Police Accountability Report: Episode 117 – LRN.fm
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.
Ex-Trooper Sentenced for Bank Robbery
A former law enforcement officer will spend eight years in federal prison for robbing a bank in Hendersonville, NC.
Robert Keith Owens held up Macon Bank on Spartanburg Highway at gunpoint the afternoon of February 8th, 2012.
Judge Martin Reidinger said the crime deserved a lengthy sentence, “A bank robbery is a serious matter. This is a crime that causes fear. It is intended to have people in fear of their lives for financial gain. A police officer should know better.”
Defense attorney Fredilyn Sison argued for leniency, saying Owens suffered a mental breakdown prior to the robbery. He was at Charter Hospital in Greer, S.C., when he was arrested six days after the holdup.
Owens, a resident of Simpsonville, S.C., addressed the judge.
“I spent my entire adult life in law enforcement,” he said. “I was proud of that. I’m ashamed of what I’ve done. I humbly ask the court for mercy.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pritchard said Owens used money from the robbery to pay for a loaded Chevrolet Camaro worth $54,000.
“This was a crime of greed,” he said.
Reidinger also ordered Owens to pay $50,000 in restitution to the bank and $23,000 to an insurance company.
Owens pleaded guilty in August 2012 to armed bank robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence. Before the plea, his attorney filed notice of his intent to mount an insanity defense. But following a psychiatric exam, a judge ruled at a competency hearing that he was fit to stand trial.
According to court records, video cameras captured Owens entering the bank and then going into the branch manager’s office, where he asked if the bank had $100,000 on hand. He then showed the manager a handgun tucked in his waistband and demanded money from the vault.
Owens took an envelope full of money and was seen driving away. He was identified as a suspect after an officer spotted the car and it was determined that the vehicle was registered to his wife. The bank manager picked Owens out of a photo lineup, and one of his relatives told authorities that he was attempting to check into a drug treatment center.
Owens was arrested the month before the bank robbery on a domestic violence charge. Authorities said a woman reported she had been involved in a fight with her husband at their home, and a SWAT team responded.
The woman was able to escape safely, but the suspect refused to come out for several hours. Greenville County deputies said Owens had a gun and made threats to harm a family pet.
A spokesman for the S.C. Department of Public Safety said at the time that Owens had been on medical leave from the Highway Patrol for several months after he was injured on the job.
Lake Arthur officer accused of rape, molestation
A Lake Arthur police officer has been charged with aggravated rape and molestation of a juvenile, according to Louisiana state police.
Troop I spokesman Stephen Hammons said 37-year-old Damon Broussard was arrested last week following an investigation.
“During the investigation, detectives found that Broussard engaged in sexual activity several years ago with a child who was under 15,” Hammons said in a news release. “Detectives also discovered that Broussard engaged in sexual activity with a different child, who under 13.”
Are these really the type of people you’d trust to protect you?
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 corruption.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights