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Friday, December 30, 2005

[TX] Sgt Vick could have easily accidently murdered wife he sought to teach lesson to

December 2005
College Station Police Sergeant Gary Vick was arrested on "assault causing bodily injury-family violence" charges after knocking his wife unconscious and sending her to the hospital with bruises on her chest, hips, arms, hands and legs and cuts on her face. He was taken away in an ambulance and treated at the hospital for a "medical condition" also, that his pd is mum on - although his wife does say that she kneed him when he pinned her down. He was released the same day on a "personal recognizance bond" and you know the story:
"The internal review is designed to determine if Gary Vick's conduct violated any department regulations."
This is a misdemeanor assault charge but from where I'm sitting it looks like it could have EASILY ended in murder.
My prayers are with their household.

(RUN!)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Federal legislation for officer-involved domestic violence passed last week.


(Click here to see photo full-sized.)
When Crystal Judson Brame was shot almost three years ago in a Gig Harbor parking lot, her parents made a promise to her on her deathbed that they would do everything in their power to prevent another woman from ending up like her. Now that the U.S. Congress has passed the Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program, part of legislation that extends the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, the Judsons are beginning to understand just how much power there was in that promise. “It’s hard to believe it’s really happened,” Patti Judson said. She said she and her husband, Lane, watched C-SPAN as Congress passed the legislation that bears their daughter’s name. Now the Judsons have been honored for their tireless efforts to make women who are being abused by law enforcement officials safer. U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks were on hand last Thursday to present a special Congressional certificate of recognition to the Judsons. The protocol program Inslee, Dicks and other Washington state legislators inserted into the VAWA will make federal grants available to law enforcement agencies for training to deal with domestic violence and sexual harassment committed by their own employees. The monies will also fund positions for advocates for victims of domestic violence. Those positions will bear Crystal Judson Brame’s name in their titles. “Lane and Patti’s efforts are what made the difference,” Inslee said. “Their incredible diligence, their perseverance and dedication to their daughter was supremely effective.” The Judsons began their campaign with phone calls to their local and federal legislators. When Sen. Patty Murray returned their phone call two days after Crystal’s funeral, Lane Judson said, “That inspired me to keep going.” The Judsons became aware that in order to enact the kinds of changes they envisioned, they needed grassroots action, and they began a letter-writing campaign. “Not only people from the Puget Sound area signed those letters,” Lane Judson said. “People wrote from Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Alaska.” A representative from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office testified to the effectiveness of the letters — her office branch received more than 2,500, he said, and many more arrived at Cantwell’s offices — a volume of mail the first-term senator had never seen before. The Judsons initially wanted to make domestic violence training tied to access to weapons and supplies, but security concerns trumped that possibility. Domestic violence of course, is a national, not a regional problem. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 5.3 million Americans are victims of domestic violence each year, the majority of them women. “This is an American scourge,” Inslee said. “It cannot be solved in the privacy of our own homes.” Now the Tacoma area, which has been scarred by the events of April 2003, is a leader in ending the problem, Inslee said. The Crystal Judson Brame Family Justice Center in Tacoma, which opened Dec. 12, will be the primary locus of that change.
Haley Judson (the name she now goes by), who turned 11 just two days after the ceremony, said the legislation had particular importance to her. “It means a lot to me because my mom had to go through a lot,” she said. “Other women — and men — shouldn’t go through this; this will let them know they’re not alone, we’ll always be there for them.”

Reach reporter Callie White at 853-9224 or by e-mail at callie.white@gateline.com.

Source:
Judsons honored for efforts to fight domestic violence Legislation: Justice Center are result of a promise parents made to their daughter, 12/28/05, Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor Washington, byCallie White

[FL] Goodbye to Deputy Ken Pocchio: "accidental self-inflicted shooting"


Collier County Deputy Corporal Kenneth Pocchio was found around 6 a.m. on Christmas morning in his running car, in the median section of the highway, with the doors locked, dead of a self-inflicted wound. The news says he was returning alone from a family function and that his death is being handled as an accidental self-inflicted shooting, not a suicide. He leaves behind a wife and 5 year old daughter.
The sorrow is shared.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

[MD] Tears of Officers who carried Officer Vazquez's coffin

Previous post:
[MD] Cop-on-Cop domestic double-murder victims Officers Vazquez & Holliday

December 28, 2005

Today was the funeral of Baltimore Polce Officer Adam Vazquez, killed along with his new girlfriend Officer Leslie Holliday, in a double murder by Leslie's ex-fiancee, Department of General Services Police Officer Eugene Victor Perry Jr., on December 21st.

EXCERPT from New York Times:
...After the funeral Mass, Officer Vazquez's coffin was carried out and loaded into a hearse and a 5-year-old cousin pierced the gloomy scene.

"I'm going to miss you, Adam,"
she screamed between sobs.
"I don't want him to go.
I didn't want him to die."

Officer Vazquez's father erupted in tears. The stern faces of the men in the honor guard crumpled... At the burial, in Green-Wood Cemetery, family, friends and tough-looking guys from the neighborhood gathered around as an honor guard bugler blew taps into the dim winter sky. The coffin was lowered nine feet into the ground.

