Rochester NY June 17 2012 A security guard involved in a shooting on Chestnut St is being charged with first degree assault.
The victim in the shooting is still recovering from multiple gun shot wounds at Strong Hospital.
Police say the investigation is ongoing, however tenants say police could have prevented the incident.
Several tenants who were there when shots were fired at 35 Chestnut Street are upset that their security guard was charged with assault this morning. They say he was protecting them and many are calling him a hero.
Robert Rogers has lived at 35 Chestnut Street for years and says he has usually felt safe living downtown, until now. Rogers tells News10NBC that he was being followed last night by a man that was armed and dangerous.
“I can see the knife in his hand while we were walking. Yeah he had the knife in his hand. I look down and I said O.K. I’m going to listen to you.”
Rogers says a security guard at 35 Chestnut came to his defense. He says the guard called police officers; they showed up and then let the man go.
The man threatened to come back, then came back about 20 minutes later threatening the security guard with a black bag.
When the man reached inside his bag witnesses say the guard fired several shots.
Police say the man was rushed to strong medical with multiple gunshot wounds. The security guard was later placed under arrest.
The tenants at 35 Chestnut are upset the guard may be getting in trouble.
“He’s a nice guy he’s a security guard and he’s supposed to protect everyone. That’s his job.”
Other witnesses say the security guard saved lives last night.
“There’s no telling what that guy would have did with that hammer. So yeah, I say he was a hero.”
The owner of the building tells us a new security guard will be on duty 24 hours, seven days a week. Tenants at 35 Chestnut say they do feel protected but many say they believe the entire incident could have been prevented.
Rochester police released the statement saying they did respond to the area when the shooting happened but would not confirm if they responded to a separate incident earlier that night.
The owner of the building told News10NBC the security guard was hired through a private company and he was licensed to carry a fire arm. The guard was a former police officer.
Eureka CA June 27 2012 A convicted felon was arrested Friday outside Blue Lake Casino on suspicion of possessing and transporting methamphetamine with the intent to sell — his third meth-related arrest since December.
Eureka resident Brian Christopher Fleming, 49, was arrested Friday at 6:30 a.m. by investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit. According to a press release, the unit served a search warrant on Fleming in the parking lot of Blue Lake Casino with assistance from the casino’s security team.
During a search of Fleming’s GMC truck, investigators reported locating more than one-quarter pound of crystal methamphetamine. Investigators then searched Fleming’s residence and three adjoining homes owned by his family near Myrtle and Hall streets. The release said packaging materials for drug sales and ammunition were seized at his residence.
Fleming was booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale. A penalty enhancement was added because he was arrested on suspicion of a felony while still out on bail from two previous felony arrests, the release said. His bail was set at $150,000.
This was Fleming’s third meth-related arrest by EPD since December 2011, the release said. A total of approximately one-half pound of meth was seized from Fleming as a result of the three arrests.
|Credit: BOB BROWN/TIMES-DISPATCH|
RICHMOND, VA. June 17 2012 (AP) – The Virginia State Police will begin the largest transition of its cruiser fleet in two decades this fall.
The agency has ordered 144 new Ford Taurus Interceptors for about $24,000 apiece. They will replace the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, which is being phased out now that the automaker has discontinued production of the line.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the State Police unveiled the new car Friday at an event for its 90 trooper trainees. Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the new troopers will be the last class to get Crown Vics and the first to get the new Tauruses.
Most of the department’s 1,100 Crown Vics will remain on the road for a while, but Geller says the public should also begin seeing the Taureses in October.
EDMONTON Canada June 17 2012 - Police say the security guard wanted in a deadly armoured car heist at the University of Alberta has been arrested while trying to cross the border between British Columbia and Washington State.
Edmonton police say Travis Baumgartner was trying to cross into Washington at the Lynden border crossing and was driving the truck police believe the suspect left town in. Police say Baumgartner was alone when arrested.
“We’re grateful to the border officials at Lynden, Washington, for their excellent work in arresting a man we believe was armed and extremely dangerous,” Edmonton police Insp. Bob Hassel said in a statement.
Police have been looking for Baumgartner since Friday when four guards with G4S Cash Solutions Canada were gunned down, three of them fatally.
