciplinary actions were taken from internal findings.

Wong Shue was also written up in 2010 for violating OPD's obedience policy, though the violation isn't explained in the records.
This year, an internal review found he was one of many officers who allegedly misused the Driver and Vehicle Information Database.

According to the records, he searched his own name late last year, and admitted to doing so and was suspended for it.
The officer is out of jail on bond, and is still employed by the police department.

Prosecutors have not given details about their investigation and what evidence led them to charge him with manslaughter.

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*Doesn't he look like one of the members of 2-Live Crew?

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #85 on: May 23, 2019, 07:07:35 pm »
Thursday, 23rd May 2019
Cop fired after punching, using Taser on woman in front of her daughter

by Elisha Fieldstadt

An Atlanta police officer has been fired for using unnecessary force after he punched, tackled and used a Taser on a woman — whom he believed had an outstanding warrant for a speeding ticket — in front of her 4-year-old daughter.

Sgt. James Hines was fired on May 17 after the Atlanta Police Department investigated the May 1 arrest of Maggie Thomas, according to a statement from the department.

"The Office of Professional Standards determined that the force used during the arrest was unnecessary and inconsistent with Atlanta Police Department training," the statement said.

Video of the incident posted by Thomas' lawyer, Gerald A. Griggs, on Twitter shows Hines forcibly remove Thomas from her car and throw her to the ground. As Thomas screams, her daughter looks on, crying "Are you going to jail?"

The person filming the incident, who appears to be on the phone with authorities, says, "I'm recording this. He slammed her on the ground. He's tased her like three times. This is crazy. … He slammed her on the car."

According to an incident report by Hines, he "saw a black female sitting in a silver Infiniti" and "had gotten an earlier lookout on a silver Infiniti."

When Hines approached Thomas in her car she "became agitated and asked why I was looking at her car and what was I doing back behind her apartments," Hines wrote.

"She said something about there shouldn't be a white officer harassing her."

Hines left Thomas but then "began to wonder why she became so agitated" so he looked up her records, he wrote.
He saw she had a warrant for her arrest due to a speeding ticket, called for backup and went "back to the parking lot to make sure Ms. Thomas did not get away."

When Hines approached Thomas again, she refused to hand over her license or get out of the car so he handcuffed one of her hands and she held her daughter with the other, he wrote.

Thomas started honking her horn with her head, at which point people came out of the apartments, and one of them took the little girl from the car.

"I then took Ms. Thomas to the ground and she still refused to give me her right hand. I took out my Taser and drive-stunned her to her back," Hines wrote.

Hines handcuffed Thomas' other hand, at which point she bit him on his hand, the officer wrote.

"I immediately punched her in the face and she fell to the ground," Hines wrote.

Another officer put her in Hines' police car as Hines tried to verify the arrest warrant.

"The warrant for her arrest was unable to be confirmed due to the computers being down for the City of Atlanta," Hines said.

He arrested her anyway for disorderly conduct, but not before medics treated her for a swollen eye and determined there were no marks on Hines' hand "from being bitten," he wrote.

The Atlanta Police Department has recommended that the disorderly conduct charge against Hines be dropped.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #86 on: May 26, 2019, 12:43:47 pm »
Thursday, 23rd May 2019
We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records.

by John Kelly and Mark Nichols

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women.

They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.

Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.

The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments.

Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed.

Reporters from USA TODAY, its 100-plus affiliated newsrooms and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago have spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records.

Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported.

The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

Among the findings:

Most misconduct involves routine infractions, but the records reveal tens of thousands of cases of serious misconduct and abuse.

They include 22,924 investigations of officers using excessive force, 3,145 allegations of rape, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers.

Dishonesty is a frequent problem.

The records document at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witnesses or falsifying reports.

There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations, most often when they or someone they knew were targets.

Less than 10% of officers in most police forces get investigated for misconduct.

Yet some officers are consistently under investigation.

Nearly 2,500 have been investigated on 10 or more charges.