The little cousin again cried out
and tried to throw herself
on his grave...
Source: ">Baltimore Officer Returns to Brooklyn for His Funeral, New York Times, Corey Kilgannon, December 29, 2005


Good-bye Officer Vasquez.
May your people find
some strands of comfort
in their memories of you.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

[TN] Sheriffs Colonel Farmer demoted and alleged victim fired

December 2005
When a female Rutherford County Sheriff's deputy filed a domestic violence report against 3rd-in-command officer Colonel Eddie Farmer 4 days ago, she was suddenly out of a job. Farmer was demoted to Major, and reassigned to a different position in what Sheriff Truman Jones calls a "restructuring" because Farmer's duties had been too time consuming. It's an in-house investigation and in-house bruise-photographer, with no arrest or charge. The deputy, only there 8 months and still on probationary status, wants her job back.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

[CO] Trooper Oreolt resigns after Rep. Buescher takes notice

December 2005
Demoted Colorado State Trooper John Oreolts resigned this month, a day before taking the desk job he had been reassigned to after coming under the public scutiny of state Rep. Bernie Buescher: "A mere demotion of State Patrol officer John Oreolt sends the wrong message to women in Mesa County and the state of Colorado, but I’m concerned that state personnel rules protect employees that violate rules of acceptable behavior... I’m calling on the State Patrol to do the right thing." Oreolt is in the news now because he propositioned a woman he pulled over, but also has domestic violence and false reporting in his history with the state police. He had been jailed after his wife reported he hit her in the face with his fist a couple of days after he slammed a cabinet door into her shin. The domestic-violence charge was dismissed 3 months later "IN THE BEST INTEREST OF JUSTICE." In the false reporting incident he failed to mention that the accident happened when a trooper pulled a U-turn in front of someone, didn't turn in witness statements, and categorized it as a 1-car accident.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

[WI] Deputy Riedel runs over girlfriend Officer Flower with truck

December 22, 2005
This past week Sauk County Sheriff's Deputy David L. Riedel is charged with felony hit and run for deliberately running over his girlfriend, Stoughton Police Officer Sonya Flower, then leaving the site. She crawled to the hotel, was taken by ambulance to the hospital and ended up with a lacerated liver, bruised ribs, and a bruised arm. According to the online news, the two of them were in mutual combat and she may be charged (but isn't). According to the news she layed behind his truck to keep him from leaving. She is said to have reported that earlier in the evening, after drinking, the two of them were in a hotel "throwing each other around the room' and that Riedel tried to choke her.

[MD] Cop-on-Cop domestic double-murder victims Officers Vazquez & Holliday


December 22, 2005
Baltimore City Officers Adam Vazquez and Leslie Holliday were murdered yesterday by Department of General Services (state) Police Officer Eugene Victor Perry Jr.
Each victim was shot multiple times. Officer Leslie Holliday had broken up with Officer Perry recently and started seeing Officer Vazquez. The news is reporting that Perry had slashed Holliday's car tires, and that he threatened to kill Holliday 10 days ago.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder maryland state politics]

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

[SD] Garretson Police Officer Steve Schwartz arrested for DV


December 2005
Garretson Police Officer Steve Schwartz was just arrested for DV. There aren't any details about what happened except that ">the County Attorney said "...we filed a complaint alleging three individual accounts of simple assault. Those counts are charged in the alternative, meaning that he could only be convicted of one of those counts." (Hunh?)
What also stood out for me were the Chief's discussing policy in yesterday's article: (Excerpt) ...So how do police and sheriff's department's investigate their own when an officer is charged with a crime? Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel says it's something he hates to do, but he takes it very seriously. As the Tea Police and the Lincoln County State's Attorney investigate what happened in officer Steve Schwartz's home, his part-time employer, the Garretson Police Department will conduct it's own investigation. "We make our own opinion of the accusations and the charges at which time the suspension could carry on," Ronnie Thallas Garretson Police Chief said. That's a policy that many other departments also use. Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel says in deciding what action to take against an officer accused of a crime, he's looking for specific information. What was the violation, what's in the officers past, and is there a safety factor for the officer or the department if they continue with their duties.

(Notice who's missing
in the safety factors?

Sad.

[TN] Detective Meeks accused of kicking girlfriend on floor as children watch

December 2005
Murfreesboro Detective David Meeks is accused of kicking his girlfriend on the floor while her children watch. It came up in the news today as his COUSIN, Murfreesboro Police OFFICER TIM Meeks was CLEARED of wrongdoing for the phone calls he made to his cousin's (alleged) victim to "persuade" her to not let the kids tell what they saw... or something to that tune. There's no officer-involved police dv policy so there's no violation, right?

Murfreesboro police officer didn't break laws in case, investigation finds
By Chris Jones
The Tennessean, TN
Wednesday, 12/21/05
Excerpts:
A Murfreesboro police officer was given "verbal counseling" after being cleared of allegations that he tried to persuade the girlfriend of a fellow officer not to cooperate with investigators in a domestic violence probe... Officials said Officer Tim Meeks didn't violate any state laws when he contacted Lynn Clark during her case against his cousin... "Perhaps Officer Meeks should have evaluated the appropriateness of making a phone call to Ms. Clark during that time," Lt. Anita Flagg wrote...

