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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

[WA] Crystal's parents, Lane & Patty Judson, are making a difference

...Their efforts have resulted in new federal and local laws that reform police departments and reward law enforcement agencies that include domestic violence prevention programs in their hiring and training practices...

Change in law biggest win for the Judsons
The Peninsula Gateway
April 30th, 2008
THE greatest tragedy in Crystal Judson Brame’s death five years ago was that she had already taken legal, social and emotional steps to separate herself from her husband, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame. Although her family and friends had supported and protected her throughout the separation process, that support was undermined by Brame’s position of power. Ultimately, Brame shot Crystal, then turned the gun on himself in a Gig Harbor shopping center. Since that day, Lane and Patty Judson, Crystal’s parents, have made it their mission in life to change laws, raise domestic violence awareness and show the impact such a tragedy can have. Time has brought us the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center in Tacoma, where victims of domestic violence can seek help and guidance. Crystal is also remembered through the Crystal Judson Foundation, which promotes domestic violence awareness, and she’s honored through the Crystal Judson Brame Memorial Scholarship. But the biggest accomplishment of Lane and Patty Judson has come in the area of public safety. Their efforts have resulted in new federal and local laws that reform police departments and reward law enforcement agencies that include domestic violence prevention programs in their hiring and training practices. These kinds of changes not only help prevent domestic violence from occuring, they lead to greater accountability for agencies designed to protect people in the first place. [Source]

[WA] Crystal'd dad: If you violate the law, we don't need you as a police officer

..."If you work down at McDonald's, or you work at Macy's, or you work at Nordstrom, or you work at Albertson's and you do domestic violence, I can't do anything about it," Lane Judson explained. "But if you're a public servant, and you took an oath to uphold the law to protect - and even to protect the ones that you love - and you violate that law, we don't need you as a police officer"...

Five years later
Remembering Crystal

The Peninsula Gateway
Paige Richmond
April 30th, 2008

Last week marked two important dates for Lane Judson. Thursday, April 24, was his daughter Crystal's birthday. But rather than celebrating the day, Lane and his wife, Patty, were reminded of another event - the five-year anniversary of one the biggest crimes in Gig Harbor history.

In 2003, just two days after their daughter turned 35, Crystal Judson Brame was killed by her husband, David Brame - who, at the time, was the Tacoma Police Chief.

Brame shot his wife in the parking lot of a Gig Harbor shopping center before turning the gun on himself. The Brames' two children, Haley and David Jr., then 8 and 5, respectively, were witnesses.

In the days and months that followed, shocking revelations about Brame became public: He was prone to domestic violence, having abused Crystal for nearly a decade before their divorce, and he had used his power as police chief to intimidate Crystal and prevent her from reporting his abuse.

But the following months also marked legal and personal accomplishments on the part of Crystal's father.

Lane Judson began campaigning for state and federal reform of domestic violence laws. He filed a lawsuit against the Tacoma Police Department for wrongful death. And he has provided seminars on domestic violence prevention to police departments across the country.

In the past five years, Lane Judson has not taken a single day off for vacation or rest. Instead, he has worked tirelessly to make sure what happened to his daughter does not happen to anyone else.

Time has also allowed the Gig Harbor community to heal. The Crystal Judson Foundation, a non-profit organization that sponsors events and promotes education to prevent domestic abuse and violence, has also been formed.

On Saturday, the foundation and the Judsons held a candlelight ceremony at Peninsula Christian Fellowship to honor Crystal's memory. People like David Branscom, a Gig Harbor resident, attended the event to see Lane Judson's presentation on the warning signs of domestic abuse - the same presentation he delivers during law enforcement trainings.

Branscom has two daughters of his own and hopes to teach them how to avoid potentially dangerous relationships. He was living in Gig Harbor when the shootings occurred and said he knows the crime affected him.

"The issue of domestic abuse - I've heard a lot about it, and it's something I don't want in my home," he said.

Lane Judson said that the many opportunities he's had to speak about his daughter's life allowed something good to come from a tragedy - namely that others, like Branscom, may help prevent domestic violence from happening.

"We were just a normal family," said Lane Judson, a retired U.S. Navy Chief, about what his life was like before Crystal died. "It was this tragedy that really turned things around, and made us stop and think, 'How many other people are involved in this situation?' "

His wife, Patty, agreed.

"Nothing like this ever happened to us," she said. "It was overwhelming. But we just had to do something."

One of the biggest steps Lane Judson took in the past five years was advocating for the Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program, a federal law that provides grant funding to law enforcement agencies to educate their officers about domestic violence. Both Lane and Patty Judson felt that their son-in-law's position in the police department was what allowed his abuse against his daughter to go unpunished.

Reports disclosed after Brame's death, for example, revealed that he had failed two of three necessary psychological examinations for employment in law enforcement.

"If you work down at McDonald's, or you work at Macy's, or you work at Nordstrom, or you work at Albertson's and you do domestic violence, I can't do anything about it," Lane Judson explained. "But if you're a public servant, and you took an oath to uphold the law to protect - and even to protect the ones that you love - and you violate ... that law, we don't need you as a police officer."

Lane Judson placed his first call to state Sen. Maria Cantwell asking that such a law be passed on May 12, 2003 - just two days after his daughter's funeral.

It would take 2 1/2 years - and a local campaign involving 12,500 hand-addressed letters mailed to state congressmen and senators - before the law was passed on December 16, 2005.

The Judsons received a personal call from U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee the night the law was approved, a little more than a week before Christmas.

"He told us, 'Your daughter's name will forever be in the halls of Congress.' And we told him" - said Lane Judson, who paused and began to shed tears as he recounted the memory - "it was the best Christmas present we could ever get."

At the same time Lane Judson was campaigning for federal change, other changes were happening locally. The state of Washington passed the Crystal Clear Initiative in 2004, a law that mandates that every state law enforcement program has an officer-involved domestic policy in place.

The Judsons also filed a wrongful death suit against the City of Tacoma, claiming that the city should never had hired Brame in the first placed and that the department needed to be reformed. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2006, with $12 million awarded to Haley and David Jr. as the sole beneficiaries.

The Brames' children, who are now under the legal guardianship of Crystal's sister and brother-in-law, Julie and David Ahrens, are doing well, Patty Judson said.

"They're just doing fantastic, and we're so proud of them," she said. "We try to make their life as normal as we possibly can."

Lane Judson added that it's difficult to consider their grandchildren's lives normal when they have "experienced such a tragedy" of losing their mother and father, but that he and his wife attempt to keep Crystal's memory and name alive for Haley and David Jr.

One way of accomplishing that was through the conditions of the lawsuit against the City of Tacoma. Pierce County, which was initially named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit, agreed to name its domestic violence resource center - which was, at the time, in the process of being constructed- after Crystal if the county was dropped from the civil case.

The Judsons agreed, and the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center was formed in late 2005.

About the same time, then-retiring Gig Harbor Mayor Gretchen Wilbert, civic leader Laurie Winkle and attorney Parker Reich established The Crystal Judson Foundation. Since forming, the foundation has been working to build an ice arena in Gig Harbor to honor Crystal, who was an award-winning figure skater as a child.

