law enforcement

How The Police Manipulate Democracy

Former Metro police captain alleges abuse of power

O’Leary alleges a chief in the department called a closed-door, private meeting of captains in the investigative services division. The chief floated the idea of investigating Commissioner Sisolak—just days after the first time county commissioners rejected the “more cops tax” advanced by Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

“[Sisolak] was viewed as an obstacle to getting the ‘more cops tax’ and that was very contentious,” O’Leary says. “He’s not very well liked by the Police Department.”

The meeting’s purpose, O’Leary says, was “putting together a group of people who had the expertise of working organized crime to revisit and review some of the things about Commissioner Sisolak from his past.”

“You look at his business associations, his personal associations, his business practices…other sources of information. Are they digging? They’re digging. Yes.”

“Is that unusual? Very,” O’Leary says. “It’s something I’ve never heard we’ve done before; an act of desperation, resentment, anger.”

“There was no doubt in my mind that the inference was to try and bring discredit upon the county commissioner,” O’Leary adds.

Democracy is a word in the Western lexicon seemingly synonymous with good. This is because democracy is the status quo. Even when positions are different — as in the case of major political parties — an agreement on democracy as the form of government exists. The limitations and downfalls of democracy are rarely discussed. And when they are it is only in superficial ways.

A drawback of the representative democracy of the United States is susceptibility to manipulation by law enforcement. This may exist at the level of a rural police department, a metro area, or as high as quasi-military organizations such as the NSA. A small group, even an individual officer, is able to influence the tide of politics by directing his or her legal powers against someone seeking (or holding) government office. An arrest, or even the taint of corruption that comes with an investigation, could end a career.

Nancy Pelosi recently admitted that members of the US Congress were afraid of attempting to regulate the CIA, because the CIA will “come after you.” This is not just a corrupt department or a city. The same form of manipulation is happening at the highest levels of government. The law enforcement apparatus of the United States has grown to the point that it is no longer under the full control of the government, the democracy.

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These Are Cops: Rape, Animal Abuse, Prostitution, & Methamphetamine

Every day there is fresh news about law enforcement officers behaving badly. Maybe they are involved in a controversial shooting or a beating. Perhaps a police officer ends up on trial for corruption. Some are fired, while others go to jail. Most seem to be cleared, either after an internal investigation or a private monetary settlement.

Despite this, the myth of the trustworthy cop persists.

The myth goes like this: police officers are good people. How do we know they are good people? Because they are police officers. They would not be police officers if they were not good people. If it sounds circular, it is circular. Yet, this is the rationale many people have internalized.

We were taught as children to seek a police officer if lost. We are taught as adults to call the police for help. The television has many a popular series depicting police officers as heroes and roguish antiheroes. National identity is tied to the perception of a fair criminal justice system.

The myth persists like a virus.

Well, keep in mind that these are also police officers:

    1. Police Officer Geoffrey Graves, of San Jose, was arrested for taking a domestic violence victim to a hotel, then forcing his way into her room and raping her. He wore his ballistic vest during the rape.
    2. Police Officer Stephen Young, of Boise, confessed to raping a baby. Investigators said that Stephen Young may have also been responsible for the rape and molestation of more than twenty additional infants.
    3. Police Officer Lamin Manneh, of DC, plead guilty to operating a prostitution business, which included enslaving his own teenage wife into prostitution.
    4. Michael J. Wright, a King County Deputy Sheriff who worked with the DEA, was fired for stealing drug evidence and subsequently arrested for selling heroin and methamphetamine.
    5. Shanon Richardson, an employee of the City of Buffalo Police Department, was charged with child abuse and animal cruelty in two unrelated incidents, one involving pit bull fighting dogs.

With the exception of Manneh, these are all current events. And if you follow law enforcement in the news you will encounter similar incidents daily.

The myth of the inherent goodness of police officers is used to justify authority. Society at large feels comfortable ceding power to a man in a uniform. Permitting a stranger to arrest, imprison and kill is soundly rejected.

And yet, police officers are exactly that — strangers. They are men and women, prone to the worst of humanity, just as much as any stranger may be. And the uniform does not assure us that they are good people. Underneath the uniform they are flesh, skin and bones. They have lungs, a liver and a heart. Sustenance is needed for their survival just as it is needed for your own.

And, to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Shylock; if you prick them, they do bleed.

