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Thursday, April 28, 2011

NYTimes: The most important question is Barbara Sheehan's state of mind when she killed her abusive husband

Barbara Sheehan, who shot her husband, Raymond, a former NYPD police sergeant, after a long history of battering, at the Queens Criminal Courthouse. (NYT)

...Both the son and daughter said that their father’s death was the best possible outcome, and that their lives were infinitely better: the long shadow of fear for their mother’s life had lifted and they felt liberated...

All Barbara Sheehan Posts here

Full New York Times article here

A COURT BATTLE OVER A HUSBAND’S RAGE AND A WIFE WHO’D HAD ENOUGH
The New York Times
By Jim Dwyer
April 26, 2011
[Excerpts] ...Few important facts appear to be in dispute. Ms. [Barbara] Sheehan shot her husband, as she has told anyone who asks. Mr. [Raymond] Sheehan beat his wife, according to her, their children, extended family, domestic violence counselors and medical records. The most important question to be resolved by a trial is Ms. Sheehan’s state of mind at the time she killed him. The law of self-defense requires the jury members to put themselves in the position of the person who used lethal force, and the Court of Appeals said that experts are necessary to explain the emotional paralysis of battered women who do not leave the person hurting them. “I think everybody should be told everything that happened,” Ms. Sheehan said Tuesday. She is free on $1 million bail, which was secured by the homes of several family members... Mr. Brown, the district attorney, continues to oppose the use of psychiatrists by the defense, a spokesman said, “because the defendant has failed to cooperate” during an examination by a psychologist hired by the prosecution. Mr. Dowd, the lawyer for Ms. Sheehan, said that she had already been examined for more than 10 hours by the prosecution’s psychologist and was eager to answer any other questions the expert had. Mr. Dowd also said that a videotape would show that he and his client had cooperated fully... Both the son and daughter said that their father’s death was the best possible outcome, and that their lives were infinitely better: the long shadow of fear for their mother’s life had lifted and they felt liberated. They did not go to his funeral, but they went to his wake. “I just wanted to see for myself,” Ms. Joyce said, “that he was dead.”

EXCERPTS FROM EARLIER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ARTICLE:

DAUGHTER OF BATTERED WIFE BARBARA SHEEHAN, WHO KILLED NYPD OFFICER HUSBAND, IS GLAD MOM SHOT DAD
New York Daily News
By Nicole Bode
Friday, May 15, 2009
[Excerpts] The daughter of an abusive NYPD officer shot dead by his battered wife said she's glad he's gone. "No part of me misses him. My life is 150% better," Jennifer Sheehan said of her slain dad... Jennifer Sheehan, 23, said she and her brother lived in "constant fear" her dad would harm their mom. He also went after them, once locking them in a bedroom at gunpoint, she said... Barbara Sheehan said she wanted to share her tale to warn other women to get out of abusive relationships. She tried to leave her husband multiple times, but said he vowed to hunt her down and kill her and the kids. Sheehan's lawyer, Michael Dowd, said he was "bewildered" that Queens prosecutors were pursuing the case in light of the history of abuse... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities homicide self-defense battered women's syndrome experts new york state politics]

Monday, April 25, 2011

[GA] Temple Police Officer Powell charged - this time


Temple Police Officer Lee Powell was charged with felony false imprisonment, sexual battery, battery under the Family Violence Act and third-degree cruelty to children... Carroll County Sheriff’s Capt. Shane Taylor said the [earlier 2007] Douglasville report was filed after Powell allegedly made a phone call and threatened to kill a woman’s boyfriend at the time. He said no charges were ever filed in the case...

Maybe if he had been charged the first tme there wouldn't be a second time.


TEMPLE POLICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL BATTERY
MYFOXATLANTA
Chris Shaw
Apr 2011, 7:50 PM EDT
[Excerpts] The Carroll County Sheriff's Office is investigation allegations a Temple police officer sexually battered a woman in front of her child. Officer Lee Powell was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery, Battery, Cruelty to Children, and False Imprisonment... [Full article here]

CHIEF 'SHOCKED' BY ALLEGATIONS AGAINST OFFICER: Officer Arrested On Battery Charges
WSBTV.com
April 21, 2011
[Excerpts] A police officer has found himself an inmate in the same jail he's had other people locked up in. Temple police Officer Lee Powell was arrested after his ex-wife accused him of sexual battery and false imprisonment. The arrest had Temple's police chief very upset. "I'm so mad. I'm pretty upset,” Police Chief Tim Shaw told Channel 2’s Tom Jones... [Full article here]

TEMPLE POLICE OFFICER FACES SEVERAL CHARGES INCLUDING SEXUAL BATTERY
Times-Georgian
by Amanda Thomas
April 21, 2011
[Excerpts] A Temple police officer is facing several charges in connection to a domestic violence incident involving his ex-girlfriend at her home in Carrollton. Carroll County Sheriff’s Investigator Telisha Gibson said Lee Powell, 30, of Temple was charged Wednesday with felony false imprisonment, sexual battery, battery under the Family Violence Act and third-degree cruelty to children... Gibson said the former girlfriend came to the Sheriff’s Office April 5 with allegations of sexual battery that occurred after Powell, who has visitation rights, dropped off their 5-year-old son... Gibson helped the ex-girlfriend get a protective order to keep him away from the residence. Powell was served with the order when he came to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning. Gibson said there are no other reported incidents of domestic violence between the two in Carroll County, but said there was an incident reported to Douglasville police in September 2007... When the Sheriff’s Office investigating officer informed Temple Police Chief Tim Shaw of the initial accusations against Powell about a week and a half ago Powell was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation... Powell had most recently worked about a year and a half for the Sheriff’s Office after an eight-year stint with the Bremen Police Department... [Full article here]

TEMPLE OFFICER DENIES CHARGES: ATTORNEY QUESTIONS TWO-DAY DELAY IN FILING OF COMPLAINT
Times-Georgian
by Amanda Thomas
April 23, 2011
[Excerpts] The lawyer for a Temple police officer facing several charges in connection to a domestic violence incident involving his ex-girlfriend at her Carrollton home says the contact between the former couple was consensual and questions why the alleged altercation was reported 48 hours later. Villa Rica attorney Mac Pilgrim said Friday that Lee Powell, 30, of Temple denies doing anything wrong and that the allegations may stem from a longstanding dispute between the two... [Carroll County Sheriff’s Investigator Telisha] Gibson said there are no other reported incidents of domestic violence between the two in Carroll County, but said there was an incident reported to Douglasville police in September 2007. An open records request to get information on the arrest was not completed as of Friday afternoon. But Douglasville Police Lt. Adam Cannon confirmed the department did have reports involving Powell back in 2007. Carroll County Sheriff’s Capt. Shane Taylor said Friday that the Douglasville report was filed after Powell allegedly made a phone call and threatened to kill a woman’s boyfriend at the time. He said no charges were ever filed in the case... Powell is expected to appear before the Carroll County Superior Court on May 5 regarding a temporary protective order filed on the woman’s behalf. When the Sheriff’s Office investigating officer informed Temple Police Chief Tim Shaw of the initial accusations against Powell about a week and a half ago Powell was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Temple’s City Council will decide his fate on Monday. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety rape child children georgia state politics]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

[WA] Police were justified for arresting Bainbridge police officer's wife, judge rules


JUDGE DISMISSES FORMER COP'S LAWSUIT AGAINST BAINBRIDGE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Kitsap Sun
By Tristan Baurick
April 22, 2011
[Excerpts] Lawsuits brought by a former Bainbridge police officer and his wife against the Bainbridge Island Police Department were dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge this week. Judge Ronald B. Leighton ruled on Tuesday that Bainbridge police had probable cause to arrest Cynthia Anderson after she reportedly made threats to harm herself during a dispute with Scott Anderson, who was a Bainbridge police officer at the time, and one of their sons at the family's Bainbridge home on Nov. 6, 2007.... According to police reports, Scott Anderson had handcuffed Cynthia Anderson and called police after she threatened to cut her wrists with a disposable razor. Police took Cynthia Anderson to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton for an involuntary mental-health evaluation. A day later, on Nov. 7, 2007, Scott Anderson was granted a protection order against his wife. According to court documents, Scott Anderson said Cynthia Anderson had repeatedly threatened to kill him and herself. At one point, Scott Anderson had barricaded himself in a separate room from his wife to sleep, he wrote in his protection order request. Scott Anderson had the protection order terminated six days later, saying the "temporary rage" had subsided, according to court documents. Bainbridge police launched a criminal investigation of Cynthia Anderson after one of her sons told police that he had, during an earlier incident, wrestled a shotgun away from her after she threatened to shoot herself and possibly other family members. Scott Anderson allegedly obstructed the investigation into his wife's conduct by refusing to discuss her actions and ordering his sons to not speak with investigators. The Kitsap County prosecutor decided not pursue charges against Cynthia Anderson due to "insufficient evidence"... In dismissing the Andersons' allegation that Bainbridge police harmed their marriage, Leighton stressed that police were rightfully investigating complaints of domestic violence... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal female perp perpertrator washington state politics]

Friday, April 22, 2011

[WA] Snohomish Sheriff's Deputy Haunold won't be charged for alleged knife-to-wife's-throat incident

PREVIOUS POST:
[WA] Deputy alleged to have held knife to his wife's throat. - ...The deputy’s wife told a family friend, who also is a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy, that "there was an incident between her and her husband at their house and that he put a knife to her throat..."