Twenty faced 100 or more allegations yet kept their badge for years.

The level of oversight varies widely from state to state.

Georgia and Florida decertified thousands of police officers for everything from crimes to questions about their fitness to serve; other states banned almost none.

That includes Maryland, home to the Baltimore Police Department, which regularly has been in the news for criminal behavior by police.

Over nearly a decade, Maryland revoked the certifications of just four officers.

The records USA TODAY and its partners gathered include tens of thousands of internal investigations, lawsuit settlements and secret separation deals.

They include names of at least 5,000 police officers whose credibility as witnesses has been called into question.

These officers have been placed on Brady lists, created to track officers whose actions must be disclosed to defendants if their testimony is relied upon to prosecute someone.

USA TODAY plans to publish many of those records to give the public an opportunity to examine their police department and the broader issue of police misconduct, as well as to help identify decertified officers who continue to work in law enforcement.

Seth Stoughton, who worked as a police officer for five years and teaches law at the University of South Carolina, said expanding public access to those kinds of records is critical to keep good cops employed and bad cops unemployed.

“No one is in a position to assess whether an officer candidate can do the job well and the way that we expect the job to be done better than the officer’s former employer,” Stoughton said.

“Officers are public servants. They police in our name," he said.

There is a "strong public interest in identifying how officers are using their public authority.”

Dan Hils, president of the Cincinnati Police Department’s branch of the Fraternal Order of Policemen union, said people should consider there are more than 750,000 law enforcement officers in the country when looking at individual misconduct data.

“The scrutiny is way tighter on police officers than most folks, and that’s why sometimes you see high numbers of misconduct cases,” Hils said.

“But I believe that policemen tend to be more honest and more trustworthy than the average citizen.”

Hils said he has no issue with USA TODAY publishing public records of conduct, saying it is the news media’s “right and responsibility to investigate police and the authority of government. You’re supposed to be a watchdog.”

The first set of records USA TODAY is releasing is an exclusive nationwide database of about 30,000 people whom state governments banned from the profession by revoking their certification to be law enforcement officers.

For years, a private police organization has assembled such a list from more than 40 states and encourages police agencies to screen new hires.

The list is kept secret from anyone outside law enforcement.

USA TODAY obtained the names of banned officers from 44 states by filing requests under state sunshine laws.

The information includes the officers’ names, the department they  worked for when the state revoked their certification and – in most cases – the reasons why.

The list is incomplete because of the absence of records from states such as California, which has the largest number of law enforcement officers in the USA.

USA TODAY's collection of police misconduct records comes amid a nationwide debate over law enforcement tactics, including concern that some officers or agencies unfairly target minorities.

A series of killings of black people by police over the past five years in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Chicago, Sacramento, California, and elsewhere have sparked unrest and a reckoning that put pressure on cities and mayors to crack down on misconduct and abuses.

The Trump administration has backed away from more than a decade of Justice Department investigations and court actions against police departments it determined were deeply biased or corrupt.

In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department would leave policing the police to local authorities, saying federal investigations hurt crime fighting.

Laurie Robinson, co-chair of the 2014 White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, said transparency about police conduct is critical to trust between police and residents.

“It’s about the people who you have hired to protect you,” she said.

“Traditionally, we would say for sure that policing has not been a transparent entity in the U.S. Transparency is just a very key step along the way to repairing our relationships."

The number of police agencies and officers in the USA is so large that the blind spots are vast. We need your help.

Though the records USA TODAY Network gathered are probably the most expansive ever collected, there is much more to be added.

The collection includes several types of statewide data, but most misconduct is documented by individual departments.

Journalists obtained records from more than 700 law enforcement agencies, but the records are not complete for all of those agencies, and there are more than 18,000 police forces across the USA.

The records requests were focused largely on the biggest 100 police agencies as well as clusters of smaller departments in surrounding areas, partly to examine movement of officers between departments in regions.