The Normalization of Police Cruelty

A phenomenon I have oft noticed is the shock Europeans express upon their first experience of American policing. This is not police brutality, which describes the excess use of force by law enforcement, but what I would term police cruelty. Police cruelty is the harsh, dismissive or cruel nature of interactions between police officers and the public when no force is used. For example, this viral video of an American police officer interacting with a German tourist for a road violation is police cruelty:

Brutality did not occur — nobody was beat, shot or arrested — but cruelty did occur. Upon stopping the suspect the police officer immediately takes an unprofessional, dismissive and quasi-racist tone; “Do you know what the speed limit is here, Germany boy?” The police officer, clearly attempting to intimidate the tourist, follows up with; “Why are you driving in my country?” But — and this is a serious issue — the worst is when the police officer, in his intimidation attempt, says; “Do you know what happens to nice little boys like you who have to go to jail for reckless driving? Ass will be hurting for a month. I suggest you slow down and do 70. Or you will get violated.”

What?

Ass will be hurting for a month?!

You will get violated?!

This law enforcement officer has just communicated to a German tourist that it is normal for people to be arrested for speeding and anally raped while in custody. Anal rape in police custody! This is, if not police brutality, police cruelty.

However, many Americans would say that the German tourist got off lucky. A quick glimpse at the comments on the video confirm this. Why? Because he was not cited. Despite the fact that he was threatened with anal rape the tourist is perceived, by Americans, to be fortunate it was not worse. This is the normalization of police cruelty in the United States. You are lucky if all that happens to you is a form of sexual intimidation.

Most Americans do not own a passport. Of those who do, few have traveled overseas and fewer have lived in a foreign country. As a result, many Americans believe this type of behavior is the norm for policing worldwide. (Hint: it is not.) When I have shown the American version of COPS, or this very YouTube video, to my European colleagues many are in disbelief. Not disbelief that police officers behave so badly. Disbelief that it is even real. They assume that it is a fictional reality-type show, in the case of COPS. Or they assume that it is a parody. Many do not initially realize that American police officers actually behave this way. They are incredulous. I have to convince them that the videos are real and that American law enforcement does behave this way.

I ran across a recent blog, Le Bon Mot, where a young tourist in France had an experience with pickpockets and French law enforcement. Here is what happened, from her article, titled “That Time I Punched A Cop”:

“OH NO! My wallet is gone!”
“OK. You have been pick-pocketed. Come with me. We must get off the train.”

I had no idea what was happening at this point or who this man was and for all I knew he was in on the whole thing. My mom was in disbelief as I got up to follow the man. We went into the walkway between cars and there, on the ground, was my wallet. Everything was thrown on the floor, but with the exception of the cash, it was all there. I reached down to pick it up, but he snapped it away from me.

“I must keep this.”
“Um, no. Why? That’s mine. Give it back, please.”
“It is evidence.”
“Give it back.”

Then I did what any rational person would do…. I lunged after him to get my wallet.

Before I could get to him, a new man rushed up between us, grabbing me to block my arm. I freaked.

Then, in a moment of absolute clarity, I punched him in the chest…. And then I threw him on the ground.

“I’M A COP! I’M A COP!”

Oh fuck.
“Oh fuck.”

I helped him up and apologized in every English and French way you can think of. It finally sunk in that those two weren’t part of the initial pick-pocketing and might actually be who they said they were. My mom was sitting there, wide-eyed at everything that had just transpired. The cops eventually started laughing and explained they were part of a network to catch pickpockets on trains. Mortification doesn’t even begin to cover how we felt, so we behaved like good tourists and got off the train when they said to (with EVERYONE watching).

Long story short, the police did not brutalize her. They did not respond to her with violence, despite the fact that she punched and tackled a French police officer. Instead, they acted like normal human beings. Everyone laughed it off, the pickpockets were eventually caught and no one had their life ruined as a result.

Imagine the United States of America version. While I can’t prove what would have happened, let’s just say I think it safe to assume that our young tourist in France would have had a very different experience.

Here is another viral video of Australian law enforcement handling the uncooperative suspect of a drunk driving accident:

Contrast the professionalism of the law enforcement officer in this situation with the American officer in the previous video. The suspect is largely uncooperative and refusing to comply. He seems to have crashed into a curb or a park. His car is visibly damaged. And he has a bottle or case of Wild Turkey in the vehicle. The police officer uses a bit of humor, remains calm, stays professional and does all in his power to diffuse the situation.

