The Fairfax County Police are out of control and need oversight but are slick enough to organize "Campaign contributions" during election time to avoid it.

Dallas police brutality cases prompt calls for oversight

DALLAS — Video obtained by News 8 last week is raising concerns again about the actions of a Dallas police officer.
"What I saw did disturbs me, and I have some concern," said City Council member Dwaine Caraway.
In the recording, Officer Brian Bradley is seen pulling over 59-year-old Albert Butler for an unsafe lane change in December 2012. Bradley immediately starts searching Butler.
"Why would that give him the right to search Mr. Butler like that before anything had taken place?" asked defense attorney Daryl Washington.
But it's what the officer does next that is more troubling. He pulls Butler to the side and out of view of the camera.
Butler — who is disabled and hearing-impaired — said Bradley then beat him.
"I was doing all that hollering and screaming and crying out to God, 'Please, make him stop,'" Butler said. He was hospitalized for his injuries.
The officer was cleared by the department's Internal Affairs for excessive force, and that has some civil rights leaders outraged. They maintain that Dallas police cannot investigate their own.

"We've requested for the FBI to come in and start investigating these cases with the Dallas Police Department, simply because of those reasons," said Rev. Ronald Wright, the founder of Justice Seekers Texas.
On Tuesday, the case of Tobias Mackey will be heard by a federal judge. His mother filed a federal civil rights violation lawsuit after Mackey was shot and killed by police. He was unarmed and had committed no crime.
“Certainly we don't throw our police department under the bus, but we certainly don't want to stand by and see our citizens thrown under the bus," Wright said.
The city has paid nearly $6 million in these types of cases, and the costs are mounting as the cry gets louder for a Justice Department inquiry into the Dallas Police Department.

Buffalo lawmakers cautiously question Police Department officials

By Jill Terreri

Buffalo lawmakers attending the first meeting of the newly revived Police Oversight Committee took care on Tuesday not to appear as if they were antagonizing Police Department officials, even as they acknowledged they have concerns about the behavior of certain officers.
Their delicate dance lasted 90 minutes in Council Chambers.
Council members asked department officials about training, the rights of private citizens who videotape police officers, and the department’s process for investigating suspected misdeeds committed by police personnel.
Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda, accompanied by 14 department administrators, told the lawmakers “we’re very, very proactive on discipline.”
“The vast majority of officers do the right thing every day,” Derenda said.
From the outset, the Council made clear the committee wouldn’t be an investigative body. And city lawmakers took pains to say they believe the vast majority of officers do the right thing.
No one on the Council believes “that we have a police force that is out of control,” said Council President Darius G. Pridgen.
Council members said they are most concerned about the relationship between the public and the department, in part because detectives rely on tips from the public to solve crimes. Then came the dollars and cents concern: The city must pay for court settlements to victims of police misconduct.
Committee Chairman David A. Rivera, a former police officer who represents the Niagara District, asked the first question, aimed at allowing Derenda to explain that many of the investigations into bad behavior by officers are initiated by the department.
Derenda said the department’s Internal Affairs Division has conducted more investigations since he took over as commissioner in 2010.
Rivera disclosed he met with Derenda and the union that represents officers before Tuesday’s meeting. Based on his discussions with union representatives, he expressed concern about the level of training for police officers.
Even with some recent troubling incidents involving officers, the Council wasn’t sure it needed to revive the long-dormant Police Oversight Committee. But Pridgen decided to schedule a meeting, and he put Rivera in charge. Pridgen brought up incidents about police behavior that constituents brought to him, and he said the department has some “bad apples.”
“We cannot ignore that because they are tainting people who are really great,” he said.
Pridgen asked that at the next meeting, Derenda return with a plan for a community survey on attitudes about the department; an answer to whether installing cameras in police cars is feasible; plans for sensitivity and other training; and how to communicate to the public about the consequences officers face when they are disciplined.
He also wants officers trained on the rights of citizens to videotape police and what should be done if officers need a video file for evidence, short of asking someone to turn over their entire mobile phone.
In addition to adding mandatory training, the department is also reviewing policies regarding officers’ outside employment.
Derenda said the city is working to include a residency requirement for new officers in the next labor contract, in response to Fillmore Council Member David A. Franczyk, who said the city is better off with officers who live within its borders.
Another police-related item came before the Council on Tuesday.
Pridgen is calling for a special meeting with the city’s Law Department to discuss the 2008 firing of Police Officer Cariol Horne. She was fired following a violent arrest during which she and another officer turned on each other. She claimed the other officer was choking a suspect during the arrest, while the other officer said she interfered with him as he dealt with a combative suspect. She was fired after a disciplinary proceeding that reviewed her on-duty confrontation with the officer.
The Council agreed to hold a special meeting July 8. Council members Joseph Golombek, Richard A. Fontana and Christopher P. Scanlon voted against it.