At Saturday's anniversary ceremony, Wilbert announced that the foundation is presently negotiating to acquire property on which to build the arena. She also stated that a temporary arena may soon be built at Uptown Gig Harbor.

That ice arena, Wilbert said, is just one step of many that the foundation and the Judsons will take to keep Crystal's memory alive.

"This isn't the end, this isn't the beginning; it's just one chapter," she said. "And there will be chapter after chapter after chapter."

Reach Lifestyles Coordinator Paige Richmond at 853-9243 or by e-mail at paige.richmond@gateline.com.

http://www.gateline.com/100/story/1295.html

[TN] Officer Hoover indicted for domestic assault

Former police officer indicted on domestic assault charges
WATE 6 Knoxville
April 28, 2008
A grand jury has indicted a former Knoxville police officer on 30 counts related to a domestic assault last summer. Brian Hoover is indicted on counts that include aggravated assault, domestic assault and especially aggravated kidnapping. According to the police report, in August 2007, Hoover held a woman captive for up to five hours, threatened her with a shotgun and hit and kicked her. Hoover resigned from the police force last fall. [Source]

[WA] Mother of former Trooper Ronda Reynolds never gave up

From today's news:
...The Problem Solvers learned of a mother's long struggle to prove her daughter didn't kill herself. She believes something more sinister is at work, and we have uncovered evidence and found experts who are convinced that what was ruled a suicide, was actually a heinous crime...

Ronda Reynolds
RealCrimes
My daughter, Ronda Reynolds, 33, was discovered dead of a gunshot wound to her head, in Toledo, Washington, on December 16, 1998. She died on the floor of her master bedroom walk-in closet, following a heated argument with her husband... That evening, Ronda phoned to tell me that her marriage was over, and she was coming to visit me in eastern Washington, where she would sort things out and form a game plan. She had made plane reservations for the next day, and David Bell would take her to the airport. When deputies arrived at the house, they found her bags and makeup kit packed and ready to go and a phonebook open to airline listings...

From Justice For Ronda
...I could get on with my life if Ronda had been killed in an accident. I could even have accepted suicide, if it truly was suicide. But having to deal every day with a police cover-up – reading and rereading the case file, finding investigative mistakes and reading the blatant lies that have been manufactured to conceal those blunders, keeps the wound of my loss open with no chance of healing. To live without closure is unbearable. To let a politically corrupt law enforcement agency lie, cover up, and disregard a human life to benefit their self-image is unacceptable. The Lewis County Sheriff's Department and all other law enforcement agencies in our country need to be held accountable for their actions, so that no other parent, ever, will have to experience this type of indescribable nightmare.
Barbara Thompson -- Ronda's mother

[For copyright reasons I'm only posting excerpts of the following article, but the original article will likely remain online. If it becomes unavailable and you want it, email me.]
Experts: Investigation botched; former trooper was murdered
Story Published: Apr 29, 2008 at 11:09 PM PDT
KOMO, WA
By Tracy Vedder
Apr 29, 2008
Who pulled the trigger that took the life of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds? Was it suicide? Or was it murder? The Problem Solvers learned of a mother's long struggle to prove her daughter didn't kill herself. She believes something more sinister is at work, and we have uncovered evidence and found experts who are convinced that what was ruled a suicide, was actually a heinous crime. After 10 years, much of the original evidence in Ronda Reynolds' death investigation has been lost or destroyed. So to understand what happened we returned to the scene of her death. We talked to new experts and the original detective on the case. All believe authorities botched the investigation in calling it a suicide. "It was a murder in 1998," says former detective Jerry Berry, "it's a murder today." They believe it's murder set to look like suicide. "That's a rearranged scene," says forensic pathologist Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, "that's a staged scene." Ronda had been a state trooper and firearms instructor. She left the patrol to work in private security... That night, Ronda booked a flight to her mom's in Spokane. Scene photos show she'd packed her bags, and left a message to her husband on the bathroom mirror: "I love you, call me."Within hours, Ronda was found dead... "I believe she was murdered," Ronda's mother said. However, quoting from police reports, Ron Reynolds told investigators the day and night before her death, they "were talking about separating" and she'd been "talking about committing suicide"... We tried to talk to Ron Reynolds, but he didn't return phone calls, and his attorney says he will not do an interview... "The first red flag was the gun being in her left hand," says Berry... Another oddity: No fingerprints on the weapon. "There should have been at least smudges somewhere on the gun, but there was nothing," said Berry. "It was clean." Berry admits he and the department made mistakes which caused them to lose critical evidence. For instance, he wasn't allowed to interview the three Reynolds boys until two months after Ronda's death. But he still thought the case could be solved. "Every piece of circumstantial evidence screamed murder," he said. But seven months after Ronda's death, Ron Reynolds' attorney wrote the department insisting they remove the cloud of suspicion and close the case... Berry says the sheriff's office caved, closing the case as a suicide over his objections. "They just basically wanted me to let it go, leave it as a suicide and move on and take on other cases and be done with it"... Early this year, Ronda's mother asked forensic pathologist Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds - who's no relation - to review the case. With 2,000 autopsies and 30 years of practice to his credit, the Problem Solvers asked him to review it again - for us. "This is not a self-inflicted wound," says Dr. Reynolds... Ronda's mother Barb Thompson has given up expecting anyone will ever face charges. Now, she just wants Ronda's death certificate changed from suicide to homicide. "She definitely deserves that," she said. We've asked the Lewis County Sheriff to explain their reasons for closing the case as a suicide. They've refused. They did ask two outside organizations to review their investigation of Ronda's death. The Washington State Attorney General's homicide team agreed with Lewis County, calling it suicide. The former commander of the New York Police Homicide Task Force found this was a staged crime scene and murder.
http://www.komotv.com/news/local/18394794.html

Justice for Rhonda
http://justiceforronda.com/bio.htm
http://justiceforronda.com/trooper1.htm

Excerpt from Chapter 5 of the book, Justice for Ronda, by Ronda's mother, Barbara Thompson
http://www.realcrimes.com/Reynolds/excerpt_Ronda.htm

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[MI] Lt. Junewick charged with domestic assault

Tribal police officer arrested on assault charges
www.tv7-4
April 28, 2008
A tribal police officer has been charged with domestic assault. Lieutenant Steve Junewick, with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Department of Public Safety in Manistee, was arrested on April 1 by the Michigan State Police. Junewick was arrested on domestic assault charges and is scheduled to be back in court on April 30. [Source]

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Department of Public Safety
Director of Public Safety - Joseph J LaPorte
Lieutient - Steve Junewick
3031 Domres Rd
Manistee, Michigan 49660
(231)398-3413