USA TODAY aims to identify other media organizations willing to partner in gathering new records and sharing documents they've already gathered.

The Invisible Institute, a journalism nonprofit in Chicago focused on police accountability, has done so for more than a year and contributed records from dozens of police departments.

Reporters need help getting documents – and other kinds of tips – from the public, watchdog groups, researchers and even officers and prosecutors themselves.

If you have access to citizen complaints about police, internal affairs investigation records, secret settlement deals between agencies and departing officers or anything that sheds light on how agencies police their officers, we want to hear from you.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #87 on: June 14, 2019, 09:16:48 pm »
Friday, 14th June 2019
Deputy suspended for 'attendance issues' charged with driving drunk with child passenger
by Fares Sabawi

A Bexar County sheriff deputy who was already on unpaid administrative leave for attendance problems is set to be fired after she was arrested for Thursday night for driving drunk with a child in her car, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Nancy Cruz, 23, was arrested just before midnight by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, according to the news release.

Her bail is set at $5,000.

Cruz has been with the agency since July 2017, but was placed on leave April 1 due to "ongoing attendance issues."

The Department of Public Safety will continue investigating the incident, while the sheriff's office internal affairs unit will run a separate investigation into Cruz.

"BCSO administration has begun termination proceedings for what is a pattern of misconduct for this employee, and will be serving her with those documents later this morning," according to the news release.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #88 on: June 27, 2019, 07:20:08 am »
Wednesday, 5th June 2019
Actual Presidential Candidate Unveils Plan To Combat Police Brutality
by Elie Mystal

For all the talk about Kamala Harris’s prosecutorial record, there aren’t a lot of Democratic candidates for president on her left when it comes to criminal justice reform and police reform.

Everybody is kind of in the same camp of “cops should probably stop shooting unarmed black teenagers,” which is nice!

“Cops should stop murdering black people” is a NEW position for the Democratic party.

But when it comes to the details on how to get that done, we kind of end with plans like the one that passed the California Assembly last week:

tepid semantic changes designed to not piss off the cops too much and, therefore, not really help black people survive their encounters with the police.

It’s hard for me to get too worked up about Harris’s time as a prosecutor when nobody is telling me what they’d do that she would not.

So I am all the way here for the plan former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro released yesterday to deal with the police.

In broad strokes, it hits all the points that need to be addressed.

It thinks about changing use of force protocols, and demanding various steps the police must take before they open fire.

It wants to end stop-and-frisk and racial profiling.

It demands accountability and transparency, including the creation of a national database to try to stop brutal cops from being rehired by other police departments.

And it looks a demilitarizing the police and offering officers more training and mental health support.

And that’s just my breezy summary of the highlights.

You can read the full proposal here.

It for sure leaves out or glosses over key granular details, but as campaign promises go, Castro’s here is extensive and well thought out.

It is a comprehensive approach to ending police brutality and murder, and if Castro were a 70-year-old white man, I’m sure we’d be talking about it more.

There is, however, one key detail missing from Castro’s plan, and that detail tends to scuttle any real effort at policing reform.

You can come up with all the comprehensive plans you want, but we don’t have a comprehensive policing system in this country.

We have 50.

In fact, we have hundreds.

Every state and every county within that state has its own podunk way of determining when it’s okay for an officer to shoot me in the face.

Trying to get all of these police departments on the same page runs into immediate Constitutional problems.
I hate it when my law degree interrupts a good narrative about hope and change, but getting around the decentralized powers given to local law enforcement is the threshold question when it comes to making meaningful changes to police behavior.

Castro’s plan, for the most part, relies on yanking on the purse strings.

He wants to tie a lot of his new procedures and protocols to federal funding, in order to get departments to comply.

But, I’m old enough to remember when Jeff Sessions was Attorney General.

We’ve just lived through the inherent problems with trying to get local law enforcement to follow policing directives set in Washington.