The officer states; “I request you to accompany me to a police station.” This is important, because as the narrator stated: now that the officer knew who the suspect was the suspect was no longer under arrest. The suspect was not required to return to the police station to give an additional sample for analysis. The suspect had every right to get up and walk away. The police officer states to the suspect; “I need you to make a definitive decision.” He has given the suspect multiple opportunities to opt out of returning to the police station for further analysis. Nonetheless, the suspect does comply.

And here is the kicker: the driver, convicted of this drunk driving accident, was fined $600 dollars, sentenced to four months of community service and had his license revoked (his license had previously been revoked for drunk driving as well – he is a multiple offender) for three years. A penalty far less punitive than a first time DUI/DWI offender in the United States.

These are just a few examples to compare and contrast. In the context of law enforcement, the United States has gone too far. The average DUI/DWI cost in the United States costs between five and six thousand USD, a minimum of one year probation or 45 days in jail. This is for a first time offense. In some states, a second DUI/DWI is a felony. Our Australian suspect, instead of paying a fine and moving on with his life, might be sitting in prison. And our tourist in France may have racked up a felony charge for assaulting a police officer. At the very least, it is not a stretch to assume she would have been detained and held overnight.

This is why I warn potential tourists: be careful if you visit the United States of America, or pick a new holiday destination.

Citizens Force Cop to Leave Restaurant

manuel ramos killed kelly thomas

Manuel Ramos, the police officer who beat Kelly Thomas to death, forced to leave bar.

This is how you do it. Every time you hear of a police officer who kills a man, shoots a dog or otherwise engages in corruption remember his or her face. Don’t forget their name, where they live or what they look like. If you see them in public, complain. If they enter your bar, force them to leave.

When officers in uniform sit down in your café for coffee an donuts tell them that they are not welcome. No uniforms. No murderers. No state enforcers.

You have the right to refuse service to these individuals. And you have the right to complain to employees, managers and attendants when you see them in public. Shame them from public life. Make it clear that you as individuals will not tolerate these people in your community.

Don’t call the police. Don’t talk to the police. Ostracize anyone involved with law enforcement in any way. Making these people social pariahs, excluding them from public life, is one of the most powerful actions that can be taken to send the message: we will not take this any more.

Cop Who Killed Kelly Thomas Seen in Restaurant, Americans Make Him Leave

Manuel Ramos, the cop seen on video beating Kelly Thomas to death, had to leave a place of business last weekend.

Nationwide outrage was sparked when Ramos and his partner Jay Cicinelli were found “not guilty” of murder, despite beating the mentally ill homeless man to death as he begged for his life.

The action has been met with strong support from thousands across the country.

As a documented murderer and coward, Ramos will certainly face this situation over and over again.

He will be forced to leave establishments, businesses will refuse him service and kick him out, and American citizens will shame him in public.

Many officers commit suicide due to intense stress levels.

“Domestic terrorist.” remarked one commenter.

Another commenter suggested “Maybe he’ll get jumped leaving a place like this someday.”

Bad Cop, Bad Cop

 

Ex J’can Cop Indicted [Devon Campbell aka Wilmott Alvin Livingston]

A United States website, the Atlanta-Constitution, is reporting that a former Jamaican police officer who was in the United States illegally and who had managed to obtain citizenship and get a job in the College Park Police Department has been indicted.

Dallas County Judge Arrested For Assault [Carlos Raul Cortez]

The victim says Cortez walked up behind her while she sat on the couch and grabbed her by the hair and throat with both hands, choking her for about 15 minutes.  Police say the woman then told police that Cortez dragged her by the hair to the balcony of their apartment, leaned her over the balcony and continued to choke her.  Investigators say Cortez also told the woman that he was going to kill her.

New Straitsville, Ohio Police Chief Charged with Seven Felonies [Kevin Groves]

Groves has been accused of tampering with records and providing false address information when registering vehicles on two separate occasions, as well as improperly accessing the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway four separate times. OLEG, as the system is commonly called by law enforcement, is used to track criminal history, evidence, missing children, gangs, protection orders and a myriad of other topics to solve and prevent crime. Groves is accused of improperly seeking the background information of four individuals, including Wallace.

MILWAUKEE, WI Officer Sentenced to 2 Years for Forcing Anal Cavity Searches [Michael Vagnini, Jeffrey Dollhopf, Jacob Knight, Brian Kozelek]

Vagnini put his bare hand down the man’s pants, touched his scrotum and inserted fingers into his anus, the complaint says.