[MA] Chief's son Officer Peachy reinstated after dv firing & drops lawsuit

Middleton patrolman reinstated: Cop whose gun permit was pulled 'happy to be back at work'
The Salem News, MA
By Mike Stucka
April 23, 2008
[Excerpts] The town's former police chief ousted Robert Peachey Jr. from the force. Last night, the present chief was at Peachey's side at Fuller Meadow School when the patrolman - whom the former chief found ill-suited to carry a gun — got his job back. Peachey, 39, quietly shook the hands of Middleton selectmen and then quickly left with Chief James DiGianvittorio. Selectmen reinstated the 10-year police veteran, who was once dubbed "NOT A SUITABLE PERSON" TO CARRY A GUN. Former police Chief Paul Armitage pulled Peachey's firearms license in 2004 after the officer was suspended on domestic abuse charges. A judge later CLEARED PEACHEY of those charges, but Middleton's government argued Peachey shouldn't be armed because he had been in a Tweeter Center brawl that left a man with 15 stitches, and because the patrolman ONCE FIRED HIS GUN IN HIS HOME. However, NO CHARGES were filed against Peachey in those incidents... Peachey said: "I am happy to be back to work and put the past behind me, and now I understand why the town acted as it did and no longer have a problem with their action." Before last night's selectmen's meeting, Town Administrator Ira Singer said that neither Peachey nor the selectmen would answer any questions about his rehiring... Selectmen did not provide a copy of the settlement agreement. Selectmen Chairman Timothy Houten said Peachey was being rehired on the condition he meets all training demands and other requirements, and with an 18-month probation period through June 30, 2010. Houten did not say when Peachey would return in uniform. DiGianvittorio has spent most of his career with the Middleton Police Department working with Peachey, who is the son of another retired police chief. In 2005, an ex-girlfriend who is the mother of two of Peachey's children, printed 200 bumper stickers calling for Peachey to be reinstated. Many of those bumper stickers went to police officers' personal cars in Middleton and surrounding towns. That woman, Stacey MacPherson, did not return a phone call yesterday seeking comment... [Full article here]

Anti-anger class ticket to reuniting fired cop with his job, gun
By Mike Stucka
April 24, 2008
[Excerpts] Ousted Middleton Patrolman Robert Peachey Jr. was compelled to take an anger management class before he could get back his job - and his gun. According to a three-page settlement agreement between the officer and the town, Peachey also was required to be screened by a psychologist, Sam Migdole. The settlement agreement was released by the town of Middleton yesterday in response to a public records request from The Salem News. Whether Peachey has already met the requirements of the settlement could not be determined last night. The agreement prohibits Peachey, the town and the police union from discussing their settlement, which could end a lawsuit and a pending arbitration case... The settlement agreement between Peachey and the town laid out five conditions for the patrolman's rehiring:
  • Peachey has to finish an anger management course selected by him, the town of Middleton and police Chief James DiGianvittorio.
  • Migdole has to evaluate Peachey's fitness for duty.
  • If Migdole determines that Peachey is fit for duty, the police chief will review the psychologist's evaluation and determine whether to issue a gun permit to Peachey.
  • If a gun permit is issued, Peachey will be rehired and placed on 11/2 years of probation, "during which time his employment could be terminated for any reason." He would be rehired as a patrolman, the same status he had in 2004.
Once Peachey is reinstated, he would end his Superior Court case trying to get his gun license back, and the Middleton police union would end its arbitration case over Peachey.
As part of the settlement, all parties involved agreed not to make any public comments about the case, other than those set forth in a press release. If Peachey is not rehired, the lawsuit and arbitration cases can continue, and everyone involved is allowed to discuss what happened... [Full article here]

[TX] Officer Caran Coward killed in husband's murder-suicide

..."There were some problems along the way, but nobody expected this to happen," Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack said... There had been some family or marital problems and that’s all I know at this time”... One of the couple's three children, who was inside the home during the shooting, called 911 to report finding their father in a pool of blood, Hammack said, and he added that police believe the weapon was a shotgun...

Livingston Officer Killed
KTRE, TX
by Tashun Chism
04/28/08
Flags all over Livingston are flying at half staff today in honor of Caran Coward, the Livingston police officer who was found dead over the weekend... Polk County Sheriff's Department officials say Officer Coward was on duty Saturday night when she got a call from her husband, Randy Coward. Both she and her husband were found dead outside her Polk County home. Authotirities believe officer Coward's husband killed her with a shot gun and then turned the gun on himself. They say the couple was going through a divorce. "There were some problems along the way, but nobody expected this to happen," Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack said... Coward is remembered as a good officer and an even better person. Fellow law enforcement officers know danger comes with the job, but knowing her death could have been a result of domestic violence makes it even harder for them to deal with. "It brings us back to reality to start with to show that police are just other citizens within the county and the city that we're not immune to domestic violence," Sheriff Hammack told us. Caran Coward leaves behind three children. If you would like to make a donation to help officer coward's family, please contact the Livingston Police Department or the First National Bank in Livingston. [Full article here]
Colleagues recall slain Livingston officer's dedication Detectives believe Caran Renee Coward was slain by her husband who then took his own life
Houston Chronicle
By Mike Glenn and Anita Hassan
April 27, 2008
As Polk County sheriff's detectives continued their investigation into the death of Livingston police officer Caran Renee Coward, apparently slain by her husband who then took his own life, her colleagues on Sunday said she was a dedicated officer who had a strong, unwavering bond with her community. "She was just real good with the public. She was real caring," said Mike deVilleneuve, who recently retired after spending more than 30 years as a Livingston police officer. Coward had been on the force for about three years and was the only female officer in the close-knit department. "She did the best job she could. She was always willing to learn more," deVilleneuve recalled... Randy Phillip Coward, 43, was also found dead from a gunshot wound. Coward, 39, was found about 8 p.m. Saturday in a travel trailer outside her home in the 300 block of Knob Hill, about 75 miles north of downtown Houston... One of the couple's three children, who was inside the home during the shooting, called 911 to report finding their father in a pool of blood, Hammack said, and he added that police believe the weapon was a shotgun. Coward was on duty when she was killed... Valerie Reddell, a friend of Caran Coward's, said she was unaware of any problems the couple was having. Reddell, also the Polk County Enterprise editor, said Randy Coward was a musician and a Christian Country Music Association award winner. She said he did construction work on the side. The last time they spoke, Caran Coward told Reddell that her husband had broken his foot on a construction job and that the injury had affected his ability to earn a living both in music and construction, prompting her to take on extra police assignments... Reddell said she'll remember Caran Coward for always treating people with respect. "She was courteous and kind to everybody," she said. "She is a shining example of everything a woman officer brings to law enforcement".... [Full article here]
On Duty Officer Murdered by Husband During Domestic Dispute
Houston Chronicle
April 28, 2008
... Authorities said they think she was killed by her husband, Randy Phillip Coward, 43, who was also found dead from a gunshot wound in the trailer. One of the couple’s three children, who was inside the home during the shooting, called 911 to report finding their father in a pool of blood, Hammack said, and he added that police believe the weapon was a shotgun.... "I'm not sure why she went home at this time... There had been some family or marital problems and that’s all I know at this time,” [Polk County Sheriff Kenneth] Hammack said... The three children – two boys and a girl – are being taken to their grandmother’s home. [Full article here]

[IL] Chicago Police Officer Branch has a HISTORY of domestic incidents

Prosecutors claim Branch has a history of domestic incidents and his wife claims he once told her that if she ever cost him his job he would kill her... He allegedly grabbed his wife by the neck and slapped her, then pointed his gun at the male victim...

I've been waiting to see if I could catch any news on the court hearing that was to take place last week - but can't find it in the news so I'm posting this without any update.

