PoliceOne Daily News
Inmates pen letter of support for slain Ga. officer
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:12:07 GMT

By Chelsea Prince The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Three weeks after the death of a Gwinnett County police officer, authorities shared their appreciation for the support of an unlikely segment of the community: inmates in the county jail.

The office of Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway shared a letter from a group of 20 inmates to the agency’s Facebook page on Saturday. In the letter, the inmates convey their sadness at the loss of Officer Antwan Toney, who was killed Oct. 20 while responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle near Shiloh Middle School.

Toney celebrated his 30th birthday six days before his death.

His alleged killer, 18-year-old Tafahree Maynard, was the subject of an extensive two-day manhunt before he was found hiding in a shed, armed with a lawnmower blade. He was shot and killed after refusing to surrender, authorities said.

The inmates, who identified themselves as “a group of Christian men who wish to express heartfelt condolences to Officer Toney's family and all Gwinnett County staff," said they wrote to the sheriff in a spirit of gratitude and respect.

"This was a tragic incident that never should have occurred,” they said. “And though law enforcement and criminals may be considered opposites, the intrinsic value of a human life transcends those boundaries by far. Right is right and wrong is wrong. No matter the color uniform.”

They went on to thank all police officers, military personnel and first responders.

“Your service and sacrifice make the world a better place for all,” the group said.

Conway’s office said in the weeks since Toney’s death, they have seen an outpouring of support in the Gwinnett County community. Especially on the day of the officer’s funeral, when hundreds of mourners lined the streets to witness his procession through Lawrenceville, the agency said “these meaningful acts humbled every law enforcement officer who witnessed them.”

“We're deeply appreciative of this act of kindness from these men,” the sheriff’s office said of the letter. “We think that Officer Toney would also be appreciative of their actions and we hope you are, too.”

Calif. police change body camera placement following OIS
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:21:16 GMT

By Theresa Clift The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento police officers are wearing their body cameras in a different location to minimize accidental shut-offs when officers use their rifles, a police spokesman said Monday.

The change was implemented after police learned that the body cameras of multiple officers were turned off when officers fatally shot 19-year-old Darell Richards in September — including the camera of one of the SWAT officers who fired shots, said Vance Chandler, Sacramento police spokesman.

“(They’re) putting them now in a place where the stock of their weapon is less likely to hit the button to turn them off,” Chandler said.

The change applies to the department’s roughly 15 SWAT officers, as well as all patrol officers who carry rifles, Chandler said.

The department is looking for a long-term solutions to the problem, Chandler said.

Richards’ family has filed a claim against the city — a precursor to a federal civil rights lawsuit, said John Burris, the family’s lawyer.

Burris, who has litigated several police shooting cases, said he has not heard of officers’ weapons turning off body cameras.

“There should not be a situation where typically the best evidence in a case is neutralized because of the video camera’s contact with the weapon,” Burris said. “It should never happen.”

During a news conference Monday, Richards’ family and Black Lives Matter activists criticized the department for the cameras being turned off. They also demanded the police department release the names of the officers involved, demanded the city fire the officers involved, and demanded the District Attorney’s Office charge the officers. Richards had mental health issues, family members said.

“They had a chance to use other options, for them to arrest him, bring him in alive instead of them just shooting him down the way they did,” said Kathie Richards, Darell’s grandmother. “I still don’t understand why the SWAT team was brought in to the situation.”

The two officers who fired shots were placed on paid administrative leave, in accordance with the department’s policy for police-involved shootings, Chandler said. Both officers are now back on the job.

The department does not plan to release the officers’ names because the department has received threats against them, but the department will continue to consider it, Chandler said.

The incident began at around 11:30 p.m. Sept. 5 when a 911 caller said a man wearing a face mask was pointing a gun at people while walking up Broadway. Patrol officers found the man near 20th Street and Broadway, and he fled to Curtis Park. Police blocked off streets, used K-9 officers and a California Highway Patrol airplane crew to find him. SWAT officers found Richards hours later crouching under a stairwell in the backyard of a Curtis Park home.

Police say Richards pointed the gun at officers, causing police to fatally shot him. Afterward, police recovered Richards’ gun, which looked like a 9mm handgun but was actually a pellet gun. They also recovered a knife.