SHERIFF’S DEPUTY WON’T BE CHARGED IN ALLEGED ASSAULT OF HIS WIFE
The Herald
By Eric Stevick and Diana Hefley
Friday, April 22, 2011
[Excerpts] Prosecutors have declined to file any charges against a Snohomish County sheriff's deputy arrested earlier this year for investigation of assaulting his wife. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern reviewed the sheriff's investigation into the allegations against deputy Rex Haunold... "It was a very thorough investigation. In the end, there's insufficient admissible evidence for us to proceed," Stern said. The deputy remains on paid administrative leave, sheriff's Lt. Kathi Lang said Thursday. "We are now conducting an internal investigation related to potential violations of any office policies and procedures, and we do not comment on active investigations," Lang said... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal washington state politics]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

[CA] The stolen life of police officer's wife, Judith Lynne Harris (Nov. 7, 1997)

"She was a very joyful,
light-hearted, wonderful,
warm-hearted person."

I have tried to trim the violent details out of these articles in respect for the families.

MISSING SAN JOSE WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN CAR TRUNK
San Framcisco Chronicle
Manny Fernandez
November 10, 1997
[Excerpts] The wife of a San Jose police officer who disappeared mysteriously three days ago was found dead yesterday morning, her body stuffed inside the trunk of a car parked behind a Santa Clara County medical complex. Judith Harris, 48, disappeared Friday morning while on a shopping trip in Hayward. Her disappearance had puzzled family members, police officers and neighbors, who held a candlelight vigil for Harris the day before her body was discovered. The cause of death had not been determined late last night, but Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said they were investigating the case as a homicide. Harris' body had suffered major blows to the head, possibly from hands or a fist... Her husband, San Jose police officer Thomas Harris, last saw her at 10:30 a.m. Friday, when she left their San Jose home alone to visit relatives in Hayward, sheriff's officials said. She was believed to have stopped at a Price-Costco store in Hayward to do some shopping... Investigators were at the scene until late last night, examining the parking lot for any piece of evidence, from scraps of paper to cigarette butts. The car was towed to the county crime lab in San Jose, where inspectors will examine the the contents of the car in detail... "She always had a smile on her face," said Jim Schachner, who lives a few doors from the Harris family. "They were just good neighbors and good people to be around" [Full article here]

POLICE LOOK AT HUSBAND IN SLAYING: He's 15-year veteran of San Jose force
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Carolyne Zinko, Stacy Finz
November 11, 1997
[Excerpts] A San Jose police officer has emerged as a suspect in the slaying of his wife [Judith Lynne Harris... Her husband called several police agencies to report her missing that night after she failed to come home, and on Saturday he followed up in person. Harris and sons Scott, 23, also a San Jose police officer, and Matthew, a West Valley College student, distributed flyers and contacted the media. But yesterday, members of the household kept to themselves, assisted by protective neighbors who parked six sport-utility vehicles bumper to bumper in front of the home to block the driveway. Neighbors also stood watch outside the house, while a San Jose police officer also briefly barred the driveway... Neighbors on Saturday held a candlelight vigil for the popular woman. "We wanted our prayers to reach Judith wherever she was and for God to give her peace and comfort," Maria Bratton, a longtime friend, said yesterday. "She was a very joyful, light-hearted, wonderful, warm-hearted person"... [Full article here]

CORONER SAYS COP'S WIFE BLED TO DEATH: Victim's family may make statement today
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
November 12, 1997
[Excerpts] ...an article in The Chronicle yesterday in which unnamed law enforcement sources said Harris' husband, Thomas, was a suspect in her slaying. Thomas Harris has worked for the department for 15 years as a patrol officer. Previously, he was a sergeant in the Campbell Police Department. Spokesman John Carrillo called the article "totally premature and without factual basis." He would not, however, say it was wrong... Matt Elvander, vice president of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, would not discuss reports that Harris is a suspect, saying only, "To us, this is a big tragedy. "The bottom line is, one of our officers lost his wife. We're grieving with him and for him." [Full article here]

SLAIN WIFE GAGGED, CORONER REPORTS: Harris family member speaks out for first time
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
November 13, 1997
[Excerpts] ...As new information in the slaying of Judith Lynne Harris surfaced, a family member spoke at length for the first time since the 48-year-old homemaker's body was found Sunday in Los Gatos. "The entire family is having extreme difficulty coming to grips with the loss of Judy," said Lee P. Harris, the victim's brother-in-law... The weeping brother-in-law addressed a crowd of reporters in front of the building of the San Jose Police Officers Association. His brother Thomas Harris is a member of the association and a 15-year veteran with the San Jose Police Department. Thomas and Judith Harris were to celebrate their 29th anniversary on Sunday. Lee Harris read from a long statement in which he described Judith Harris as a loving and devoted mother and wife. "She was always there when (Thomas) came home, with a kiss, a hug and a sigh of relief," he said, "for she certainly understood the dangers involved in Tom being a police officer." When he was finished reading, Lee Harris turned from the crowd and walked into the building before being barraged with questions... [Full article here]

SAN JOSE COP FOUND DEAD HIS REVOLVER WAS NEAR BODY; wife slain last week
San Francisco Examiner
Malcolm Glover
Nov 13, 1997
[Excerpts] The body of a San Jose police officer was found Thursday in the Santa Cruz Mountains, four days after his wife's body was found in the trunk of her car... The crew of a news helicopter spotted the body of Tom Harris in a grassy field in the area of a large-scale search for him that was launched at daybreak Thursday... Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Arata said that no warrant had been issued and that Harris was not a suspect in his wife's murder... Harris was a 15-year member of the San Jose Police Department. His son, Scott, is also a member of the department... [Full article here]

SAN JOSE COP APPARENT SUICIDE: Officer found dead days after wife slain
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz, Carolyne Zinko
November 14, 1997
[Excerpts] ...Friends described the Harris family as close-knit with ties to the San Jose Police Department. Thomas and Judith Harris's 23 year-old son, Scott, has been a patrol officer with the San Jose Police Department for more than a year. Their other son, Matthew, is a student at West Valley College. Thomas Harris's brother, Dale, is a veteran officer with the San Jose police force. "We're in shock," said Matt Elvander, vice president of the San Jose Police Officers' Association. "One of our officers has lost a mother and now a father. Another one of our officers has lost a sister- in-law and now a brother. And all of us have lost a fellow officer. It's a tragedy"... His death came as new details emerged about Harris' police background. Before joining the San Jose Police Department 15 years ago, Harris served for 12 years in the Campbell Police Department before leaving under strange circumstances. Investigators at the Campbell department said they believed Harris might have fabricated a story in the early 1980s about being overpowered by two burglars. Harris contended that two men snatched his gun, knocked him unconscious and tied him to a chain-link fence, said Jim Cost, former chief of Campbell police and who now is a commander at the San Carlos Police Department. "Investigators found it was suspicious and likely not to have occurred," Cost said. "They found inconsistencies in the story that caused doubts." After the incident, Harris resigned from the department, where he had held the rank of sergeant, and quickly took a job with San Jose as a patrol officer. [Full article here]

BODY OF SLAIN WOMAN'S HUSBAND IS FOUND
Los Angeles Times
Nov 14, 1997. pg. 38
[Excerpts] ...Investigators had insisted for days that the officer was not a suspect in the death of his wife, Judith Lynne Harris, as earlier reports had suggested. "We have mounted a search because we want to find out if he's all right," [Santa Clara County sheriff's spokesman Jim] Arata said before a news helicopter spotted the body lying in a field of grass with a gun nearby. There were no keys in Harris' car, which was found on fog-shrouded Mount Umunhum Road the previous night... [Full article here]