Cop relieved of police powers after domestic incident

Chicago Sun-Times
April 2, 2008
A Cook County judge ordered a Chicago Police officer to surrender his gun and stay away from his estranged wife after he allegedly attacked her and another man Tuesday morning on the South Side. Englewood District Officer Donald Branch was ordered held on a $150,000 bond and Cook County Associate Judge Israel Diserto said that because of his dangerous, violent and outrageous actions, he must have no contact or communication with his wife, must surrender his gun and FOID card, and must abstain from drugs and alcohol, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. Branch, 37, is charged with three counts of felony official misconduct, and one count each of misdemeanor domestic battery. The officer was on-duty and armed with his service weapon when he allegedly went to his wife’s house about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday and spotted her and another man exiting her home, prosecutors claimed. The couple has been separated and living in separate residences for about a year. Branch allegedly went to confront the pair and began to unholster his weapon. He allegedly grabbed his wife by the neck and slapped her, then pointed his gun at the male victim, court records said. The man ran northbound down Elizabeth Street and Branch allegedly chased him while pointing his gun at him. Branch's partner was allegedly calling for Branch to stop and then got into their unmarked squad car to go find his partner, court records said. Branch's wife called police. Branch lost sight of the man in a nearby alley and returned to his wife's home on foot, where he grabbed a shovel and smashed the windows of the man's truck. His wife suffered lacerations from the glass to her right hand and arm... Prosecutors claim Branch has a history of domestic incidents and his wife claims he once told her that if she ever cost him his job he would kill her, prosecutors said... [Full article here]
Chicago cop accused in confrontation is relieved of duty
Officer's estranged wife was slapped, then thrown to ground, police say
Chicago Tribune
By Monique Garcia
April 2, 2008
...Donald Branch, a 16-year veteran assigned to the Englewood District, also appeared in court Tuesday and was ordered to surrender his Firearm Owner's Identification card as a condition of his bail. Prosecutors allege that Branch, 37, and his partner were on a plainclothes detail in an unmarked car when Branch went to his wife's home in the 11600 ) block of South Elizabeth Street around 9:45 a.m. Monday. The wife and the male friend were leaving the house when Branch approached the woman and started to take his service weapon out of its holster, said Assistant State's Atty. Michael Evans She screamed for Branch to stop when he put his hands around her neck, slapped her in the face and threw her to the ground... "This is a very severe and violent crime," Evans said Tuesday. "It's outrageous conduct; it's brazen conduct by an officer on duty with his service weapon"... Branch and his wife have been separated for about a year and have three children... A judge set his bail at $150,000... [Full article here]
Judge Orders Accused Officer To Surrender Gun
WMAQ-TV
April. 3, 2008
CHICAGO - A Cook County judge ordered a Chicago police officer to surrender his gun and stay away from his estranged wife after he allegedly attacked her and another man Tuesday morning on the South Side. Englewood District Officer Donald Branch was ordered held on $150,000 bond by Cook County Associate Judge Israel Diserto, who said that because of his dangerous, violent and outrageous actions, he must have no contact or communication with his wife, must surrender his gun and FOID card, and must abstain from drugs and alcohol, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. Branch, 37, is charged with three counts of felony official misconduct and one count each of misdemeanor domestic battery. "This is a very severe, violent crime," Assistant State's Attorney Michael Evans said... Responding officers arrived to find Branch and the woman arguing in the front yard. Evans cited "previous incidents" when police were called to the wife's house... The incident is being investigated by Chicago police and the city Independent Police Review Authority. Herbert said Branch and his wife have been married for 13 years and lived together until a few months ago. They have children and "communicate with each other several times a day," he said. Diserto scheduled his next court appearance for April 23... [Full article here]
Cop charged with attacking estranged wife, smashing car
ON DUTY | Officer chased her friend, pointed gun at him, prosecutor says
Chicago Sun-Times
BY ERIC HERMAN Criminal Courts Reporter eherman@suntimes.com
April 3, 2008
... Branch is a 16-year police veteran who worked out of the 7th District. He is now on "no-pay status" and has been relieved of his police powers... Branch's lawyer, Dan Herbert, disputed prosecutors' version of events. He described Branch as a "highly decorated Chicago Police officer" and a "good man." At a court hearing Wednesday, Judge Israel Desierto set Branch's bond at $150,000. Branch posted 10 percent and got out of jail Wednesday afternoon... [Full article here]

Monday, April 28, 2008

[MI] Sgt Cobb - arrested in plot that killed his wife Rose, has been released

..."We don't like it, but we understand the process. The only thing, at this point, that is going to make us happy is for Sgt. Cobb to be charged and put away for a very long time"...

Previous blog entries:
Police Dept. suspends cop accused of hiring hitman to kill wife without pay
Detroit Free Press
By NAOMI R. PATTON
April 24, 2008
A Detroit police officer, accused of hiring a man to kill his wife in January, was suspended without pay by the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners this afternoon. Sgt. David Cobb, 38, was arrested at his home on Detroit’s east side Sunday morning after an alleged hit man, arrested Saturday, told police the sergeant hired him to kill his wife, Rose Cobb, 47. But Cobb has not been charged with hiring the hit man, because Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said: "There is no admissible evidence to charge him at this time." He was released from jail Tuesday. Fred Walker, an attorney with the Detroit Police Lieutenants & Sergeants Association representing Cobb at the board meeting, argued that Cobb deserved to keep his pay, because he “has not been charged.with any crime.” Despite Cobb’s release, Vincent Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township, who told police he is a professional hit man responsible for seven killings, was charged Tuesday in 36th District Court with first-degree murder charge for Rose Cobb’s Dec. 26 shooting death. A second man, Marzell Black, 20, of Detroit, was arraigned on a charge of solicitation of a murder... [Full article here]

Cop goes free in his wife's slaying Worthy says case short on evidence
Detroit Free Press
By Ben Schmitt & Eric D. Lawrence
April 23, 2008
When Taneeka Gary got a personal phone call from the Wayne County prosecutor Tuesday morning, she was devastated to hear that the Detroit police sergeant held as a suspect in her aunt's slaying was walking free... the news still brought the family of victim Rose Cobb to tears. "It is very disheartening that he is arrested one minute and then released"... Despite Cobb's release, Vincent Smothers, 27, of Shelby Township, who told police he is a professional hit man responsible for seven killings, was arraigned in 36th District Court on Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the Dec. 26 shooting death of Rose Cobb. A second man, Marzell Black, 20, of Detroit, was arraigned on a charge of solicitation of a murder... Police said Smothers told them David Cobb offered him $10,000 to kill Rose Cobb. "The only evidence that was presented to us that connects Sgt. Cobb with this murder are the statements of defendants Smothers and Black," [Prosecutor Kym] Worthy said. "Under the law, Smothers and Black cannot be compelled to testify." According to a report in the court file, David Cobb was dating Marzell Black's mother, Sheila Black, while he was married to Rose Cobb. Sheila Black told police that David Cobb asked her if she knew someone with a gun. She said no, according to the investigator's report, but her son may. She said she introduced Cobb to her son, Marzell Black. The report says Shelia Black told police that Cobb told her to open a bank account so he could deposit money in it for Marzell Black... Marzell Black acted as the go-between and drove Smothers to the killing site, a CVS pharmacy... David Cobb met twice with Smothers to plan the slaying and supplied him with gloves, according to the report. He also told Smothers to throw away the gun, the report indicates... Gary, Rose Cobb's niece, said Worthy assured her that the investigation is not over. "We don't like it, but we understand the process. The only thing, at this point, that is going to make us happy is for Sgt. Cobb to be charged and put away for a very long time." Gary said she spoke to David Cobb hours after the shooting, and he was evasive. "His exact words were: 'I'm really tired, and I'm gonna take a nap,' " Gary said. "It's like he was avoiding us."... [Full article here]

[CT] Cop Gitting's dv? Hands spanked, he's back to work

Previous entries:
Officer returning following discipline
June hearing set for appeal of suspension

Republican-American (Waterbury, CT)
QUANNAH LEONARD
April 18, 2008

SEYMOUR - Police Officer Richard Gittings has completed his three-month suspension and will return to work Monday.