Where's the girlfriend?
Is she safe?
How?

[CA] Deputy Santos' felony child abuse, threats, & dv charges dropped.


December 2005
This past week felonies against Riverside Deputy Efrain Santos were dropped - he had

2 charges of inflicting injury
on a child(4 years old)
and 2 charges
of making criminal threats.
He was also charged
with misdemeanor
spousal abuse.
He had been on unpaid admin leave
because of another incident
when his girlfriend said he told her that if he lost his job he would kill her first, then her daughter, and then himself. She said he also vowed to shoot the deputy "traitors" at the Palm Desert sheriff's station and that he had repeatedly threatened to "go out like McGowan" if he lost his job - David McGowan, the ex-cop/ Riverside County district attorney's office investigator who murdered his mother, wife and three children before turning the gun on himself earlier this year. She had bruises which she said were from Santos and last I read - back in June - the girlfriend had been placed into victim/ witness hiding.
Reason given for the charges being dropped is lack of evidence.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

[CT] IACP instructed not to follow its own domestic abuse policy?

...2 City Council members are asking the Board of Police Commissioners to adopt a zero-tolerance policy whereby anyone with a history of domestic violence is prohibited from becoming a police officer or being promoted in the department... (Councilmembers) Walsh and Pivirotto said the IACP was instructed not to follow its own domestic abuse policy when screening Bridgeport applicants. But (Mayor) Fabrizi said that accusation is a "horrendous statement to make," and denied anyone manipulated the process...

Secrecy surrounds 3 top cop hopefuls
BILL CUMMINGS
bcummings@ctpost.com
The Bridgeport Post
12/20/2005 04:38:48 AM

BRIDGEPORT - There are three finalists for the city's police chief's job, but officials remain mum over who they are.

Candidates are undergoing background checks and, if nothing negative turns up, their names will be forwarded to Mayor John M. Fabrizi for a final choice. The names could be presented to the mayor within two weeks, officials said.

Meanwhile, two City Council members are asking the Board of Police Commissioners to adopt a zero-tolerance policy whereby anyone with a history of domestic violence is prohibited from becoming a police officer or being promoted in the department.

The proposal follows controversy over Provisional Police Chief Anthony Armeno, who is a candidate for permanent appointment as chief, although it is not known if he is one of the finalists. Armeno was disciplined departmentally, but not arrested, 10 years ago for several incidents of alleged domestic violence against a female colleague.

Armeno has been criticized because of that past record, and some critics have demanded he not be considered for the job. If the proposed zero-tolerance policy were in effect when applicants had been solicited for the chief's job, Armeno would not have been able to apply, said City Council member Robert Walsh, who is co-sponsoring the policy along with Elaine Pivirotto, his colleague in the 132nd District.

The proposed policy mirrors standards adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is being forwarded to the police board for consideration. The IACP conducted the search for candidates for police chief.

That search was conducted in secret, and city officials have refused to reveal any of the applicants' names, marking a sharp break with past practice. Former Mayor Joseph P. Ganim's administration released the names of semifinalists and identified the final three candidates during a similar process in 2000, when Wilbur Chapman was hired as chief.

Ganim is now serving nine years in prison for racketeering and other crimes, and Chapman left last year after the police panel refused to extend his contract.

Fabrizi said the city's personnel director, acting on advice from the city attorney, ruled that the candidates' names could not be released because it would violate privacy laws.

The mayor said he has no control over that decision. When pressed, he said he would ask Personnel Director Ralph Jacobs to seek permission from the finalists to release their names.

Asked why the names had been made public in the past, Jacobs said, "We now have a better understanding of Freedom of Information law."
Walsh said the city should release the names.

"It's important so the working press can do its job and do some background checks, or use their contacts with other papers," he said. "It's important for people to know who the candidates are and if there is anything questionable in their backgrounds."

Walsh and Pivirotto said the IACP was instructed not to follow its own domestic abuse policy when screening Bridgeport applicants.

But Fabrizi said that accusation is a "horrendous statement to make," and denied anyone manipulated the process.

Jacobs also said the IACP was given no instructions regarding candidates or issues, such as domestic abuse.

Jacobs said the three finalists represent the top three scorers on a battery of tests given to all applicants.

Fabrizi and Jacobs both said the city should consider Walsh's proposed zero-tolerance policy.

"There are some good things in that policy," Jacobs said, referring to the IACP's rule.

"If something was nailed down, it would be an advantage," Jacobs said. "It's an important issue that may not be adequately addressed. We should look at it and see if it is, or isn't." Walsh said the policy would help ease fears that someone with a history of domestic abuse could end up running the Police Department.

"This policy will not only allay fears, but it also places in motion a process to deal with the problem," Walsh said.

Bill Cummings, who covers regional issues, can be reached at 330-6230.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Congress passes domestic violence legislation in the name of Crystal Judson Brame

The New Takhoman
Tacoma's Online News Resource
December 19, 2005
Volume 5, Number 247
(Reprinted here with permission)



Christmas came early this year for the family of Crystal Judson and the nation on Saturday. The day of giving came early in the form of an act of congress that appropriated $187.3 million in funding that will soon be added to Title I of the Violence Against Women Act in the Special Training Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) grant program for fiscal year 2006.

