News from
Friday, December 15, 2017

By Maura Grunland Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Two detectives who arrested a man who allegedly tortured a cat on Facebook Live and a top police official who organizes "Let's Paws for Earth Day" were among those in law enforcement honored by the ASPCA for their efforts protecting animals or raising animal awareness.

Deputy Chief Donna Jones of Patrol Borough Staten Island and Staten Island Gang Squad Detectives Matthew Edelman and Jonathan Kalman were among 16 members of the NYPD and one assistant district attorney honored on Tuesday for their efforts to help animals through the NYPD/ASPCA Partnership.

Edelman and Kalman were conducting an unrelated investigation when they "came across a horrendous act of animal cruelty," according to a news release from the ASPCA.

Tyrike Richardson, 21, allegedly battered his neighbor's cat, named Chester, and used a dust pan to put the feline in the garbage before placing the bin outside his apartment on Arthur Avenue in South Beach on June 29, according to allegations in court documents. A sickening video of a man who appeared to be torturing the then 2-year-old male cat was screened on Facebook live.

In the video, a man later identified by authorities as Richardson, appears to drop a wooden chair on the animal. He then appears to jam a long wooden stick into the stomach and face of the motionless feline. In another clip, the man is seen teasing the cat with a large knife while the pet bats it away.

"They observed a Facebook video of a perpetrator beating a cat named Chester," the ASPCA said of Edelman and Kalman. "The detectives immediately began searching for Chester and found him dumped in the garbage."

"Had they not acted so quickly, Chester likely would have died, and possibly never been found at all," the ASPCA said. "Det. Edelman also followed through with the investigation, obtaining a statement from the defendant that ultimately led to his arrest."

Richardson is due back in state Supreme Court in St. George on Jan. 4 on animal torture and cruelty charges, according to public records.

Thank you to @NYPDNews @NYPDPaws for their tireless efforts in helping animals in New York City:

— ASPCA (@ASPCA) December 15, 2017 'LET'S PAWS FOR EARTH'

Jones was the lead facilitator for the "Let's Paws for Earth Day" event held on Staten Island in April.

"She initiated this event to provide residents in Staten Island an opportunity to connect with police officers, social service agencies, city agencies, and various animal welfare groups," the ASPCA said.

"Attendees celebrated Earth Day with a DJ, the NYPD rock wall, the ASPCA adoption van and multiple give-a-ways.

"This event was innovative and combined the efforts of law enforcement, human service agencies and animal welfare organizations to provide support to residents in the borough."

The ASPCA identified the additional honorees as: Deputy Chief James Luongo, Special Investigations Division; Deputy Inspector Kelly Kilfeather, Police Academy; Sergeant Michael Murphy, Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad; Sergeant Brendan McGuigan, 47th Precinct; Sergeant Wendell Seymour, Patrol Borough Queens North; Detective John Glynn, Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad; Detective Charles Cadiz, Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad; Detective Marique Monzert, 105th Precinct; Detective Walter Brant, Police Service Area 2; Police Officer Earl Rochester, 67th Precinct; Police Officer Danielle Venuto, 9th Precinct; Police Officer Judy Biondolillo, 23rd Precinct; Police Officer Catherine H. Klyde, School Safety Division; Assistant District Attorney Karen Turner, Kings County District Attorney's Office.

©2017 Staten Island Advance, N.Y

Friday, December 15, 2017

By Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller Associated Press

QUANTICO, Va. — President Donald Trump laced into FBI leadership Friday, while proclaiming his loyalty and support for law enforcement in an address at the agency's training academy.

"It's a shame what's happened" with the FBI, the president said as he left the White House for a speech at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia. He called the agency's handling of Hillary Clinton's email investigation "really disgraceful" and told reporters "we're going to rebuild the FBI."

Shortly afterward, Trump lavished praise on graduates of a weeks-long FBI National Academy program and their families, touting their accomplishments and pledging his unwavering support. Trump told law enforcement leaders he is "more loyal than anyone else could be" to police.

"Anti-police sentiment is wrong and it's dangerous," he added. "Anyone who kills a police officer should get the death penalty."

Trump used the speech to promote his administration's tough-on-crime policies, delivering a stern warning to members of the international gang MS-13 that his administration will root them out and arrest them.

He also celebrated his decision to make it easier for local police forces to purchase surplus military equipment, and questioned rising violence in Chicago.

"What the hell is going on in Chicago? What the hell is happening there," he asked.

Hours before, White House Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News Channel that edits to former FBI Director James Comey's statement on Clinton's private email server and anti-Trump texts from a top agent are "deeply troubling."

"There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time," Gidley charged, as special counsel Robert Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Gidley says Trump maintains confidence in the FBI's rank-and-file.