Gittings was officially due back Wednesday, but he took off a few days and will start Monday, said Lt. Paul Satkowski, police department spokesman.

Gittings has an appeal pending on his suspension. A hearing has been set for mid-June before the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration.

In January, Gittings ' attorney, Gregory Cerritelli, and the Seymour Police Union filed paperwork with the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration, requesting a hearing on the suspension.

The Board of Police Commissioners in January stripped Gittings of his stripes for six months following the suspension, and said it will determine whether to reinstate his rank after that.

The board also ruled 3-2 that Gittings violated the department duty manual for repeated offenses of conduct unbecoming an officer and for violating the oath of office and the code of ethics. The charges stemmed from an Aug. 15 domestic dispute between Gittings and his wife, Laurie Anne, both of 11 Glen Circle Drive.

Both were charged with breach of peace. The charges were later nolled [PROSECUTION WAS DROPPED] in Milford Superior Court.

[WA] 1000 stories are not enough to help victims of cop dv

LOOKING FOR A BRAME STORY?
DAVID ZEECK; THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Published: April 27th, 2008 01:00 AM
[Excerpts] Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of the day Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally wounded his wife, Crystal Judson Brame, and then shot and killed himself... We asked ourselves, looking back at the shootings, how we wanted to mark that date. I think it's the most-covered story in my 14 years at the TNT. Our archive shows 972 stories with the name David Brame in them. There are 391 that mention Crystal Brame... however one measures it, that's a lot of stories. Maybe that's enough. Karen Peterson, the managing editor; Randy McCarthy, our crime, courts and breaking-news editor; and I decided not to go out of our way to revisit that day or those events... [Full article here]

Once Crystal and David were gone, Tacoma was in shock. The mantra amongst us all that rose above all else, was that we could never let what happened to Crystal happen again. It wasn't the fatal shot as much as the complete abandonment she suffered in her time of greatest, knowing fear. It wasn't only that she had been murdered, but as the story quickly unfolded it appeared to ordinary citizens like myself that she didn't matter to any of the people who potentially had the power to help her. Crystal wasn't one of the victims that resigns to dying. She wanted to live.

I'm told that Tacoma's Mayor Bill Baarsma wept on the desk of someone he trusted and was pointed to Attorney Debra Hannula as the one to annoint with the task of forming a committee that would work towards making sure no victims relived Crystal's lonely, terrified, & officially unprotected fate. Hannula was to be Moses for the victims in the shadows afraid to approach traditional domestic violence services. Mayor Baarsma decreed that a road to legislation would be sought that could give "special protections" for officer-involved domestic violence victims. Hannula said that government needs to make sure that “other Crystals will be heard and will be protected.” According to news reports, she was "looking for safe ways that police spouses can report abuse and get help."

She said the question to answer was,
“HOW DO YOU PROTECT SOMEONE LIKE CRYSTAL BRAME?”

Our current Governor Christine Gregoire , was then our Attorney General, and said in a way that you belived her:
“...THE REAL POINT OF THIS INVESTIGATION IS THAT AN INNOCENT LIFE WAS LOST WITH THE MURDER OF CRYSTAL BRAME. WE NEED TO FIND OUT WHY AND MAKE SURE THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN...”

The News Tribune's Lisa Kremer wrote in one of her 2003 articles,
"WIVES OF POLICE OFFICERS NEED TO BE ABLE TO REPORT ABUSE AND HAVE IT INVESTIGATED BY AN INDEPENDENT AGENCY."

Beyond Brame: Reform report card
The News Tribune
February 2nd, 2004
...REFORM OR PROMISE - An independent reporting system for victims of domestic violence involving city employees.
WHO WANTED IT - Tacoma residents, Tacoma City Council-created committee and Crystal
Brame’s family
BACKGROUND - Victims of police-perpetrated domestic violence say they don’t feel safe reporting abuse to 911 or other traditional channels such as domestic violence hot lines, because they believe they are staffed by their abusers’ friends. Domestic violence experts suggested creating a secure hot line for not only police spouses and partners, but also partners of any city employee. They reasoned that victims in relationships with people in power would have similar concerns.
CURRENT ACTION - None. A hot line for city employees is not part of any plan currently being studied.
STATUS - Unfulfilled...

Reform Report Card
The News Tribune
April 25, 2004
...REFORM OR PROMISE: An independent reporting system for victims of domestic violence involving city employees...
STATUS: No progress on hot line...

Reform report card
The News Tribune
December 26, 2004
...REFORM OR PROMISE: An independent reporting system for victims of domestic violence involving city employees..
STATUS: No progress on hot line...

Community activist Will Baker came before the televised city council meeting with a warning to citizens that the Mayor was only appointing a committee as a strategy to divert attention away from the sins of the city - that the mayor had written a thesis paper on how that is done while in college. I can't judge another man's heart, but what I do know is that it did distract during a crucial time, and that nothing was ever done towards the original outcry or stated purpose of his committee. It "morphed" into something else.

It can still be made right. I don't want to see the goal as failed, just delayed.

This is maybe the only piece where I haven't ALSO counted up a list of the ACCOMPLISHMENTS achieved, accomplishments both small and mighty. Like Mr. Zeeck, there are some things at the 5th-year point that make me weary too. Graciousness is one of them.

I have some things it's time to share that I'll be adding to the comment section over at least some days.

Stay safe, be kind, and let others know how much they matter to you. [rant police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder washington state victims politics]

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Candlelight Vigil

FROM CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON THE DAY MARKING 5 YEARS SINCE CRYSTAL JUDSON WAS FATALLY SHOT BY HER POLICE CHIEF HUSBAND DAVID BRAME IN HIS MURDER-SUICIDE.

CRYSTAL'S FATHER, LANE JUDSON:
"...WE NEEDED TO HAVE SOMETHING POSITIVE COME OUT OF THIS,
AND IT HAS"

CRYSTAL'S MOTHER, PATTY JUDSON:
"IF WE CAN HELP SOMEONE OUT THERE, WE WANT TO DO THAT."

Renee Harrington takes a Crystal Judson pause - giving voice to victims of OIDV

EXCERPT FROM THE MICHIGAN OFFICER INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WEBSITE, MODERATED BY RENEE:

Saturday, April 26
IN MEMORY OF...