FAMILY OF SAN JOSE COP REELS FROM DOUBLE TRAGEDY
San Francisco Examiner.
Eve Mitchell
Nov 14, 1997. pg. A.27
[Excerpts] When police Officer Tom Harris failed to show for a meeting with relatives to discuss funeral plans for his slain wife, family members became worried. "They felt this wasn't the normal, reliable behavior of Tom Harris," Assistant Police Chief Walt Adkins said. Relatives indicated he was despondent... An autopsy was performed Thursday and on Friday, a coroner's department official reported Harris died of a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators "have indicated a strong likelihood that Mr. Harris took his own life by his own hand," Arata said. Harris' apparent suicide does not close the books on the slaying of his wife... Arata stressed that Harris was no more of a suspect in his wife's murder than anybody else. "Investigation of a victim's family is a normal (investigative) process"... Several police officers attended Thursday's news conference. "We all feel the pain that (Harris family members) are feeling," said Adkins... While acknowledging the existence of rumors about an extramarital affair by Tom Harris, Arata said he could not confirm or deny their veracity... Before joining the San Jose Police Department in 1982, Harris worked for the Campbell police from 1972 to 1980... No suicide note was found on Harris' body or in the car... Funeral arrangements for Judith and Tom Harris are pending... [Full article here]

CORONER SAYS GUNSHOT WOUND KILLED SAN JOSE COP
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
November 15, 1997
[Excerpts] ...Few details of the couple's deaths were released yesterday. Santa Clara County Sheriff's officials did not return numerous calls from The Chronicle. But rumors and speculation in the mysterious case continued to swirl. The San Jose Police Department, where Harris worked for 15 years, remained in shock. His brother Dale and son Scott are also members of the force... Authorities found Harris Thursday lying face up, clutching a gun in his right hand... "The inside of the mouth appeared traumatized," wrote coroner investigator, Marie Robinson... Officials from the Police Department would not confirm or deny rumors that Harris may have been having an affair with another woman at the time of his wife's death. Nor would they substantiate a new rumor that Judith Harris was struck by a car before someone slashed her throat... [Full article here]

STUDY FINDS COPS TWICE AS LIKELY TO ABUSE FAMILYl What makes a good officer may not make a good mate
THE EXAMINER
Jim Herron Zamora
Monday, November 17, 1997
[Excerpts] ... And while no one yet knows who murdered the wife of San Jose Officer Tom Harris, authorities are investigating the possibility that he killed her... In the population in general, studies indicate that between 5 percent and 20 percent of women are victims of domestic violence. But several studies, including one by the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute, indicate police officers are twice as likely to assault their loved ones. "One of the great paradoxes of police work is that those same habits that often make for being a good cop make for being a poor mate or parent," said Dr. Ellen Kirschman, author of the book "I Love A Cop: What Police Families Need To Know" and consulting psychologist to numerous police departments... Police accused of domestic violence tend to blame it on the incredible stress of the job. But researchers say that is only part of the problem. "If it was just stress, they would be assaulting their supervisors" or members of the public, said Gary Sykes, director of the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute... In San Francisco, police have developed an early warning program for potential problem officers, monitoring complaints about behavior on the job or at home. The department also provides confidential counseling for officers having difficulty at home, with the promise it will not hurt their chances for promotion, according to the police chief's office.... In Chicago, the police department has a special unit staffed with civilians to investigate officers accused of family violence. In Nashville, police have a special internal affairs unit that handles only reports of domestic violence among officers... "You've got to have a zero-tolerance policy," said Kirschman. "If someone's job is on the line, they will be more motivated"... [Full article here]

400 MOURN AS SAN JOSE COP, SLAIN WIFE LAID TO REST: Eulogy dwells on happy times, not violent deaths
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
November 19, 1997
[Excerpts] Mourners at the funeral of Thomas and Judith Harris struggled yesterday to reconcile their memories of a dream marriage with its violent, nightmarish ending... More than 400 family members, friends and police officers gathered at the First Baptist Church yesterday to remember only the love story. No mention of their violent deaths was made... Despite his 15 years with the department, Tom Harris was not given an official police funeral. Cobarruviaz said police ceremonies are reserved for officers killed in the line of duty, although officers were permitted to attend the funeral on department time. More than 100 police, some in uniform and others in plainclothes, were at the service. Police chaplain Dave Bridgen addressed the mourners, recounting warm anecdotes of the couple's innocent courtship and their long marriage. Tom Harris was smitten from the first day he laid eyes on Judy... [Full article here]

COP'S WIFE FOUGHT FOR LIFE, REPORT SAYS: Husband who killed self seen as main suspect
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
December 10, 1997
[Excerpts] The wife of a San Jose police officer fought desperately for her life... In her last minutes of life, Judith Harris fought her killer last month with her arms and hands, said Deputy Coroner Massoud Vamoghi, who wrote the autopsy report released yesterday... "She fought hard," he said... Sheriff's investigators have remained tight-lipped about the case. Police have yet to determine who killed Judith Harris. However, sources close to the case say it is looking more and more like her husband, Thomas Harris, is the main suspect... [Full article here]

POLICE SAY COP LIKELY KILLED WIFE: Witnesses saw him where body found
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
December 13, 1997
[Excerpts] San Jose police officer Thomas Harris probably killed his wife on the morning of November 7 in a rural area and tried to cover his tracks before killing himself, sheriff's officials said yesterday. Detectives broke their monthlong silence on the case at a San Jose news conference, disclosing a string of circumstantial evidence... Sheriff's Sergeant Steve Angus said the strongest evidence against Harris is that witnesses placed him at the parking lot where his wife's body was later found on the day she was reported missing. Detectives also found inconsistencies in Harris' version of events the day of his wife's death... Furthermore, investigators believe the veteran officer tried to cover his tracks by moving Judith Harris' body from the area where she was killed so it would look like a kidnapping... They did reveal that months before her death, Judith Harris had confronted her husband about possible infidelities. A private investigator had been hired by an undisclosed person that summer to follow Harris... After her body was discovered, detectives immediately turned to Harris. They became suspicious when he couldn't account for five hours on the day his wife disappeared. They were scheduled to talk to him at the end of the week to clear up inconsistencies in his stories... Judith Harris' brother, Doug James, told reporters yesterday that the family is dealing with the tragedy by focusing on the couple's "29 years of a beautiful marriage," and not dwelling on "the five days of hell" that started with Judith Harris' disappearance and ended with Tom Harris' suicide. [Full article here]

San Jose Names New Police Chief / Veteran headed Richmond force
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Maria Alicia Gaura
August 05, 1998
[Excerpts] San Jose officials named a new Chief of Police yesterday, choosing Richmond Police Chief William Lansdowne from a field of more than 40 applicants for the job... Although about 40 applicants sought the chief's job, only five were considered finalists... Among the finalists who did not make the cut was Acting Police Chief Walt Adkins, who stepped in to run the 1,300-officer department in March after the retirement of Chief Louis Cobarruviaz. Adkins, a 28-year veteran and the highest-ranking African American in the department's history, was initially considered a strong candidate for the top job. But law enforcement insiders say his candidacy was derailed by several well-publicized and embarrassing blunders. Shortly before Adkins was named acting chief, he was the target of complaints by an emergency dispatcher who said that Adkins tried to dissuade her from filing domestic violence charges against her boyfriend - a San Jose cop. A criminal probe by the district attorney found that Adkins' conduct "did not rise to the level of criminal dissuading of a witness," according to Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu. Then, in June, Adkins awarded a posthumous hazardous duty award to Tom Harris -- a veteran officer who killed himself in November, days after slashing his wife's throat, beating her severely and cramming her body into the trunk of a car. Adkins publicly defended the award, saying that Harris' murderous rampage did not erase his previous heroism. But the decision outraged many in law enforcement... [Full article here]

AUTHORITIES CLOSE PROBE INTO MURDER: Cop killed wife, then himself, detectives say
San Framcisco Chronicle
By Stacy Finz
October 30, 1998
[Excerpts] After nearly a year of questions, South Bay law enforcement closed the book yesterday on a high-profile murder-suicide involving a fellow police officer and his wife. Detectives for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department said their investigation left no doubt that Thomas Harris, a San Jose Police officer, killed his wife of 28 years... In the heat of passion, Harris slashed his wife's throat and stuffed her in the trunk of her car November 7... "We have nothing to lead us to any other conclusions," said Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sergeant Jim Arata... But it is time to bring closure to this whole event, which has torn apart the police department and members of the Harris family"... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder suicide california state politics]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

[MN] Murder-charge expungement of chief's friend, Aaron Foster, hit a snag: His violent history

...The notoriety around the [Aaron Foster/Barbara] Winn case stems in part from Foster's close relationship with former St. Paul police chief William Finney, who served as best man at one of Foster's weddings and eventually hired him to work in the police department... Patty Bruce, Winn's sister-in-law, told the court Foster has a history of violence that must not be ignored. She said [Ramsey County District Chief Judge Kathleen] Gearin herself had signed an emergency order for protection requested by Lisa Foster, one of Foster's ex-wives, in 2002. Gearin expressed surprise, saying she did not recall having done so. A copy of the court record shows Gearin co-signed a court referee's order. "I don't think expungement should be a revolving door for violent offenders"...