“This is the best Christmas present I have ever received”, said the mother of Crystal Judson/Brame who along with her husband Lane has lobbied for federal domestic violence legislation ever since their daughter was murdered in April 2003 by her husband former Tacoma Police Chief David Allen Brame.

The legislation, which was introduced by Jay Inslee, (D-Bainbridge Island) and supported by the Washington State delegation, was passed by the Senate on Friday and the House on Saturday. The federal act was the culmination of a death bed promise made by Lane Judson to his daughter Crystal.

“Not only will this legislation keep her (Crystal’s) memory alive (but) if we can save one life out of this it’s worth it”, Judson was quoted as saying on a local television news broadcast Saturday night.

The landmark legislation is designed to do the following:

To provide funding to law enforcement agencies, nonprofit nongovernmental victim services providers, and State, tribal, territorial, and local governments, (which funding stream shall be known as the Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program) to promote-

"(A) the development and implementation of training for local victim domestic violence service providers, and to fund victim services personnel, to be known as 'Crystal Judson Brame Victim Advocates,' to provide supportive services and advocacy for victims of domestic violence committed by law enforcement personnel;

"(B) the implementation of protocols within law enforcement agencies to ensure consistent and effective responses to the commission of domestic violence by personnel within such agencies (such as the model policy promulgates by the International Association of Chiefs of Police ('Domestic Violence by Police Officers: A Policy of the LACP, Police Response to Violence Against Women Project' July 2003));

"(C) the development of such protocols in collaboration with State, tribal, territorial and local victim service providers and domestic violence coalitions.

Any law enforcement, State, tribal, territorial, or local government agency receiving funding under the Crystal Brame Judson Domestic Violence Protocol Program under paragraph (14) shall on an annual basis, receive additional training on the topic of victims of domestic violence committed by law enforcement personnel from domestic violence and sexual assault nonprofit organizations and, after a period of 2 years, provide a report of the adopted protocol to the Department of Justice, including a summary of progress in implementing such protocol.".

Lane Judson, a 70 year old former Boeing executive and veteran Navy Chief, has made it very clear that his life is now not only devoted to his daughter’s children, Haley and David Jr. but to the cause of the reduction of domestic violence in the United States.

City of Tacoma Council members who voted in September to settle a wrongful death suit brought by Crystal’s children for $12 million were not available for comment.

Sidebar:

Jay Inslee the HB 3402’s sponsor has posted the following information on his website at http://www.house.gov/inslee/issues/families/brame_domestic_violence.html

The tragic case of Crystal Judson Brame, a Tacoma woman murdered by her police chief husband in April 2003, was the impetus behind a ground-breaking domestic violence grant program that was approved by the Senate. It’s the first time the federal government specifically has addressed the sensitive issue of domestic violence committed by law-enforcement officials.

Penned by U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and supported by other members of Washington state’s congressional delegation, the program named after Brame provides federal grants for law enforcement agencies to implement procedures for dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and other serious crimes committed by their employees and helping victims of such offenses. Recipients would work in collaboration with local government and domestic violence advocacy groups to establish their procedures.

“Mr. Judson was right – it is difficult to move the slow machine of the lawmaking process,” said Inslee, who has championed the issue since Lane Judson, Brame’s father, contacted members of Congress about raising awareness of his daughter’s case among law enforcement agencies nationwide. “This program is a testament to persistence, hard work and a commitment to helping prevent cases like Crystal’s from happening again.”

After learning a grant program in his daughter’s name was approved, Judson remarked, "Federal legislation such as this can only be viewed as a positive approach to encourage and motivate law enforcement agencies nationwide to address domestic violence.

“In the state of Washington, law enforcement agencies already have this type of policy implemented under State Bill 6161. I hope that every state nationwide utilizes this opportunity to become the best of the best.”

A range of law enforcement and domestic violence advocacy groups, including the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, have been supportive of efforts by Inslee, along with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Reps. Norm Dicks, Dave Reichert and Adam Smith, to address complexities of cases like Brame’s.

"The Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program will create a coordinated response to ensure victims of domestic violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers are able to access services and perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes," said Lynn Rosenthal, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

It will be included in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as a new Special Training Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) grant. These federal grants are funded under VAWA to help criminal justice agencies better respond to violent crimes against women. Annual funding for all STOP grants currently is $187.3 million.

“Law-enforcement agencies in Washington state already are responding to Crystal’s tragedy, and I hope they can use these new grants to continue to lead the nation on the issue,” added Inslee.