...Since Crystal's murder, her parents Lane and Patty Judson and Deon Gates [National OIDV] have worked diligently to open the eyes of people everywhere to the plight of victims of Officer-Involved Domestic Violence. And most importantly, they have directed their tireless efforts and voices to bringing about change for victims of OIDV.

I want people to remember...to take pause...and to remember the real reason we are here, when they come to this site during the anniversary week of Crystal's murder. We're not just a resource site; we are here to give voice to the victims of OIDV and to the surviving family members of OIDV murders.

We are desperately trying to get your attention: DO YOU HEAR US NOW? PLEASE DON'T ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE! SILENCE AND IGNORANCE ABOUT OFFICER-INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ONLY SERVES ONE PURPOSE: TO PERPETUATE OIDV.

Victims of OIDV are at war, simply to survive with their lives. Unfortunately, not all OIDV victims escape with their lives...

[SEE THE FULL BLOG POST HERE.]

A call for unresolved officer-involved domestic violence deaths

An investigative news program from a major television network is seeking stories of unresolved deaths in the families or relationships of law enforcement officers. No, they aren't trying to stir up somethng. It has been brought to their AWARENESS of how MANY there are. (There are many.) I'm compiling a list of those cases now - so if you know someone that you'd like me to include with those submissions please contact me.
There are NO PROMISES, but they definitely would like to speak to the families.

Friday, April 25, 2008

[FL] Fatima shot her husband Orlando Officer Charles Navicky

"At one point in time a woman living inside the house retreated to, we believe, a bedroom, came back armed with two handguns that were placed behind her back, and actually shot a man inside the home"... "He is very lucky to be alive today and we want to make sure we do everything for him and his family"...

Police: Orlando Officer Shot By Wife
Local6.com, FL
April 24, 2008
OVIEDO, Fla. -- An Orlando police officer was shot and injured by his wife early Thursday during an apparent argument in their home, investigators said. Seminole County sheriff's deputies responded to a disturbance call in the Stillwater subdivision in Oviedo at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday. Deputies said when they arrived, they found Orlando Officer Charles Navicky shot and injured. Navicky told officers that he and his wife, Fatima, had a verbal argument and that he called a neighbor to intervene. During the intervention, the woman allegedly grabbed two guns and opened fire on her husband, a Seminole County news release said. Navicky was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center with gunshot wounds to the arm and forehead. The woman will face charges of attempted murder and domestic violence. There were two children inside the house during the incident. They were not injured. A motive for the shooting was not known.

Officer Shot At Home, Wife Charged
WESH Orlando
April 24, 2008
[Excerpts] ...Someone at a home on Stillwater Drive, just outside of Oviedo, called 911 and hung up around 2:30 Thursday morning. When a dispatcher called back, a child answered the phone and said someone had been shot. Just before the shooting, the couple inside the home had been arguing and a nearby relative came over to offer help, but the argument quickly escalated, deputies said. "At one point in time a woman living inside the house retreated to, we believe, a bedroom, came back armed with two handguns that were placed behind her back, and actually shot a man inside the home," Seminole County Sheriff's Lt. Dennis Lemma said. There were two children in the home at the time of the shooting. They were not injured. "You can imagine with a 9 or 10-year-old, to see this with your own family occur at 2, 2:30 in the morning, what must be going through their minds"... Navicky was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. He was shot in the forearm and a bullet grazed his head. The suspect, Fatima Navicky, was taken to Winter Park Hospital to undergo an evaluation. "He is very lucky to be alive today and we want to make sure we do everything for him and his family," Lemma said. The children are in the care of a relative and child services... [Full article here]

Thursday, April 24, 2008

[WA] CRYSTAL JUDSON VIGIL in Gig Harbor. Also, gathering a GIFT OF WORDS

Crystal's Candlelight Commemoration will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Peninsula Christian Fellowship, 3114 45th St. Court NW in Gig Harbor.
5:30 pm, Lane Judson Presentation, adults, children 13+
6:30 pm, Hors d'Oeuvers
7:00 pm, Main Program, Positive Outlook, a Family Program
Scroll down for flyer & more info on Saturday's vigil.


GATHERING A GIFT OF WORDS FOR CRYSTAL'S PEOPLE

Today is Crystal Judson's birthday - or would have been.

On the 26th it will be five years since Tacoma Police Chief David Brame decided to end his wife Crystal's life, and his own.

I would like to add a page to her parents' website, www.lanejudson.com, and fill it with words from the community-of-caring, near and far. (Someone emailed support from Australia.)

I invite you to cast off whatever keeps you from sharing - your position, your name, whatever it is - and give the gift of words. I can post you anonymously if you'd rather not have your name out there, OR you can email Patty & Lane Judson without being posted on the website page here. If you have caring words for anyone else involved - police, the city, David Brame's parents - I can forward those as well.

THANK you to the hundreds of people who have labored for the changes and accomplishments that have occurred in these past five years.

Hugs to the many who have lost sleep or wept.

Let's not stop working for changes that would have saved Crystal's life though.

By the end of 2003 the focus shifted to laws, policies, and offending officers. The original pained outcry for a specific resource for officer-involved domestic violence [oidv] victims was abandoned. There is still no newly designated resouce for Washington oidv victims who justifiably fear the conventional avenues of help. Outside of Pierce County they are referred to the National or State general domestic hotlines. By now I had dreamed that not only Washington State, but others around the country, would have established special lines, support, and even offices. So the work is yet unfinished.

Much love, be strong, stay safe, and continue to make the world a better place.

Hope you can make it to the vigil (below) if you live in Washington.
Deon Gates

Youtube video of Lane Judson interviewd on Pierce County News regarding his presenting at the Men Against Violence Conference earlier this month:

IMPORTANT NOTE:

THE ADDRESS FOR THE VIGIL GIVEN ON THE FLYER AND IN THE ARTICLE IS INCORRECT. I DISCOVERED IT WHILE GETTING THE LINK FOR A MAP. I CALLED THE CHURCH, AND THEY VERIFIED THAT THE PUBLISHED ADDRESS IS AN ERROR. THE CORRECT ADDRESS IS 3114 45TH STREET COURT NW, GIG HARBOR. CLICK HERE FOR A MAP. CLICK HERE FOR THE CHURCH'S CONTACT PAGE.


THE CRYSTAL JUDSON FOUNDATION SPONSORING THIS VIGIL WAS STARTED BY COMMUNITY MEMBERS, NOT CRYSTAL'S FAMILY.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZED.
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b156/smallstillvoice/washington/BRAME_CASE/crystaljudson-flyer.jpg

Judson Foundation plans candlelight event
Plans to build ice arena will be discussed Saturday
Gateway staff report
April 23rd, 2008

The Crystal Judson Domestic Violence Prevention Foundation will hold a candlelight vigil Saturday to honor the memory of Crystal Judson, who was killed five years ago by her husband, then-Tacoma Police Chief David Brame.

Since her death, the foundation and Judson's parents have been devoted to promoting the cause of domestic abuse awareness.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Peninsula Christian Fellowship by recounting Judson's life story and will be followed by a candlelight ceremony with music at 7 p.m.

