Monday, April 23, 2012

Ombudsman to review police shooting in Kings Cross

There was no lawful excuse for the cops to bash the punk and fling him around after he was already on the ground.  See the video here.  The kid was clearly not resisting in any way.  His name  Troy Taylor and he was a PASSENGER in the car.  He is said to be seriously ill so if he dies it could well be a murder investigation

THE NSW Ombudsman will review an internal police investigation into the shooting of two teenagers in a stolen car that ran down a woman on a footpath in Kings Cross.

Police have called for calm after the incident at 4am on Saturday when the car mounted the footpath and hit the woman in the busy nightclub district.

Two officers on foot shot at the car's windscreen, wounding the 14-year-old driver and the 18-year-old front-seat passenger.

Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch says the family of the young men can be confident police will conduct a comprehensive investigation.  "Which I may add, will also be reviewed and monitored very closely by the Ombudsman," he said today.

He also urged people to consider in a larger context snippets of CCTV and mobile phone footage of officers allegedly pulling some of the men from the car and punching them.

Mr Murdoch reminded the public the males had been travelling in a stolen vehicle which mounted a footpath and struck a woman in a busy area.

"Let's just be a little bit calm, a little bit more restrained and see what our investigation (determines)," he said.  "Generally speaking, there is no excuse for police brutality."

Greens justice spokesman David Shoebridge said footage of the incident raised "serious and legitimate questions about police conduct".

"I will be referring this matter to the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) seeking the watchdog's immediate intervention in this case," he said in a statement on Monday.

"It is not good enough to only have police investigating police in cases where there are serious questions about the police use of firearms and violence."

More than twenty NSW cops involved in cover-ups, assaults and other breaches to keep jobs

TWENTY law-breaking police have been allowed to keep their jobs despite being involved in cover-ups, assaults and destroying drugs which have been seized.

The officers, whose identities could not be released by the NSW Police Force, continue to work in the organisation despite serious breaches of trust with the community.

Their punishment was "forced disciplinary transfers" allowing them to work as law enforcers by accepting moves to different commands.

The most notorious case involved a detective who had "sexual intercourse with a civilian in a police car while on duty" which was uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph last year.

The married officer - formerly of the Redfern command - was demoted but kept his job despite the police taking out an AVO to keep him from the woman, a teenage model.

The other cases of serious and at time criminal misconduct include:

A senior constable who sprayed a colleague with insulin as a "practical joke".

An officer who allowed a civilian to drive a police vehicle with the siren on - and then tried to cover it up.

Two budding forensic investigators who cheated on their physics exam.

An officer who turned a blind eye to a drug detection and destroyed the evidence.

A sergeant who badly bashed his wife and kept an unlicensed air rifle at home.

Details of each case were provided to The Sunday Telegraph following a Freedom of Information request, which took two months.

The officers received their disciplinary transfers between July 2009 and March 2012.

Another damning case involved a junior officer, a constable, who notched up a shopping list of offences and other breaches of protocol.

Case notes on the officer state that he failed to investigate an armed robbery, a domestic assault and "a number of incidents reported to him".

He also "covered up" a knife-search on a group of men, "inappropriately disposed of an exhibit" and "falsified records" on the matter.

In a separate case, two officers were transferred for cheating on a physics exam by "obtaining a copy of the exam paper prior to sitting it".

In another case, a senior constable, believed to be a teacher at the Police Academy, lied to investigators about his "close personal relationship" with a female student.

He also warned the girl that "she was going to be interviewed regarding their relationship", and was "untruthful" with investigators when they quizzed him on the matter of the prior warning.

Details at which police station or police commands the officers were attached to when the offences occurred, or where they were transferred, were also concealed.

A police spokesman said: 'In a number of these cases, the officers appealed to the Industrial Relations Commission and their matters were settled through conciliation.

"It is (also) important to note other sanctions may well have been issued in conjunction with a disciplinary transfer."


Friday, April 20, 2012

W.A. cop charged over fatal pursuit

He was supposed to have asked permission for the pursuit but had not done so. But even if found guilty he will face little penalty

The police officer who allegedly drove his vehicle into that of a Dianella mother, killing her and injuring her teenage daughter, has been charged over the crash.

The 27-year-old First Class Constable was charged this morning following an internal affairs investigation into the incident.

