Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Police misconduct in Cairns, Australia

By Madelaine Stover, writing on 20th

Wow!!!!! What a crazy 48 hours our family has just been through.

It started yesterday morning when the police came to our house without a warrant to arrest my dad. They then ended up arresting my sister and letting her go which i'm assuming because the officers reason for the arrest wouldn't match up to the facts?

Then sometime between 2:30-3:00 am the property was raided by what I now know where members from the tactical crime squad. They all refused to identify themselves and came through my place without producing a warrant or any ID. They were forcing me to comply to their orders (even though I had no idea who they were) by using a dog to scare and intimidate me.

Then this morning another large number of police officers or tactical crime squad members swarmed the property and arrested my dad...I witnessed the officer slam his face into the ground and jam his knee into the center of my dads back. An extremely unnecessary force for a peaceful man who was complying (in fact one officer tripped over and my dad kindly asked him if he was okay while he was handcuffed....because that is the type of man my dad is).

My dad had his court case today and was released without any charges after he represented himself. All this force when no crime has been commited by this man.

My dad, sister and I have all been treated in such an unprofessional, disturbing way by the Cairns police in the past 48 hours and we have NO CHARGES and NO CRIMES have been committed by any of us.

This is important for people to know as there have been a couple of nasty comments such as 'well if you want to be treated fairly by police then don't break the law'. None of us have and the result of the court case today shows that.

Some people are aware that my dad reveals disturbing information about the police and the fraud of the government. We strongly believe this was the reason for being targeted by the police.

Everything that happened over the past 48 hours was in relation to an alleged minor traffic infringement, which my dad wasn't charged for in the court today. A lot of force for something so small right!?! A whole tactical squad (which is very expensive tax dollars) for an alleged traffic incident that my dad was not found guilty of.

The CCC have been contacted and were concerned about the police and the way they conducted their procedures. We will be putting our evidence together for them to start their investigation.

The past 48 hours were scary and tough for our family. Everyones kind words, love and support are what helped us through. Thank you so much to everyone who supported. We are all okay for now smile emoticon big love!!

Original report here.  Video here. (Via Australian Politics)

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Monday, November 23, 2015

British dickless Tracy who killed a young motorcyclist when she reversed in her marked police van is banned from driving for a year but keeps her job

A police officer convicted of causing the death of a young motorcyclist has kept her job. PC Patsy Blakeborough made a U-turn in her marked police van and collided with Scott Gibson, 23, who died of multiple injuries at the scene.

A misconduct hearing yesterday determined that she had committed gross misconduct. She was given a final written warning but retained her job with Cumbria Constabulary.

PC Blakeborough was found guilty of causing death by careless driving after a trial in August.

She was was given a 12-month community order, 180 hours unpaid work, was banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay costs of £2,800.

She appeared before a panel of Cumbria Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland, Detective Superintendent Andy Slattery and independent panel member Brian Collins.

Barney Branston, presenting the case for the Chief Constable, told the hearing that PC Blakeborough failed to consider the location and potential for high speed vehicles on the A590 at Melton Brow, Cumbria.

Mark Aldred, defending, said PC Blakeborough was 'of the opinion the road was clear'.  Mr Aldred made reference to public and five police witness statements concerning the high speed that Mr Gibson had been travelling at.  He said a member of the public had been shocked by the 'phenomenal' speed.

A father and son said they felt Mr Gibson had been travelling at around 80mph in a 40mph area. Mr Aldred said the witness had remarked on a 'devil may care' attitude and his son had said 'someone is going to die'.

The hearing was told traffic police on another part of the A590 had flashed Mr Gibson to slow down and given a hand signal but there was 'no reaction'.

They assessed he was travelling at around 100mph when the limit was 60mph. The likely speed at impact was believed to be around 70mph.

After the panel returned with the gross misconduct finding, the defence called Superintendent Rob O’Connor, who told of PC Blakeborough’s exemplary career record with the police, which includes numerous commendations for bravery, professionalism and performance.

Supt O’Connor read statements from her superiors describing her as an 'outstanding officer', a 'key member of the team' and 'highly regarded'.

They said her professionalism continued after the incident in April 2014.  The South Cumbria commander said: 'She is an excellent officer and a valuable asset of the constabulary. That is what I have seen first hand.'

When PC Blakeborough was asked if she wanted to comment she struggled to through tears but said: 'I do regret what happened.'

Assistant Chief Constable Martland said the panel had considered all aspects, including the impact on Mr Gibson’s family, the trust in the police force and the impact on PC Blakeborough and her family.

The panel also expressed their condolences to Mr Gibson’s family.

PC Blakeborough was told she would have to carry out a full driver training programme at the end of her disqualification.

Original report here

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Police officer involved in fatal shooting defamed by trial lawyer

Trial lawyer thought he was judge and jury

A JURY has found a Queensland barrister defamed a police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Tyler Cassidy.  Tyler was shot dead in 2008 after an armed confrontation with police in a skate park near Northcote Plaza.

Sergeant Colin Dods says he was defamed by Queensland barrister Michael McDonald in articles written about Tyler’s death on a website.

This morning a six member jury agreed, finding the articles defamed Sgt Dods by saying he executed the teen, was guilty of manslaughter, had used excessive force and had “gunned him down like he was a monster and dangerous mangy dog”.

“I was doing everything in my power to avoid a fatal outcome for Tyler Cassidy,” Sgt Dods earlier told the jury. Sgt Dods said he was devastated by the shooting and had two dates “seared” in to his memory: the date of the tragedy and Cassidy's birthday: April 20, 1993.  “I'm forced to consider every year what the impact might be on that family,” Sgt Dods said.

In 2011 Coroner Jennifer Coates was unable to identify which of the four officers present when Cassidy was killed fired the fatal shot.

Sgt Dods is a former Scotch College student who worked as a teacher before joining the police force in 2000.

Sgt Dods said in evidence Mr McDonald had endangered his two young children by publishing his off-duty movements.

Sgt Dods tried to contact Mr McDonald several times and complained to various Queensland law bodies before launching defamation proceedings.

The matter returns before Justice Kevin Bell for further legal argument and submissions on damages.

Original report here

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Australia: The unaccountable destroyer of lives we call ICAC

When a corruption watchdog goes bad

ON the morning of May 2, 2014, Mike Gallacher, a cop who had risen to become police minister, was on stage addressing graduates of the Police academy at Goulburn.

“The community will always back the police to do the right thing,” Gallacher was saying, when his press secretary Clint McGilvray started fielding frantic text messages.

Geoffrey Watson, SC, counsel assisting ICAC, had just dropped the bombshell corruption allegation that would destroy Gallacher’s career.  Watson alleged in a question to a developer that Gallacher, 54, was the mastermind of a “corrupt scheme to make donations to the Liberal Party”.

Within hours Premier Mike Baird had demanded his resignation.

Gallacher is a man who prides himself on integrity, a former undercover cop in Internal Affairs, a working class battler who dragged himself up by his bootstraps from Mt Druitt High, and public housing in at Lethbridge Park. Now he had been accused of the one thing he had spent his life fighting.

“That C word for me is death”, he says.

“I am an ex undercover cop against corrupt police and the utterance of the word corrupt was the most devastating thing given my history in the police force.”

And so began the surreal nightmare that is now so familiar to anyone caught up with the unaccountable star chamber we call ICAC.

For 18 months Gallacher has been in limbo on the cross bench of state parliament, his salary halved, his family shell-shocked, his Liberal colleagues wary of the association.

Yet to this date ICAC has never produced any evidence to prove its incendiary claim that he is corrupt. Despite repeated attempts by Gallacher’s lawyer Arthur Moses for Watson to substantiate his allegations all the ICAC counsel has said is “we have plenty of stuff and we have sworn testimony from a reliable person.”

Gallacher appeared in the ICAC witness box for two days and Watson never produced any “stuff” linking him to a Liberal slush fund into which illegal donations from developers had been channelled.

The worst of ICAC’s allegations against Gallacher involve the presence of two property developers at a fundraising dinner at Doyle’s Circular Quay on New Year’s Eve in 2010. There were about 20 guests at the $1000 a head dinner, which made a profit of $5000, but property developers had been banned from donating money to political parties since the previous year.

Gallacher denies he has done anything underhand and is waiting for ICAC to provide the evidence against him so he can clear his name.

He can’t understand why it won’t publish its findings on Operation Spicer, the political donations inquiry. How complicated can it be? Magistrates decide more complex cases every day.

The personal toll of the long wait has been devastating.

“It has affected me very deeply because of the sheer nature of the shame, and the public humiliation.

“I would see police walking down the street and cross the road and walk on the other side because I felt I’d brought shame on the police by being named”.

Adding to his burden was his wife’s ill health. Judy was scheduled to have a nine hour operation for breast cancer on the first day Gallacher had to testify at ICAC.

His mother in law had a heart attack two weeks after Watson’s allegations. His mother collapsed at bridge and was hospitalised with high blood pressure and renal failure.

Staffers who worked for Gallacher have struggled to find jobs, even interstate, because the taint of ICAC is lethal to careers

Being named at ICAC is not a theoretical exercise. It has real and dramatic consequences, particularly for people who value their reputations.

In the last two years, ICAC has brought down a premier, a commissioner of the SES and 10 government MPs (all but Gallacher have left parliament), all without proving its allegations of corruption, or managing to muster a single prosecution.

It sidelined for more than a year Arthur Sinodinos, who had been Tony’ Abbott’s federal assistant treasurer, so that his expertise was denied to the government’s crucial first budget.

In other words ICAC has interfered with the running of democratically elected NSW and federal governments. And for what benefit?

Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, as dedicated and effective a public servant as you would ever find, was targeted by ICAC over a private matter of a car accident involving her son’s girlfriend.

She and her family were dragged through the wringer until she cleared their names through expensive litigation that ended up in the High Court.

Cunneen, too, was forced to stand aside from a murder trial and twiddle her thumbs at home after ICAC cast a pall over her reputation.

Every public official or politician who has been named by ICAC has had to resign or stand aside. And yet when ICAC itself comes under fire, it is not bound by the same code of conduct.

When ICAC is humiliated in the High Court for having overreached in the Cunneen matter, or when ICAC inspector David Levine, QC, has to launch two inquiries into its conduct, and makes scathing findings about its “arrogance” and “hauter”, no gesture is made to safeguard the reputation of the institution.

Unlike ICAC’s victims, Commissioner Megan Latham has not offered to stand aside from her $689,856 a year job pending the outcome of David Levine’s inquiries.

For ICAC it is business as usual.