Former Gig Harbor mayor Gretchen Wilbert will also speak at the event. She plans to give an update on a proposed ice arena in Gig Harbor, one of the projects being pursued by the foundation to honor Judson's memory.

The arena would feature a temporary 56-foot by 80-foot skating facility that would be located at the Uptown Gig Harbor shopping center. The arena would be open for public skating, plus skating performances, and hockey and other lessons.

Wilbert said the ice arena would fill two needs in the community.

"First, it will honor the life of Crystal, who gave her life to domestic violence and who was an award-winning figure skater," she said. "Second, we need more indoor activity facilities in Gig Harbor."

Wilbert also noted that the YMCA is already overcrowded as it relates to skating use.

"This will provide another space we need so badly," she said.

The arena would be called the "Palais de Crystal" and would be considered a gift to Gig Harbor from the foundation.

Event details

Crystal's Candlelight Commemoration will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Peninsula Christian Fellowship, 3114 45th St. Court NW in Gig Harbor.

[WA] Saturday it will be 5 years since Chief Brame shot Crystal and himself

Crystal Judson Brame was fatally shot in the head by her estranged husband - Tacoma Police Chief David Brame - on April 26th, 2003 in a shopping center parking lot. Chief Brame then turned the weapon to his own head. From only yards away, their young children came running to this unimaginably horrific scene screaming for someone to help their mother. Chief Brame died that day, and Crystal died a week later. It would have been tragic enough if no one had known the dangers Crystal faced or of the Chief's disintegrating mental condition. What caught the attention though of national and international media was that too many people in the city government and the police department knew of Crystal's fatal fears and/or of Chief Brame's mental decline during the divorce process. None offered Crystal help, support, or options for safety - only silence & hindrances. It was announced by the Mayor and City Manager when Crystal's "allegations" became public, that there would be no investigation of Chief Brame - that he was doing a "stellar" job and that his divorce was a "private matter." No one insured that the Chief got the help he needed - though in hindsight there were several opportunities for intervention. This could have happened anywhere. Without a specific officer-involved domestic violence policy to guide them, police brass covered for his behaviors, said they believed his version of events (despite their own seasoned domestic violence knowledge & trainings), and sadly a few even helped him spy on and stalk Crystal. Likely Brame's top dog position was an influence on some of their disastrous choices. This tragedy was a tidal wave on every level. You can read about that *here*.

Much has been accomplished since then, by t
oo many people to name, working in collaboration or parallel one another towards effective policies and procedures.

Just some of the accomplishments:

Tacoma Washington's new officer-involved domestic violence policy.

The State of Washington's new officer-involved domestic violence law

The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center

New Federal legislation: The Crystal Judson Brame Domestic Violence Protocol Program

Washington lawmaker's open letter, "Invitation To All States"


There is also much yet to do. The less official and no longer discussed area of change cried out for after the shootings - but still unaddressed - is,

Where can victims like Crystal go for help?

That's a HUGE oversight, but we can still fix it.

Slain NYPD Officer Sonia Garcia's brother throws a punch in court

...[Sonia's brother Ramon] Garcia was charged with second-degree harassment, a misdemeanor, and given a ticket to appear at Southampton Town Justice Court, he said. Garcia said later he regretted the confrontation... Chaparro, a former New York police academy instructor, faces a second-degree murder charge in his fiancee's slaying in their Bay Shore home last year. Sonia Garcia, 27, was also a city police officer...

Heated emotions lead to courtroom near-brawl
Newsday, NY - Apr 19, 2008
BY LUIS PEREZ | luis.perez@newsday.com
April 19, 2008
It was difficult enough for Ramon Garcia to see Alexis Chaparro's relatives - the family of the man accused of killing his sister Sonia - in the Riverhead courtroom. But it was too much, he said, for his family to hear laughter from their lips. "We got in there and [Chaparro's] brother provokes my brother, laughing," said Lucy Hernandez, the victim's sister, describing the incident that Friday led to a near-brawl in the courtroom as the families waited for a hearing in the case. According to court officers and others present, Ramon Garcia reacted by throwing a single punch that landed on Chaparro's brother, Angel. Court officers quickly restored order, separating the two men and leading Garcia's family outside the building. "Alexis has not said anything about what happened. And [the family] just sits in there like they're comfortable with that," Ramon Garcia, 30, of Connecticut, said after he was released by authorities... William Keahon, of Islandia, who represents Chaparro, said, "Unfortunately, the deceased's brother attacked my client's brother ... the stress and the emotions created an incident that hopefully will not occur again"... Chaparro, a former New York police academy instructor, faces a second-degree murder charge in his fiancee's slaying in their Bay Shore home last year. Sonia Garcia, 27, was also a city police officer. The business before Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs was a motion to suppress evidence in Chaparro's trial. But moments before he was to hear the case, the fight erupted. Garcia was charged with second-degree harassment, a misdemeanor, and given a ticket to appear at Southampton Town Justice Court, he said. Garcia said later he regretted the confrontation. Chaparro was indicted in December, three months after he called 911 from the Bay Shore home where his fiancee was found with a single bullet wound to her chest. Chaparro has maintained his innocence and is being held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. Garcia's family has said Sonia Garcia was victimized by a controlling, jealous partner. [Full article here]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

[FL] Reason for not arresting Deputy Harris? No evidence, no "independent witnesses"

WHO CAN THE VICTIMS OF OFFICER INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN HERNANDO COUNTY CALL? NOT THE POLICE. SO WHO?

Deputy Charged With Domestic Battery

Tampa Tribune, FL - Apr 16, 2008
By KYLE MARTIN
April 17, 2008
A [Hernando County] deputy is on paid leave following his arrest on a charge of domestic battery. Tommy Harris' live-in girlfriend told police in January that he picked her up and dropped her in the apartment they share with their young son in Brooksville. When police spoke with Harris, he told them that the victim slapped him across the face first. He attempted to guide her out of the room by bumping her chest to chest, but she tripped and fell in the hallway, an arrest report states. The girlfriend reportedly said from the floor, "You're finished. I'm calling the police. You're losing your job." Harris was not arrested that night due to lack of physical evidence and independent witnesses. The Brooksville Police Department's Lt. Rick Hankins forwarded the case to the State Attorney's Office for a filing decision. Harris, 42, said Wednesday the charge will be disputed, but "in court, not in the media"... [Full article here]

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

[US] Agent Cedres is charged with almost everything domestic - and fired

...He is charged with committing domestic violence aggravated assault using a deadly weapon, committing aggravated assault using a deadly weapon, committing domestic violence kidnapping by restraining with intent to place the victim in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury, and committing domestic violence kidnapping by restraining with intent to inflict a physical injury. He also is charged with committing domestic violence assault by causing a physical injury, committing domestic violence theft with intent to deprive the victim of a cell phone, and committing domestic violence criminal damage...