Language establishing the Brame grant program was included in a bill that continues VAWA, which originally was passed in 1994 and extended in 2000. It requires this so-called reauthorization because it is set to expire about every five years. The House likely will take up an identical VAWA reauthorization bill before Congress adjourns for the year. After approval in that chamber, the bill only will need the president’s signature to become law.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

[CO] Detective Bolden suspended for death threats


December 2005
Denver Colorado Police Vice Detective Damon Bolden is caught on audio tape making threats to two women, one of them his ex girlfriend. I almost don't want to go into the whole thing about how he was taking nude photos for a PORN SITE (geeeez) and the two women decided to not sign a permission for him to use the photos - but there it is. His ex is scared for her life she says because he's a vice cop and might follow through on what he's saying. What's he saying? "I don't even need the DPD! I'll have my mother (expletive) cousin come over there and cut your back through the (expletive) fat meat!... Yeah, I see you didn't come outside, (expletive.) If you even at home. That's cool. Keep your lights off though. Keep your (expletive) head down... I'm down the street from your (expletive) house... And you (expletive) ain't got enough Goddamn power, you know what I'm saying?" Article & video

Saturday, December 17, 2005

[MO] Officer that shot officer girlfriend in the face, APPEALS

December 2005
This past week, ex-St. Louis Police Officer Thomas Zeigler went to court to appeal the drug felony and 2nd degree assault on his record claiming faulty jury instructions and double jeopardy. In 2003 Zeigler shot his girlfriend, fellow-officer Patricia (Patty) March, point blank in the face with his .40-caliber Glock pistol. I pause. She had just told him that she was breaking up with him. Zeigler gave police several versions in oral, videotaped and audiotaped statements - that he had fired his personal semiautomatic pistol into her face by accident, that she shot herself in a suicide attempt, that it was just sex-play-gone-bad, that he had amnesia so it was a forced confession that he shot her, etc. etc. etc. In January he was convicted and FINED for shooting Patricia, FINED for 6.7 grams of marijuana, and jailed for 3 months on the 1.6 grams of crack cocaine. (Officials assured there was no evidence that Zeigler used drugs on the job. Hunh?) Of course the court set it up so he could be bailed out to await his appeal because as the defense pointed out - jail isn't a good place for officers. (Seems the OFFICER should consider that, not the courts.) While he was OUT on that bond - he was arrested for domestic violence assault on his ex-wife, released, and not prosecuted.
Watch this - If Zeigler wins this current appeal, he could get back his police license back. Imagine that.
And what of Officer March?

She has had, at last public report, had10 operations (the first one 14 hours long) to "remove bullet fragments from her brain, to replace the eye she lost with a glass one, and to rebuild her face..."
Selah.

[CT] Injured Attorney of slain wife in Trooper Bochicchio murder-suicide sues

December 2005
A Waterbury attorney injured in a deadly shooting outside a courthouse in Middletown is seeking $5 million in damages and attorney's fees from the estate of Michael Bochicchio.

In June of 2005 Bochicchio, a state trooper shot and killed his wife Donna, shot and injured his wife's attorney Julie Porzio, and then shot and killed himself outside Middlesex Superior Court 12 days into their divorce trial.

Months before the shooting Donna Bochicchio wrote her brother a note on a small piece of paper: "I know he's going to kill me. I just don't know when." To make it clear who she was talking about, she wrote "Michael" in tiny letters above the word "he."

Custody of the couple's two children, a 13-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy, was awarded to Michael's brother, Bruce, who is also serving as the administrator for the estate. Funds for the Bochicchio children have been established at Torrington Savings Bank and at the Waterbury Police Federal Credit Union. Contributions can be sent to the Bochicchio Children's Fund, care of Torrington Savings Bank, P.O. Box 478, Torrington 06790. People also can contribute to the Bochicchio Children Education Fund, care of the Waterbury Police Federal Credit Union, 255 East Main St., Waterbury 06702.

Friday, December 16, 2005

[TN] Record of Officer Singleton's charge of rifle-on-wife may be exPUNGED

December 2005.
Murfreesboro Police Officer John Riley Singleton was scheduled for court on an aggravated assault charge that he held a rifle on his wife and threatened to kill her. The court struck a deal instead, no doubt so he could keep his job - follow some "requirements" and the case may be dismissed and his record expunged in June(Poof!). Don't follow the requirements and it "may" be prosecuted. The "agreement": Obey the law, refrain from any contact with his ex-wife, work, & pay court costs. After court his ex asked, "Does this mean he's going back on the street?"
I call for a moment of silence.
Officer Singleton has been disciplined TWICE BEFORE - for "fighting"(?) with his previous wife and for slapping his daughter.

Monday, December 12, 2005

[IA] Officer Ortman fired, WON'T be charged for DV, & admits alcohol problem

December 12, 2005
Des Moines Police Officer Eric Ortman had a domestic violence incident with his wife in October, fought the folks who came to intervene and had to be tasered. He was charged with assaults on peace officers and firefighters, interference with official acts and simple domestic assault, but for reasons not revealed, he will no longer be charged on the domestic violence. His attorney said he will be focusing on being clean and sober. Officer Ortman was with the department since 1994.

[TN] 48 Troopers summoned to explain criminal past

December 2005
Heads of The Tennessee State Troopers, Highway Safety Patrol Commissioner Fred Phillips and Deputy Commissioner Tom Moore have resigned. The Tennesean Newspaper shook things until the truth fell out - 1 in every 18 Troopers has some kind of criminal history on their records(including domestic violence) and it's found that a couple of ways they keep their jobs, get rehired, or get promoted is by contributing to Governor Bredesen's campaign funds, OR having a politician - whether the politician knows them or not - write a letter in their behalf. The governor is saying whoops I didn't have any idea of this, as are the politicians pleading ignorance. 48 troopers are being investigated now by internal affairs - the number left after others have already gone through the process of having their criminal pasts "expunged."
AN EXCERPT:
...The governor had ordered the TBI to investigate after a series of stories and questions by The Tennessean about the THP. Most recently, the newspaper inquired about an Oct. 12 memo in which then-Col. Pitts told troopers it was their responsibility to get their criminal records expunged to operate a federal crime database. The newspaper asked why troopers would have criminal records... (Source: THP housecleaning sweeps out 2 more, The Tennessean, Brad Schrade, 12/10/05)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

[HI] Sentenced for holding a gun to his wife's head - WHY is Gomez free?