Police later released video of the incident, which showed Richards had a gun, but did not show where he pointed it.

The police investigation in to the incident is ongoing, Chandler said. The investigation includes determining whether the officers acted according to policy.

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Fla. deputy pulls over 'Fred Flintstone' for speeding
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:14:28 GMT

By Joe Mario Pedersen Orlando Sentinel

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — When it comes to speeding in Pasco County, yabba dabba don’t do it.

That’s the message the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office delivered to residents recently after pulling over and issuing a citation for speeding to Don Swartz of Wesley Chapel, who was dressed as Fred Flintstone and driving the iconic footmobile, the office revealed in a Facebook post.

The citation was a joke reminding people to drive slower on Pasco County roadways.

Swartz decorated his Smart car to match the cartoon family’s main form of transportation. Pasco deputies “pulled over Mr. Flintstone” on Nov. 4 in the Meadow Bedrock Pointe Subdivision in Wesley Chapel, the post stated.

Pasco’s efforts to reach out to the public didn’t fall on deaf ears, as the Stone Age post received more than 2,000 reactions and was shared nearly 800 times.

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On Sunday, November 4, Deputy H. Echevarria pulled over a Mr. Fred Flinstone (AKA Don Swartz) for speeding in the Meadow...

Posted by Pasco Sheriff's Office on Sunday, November 4, 2018

'F--- that dog': Detroit man selling T-shirts supporting suspect who killed K-9
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:58:38 GMT
Tenn. police add 14 new cameras around city
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:53:22 GMT

By Rosana Hughes Chattanooga Times/Free Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — It's been about a year and a half since the first batch of the Chattanooga Police Department's live-feed cameras went up around the city's high-crime areas, and now the department's ready for more.

Fourteen new cameras were recently mounted on telephone poles in several neighborhoods, including the Westside, Orchard Knob, Ridgedale, Cedar Hill and Highland Park. That makes for a total of 29 police cameras around the city, in addition to the city's 300 security cameras.

Each camera is encased in a large, white box emblazoned with the police department's badge. They stream live video back to the department's Real Time Intelligence Center at the Police Services Center on Amnicola Highway.

About 16 extremely detailed live streams are projected at one time onto a large screen in the intelligence center, where they're staffed 20 hours per day. Officers can rotate among different cameras, and each camera can pan, zoom and rotate, either on a preset, automatic rotation or by manual control.

The footage is saved for no more than 30 days unless it's used as evidence in a case, Chief David Roddy said.

Funding for the additional 14 cameras came from the Chattanooga City Council and was about $173,000, Roddy said, and maintenance for all 29 cameras costs about $48,000 annually. The original 15 cost $192,600 for purchase, mounting and maintenance.

To determine where to place the cameras, police looked at a combination of crime data and community and patrol officer feedback.

"We sought input from the community because if we put a camera in one block, maybe it's not turned the right way, or there's a particular corner or a particular location that just seems to be causing the most fear," Roddy said. "So it's not just to to address the crime that's causing the fear, but to address the fear, as well."

The same process was used when installing the latest cameras.

The police department finished installing its first 15 cameras in May 2017, and since then, they've proven to been a key resource in solving violent crimes.

In fact, during the first six months, there were a total of 30 requests for video from officers and investigators for different cases, including five homicides and 13 shootings, Chattanooga police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said.

Of the 30 requests, 22 resulted in usable video evidence, she said.

Not long after their installation, the cameras played an instrumental role in identifying Lebron Brown as the suspect in a June 8, 2017, shooting that critically injured an 8-year-old boy. Brown was charged with attempted first-degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.

Less than two weeks later, on June 20, 2017, cameras captured one of the suspects in a double homicide in which the bodies of Thomas Holder, 20, and Rayshann Underwood, 17, were found in Highland Memorial Gardens cemetery.

Just before 1 a.m., both victims were captured on video at the East Lake Courts getting into the passenger seats of a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser, as was a juvenile already known to police. William Wright also was seen getting into the driver's seat, police said.