That Sessions wanted to use the federal power of the purse for the evil intent of harassing immigrants at the local level, while Castro wants to use the power for the noble reasons of ending police brutality, is irrelevant to the Constitutional provision which remands police power to the states.

As Sessions found out with his various “sanctuary cities” gambits, you can’t easily hold local governments as economic hostages until their police are deputized to serve the federal government.

Moreover, even as I’m generally a fan of more federal control over the police, Sessions reminded us of just how dangerous it can be to have policing priorities dictated by a central government.

People elected to office from Alabama, or even Albany, have no real clue what’s happening on the ground in New York City Terrorizing immigrants might seem like a good idea to people who live in communities with few immigrants.

But when immigrants are your best sources and allies to help you stop actual criminals, it makes no sense to alienate them from law enforcement.

Granted, I struggle to think of which part of Castro’s platform would be bad anywhere, but you know, different places are different.

For instance, Castro wants to hold police accountable for “collateral damage.”

He’s thinking about it in terms of stopping the police from shooting at moving vehicles (which is one of those things that tends to only happen to you when you are fleeing while black).

But the collateral damage issue is going to play much differently in Lubbock than Dallas.

Castro’s plan is strongest when it focuses on concerns that can be implemented on the federal level without the need of actually getting buy-in from officers on the ground.

Establishing reporting requirements, empowering the Department of Justice to investigate all police shootings that result in a fatality, and legislation that pierces the veil on qualified immunity are all ideas that would both help and should survive a Constitutional challenge (don’t quote me on that).

There’s a lot the federal government can do to change the calculus of an officer who is about to shoot somebody, even if that officer is reluctant to change.

But in order to live in a world where it’s illegal for cops to shoot unarmed black people for no reason, we’re going to either have to get in there at the state level, or massively rethink the relationship between the federal government and the states when it comes to policing.

Both paths are hard, and both paths require ceding some local control to the federal government, which is terrifying when you think about the kinds of people Republicans are willing to elect to serve in the federal government.

At least Castro is trying.

I’m going to need other Democratic candidates to get at his level.

Police brutality towards black and brown lives is intertwined with our system of government.

It’s part of our DNA, a part that apparently white people didn’t know about until the invention of the camera phone.

Getting to the point where black lives legally matter to law enforcement is going to be a massive societal undertaking.

It’s got to start with comprehensive approaches like the one Julián Castro has laid out.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #89 on: June 27, 2019, 05:54:10 pm »
Thursday, 27th June 2019
ACLU lawsuit: Pa. State Troopers violated law by stopping Latinos, acting as immigration officers
by Jeff Gammage

Pennsylvania State Police have routinely violated the law by stopping and holding people based solely on their Latino appearance, terrorizing drivers and passengers in usurping federal authority to investigate supposed immigration violations, the ACLU charges in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

The troopers’ conduct, the suit says, has sent a clear message to communities across Pennsylvania:

The State Police are in the immigration-enforcement business.

The 10 Latino plaintiffs — family members traveling to visit loved ones, farmworkers finishing their day, a victim of a car accident — are challenging what they contend is a pattern of police misconduct that follows a common script.

Latino motorists, the suit says, were pulled over by troopers who immediately sought to ascertain the immigration status of the car’s occupants.

In some cases recounted in the ACLU filing, the trooper immediately asked if the driver was a U.S. citizen, even before requesting a driver’s license.

Troopers have taken it upon themselves to act as enforcers of the complex system of federal civil immigration laws, according to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“The Pennsylvania State Police have neither the training, expertise nor lawful authority to play immigration cops,” said Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

“And well-run police departments recognize that terrorizing immigrant communities scares crime victims and witnesses from cooperating, thus undermining public safety.”

The suit follows an investigative series in 2018 by The Philadelphia Inquirer and ProPublica that raised questions of racial profiling and unlawful arrest of immigrants by state troopers.

Efforts to reach the state police for comment were not immediately successful on Thursday.

Until recently the Pennsylvania State Police had no guidelines for how its officers should handle encounters with undocumented immigrants.