December 9th, 2005,
When Ernie Gomez was arrested in 2004 he was a week short of graduating to be a Honolulu police officer. He was found GUILTY earlier this year, and this week SENTENCED to 5 years in PRISON without parole for terroristic threatening - holding a semi-automatic handgun to his wife's head - and abusing his wife - who is a HawaiiAN Army National Guard Sgt. SOUNDS SERIOUS - SO MY QUESTION THEN WOULD BE WHY IS HE WALKING AROUND FREE ON $75,000 BAIL UNTIL HE EXERCISES THE PROCESS OF APPEALING THE SENTENCING? Keeping in mind he was found GUILTY - here is what his wife said happened: He threatened her with a knife and a gun. He ordered her to drive home if she wanted to see their 2-year-old daughter again and when they got home he pulled out a gun, pointed it at his wife's forehead, forcing her head back with it, as their 2-year-old cried nearby. He told her she had 1 minute to start talking before he killed her. He punched her and slapped her repeatedly - injuring her face and legs. He said, 'I'm gonna shoot you right now, but you're not worth it so I'm going to shoot you in the knees.'" He told her that if she ever reported what happened to the authorities, he would hunt her down and kill her. Because he told her the only way he would spare her life was if she left, she packed her bags, booked a flight and took a taxi to the airport - but changed her mind because she did'n't want to leave without her daughter.


Circuit Judge Michael Town - who has probably never had a gun to his head or been kicked around the floor as a grown man - acknowledged Gomez's military service but said he was BOUND BY THE LAW. "In my view it's certainly an onerous sentence to impose on somebody who's served his country honorably. You made a very bad illegal criminal mistake, but it is the law."
The judge MAY have HAD to sentence him, but I guess he didn't HAVE to actually lock him up!
There's no mention of MRS. Gomez's safety but then this isn't HER story is it? It's all about Gomez, his mistake, his appeal, his military service, the sad loss of a career - yada yada yada. Folks should walk a day in her shoes. It would be frightening for her even if he was in jail. And he's NOT.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

[TX] Trooper Romeo Garza is gone "unexpectedly"

December 10, 2005
Today I found Trooper Garza's obituary almost by accident. There is no mention in the news of how he died - just "unexpectedly." I recall him from 2 news articles in December of last year - being arrested for assaulting Pharr Officer Rodolfo Diaz who tried to get in the house to check on Garza's wife - it was a domestic violence call. Garza knocked Officer Diaz down and had him pinnned but luckily Diaz had called for back-up. Once Pharr officer Laura Lopez got there they were able to out-power him and get him cuffed and on his way to jail. His wife didn't say if she had injuries and rebuffed offers of any help. Officer Diaz wrote in his report that he "had red eyes and looked like he had been crying."
He was arraigned on a 3rd degree felony charge of assault on a peace officer and a Class C misdemeanor charge of assault. The judge set bond at $50,000, there was to be an investigation, and his future as a trooper couldn't be predicted. Then he fell off the map. Today is the first he's been in the news since then.
My condolences to those who lost him.
"...In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be set up in the name of Sabrina Ranae Garza (his daughter) at Lone Star National Bank in Pharr, Texas..."
Tel: 1-800-580-0322 Ext. 2440
customerservice@lonestarnationalbank.com

Friday, December 9, 2005

[FL] Deputy Spiese ACQUITTED. Wife: "I'm scared to death of him"

December 9, 2005
It was in the paper today that Hernando County Deputy Daniel Spiese has been acquitted of trying to explode his wife and son by an all male jury. His wife, who also works for the Sheriff's Department had asked Spiese to leave. He called deputies (from his own department) who told her he can't be made to leave because they're married. WHY she wanted him out is never revealed in the news. She says that night he wouldn't let her sleep, kept turning the lights on and off. She turned the breaker off & about 4 a.m. he put lotion all over the breaker. She wiped the lotion off to flip the switch. About 6 a.m. she saw Deputy Spiese leave, woke up her son to leave, went to the garage and smelled the overwhelming smell of propane. She said the burner to the gas grill was turned on and the grill's valve was open. Detectives say it was pushed up against the wall. They found that one window had been "tampered" with and the only prints on the window were those of Daniel Spiese.
From an article: ...Lt. Rex Hinkle of the State Fire Marshall's Office said propane gas is highly flammable and the victims inside the home June 17 were "lucky they were not injured or killed." Items in the home like a car, garage door opener and a freezer could have triggered the open propane gas tank to explode...
From another article:

...She spoke to Circuit Judge Stephen Spivey in a tearful near-whisper.
"I'm scared to death of him," she said.
Of that, (Judge Stephen) Spivey said,
"there's no question in my mind. None at all."...