Citizens oversight panel urged for Oakland police force

Chief, union oppose councilman's plan
Will Kane
A panel of Oakland residents should be appointed to oversee the city's troubled Police Department - a common practice in other cities - a member of the City Council said Thursday.
Councilman Noel Gallo introduced a plan pushed by police accountability groups that calls for 12 civilians to investigate complaints of officer misconduct, recommend the hiring and firing of a police chief, and monitor quality overall.
Oakland's proposed commission would be similar to those in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
Increased oversight of the Police Department would help stem the kind of police misbehavior that has led to more than a decade of federal oversight of the police force, Gallo said.
As federal monitoring winds down, Gallo said, Oakland should create a new way to monitor the Police Department.
"What we currently have has not worked and is not working, and that's why we have had a federal judge for 11 years who is about to leave, and that is why we need this initiative," Gallo said.
The commission would have the ability to subpoena police officers, conduct investigative hearings, direct a chief to impose discipline on an officer and ensure that the Police Department follows applicable laws, according to Gallo's proposal, which was drafted by PUEBLO, a police watchdog group.
The 12 members would be appointed by the mayor and the City Council's Public Safety Committee, which Gallo chairs. The costs of such a proposal were not immediately clear.
"We have spent so many millions of dollars trying to get our Police Department to behave, to reach and do what they are supposed to do responsibly," said Gwen Hardy, an Oakland resident and c0-founder of PUEBLO. "I do not understand why we would not want to have police accountability."
But the plan has powerful critics, notably police officials and the police union.
It would also face a number of hurdles to take effect.
Review, OK needed
The plan would have to be approved first by a majority of the City Council by early August, then by a majority of voters in November.
The plan must also be reviewed by the city attorney and city staff, who only learned of the proposal late this week.
"I think it is best to slow it down if you want to get to where you want to get to," said Councilman Larry Reid, who sits on the Rules Committee that reviewed Gallo's proposal Thursday. "I think this is just being thrust on the council."
Police Chief Sean Whent said he thought creating a commission to oversee the Police Department is unnecessary because the Police Department has "demonstrated an ability to police ourselves."
"I think that we have a fair amount of oversight already here in Oakland given that we've been under federal oversight for the last 10 years," Whent said.
Barry Donelan, head of the Oakland Police Officers' Association, accused Gallo of abdicating his responsibility to oversee the Police Department.
"It is clear that Noel Gallo doesn't want to take responsibility for public safety in his district, so he wants to create a commission instead," Donelan said. "A classic political move - create a commission."
Gallo, who called the current operations of the Police Department "below basic," said increased oversight is necessary.
But he agreed it may be difficult to push the full proposal through the council in the next two months.
Instead, he said, the city might use the debate about the citizens commission to find other ways to keep the Police Department accountable

City to get federal monitor to oversee APD

By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A big task now facing the city of Albuquerque is the selection of a federal monitor to oversee the police department’s compliance with new reforms aimed at reducing the excessive use of force by city cops.
Negotiations are under way on those reforms, but already community leaders are thinking about the qualifications for the person who will oversee that compliance for years to come.  It’s going to be a tough job and it’s going to take a remarkable person. Other cities in similar situations have chosen high profile community leaders with experience and expertise in both law enforcement and civil rights. They don’t always go together. Nobody knows that better than Edmund Perea, a retired 24-year APD officer who is now a lawyer.
“There has to be some level of understanding and sensitivity to the role that a police officer performs on a day-to-day basis,” Perea said. “ On the other hand they have to have a clear understanding of constitutional rights issues as it relates to how police officers do their job.”
City Council President Ken Sanchez called for the appointment of a federal monitor a year and a half ago.