It will be alleged that on Thursday April 12, the officer was driving a police vehicle attempting to stop a stolen Audi sedan. The police vehicle collided with a Toyota Corolla at the intersection of Alexander and Morley drives in Dianella.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan confirmed yesterday that the officer had been stood aside from operational duties while two inquiries into the crash were conducted.

The crash claimed the life of 50-year-old Sharon D'Ercole, who was driving with her 16-year-old daughter Lashay when they were struck by the police vehicle.

The police officer was charged with dangerous driving causing death today, and will appear in Perth Magistrates Court on May 22. He remains stood aside from operational duties.

Charming North Queensland cop

Cairns police constable guilty of stomping on prisoner's neck. Fortunately there were some other conscientious cops around. Note the involvement of a female officer in blowing the whistle again. Bree Sonter was the one who dobbed total thug Benjamin Price

A POLICE officer has been found guilty of stamping on the neck of a female prisoner in far north Queensland.

Constable Alex Alexander, 52, pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault, after it was alleged he stamped on Melanie Burgoyne's head or neck after restraining her in the Cairns watchhouse on August 30 last year.

Ms Burgoyne had been arrested on a charge of public nuisance in central Cairns. Ms Burgoyne, who was heavily intoxicated at the time, had used her bra in an attempt to choke herself in the back of the police wagon. As she was being brought to the watchhouse, Ms Burgoyne flicked her bra at Alexander.

He then grabbed Ms Burgoyne by the neck and right arm and threw her to the ground, placing his knee on her back to restrain her.

Watchhouse officer Mark Webb and shift supervisor Sergeant Melanie Flynn both testified to seeing Alexander strike Ms Burgoyne twice to the neck or head with his boot. Alexander said any contact with Ms Burgoyne's head had been accidental.

In the Cairns Magistrates Court today, Alexander was found guilty. Magistrate Jane Bentley said she accepted Officer Webb and Sgt Flynn's version of events.

She said Ms Burgoyne throwing the bra at Alexander was an assault, but said it was "fleeting", and was complete before he reacted to it. "The throwing of the bra was not such that it would induce an ordinary person to lose control," Ms Bentley said.

Ms Bentley said Alexander had stepped outside the reasonable actions of a police officer. "The defendant was not acting under any lawful justification," she said. Alexander, who was stood down from duty, will be sentenced in the same court on Tuesday.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

In the Victoria Police an unethical ethics watchdog is no surprise, sadly

THE woman responsible for policing public service ethical standards has been stood down as police investigate a crash involving her government car.

Karen Cleave had allegedly told police she was driving the car when it hit a tree - causing about $40,000 damage - but later said her son, 18, had been behind the wheel.

Ms Cleave is CEO of the State Services Authority and a key Baillieu government adviser.

The car was a write-off after the driver lost control and hit a tree in East Malvern. Police were told by a woman at the scene that she had been driving the car. She was breath-tested and returned a negative reading. But a resident later told police a young man had been driving when the car skidded on to the wrong side of the road and hit the tree.

Residents are believed to have told police two adults arrived in another car soon after the crash and the young man was driven away before police arrived. The accident happened in February.

Detectives from Prahran Criminal Investigation Unit are believed to have interviewed Ms Cleave, who earns almost $300,000 a year.

Police would not comment on the investigation yesterday, but a brief of evidence supporting possible charges against Ms Cleave is believed to have been submitted.

The services authority, which reports directly to the Premier, is responsible for improving the governance standards and professionalism of Victoria's public sector agencies. Its website says it reports annually on the adherence by public officials to public sector values, employment principles, codes of conduct and standards.

Ms Cleave joined the public service in the mid-80s and has managed several high-profile projects, including the gun buyback from 1996-98, a taskforce after major floods in East Gippsland in 1998 and the inquiry into the 2002-03 bushfires.

A government spokesman said the chairman of the services authority, Bruce Hartnett, had stood aside Ms Cleave "pending the outcome of the police investigation". The spokesman said family members of a public servant whose car was part of a salary package were permitted to drive the vehicle.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CCC recommends W.A. police be charged over Kevin Spratt taser case

Another illustration of why the W.A. cops are as popular as mud in their own community -- and the lack of any sign of repentance or apology from the police can only reinforce that

WA's corruption watchdog has recommended charges be considered for two police officers who tasered Kevin Spratt 12 times, stating "excessive force" was used.