Thursday, December 8, 2005

[IN] Officer Voght's DV - he shoots deputy and kills himself

December 7th, 2005
David Voght was currently a Naval Support Activity Crane police officer with Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, had worked there 4 years, and formerly was an officer with Fort Wayne Police Department for 8 years - suspended 11 times and given four letters of reprimand. At Crane he was a GS6 with "general law enforcement duties."
Yesterday 16 minutes after his wife placed a 911 domestic violence call, Voght opened fire with an assault rifle repeatedly through his own windshield into Johnson County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Edwards' facing patrol car, wounding him - windows of neighbors houses were shot out, a 100-mile-an-hour police chase began, and ended with a crash and Voght fatally shooting himself in the head. During the chase, by cell phone, he told police on his cell phone that he would not be captured alive.
No one shot at Voght.

Excerpt:

...It's unnerving for the family of officers who gave chase. The unwritten rule, officers don't shoot other officers. But Indiana State Police Sgt. David Bursten says Voght made it clear no one would take him alive. "The real issue for us was, what level of training did he have and would he use that training to further endanger other officers or to try to make an escape?"...
(How did he get a federal police officer job in munitions with his history?
From Crane: "...NSWC Crane is a world-class organization involved in virtually every ship, submarine, aircraft, and missile system fielded by the Navy... harnessing the power of technology for the warfighter..."}
My prayer is in behalf of the families, friends, and law enforcement officers who put themselves in harms way because we call. MWAH! I'm so thankful there no other deaths this time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

[AK] Nome Police Officer Matthew Owens trial - CONVICTED in 2nd trial of killing Sonya

December 2005
Nome Police Officer Matthew Owens was accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Sonya Dora Nitcuk Ivanoff in 2003. His first trial ended with a hung jury, but his second one ended with a guilty verdict. After a month and a half of testimony and more than 80 witnesses, Owens has been found guilty of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. The 12 jurors, after deliberating for three and a half days, stood before Judge Ben Esche and said they agreed with the verdict. Several of those jurors were crying.
Info excerpted from: Owens found guilty of murder, KTUU Alaska News, December 6, 2005.


(To see the first blog on this case, go to: [AK] Sonya Dora Nitcuk Ivanoff_murdered Inupiak Eskimo from the village of Unalakleet)

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

[TN] Officer Fetter's abused wife planted with cocaine

December 2005
Memphis Police officers James Fetter and Adam Gagnier are charged with violating the civil rights of Fetter's estranged wife and her employer by planting a large amount of cocaine on them after an unwarranted traffic stop. Gagnier told federal prosecutors that when he made the stop, Fetter was nearby instructing him via cell phone on what to do. Fetter used the arrest to try to get custody of the couple's two children, according to the charges. Officer Fetter's wife testified she filed for divorce after Fetter held a gun to his head, then turned it on her, threatening to kill her. When she ran up the stairs of their home to a bedroom, she told investigators, he fired a shot through the ceiling into the bedroom where she and the children were.
Taken from: 2 cops accused of theft, fraud; commercialappeal.com, Chris Conley, 12/06/2005

[IN] Looks like Deputy Seufert killed police officer girlfriend's dog

November 2005
St. Joseph County Deputy Curt Seufert is on administrative leave after his girlfriend, a police officer at South Bend Police Department, came home to find her dog muzzled and dead in the basement, with what were determined later to be "severe spinal injuries." He and his officer girlfriend reportedly had been verbally fighting before she went to work. When she returned, besides finding her one beloved Akita dead, she found her other dog cowering under a bed in the house. There's no argument in the news whether or not he did it - only what to charge him with for it. Indiana State Police are investigating animal cruelty charges. Seufert is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. There is no mention in the news of a protection order for his girlfriends' safety or a plan - so I lift a prayer.
The picture here is an Akita.

Monday, December 5, 2005

[IN] Police Officer Craig Toner's "little bit of a physical argument"

December 2005
Craig Toner was a Lt. in the Mishawaka Police Department - 19 year veteran - until a DUI incident (that I can't find the history or details of) resulted in him being fired last year, and him suing that department. He's on the Roseland Police force now and was arrested this past weekend for what WNDU-TV reporter Robert Borrelli and Elkhart County Captain Tom Love together paint as a mutual combat - but I'm picking up on curious choice of words that seem assembled to give a particular (minimizing) impression:
...Roseland Police Officer Craig Toner and his live-in girlfriend were BOTH ARRESTED at their Elkhart apartment. BOTH WERE INJURED in an apparent fight BETWEEN each other. "When we got there, the officers spoke with a male and a female who were there, boyfriend-girlfriend, and PRETTY MUCH determined that both had been involved in domestic battery. (They had) VERY MINOR INJURIES, some PUSHING, GRABBING, MAYBE A SCRATCH OR TWO," says Elkhart County Captain Tom Love... Fife suffered a small bruise on her arm, while Toner ended-up with A SCRATCH OR BRUISE. "There was a verbal argument that ESCALATED INTO A LITTLE BIT OF A PHYSICAL ARGUMENT," says Love. "There was SOME PUSHING AND SHOVING AND A LITTLE BIT OF SHAKING."...
Source: Roseland police officer arrested for domestic violence, WNDU-TV, Robert Borrelli, 12/05/2005