Police have said Baumgartner was the fifth member of a crew re-loading bank machines at a university mall and residence where the shooting happened.
The 21-year-old is facing three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Earlier in the day Saturday, Hassel said they be lived a significant amount of cash was taken in the heist, but wouldn’t say how much.
Police confirm a sum of money was found in Baumgartner’s truck when he was arrested.
Hassel said officers hadn’t been able to account for Baumgartner’s work pistol or body armour and they assumed he has both with him. There was no immediate word on whether those items were found during the arrest.
Eddie Rejano, Michelle Shegelski and Brian Ilesic have been identified as the dead guards who died. Matthew Schuman was still listed in critical condition Saturday.
Hassel said at this point police are only looking for one suspect in the robbery, but noted the investigation is ongoing.
Baumgartner lives with his mother, Sandy Baumgartner, in Sherwood Park, a bedroom community just east of Edmonton. She has already released a statement pleading for her boy to turn himself in “to end this without further bloodshed.”
While police searched for Baumgartner Saturday, details continued to emerge about his colleagues.
Rejano, 39, aspired to be a police officer and was also a competitive target shooter who worked a second job as a gun range officer at the Wild West Shooting Centre at West Edmonton Mall.
“He liked the aspects of protecting individuals and taking care of the community,” said Yanira Sale, a co-worker at the gun range.
She added that can’t believe the father of two young boys is gone. She keeps thinking he is going to walk through the door to start work.
“It hasn’t really sunk in,” she said. “It’s pretty shocking and the manner in which it happened has affected us the most. It should never have happened.”
Shegelski was 26 and had recently married. Her husband, coincidentally, a student at the University of Alberta.
Brian Ilesic was 35 and had a 12-year-old daughter.
Working at G4S is Schuman’s second job. He is also a corporal in the military and works as an Air Force firefighter at the base in Edmonton.
Staff at the university reopened the HUB building Saturday where the shooting happened. A bouquet of flowers was placed next to the bank machine.
Police say a taxi and an oncoming security patrol vehicle collided on the Kilmore-Broadford Road, just south of Broadford, about 3am (AEST) today.
The security guard died at the scene.
The taxi driver has been airlifted to a Melbourne hospital.
The Major Collision Investigation Unit is investigating whether the taxi driver veered onto the wrong side of the road.
The death takes Victoria’s road toll to 129, 15 fewer than the same time last year.
BOISE ID June 17 2012 – Police say a hospital patient who tried to punch, then scratch a police officer in May, has been arrested and charged with a felony.
Officers say 42-year-old Lee S. Yates was arrested early Friday morning. Yates is accused of felony battery of a police officer stemming from an incident on May 25th when he allegedly became violent toward hospital staff and police officers.
Why wasn’t he arrested at the time? Police spokesman Chuck McClure told KTVB that outstanding medical issues made the case more difficult.
“There were medical issues involved, so he was routed for a warrant to the prosecutor,” McClure said.
Police say a further investigation by the Ada County Prosecutor’s office showed that Yates was fully aware that he was attacking law enforcement officers at the time.
He’s currently in the Ada County jail.
The IDOC says Kim Rogers has worked at Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center in Pocatello from May of 2003 until he was placed on administrative leave on Thursday.
The arrest comes as a result of an internal investigation by the Idaho Department of Correction’s Office of Professional Standards
The charge of sexual contact with a prisoner is a felony.
Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide (http://bit.ly/LSDsuY ) that Christopher Dascoli, of Lee, Mass., reported he was hit with a large blunt object while responding to a loud party near the lodge June 7. Dascoli was hospitalized with serious injuries, but rangers determined his claims were unfounded.
He is charged with interfering with an agency operation by providing false information to law enforcement and making a false report. Skaggs says the investigation didn’t determine what caused the injuries.
Dascoli was employed by Grand Teton Lodge Company, an authorized concessionaire of the park. The company is owned by Vail Resorts.
TSA seeking to fire seven Philadelphia International Airport workers for bribery www.privateofficer.com
PHILADELPHIA PA June 17 2012 — The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday it is seeking to fire seven Philadelphia International Airport workers who it says were involved in a bribery scheme.