Original report here

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Friday, November 20, 2015

'The justice system has failed us outrageously': British mother's fury after pervert who raped her five-year-old daughter walks free from court

The family of a five-year-old girl raped by a teenager have blasted his sentence as pathetic after he avoided a custodial sentence and left court with just a £15 victim surcharge and two-year rehabilitation order.

Aged 16 at the time, the attacker - who cannot be named for legal reasons - subjected his young victim to a horrific ordeal in December last year.

While playing a computer game, he began kissing the girl before removing her clothes and raping her.

He told her to keep the sickening ordeal a secret but she confessed everything to her mother after being left in severe pain, who then phoned the police.

Since then her family have been 'ripped apart' by what happened, with the victim said to be a 'different girl' to what she was before.

At Leicester Crown Court, her now 17-year-old attacker, from Burbage, was given a two year youth rehabilitation order with a requirement to attend a sex offender programme.

He was told to pay a victim surcharge of £15 and to register himself on the sex offenders register for two and half years.

That sentence the family have slammed as failing their daughter 'so outrageously'.

The young girl's mother told the Hinckley Times: 'This whole thing has ripped our family apart - when I heard the sentence being handed down I felt sick.

'The trauma has been unbearable. My daughter is a different girl now and will have to live with this forever.

'It is unacceptable that Leicester Crown Court, the very place that this young girl was relying on to help get her justice, has failed her so outrageously.

'We say that the sentence must be appropriate and in accordance with the severity of the crime.'

The teenage rapist pleaded guilty to the charge at a hearing in September, admitting that he had carried out the serious sexual assault.

His victim's family expected a far tougher sentence but were left distraught by the outcome.

A campaign has since been launched by the girl's mother to try and raise funds to bring the teenager back to court.

A friend has set up an online petition to try and get the sentence reviewed.

The mother added: 'My daughter has since suffered dreadful emotional distress and has undergone counselling but sadly still suffers and always will.

'The offender is still walking the streets and I believe he is an extreme danger to any child who may come across him.'

Original report here

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Black man was handcuffed when he was shot by Minneapolis police.  Why?

Reports from black witnesses to shootings have repeatedly been shown to be worthless so everything will depend on what the videos show

THE emergency call came from an ordinary looking apartment block in Minneapolis. A domestic incident, a man and his partner arguing.

When police arrived, guns drawn, they are said to have found Jamar Clark trying to prevent, or at least hindering, ambulance officers giving treatment to his partner.

Moments later Mr Clark, 24, was on his back on the pavement with a bullet hole above his eye. His heart was still beating but the wound left his brain dead, and his life support was switched off.

There is conflict about what happened in the crucial few seconds between the police arriving and Mr Clark being shot.

People watching from nearby apartments say he was on the ground, not resisting and in handcuffs. They said there were two officers standing over him before the shot was heard.

One neighbour, Nekelia Sharp, said he tried to speak to his partner; that’s when he was handcuffed and shot, she alleged.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is leading the investigation into what is officially a homicide, has obtained video of the scene from several sources, including police themselves and the ambulance, but will not reveal what they show.

“[We] don’t want to taint the interviews that may be ongoing with witnesses in this case and by having the videos being public we may potentially taint portions of the investigation,” Minnesota BCA superintendent Drew Evans told reporters.

However, he did confirm handcuffs were found at the scene.

For their part, police say Mr Clark was not handcuffed, but have not explained where the handcuffs came from. One possibility as they fell from an officer during the incident. But they have not said why police felt the need to shoot, which should be a last resort if they or others are in imminent danger.

In a statement, Mr Evans said there had been a “struggle” but did not directly address reports Mr Clark allegedly reached for an officer’s gun.

Supporters of Mr Clark say that he was virtually dead from the time police arrived; that a black man’s life is in far greater jeopardy than a white man’s in the same situation, while the police chief Janee Harteau said: “This incident should not and will not define us.”

The Mayor Betsy Hodges has called in federal investigators from the Department of Justice, well aware of the simmering anger in the community

“We’ve been saying for a long time that Minneapolis was one bullet away from Ferguson. Well, that bullet was fired last night,” Jason Sole, an associate professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University, told the local Star Tribune.

Details have emerged on social media of what officers were heard talking about on the police scanner before the shooting, including a call for backup. “We’ve got a big crowd; we need a lot of cops.”

This was in apparent response to the hysterical group of bystanders who saw the shootings and swarmed around emergency vehicles that were responding. In a video posted on Facebook by a witness, one woman was repeatedly shouting, “Y’all just killed that man!” Others stood close by taunting and pointing at police.

In the tense confrontation that followed several people were pepper sprayed to get the growing crowd back. Meanwhile, family of Mr Clark rushed to his bedside to discover there was nothing that could be done to save him.

One devastated family member told the Star Tribune he was shot in the head “execution style”.

Over the last 48 hours a rally called by Black Lives Matter a few blocks from the police headquarters with an estimated 250 people forming a barricade around the protest to form a “no cops zone”.

Protest organisers also ignored an invitation from Mayor Hodges to a formal community meeting she was conducting — at that meeting someone in the crowd loudly heckled her, while at the rally, organisers continued to maintain Mr Clark was shot while handcuffed, and doubted any official inquiry would be impartial.