“against Michael Vagnini, 25 charges including a sexual assault charge…against Jeffrey Dollhopf, 3 felony counts of misconduct in public office, 1 felony count of false imprisonment, 1 count of being a party to an illegal cavity search, and 1 count of being a party to an illegal strip search…against Jacob Knight, 1 count of misconduct in public office and 1 count of being a party to the crime of an illegal cavity search…against Brian Kozelek, 2 count of misconduct in public office, 1 count of false imprisonment, and 1 count of being a party to the crime of an illegal strip search.”

Ex-Judge in Washington Charged with Child Pornography [John Junke Sr.]

A police report filed in court says child pornography was discovered after Junke took his computer to a store because it was running slowly. Authorities obtained a search warrant for Junke’s home, and the police report says he eventually told officials that he had a long battle with viewing pornography that had spiraled out of control.

Keith Tabron, Former ‘Detective Of The Year,’ Secretly Videotaped Stepdaughter Undressing [Keith Tabron]

A former “Detective of the Year” in Washington D.C. pleaded guilty to secretly taping his adult stepdaughter while she undressed. Metropolitan Police Department detective Keith Tabron, 51, pleaded guilty on Thursday to multiple counts of video surveillance with prurient intent…The victim told investigators she realized she was being spied on when she noticed fresh paint in her bathroom. Upon closer inspection, she found one of the cameras, pointed toward the shower.

Feds Say Ex-Cop Caught On Tape Pondering Who To Kill [Steve Mandell aka Steve Manning]

Mandell — who has done several stretches behind bars since he quit the Chicago Police Department in 1983 and was sentenced to death in 1993 for murder, only to have that conviction eventually overturned on appeal — is due to stand trial in February for a pair of more recent grisly murder plots, including the plot to kill the strip club owner…Mandell, who’s also accused of plotting to extort then kill a businessman in a purpose-built torture chamber in a second but unrelated plot, and of trying to arrange the murder of the feds’ key informant from behind bars since his arrest last year, denies all charges.

Kelly Thomas case: Prosecutors can see private police records [Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli]

Ramos, 39, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in Thomas’ death. He is the first uniformed officer in Orange County history to be charged with murder for an on-duty incident. Cicinelli, 42, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault under color of authority. Thomas, 37, died July 10, 2011, five days he was tackled to the ground, jolted with a Taser, struck with batons and one of the Tasers and handcuffed and hobbled after a routine questioning became violent.

Denver Police Officer Resigns After Cocaine Allegations [Brian Nevin]

Brian Niven, a member of a Special Crime Attack Team based out of the District 1 station on the northwest side, was suspended in September while internal affairs investigated the allegations. Denver police officials have not provided details about the case, but sources said it involved allegations that Niven used illegal narcotics and was required to take a drug test before he was suspended. Niven’s duties on the SCAT team, an elite group of officers handpicked by their commander to proactively fight crime, often included investigating narcotics activity.

Woman Sues Over Drug Search [Portillo, Herrera]

A New Mexico woman claims in a federal lawsuit that she underwent a brutal and inhumane six-hour full-body cavity search by federal officers that included anal and vaginal probes that made her feel like an “ animal.” The lawsuit names the El Paso County Hospital District’ s Board of Managers, University Medical Center, Drs. Michael Parsa and Christopher Cabanillas, two unknown supervising U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and two other CBP officers only identified by their last names of Portillo and Herrera as defendants. The doctors and the agents could not be reached for comment. According to the lawsuit, the woman was first frisked and strip-searched at the port of entry, where officers stuck their fingers inside her rectum and vagina. When that search came up negative, she was taken to University Medical Center.

New Mexico Woman Sues Correctional Officer for Pepper Spraying Her Genitals [Blanca Zapater]

Marlene Tapia was taken to a detention center in Bernalillo County when corrections officer Blanca Zapater reportedly ‘observed a plastic baggie protruding from Ms. Tapia’s vagina.’ But instead of asking her to remove it, she alleges Zapater began spraying a chemical agent on her that left her with ‘burning, swollen genitals, painful urination, and pain and burning on her face.’

Essex Police officer resigns after crash ‘fraud’ claim [Nick Alston]

A police officer has resigned from the Essex force after allegedly submitting a fraudulent compensation claim for injuries sustained in a road crash.

D.C. Police Officer Accused of Running Prostitution Ring

The unnamed suspect is the second 7th District MPD officer to be charged this week. On Tuesday, Ofc. Mark Washington was charged with producing child pornography on allegations that he took naked photos of a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing.

