September – October 2011 Americans Bulletin
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The self-professed “toughest sheriff in America” vows to remain in office despite facing a growing number of serious problems.
The one thing you need to know about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is that he craves publicity. He’s regularly on local TV news, cable talk shows, even international programs. But the 78-year old lawman now finds himself dealing with the kind of publicity no elected official wants.
This week, Arpaio held a press conference to announce that two of his detention officers and a deputy were arrested for allegedly helping a Mexican drug cartel smuggle people and narcotics.
San Antonio is dealing with not just the controversial fatal shooting of an unarmed teen but new disclosures that the officer was previously named four times for termination from the police force. Reports indicate that Officer Daniel Alvarado of San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District has been named on four occasions for termination due to misconduct but was never actually fired. He is now on suspension after he chased 14-year-old Derek Lopez, who punched another teen at a bus stop and ended up shooting him to death in a shed.
Lopez allegedly slapped a boy with the back of his hand without any cause or provocation. Alvarado was passing by in a cruiser when Lopez took off — no responding to orders to stop. While his supervisor told him to stay with the victim, Alvarado took a witness in the cruiser in search of Lopez. When a neighbor pointed him to a shed, Alvarado called out that he was a police officer and entered the shed. He reportedly said that the boy jumped from a hiding place and tried to get out the door. The door hit Alvarado in the face and the police say he was in fear for his life. He then shoot and killed the fourteen-year-old boy. A witness stated that Lopez came out of the shed and said he “came at me.” He recounted later “The suspect bull rushed his way out of the shed and lunged right at me. The suspect was literally inches away from me, and I feared for my own safety.”
That would be controversial enough. However, reporters have learned that between March 2006 and November 2010, Alvarado was suspended four times and named for termination.
While Alvarado insisted that he shot the boy at close range, an autopsy revealed “no evidence of close range firing [on] the wound.” The San Antonio Police Department, however, ruled that the death was a “justified” shooting. Alvarado remains on the force. The boy’s family is suing the department.
Source: San Antonio
A Portland jury has awarded a woman $82,000, after she was arrested when asking a police officer for a business card.
The woman, Shei’Meka Newmann, had sued the Portland police department, after she had watched the arrest of a man in 2009, questioned the arrest, asked an officer for a business card, and was arrested herself, The Oregonian reported.
“I think that police need to be reminded that it’s part of their job to de-escalate and defuse situations,” juror Chris Bolles told the paper after the trial Thursday. Jurors also said it would have taken just a few seconds for the officer to give Newmann his card.
Newmann had thought the arrest of the man, at a Portland light-rail station, was rough, and had sought the identities of the officers involved. But when she asked for a business card and tried to read an officer’s name on his uniform, she was arrested, the paper reported.
Read The Oregonian’s story here.
Some parking enforcement officers with the LA Department of Transportation are engaging in a range of inappropriate and illegal behavior with little or no consequences.
Prostitution, stealing, violence and parts in a porn movie. All in a day’s work for some City of Los Angeles traffic officers.
Hundreds of people from dozens of community organizing groups swarmed the Tuesday meeting to demand the company overhaul its widely criticized foreclosure policies. JPMorgan Chase has improperly broken into the homes of its borrowers in order to pursue foreclosures and has been accused of robo-signing thousands of key foreclosure documents. Federal regulators slapped the company with a consent order over foreclosure problems earlier this year, and the federal government is currently contemplating filing charges that the company defrauded taxpayers with its foreclosure policies on government-backed loans.
The former sheriff of Whitley County has admitted he was an illegal drug user and dirty cop much of his eight years in office.
Lawrence Hodge, who left office at the end of 2010, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to three felony charges — conspiracy to commit extortion, conspiracy to distribute pain pills and conspiracy to launder money.
Hodge signed off on a plea agreement that calls for him to serve 15 1/2 years in prison, forfeit $50,000 to the federal government and pay restitution of $64,897 to Whitley County for money he stole from the sheriff’s office while he was supposed to be the chief local law-enforcement officer.