Detective Took AR-15 Rifle From Evidence for Photo Shoot, Drugs Possibly Missing As Well

Categories: Police

Google Street View
The Brooklyn police department.
A police evidence locker doesn't work like a public library. Obviously, right?

Yet it seems a former detective for the Brooklyn, Illinois police department thought it would be okay if he borrowed an AR-15 assault rifle to hold during a photo shoot for the department's calender, and now an Illinois State's Attorney says other evidence -- including drugs and ammo -- are still missing.

On Wednesday, Illinois State Police and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department investigators raided the offices of the Village of Brooklyn, which houses the town's police department and administrative offices. Officers carried out boxes of documents, computers, weapons and other equipment, according to a report from KMOV (Channel 4).

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Darren Wilson Gives Speech to Non-Profit for Cops "Wrongly Accused in the Line of Duty"

Categories: Ferguson, Police

Facebook via Hunt For Justice
Christopher Hunt, director of Hunt of Justice, welcomed Darren Wilson to speak to law enforcement supporters last weekend.
A St. Louis non-profit that raises funds for police officers' legal funds welcomed a very special guest to its annual trivia night on Saturday -- former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.

Hunt for Justice director Christopher Hunt, who is also an officer with the St. Charles County Police Department, tells Daily RFT that Wilson made some brief remarks to open the organizations' yearly gala. According to Hunt, there is no recording of Wilson's remarks, but Hunt says Wilson did not mention anything about Ferguson.

Although Hunt For Justice has contributed an undisclosed sum to Wilson's legal defense in the past, Hunt says the funds collected Saturday will not go Wilson, and that he was not compensated in any way for speaking. Hunt declined to provide a dollar amount for how much money was raised during the trivia night.

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After Suspension, St. Louis Cop Indicted for Delivering Shotgun to Drug Dealers

Categories: Police

via YouTube
A former SLMPD officer is accused of handing drug dealers a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun with a pistol grip, similar to the shotgun pictured here.
Amid a renewed national fixation on Ferguson, you may have missed the dramatic scandal now brewing inside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

News outlets citing anonymous police sources report that the indictment of a recently-suspended SLMPD officer is just the tip of the iceberg of a criminal investigation into a local drug ring. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that as many as twenty civilians and several officers may be involved. So far, the investigation has focused on one former SLMPD patrolman: Don McGhee.

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St. Louis Police Commander Charged for Pulling Double Duty As Dirt Cheap Security

Categories: Police

Google Maps
Need police assistance? Just run into a Dirt Cheap liquor store and start screaming for help.
For more than a year, Norman R. Campbell, a twenty-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, was working hard and hardly working.

Yes, at the same time.

That's the conclusion of a police investigation into Campbell's on-the-job performance, which resulted yesterday in a felony charge for stealing $5,899.78 from the department. According to a police spokesperson, Campbell is accused of secretly working security for Dirt Cheap Company, the local liquor-store chain known for its wacky commercials, at the same time he was supposed to be on duty as commander of the county police's Dellwood detail.

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Moline Acres Police Start Giving Out "Cop Cards," Like Baseball Cards for Cops

Categories: Police

Next time Officer Adam Stevens pulls you over, ask for his card.
Gotta catch 'em all.

Moline Acres police will announce at a press conference today that officers will start carrying "cop cards," which resemble baseball cards, in a new effort to improve relationships between police and the community, especially with young people.

Reverend Larry Rice, who runs the New Life Evangelistic Center, says he pitched the idea to local police departments after hearing about a similar program in Vancouver. Moline Acres is the first city to take him up on the idea.

"The biggest problem we have in this area is the big gap that exists between police and youth, particularly African American youth," Rice tells Daily RFT. Especially after last year's unrest in Ferguson, Rice says, the St. Louis area needs a creative way to connect youth and police. "We've got to do things differently than what we are doing right now. We've become infamous around the world, and we continue to do things in a bad way."

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St. Louis Cop Turns Off Dash Camera After Suspect is Kicked and Tasered [VIDEO]

Categories: Police

Post-Dispatch, Fox 2
St. Louis cops beat a man during a traffic stop in April -- but they didn't want the camera on.
"Hold up. Hold up, y'all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We're red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait."

Those are the last audible words captured by a police dash camera before the footage goes silent. Eight seconds later, the entire feed goes dark.

