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.
Former Moulton Police Officer Charged with Child Abuse
A former Moulton, Alabama police officer has been indicted for allegedly beating two 8-year-old girls.
Moulton police officer Mitchell Breland was charged by a Lawrence County grand jury. Authorities had arrested the 27-year-old in September after an investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
The case originated from complaints by hospital personnel who treated one of the alleged victims for injuries consistent with abuse. Police employees said the indictment alleges that Breland repeatedly whipped two girls.
The charges are Class C felonies punishable by a minimum one year and maximum 10 years in prison.
Breland is free on $5,000 bail.
Former NYC cops convicted of misconduct in encounter with woman start their jail sentences
Two former New York City police officers convicted of official misconduct over their interactions with a drunken woman they had helped get home have started their jail sentences.
Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno appeared separately in state Supreme Court in Manhattan in late December and were taken into custody.
The men were accused of rape but acquitted. They were convicted of misconduct in May 2011 for repeatedly returning to the accuser’s apartment while telling dispatchers they were elsewhere.
Moreno was sentenced to a year. He had said there was no sex, that he had cuddled with the woman in her bed.
Mata was sentenced to 60 days. He had said he merely napped on her sofa.
SCI Pittsburgh Officer Kelly Guilty on Four Counts
A judge found former Pennsylvania State Correction Officer Tory Kelly guilty on four criminal counts related to inmate abuse, and not guilty on 10, following a week-long non-jury trial. Kelly had been a guard at the State Prison in Pittsburgh.
Kelly now faces sentencing March 20 for the 4 crimes of simple assault, official oppression, terroristic threats and intimidation of a witness. The intimidation charge is a felony, the others misdemeanors.
All relate to interactions two years ago with a single inmate, Randy Jones, who was housed in the prison’s F Block for a few days. F Block is the scene for what investigators said was systematic abuse of inmates viewed as pedophiles, or the genesis for what defense attorneys suggest is a massive conspiracy to smear guards.
All of the accusers were convicted of sex crimes with minors. All had credibility problems, from shifting stories, to motives including the hopes of big civil lawsuit recoveries and potential parole consideration. Judge Cashman didn’t find that their accounts proved Mr. Kelly’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Kelly’s attorney said, “The types of inconsistencies and outright falsehoods that have been brought into this courtroom are enough to create reasonable doubt.” He characterized the accusers as “the kind of person who would manipulate a child into having sexual contact with them,” and were now trying to manipulate a system in an effort to advance lawsuits and get paroled.
Assistant District Attorney Jon Pittman countered by saying, “I would say the evidence is overwhelming,” and noted that four victims unequivocally identified Mr. Kelly as their assailant and offered similar accounts.
Randy Jones has requested protective custody; Pittman says he did so “because he’s afraid of the guards.”
Mr. Kelly was stunned by the verdict.
He also faces a likely March trial on five counts stemming from an August 2011 encounter with another former officer, Curtis Hoffman. Hoffman has told investigators that Kelly tried to egg him into a fight, in an alleged effort to intimidate him out of talking with investigators and testified that Kelly bragged about beating up inmates. He said he didn’t see any of the encounters alleged by Kelly’s four accusers.
Are these really the type of actions you want to continue paying for?
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by CopBlock.org.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.