In November, 10 employees were suspended from their security jobs amid accusations that they paid off a training instructor for passing grades on annual proficiency exams.
Following an eight-month investigation, TSA management at the airport and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General concluded the employees participated in the scheme.
Three have since resigned, and the TSA said it is moving to fire the remaining seven.
“TSA holds all of its employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability,” Chris McLaughlin of the Office of Security Operations said in a written statement. “Any employee who willfully violates TSA rules will be held accountable for their conduct and appropriately disciplined.”
Former TSA training instructor Shannon Gilliam pleaded guilty in February in federal court to taking a $200 bribe in exchange for ensuring a passing grade on the mandatory, annual certification examination by taking the test for the security officer. Gilliam’s job involved training and testing people who worked as passenger and baggage screeners.
Gilliam was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and six months of house arrest to be followed by four years of probation.
Police say he suffered a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was wearing surgical scrubs. Sources say the doctor took his mother’s ashes into the woods with him before he committed suicide. Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda updated the media about the case Friday evening.
The commissioner says Doctor Jorden lured his ex-girlfriend, 33-year-old Jacqueline Wisniewski, into a stairwell in the medical office building of ECMC where she worked, and shot her 5 times times at point blank range. According to police the doctor, who was a surgeon at the hospital, was also scheduled for surgery Wednesday.
Shortly after the shooting, surveillance cameras captured Jorden at his Lakeview house. The footage shows Jorden then leaving his home and entering nearby woods. He never returned. Police believe the 49-year-old surgeon planned his ex-girlfriend’s murder due to his behavior before the shooting. Investigators say the doctor withdrew close to $36,000 from his bank account and was giving items away to friends and family.
A friend of Dr. Timothy Jorden, Martin Motley III, a Buffalo Police Officer has now been suspended from the force. Motley was discovered Wednesday at the doctor’s home.
According to the Buffalo News, he was carrying a Rolex watch, about $5,000 in cash and his gun. Motley has been on leave from the Buffalo Police force for nearly three years. Motley was suspended Thursday.
Ernesto Perdomo, of Los Angeles, suffered injuries when his truck slammed into the columns on the grounds at 4800 Oak Grove Drive on June 3.
Police say Perdomo stayed in the car when asked to get out at gunpoint by JPL officers. Finally, Perdomo left the truck and told the officers to shoot him, the report states. A JPL officer ordered Perdomo to lie on the ground and, when Perdomo did not, the officer pepper sprayed him.
When deputies from Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station arrived on the scene, he noticed that Perdomo allegedly had a strong scent of alcohol.
Perdomo was then sent to Huntington Memorial Hospital for his injuries from the collision with the columns, from which he received lacerations on his head.
Based on Perdomo’s driving pattern, alleged failing to stop at a security check point, and signs of possible intoxication, the officer came to the conclusion that Perdomo was driving under the influence and he was arrested.
ELYRIA OH June 17 2012 — A Giant Eagle employee was issued a summons after she admitted to stealing between $30,000 and $35,000 while she worked at the store.
Pamela Kmitt, 56, of Birmingham, was charged with theft following an internal investigation at Giant Eagle, 820 Market Drive, where she worked as a cashier. During her employment, Kmitt allegedly performed fraudulent transactions to steal money.
After performing an “exception report (audit),” an employee said she found Kmitt had completed several fraudulent returns. The employee said Kmitt would also print out coupons from the cash register and then keep money from those transactions.
According to the employee, during Kmitt’s shift on Sunday, Kmitt took $55 in cash from five false coupon transactions.
Police issued Kmitt a citation for the theft of $55. According to the report, Giant Eagle management will complete an internal investigation and notify the Elyria Police Department to pursue charges.
An annual survey of large retailers found that shoplifter apprehensions and recovery dollars rose 5.8% in 2011, while the same measurements applied to dishonest employees increased 11.4%.
“It should also be noted that shoplifter apprehensions and recovery dollars have increased eight of the past 10 years,” said Mark Doyle, president of the Wesley Chapel, Fla.-based firm.
Broken down even further, shoplifter apprehensions rose 6.0% and dishonest employee apprehensions rose 3.3%; the recovery dollars from these apprehensions was up 13.9% for shoplifters and 5.6% for dishonest employees.