Edits to the Comey draft appeared to soften the gravity of the bureau's finding in its 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state.

"It is very sad when you look at those documents, how they've done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of really angry people who are seeing it," Trump said of the document.

Gidley said the disclosure of politically charged text messages sent by one of the agents on the Clinton case, Peter Strzok, were "eye-opening." Strzok, who was in the room as Clinton was interviewed, was later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller's team to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. He was re-assigned after the messages were uncovered this summer.

About 200 leaders in law enforcement from around the country attended the weeks-long FBI National Academy program aimed at raising law enforcement standards and cooperation. Coursework included intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Associated Press

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A county sheriff's office has retaliated by withholding information to a weekly newspaper in central Ohio after a deputy shot and wounded a news photographer when he mistook a camera for a gun, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

The lawsuit filed by photographer, Andrew Grimm, his wife and KBA News LLC in New Carlisle names Clark County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Shaw, Clark County and the city of New Carlisle as defendants and accuses Shaw of using excessive force and violating Grimm's civil rights.

A Clark County Sheriff's Office spokesman and the New Carlisle city manager declined to comment about the lawsuit, which seeks at least $75,000 in damages, according to the Springfield News-Sun. New Carlisle is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Columbus.

Grimm, who owns the New Carlisle News with his father, was driving to photograph a lightning storm on the night of Sept. 4 when he stopped in downtown New Carlisle and began setting up to shoot a traffic stop. Before Grimm could take a photo, Shaw got out of his cruiser and, within a second, fired two shots, hitting Grimm in the chest and grazing his shoulder.

Video from Shaw's body camera indicates he realized his mistake while rushing to help Grimm, who he knew.

"Andy, I'm sorry, brother," Shaw said. "Listen, dude, you pulled that out like a gun out of the back of the Jeep." A minute later, he tells Grimm: "I thought it was a freaking gun, Andy."

Grimm is heard trying to explain that he waved at Shaw and flashed his car lights, but also takes responsibility, saying, "it's my fault." Later, he tells Shaw he doesn't want him to lose his job.

Grimm underwent surgery at a Dayton hospital and was released the next day.

The lawsuit says Grimm suffers from headaches, anxiety and difficulty sleeping because of the shooting and that he becomes nervous when he sees sheriff's deputies or police officers.

The complaint says the Sheriff's Office failed to adequately train and supervise Shaw and has "ratified" his conduct by allowing him to return to duty before the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation concludes its investigation. Shaw was assigned to work in the Clark County Jail in late October after being placed on paid administrative leave.

Friday, December 15, 2017

By Joe Robertson The Kansas CIty Star

LENEXA, Kan. — As most everyone else fled a gunman in a Lenexa Costco, surveillance video released Thursday shows a swift-moving off-duty officer circling behind the man moments before the officer gunned him down.

Kansas City, Kan., Police Captain Michael Howell, who happened to be shopping that Sunday morning, Nov. 26, is seen catlike with his gun out but concealed behind his right hip as he tracked 58-year-old Ronald O. Hunt.

The officer did “everything right,” Lenexa Police Chief Thomas Hongslo said in a press conference Thursday.

Howell identified himself to Costco employees, ran into the store as everyone was running out. He used “his tactical advantage,” Hongslo said, as he slipped in behind Hunt as he made his way to the back of the store.

Two three-officer teams of Lenexa police were rushing to the scene and entering the store, but those officers would have been at a tactical disadvantage, Hongslo said. It was an “active shooter” situation, he said, so they were rushing in at great risk.

Hunt, with Howell stalking him, moved out of view and the surveillance video did not capture the scene when Howell shot Hunt. But Hongslo said Howell identified himself, shouted at Hunt to drop his gun, and that Hunt refused and pointed his gun at Howell when Howell shot him.

“I think he (Hunt) was there to kill people,” Hongslo said. And Howell “potentially saved officers’ lives also.”

Video shows Hunt entered the store at 11:10 a.m. As Costco employees shouted warnings, customers ran in terror as Hunt, a truck driver based in Edwardsville, walked screaming into the store and waving a gun. The video shows him pointing the gun at an employee behind a front counter, but Hunt did not fire and the employee ducked.

About 1 minute, 40 seconds after Hunt entered the store, video showed him appearing near the back heading toward the far left corner of the store — the same route the escaping customers took. Howell worked his way to the back, getting behind Hunt.

Hunt’s next actions, not seen on the video, were the subject of a multijurisdictional investigation released Wednesday. The report, routine whenever an officer shoots his weapon, said Howell shouted at Hunt to drop his weapon, and then fired on him when Hunt “acted aggressively” and refused. Hunt died from his injuries and no one else was injured.

Hunt did not ever fire his gun, Hongslo said.

