Lawmakers in Hawaii have agreed to end a strange legal loophole that allowed police officers to have sex with prostitutes. The Associated Press reports that members of the state’s House and Senate are still negotiating the final details of House Bill 1926 but they agree that the strange exemption should end.
Rep. Karl Rhoads, the Democratic chairman of the House Judicial Committee, had originally amended the bill to leave the exemption in place. He did so in the face of a strong lobbying effort by police officials in the state.
Officials argued that the ability to have sex with prostitutes helped undercover officers in the course of their investigations. They also pointed out that the conduct of officers was closely regulated by department policies.
"The procedures and conduct of the undercover officers are regulated by department rules, which by nature have to be confidential,” Honolulu Police Maj. Jerry Inouye told lawmakers, according to Fox News. "Because if prostitution suspects, pimps and other people are privy to that information, they're going to know exactly how far the undercover officer can and cannot go.”
"All allegations of misconduct are investigated and the appropriate disciplinary action taken," Honolulu police spokeswoman, Michelle Yu, wrote in an email.
"It's a really murky area," Rhoads said at the time he proposed the amendment. ”I was reluctant to interfere in something that they face all the time. If they think it's necessary to not have it in the statute, this is one area where I did defer to them and say, 'I hope you're not having sex with prostitutes.’”
He changed his mind Thursday and asked that the bill be returned to its original language. The bill will now bar police from engaging in sex or sadomasochistic acts with prostitutes.
Honolulu police have also dropped their opposition to the bill.
Members from the House and Senate will reconcile their respective versions of the bill before a vote is cast. It must then be signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie before it becomes law.
A Chicago woman has been awarded a $355,000 settlement after suing police for strip-searching her during a DUI arrest.
33-year-old Dana Holmes used surveillance footage captured in the police station as proof of her allegations that the four LaSalle County sheriff’s deputies were inappropriate when they forcibly strip-searched her following her arrest. The deputies said the their actions were justified because Holmes, who was over the legal blood alcohol limit, resisted their initial pat down.
"There's a lot of people that get DUIs, a lot of people that just make mistakes in life," said Holmes. "That still doesn't give them a reason to do what they did."
The video shows the three male officers and one female officer holding Holmes face down to the ground while they forcibly removed all of her clothes, including her underwear.
“I was terrified. I felt helpless,” said Holmes at the time of the incident. “I was scared and I lay there crying... I just prayed.”
“There are on-duty deputy sheriffs humiliating and grouping a female inmate,” said Holmes’ attorney Terry Ekl. “It makes you wonder: Were these guys ever trained?"
Following the arrest and strip-search, Holmes sued the county because she felt the deputies violated her rights and caused her emotional harm. In the end, the county decided to settle the case.
“The county and department believe it’s in everybody's best interest to focus on policies and protocols moving forward, rather than spending time and money fighting over who was right and wrong,” said attorney James Soto.
The LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department says they are working to enact a new strip search policy so that situations like these can be avoided in the future.
“There’s been a gap in these policies as to what’s permissible and not permissible in those situations,” said Soto.
Chinese man Bai Ting was charged and arrested Tuesday after he allegedly bit a police officer.
Bai, 28, was also charged with being drunk and incapable of taking care of himself in public.
Around 7 p.m. on Sunday, Bai was found drunk at Lorong 27A Geylang and arrested. At 9 p.m., he reportedly bit police Sergeant Ng Wen Chi’s forearm at the Bedok Police Division Headquarters lockup.
Bai faces a maximum fine of $1,000 and one month in jail for public intoxication and disorderliness. He also faces up to seven years in jail, caning and fines for injuring a police officer.
The news will surely remind some of U.S. news station KTVU, which was famously pranked last year when its news casters read out fake foreign names that sounded like English words.
A brawl between the New York Police Department and Fire Department broke out Sunday during an annual charity hockey game, which delayed the game for 25 minutes.
The fight began during the second period with a score of 3-3. It started as a one-on-one battle but quickly escalated into multiple individual struggles. Within five minutes from the first fight’s start, the benches had been entirely cleared.