An independent witness heard a gunshot coming from the cemetery at about 1:30 p.m. and the car was captured on video returning to East Lake Courts about 10 minutes later. Neither victim exited the vehicle.

Wright and the juvenile each were charged with two counts of first-degree murder, as well as especially aggravated robbery.

Then on July 8, 2017, footage showed Travis McCullough driving erratically in business parking lots before stopping, yelling for help and tossing his infant's lifeless and completely unclothed body into the arms of a "good Samaritan" who heard his cries for help.

The 11-month-old died after being left unattended in a hot car for several hours. McCullough was later charged with criminal homicide and three counts of aggravated child neglect.

Since the cameras have been installed, five of the original 15 have been moved because crime rates dropped in those areas.

"It's not a direct correlation. I can't say that the camera absolutely removes crime," Roddy said. "But we like to think that those cameras did play a part in addressing crime in that area."

While privacy concerns have been cited in the past, police have always pointed to how the cameras are in public areas where citizens have no expectation of privacy.

The concern is understandable, Roddy said, but "when you walk down the street, you're probably on no less than a dozen cameras at any one time. Between ATMs and businesses and personal cellphones it's remarkable the amount of times that our activities get captured by third parties. But understand that your police department is doing it to address fear."

So far, Roddy said, he isn't aware of any negative feedback. On the contrary, he said he thinks the community appreciates the security the cameras provide.

"When we put the first camera up for the demonstration we left it up to 24 hours so everybody could see what it did," he said. "When the vendor went back out to that location to take the camera down, a gentleman that lived in the area actually walked up with his grandchildren and ask him to leave the camera."

"I think they had a shooting out there a couple of days prior to that, and he said, 'Had that camera been here maybe it wouldn't have happened or at least you could have gotten video that would have helped you catch whoever did it.'"

Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey, whose district includes the Avondale neighborhood, said the cameras aren't a topic that comes up in conversation very often.

The Avondale community has multiple cameras around Dodson Avenue and Wilcox Boulevard.

"From a personal standpoint, cameras are very much welcomed," he said. "They help deter crime and help the police department do their job and keep the community safe."

He said in the few conversations he has had, the tone was in support of the cameras' presence.

"People support the cameras. I didn't hear any conversation about being spied upon," he said.

Roddy said the program's next step is to obtain more mobile cameras and hopefully reach a partnership with businesses and possibly even residences around the city. Those cameras wouldn't be constantly monitored, but if there was a potential threat, police would be able to keep an eye on that particular camera.

"We would also be able to get into those cameras' systems, just like we do our own current public safety cameras, and grab segments of video that are of evidentiary value," Roddy said.

"My hopes and dreams is that we have a whole bunch of cameras that are simply giving us a view to our city of everybody going around on a safe and peaceful day."

Calif. officer fatally shoots former police captain who was armed with knife
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:47:27 GMT
How an in-car video system can be impactful for your agency
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:32:01 GMT
Family of Ill. security guard fatally shot by police files lawsuit
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:24:26 GMT
Baltimore SRO fatally shoots self in school office
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:16:04 GMT
Officials investigating after Ill. cop fatally shoots bar security guard
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 19:33:07 GMT

By PoliceOne Staff

ROBBINS, Ill. — Several law enforcement agencies are investigating after a police officer shot and killed a bar security guard who had detained a shooting suspect.

Robbins police initially responded to a report of a shooting at the bar early Sunday morning. Robbins Police Chief Roy Wells said the shooting began as an argument inside the bar, reported ABC7.

Midlothian Police were called to assist and one of the officers entering the bar saw security guard Jemel Roberson holding a gun. One of the responding Midlothian officers fatally shot Roberson.

"Upon arrival officers learned there were several gunshot victims inside the bar. A Midlothian Officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an Officer involved shooting,” Midlothian police Chief Dan Delaney said in a statement.

A witness told WGNTV that Roberson had pinned the suspected shooter to the floor and was holding him at gunpoint, when police responded.

"He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back, like, 'Don’t move,'" Adam Harris told WGNTV.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Roberson had a Firearms Owner Identification Card, but no concealed-carry license.

Four others were injured in the incident, including the suspected shooter.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office and the State Police Public Integrity Task Force are investigating.