No charges were filed against Howell, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced Wednesday, saying Howell “acted with extreme courage, and saved an unknown amount of innocent lives.”

Hongslo also praised the actions of the Costco management and employees.

There was “pandemonium and panic” among the customers in the store, he said, but Costco employees were clear and effective directing people to safety.

“The Costco staff was phenomenal,” he said.

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Friday, December 15, 2017
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie


Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Drug overdose is reportedly the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, and according to a recent report from PERF, more than 64,000 people died by overdose in 2016 alone — that's more than three times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Doctors have been prescribing opioids too generously, and addicts are still successfully "doctor shopping" to load up on pills. Further, Heroin is easier to acquire than ever. In this segment, Jim and Doug revisit the topic of cops carrying Naloxone, and sometimes administering it multiple times per shift.

Friday, December 15, 2017
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By David McFadden Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Federal authorities have yet to respond to the Baltimore police commissioner's request that the FBI take over his department's investigation of the homicide of a city detective who was shot the day before he was to testify before a federal grand jury probing wrongdoing by a disbanded unit of indicted former officers.

It's been nearly two weeks since Police Commissioner Kevin Davis made the formal request to FBI Director Chris Wray, but spokesmen for the FBI and Baltimore's police force said Wednesday that they have no information on any response.

There have been no arrests, despite a $215,000 reward. Some have speculated that Detective Sean Suiter was done in by corrupt colleagues, or perhaps staged a suicide appear like a killing.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said at her weekly press briefing that the city will keep pushing for the FBI to take over the unsolved investigation. That's what Suiter's widow, Nicole, wants as well, the mayor said.

"She would like for the FBI to step into this case," Pugh said after speaking with her.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, during a stopover in Baltimore on Tuesday to discuss immigration and gangs, told reporters that the FBI "will probably be able to act on" the police request. But Sessions offered no specifics and it's far from clear whether the agency Sessions oversees will agree. FBI agents and other federal authorities have been assisting Baltimore police in the probe for weeks.

Suiter was shot in the head Nov. 15 with his own gun while investigating a 2016 triple homicide with his partner in a high-crime neighborhood. The shooting happened in a vacant lot between two row houses. The commissioner has said his department has no reason to believe Suiter's death was connected to his pending testimony, but he also has stressed that investigators are not ruling out anything.

In his Dec. 1 letter to the FBI director, Davis said the homicide probe is "significantly complicated by the fact that he was to appear before a grand jury the following day."

"I am growing increasingly uncomfortable that my homicide detectives do not know all of the facts known to the FBI or the U.S. attorney's office that could, if revealed to us, assist in furthering this murder investigation," he wrote.

The commissioner's request is "incredibly unusual," said Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director who is now president of the Virginia-based Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. He said the FBI would like to help local law enforcement colleagues, but must consider its mandate.

"On the face of this tragedy, there's not a federal crime, there's a local murder," said Hosko. If the FBI agrees to take on a case without clear predication such as a federal crime, plot or security threat, he said it could lead agents having to handle "other questionable cases" whenever local departments have "hot potato" investigations.

Davis said during a Dec. 1 press conference that his investigators were continuing to "ensure that every shred of evidence has been examined ad nauseam until that time that the FBI tells us that they want to take the lead on this investigation."

Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith said in a Wednesday email that "our detectives are continuing to investigate."

Friday, December 15, 2017
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo. — A gunman shot two suburban St. Louis police officers in the torso before barricading himself inside a home Thursday, but bulletproof vests saved both officers from serious injury.

The shooting happened in the city of Bellefontaine Neighbors. The two officers — a 44-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman — were briefly hospitalized with bruising and checked for internal injuries, said St. Louis County police spokesman Shawn McGuire. Both were released by midday and expected to recover.

"By God's will, both officers were struck in a location where they had protection," McGuire said.

The 37-year-old suspect was hospitalized with a gunshot would after exchanging gunfire with police during a standoff that lasted more than seven hours, police said. The man was expected to survive.

Police had been looking for a man wanted for questioning after a Wednesday night report of shots fired, McGuire said. Officers saw the suspect walking in the neighborhood around 7:15 a.m. Thursday.

A witness, Steve Jones, told reporters that the officers were trying to reason with the man when they suddenly tackled him on a lawn. He said the officers pepper sprayed the suspect when he started to stand up, and that the man then shot the officers from about 15 feet (4.5 meters) away.

St. Louis County police said one of the officers returned fire but it wasn't known if the suspect was hit.

The man then ran about a block and barricaded himself inside a house, leading to the lengthy standoff involving dozens of officers and a police tactical squad.

Police said that at 11:12 a.m., the suspect opened the door of the home and fired his gun. A tactical operations officer returned fire. No officers were struck in that exchange and police didn't know at the time if the suspect was hit.