So far there has not been any of the violence other US cities have faced after police shootings like the havoc wrecked in Ferguson, in Missouri, after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.  But if the inquiry reveals police are guilty of what has been alleged, the tense situation, which is already on a knife-edge, could explode.

Mica Grimm, an organiser with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, was among a group of university students and activists occupying an entryway to the station.

She said people plan to stay there — taking turns for weeks, if necessary — until the officer responsible for the shooting is arrested, The Atlantic reported.  “We’re here because police officers have gotten away with murder for so long and we’re tired of it,” Ms Grimm said.

Original report here

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Girl Guide leader who sent hate mail packed with razor blades to herself that led to an innocent woman being locked up avoids jail

I hope the sentence is appealed.  She did a lot of harm.  The police are also to blame for acting on no evidence

A girl guide leader who sent herself threatening letters containing razor blades in an 'manipulative' stunt which landed an innocent woman in jail has today walked free from court.

Glesni Phillips, 20, sparked a major police inquiry by writing bogus hate mail from an imaginary stalker which led to female police officer Kaylie Davies being arrested.

The 27-year-old spent a night behind bars, had her computer seized and spent two months on bail before police realised Phillips was sending the 'disturbing' letters to herself.

Today, the Brownie leader, from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, avoided jail 'by a whisker' as the judge branded her actions 'disgraceful and manipulative'.

Judge Jonathan Furness: 'Everyone was taken in by your behaviour and the police arrested Kayleigh Davies, a Special sergeant. It was demeaning and belittling for her to be locked up by her own colleagues.

'She went off work with anxiety and depression as a consequence of your false allegations. This was attention seeking, it made you feel good. It is a pathetic story.'

Swansea Crown Court had heard how Phillips, who was also a volunteer with St John Ambulance, initially went to police to report one threatening letter.  She then told them about a second letter which she claimed told her she was being 'watched'.

Officers soon began suspecting Miss Davies, whose car was spotted near Phillips' home. The pair knew of one another but were not friends and did not spend time with one another.

The court heard how the probe then escalated when Phillips was sent another letter containing razor blades, which apparently told her to 'use them.'

Despite Miss Davies being arrested over the letters, the court heard how Phillips did not tell police about the error. She even continued to complain to police about made-up allegations, including that someone had burgled her house and that she had been attacked on a clifftop.

Prosecutor Janet Gedrych said: 'Phillips was made aware of the arrest but did not tell the police they had made an error.

'She continued to complain to police that she was being stalked and that someone had burgled her house and scrawled offensive words on the walls.

'She later claimed she had been attacked while taking photographs on a clifftop at the seaside village of Solva. More than 10 officers were involved in the search for her attacker which involved dog handlers.

'But the police became suspicious of Phillips and during an interview she admitted writing some of the letters.'

Phillips sat with her head bowed in the dock as she admitted perverting the course of justice. James Jenkins, defending, pleaded for her not to be jailed because she had never named Miss Davies as a suspect.

Phillips, who was in court with her parents, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 240 hours unpaid work. She was ordered to pay £1,100 compensation to Miss Davies.

Miss Davies said after the case: 'I am disappointed - I expected her to go to jail for all the stress and worry she caused me. 'What she did will affect me for a long time, I feel as if I can't go back to working with the police after this.'

Original report here

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UK police pay £12,500 compensation to man they bruised when tackling him to the ground during an arrest which was gleefully filmed by shoppers

A man who was left bruised after being tackled to the ground by police because he was selling CDs has been awarded £12,500 compensation.

Shocking footage shows the moment officers tackled the unnamed 45-year-old in Sefton Park, Liverpool, because he did not have the correct licence to sell.

The clip shows the man being approached by community support officers on August 3 last year.

The PCSOs then call for back up before two officers tackle the man, who is wearing a white T-shirt and shorts, to the ground and hold him down.

Onlookers gather as the incident happens with one woman, who is with a child in a wheelchair, appearing to film it on her mobile phone.

The clip ends with a crowd, including a number of young children, gathering as the man is put into handcuffs and led into a police van.

Chris Topping, the victim's solicitor, said the man was left with cuts and bruises after the incident.

He was charged with assault on the two officers but was acquitted at the Community Justice Centre in Bootle in February.

Mr Topping said: 'The client contacted us after he had been acquitted in court and we made a claim for damages.  'The police came back fairly quickly with the offer.'

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said the force carefully considered the civil action and it was thoroughly examined by the force's legal team. He said: 'It was considered that in this case it was appropriate to make an offer of compensation to the claimant.

'Merseyside Police is determined to demonstrate the highest levels of integrity and to ensure officers maintain professional standards at all times.

'The force recognises the importance of maintaining people's confidence and trust in the services we provide to our communities across Merseyside.'

Original report here

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Monday, November 16, 2015

FBI investigating 'senseless murder' of rancher, 62, gunned down by deputies while he was trying to euthanize his 2,500lb bull

The FBI has launched an investigation into the death of an Idaho rancher who was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies after one of his bulls was struck by a car and charged emergency crews.

Jack Yantis, 62, died on November 1 after an altercation with two Adams County deputies near the town of Council that was spurred on by his 2,500-pound Gelbvieh bull, Idaho State Police said.

The dead rancher's family claims the deputies had shot the bull before Yantis got to the scene with his .204-caliber rifle. As they had failed to kill the animal, they asked Yantis to put it out of its misery.

