This week, a couple stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Man left in solitary confinement in New Mexico jail for 22 MONTHS after horrific treatment awarded $15.5M
A New Mexico prisoner who languished for nearly two years in solitary confinement — and was so neglected that he had to yank out his own tooth — has been awarded one of the largest federal civil rights settlements in history.
Stephen Slevin will be paid $15.5 million after Dona Ana County agreed to settle with the former inmate, who was jailed at the county detention center from 2005 to 2007 on a DWI arrest.
Those 22 months in solitary was an inhumane and hellish experience for Slevin: His toenails grew so long that they curled around his foot; he was denied showers, causing fungus to form on his skin; and he developed bedsores.
Jail officials also didn’t allow him to see a dentist, his lawyer said, so Slevin grew so desperate that he extracted a painful tooth on his own.
Before and after pictures of the inmate show the dramatic difference during his time in jail.
After two years, his hair was long and unkempt, his face became haggard. He said he lost 50 pounds.
Now, he still faces an uphill battle with his health after doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer, he said.
North Forest ISD police officer faces new charges
Ricky Ridley, a police officer from Houston’s North Forest ISD, allegedly conspired with Lionel Dixon to steal $10,000 from a group they met on Craigslist.
When they met, Ridley was in police uniform and immediately unholstered his gun and ordered everybody out, then stole their money.
Another victim came forward, and Ridley was arrested immediately after a hearing.
A homeowner told HPD that Ridley knocked on his front door claiming he needed to speak to someone about a police investigation, then robbed the resident at gunpoint, taking $2,500.
“And at that time the victim was threatened that if he contacted the police the defendant said he would put a false charge of possession of drugs on the victim,” prosecutor Michele Oncken said.
The school district says it has relieved Officer Ricky Ridley of duty pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. It’s an investigation that prosecutors say will likely lead to more cases.
He is being held without bond, and if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Ex-Officer Accused of Stealing From Little League
A former police officer is accused of stealing thousands from a Delaware County little league.
Former Bethel Township officer John Rapp used his position as treasurer of the Chichester Baseball League to steal $13,000 from 2010 to 2011, according to a law enforcement official close to the investigation, who did not want to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the case.
Rapp, faces charges including theft and receiving stolen property when he turns himself in, according to court records.
The Garnet Valley man allegedly used a league credit card more than 25 times — at local casinos, ATMs and a Renaissance festival.
Authorities say that Rapp quit his job as a Bethel Township police officer because of the investigation.
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by CopBlock.org.
I hope you’ll take a moment to consider just what it is that you are paying for via taxation – and speak out against the lack of transparency and accountability.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.