“It was reminiscent of the old-time Rangers-Flyers games in the mid-70s,” an NYPD cop who was at the game at the Nassau Coliseum said. “I was waiting for [legendary Philadelphia Flyers enforcer] Dave Schultz to come out on the ice.”
The game was delayed for 25 minutes as equipment was picked up off the ground and referees made lists of penalties.
Despite numerous black eyes and bruises, no one was seriously injured.
When the game continued, the NYPD eventually won 8-5 against the FDNY, which was their first victory in six years.
A new video has been released online showing a mentally disabled man being beaten by St. Louis police officers.
The man, Mario Crumps, was reportedly acting erratically prior to the incident, and his behavior forced his family to call the police. The video doesn’t show the entire incident, but it does show police brutally beating the man while he fought back against them.
Crumps is reportedly a client of Independence Center, an organization that provides mentally disabled people with opportunities to live and work in the St. Louis community, and Mike Keller, executive director, hopes that the video will bring about a change in training protocol within the police department.
"I want to give the police whom I have an affinity for the benefit of the doubt, but that video was soul-scarring," said Keller.
Police, however, say that even though many are outraged by the video, they feel it does not properly show what went on in its entirety and believe that the officers’ actions were justified.
"Certainly I want to make this a teachable moment," said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. "But we also have to understand that society, with cutbacks in the mental health field, have really left individuals kind of in an area of limbo."
Dotson also says that both officers were treated for injuries.
The man’s condition following the beating is not clear, but one can assume that after multiple strikes from a baton and numerous punches to the face, he likely sustained some injuries. Crumps faces charges of assaulting an officer as well as resisting arrest.
11Nassau County Officer Nikolas Budimlic ‘Acted Accordingly’ When He Shot Andrea Rebello, 21, In The Head (Video)
The police officer who shot and killed a Hofstra University student as she was being held at gunpoint by a Long Island intruder last May will not face any criminal charges, prosecutors said.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Nassau County officer Nikolas Budimlic “acted accordingly” when he fatally shot 21-year-old Andrea Rebello in the head, the New York Daily News reports.
"In this case, Officer Budimlic reasonably perceived threats of deadly force against himself and others and acted accordingly. Though the results were unquestionably tragic, criminal charges under these circumstances would be inappropriate and legally unsustainable. Accordingly, this criminal investigation is hereby concluded," a report by the district attorney said of the May 17 incident.
The Hofstra junior was killed when Budimlic arrived at a house near the university’s campus shared by Rebello, her twin sister and others.
Budimlic entered Rebello’s home to find intruder Dalton Smith, 30, using her as a human shield. The incident happened around 2:30 a.m., the Daily Caller notes.
Smith was wanted at the time for his involvement in an armed robbery.
“What now? I’m going to kill her! I’m getting out of here!” says the report, obtained by the Daily News.
“Smith ignored numerous commands shouted by Officer Budimlic for Smith to drop his weapon,” the report says. “Smith, alternately pointing his gun at Andrea Rebello and Officer Budimlic, threatened to kill both of them.”
When Smith did not want to drop his weapon, the officer fired a barrage of bullets, shooting him seven times and killing him.
Budimlic accidentally shot Rebello in the head. She later died at Nassau University Medical Center.
Rebello’s family had previously filed a notice to sue the county for wrongfully causing her death, the New York Post reports.
An 11-year-old Georgia boy claims that a police officer pulled a gun out on him while he and his friends were building a tree fort, and now, the boy’s mother is filing an excessive force complaint.
Fifth-grader Omari Grant says that he and his friends were playing in the woods behind his home, a usual hangout for the group, when they decided to build a tree fort. They began cutting down branches and gathering materials when a concerned neighbor called police to complain about what they were doing.
Two police officers eventually showed up, one pointed a gun at the boys, and both made them lie on the ground with their legs spread. Grant also alleges that the officers cursed at them.
"I was thinking that I don't want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said," said Grant to WSB-TV.
Once the officer left, Grant ran to his mother and cried about what happened to him and his friends.
"I guess the release of tension was like, ‘Mom, he had a gun in my face, Mommy. Mommy, he had a gun in my face,’" said Omari’s mother Janice Baptiste. “So my son was of course traumatized by that.”
Now, Baptiste says she has filed an excessive force complaint against the Henry County Police Department. Sgt. Joey Smith says that the department is currently investigating the happenings.