What happened next is unclear, but family members who claim they saw the shooting said Yantis aimed the gun at the animal lying on the highway pavement, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The deputies stood behind Yantis as he put the barrel a few feet from the bull's head with his finger on the trigger and then one of them turned the rancher around and pushed him, his family said.

Relatives think the gun might have gone off accidentally and caused the deputies to open fire, with bullets striking Yantis in the chest and abdomen.

'There was no shootout. It was a senseless murder,' said Yantis' daughter, Sarah.

Investigators said it is believed that Yantis and both of the deputies fired their weapons.

The well-known cattle rancher had a criminal record and had previously been found guilty of resisting or obstructing officers, and driving under the influence, according to state records.

US Attorney Wendy Olson said federal authorities are involved because of allegations the deputies used excessive force, which would violate US laws.

'The attorney general's office will carefully review the evidence, we'll carefully review the evidence, and decisions will be made.

'That does take a period of time to do and get right.'

Olson said the FBI's investigation is separate from the one by state police and that the Idaho attorney general and the US Attorney's Office would independently decide whether to file charges.

'Law enforcement should be trained to de-escalate situations,' said Rowdy Paradis, a nephew of the Yantis' who said he was a witness. 'In this case, I stood ten feet away and watched two deputies escalate the situation and needlessly kill a man.'

Yantis' wife, Donna, who was also at the scene, said she and Paradis tried to run to the fallen rancher but the deputies threw them to the ground.

She had a heart attack at the scene and had to be flown to a local hospital, where she recorded a video statement about what she said she had witnessed.

'And then they threatened me and my nephew ... threw us on the middle of Highway 95, searched us and handcuffed us, and wouldn't let us go take care of Jack,' she said in the video statement.

In the state's rural areas it is common for vehicles to strike livestock and Yantis had put down animals before, according to his relatives.

The deputies who were involved have not been identified and they are on paid administrative leave as per agency policy, according to the Adams County Sheriff's Office.

'Our thoughts are with our community and especially all those involved in this incident,' said Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman.

'The Adams County Sheriff's Office takes matters involving any use of force very seriously and we have requested detectives with the Idaho State Police to conduct the investigation into this incident.'

Original report here

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Police officer 'rejected call for help from disabled man before he was burned to death by his neighbours' because she was 'stuffing her face with POT NOODLE'

A police officer rejected a call for help from a disabled man who was later beaten and burned to death by his neighbours because she was 'stuffing her face' with a Pot Noodle, a court has heard.

Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, who was falsely branded a paedophile by a gang of neighbours, contacted police to report that there was a 'mob' of vigilantes outside his home in Brislington, Bristol.

But PC Leanne Winter - who had previously had contact with the victim - dismissed the call and asked the operator to tell terrified Mr Ebrahimi that she was 'busy' at a job, the jury was told.

In reality, the officer of nine years was allegedly sat in Broadbury Road police station - situated just three-and-a-half miles away from Mr Ebrahimi's home - tucking into an instant noodle snack.

Lee James, 24, beat up the man - whom he wrongly believed had been filming his daughters for sexual motives - before setting him alight and leaving him to die on some grass outside his flat.

James later pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for life over the killing, while neighbor Stephen Norley - who had helped him set Mr Ebrahimi on fire - was sentenced to four years in prison.

This week, Bristol Crown Court heard how Mr Ebrahimi had frantically called the police, prompting the male operator to contact the local police station and ask to be put through to PC Winter, 38.

The operator - who was not identified - was allegedly told by one of the officer's colleagues: 'Leanne Winter is sat just opposite me stuffing her face with a Pot Noodle at the moment.'

PC Winter refused to speak with 'vulnerable' Mr Ebrahimi, the court heard

'I don't want to speak to him. Not at all. Tell him police will be with him when they can get there,' she apparently said. 'Tell him I am busy at a job and it won't particularly be me coming.'

PC Winter denies misconduct in a public office.

She has been charged in the case alongside colleagues PC Kevin Duffy, 52, PCSO Andrew Passmore, 55, and PC Helen Harris, 40.

Mr Ebrahimi had previously been visited by PC Winter and PC Harris after calling police on July 11, 2013, to report that James had beaten him up over the false belief he was a paedophile.

When the experienced officers arrived, one noted James was so angry he was 'foaming at the mouth' and bragged he would 'do time' to protect his children, the court heard.

The 26-year-old father mistakenly thought that Mr Ebrahimi, an immigrant, was filming children  for sexual reasons - but actually he was gathering evidence of alleged antisocial behaviour.

Despite viewing footage of James barging in Mr Ebrahimi's flat, the two officers arrested the victim in front of a 'vigilante crowd', it was said.

Mr Ebrahimi was released without charge on the morning of July 12 and driven home by PC Henrietta Staveley-Brown.

The victim made 12 further calls to police, hoping to speak to beat officer PC Duffy, whom he had been told would visit him later that day to log the assault, the court heard.

But although he was asked to investigate, Duffy allegedly said he was 'busy' because he 'disliked' Mr Ebrahimi and 'never found the time'.

Instead he sent PCSO Passmore, who despite claiming he spent an hour patrolling the area, actually stayed for 'three to four minutes', jurors were told.

By 2pm, Mr Ebrahimi had not heard anything from beat manager Duffy, so he started calling the non-emergency police 101 number to try and speak with him, it was said.