BORDER PATROL AGENT ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The Daily Dispatch
By XAVIER ZARAGOZA
Apr 19, 2008
[Excerpts] A Border Patrol agent in Douglas was arrested Tuesday evening in connection with domestic violence. Josue Cedres, 21, of the 1200 block of Fairway at the Perilla Apartments north of Douglas, is being held at the Cochise County jail on a $40,000 bond, said Carol Capas, a spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department. Cedres is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, domestic violence assault, domestic violence disorderly conduct, domestic violence threatening and intimidating and domestic violence criminal damage. Tuesday afternoon Cedres was questioned at the Border Patrol station in Douglas. He was then taken to the Douglas Police department, where he was interviewed by the domestic violence officer. Cedres was later transported to the county jail, said Marcus Gonzalez, the spokesman for the Douglas Police Department. After the alleged assault, Cedres drove his victim to the Tucson airport, where she was to board an airplane to her home state. At the airport, she reported the assault to the authorities. Jose Gonzales, a spokesman for the Border Patrol, said Cedres is an agent in Douglas, but he did not say how long he has been with the agency. Cedres’s preliminary hearing is at 9 a.m. on April 25 in the Justice of the Peace Court 2. [Full article here]

AGENT IN DOUGLAS FACES ASSAULT, OTHER CHARGES
Sierra Vista Herald, AZ
By Jonathon Shacat
April 19, 2008
[Excerpts] ...He is charged with committing domestic violence aggravated assault using a deadly weapon, committing aggravated assault using a deadly weapon, committing domestic violence kidnapping by restraining with intent to place the victim in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury, and committing domestic violence kidnapping by restraining with intent to inflict a physical injury. He also is charged with committing domestic violence assault by causing a physical injury, committing domestic violence theft with intent to deprive the victim of a cell phone, and committing domestic violence criminal damage by defacing the victim’s teddy bear and clothing... As of Friday, Cedres was being held in the Cochise County Jail on $40,000 bond, according to a jail official. If he remains in custody, his preliminary hearing will be held next Friday in Douglas Justice Court. If he is out of custody, the hearing will take place May 6. During an initial appearance in court on Wednesday, his conditions of release were established. If released, he must appear in court for this case, must not commit any criminal offenses, must not initiate contact with the victim, witnesses or arresting officers, must maintain contact with his attorney, must not leave the state, and must remain at his address or notify the court if he moves... [Full article here]

BORDER PATROL AGENT ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE
Arizona Daily Star, AZ
By Dale Quinn
04/22/2008
[Excerpts] ...Cedres was an agent stationed in Douglas at the time of his arrest but he has since been fired, said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jose Gonzales. Few details of the assault - which allegedly occurred at Cedres's home in Douglas in mid-April - were released because of the investigation. A weapon was used, Aguilar said, but he declined to say what it was... [Full article here]

[MI] Fearing Deputy Haan may kill himself, have an accident, or kill her

...His wife told police "he should not be on the streets." She feared Haan may "try and kill himself...have an accident...or hurt her." Haan told deputies he "could not go on"... Haan said he was on a cocktail of prescription medication for depression and bipolar disorder...

Sheriff's deputy arrested a third time
WOOD-TV, MI - Mar 31, 2008
By Tony Tagliavia
[Excerpts] An Allegan County sheriff's deputy is off the beat after being arrested a third time. Kevin Haan is on unpaid administrative leave as a board of inquiry decides his fate after allegations of drunken driving, making a threatening phone call to his wife, and violating the terms of his bond... "That doesn't sound like him as far as what I knew him for," said Dorr Township Supervisor Don Kaczanowski. "He was very good at communicating the people." The threatening phone calls occurred about a month ago. Haan was released on bond but violated an unknown condition of that bond and was arrested again. Then Haan was arrested sometime last week in Barry County for drunken driving - a crime in and of itself, but also another violation of that original bond. Undersheriff Jim Hull says these events have been tough on the department, describing Haan as a longtime employee, and a good one. An internal affairs investigation was done and reviewed by an outside department... [Full article here]

Allegan County sheriff's deputy suspended after third arrest
The Grand Rapids Press
Posted by Nate Reens
April 01, 2008
[Excerpts] ..."He's really going through a tough time in his personal life right now," [Undersheriff Jim] Hull said. "He's a fabulous deputy, but he's got some things he has to deal with right now and he can't do that while working." Hull said Haan threatened his wife, but there is no allegation that any violence occurred... As the undersheriff, Hull holds Haan's fate in his hands. Hull is responsible for reviewing recommendations for discipline that he expects a board of two force sergeants and a lieutenant to hand him next week. Haan could be fired or face other corrective measures. Haan has worked for the county for about 18 years, earning praise from the heads of Dorr, Salem and Leighton townships in 2000. Leaders in those governments fought for Haan to be returned to their area after he was transferred to a neighboring community... Hull said Haan's arrest by his fellow deputies was difficult, but necessary. "They've got a job that they have to do, regardless of who it is," Hull said... [Full article here]

Court documents reveal arrested deputy's state of mind
WOOD-TV
By Marc Thompson
April. 2, 2008
[Excerpts] Court documents reveal an Allegan County sheriff's deputy is potentially a danger to himself and others, after winding up on the wrong side of the law, not once, but three times. It is a story 24 Hour News 8 broke Monday night. As we dug deeper into court records, it appears Kevin Haan may have been on the verge of a breakdown. Haan was first arrested March 4 for allegedly making threatening phone calls to his estranged wife. He was released on bond, but with conditions, including not consuming alcohol and having no further contact with his spouse. But according to court documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8, Haan violated those conditions by calling his wife again on March 13. He also admitted to drinking a half pint of vodka and blowing a 0.18 alcohol level. Haan told his wife he was considering checking himself into Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids. His wife told police "he should not be on the streets." She feared Haan may "try and kill himself...have an accident...or hurt her." Haan told deputies he "could not go on." Officers in his own department arrested him for a second time for violating an unknown condition of the bond. Then came arrest number three on March 24. This time Haan was apparently drunk behind the wheel of his car in Barry County, crossing the centerline on M-37, according to a police report. He was arrested for operating while intoxicated. Haan told the arresting officer he "was having marital problems." He again admitted to drinking a half pint of vodka. Haan said he was on a cocktail of prescription medication for depression and bipolar disorder... Sheriff's officials told 24 Hour News 8 all employees have access to mental health assistance through Help Net, a firm in Kalamazoo. Officials would not confirm for us, however, whether Haan sought that assistance. [Full article here]

Arrests shine light on police job stress Departments provide resources to officers for job that takes toll
HollandSentinel.com, MI
BY MEGAN SCHMIDT
April 6, 2008
[Excerpts] Deputy Kevin Haan served 18 years with the Allegan County Sheriff's Office before problems in his personal life -- possibly coupled with the stress of police work -- took a toll on his career. After Haan was arrested for the third time in one month, he was placed on unpaid leave from the sheriff's office, Allegan County Undersheriff Jim Hull said... Holland police officer Ken DeKleine was arrested in January for the murder of his wife, Lori... Hull said that deputies such as Haan have access to counseling through a program called Help Net for problems ranging from family to financial issues. All deputies also report to a supervisor, Hull said, who is trained to look for changes in behavior. "They are hyper-vigilant about looking for the signs," Hull said. Hull said many experiences police have on the job are troubling, which may explain a higher number of issues with substance abuse, suicide and heart attacks in members of law enforcement. "In this profession you're dealing with grief and people who are not friendly with you, yet you have to be constantly professional and nice" Hull said. [Full article here]