Two Mississippi rookie police officers arrested on drug charges in park

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FLOWOOD, MS – Two rookie Jackson police officers have been placed on leave after being arrested for smoking marijuana while possessing two firearms in a city park, according to authorities.

The Flowood Police Department said someone called officers Friday about 5:45 p.m. after seeing two people smoking marijuana in Nature Trail Park.

Police Chief Richard McMillian said Flowood officers arrived and found Darius Jamal Short, 30, and Kenya Shardae McCarty, 22, sitting on a bench with a small amount of marijuana next to them.

Police said they observed a gun on a table near the two and seized the weapon. Police later discovered a second gun, as well as other drug paraphernalia and open containers of alcohol.

The two off-duty officers were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and open container violations. Both officers have also been placed on administrative leave with pay from the Jackson Police Department.

McCarty and Short are recent graduates from the Jackson Police Department’s police academy. Jackson Police Chief James Davis plans to review police body camera footage of Flowood police and institute an internal investigation.

Two Mississippi rookie police officers arrested on drug charges in park

The arrest of the two officers comes just two weeks after a former Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) probation officer who was arrested in September for alleged abuse of office to embezzle money was once again arrested after being indicted on two additional counts of embezzlement in Forrest County.

According to the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office, Dendrick Hurd used his position as a MDOC probation officer to steal from people trying to pay court-ordered fines and fees. Following Hurd’s initial arrest, new complaints were filed from additional victims.

Hurd now stands charged with a total of four counts of embezzlement.,

In addition to the arrest, Special Agents with the Auditor’s Office issued a demand letter to Hurd for $8,6667.50, including fees for investigative expenses and interest.

Mississippi State Auditor Shad White said:

“We are committed to uncovering all fraud, including in cases where the perpetrator thought the victim would have no one to defend their interests.

“If anyone knows of similar fraud like the scheme in this case, please call my office, and we will enforce the law to its fullest extent.”

Hurd faces up to 80 years in prison or $20,000 in fines if he is convicted on all counts.

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Man who violently fought with cops while high on meth announces ‘excessive force’ lawsuit against officers

December 20, 2021

 

 MEDFORD, OR –  A man plans to file suit against the Medford Police Department.

This, after video of his arrest for trespassing while high on methamphetamines was released showing him struggling with officers in what his attorney called “excessive force.”

The suspect, Noel Palomera-Vasquez, was arrested at the Circle K located on the corner of Barnett road just after midnight on January 25th. The City of Medford said Vasquez failed to comply with officers as they attempted to take him into custody.

Police were called to the Circle K for a report that Vasquez was standing behind the counter and refusing to leave, according to the arrest affidavit. Officer Dylan Spencer arrived and instructed the man to exit the store, to which Vasquez complied.

Once outside, Officer Spencer instructed the man to stand in front of his patrol car. Vasquez refused to comply despite multiple requests by the officer. When the officer attempted to physically escort the man to the patrol car, Vasquez began struggling with the officer.

Officer Spencer forced Vasquez to the ground in an attempt to place him in custody, according to the probable cause affidavit. The officer wrote:

“(Vasquez) began to tense his arms up and refused to place them behind his back. Multiple Medford officers responded to the scene. A fight ensued and (Vasquez) was struck multiple times. (Vasquez) was instructed several times to place his hands behind his back.

“(Vasquez) continued to fight and place his hands under his body. (Vasquez) eventually gave up enough that we could place him in handcuffs. (Vasquez) was hobbled and placed in the back of my patrol vehicle. (Vasquez) continued to fight in the back of my patrol vehicle until we were able to secure the hobble and close the door.”

During the struggle, Officer Spencer suffered a cut to his lip.

Dash camera and a bystander video show the encounter and appear to support the officer’s version of events. However, Vasquez’s attorneys, Matthew Rowan and Christine Herbert disagree, stating that the video “speaks for itself.”

Rowan said they are drafting a tort claim letter to formally advise the City of their intent to enter into litigation. The attorneys claim Vasquez suffered head and back injuries and broken ribs during the encounter.

 

Medford Police said the force was justified and necessary to control the suspect. They point out that once the suspect was restrained and in custody, officers had him evaluated by medical personnel.

“After the suspect was successfully restrained, at the request of Medford Police Department, he was immediately checked by independent medical personnel…

“The suspect received some abrasions during the exchange and was taken to the hospital for evaluation before being booked at the Jackson County Jail. A Medford Police Department officer was also injured in the exchange.”

Medford police issued a statement stating proper police procedure was followed:

“The 6’0 and 265-pound suspect disclosed to law enforcement that he was on methamphetamine. The suspect moved outside of the store when law enforcement arrived but refused to comply with additional law enforcement commands.

“The individual was physically resistive when officers attempted to take him into custody, resulting in an exchange on the ground. During the exchange, focused blows and a Taser were utilized in order to obtain control of the suspect.”

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State Supreme Court considering whether police must follow traffic laws during surveillance of criminals

December 20, 2021

 

HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a Hartford police case that could force officers to follow traffic laws while trying to surveil suspected criminals.

The case could handcuff officers by requiring police to follow traffic laws while trying to secretly surveil suspected criminals. Social justice advocates claim the change would help ease inner city mistrust of law enforcement, while opponents view the move as undermining the ability of police to protect the public.

The court is hearing arguments in a case arising from a 2013 incident involving the Hartford police and gangs of motorcycle riders, dirt bikers, and ATV riders terrorizing the highways.

While police worked to control the traffic threats, plain-clothed detective Zachary Kashmanian was assigned to follow Devonte Daley, then 18 years old.

Daley was taking part in the mayhem while riding a motorcycle, and Kashmanian was following him in an unmarked police vehicle. Somehow during the incident, the detective’s patrol car struck Daley’s motorcycle.

Daley was thrown ninety feet and suffered serious injuries. He was left with traumatic brain injuries, according to a report in the Hartford Courant..

Daley sued the detective and the City of Hartford for negligence and recklessness. His attorneys claimed Kashmanian’s unsafe driving and disregard for traffic laws was the cause of the collision.

During the initial trial, the judge issued a directed verdict, overruling the jury, clearing Kashmanian of negligence and determining that he qualified for governmental immunity because he was exercising appropriate police discretion while following orders of his superiors.

Several groups entered the suit as friends of the courts, including the Black and Brown United in Action group.

Their brief argued that the incident reflected the belief that black and brown communities in Connecticut have been historically targeted by law enforcement:

“The black and brown communities within Connecticut have been targeted for and subject to lawless attacks by police.”

The Connecticut Intermediate Appellate Court heard an appeal and reversed on the recklessness claim, finding the trial judge should have allowed the jury to rule on the issue. The appellate court agreed with the trial court that Kashmanian was entitled to immunity for negligence because police can use discretion when deciding whether to follow traffic laws while engaging in surveillance.

 The Appellate Court also said:

“(Daley’s argument) would make effective police surveillance impossible in many instances.”

The court recognized that if police were required to follow traffic laws, criminals would get away, police would lose sight of speeding suspects and other traffic offenders.

The Appellate Court continued:

“Deciding whether the need to maintain surveillance of the person or vehicle being surveilled outweighs the risk to public safety caused by the violation of a motor vehicle statute requires the sound judgment of the police officer, and is, therefore, inherently discretionary.”

During Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing, the justices showed interest in questions and responses revolving around determining when police conduct changes from negligence to recklessness, the point where government immunity protection ends.

 

 

 

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