..."Even Foster's patron, Former Police Chief William Finney, has acknowledged in these records that Foster had a habit of pointing his gun at people. See Schultz Aff. Ex. 6. Chief Finney also acknowledged Foster's habit of using physical force against women. See Schultz Aff. Ex. 6"...

WEBSITES:

PREVIOUS POSTS:

Barbara "Bobbi" Winn was 35 when she was killed.

DECISION DELAYED FOR 1981 SHOOTING SUSPECT
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 20, 2011
[Excerpts] Aaron Foster Sr.'s request to have a 2007 murder charge expunged was taken under advisement Wednesday. Foster was acquitted in 2008 of the charge levied against him for the 1981 shooting death of his girlfriend, Barbara Winn. Winn's relatives had expected Ramsey County District Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin to make a ruling from the bench. But Gearin delayed her decision by giving attorneys more time to submit material to support their stance. Foster's attorney, Earl Gray, argued that his client deserved expungement because he hasn't been arrested in 30 years. Foster needs to clear his record so he can find better work, Gray said. Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Laura Rosenthal argued that "facts" in the county's memorandum showed that keeping the record open was in the public interest because of the seriousness of the charge... An attorney for Winn's relatives, David Schultz, asked the judge for more time to submit transcripts and other documents. Gearin gave Schultz two weeks to submit materials and Gray two weeks from that to respond... [Full article here]

RAMSEY COUNTY JUDGE WANTS AARON FOSTER SR.'S ACTIONS CHRONICLED ON DAY OF MAPLEWOOD WOMAN'S 1981 DEATH: Foster seeks to erase murder acquittal from his record; court wants to assess risk
Pioneer Press
Posted: 04/21/2011
[Excerpts] A Ramsey County judge [Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin] said the question of Aaron Foster Sr.'s ongoing danger to the community "concerns me deeply," though she delayed a decision Wednesday on whether to erase the criminal record of his acquittal in a murder case... "The actions (Foster) took on the date of death," besides the allegation of the murder itself, "I want to know that," Gearin said. Foster was tried for the murder of Barbara "Bobbi" Winn in 2008 — 27 years after she died in her Maplewood home at age 35. Most evidence in the case was lost or destroyed. A jury acquitted him... Attorney David Schultz, who represents Winn's family, said he would provide the court with trial court records and police reports... Laura Rosenthal of the Ramsey County attorney's office argued that Gearin should consider the way Foster disposed of the gun that killed Winn on May 8, 1981. After the gun went off in Winn's home, striking her in the heart, Foster took the weapon and threw it out the window of his car. At trial, he contended the shooting was a suicide or an accident... Foster has had no criminal convictions since Winn died, [Foster's attorney, Earl] Gray said. But Patty Bruce, Winn's sister-in-law, told the court Foster has a history of violence that must not be ignored. She said Gearin herself had signed an emergency order for protection requested by Lisa Foster, one of Foster's ex-wives, in 2002. Gearin expressed surprise, saying she did not recall having done so. A copy of the court record shows Gearin co-signed a court referee's order. "I don't think expungement should be a revolving door for violent offenders," Bruce said. Foster was convicted in 1974 of assault and possession of a disabling chemical. Maplewood police noted they knew him for his "violent temper." He received a suspended sentence of 20 days. That charge later was expunged, Bruce said. In 1985, Foster's estranged wife, Linda Foster, told police Foster pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill her, according to a police report. Foster was arrested but not charged. The notoriety around the Winn case stems in part from Foster's close relationship with former St. Paul police chief William Finney, who served as best man at one of Foster's weddings and eventually hired him to work in the police department. That relationship became an issue in the Ramsey County sheriff's race in 2006 when Finney challenged then-Sheriff Bob Fletcher... [Full article here]

UPDATE:

Excerpts from:

"MEMORANDUM OF LAW
IN OPPOSITION TO
PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT"

Filed in Ramsey County Court on May 4, 2011

"The family of decedent, Barbara L. Winn, opposes Petitioner Aaron Foster’s (“Foster”) Petition to expunge all records relating to the investigation and prosecution of Foster for murder. As shown in the additional evidence submitted and in the arguments below, the public’s interest and concerns for public safety clearly outweigh Foster’s interest in having these records expunged."

"The police records of the investigation into the death of Barbara Winn established that Foster is clearly a danger to the public. In a supplementary police report, Foster’s ex-wife, Linda, described Foster’s propensity to point his .38 special--the same gun used to shoot Barbara Winn-- at her; she stated that Foster did so more times than she could remember. See "Schultz Aff. Ex. 1. She even described how he shoved the gun into her chest. Expunging the police reports of this event will conceal important information from the public. The public’s need to know the dangers attendant upon association with Foster trumps his interest in sealing the records in this case."

"Even Foster's patron, Former Police Chief William Finney, has acknowledged in these records that Foster had a habit of pointing his gun at people. See Schultz Aff. Ex. 6. Chief Finney also acknowledged Foster's habit of using physical force against women. See Schultz Aff. Ex. 6."
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder unsolved unresolved minnesota state politics]

[VT] Domestic charges against Trooper Timothy Newton dropped to spare 4-year old of testifying

Prosecutors say they've dropped domestic assault charges against a former Vermont State Police trooper [Timothy Newton] because they wanted to avoid making the 4-year-old witness testify in court... [Bennington police dispatcher Ashley] Audy claimed she fell in the driveway and that her daughter had accidentally dialed 911, but...

PREVIOUS POST:
[VT] Vermont State Trooper Timothy Newton accused of punching fiancee in the face in front of 4 year old girl - According to the affidavit, the woman’s nose was swollen, disfigured, and bleeding... According to the affidavit, the child said Newton and her mother were arguing, and that Newton said he would hit her mother because he was locked out of the house. Somehow he got inside and came into the bedroom where the child and her mother were and punched the mother in the face, making her nose bleed, the affidavit said. The child said her mother then told Newton she hated him while Newton apologized to them both...

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST EX-VT. COP IN ASSAULT
WCAX, Associated Press
April 20, 2011
Prosecutors say they've dropped domestic assault charges against a former Vermont State Police trooper because they wanted to avoid making the 4-year-old witness testify in court. Thirty-2-year-old Timothy Newton, of Sandgate, resigned from the state police in March after investigators said he punched his girlfriend in the nose. She claimed she fell and hurt herself. WCAX-TV says the 4-year-old told police her mother was assaulted... [LINK]

ACCUSED VERMONT STATE POLICE TROOPER RESIGNS
9-1-1 In The News
April 1, 2011
[Excerpt] Vermont State Trooper Timothy Newton, who was charged with domestic abuse arising from an off-duty incident in which he is accused of punching a Bennington police dispatcher in the nose after a Super Bowl party, has resigned. Vermont State Police Director Thomas L’Esperance said Tuesday that Newton submitted his resignation Friday... [Full article here]

OLDER:

Accused Vermont State Police trooper resigns
Burlington Free Press
Mike Donoghue
Mar. 30, 2011
Vermont State Trooper Timothy Newton, who was charged with domestic abuse arising from an off-duty incident in which he is accused of punching a Bennington police dispatcher in the nose after a Super Bowl party, has resigned... Newton pleaded not guilty to the charge in mid-February in Vermont Superior Court in Bennington. Newton was released on conditions, including he not harass the victim, Ashley Audy, his live-in fiancee. Newton also was ordered not to discuss the incident with Audy's 4-year-old daughter, whom state police say witnessed the assault... If convicted, Newton faces up to 18 months in prison on the misdemeanor domestic-assault charge... Newton refused to speak to criminal investigators who were called in from the Rockingham barracks to take over the case. Audy provided several inconsistent statements during the investigation... Audy claimed she fell in the driveway and that her daughter had accidentally dialed 911, but police found no blood in the snow, porch or hallway, court records say. Audy's daughter said her mother was punched, and a large amount of blood was found in the bedroom, according to court papers... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement cop on cop on dispatcher public safety abuse in the presence of a child recant uncooperative vermont state politics recant recanted]

[MN] SLAMMED with wrongful death lawsuit: Ex-St. Paul Police Dept. employee Aaron Foster

Aaron Foster wants to have [murder of girlfriend Barbara Winn charge] records sealed, arguing that charges against him in the '81 death are unfairly disruptive. The victim's family says he needs to be held accountable... On Tuesday, the family filed a wrongful-death suit in Ramsey County District Court against Foster. Winn's children said they filed the suit partly because of Foster's request to have his record expunged. "He wants to just wipe it clean and act like it never happened," said Patty Bruce, Winn's sister-in-law. "It did happen. We're fairly certain that in a civil suit, he will be held accountable... She has a beautiful legacy, a legacy of hope, and that's why we don't give up."