Tactical operations officers went into the home 3 ½ hours later and found the suspect with one gunshot wound to the upper body. Two handguns were found inside the home.

Bellefontaine Neighbors Mayor Bob Doerr told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the vests were purchased for officers about a year ago.

Friday, December 15, 2017
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Sharon Myers The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.

LEXINGTON, N.C. — Approximately 50 at-risk children in Davidson County were treated to a shopping spree on Sunday courtesy of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

The Highway Patrol celebrated 20 years of its annual Give a Kid a Christmas shopping trip at the Lexington Walmart. During the event, children 18 and younger were given a $250 spending limit to purchase anything, excluding firearms and other weapons, they wanted for Christmas.

Trooper Ned Moultrie said the program is meant to make sure that all children have some kind of gift during the holiday season.

“This program is for at-risk kids who are at a transition point in society,” Moultrie said. “It could be for any number of reasons such as poverty, abuse or neglect. … The whole point is to help our community. We want to make it as great a Christmas as possible for each child, because it is a big deal for kids to have something under the tree on Christmas morning.”

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has sponsored at-risk children through the Davidson County Department of Social Services since December 1998.

Dale Moorefield, director of the Department of Social Services, said the Give a Kid a Christmas program fills a need in the county this time of year.

“This helps provide some needed love for these children who have been displaced or are having issues,” Moorefield said. “It helps folks who are caring for children they may not have expected to have in their care during the holidays. … It is a huge help for us because I’m not sure we could provide gifts for all the children without them. We really appreciate all that they do for the children of Davidson County.”

He said not only does this event give children gifts for Christmas, it also helps build trust between the community and law enforcement.

“This is a great opportunity for the children to walk with the officers and get to know them,” Moorefield said. “Sometimes, the only time these kids see law enforcement is during a domestic issue or traumatic events. This gives them an opportunity to see them has humans; it shows them the people outside of being law enforcement.”

Moultrie said he also feels it is a great opportunity for the children to understand that there are real people behind the badges.

.@NCSHP Troop E held its annual “Give a Kid a Christmas” event to give back to the Davidson County community this week.

— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) December 13, 2017

“We have one trooper for each kid or their guardian,” Moultrie said. “During this time, not only are we helping them pick out presents, we are trying to build a relationship with them. … We want them to know that we are part of society as well. I may be in uniform and my job is to perform in a law enforcement capacity, but we are just as part of the community as the rest of the population.”

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol raises money for the program in several counties throughout the year from various fundraisers.

Moultrie said that throughout the year, many law enforcement officers have to deal with children during some of the most difficult times in their lives, so this program gives them a chance to do something fun with the kids and to give back.

“It is such a feel good story,” Moultrie said. “It is such a joy to get to go shopping with these kids and see their eyes light up when they realize they are getting something they never dreamed they could get. And it’s not always toys. Sometimes they want clothes or shoes or even food. Often they want to spend their money on others. That is why I look forward to it every year.”

©2017 The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.

Friday, December 15, 2017
PoliceOne Members
Author: PoliceOne Members

This week's photo comes from Becky Richwine of the Burlington Police Department. This picture is of the department's police cat, Sgt. Loki. She was brought to the station from an animal shelter a couple of years ago and lives in the department 24/7. She is friendly and calms people who come in upset. Sgt. Loki was given this police costume for Halloween, and it has been a hit with the community.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a T-shirt!

Thursday, December 14, 2017
Author: PoliceOne Members

By PoliceOne Staff

RESTON, Va. — FirstNet announced the release of the ruthless preemption feature for first responders.

The highly anticipated, mission-critical feature allows responders who subscribe to FirstNet to communicate during emergency situations or large events that would otherwise result in congested networks.

"As a first responder on 9/11, I experienced the communications challenges that can happen in large emergencies as networks become congested and overwhelmed," Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Bowers said. "Now, with the launch of preemption on FirstNet, for the first time, public safety is ensured a 'fast lane' to connect. FirstNet will provide reliability, confidence and ability for first responders to be able to communicate during emergency operations. Virginia was first in to opt in, and we're all in to ensure emergency communications are seamless for first responders."

Preemption aims to give responders' access to FirstNet 24/7/365. When the network becomes congested, non-emergency traffic is shifted to another line, giving responders more space to communicate.

"First responders have been very clear about their immediate need for preemption. During the collaborative conversations that shaped our FirstNet plan, preemption continually topped the list of mission-critical tools first responders wanted to see first on the network," AT&T – FirstNet senior vice president Chris Sambar said. "So, we promised to make it available by the end of the year. And we're proud to honor that commitment. This is game-changing for first responders, and as far as we know, this is the first-ever launch of preemption at this scale in the world."

The use of preemption will come at no extra cost to existing subscribers.