Taken during an April traffic stop, the video is now at the center of an excessive-force lawsuit filed last month against four St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers. Not only that, but the officer who warned her fellow cops that they were "red right now" -- that is, a camera was recording their actions -- may soon face disciplinary action for compromising police evidence.

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Mom Searches for Witnesses Who Saw SLMPD Shoot Stephon Averyhart

Categories: Police

Danny Wicentowski
Stacey Hill, the mother of Stephon Averyhart, handed out flyers Thursday in the area where her son was shot and killed by two St. Louis metro cops last year.
After he died, there were no protests for Stephon Averyhart.

Shot by two St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers on February 12, 2014, the death of the 27-year-old mechanic made a slight blip on local news outlets, and those reports relied on a police press release to describe Averyhart's final moments -- how he fled a traffic stop, led police on a brief chase, crashed his blue 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix into a telephone pole, ran down an alley and was shot dead. The two officers who chased after Averyhart claimed he pointed a gun at them.

On Thursday, the one-year anniversary of his death, Averyhart's mother Stacey Hill and a handful of his friends gathered at a parking lot on the corner of West Florrisant Avenue and Union Boulevard, right across the street from the imposing sprawl of Calvary Cemetery. Hill chose the location intentionally, knowing that her son's friends still try to avoid area where Averyhart died, just a few blocks away.

"I went there the day they killed my son," says Hill, clutching a stack of flyers printed with Averyhart's face one side and information about the shooting on the back. "I don't have a problem going up there."

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Ferguson Police Train With Gun Attachment That Shoots Bullet-Powered Steel Ball

Categories: Ferguson, Police

Alternative Ballistics
Don't let it's cute nickname, the "Bozo Round," fool you. This pistol attachment will mess you up.
With its bright orange frame, the "Alternative" almost makes a pistol look like a toy. But the invention, which has never been field-tested, could offer police departments just the tool they've been looking for, the kind of weapon that exists in the gray area between lethal and non-lethal force.

"It's not a beanbag and it's not a taser," says Christian Ellis, chief executive of California--based Alternative Ballistics, which produces the pistol attachment. "I love those products and they have great applications, but they're designed for less than lethal situations. This is designed for a lethal situation."

This week, a few select Ferguson officers began training with the weapon some have dubbed the "Bozo Round" after the orange ping-pong-ball sized projectile that (sort of) resembles clown's nose. Placed over the muzzle of the handgun, the apparatus is designed to capture a just fired bullet and use its energy to send the metal-alloy sphere rocketing toward a target at 250 feet per second.

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ACLU: Bills Restricting Police Body Cam Footage Will Hobble Missouri Sunshine Law

Categories: Police, Politics

Danny Wicentowski
Some Ferguson officers began wearing body cameras in September, and more departments are embracing the new technology.
Not long after the fatal August 9 confrontation between Michael Brown and then-Ferguson cop Darren Wilson, protesters, along with the wider public, began demanding Missouri police wear body cameras. Advocates claimed the cameras would keep cops accountable, and the calls only grew louder after Wilson's non-indictment in November.

Now, nearly six months after Brown's death, Missouri lawmakers have turned those demands into several proposed bills. At the same time, the introduction of new technology has raised concerns about the cameras' impact on privacy and police procedure.

"It's a good tool, and any time you add a different evidence stream it needs to be protected," says Republican Representative Galen Higdon. Last week, he proposed a bill that would make footage from police body cameras and dash cameras "inaccessible to the general public."

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Police Block Public From Drug Task Force Meeting [VIDEO]

Categories: Police

NCA via Flickr
Drug busts? The Missouri East Central Drug Task Force likes the sound of that. But open meetings? That's a different story.
In a perfect world, Missouri's Sunshine Law would work as advertised. Passed in 1973, the statute seeks to open windows for media and public alike, allowing everyone to peer into the tax-funded inner workings of governmental process.

But despite our love for Missouri Revised Statutes Section 610.010, the Sunshine Law can become mired, blocked or disputed. For instance, on January 29 two members of the pro-pot group Show-Me Cannabis showed up at the Audrain County Sheriff Office, about 40 minutes northeast of Columbia, hoping to attend a board meeting of the East Central Drug Task Force.

Instead, they were barred from the meeting and ordered to leave. The command wasn't entirely shocking to Show-Me Cannabis director of research Aaron Malin, who filmed his attempt to gain entry to the task force's meeting. Malin has raised several Sunshine Law disputes with Missouri drug task forces in the past, and he says he's increasingly frustrated by these groups' tenacious refusal to provide records and open meetings.

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