The children of Barbara Winn gather at the Ramsey County courthouse after filing their wrongful death lawsuit against Aaron Walter Foster Sr., the man aquitted of murdering Winn. From left: Randy Winn, Tammi Winn-Halliburton, Tyrone Winn. [Pioneer Press]


WEBSITE: JUSTICE FOR BARBARA WINN

PREVIOUS POSTS ON THIS BLOG, HERE

FACEBOOK PAGE FOR BARBARA WINN HERE

Barbara "Bobbi" Winn was 35 when she was killed.


[Note: Aaron Foster was an employee of the police department and a close personal friend of the ex-police chief, but not an officer]

FAMILY, ST. PAUL OFFICER SPAR OVER 1981 DEATH: Aaron Foster found not guilty in 2009 murder trial
myfoxtwincities.com
Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011
It’s been nearly 29 years since a Maplewood woman was shot during a struggle with a St. Paul police officer, but the family is still seeking legal action while the officer readies to ask a judge to expunge the incident from his record. The family of Barbara Winn is filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Aaron Foster on Tuesday after the 1981 shooting. In 2009, Foster -- a former St. Paul police officer -- was found not guilty on murder charges after he testified that the gun went off by accident. Charges in the death were not filed until 2007 after the case was reopened. On Wednesday, Foster plans to ask a Ramsey County judge to expunge the murder charge from his record. Foster is also trying to get his job at the police department back, and is filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in federal court claiming racial discrimination after the St. Paul Police Department put him on unpaid leave when he was charged. [LINK]




FAMILY SUES EX-SUSPECT IN 1981 MAPLEWOOD SHOOTING DEATH: Unswayed by acquittal, Barbara Winn's children pursuing civil claim
Pioneer Press
By Emily Gurnon
Posted: 04/20/2011

The family of a Maplewood woman who died of a gunshot wound to the heart during a 1981 domestic dispute has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man acquitted of killing her.

The filing came on the eve of a hearing today in Ramsey County District Court in which Aaron Walter Foster Sr. will ask to have the murder charge in girlfriend Barbara Winn's death erased from his record.

Foster, 59, stood trial in 2008 after having been arrested, but not charged, immediately after Winn's death. After the high-profile trial, a jury found Foster not guilty.

Most evidence had been lost or destroyed in the years between Winn's death and Foster's trial, and several jurors said after the trial that they believed Foster was guilty but that prosecutors hadn't proved it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Foster's attorney argued that Winn had committed suicide.

Winn's three children, who were in the home when their mother died, said Tuesday that their lawsuit is an attempt to hold Foster accountable for what they remain certain he did.

"It seems like he's been getting away with things for so long and so many years," said Tammi Winn-Halliburton, who was 13 at the time of her mother's death. "My mother's not the first victim of his."

Foster was charged in 1974 with simple assault and received a suspended 20-day sentence. In 1985, he was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault after allegedly pointing a gun at his estranged wife's head and threatening to kill her.

He was not charged in that case, and he denied the accusations.
Foster's attorney, Earl Gray, said Tuesday that he had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment.

Barbara "Bobbi" Winn was 35 when she died May 8, 1981, at her home in the 300 block of Dorland Road in Maplewood.

She and Foster had argued that night, and she told Foster to pack his belongings — she was throwing him out. Her children, who were 15, 13 and 12 at the time, heard a struggle. Her youngest child, Tyrone, heard his mother's last words: "Oh, Bubbie, that hurt." Bubbie was Foster's nickname.

The jury did not hear certain evidence. One example was a "Dear John" letter that Winn wrote Foster, saying she would "not be abused."

After Winn was shot, Foster rushed downstairs to call for an ambulance. When he couldn't get through right away, he drove to a nearby 7-Eleven for help, tossing the gun out the window on his way.

The case became a political issue in the 2006 race for Ramsey County sheriff, a bitter contest between then-Sheriff Bob Fletcher and former St. Paul Police Chief William Finney.

Finney was a friend of Foster's and hired him to work at the police department. Fletcher reopened the cold case that year; Finney said that decision was politically motivated.

At the time of Winn's death, Finney was allowed to attend her autopsy as a police sergeant. Fletcher and Winn's family members called that improper.

Foster argued in an October 2010 petition to the court that he "presents absolutely no danger to the community" and that various prospective employers have held the murder charge against him even though he was acquitted.

The burden of proof needed to prevail in a civil case in Minnesota is "a preponderance of the evidence" rather than the much higher "beyond a reasonable doubt" needed for criminal culpability.

Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522. [LINK]




GUNSHOT VICTIM'S FAMILY SUES ACQUITTED MAN
Star Tribune
Lora Pabst
April 20, 2011

Aaron Foster wants to have records sealed, arguing that charges against him in the '81 death are unfairly disruptive. The victim's family says he needs to be held accountable.

Nearly three years after Aaron Foster Sr. was acquitted of murder in the 1981 death of his girlfriend, he is going back to court to ask that the record of his criminal charge be sealed. Relatives of the victim, Barbara Winn, are also turning to the court in their unrelenting effort to prove that Foster caused Winn's death.

On Tuesday, the family filed a wrongful-death suit in Ramsey County District Court against Foster. Winn's children said they filed the suit partly because of Foster's request to have his record expunged.

A hearing on the expungement is scheduled for Wednesday morning before Chief District Judge Kathleen Gearin. If Gearin grants his request, court records on Foster's murder charge, as well as records held by state and local law enforcement agencies, would be sealed.

"He wants to just wipe it clean and act like it never happened," said Patty Bruce, Winn's sister-in-law. "It did happen. We're fairly certain that in a civil suit, he will be held accountable."

Winn was 35 when she died on May 8, 1981, from a gunshot wound to the chest. Foster had been with her at her Maplewood townhouse and the two had quarreled before she was killed by a bullet from Foster's gun. Her three children, who were 15, 13, and 12 at the time, were in the home when their mother died and have insisted that Foster killed her. Foster wasn't charged until 2007, when a grand jury indicted him on third-degree murder charges. His attorney argued that Winn shot herself and a jury found Foster not guilty in July 2008.

The case had been reopened during a contentious election for Ramsey County sheriff between Bob Fletcher and former St. Paul Police Chief Bill Finney. Finney, a longtime friend of Foster, who also incurred the wrath of Winn's family, testified at the trial about a previous incident of abuse he witnessed between Winn and Foster but did not report.

Foster declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.

The expungement petition said that Foster, 58, "presents absolutely no danger to the community." Foster's petition also seeks to seal the record of a 2006 charge for failing to change the address on a firearm permit, which was also dismissed.

"Various prospective employers have held this charge against Mr. Foster even though it was resolved in his favor and he was found not guilty," the petition said.

Because Foster was acquitted in the murder case, state law says "the court shall grant the petition to seal the record" unless the state agency that has the records can prove "by clear and convincing evidence that the interest of the public and public safety outweigh the disadvantages to the petitioner of not sealing the record."

Both the Ramsey County attorney's office and the state Department of Human Services submitted statements arguing that the records should remain available to the public. An attorney for DHS submitted a letter to the court saying that the department needs to have access to the criminal record in case Foster ever seeks a job that would require him to work with vulnerable people. If Foster's record were expunged, it "would leave our most defenseless citizens vulnerable to maltreatment," the letter said. "In this case, the public safety interest is heightened because of the serious nature of the alleged offense."

The department licenses foster care and child care programs, as well as services for people with developmental disabilities, and has a lower threshold than a criminal conviction for denying someone a license.

State law requires DHS to bar a person from certain jobs if there is a preponderance of evidence that an applicant committed third-degree murder, the letter said.

The county attorney's office argued in court records that Foster demonstrated "a severe disregard for public safety" when he threw the gun used in Winn's death out of a car in 1981. Foster also hasn't shown that he has been harmed by his record remaining public, the office wrote.

Earl Gray, Foster's attorney, wrote in a letter to Gearin that the state hasn't raised any incidents that have happened in the past 30 years since Winn's death. He also submitted a list of 11 businesses where Foster was turned down for jobs, mostly for security positions, in the past two years.

Foster worked in the St. Paul Police Department property room until he was arrested and charged in November 2007.

