Off-duty Montgomery police officer claims racial profiling over hoodie incident at mall www.privateofficer.com
Terence Scott, 26, filed the lawsuit April 11 in Montgomery County Circuit Court against ERMC, a Chattanooga, Tenn.,-based company that provides security for Eastdale Mall. The lawsuit also names one security guard and two other unnamed security guards as defendants.
Eastdale Mall is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit that seeks unspecified amounts in damages.
Efforts to reach an attorney for ERMC have been unsuccessful this morning.
Among the claims in Scott’s civil lawsuit are negligence, assault and battery, wantonness, and that security guards used racial profiling against him and others. Scott is black; the lawsuit does not specify the races of the security guards.
“Eastdale Mall has had a history of incidents involving African-American males being attacked, challenged, and/or bullied by security guards employed by defendant ERMC,” the lawsuit states.
Julian McPhillips, attorney for Scott, said today that the incident was “shades of Trayvon Martin.”
Martin was the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, the resident of a Sanford, Fla. gated community who had confronted Martin because he looked suspicious. Martin was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. The case has triggered outrage among many because Zimmerman wasn’t charged in Martin’s death until weeks later.
Scott’s lawsuit states that Scott and his fiance, Cherkuita Brown, who also is employed by the Montgomery Police Department and was also in plain clothes were at the mall on March 3.
The weather was cool and it had been raining earlier and Scott was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood covering his neck and the top of his head, the lawsuit states. “However, his face was clearly visible, thus reflecting both his gender and ethnic background,” the lawsuit states.
As the couple was walking out of the mall to go to his car, a male security guard told him to “remove your hoodie.”
Scott looked back and recognized a female ERMC security guard who was with the male guard who had spoken to Scott, the lawsuit claims.
At first Scott took off his hood. “However, recognizing the one female security guard, and knowing he was close to the exit door, plaintiff considered it no big problem to put his hood back on, and so he did,” the lawsuit states.
The male guard then grabbed Scott and began using profanity.
A series of exchanges took place between Scott and the male guard, who had ordered Scott to use a particular exit to leave the mall, the lawsuit states. Two unnamed security officers came up and grabbed Scott from behind. The first male guard also jumped on Scott and began choking him for at least six to seven seconds, the lawsuit states.
McPhillips, said that during the confrontation Scott did identify himself as an off-duty police officer. Scott is a patrol officer who is originally from Birmingham, he said.
The incident ended, according to the lawsuit, when another off-duty police officer recognized Scott and shouted at the security guards that Scott was an off-duty police officer and to leave him alone.
Scott was diagnosed and treated for an inner neck bruise, strained right elbow and strained right thumb, according to the lawsuit.
Among the claims in Terence Scott’s civil lawsuit are negligence, assault and battery, wantonness, and that security guards used racial profiling against him and others.
Former cop pleads guilty to sex crimes http://www.privateofficer.com
Darren Dempsey, 39, of Mansfield, who is also known as Darren Seligman, appeared in New Haven federal court Thursday and pleaded guilty to one count of using an interstate facility to transmit information about a minor.
Dempsey will be sentenced June 18.
The FBI arrested Seligman at the East Windsor Police Department, where he was an officer. Dempsey has been jailed since his arrest in October and resigned from the police department Nov. 9.
U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor said the prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which tries to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Student arrested for homemade taser at school http://www.privateofficer.com
By: Rick McCann
Ntl Assoc. Private Officers
Police said a 14-year-old student who goes to the Morgan High School student is accused of attempting to fire the device at another student. Police said the device was made entirely from a disposable camera.
Sometime during class the school resource officer was made aware of the camera and came to investigate. That’s when the officer decided that it was a little more than a prank and took the student into custody.
But the teen’s father said that the school and police are blowing the incident out of proportion.
The boy’s father, Bret Haughwout, said that his son hadn’t modified the camera in any way, that he had just opened it up.
“All he did was bring a disposable camera, take it apart, demonstrate that if you press this button you get shocked,” Haughwout said.
The student has since been charged by the school resource officer with possession of a weapon at school, breach of peace and attempted assault.
“When dealing with electricity, you can cause injury or harm. We want to stress that these aren’t toys,” said Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn of the Clinton Police Department.
Officers said no one was injured in the incident.
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Teacher charged with benefits fraud http://www.privateofficer.com
Security guard arrested for posing as police officer http://www.privateofficer.com
Justin Wayne Henson worked for a private security firm called California Housing Patrol and was responsible for watching over a Victorville apartment complex, officials said.
But the San Bernardino man is suspected of pretending to work for a much better known CHP — the California Highway Patrol.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said Henson, driving a Crown Victoria equipped with red and blue lights, stopped a driver and collected personal information, and later harassed patrons at a High Desert roller rink.
Henson, 25, whom deputies suspect is a San Bernardino gang member, was arrested at his Pumalo Street home Wednesday night. He was held on charges of false imprisonment and impersonating a peace officer to benefit a criminal street gang, officials said.
During a search of his home, detectives found police computers, scanners and radios, lighting equipment and uniforms resembling those worn by officers in the Sheriff’s Movement Against Street Hoodlums, or SMASH, team, said Deputy Josh Conley, a member of the Sheriff’s Department’s gang team.
Henson is suspected of wearing a green shirt with shoulder patches and a cloth badge last Saturday near Victorville’s Holiday Skate Center. He had stopped a car in the area, taken the driver’s license and copied the personal information into a notebook, Conley said.
After letting that driver go, Henson pulled into the skating rink’s parking lot and used his car’s public address system to tell patrons to leave, Conley said. When an employee asked whether Henson was with the CHP, meaning the California Highway Patrol, he said yes, Conley said.
“He just looked suspicious,” Holiday Skate Center manager Dasha Luke said by phone Thursday. “We have a lot of kids at our facility, and we just wanted to verify he was an officer of the law. Apparently, he wasn’t.”
Someone wrote down the license-plate number of Henson’s black Crown Victoria. The car appeared to have been spray-painted by hand, officials said.
Henson was found in the area that night and questioned, but he was not arrested.
Sheriff’s detectives in Victorville gathered more evidence and obtained a search warrant for his home, then arrested him Wednesday. He was taken to jail, and bail was set at $50,000.
“He could have made a lot more contacts that we don’t know yet,” Conley said.
Conley said a motive has not been determined.
TACOMA, Wash. Nov. 26 2007
– A retired Tacoma Police officer and his girlfriend pleaded guilty to child rape and molestation charges Monday morning.
Lee William Giles, Jr. and Maureen Wear face at least 20 years in prison, and Giles could end up behind bars for life. Police say that during their investigation officer giles retired and was arrested soon after.
Both pleaded guilty to first- and second-degree child rape, first-degree molestation and third-degree child assault.
Prosecutors contend the Giles and Wear molested young relatives for years and videotaped some of the abuse.
The victims told prosecutors they supported the plea deals.
Wear will be sentenced in late December. Giles will be sentenced January 4.
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