The 24th Annual Retail Theft Survey involved participants from 24 large retail companies with 18,518 stores and more than $589 billion in retail sales last year. On a per-company basis, one in every 36 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2011 (based on more than 2.8 million employees). On a per-case average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.9 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($665.77 versus $113.30).
EASTON, Md.June 17 2012– Police say an employee of the Kohl’s in Easton has admitted to stealing $10,000 in merchandise from the department store.
Officers on Wednesday served a criminal summons on 48-year-old Samuel E. Johnson of Trappe. According to the summons, Johnson was caught stealing merchandise from the Kohl’s while working as an employee there. Police said Johnson admitted to taking items from the store on a regular basis.
Johnson is charged with theft: less than $1,000 in value; theft: $10,000 to under $100,000; and theft-scheme: $10,000 to under $100,000. A trial date has been set for June 28.
Baltimore MD June 17 2012 The ACLU announced plans to launch an audio-video taping project, targeting Cook County (greater Chicago area) Illinois police officers performing their duties. Illinois is a two-party consent state, meaning that all parties to a conversation must consent to audio recording. Thus, unless the officers consented, audio-video recording would constitute an illegal wiretap. The ACLU launched a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Cook County prosecuting attorney, asking the court to block enforcement of the wiretap law in such circumstances.
A federal district judge ruled against the ACLU on legal standing grounds prior to trial. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed, ordering that the ACLU was entitled to a preliminary injunction and a full trial. The appellate court held that the statute unconstitutionally restricts free speech.
By suggesting that there is a First Amendment right to video record police officers in the course of their duties, the Seventh Circuit joins a small number of courts around the nation that have ruled in favor of citizens suing police after officers interrupted video (or audio-video) recording.1
One of the most public video-recording cases involved Anthony Graber, a motorcyclist who used a helmet camera to film a plainclothes trooper after being stopped for speeding. Graber had been showing off, weaving in and out of traffic on his motorcycle at a high rate of speed, and videotaping his antics. After being stopped and cited, Graber posted the video, which shows the officer approaching him with his gun drawn, to YouTube.
The video quickly went viral.
A few weeks later, a state’s attorney in Maryland charged Graber, a staff sergeant in the Maryland Air National Guard and a computer systems engineer, with violating the state’s wiretapping laws. Noted Judge Emory Plitt, a former prosecutor and popular lecturer on law enforcement legal issues, dismissed the charges.
Judge Plitt observed: “Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.”
A few other trial courts have ruled that there is a general free speech right to videotape police officers. In Robinson v. Fetterman, 378 F.Supp.2d 534, 541 (E.D. Pa. 2005), the court ruled that there is a free speech right to film police officers in the performance of their public duties. Robinson claimed to be concerned about the way police were conducting truck inspections on a local road, so he decided to document their behavior by filming them from an adjacent property. Robinson videotaped from a position approximately 20 to 30 feet from the highway and never physically interfered with police activities. The police told him to knock it off and, when he refused, they arrested him for harassment.
Robinson was convicted of harassment, but the conviction was overturned on appeal, and Robinson filed a § 1983 action against the troopers. The judge found that no officer could reasonably believe that Robinson was violating the Pennsylvania harassment law. The court ruled against the troopers and took the rare step of awarding punitive damages against the individual officers in addition to general compensatory damages.
Prior to the ACLU’s suit in Chicago, a few federal appellate courts explored the parameters of the First Amendment free speech rights colliding with the privacy rights of victims, witnesses, and officers. In Smith v. City of Cumming, 212 F.3d 1332 (11th Cir. 2000), the court recognized “a First Amendment right, subject to reasonable time, manner and place restrictions, to photograph police conduct.” The problem with the Smith case is that the court provided very few facts and little analysis, so we don’t know the precise contours of the right that the court may have recognized.
In Gilles v. Davis, 427 F.3d 197, 203 (3rd Cir. 2005), the court suggested in dicta (meaning that the statement is not necessarily binding law) that “videotaping or photographing the police in the performance of their duties on public property may be a protected activity.” The appellate court also noted that “generally, photography or videography that has a communicative or expressive purpose enjoys some First Amendment protection.”