Mark Haase, vice president of the Council on Crime and Justice, said Foster's case is unique compared with most expungements because he was acquitted.

That makes it more likely that he could get records held by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and other state and local law enforcement agencies expunged, Haase said. Most people who file for an expungement have been convicted, Haase said, which means that they are only likely to get court records sealed.

"When an employer or a landlord sees [a record], there's sort of guilt-by-record regardless of whether there was a conviction," Haase said.

Bruce said she doesn't oppose expungements in all situations, but she thinks Foster's history of violence should count against him. Winn's family members, including her children Tammi, Randy and Tyrone Winn, said they have talked about filing a wrongful-death suit for years.

"Legally, he got away with murder, but now he thinks he shouldn't have to live with the consequences of the choices he's made in his life," Bruce said. "She has a beautiful legacy, a legacy of hope, and that's why we don't give up."

Lora Pabst • 612-916-7212 [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder unsolved unresolved minneapolis state politics]

[GA] "IRONICALLY" when Rockmart Police Officer Randy Poole's daughter called police for help...

...The 911 call that led to the report originated from allegations from Poole's daughter against her father. The teen contacted 911 while she was at the Rockmart Walmart. Sgt. Walters responded to the call and transported the teen from Walmart to the Rockmart police station. Ironically, the responding officer, Sgt. Walters and Randy Poole are neighbors. Sgt. Walters did go to Poole's residence the night that the alleged abuse occurred. Walters did not report any incident at that time...

FORMER ROCKMART POLICE OFFICER ON UNPAID LEAVE
(Note: He can't be a "former" officer if he's on leave. His police certification is suspended, not revoked.)
Cedartown Standard
by Melody Dareing
Apr 15, 2011
[Excerpts] A former Rockmart police officer is on unpaid administrative leave while he waits for the wheels of justice to turn. Randy Poole, 46, of Rockmart, was arrested by Georgia Bureau of Investigation... Poole is charged with one count cruelty to children in the second degree and was released on his own recognizance... The former officer has not been indicted on the charge and the Polk County District Attorney’s Office said the earliest he would face a grand jury would be July... Poole was originally on paid leave until the investigation was completed. However the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST) suspended Poole’s police certification. Since he couldn’t perform the duties of a police officer without certification, Poole was put on unpaid leave... [Full article here]

FROM FEBRUARY:

CHARGES FILED ON ROCKMART POLICER OFFICER
Polk County Crime Examiner
Tammy Overstreet
February 24th, 2011
[Excerpts] Last week, on February 19, 2011, the Polk County Crime Examiner reported that Rockmart police officer Randy Poole had been placed on administrative leave with pay from the Rockmart police department pending charges on child cruelty... The 911 call that led to the report originated from allegations from Poole's daughter against her father. The teen contacted 911 while she was at the Rockmart Walmart. Sgt. Walters responded to the call and transported the teen from Walmart to the Rockmart police station. Ironically, the responding officer, Sgt. Walters and Randy Poole are neighbors. Sgt. Walters did go to Poole's residence the night that the alleged abuse occurred. Walters did not report any incident at that time. Rockmart police Chief Keith Sorrells requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations investigate the matter. Today, February 24, 2011, Randy Poole, age 46, of #2 Leathers Way in Rockmart has been officially charged with one misdemeanor count of second degree cruelty to children. Agents with the GBI’s Calhoun office obtained the arrest warrant for Poole after consulting with Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit DA Bobby Brooks... Second degree cruelty to children occurs when such person with criminal negligence causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety child abuse brotherhood coverup georgia state politics]

Monday, April 18, 2011

[WA] Promoted since his 2nd arrest, Seattle Police Sgt. Scott Moss arrested a 3rd time

A Seattle police sergeant [Scott Moss] was arrested April 3 on suspicion of drinking and driving, his second such arrest in six years...

HIS SECOND "SUCH" ARREST? THAT MEANS HIS SECOND DUI ARREST - NOT COUNTING HIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST IN 2009. DURING HIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST THE OFFICER SAID MOSS SMELLED OF ALCOHOL - THE COMMON DENOMINATOR.

Previous posts:

SEATTLE POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF DUI: A Seattle police sergeant was arrested April 3 on suspicion of drinking and driving, his second such arrest in six years.
Seattle Times
By Sara Jean Green
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Comments (102)
[Excerpts] A Seattle police sergeant was arrested April 3 on suspicion of drinking and driving, his second such arrest in six years. Sgt. Scott Moss was driving north on Interstate 405 near Newcastle when he was pulled over at 5:05 a.m., said Trooper Cliff Pratt... [Blood alcohol content] tests weren't performed until well over 1 ½ hours after Moss' arrest, though the reason for the delay was not immediately known. "He did identify himself as a police officer," Pratt said. "Throughout the whole thing Scott was courteous and polite, and toward the end of it he was apologetic for the situation." Moss, who is assigned to the West Precinct, was taken to the Issaquah City Jail for processing, then released to a Seattle police commander, Pratt said. Police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb confirmed that the department's Office of Professional Accountability has opened an investigation as a result of the arrest. Moss has not been reassigned and continues to work as a patrol sergeant, he said. Moss was arrested in 2005 in Bremerton on investigation of DUI, a charge later amended to first-degree negligent driving. After his arrest, Moss was removed from his job as a department spokesman. In March 2009, Moss was charged with second-degree assault... A King County Superior Court jury acquitted Moss of that charge... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety teflon washington state politics]

Excerpts from Judith Spitzer's "Police Drag Heels On Officers' Domestic Abuse" - Women's eNews

POLICE DRAG HEELS ON OFFICERS' DOMESTIC ABUSE
Women's eNews
This article was contributed by Judith Spitzer who is an award-winning freelance writer living in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Undated. [LINK]

[EXCERPTS]

...Dave Thomas, a retired Montgomery County Maryland police officer, now an instructor with Johns Hopkins University Public Safety Leadership Program, trains police departments to respond to officer-involved domestic violence. Thomas collaborated with the International Association of Police Chiefs, known as IAPC, that in 2003-04 produced a model policy for agencies to follow. "It's miniscule," said Thomas of the number of police agencies that have good, sound policy. "Maybe 3 to 6 percent (of police agencies) have a good policy. Leaders give a lot of lip service to it, saying they need to have it, but we just don't see it"... Thomas says agencies must also provide an avenue for family members to reach out to the department and they recommend that it be on a department's Web site. When reports do come in, he says, agencies must act fast so there's no lag time between the time of the report and when something is done...

...Roberta Valente, general counsel for the National Network for Ending Domestic Violence, based in Washington, D.C., says some departments are afraid that if they do adopt a policy it will expose them to liability if they don't abide by it...

...The reform came in 2003, after Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally wounded his wife, Crystal Judson, in a parking lot and then killed himself in front of the couple's two children. Lane Judson, Crystal Judson's father, was instrumental in bringing legal reform to the state. Today he travels around the country talking about officer-involved domestic violence... But policy alone is insufficient, says Debbie Brockman, a long-time victim advocate for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, based in Seattle. Successful prosecutions have turned out to be so rare that victims have become discouraged... Right after the Brame case, Brockman says, she saw numerous officer-involved domestic violence cases going through the system. But after the initial upturn she says she hasn't seen any new cases in a long time and today she gets few calls from survivors. "The only thing I can think is that it's gone back underground," Brockman said...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety policy politics]

Sunday, April 17, 2011

[IA] Ex-Davenport Detective/Alderman Van Fossen gets an adjusted year in jail for dv-related federal gun charge

A federal judge sentenced former Davenport alderman and police officer Ronald Van Fossen to one year and a day in prison Thursday on gun charges... Van Fossen, a former police detective, was charged with drunk driving in February 2006, after he drove his car around a railroad gate in December 2005 and was struck by a train... He retired from the Davenport Police Department after suffering a heart attack... He also was a Scott County sheriff’s deputy and a Davenport firefighter...

"As a former police officer, I have lived by a creed that demands doing the right thing..."