[FL] 152 to 3 "No Confidence" vote on Chief Scott & he resigns


December 2005
Attitudes about domestic violence matter most maybe at the top of the command chain. If the chief's not on-board it will be close to impossible to make progress.
Boca Raton Police Chief Andrew Scott's wealthy friend was being arrested - on charges he assaulted his wife, another policeman, & a restaurant manager - when the chief made the decision to interrupt the flow of that process. There were citizen protests, a lot of media attention, and ultimately the Boca Raton police officers gave a no-confidence vote of 152 to 3 & the Chief has now resigned.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

[CT] No internal probe on Officer Velez - arrested 6 times for DV - including threats to kill

December 1st, 2005
News is in. New London police didn't conduct an internal investigation of Police Officer Genaro Velez Jr.'s charge that he threatened to kill ("empty my clip" into) his ex-wife and any family member that gets in his way. Velez has been arrested 6 times for domestic-violence complaints - charges dropped in all the cases with some witnesses saying they are afraid to testify. He's had 6 restraining orders filed on him by 4 women. His personnel records show he's been the target of 15 civilian complaints concerning his behavior with women, his workplace, & the public. The Police Chief (Bruce Rinehart) has been saying there's an "ongoing investigation" but in a response to the Police Union lawyer, City Attorney Brian Estep responded, "It would appear that after the assignment of this matter to the Deputy Chief that an Internal Affairs number was not created and no investigation has occurred.” NOT ONLY IS OFFICER VELEZ STILL WORKING, but he's asking to be reimbursed for wages and vacation days during his 17-month suspension because the case against him was dismissed.
His wife (currently living in hiding) says, "You can't stay married to someone like this who tries to take your life away."

Thursday, December 1, 2005

[CT] Ciara

I had posted on the ugly event of State Trooper Victor Diaz murdering Newington Police Officer Ciara McDermott in a murder-suicide a couple of weeks ago - but today I saw this picture of Ciara and wanted to share it.
Absolutely lovely.
I'm really sorry the world lost her.

[CT] Troopers & women say they fear Oxford Officer Burr



November 30th - December 1st, 2005 - Oxford Police Cpl. James Burr has just been suspended again. He's had three restraining orders filed against him by 2 women and has been suspended from duty & had his guns taken away twice. The State Troopers supervising Burr say they fear he'll hurt them or somebody else, that he's unstable, and possibly using drugs. Burr's ex-girlfriend said in court that he called her recently 94 times in two days, parked outside her house, and she's afraid. His former wife also filed a restraining order against him in 2003 and a second one in 2004. Oxford First Selectman (City Manager) August Palmer III had planned on having Burr RETURN TO WORK regardless of everything but yesterday Judge Deborah Frankel extended his restraining order for 6 months, and today finally it's announced there will be an internal investigation. FINALLY! BURR BLAMES the murder-suicide last week - Trooper Victor Diaz murdered Officer Ciara McDermott - for the current extension of his restraining order, but he was collecting those before last week's tragedy. Police are also looking into whether Burr made threatening comments to others that he would go after the 2 troopers if he lost his job.

[CA] Deputy Michael Slayton's slew of dropped dv charges (Why?)

November 29, 2005
Former Sutter County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Slayton has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of stalking his estranged wife. It appears that the other charges are dropped since they are no longer in the lingo of the case - three counts of spousal abuse, battery, making a death threat, burglary, six counts of violating a restraining order, and installing unauthorized wiretaps and video cameras in the house he had shared with his wife. Threatening death or great bodily injury and stalking are felonies. Slayton violated the protection order six times in a three week period and the judge upheld the $1M bail because of the percieved danger to his wife. She reports that he broke her wrist, pushed her down an attic ladder, set up surveillance cameras in her bedroom, hacked into her e-mails, after separating would break into the house, & follow her in her car. After the judge ordered Slayton to surrender his seven long guns and five handguns Slayton was heard during a monitored phone call from the jail asking a relative to keep two of the guns. Deputy District Attorney Diana Bermingham told the judge, "There are at least two missing."

He's eligible for up to five years' probation.

[FL] Deputy Lisha Davis killed by her husband

2005
Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Deputy Lisha Davis was killed in front of two of her children by her husband Ervin Davis. They had just recently split up.

From her online guestbook:
"My deepest sympathy go out to the children and family of Deputy Daniels. I was very pleased with the opportunity of having such a excited and motivated person to work with our agency. Deputy Daniels was eager to work with children and wanted the opportunity to blossom as a law enforcement officer. She will be truly missed by me, the agency, and the people she touched."
Sheriff Morris A. Young
Gadsden County Sheriff's Office (Quincy, FL )

[AL] Officer Steven Jones Arrested for dv-related break-in

Nov 29, 2005 News:
Dothan Police Officer Steven Jones is on administrative leave with pay after being arrested early Saturday. Jones has been charged with 3rd degree burglary after breaking into the residence his wife was house-sitting. Police Chief John Powell says the incident is connected to a domestic violence situation between the officer and his wife.