The Corruption and Crime Commission report made several misconduct findings and said the policemen who tasered Mr Spratt used “undue and excessive” force which was “unreasonable and unjustified”.

Mr Spratt was tasered at least 12 times in the Perth Watch House in August 2008 after refusing to comply with a strip search.

The investigation followed the 2010 release of a Commission research report on the police use of tasers and included public hearings in 2010 and 2011 into the use of tasers on Kevin Spratt.

The report, tabled in the Parliament today, said the use of tasers by the senior constables - who had already been subject to internal police disciplinary action over the matter - was an undue and excessive use of force which was unreasonable and unjustified.

The two senior constables involved, Troy Tomlin and Aaron Strahan, were subject to internal disciplinary proceedings following the tasering incident and were fined $1200 and $750 respectively in November 2009.

Today's CCC report recommended the DPP consider misconduct charges against the officers who misused their tasers to subdue Mr Spratt in the watch house and said they had acted contrary to use of force rules as laid out in the WA Police manual.

Shadow Attorney-General John Quigley stopped short today of calling for the officers to be stood down but he said he wanted to make the point that every other public service employee who had faced similar opinions of misconduct by the CCC had been stood down.

"I am not going to call upon the Commissioner to stand these people down," he said. "I simply invite the public to reflect on this, in every other branch of the public service, serious findings of misconduct, like they find here, would result in the public service (employee) being stood down - no doubt.

"We have seen it happen with ministers, but not in the police force because it would appear they have a lower standard of accountability."

The commission recommends WA Police tighten up rules for officers submitting use of force reports.

Acting Commissioner Mark Herron said any reasonable person viewing a video in which police tasered Kevin Spratt nine times in a little over a minute is left with a feeling of considerable disquiet if not outrage.

He said the report also criticised a Police Internal Affairs Unit investigation into the matter. “While the Commission found no misconduct, the internal investigation did not resolve inconsistencies between a police summary of the facts around the incident, and other documentation and the video,” he said.

Kevin Spratt was also tasered 11 times on 6 September 2008 by Emergency Support Group officers from the Department of Corrective Services while being removed from a cell in the Perth Watch House. Seven of those uses were reasonable and while no finding was made in regard to the other four due to insufficient evidence, the report expressed concern about them.

Concern was also expressed about whether sufficient consideration was given to the use of negotiation and conflict resolution techniques.

The report makes nine recommendations to improve procedures - four relate to police and five to DCS.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said all the recommendations from the CCC report had long been implemented. "I am very confident that the WA Police has put in place all the recommendations that the Corruption and Crime Commission have asked for," he said. "In that regard this report is a good recipe for change."

He said both police officers involved in the tasering of Mr Spratt were still working, and that there had not been a 'black mark' put against their names. "We've dealt with those people internally so there is obviously some record internally with the internal discipline process," he said. "That gets kept on their record but there's no black mark against their names at all - I don't even know what the DPP are going to recommend yet."

The report also concluded that the release by police of a controversial timeline of Mr Spratt's contact with police was not misconduct.

It accepted evidence by Mr O'Callaghan that the timeline was released to preserve public confidence in the police as there was misinformation in the public domain about the events surrounding Mr Spratt.

But the report said inaccuracies in the timeline should have been corrected before it was released while Mr O'Callaghan said he had no regrets about his decision to present the flow chart to the media. "It was the right call to make at the time based on the information that was available to me and based on the situation that we faced at that time," he said.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

NSW Police cop a blast for illegally destroying surveillance tape

NSW POLICE broke the law when they destroyed CCTV footage crucial to a workplace safety investigation into an officer's exposure to an unknown substance in a drug safe.

NSW State Records received complaints in October and November 2010 about the disposal of CCTV footage from a police station's drug safe and surrounding areas, as well as record keeping for drug audit risk assessments.

A police officer conducting drug audits within the drug safe at a Sydney police centre in 2009 was exposed to an unknown substance during the audit.

But when the officer requested the CCTV tapes, which were relevant to the times the occupational health and safety incidents occurred, the officer was told that police had destroyed the tapes.