AP-IA-FORMER-ALDERMAN-SENTENCED
Associated Press
April 16, 2011
[Excerpts] Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen has been sentenced to more than one year in prison after pleading guilty to a federal gun charge. The U.S. attorney's office says the 63-year-old Van Fossen was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Davenport to possession of a firearm after conviction for domestic violence. He pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 2007. In 2010, Davenport police responded to a hit-and-run accident... Van Fossen, a former police officer, reported the truck as stolen... Prosecutors also say he admitted that a revolver found in the truck belonged to him. [Full article here]

EX-ALDERMAN SENTENCED TO 1 YEAR, 1 DAY IN PRISON
The Quad-City Times.
Brian Wellner
Friday, April 15, 2011
[Excerpts] A federal judge sentenced former Davenport alderman and police officer Ronald Van Fossen to one year and a day in prison Thursday on gun charges. “I’m dealing with the stigma of being the first in my family who’s ever been arrested or gone through bankruptcy,” Van Fossen told U.S. District Judge James E. Gritzner. Van Fossen, 67, had a .38-caliber pistol on Aug. 15, according to court records. He is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a past domestic violence conviction. He said most of his problems stem from gambling and alcohol. His attorney, Dave Treimer, pleaded for probation. Even former Scott County Attorney Bill Davis, who sat in on the sentencing, wrote in a letter that Van Fossen “needs no further punishment.” But federal prosecutor Rich Westphal said Van Fossen’s criminal history over the past five years connected to his drinking alcohol makes him a danger to the community. “Mr. Van Fossen has been through every other state court remedy besides prison,” Westphal said. “None of these remedies worked to stop him.” Given credit for time served and other factors, Treimer said Van Fossen may serve 5 1/2 to six months in prison before being released to a halfway house. His family declined to comment following the sentencing... He admitted to evidence Thursday that he was the fleeing driver in a hit-and-run accident the day before police found his pickup with the gun inside. He was never charged in the accident. Gritzner said Van Fossen engaged in “deception” with law enforcement by making a false police report that his pickup had been stolen around the time of the accident... [Full article here]

EXCERPTS FROM EARLIER NEWS:

DAVENPORT HAS NEW POLICE CHIEF
The Gazette
February 1, 1992
[Excerpts] Sgt. Steve Lynn was named chief of the Davenport Police Department on Friday... The other finalists were Capt. James Van Fossen and Sgt. Paul Fredenburg.

[His brother and nephew]
FATHER AND SON ELECTED TO STATE LEGISLATURE
The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City)
November 8, 2002
[Excerpts] Jim Van Fossen and his son, Jamie, both won seats Tuesday in the State House - the first father-son team in recent memory...

VAN FOSSEN: I WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR TRAFFIC INCIDENT
The Quad-City Times
By Tom Sau
Friday, December 23, 2005
[Excerpts] Whatever the outcome of an investigation into his arrest following a traffic accident, Davenport Alderman-elect Ron Van Fossen will “take responsibility for my actions and will take whatever corrective measures are required,” he said in a statement e-mailed to news media and concerned citizens Thursday... Van Fossen, a retired Davenport police detective — who was elected as the city’s 1st Ward alderman in November and will take office Jan. 3 — was cited for driving around a railroad barricade at Wapello Avenue and Rockingham Road. His vehicle was struck by a slow-moving train and he suffered minor injuries... Van Fossen could not be reached Thursday for comment by the Quad-City Times. However, in the statement, he said that “as a former police officer, I have lived by a creed that demands doing the right thing and I will continue to live and act that way in regards to this incident and in my future service on the Davenport City Council. I intend to fully cooperate with the various entities involved in the investigation of this incident and will take full responsibility for any wrongdoing on my part.” Earlier this year, outgoing Davenport Alderman Bob McGivern, 6th Ward, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated following his Sept. 30 arrested by Bettendorf police. Officers allegedly found a plastic cup of whiskey in his vehicle while he was parked at the drive-up window of a restaurant... He has pleaded innocent to the charge. A court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11... [Full article here]

VAN FOSSEN SAYS HE NEVER STRUCK WIFE; SHE DISAGREES
The Quad-City Times
By Tory Brecht and Ann McGlynn
February 14, 2007
[Excerpts] Davenport Alderman Ron Van Fossen, 1st Ward, spent Tuesday night in the Scott County Jail after he allegedly violated a court-enforced order of protection that was filed against him after an altercation with his estranged wife. It was the second time in as many days that Van Fossen, 63, found himself being arrested by officers from the department he once served... The incident that landed him in jail Monday involves allegations that he struck his estranged wife. Van Fossen said he did not enter his wife’s home, did not assault her and vows to finish out his first term in the 1st Ward after he’s vindicated in court. He pleaded innocent Tuesday to domestic assault. “My approach is I haven’t done anything,” he said in a telephone interview shortly after being released... He was arrested Monday night, accused of forcing his way into his estranged wife’s home, shoving her and causing her to strike her head on a refrigerator. On Tuesday, he said the incident was a fabrication concocted by his soon-to-be ex-wife, her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend... Debra has a much different version. After leaving the bar, she was home cooking with her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend when “all of a sudden, someone was trying to break down the door, pounding so hard that the glass was going to break,” she said. She went to the door and saw Ron. When she asked him what he wanted, she said he grabbed her car keys off a counter and put them in his pocket. "I went to grab the keys. I asked him ‘What do you want?’ In the meanest words I’ve ever heard, he said, ‘You,’" she said. According to Debra, she then told him to get out. “That’s when he pushed me into the refrigerator,” she said. “Then he walked out the door.” Debra said she suffered a head injury that required treatment... [Full article here]

CODE OF ETHICS GOVERNS COUNCIL MEMBERS
The Quad-City Times
By Tory Brecht
February 14, 2007
[Excerpts] ... Van Fossen was arrested Monday and charged with simple domestic assault. He was arrested again Tuesday on a charge of violating an order of protection.... The ethics policy states that “members shall comply with the laws of the nation, the State of Iowa, and the City of Davenport in the performance of their public duties.” In addition, it states “the professional and personal conduct of members must be above reproach and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Members shall refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other members, the staff or public.” Whether any of these standards apply in Van Fossen’s case is unclear... [Full article here]

DAVENPORT COUNCIL MEMBER ACCUSED OF DRUNKEN DRIVING
Regional Roundup
The Gazette
February 17, 2006
[Excerpts] Davenport 1st Ward Alderman Ron Van Fossen has been charged with drunken driving in connection with a train accident Dec. 20.
The charge against Van Fossen, a retired police detective, was entered earlier this week in Scott County District Court... Van Fossen initially was cited by Davenport police for illegally going around a gate at a railroad crossing, where a slow-moving train struck his vehicle...

VAN FOSSEN RETURNS TO COUNCIL AFTER REHAB
WQAD, IL
Chris Minor Reports
Apr 4, 2007
[Excerpts] Davenport councilman Ron VanFossen attended his first city council meeting Wednesday night since returning from a 28 stay at alcohol rehab... The retired Davenport police officer says his recent arrests for assault and then violating an order of protection against his soon-to-be ex wife, were all alcohol-induced... But VanFossen denied any wrongdoing in a pending sexual harrassment suit filed against him by a female worker at City Hall... VanFossen says his trouble and behavior are not reasons to step down from the city council... [Full article here]

DAVENPORT ALDERMAN SENTENCED TO WEEK IN JAIL
The Quad-City Times.
April 11, 2007
By Brian Krans
[Excerpts] A Scott County judge sentenced Davenport 1st Ward Ald. Ron Van Fossen to seven days in jail this afternoon for violating a no-contact order against his estranged wife. Mr. Van Fossen, 63, will serve out his sentence in the Scott County Jail, where he previously was held when his wife brought the order against the former police detective in February. In December, Davenport police were called to the home of Ald. Van Fossen's estranged wife... No arrests were made, but in February, Ald. Van Fossen was arrested and charged with violating a protection order... Debra Van Fossen said he had forced his way into her home and shoved her. The next day, Ald. Van Fossen was arrested again after he showed up at a Davenport tavern where Mrs. Van Fossen was, in violation of the protection order... Ald. Van Fossen, a former police detective, was charged with drunk driving in February 2006, after he drove his car around a railroad gate in December 2005 and was struck by a train, according to police reports. He received a deferred judgment in May 2006... Other things plaguing Ald. Van Fossen's first term since elected included accusations from the city council administrative assistant that the alderman sexually harassed her for months... He has previously said he won't resign from his position... [Full article here]

VAN FOSSEN PLEADS GUILTY TO DOMESTIC ABUSE
Quad-Cities Online, IL
Apr 13, 2007
[Excerpts] Davenport Ald. Ron Van Fossen pleaded guilty Friday to abusing his estranged wife... In the same afternoon, a citizen's petition seeking his removal as the 1st Ward alderman was received at Davenport City Hall. The petition asks for his removal because of behavior "unbecoming an elected official"... Scott County District Court Judge James Kelley sentenced the 63-year-old first-term, 1st Ward alderman to 20 days in jail, with all but two days suspended. He is already serving a seven-day sentence for violating an order of protection... Judge Kelley announced the decision -- Mr. Van Fossen would plead guilty to simple domestic abuse, serve two days concurrently with the weeklong sentence he was already serving and be on unsupervised probation for one year. He also must complete Domestic Violence Batterers Education... Tuesday, Mr. Van Fossen was senteced to 180 days, with all but seven suspended, after trial on violating the no-contact orde... [Full article here]