At 7.30pm, he then desperately asked to be put through to PC Staveley-Brown. However, the operator made a mistake and instead thought he wanted to speak with PC Winter.

But she allegedly ignored his call and said she was 'busy' - despite tucking into a Pot Noodle.

According to a statement made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in September 2013, that was read out in court this week, PC Winters said she was 'preparing an interview plan while waiting for a solicitor to arrive at the police station' at the time of Mr Ebrahimi's panicked call.

She said she didn't know why the victim wanted to speak with her.

And she even said she 'wasn't aware' Mr Ebrahimi knew her name, the jury heard.

But when Mr Ebrahimi was told PC Winter was not available, he reportedly got upset and said: 'What's going on? Your colleague told me forty minutes ago he is coming as soon as he can. 'I can't even open the door. What shall I do?'

Despite further calls to the police, Mr Ebrahimi was brutally murdered at 1am on July 14 on the green outside his flat. James punched and kicked him until he lost consciousness. Seconds later, he and Norley, 25, set the victim's body on fire.

Norley was charged with assisting an offender for his role in the murder.

The trial - which is expected to last up to six weeks - continues.

Original report here

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lawless LA cops

Instagram sensation Dan Bilzerian received some bad news when he returned to his West Hollywood mansion after a September break-in — several of his guns were gone.  But it wasn’t burglars who had taken the firearms, it was the Los Angeles Police Department.

For two months after the break-in, Mr. Bilzerian, a professional poker player and gun rights champion, says police inexplicably continued to keep the nine firearms under lock and key without a warrant. When the eight pistols and one rifle were returned to their owner about a week ago, all the ammunition for the firearms was missing, raising questions about the LAPD’s protocol for seizing firearms.

“All of my ammunition and the magazines were gone. And they couldn’t explain what happened to the magazines, but that ammo couldn’t be released with a firearm and that I’d have to schedule a separate three-hour visit for the ammo,” Mr. Bilzerian told The Washington Times. “If they are gonna take the guns and make me wait for three hours at the police station, they should at the very least return what came with them.”

The break-in occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 5, a weekend when Mr. Bilzerian was out of town, according to the police report.

The perpetrators disabled security cameras outside the home before breaking a glass window to gain entry. Once inside, the intruders attempted to break into a closet where Mr. Bilzerian kept a collection of firearms, but the steel-reinforced room withstood their attempts.

Meanwhile an alarm for a security system to the house was triggered, summoning police. The burglars escaped before police arrived, but once on scene, the officers turned their attention to the firearms they believed were in the home.

It’s unclear exactly why police forced their way inside the closet where the guns were stored. Officers asked Mr. Bilzerian’s assistant and security guard for permission to break into the room but the aides declined, but the officers accessed it anyway, Mr. Bilzerian said.

“They broke into our closet and took them after we were burglarized,” said Mr. Bilzerian’s assistant Jeremy Guymon. “It’s not like we were doing anything wrong.”

The responding officers confiscated nine firearms supposedly under the premise that they wanted to secure the home in case the burglars attempted a second break-in, Mr. Bilzerian said. But strangely, the officers left behind an arsenal of shotguns and a high-powered semiautomatic carbine rifle like the ones used by special operations troops.

“The officers told my assistant that they took the handguns because they didn’t want the suspects to come back and get them on a second break-in even though they were unsuccessful at opening the steel reinforced door the first time,” Mr. Bilzerian said. “Essentially they were ‘trying to protect my property and people’s safety.’ This is hard to grasp, when they left my $21,000 FN SCAR17 with thermal optic and shotguns unsecured in that same room.”

After two months shuffling between prosecutors’ and police offices to retrieve the firearms, Mr. Guymon said it seems unlikely at this point that Mr. Bilzerian will get his ammunition back.

Los Angeles police spokeswoman Officer Norma Eisenman said Wednesday the department was unable to immediately comment on the allegations made by Mr. Bilzerian or the LAPD’s protocol for securing stored guns at the scene of a break-in.

Attorney Joseph A. Silvoso III, a California gun law expert at the law firm Michel & Associates, said he has seen numerous incidents in which police responding to a crime scene confiscate guns without a warrant, either talking victims into permitting the seizure or declaring it was necessary for public welfare or personal safety.

“I can speak to California and there is a mindset, either it is cultural or politically pushed by the leadership, where we are seeing law enforcement responding to a scene where a crime has been committed, then asking for the location of any weapons and the ability to seize the firearms comes up,” he said.

Mr. Silvoso said after the guns are taken by police, it is a cumbersome paperwork process in California for the legal owners to get them back. And Mr. Bilzerian’s experience of not getting his ammunition returned is not uncommon, he added.

“We’ve unfortunately seen law enforcement from different agencies from time to time do that,” he said. “They just say ‘it’s just not safe to hand you back the guns and the ammuniton together’ or drum up some other reason not to return the ammunition or magazines.”

The LAPD’s seizure and handling of firearms from gun owners has raised legal concerns in the past. This year, at least two people have sued the department over its failure to return firearms that were taken from gun owners.

In July, Wayne William Wright filed a $4.8 million lawsuit against the LAPD following nearly 10 years of legal battles over the department’s seizure of more than 400 of the gun collector’s firearms. The guns were taken after police orchestrated a sting operation in 2004 during which Mr. Wright sold a gun illegally to an undercover agent, according to court records filed in the case.