The director of NSW State Records, Alan Ventress, wrote to the Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, last May with a list of recommendations to improve standards because the tape disposal broke the law.

''For reasons outlined in the report, I believe that a breach of section 21 of the State Records Act 1988 has occurred with the unauthorised destruction of these CCTV tapes,'' he wrote.

''Failure to create and capture records documenting actions, decisions, guidance or advice into appropriate record-keeping systems can expose an organisation to a high level of risk or embarrassment. These breaches are a concern to State Records.

A separate NSW Ombudsman Office report stated: ''It is unfortunate that CCTV footage … was not retained by the NSW Police Force, particularly given Workcover attended the site and investigated the incidents.''

A police spokesman said police accepted State Records' findings and ''were working with the records management authority to implement the recommendations''. ''NSW Police Force has made significant changes to its records management practices, as part of its commitment to best practice, since being made aware of issues relating to the keeping of full and accurate records,'' he said.

Last month The Sydney Morning Herald reported a gay couple had discovered that nearly 26 minutes of vital CCTV footage was missing after they alleged police assaulted them at Rose Bay police station last June.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

NT: Another disgraceful episode of police investigating police and finding no wrongdoing -- two thugs in uniform bashed a black guy and nearly got away with it

Once again it took a civil case to bring them to justice. Nice that will hit them in the pocket personally

TERRITORY police exonerated two officers who were found by a court to have wrongfully arrested, imprisoned and bashed a man.

Ombudsman Carolyn Richards said time had run out for Constable Adam Fitzell and Senior Constable Wayne Miller to face internal disciplinary action. She said the only form of punishment available would be dismissal.

"Demotion, loss of pay or a caution are no longer available," she said.

Tiwi Islands man Marcellus Majindi, 33, successfully sued the NT Government after Justice Dean Mildren found his treatment by the officers to be unlawful.

He was awarded $102,000 in damages on Thursday. That included Constable Fitzell and Sen-Constable Miller having to make personal payments of $5000 and $10,000 respectively.

Justice Mildren found Constable Fitzell used a baton to strike Mr Majindi in the head during his arrest while his colleague punched him in the face after being spat on at the watch-house.

But Ms Richards said: "The police investigation exonerated all officers". She said her office doesn't have the resources to do its own investigations and was "captive" to information provided by police.

Justice Mildren said that the police officers' evidence was inconsistent, dishonest and unreliable.


How can they NOT be dismissed after this ruling?. All future evidence they may give will be tainted

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blind eye to drunk police officer in Townsville sparks inquiry

POLICE Ethical Standards Unit is investigating why an officer allegedly found drunk, disorderly and in a state of undress was not charged after a night in Townsville's watchhouse.

The 27-year-old based in North Queensland was on his way to the Queensland Police Service Rugby League Festival at Airlie Beach late last month, but it's unclear whether he was also caught driving over the limit.

The Courier-Mail understands that his visit wasn't logged at the watchhouse, breaching police procedure. Police are also required to report misconduct involving officers to superiors.

The officer, in Townsville for an internal QPS course, was allegedly at least partially naked and acting inappropriately on Monday, March 26. "The officer was allegedly found affected by alcohol and taken by police to the watchhouse," QPS said in a statement.

"Police regularly divert persons from formal charges for a number of reasons, including persons who are drunk in a public place ... in this case however the officer was taken to the watchhouse and was not charged at the time. "The Service acknowledges that correct procedure was not followed in this regard."

The Courier-Mail understands the matter was only raised when the officer reported his watch had been stolen at the watchhouse, but there were no records he'd even been there. "The officer involved advised a colleague he lost his watch, which was located and subsequently returned to him," QPS said in a statement.

Police said the investigation would focus on the officer's conduct as well as the "actions and decision-making of a number of officers aware of the incident or involved in it".

It's not the first time police have been reported behaving badly at the time of the QPS Rugby League Festival. Last year, an officer from the Cairns Special Emergency Response squad pleaded guilty to public nuisance after allegedly dancing in his underpants near the face of a fellow officer who passed out at the Kingaroy McDonald's during the 2011 country football carnival celebrations.

Constable Daniel Kennedy was fined $250 at Kingaroy Magistrate's Court. It was revealed at the time, the action was caught on closed circuit television cameras monitoring the McDonald's restaurant.