FIREARMS ALLEGATIONS STILL TARGET DAVENPORT ALDERMAN
The Quad-City Times.
By Brian Krans, bkrans@qconline.com
May 16, 2007
[Excerpts] Ald. Ron Van Fossen, 1st Ward, could face more action from the courts related to a protective order filed by his estranged wife... She originally filed the protection order in February, but it didn't address firearms. When she renewed the order in April, it did... In April, he served a week-long sentence for violating the order... The latest accusations stem from an affidavit Ald. Van Fossen, a former Davenport police detective, submitted to the court. In it, he details transferring ownership of several firearms in February to his brother, former Iowa State Rep. Jim Van Fossen; his son, Jason Van Fossen; and his neighbor, Michael Ryan... The key to whether Ald. Van Fossen was in contempt of court was whether he gave the guns away or asked the recipients to hold the weapons for him... [Full article here]

FORMER ALDERMAN ARRESTED ON GUN CHARGE
The Quad-City Times.
Kurt Allemeier
August 21, 2010
[Excerpts] A former Davenport alderman [Ronald Van Fossen] who served a troubled tenure on the city council has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm... [Full article here]

FORMER DAVENPORT ALDERMAN FACES FEDERAL GUN CHARGE
The Quad-City Times.
Brian Wellner
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
[Excerpts] Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen is charged in federal court with unlawfully possessing firearms. Van Fossen, 67, had a .38-caliber pistol on Aug. 15 and a shotgun on Aug. 20... He is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a past domestic violence conviction. He is charged with two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, records state. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in priso... [Full article here]

EX-DAVENPORT ALDERMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN GUN CASE
The Quad-City Times.
Brian Wellner
December 9, 2010
[Excerpts] Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen faces 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Thursday to gun charges. Van Fossen, 66, admitted to possessing a .38-caliber pistol in August even though he was not allowed to because of a prior domestic violence conviction in Scott County... The gun was found in its holster, loaded with five hollow-point rounds... Van Fossen requested the pistol be returned and was denied... Van Fossen also was unlawfully in possession of a shotgun. But a second count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm was dropped at his Thursday plea hearing... He retired from the Davenport Police Department after suffering a heart attack... He also was a Scott County sheriff’s deputy and a Davenport firefighter. Van Fossen served one term on the city council, from 2006-08, marred by arrests for domestic abuse, a stint in alcohol rehabilitation and a sexual harassment lawsuit by a city employee that resulted in a $92,000 settlement... [Full article here]
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

[CA] Eureka Police Officer Kalis allowed to "resign" amid charges & his ex-wife is now even more afraid


...A temporary restraining order was issued April 8, ordering [Eureka Police Officer Daniel "Danny" Jason] Kalis to stay away from his ex-wife and his four kids and to either turn his firearms over to law enforcement or sell them... "Danny motioned for the children to come over to his truck; he reached into his truck and removed a plastic bag, which he handed to my son," she wrote in the document. "Inside the plastic bag were some freshly cut dog tails... Danny was controlling and abusive during our marriage... I believe the risk of serious abuse from him towards me and the children is significantly increased... I am afraid for myself and the children that Danny's initial reaction to this request will be extreme anger and potentially violent conduct"... Three of the charges filed against Kalis Thursday -- vandalism, petty theft and false imprisonment -- name Kalis' ex-wife as the alleged victim...

FORMER EPD OFFICER FACES DRUG CHARGES: OFFICER RESIGNED AMID INVESTIGATION; Faces Nine Counts
The Times-Standard
Thadeus Greenson
Posted: 04/15/2011
[Excerpts] The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office filed drug possession, theft and a host of other charges against a former Eureka police officer Thursday, alleging that some of the crimes were committed while the officer was on duty. The criminal complaint charges Daniel "Danny" Kalis with a total of nine offenses... Kalis was placed on administrative leave March 7, the same day the department launched a formal internal affairs investigation looking into his conduct while on the force. He officially resigned April... DA Chief Investigator Mike Hislop issued a statement Thursday commending the joint investigation. "Although it is unfortunate when law enforcement is forced to investigate one of their own, this investigation demonstrates our common position that abuse of authority by police officers will not be tolerated," he said... Kalis is accused of felony heroin possession, committing vandalism causing more than $400 in damage, falsely imprisoning someone, communicating with a prisoner without permission, possessing more than an ounce of marijuana, the unauthorized disclosure of records, unauthorized computer access and petty theft... [Full article here]

ACCUSED OFFICER ON THE JOB WITH WARRANT OUT; OFFICER FACED MISDEMEANOR CHARGES IN 2010; Ex-Wife Files For Restraining Order
The Times-Standard
Thadeus Greenson
Posted: 04/16/2011
[Excerpts - This seems long but the article is a lot longer.] A Eureka police officer charged Thursday with nine criminal counts had a prior run-in with law enforcement and faced allegations of domestic abuse, according to court records. It also appears Daniel Jason Kalis, 36, of Eureka, worked as a police officer for five months with a warrant out for his arrest... Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen said his department didn't learn of the active warrant out on Kalis until Friday. Nielsen said his department isn't notified when warrants are issued, and it's not standard procedure to run warrant checks on officers during internal affairs investigations... The misdemeanor charges filed against Kalis in 2010 stem from allegations that he caught a wild steelhead while fishing without a license... Nielsen declined to comment on the disciplinary action taken against Kalis... A temporary restraining order was issued April 8, ordering Kalis to stay away from his ex-wife and his four kids and to either turn his firearms over to law enforcement or sell them. In requesting the order, Kalis' ex-wife cited a number of instances when she felt scared or threatened by Kalis, including times when he was on duty. On Jan. 25, she was driving on Broadway in Eureka when Kalis passed her in his patrol car, according to a "description of abuse" she wrote in requesting the restraining order. "He cocked his hand like a gun and pointed it at me," she wrote. "I took the action as a symbolic threat to use a gun." Five days earlier, she claims she was driving in Eureka with her son and two cousins when a police car pulled behind her, flashed its lights and stopped her. Kalis was driving the patrol car, the ex-wife alleges, and pulled alongside her, rolled down his window and called her a "bitch" and mumbled other profanities. Nielsen said he's aware of those allegations and said they were looked into as a part of the internal affairs investigation that was ongoing when Kalis resigned. Kalis' ex-wife also claims he engaged in "stalking behavior," sleeping in his car outside of her house, text messaging her repeatedly and showing up at various events she was attending after they separated. She also describes an incident that allegedly occurred in the parking lot of Redwood Acres in Eureka last spring. "Danny motioned for the children to come over to his truck; he reached into his truck and removed a plastic bag, which he handed to my son," she wrote in the document. "Inside the plastic bag were some freshly cut dog tails. ... Danny was controlling and abusive during our marriage." Gallegos said he had not heard anything like the allegation in the family law file from his investigators. "I'm not aware of any allegations of animal abuse," he said, noting that such allegations would be taken very seriously. In the request for a restraining order, Kalis' ex-wife indicates she is more afraid now that Kalis is no longer employed as a police officer. "I believe the risk of serious abuse from him towards me and the children is significantly increased," she wrote. "... I am afraid for myself and the children that Danny's initial reaction to this request will be extreme anger and potentially violent conduct." Three of the charges filed against Kalis Thursday -- vandalism, petty theft and false imprisonment -- name Kalis' ex-wife as the alleged victim. The criminal complaint filed against Kalis indicates the vandalism was carried out on his ex-wife's car, and a document in the couple's family law file states that she suspected him of carving the word "bytch" into her car in the summer of 2010. Gallegos said the case remains under investigation, and anyone with information regarding the potential criminal conduct of Kalis is asked to call EPD Detective Todd Wilcox at 441-4315 or DA Investigator Wayne Cox at 268-2591. A day after news broke that Kalis was facing a felony criminal complaint, Nielsen characterized the climate at EPD as somber. "I think the rank and file understand that we have a responsibility to maintain and reflect a level of integrity, and that the public expects that of us, and when one of us violates that public trust it impacts us all negatively," Nielsen said. "Not only is it embarrassing for Danny, it's embarrassing for everyone who works at EPD, and it's embarrassing for the profession as a whole. "It's one of those things you just hate to see happen, but we have to remember that police officers and public servants are human beings and we're all fallible," Nielsen continued. "At times, things like this are going to arise and we just have to work past them and prove constantly -- every day -- that we are worthy of the public's trust." [Full article here]
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