One decision carefully weighing the state of the law and noting the competing public and private interests comes from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Kelly v. Borough of Carlisle, 622 F.3d 248 (3rd Cir. 2010). Kelly was a passenger in a truck stopped for a bumper height violation. When the officer saw Kelly videotaping the contact, he arrested Kelly for a wiretap law violation.
Those charges were later dropped.
The court granted qualified immunity to the officer with this instructive explanation:
We conclude there was insufficient case law establishing a right to videotape police officers during a traffic stop to put a reasonably competent officer on ‘fair notice’ that seizing a camera or arresting an individual for videotaping police during the stop would violate the First Amendment. Although Smith and Robinson announce a broad right to videotape police, other cases suggest a narrower right. [Other court decisions] imply that videotaping without an expressive purpose may not be protected, and in the Whiteland Woods case we denied a right to videotape a public meeting. Thus, the cases addressing the right of access to information and the right of free expression do not provide a clear rule regarding First Amendment rights to obtain information by videotaping under the circumstances presented here.
Our decision on the First Amendment question is further supported by the fact that none of the precedents upon which Kelly relies involved traffic stops, which the Supreme Court has recognized as inherently dangerous situations. . . . For these reasons, we hold that the right to videotape police officers during traffic stops was not clearly established and the officer was entitled to qualified immunity on Kelly’s First Amendment claim.
First Amendment Protection
A short time before the Seventh Circuit considered the ACLU lawsuit, the First Circuit denied qualified immunity to Boston Police officers after they arrested a man for recording an arrest with his cell phone. In Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011), the court held that video recording an arrest in a public place constituted an exercise of clearly established First Amendment right. Prosecutors ultimately dismissed the wiretapping charges filed against the man. The court allowed the lawsuit alleging a Fourth Amendment violation of wrongful arrest and a First Amendment violation to proceed in the trial court.
In the Illinois ACLU case, the Seventh Circuit court held: “Audio recording is entitled to First Amendment protection.”
Although the Illinois law does not prohibit non-consensual video recording, the court opined that audio recording is entitled to constitutional protection. According to the 2-1 split decision, a ban on audio-video recording of government officials suppresses speech just as effectively as restricting the dissemination of the recording itself. The court also held that the officers’ privacy rights are outweighed by the public interest.
The prosecuting attorney argued that allowing the ACLU to audio-video record victim or witness interaction with the police would hinder cooperation in investigations. The court disagreed, noting that such encounters are generally in private places and not where bystanders can hear. That puts the burden on police officers to take extra care to protect the privacy and confidentiality of witnesses and victims. The court did not order that the ACLU be restricted from attempting to capture such interviews.
The lone dissenting judge asked, “Suppose a police detective meets an informant in a park and they sit down on a park bench to talk. A crime reporter sidles up, sits down next to them, takes out his iPhone, and turns on the recorder. The detective and the informant move to the next park bench to continue their conversation in private. The reporter follows them. Is this what the Constitution privileges?”
For now, the answer seems to be that the Constitution allows just that, sometimes putting officers in a very difficult position. Watch for further appeals, perhaps to the entire court of appeals or to the Supreme Court. This issue is obviously not unique to Illinois. As other courts have addressed audio-video recording seemingly barred by state wiretap statutes, thus far, the box score favors audio-video recording as a First Amendment-protected activity. The U.S. Department of Justice has supported the ACLU position in a lawsuit filed in Baltimore2.
In this age, it seems to be common sense for an officer to assume that every move is being recorded. These cases sound a cautionary note for any officer who is being openly recorded. No doubt, some recording activities pose a clear threat to officer and/or public safety because the videographer is actually interfering or the recording threatens sensitive police tactics or identities.
One such case involved a film crew broadcasting tactical officers as they crept toward the location of a barricaded suspect (who only needed to turn on the television to know where to shoot). Officers should interrupt the recording in those cases and seek prosecution advice regarding potential criminal charges. In most circumstances, however, the best advice may be to “smile” because you’re on Candid Camera, like it or not.
1 American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois v. Alvarez, — F.3d —-, 2012 WL 1592618 (7th Cir. 2012).
2 Sharp v. Baltimore City Police Dep’t, D. Md., No. 1:11-cv-02888, filed Oct 11, 2011