Police Accountability Report: Episode 77 – LRN.fm

This week, a few stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.

Story #1
17 Charges Filed Against IMPD Officer Accused of Hitting Wife, Pulling Gun on Fellow Officer


Seventeen felony and misdemeanor charges have been filed against an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer, John Haggard, who was arrested after a December 23rd domestic violence incident involving his wife and their neighbors.
Officer John Haggard faces charges including criminal confinement, intimidation, battery and criminal recklessness.
According to court documents, Haggard, his wife and their 4-month-old son were driving home when Haggard and his wife got into an argument about his driving.
Haggard’s wife, Mary Haggard, said her husband had been drinking and the roads were icy, so she had asked him to be careful.
When they got home, John Haggard told Mary Haggard to get out of the car without her infant son, and when she refused, John Haggard punched her multiple times.
Apparently, once the couple was inside their home, John Haggard tried to make his wife leave, and he hit her again when she refused.
Mary Haggard sent text messages to her neighbor, who is also married to an IMPD officer, asking her to come over to the Haggards’ home. Mary Haggard, her son and the neighbor then went to the neighbor’s home across the street.
According to the probable cause affidavit, John Haggard then forced his way into the neighbor’s home, pulled a gun and said he was going to get his son.
The neighbors’ 7- and 10-year-old children witnessed John Haggard’s intrusion.
He eventually left, and police were called.
John Haggard has been suspended without pay.
Would you voluntarily employ this violent man?

Story #2
Whitaker Police Officer Held for Trial on Official Oppression, False Statement Charges

William Davis, a suspended Whitaker, PA police officer, will stand trial January 24th on charges that he used his gun to break a driver’s window during a traffic stop and threatened charges unless she paid to fix his damaged gun.
Officer Davis told investigators he stopped 28-year-old Danielle Stillwell Newlon of Jefferson Hills because she did not use a turn signal and had tinted windows on her BMW, which had West Virginia plates.
Officer Davis also told authorities he had been looking for a sedan allegedly involved in drug activity that resembled her vehicle.
Ms. Newlon testified that she drove away, fearful that Officer Davis, dressed in street clothes and driving an unmarked car with a police siren, was not an officer.
Her attorney, Jonathan Fodi, said, “She did what I hope any young female — or male, for that matter — would do.”
Officer Davis maintains he was wearing his badge, which supposedly gives him the right to needlessly impede the travel of other vehicles.
At a second stop, Officer Davis broke out Ms. Newlon’s driver’s side front window after she rolled down the back window by mistake.
Ms. Newlon said Officer Davis gave her two choices: accept charges for fleeing and eluding, or sign a statement accepting responsibility and agree to pay for damage to his firearm.
Officer Davis’ attorney, said it was “pure speculation that [Officer Davis] was acting in bad faith.” Smashing a firearm through a woman’s window because she failed to use her blinker MUST be based on good intentions, right?
Ms. Newlon said phone calls and text messages from Officer Davis received after the accident about the damaged gun made her uncomfortable. Officer Davis filed charges against Ms. Newlon when she alerted him that she had contacted the district attorney’s office about the incident.

Are these really the type of actions you want to continue paying for?

Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.

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  • BluEyeDevil

    Two Los Angeles police officers are under investigation for allegedly using blackmail and intimidation to force women to have sex with them while on duty.

    Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols, veteran LAPD officers in the Hollywood division, are accused of targeting at least four women, in some cases taking them into an unmarked car to secluded areas. The accusations, if confirmed, will taint the image of a force that has shed much of its reputation for thuggery since the Rodney King riots of 1992.

    The LAPD chief, Charlie Beck, said on Thursday that he was saddened by the allegations and that investigations were continuing. “If they are true, it would be horrific,” he said.

    Detectives from the department’s internal affairs unit suspect the officers preyed on women whom they had arrested previously or who worked for them as informants, according to a search warrant reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. The pair lured victims into their car and used the threat of jail to coerce sex, the warrant alleges. Four women have made independent accusations.

    Detectives intended to confront the officers next week but rushed to do so this week, after one of the women filed a lawsuit. The detectives sequestered the officers and seized their computers and phones. Valenzuela and Nichols were expected to remain off duty pending the investigation’s outcome.

    The first accusation was made in January 2010, when a woman who worked as a police informant told a narcotics unit supervisor that the officers, wearing plain clothes, had lured her into a Volkswagen Jetta. One allegedly exposed himself and demanded she touch him.

    Another woman subsequently told a supervisor that the two officers ordered her into a Jetta while she walked her dog in Hollywood. They had arrested her in a previous encounter and she said she felt compelled to get in. Valenzuela allegedly got into the back seat with her, unzipped his trousers, forced her head into his lap and demanded oral sex, saying: “Why don’t you cut out that tough girl crap.”

    In July 2012, police were tipped off by a member of the Echo Park neighbourhood watch that patrol officers were allegedly picking up prostitutes and releasing them in exchange for oral sex, the warrant said.

    Investigators interviewed a third woman, who said Nichols had detained her in July 2011 and demanded oral sex, saying: “You don’t want to go to jail today, do you?” Fearing arrest, she complied. She said Nichols had done the same thing to her six years earlier.

    A fourth woman, a police informant, said she had sex with Valenzuela twice, once in her apartment, once in the back of an undercover police car. She said she feared going to jail if she refused. In fact she was sentenced to jail in April 2011, reportedly for cocaine possession, and lodged the lawsuit from jail.

    The story broke just a week after the LAPD celebrated a drop in overall crime for the 10th consecutive year, which was seen by many as vindication of the force’s rehabilitation since the 1990s.