“I think it’s got to be someone who has a great knowledge in constitutional rights, civil rights, who also understands municipalities that have been through these problems.”
Legislative leader Moe Maestas, who serves in the state House of representatives, likes that idea of experience.
“Maybe some who’s done it before,” Maestas said. “Someone who’s had success. Someone who understands what cops go through but also understands civil rights, and maybe somebody who has familiarity with Latino populations.”
One more key requirement – that person must have no ties to the police agency involved. The federal monitor could be at work here for up to five years, and maybe even longer. In the negotiation process, the Department of Justice and city leaders will figure out how the monitor will be selected.

Police oversight commission questions APD on lapel cameras

By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Since the James Boyd shooting caught on lapel camera sparked outrage in Albuquerque, critics have demanded the police department enforce its policy that officers record every call.
“We feel like every encounter should be taped,” ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson said in April.
“If we don't have that documentation then we don't have that evidence,” Barry Porter of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association said in April.
In their findings letter released April 10, 2014, the Department of Justice wrote “we reviewed numerous reports where officers and supervisors on the scene failed to turn on their lapel cameras or belt tapes.”
Thursday Police Oversight Commissioners asked Deputy Chief William Roseman what the Albuquerque Police Department’s discipline policy is for officers who don’t turn on their cameras, and asked if they plan to strengthen it.
Roseman said the department is waiting until the city’s agreement with the DOJ is drawn up.
“It'd be premature for us to put something out and then if they came out and said nope, we want you to do it this way…so at this time, everything's in a holding pattern,” Roseman said.

But he says the department is open to discipline changes; they just want to wait. He says he also wants a policy change that would separate officers whose equipment fails and those who intentionally don’t turn on their cameras.

The Battle for Police Oversight: Buffalo Common Council Unanimously Reinstates Poli...

The Battle for Police Oversight: Buffalo Common Council Unanimously Reinstates Poli...: By: Meg Rossman BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo's Common Council unanimously reinstated a police oversight committee Tuesday. This follows se...

Buffalo Common Council Unanimously Reinstates Police Oversight Committee

By: Meg Rossman BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo's Common Council unanimously reinstated a police oversight committee Tuesday. This follows several recent incidents of alleged misconduct by Buffalo police officers.
Following its reinstatement, council discussed what the committee is not.
"It should not be a witch hunt," said council member David Franczyk.
Council President Darius Pridgen stressed it is not to regulate the department’s daily operations.
"This oversight committee is not, as some have reported, overseeing day-to-day operations of a police force."
Instead council members, including committee chairman David Rivera, want the focus on what it will be.
"We're there to assist, help through the legislative process. That's our goal as council members."
It's also to regain the public's trust in the Buffalo Police Department after two incidents of alleged police brutality in the last several weeks. Although they won't investigate specific cases, they will review policies and look into sensitivity training to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Policies. Can you take a cell phone from someone? Can you say give me your cell phone? Buffalo Police Department, what is the policy? We want it clear," said Rivera.
Council member Michael LoCurto says the goal is to eliminate future problems.
"Generally, the police are doing a good job. But when there are incidents, we want to try to understand why that happens and try to prevent it from happening again," LoCurto said.
After a five-year hiatus, the committee is also meant to mitigate the city's liability, because when incidents happen, you pay for it.
"It's not uncommon that we'll see claims from people against the city based on police actions," said LoCurto.
There is no word on who will sit on the committee, but Rivera said members will be tough on police when it comes to questioning. He said the public is welcome at their first meeting, but asks that they remember one thing.
"We have a great Buffalo Police Department, fine men and women who go out every single day and sometimes a few of them, tarnish the image of the majority of them."
The police oversight committee is set to meet some time the second week of June.