Police officer who shot at minivan full of children FIRED following internal investigation [Elias Montoya]

The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired as its revealed that he was a mentor in a nonviolence program.

Drunk sheriff’s officer pulls over and punches driver in road rage incident [William G. McLean]

A sergeant with the Middlesex, MA Sheriff’s office is facing charges after he pulled over, frisked and attacked another driver while off duty and under the influence of alcohol. According to the Lowell Sun, William G. McLean, 54, was charged in Lowell District Court with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, assault and battery and violation of traffic lights.

Judge Weighs Restitution in Inmate Beating Death [Michael Smith, Matthew Davidson, Scottie Glenn, Joseph Sanders]

Friday’s restitution hearing was for former Ventress supervisor Michael Smith and former guards Matthew Davidson and Scottie Glenn. Smith was convicted of violating Mack’s rights by fatally beating him and obstructing justice. He is serving a 30-year sentence and was escorted into court Friday wearing a white prison uniform with his hands shackled to his waist. Davidson pleaded guilty to violating Mack’s rights and obstructing justice. He got a seven-year sentence. Glenn pleaded guilty to violating Mack’s civil rights and conspiracy. He got a five-year sentence. He and Davidson are scheduled to report to prison after Christmas. A fourth former guard, Joseph Sanders, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by trying to cover up the beating. He was not included in Friday’s hearing because he was not convicted of violating Mack’s rights. Sanders was sentenced to five years.

Sex Accusations Against Two Officers Tarnish Entire Department [Marc L. Washington]

News of the allegation broke publicly as another D.C. police officer was in U.S. District Court facing a federal charge of producing child pornography. Marc L. Washington, 32, was arrested Monday on allegations that he took pictures of a semi-nude 15-year-old who had run away from home. Authorities said it does not appear that the cases are related, but the specter of having two officers from the 7th District station house in Southeast Washington investigated on crimes linked to sexual abuse of minors has shaken the 4,000-member department. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said the department “is very concerned about the recent allegations of egregious conduct.”

Probation Officer Arrested in Chandler Prostitution Sting [Adam Justin Munoz].

Adam Justin Munoz, 30, was arrested on Wednesday and accused of receiving earnings of a prostitute, control of an illegal enterprise, and maintaining a house of prostitution, according to court records. Police arrested Munoz after they say they used a “confidential informant’’ to arrange two messages in which the informant and police officer “verbally pretended’’ to engage in a sex act, according to the court record. In a third instance, an undercover officer met with a female therapist employed by Munoz. The therapist “got naked’’ and offered the officer a different sex act for $200, the documents said. The therapist was arrested immediately “and confessed to working for Munoz’s illegal massage operation.’’

Ex-Chicago Police Lieutenant Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud [Erroll Davis]

A former Chicago Police lieutenant pleaded guilty to tax fraud Thursday under a deal with prosecutors that likely spells bad news for his two high-profile alleged co-conspirators. Erroll Davis, 52 — who quit his 27-year police career when he was indicted just two weeks ago — choked up in federal court as he admitted he’d failed to pay taxes on a $30,000 payoff he accepted to help a pal get her hands on an illegal property loan.

Ex-Berthoud Cop Yachik Pleads Not Guilty [Jeremy Yachik]

Yachik was originally arrested Oct. 23, and the affidavit for the warrant for his arrest alleges that Yachik is the man in a now semi-viral video of an adult beating a young girl for eating carrots. During two forensic interviews, the girl in the video alleged that she endured daily abuse from Yachik, which she said included choking, beating with ropes, force-feeding of ghost pepper sauce and handcuffing. The affidavit said that Yachik confirmed the allegations were true, and also identified himself as the man in the video.

Chicago Cop Charged in Mortgage-Fraud Scheme [Darius Thompson]

Darius Thompson, 32, of Chicago, was charged with multiple counts of felony theft, loan fraud, money-laundering, wire fraud and forgery for his alleged role in a plot to falsify mortgage applications during his previous employment as a loan processor and originator.

Texas Cop Accused of Handcuffing and Raping Teen at Traffic Stop [Jackie Len Neal]

Jackie Len Neal, 40, was arrested on the charge of felony sexual assault on Saturday, November 23. Neal is accused of tailing a woman while on duty around 2 a.m. on Friday, pulling her over, handcuffing her, and raping her in the back of his police vehicle. “I can’ t express in words how disappointed and angry I am about this,” said Police Chief William McManus to the San Antonio Express-News. “I am at a loss for words. I am outraged. This is a punch in the eye to the Police Department.” McManus added that this isn’t the first time Neal has been accused of sexual misconduct, and a woman made a similar complaint against the officer years ago. She declined to cooperate with police on an investigation, however, and the case did not move forward.