Mr. Wright pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and later sought to retrieve his firearms. The department did return 26 of the seized guns, but claimed that Mr. Wright could not prove he was the rightful owner of the other firearms and refused to return them, according to court documents. In 2013, the department destroyed the firearms despite Mr. Wright’s attempts to reclaim them.

Another man sued the LAPD over a similar issue in April after the department destroyed 11 guns worth an estimated $75,000 after they were seized from his home after a shooting at the residence.

The LAPD took the firearms belonging to Alan Minato, owner of a Los Angeles strip club, in 2010 after a child accidentally shot a sibling at Mr. Minato’s home, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

Mr. Minato was not charged with any crime related to the shooting and tried to collect the confiscated firearms several times but was told that he would be notified when the guns were available. When he tried to collect the firearms again in 2013, Mr. Minato was told that the guns had been destroyed, the Tribune reported.

Mr. Bilzerian, who has advocated for Second Amendment rights including in a column in The Washington Times, said his experience with the LAPD has only furthered his dislike of the “aggressive and unconstitutional anti-gun stance California has taken with its law-abiding citizens.”

Original report here

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Friday, November 13, 2015

'They didn't give him any option': New Zealand Police officer is filmed holding a man on ground and punching him repeatedly in the head

The victim was a Maori -- who can be aggressive -- so the cop may have intended to subdue any opposition

A police officer in Napier, New Zealand, has been filmed punching a man in the head during an arrest in the city's KFC car park.

One witness who saw the arrest said the arrested man got out of the car without causing any trouble at all. He was then restrained by police by putting his hands behind his back and pushed to the ground, where he was punched in the head by a police officer, the witness said.

Another witness said that police 'didn't give him any option, they didn't even try to talk calmly.'

But Stuff.com reports that Luke Shadbolt, vice-president of officers' union the Police Association, said the officers had done nothing wrong.

'What [this incident] looks like is police officers going about an incident that occurs on a daily basis throughout New Zealand where we're dealing with violent or unco-operative offenders and have to use pepper spray or other tactical options to get then under control,' Mr Shadbolt said.

'That incident is probably significantly longer than what is shown in the post on Facebook. It's important that when people view this type of footage they bear in mind that it's often been very selective... Often the full context of a situation is missed.'

However, the woman who shot the video was adamant the man was punched.

She said it was a punch with 'a clenched fist'. Another woman tried to intervene and was also arrested. A younger woman who had been in the car with the man also got pushed to the ground during the scuffle.

A police statement said they tried to get the man's keys from the car, but family members got in the way and refused to let them take the keys of the vehicle.

These people also became violent and were arrested during the incident. All four will now face multiple charges.

Police said that they will be taking a look at what happened as 'part of normal procedure when force is used at an incident.'

However, the woman who filmed the incident said the man looked 'confused', but 'co-operative' with police officers during the incident.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Useless British police again: Man dies after cries for help were ignored

Three PCs and a PCSO failed a disabled man who was burnt to death by vigilante neighbours despite making at least a dozen calls to police for help, a court heard.

Vulnerable Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, was beaten to death and set on fire by Lee James, 24, after being falsely branded a paedophile by a mob in Brislington, Bristol.

Two days earlier he called police to report he had been assaulted by James and was visited by PCs Leanne Winter, 38, and Helen Harris, 41.

When the experienced officers arrived, one noted James was so angry he was 'foaming at the mouth' and bragged he would 'do time' to protect his children.

But, instead of investigating Mr Ebrahimi's allegation, the two officers arrested him in front of a 'vigilante crowd' who mistakenly thought he was a paedophile.

The innocent Iranian-born immigrant was later released and made 12 further calls to police hoping beat officer Pc Kevin Duffy, 52, would help him.

But Bristol Crown Court heard despite being asked to investigate, Duffy said he was 'busy' because he 'disliked' Mr Ebrahimi and 'never found the time'.

Instead, he sent PCSO Andrew Passmore, 55, who claimed he spent an hour patrolling the area but in reality only stayed for 'three to four minutes', the jury were told.

Just 48 hours after he first asked for help - and despite even more calls to the police - Mr Ebrahimi was brutally murdered at 1am on July 14, 2013.

Duffy, Winter, Harris and Passmore, all officers with Avon and Somerset Constabulary, deny misconduct in a public office.

Opening the case against them today, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said: 'Two of the defendants, PC Winter and Harris, were sent to deal with [Mr Ebrahimi's] complaint.

'Lee James was so angry that he was said by PC Winter to have been foaming at the mouth. He was bragging that he would 'do time' to protect his children.

'You may well think that the danger of Lee James taking the law into his own hands could hardly have been plainer. Worse still, Lee James was not alone.

Mr Aylett continued: 'Moreover, PCs Winter and Harris, who had been sent to investigate Mr Ebrahimi's complaint, they ended up arresting Bijan Ebrahimi.

'Therefore, the prosecution suggest, that did nothing to ensure that Mr Ebrahimi's original complaint was properly investigated. As far as Lee James' ugly threats, they were simply overlooked.

'Mr Ebrahimi was released the following day. In the course of that day, July 12, Mr Ebrahimi made no less than 12 calls to police in the hope that his beat manager, PC Duffy, would look on him and deal with his complaint against Lee James.

'It is however clear that PC Duffy did not like Bijan Ebrahimi. PC Duffy was asked a number of times [to visit] and PC Duffy said that he was busy, and he would go and see Mr Ebrahimi in his own good time.