A spokesman earlier said that the police consider each traffic stop to be unique, and views the state as a gateway to the Northeast, placing a special responsibility on highway patrol officers to be alert for drug, gun, and human traffickers and to reach out as necessary to federal agencies.

Law-enforcement officials in Pennsylvania typically are not trained or deputized as federal immigration officers, unlike those in places like Georgia and Texas, where many sheriffs’ offices have formal partnerships with ICE.

The plaintiffs seek both damages and vindication of their constitutional right to be free from unlawful detention.

Their hope, the suit says, is that the State Police will improve training and supervision to prevent similar conduct in the future.

Named as defendants are the state of Pennsylvania, the State Police, and six individual troopers, allegedly complicit in a pattern of wrongful stops that has gone on since at least early 2017, after President Donald Trump took office.

The news organizations’ 2018 series and followup stories determined that:

U.S.-born Latinos said they were pulled over and asked whether they were in the country legally.

Two men sharing a smoke break in a parking lot were questioned about their immigration status by a trooper, who discovered they were undocumented and arrested them.

A trooper stopped a U.S. citizen for a traffic violation, but then zeroed in on the passengers, who did not have documentation.

The trooper held the group for hours until immigration officials showed up.

After publication of the series, that type of action was banned under State Police regulations enacted earlier this year, aimed at halting unlawful searches and detentions.

Now, for example, if a car is stopped for a traffic violation, passengers are not to be questioned or asked for identification solely to verify whether they are in the United States legally.

The policy says troopers may not detain or arrest foreign nationals simply for being in the country without official permission.

The extent to which local and State Police should cooperate with ICE has become a combative issue nationally and in Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, the Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple University and the Latino activist group Juntos released a study describing how some county and municipal governments in Pennsylvania use their local manpower to actively assist federal immigration agents, often alerting those authorities to undocumented migrants in their custody.

At least 19 counties either had formal contracts with ICE to hold migrants; shared jail information; provided jail access to federal agents; supplied times that ICE could pick up a migrant; had the probation office work with ICE; or wished to pursue a stronger relationship with the agency, the study said.

Chester County tied for first among the surveyed counties for greatest cooperation with ICE.

Critics of those alliances say it turns local police into immigration agents, creating potential liability for local governments and damaging police-community relations.

It creates uncertainty for immigrants about encounters with local and state authorities who might take it upon themselves to act as surrogates for ICE.

Ten states now have laws that limit enforcement of federal immigration laws by cities and counties, and more than 400 counties around the country restrict their engagement with ICE.

At the same time, nine states, mostly in the South and West, have passed laws requiring local agencies to help with immigration enforcement, according to a national survey.

In the year after  Mr. Trump took office, state and local police officers across Pennsylvania swept carloads of Latino immigrants into ICE’s grasp.

That helped the ICE Philadelphia field office, which covers Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, compile more “at-large” arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal convictions than any of the nation’s 23 other field offices.

In Pennsylvania, local police and state troopers have stopped Hispanic drivers, questioned them and their passengers about their immigration status, and then detained them without warrants for up to four hours until ICE arrived, research by ProPublica showed.
The new lawsuit cites five incidents of immigration enforcement that it says were neither instigated nor requested by ICE.

Named in two of those is Trooper Luke Macke, who the Inquirer and ProPublica found had converted routine traffic stops into immigration arrests.

In 2017, he turned over at least 19 undocumented migrants to federal deportation officers after interrogating them about their legal status and detaining them without warrants, the investigation found.

None of the migrants had criminal records.

Trooper Macke encountered some of them not in cars on the roads he patrols, but randomly — as they had a smoke before a night shift outside a shipping company warehouse or bought a soda inside his own State Police barracks in Carlisle.

Other troopers committed similar violations, the suit alleges.

“The law is clear: It is illegal for police officers, including PSP troopers, to unilaterally stop or detain a person simply because they suspect that a person may be subject to civil immigration enforcement.”

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