San Jose Cop Charged With Issuing Phony Tickets Against Lawsuit Foe [George Chavez]

George Chavez, 51, faces three felony counts of false personation exposing the victim to liability, and three felony counts of filing a false police report. The 23-year police veteran surrendered to authorities Tuesday night, and was freed after posting $60,000 bail. Authorities say that on Oct. 28, Chavez used his police computer to look up a Texas man he sued in 2008 after a local car accident, as well as the attorney from the Sacramento-area he hired to file the corresponding civil suit. He then purportedly used that data to write up one traffic ticket and two tickets for illegally parking in a handicapped zone, forging the signatures of the Texas man, the attorney and two other police officers on the citations.

Former Longmont Cop Pleads Guilty in Sex Case [Christopher Martinchick]

A former Longmont police officer pleaded guilty to sex offenses in 8th Judicial District Court on Tuesday. Christopher Martinchick, 43, was arrested in July as part of a Larimer County Sheriff’s Office investigation into a reported sexual assault in Loveland. The adult female victim told police that on two separate occasions, Martinchick engaged in sexual activity with her while she was sleeping and under the influence of a prescribed muscle relaxant, according to court documents.

Georgia Deputy Sheriff Suspended After Dressing In Blackface [Chad Palmer]

Chad Palmer, a 15-year veteran of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly told people at the private party that he was dressed as a Camden County inmate, and he was “picking cotton” in the photo, First Coast News reported. Palmer’s face and arms are painted in the photo, and he is wearing “jailbird” stripes. The racist photo was shared thousands of times on social media, where it sparked outrage and led to a disciplinary hearing. Finally, on Wednesday, Palmer was suspended without pay.

Detroit Police Charge Two Of Their Own With Crimes [Devon Payton]

Officer Devon Payton, left, who has been with the department for five years, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to operate a chop shop and a conspiracy charge of receiving and concealing stolen property/motor vehicle, police said. Also facing charges in a separate matter is 56-year-old James Kerns, right, a 10-year employee of the city, who police say tried to make an officer pay for medical records.

Mexican Officials Say Ex-Texas Cop Led Kidnap Gang [Luís Ricardo González García aka Javier Aguirre Cardenas]

Mexican authorities say a U.S. citizen who reportedly once served in the U.S. Navy and was a police officer in Texas has been detained in northern Mexico for allegedly heading a violent kidnapping ring. Nuevo León state security spokesman Jorge Domene said Monday that the man – known as both Luís Ricardo González García and Javier Aguirre Cardenas – and 15 of his alleged accomplices were detained last week. They allegedly kidnapped people in the Mexican states of Nuevo León, Coahuila and Tamaulipas over the past four years.

Cop Accused of Stealing $20k from Elderly Man With Dementia [John Wasilenko]

An Elmwood Park police sergeant has been relieved of his police duties amid allegations he forged a $20,000 check from an elderly man with dementia, the Sun-Times is reporting. Although no criminal charges have been filed, Sgt. John Wasilenko has been put on administrative leave, pending the investigation after being named in a citation to discover assets filed Dec. 20 by Cook County Public Guardian Robert F. Harris. During the investigation, the 85-year-old victim admitted he gave about $2,000 in cash to Wasilenko, but couldn’t remember when. He said Wasilenko “protected” him from “a lot of bad guys and politicians in Elmwood Park.” He said he was giving Wasilenko money for a trip and was supposed to give him $6,000 over the next couple years, the citation said. In an independent medical evaluation conducted in March, a doctor noted the man suffered from dementia with very significant cognitive deficits and was “totally incapable of making person and financial decisions.”

Savannah Deputy Jailed in Wider Molestation Probe [Richard Adam “Rick” Hall]

Prosecutors told a judge on Friday that a 2008 allegation of aggravated child molestation against Chatham County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Richard Adam “Rick” Hall was just “the tip of the iceberg.” “We are just scratching the surface,” Assistant District Attorney Emily Puhala told Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley during a bond hearing held in chambers. Hall, 52, was arrested at his Wilmington Island home Dec. 20 on a charge of aggravated child molestation of a male, now 17, that allegedly occurred in April/May 2008. The victim was 12 at the time.