“If it was justified then we'll deal with it, if it wasn't we'll address it as well," said Smith.
Omari Grant says that he has not yet gotten over having a gun pointed at him.
"I learned that they're supposed to help you not make you feel scared to even come outside," said Grant.
Henry County police have refused to release the identity of the officers involved.
An off-duty police officer in Tucson, Arizona was fired after being caught on surveillance video pulling a gun on a convenience store clerk while seemingly intoxicated.
23-year-old Kyle James McCartin was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault for the incident. According to reports, McCartin and another man walked into the gas station convenience store wearing bulletproof vests, and McCartin was, according to multiple reports, "visibly drunk."
While the other man was paying for his items, McCartin proceeded to stumble around close to the register and pull out his gun on the cashier. His friend appears to try and stop him, but McCartin, clearly belligerent, keeps waving the gun at the store clerk. Eventually, both men leave, and later, the local sheriff’s department came to investigate.
Now, McCartin has officially been fired and has pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He had only been a Tucson police department for less than a year when the incident occurred. Reports claim that despite pleading guilty and being fired from his job as a police officer, he will probably not serve any jail time.
A Florida desk clerk mistook the body of a 96-year-old woman for a mannequin that was set out as an April Fool’s joke, according to St. Petersburg police.
The woman’s body was found around 4:30 a.m. outside her apartment building when the clerk took a smoke break. Her body was lying in the building’s south parking lot.
Two hours after the first sighting, another employee spotted the body and was also convinced that it was a prank. The clerk and a pair of newspaper deliverers then lifted the body, which they believed was a mannequin covered in fake blood, into a dumpster.
Around 8 a.m., an apartment maintenance worker found the woman’s body and realized it was human.
"Most people that are looking at this are going to assume that these people are all fools,” St. Pete Police Department spokesperson Mike Puetz said. “But honestly it does appear that this was just an honest mistake.”
Police believed that darkness at the time the body was initially discovered contributed to the confusion. Additionally, the body had been distorted and rigor mortis had already set in.
Police reported that the woman had been depressed and that she left a suicide note before jumping from the 16th floor.
11Police Ask If Domestic Violence Victim "Deserved To Get Hit" In Accidental Voicemail Recording (Audio)
The commander of Nova Scotia’s RCMP, or Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is apologizing to a victim of domestic violence after officers accidentally left a message on the woman’s voicemail mocking her abuse allegations (audio below).
The initial domestic violence complaint happened after the woman and her boyfriend got into an argument and he left with her cellphone. She was worried that he would make harassing phone calls to her family and friends, so she went to retrieve it from him, and that’s when the physical abuse took place.
The woman contacted police and filed a report, and some time after, the inadvertent phone call by officers happened. According to reports, an officer had his cellphone in his pocket and mistakenly dialed the woman’s home. She did not answer, but the voicemail did pick up, and the officers were recorded mocking the woman’s claims.
"The way she was talking she was very nonchalant about everything," said one officer on the recording.
"She said it was from the fucking door jamb or something like that, on the door," said another officer, adding, “It's fucking foolish."
"So did she deserve to get hit?" asked an officer.
When the woman eventually heard the message on her voicemail, she immediately called the RCMP and filed a complaint.
"I was ashamed to be a female from Nova Scotia," said the anonymous woman. "How could I do my own job to advise people to contact the RCMP for help? When it was clearly apparent that there was no help to be had. We're not in the '70s. We are in 2014. People need to learn that when they get paid to do a public service, they need to actually do their jobs and not be Neanderthals. That's exactly what I feel like I've been dealing with. Not only my partner but with the RCMP, the local RCMP, I'm appalled and stunned.”
Responding to fallout from the accidental voicemail, RCMP Chief Brian Brennan said that the comments made by the officers were completely inappropriate.
"The RCMP has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour," said Brennan. "As the commanding officer, I was extremely disappointed. The comments on this recording in no way reflect the core values of the RCMP. It's not how I want our members to be talking in terms of victims and domestic violence.”
The RCMP has reportedly met with the woman and apologized to her for the incident. They also confirmed that the woman’s boyfriend has been charged with assault.