'From the content of these calls, it is perfectly apparent that PC Duffy regarded Bijan Ebrahimi as a liar and in fact in one call he called him a "perpetual liar".  'He must also have regarded Mr Ebrahimi as a nuisance and he was, we suggest, simply not interested in any complaint that Mr Ebrahimi had.

'Despite being asked a numerous times to go and see Mr Ebrahimi, PC Duffy never seemed to find the time.'

Mr. Aylett said on the following day, July 13, Mr Ebrahimi continued to contact police without success, but 'nothing' was done.

'Had something been done, the prosecution suggest, Lee James would have realised that the police were at the very least keeping an eye on him,' he added. Instead he must have thought he could simply do as he pleased.

'All in all, the prosecution suggest, there was a potentially toxic situation that called for proactive and effective policing

Describing the fatal attack, the prosecutor added added: 'At around 1am on July 14, Lee James attacked Bijan Ebrahimi outside his flat.  'He punched and kicked Mr Ebrahimi until he lost consciousness then with the help of another man, Lee James set fire to Bijan Ebrahimi's body. 'The only mercy is that Mr Ebrahimi must have lost consciousness before he was set alight.'

Lee James, now 24, has been sentenced to life for his murder. Stephen Norley, 25, who lived next door to James, admitted assisting an offender and was jailed for four years.

The trial of the police officers continues.

Original report here

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Scotland: Ex-partner of woman who died after police took three days to find her in crashed car slams police's 'reckless disregard for public safety'

The former partner of a woman who died after Scotland's national police force failed to respond to reports of a crashed car for three days has accused the force of a 'reckless disregard for public safety' after a report from watchdogs highlighted 'weaknesses' in the force's call handling.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) carried out an urgent review of procedures following the death of Ms Bell, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28, in a car crash on the M9 near Stirling in July. Miss Bell died after police failed to respond to a report of her crashed car for three days

Mr Yuill died in the crash and although Ms Bell, who had a five-year-old son Kieran Burt, was conscious when officers arrived at the scene, she died four days later in hospital.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Derek Penman said staffing levels at the Bilston Glen contact, command and control centre - where the initial call regarding the fatal crash was received - were insufficient and had resulted in 'low levels of performance'.

Kieran's father Lee Burt and the boy's grandfather James McMillan slammed the reports findings, insisting it 'delivers a damning indictment on Police Scotland's call handling processes.'

In a statement released by lawyer Aamer Anwar, they said: 'Lamara Bell was not an isolated incident, despite what they wanted everyone to believe.

'It is clear that Police Scotland was not ready for national changes in call handling but went ahead despite concerns for safety and introduced 'unacceptably high levels of pressure' on staff.

'Of course human error is inevitable, but the fact that Police Scotland does not even have 'systematic processes for recording adverse incidents or near misses' suggests a dangerously cavalier approach to such incidents. Sadly it took Lamara's death to expose a systemic crisis at the heart of the call handling system.'

They said Kieran is 'at the heart of this tragedy', describing him as boy who 'never stops speaking about his mum'.

The statement said: 'Some mornings he will wake up a happy boy because he dreamt of Lamara, but it is heart-breaking when a little boy tells you he misses his mum and the sound of laughter changes to silence.

'Kieran's family will try their best to fill his life with love but they will never be able to fill the void left by Lamara.

'The family have two primary concerns, the first is that such a catastrophe should never happen again, but second is the question of accountability.

'Police Scotland are guilty of failing communities across Scotland, whilst their approach to the complaints of call handlers can be described as at best 'ad-hoc' and at worst 'shambolic'.

'Lives still remain at risk and if the authorities genuinely care about Kieran's loss and what happened to Lamara, then they must hold to account those in the leadership of Police Scotland who appeared to have had such a reckless disregard for public safety.'

As well as problems with staffing, HM inspectorate's report also highlighted concerns regarding the force's IT system and staff training.

Mr Penman said: 'I have highlighted a number of weaknesses in Police Scotland's approach to the roll-out of its new national call handling model.

'This model is a critical element in the delivery of front line policing and a key part of the bringing together of Police Scotland post-reform.'

But he added: 'The oversight of this project has been inadequate with key risks and other issues not being identified or highlighted to senior managers.'

In their report, the inspectors slammed Police Scotland for creating a working environment where 'weak management' and 'axed control rooms' added to an all-round bad atmosphere.

In total, 30 recommendations were made for improvement - which Police Scotland has already said will be implemented.

Despite being ordered following the deaths of Mr Yuill and Miss Bell, the final report by inspectors does not consider why police took three days to follow up the reported sighting of the wrecked car.

Instead, it looks more widely at the operation, systems and processes in place within police contact, command and control (C3) centres across Scotland.

Holyrood's Justice Secretary today pledged there will be 'rapid intervention' if performance drops below standard at any of Police Scotland's call handling centres in future.

Michael Matheson also announced the centres, which deal with half a million 999 calls and 3.24 million 101 calls a year, will be subject to unannounced inspections by HMICS while an ongoing restructuring programme is carried out.

The Scottish Police Authority has been monitoring performance at the call handling centres on a weekly basis, and the Justice Secretary stressed: 'In future any dip in performance such as experienced in Bilston Glen earlier this year will become quickly apparent and will trigger rapid intervention.'

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE