By Casey Harper – Traffic stops have become a source of tension and violence between police and citizens, with multiple deaths in recent weeks. The solution: A police-produced video which aims to teach everything a bystander needs to know during a traffic stop.
The video, produced by the Lake Charles Police Department, says there are more than 800,000 police officers in America, with more than a million interactions with citizens every day.
The video is a little slow but gives interesting information about why police do what they do, like how they position their car so if they get hit from behind you are less likely to die.
“The goal of this informational video is to educate as many local civic groups, students, neighborhood watch groups, pastors, and the general public,” Deputy Chief Mark Kraus told KPLCTV. “This video allows the general public to be well educated on proper etiquette that should be used when stopped by an officer. It answers some common questions such as whether or not law enforcement can request an individual to exit their vehicle, as well as being cautious in regard to sudden moves.”
Four Memphis police officers have been suspended with pay after they were caught on camera tipping over a portable toilet with a suspect hiding inside. According to WMC 5 Action News, criminal trespassing suspect Jo Hampton fled from police on foot and hid in a portable toilet in an effort to steal a few moments to call his girlfriend to let her know about his impending arrest. In the above video, captured by a construction crew working at the scene of the incident, officers can be seen tipping over the portable toilet with Hampton inside. After the footage shows Hampton exiting the toilet, an officer appears to kick him from behind.
Hampton told WMC 5 Action News, “I could hear them when they pulled up, so I knew that they were behind the porta potty… I heard them say on three. Three. And it went over…”
The three officers involved in the incident have been identified as Roosevelt Shaw, Jr., Timothy Taylor, Manuel Saldana, and Taylor Ackerman. Manuel Saldana had previously been investigated by internal affairs and cleared after a controversial deadly force incident in which he shot and killed Daniel Brock, whom witnesses say was unarmed, on April 10, 2013. The three other officers had all previously been investigated and cleared after incidents in which they allegedly shot and killed pit bulls while on the job. Ackerman previously faced a complaint alleging that he used excessive force on a suspect. Additionally, Saldana and Shaw were investigated in the past over allegations that they performed searches on citizens without consent. The Memphis Police Department is investigating the toilet-flipping incident to determine whether the officers should face punishment.
Jo Hampton was booked on charges of criminal trespassing and evading arrest. He was released after posting bond, which was set at $250. He claims to have suffered a back injury during the incident. Said Hampton, “Excessive force was used, very much so… I believe they tried to humiliate me, because they knew that water and feces and pee was in there. I believe they did that on purpose.”
The incident began when Hampton fled from police after he was caught visiting a friend at an apartment complex from which he had been banned in the past. He indicated that he regrets running from the officers but feels they should face punishment for their use of excessive force against him.
According to Daily Republic, two officers with California’s Fairfield Police Department, Detective Jacob Glashoff and Sergeant Stephen Ruiz, are under investigation and facing felony charges for allegedly abusing the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, a database containing private information on citizens from various state and federal agencies, to spy on their online dating matches found on sites including Tinder and Match.com. The pair could face up to four years in prison if convicted. Though the officers’ alleged transgressions are currently under review by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force and the California Department of Justice, both remain on duty.
Back in June of this year, another detective working with Glashoff and Ruiz reported the pair to authorities for using Tinder on the job over a period of several months. Investigators checked their computers and determined that, in addition to Tinder and Match.com, which both officers were visiting at work, Ruiz had been using eHarmony and Care.com as well. The detective who turned them in also described a situation in which Ruiz was seen displaying an online dating profile and the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System on screen at the same time, discussing his dating match’s criminal record in front of other officers. A mysterious cellphone was also recovered at the detectives’ workplace containing personal photos of Glashoff and screenshots from the law enforcement database.
Daily Republic notes that detectives working with Glashoff and Ruiz claimed to have heard them discussing ways in which to delete the activity logs from their computers. In another instance, Glashoff was heard worrying aloud about his computer, his employment status at work, and whether or not he could find another job.
Police Chief Walt Tibbet recently issued a statement on the investigation, “Information was brought to us, (which) if it were to be true, could be criminal in nature. Out of fairness and individuals’ rights and to maintain organizational integrity, an investigation was begun by another law enforcement entity for the possible criminal aspects.”
Back in September of 2013, Fox News reported on an internal investigation that found that agents working at the National Security Agency had similarly abused that spy agency’s tools to keep tabs on their love interests.
According to a lawsuit filed last month, Los Angeles police tasered 26-year-old Daniel Johnson in the genitals.
An officer knocked on Johnson’s front door on December 26. The lawsuit alleges that Johnson was then informed that his 58-year-old father would be issued a $1,000 littering fine for dropping a cigarette on the ground.
Johnson asked the officer if he could pick up the cigarette butt for his father rather than face the fine. Apparently, the father suffers from nerve damage which causes him to drop things by accident on a regular basis.
The exact details regarding what happened next are unclear, but at some point an argument broke out between Johnson and the officers outside on the front lawn. This resulted in two policemen tackling the 26-year-old to the ground, securing him in a “full Nelson” hold, and then tasering him in the genitals.
Johnson’s mother witnessed the incident and claims she was begging the cops to stop the entire time. According to the lawsuit, the family was able to smell “flesh burning from the tases.”
The family has made it clear that the police intentionally targeted Johnson’s genitals with the taser. Johnson said, “He was right above me as he tased me, so there’s no mistake that he was trying to tase me in my genitalia.”
Johnson was initially charged with battery, but it was dropped. We will keep you up-to-date on his lawsuit as news breaks.