8 Shotgun Wielding Cops Dispatched to Confront College Student Cleaning his Front Yard.

BRLDF: Recently released video shows an intense confrontation initiated by Boulder, Colorado police with an individual cleaning his front yard. Despite the entirely pedestrian nature of this activity, the primary officer believed this to be suspicious enough to warrant an investigation. When the resident naturally became agitated, this officer requested backup, identifying the trash picker pole held by the man as a “blunt object”.  Despite the approximately 20 foot distance between them, this officer wielded a drawn handgun, and rather than retreat (as would seem appropriate if someone believed they were in real physical danger),  repeatedly closed the distance and approached the resident ordering him to “sit down”.

Over the course of the confrontation, which was initiated, provoked and escalated by the Boulder Police, additional Officers arrived, some bearing shotguns, and surrounded the resident. This is an example of “Command and Control” policing, wherein an adversarial dynamic is established between law enforcement & the public. Describing a flimsy maintenance tool as a “blunt object”, repeatedly approaching an agitated individual doing nothing wrong with gun drawn, and ordering him to “sit down”, this cop was establishing legal use of force justification in the event this exchange resulted in violence, or death (to the “suspect”).

This is an example of a police officer abusing his power, more concerned that this totally unjustified investigation did not receive immediate and complete submission. Plainly, this cop felt that his Authority was disrespected, and was determined to show this citizen that he was the boss.

An outrageous violation of the Fourth Amendment, something no American should tolerate, and the exact reason BRLDF was founded.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The city of Boulder should be embarrassed, and unless they’re looking to repeat the Philip Brailsford / Daniel Shaver incident in Mesa, Arizona, this police officer should be removed from active duty as he clearly lacks the maturity to interact with the general public in a sensible manner.

Police in Boulder, Colo., are investigating a March 1 confrontation between officers and a black man picking up trash.

March 7

The Boulder, Colo., police department is conducting an internal investigation after video surfaced of an officer questioning a student who was picking up garbage in front of his residence. The officer has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

On March 1, an officer approached the man as he was sitting in an area behind a private property sign and asked him if he had permission to be there, according to a department release. The Daily Camera reported that the man is a student at Naropa University in Boulder, and the building is listed as a school residence. Police have not publicly named the man or the officer.

The man gave the officer his school identification card and said he both worked and lived in the building. However, the officer continued to investigate and called for backup, “indicating that the person was uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object.”

In the 16-minute video, which appears to have been taken by a friend and fellow building resident after the encounter began, the man can be seen holding a bucket and a trash picker.

“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand threatening to shoot me because I’m picking up trash?” the man with the trash picker says.

The man being questioned repeatedly says of the officer, “He’s got a gun!”

“Just relax, man,” the officer responds as sirens are heard and more officers arrive and surround him.

Though a police spokeswoman would not release the number of officers involved, citing the ongoing investigation, at one point the man can be heard saying there are eight officers “with guns drawn.” The video appears to show at least one officer, on the far left, holding a gun before putting it away.

Police chief Greg Testa rebutted these particular claims made in the video at a city council meeting on Tuesday, saying “Body-worn camera video indicates that only one officer had a handgun out and it was pointed in the ground.”

The man who was stopped by police and the person taking the video repeatedly assert to the officers that the man lived there and was only picking up garbage.

An officer can be heard assuring the man, who is agitated by the encounter, that “my plan is not to shoot you.” The encounter continues for several minutes until an officer says “we’ve decided we’re going to end things at this point.”

“Officers ultimately determined that the man had a legal right to be on the property and returned the man’s school identification card,” the Boulder police department release states. “All officers left the area and no further action was taken.”

“We began looking into the incident on Friday, shortly after it occurred, and quickly made the decision that we needed to launch an internal affairs investigation,” Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Aulabaugh said in an emailed statement.

“Our internal affairs investigation will include a review of all body worn camera video, interviews of everyone involved which includes both officers and community members, reports and all other related information,” she said.

Testa said in a prepared statement before the city council that “this is an extremely concerning issue and one that we are taking very seriously.” Members of the public who attended the hearing carried signs and trash pickers, the Daily Camera reported.

“While it appears that the officers responding to the requests for backup followed standard procedures given the information they heard over the radio, all aspects of this incident, specifically the actions of the initial officer, are being investigated,” he said.

“I am not aware of any information that the man did anything unlawful or wrong,” Testa said.

Charles Lief, president of Naropa University, also spoke at the hearing. “I do not want to underestimate the amount of trauma that was experienced by our student, who was the victim in this situation,” he said. He noted that he spoke to the man’s mother and “she has made clear that her son is not interested in becoming a symbol for any issue that we have to deal with in this city.”

“The incident that impacted him is going to be one that’s going to take him a long time to deal with,” Lief said. “The city can’t wait that long for us to talk about the broader issues that we have to address.”


Trial for Rochester police officer charged in brutality case to be held in March

Howard Thompson, Posted: Jan 15, 2019 01:42 PM ES

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – The case against a Rochester police officer facing an assault charge in a reported case of police brutality will head to trial, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

A judge denied a motion Tuesday to dismiss charges against Officer Michael Sippel, who is accused of assault in the third degree in the attack of Christopher Pate.

The trial for Sippel is now set to start on March 25.

Pate says he was beat up by Officer Sippel and another Rochester officer after being mistaken for a wanted man during a traffic stop on Fulton Avenue last May. The police department said last year that, even after Pate provided documents to prove his identity, Sippel and the other officer persisted with the arrest, during which Pate was beaten and tased.

As a result of the incident, Pate suffered fractures to his jaw and skull.

Pate was initially charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. However, charges were later dropped by the district attorney’s office.

After the body camera footage of the incident was reviewed, the police department suspended both officers without pay. However, a grand jury only brought charges against Officer Sippel.

The brutality case became an impetus behind the push for a new police accountability board, which is now being considered by city leaders.

Howard Thompson, Jan 15, 2019, Rochesterfirst.com, “Trial for Rochester police officer charged in brutality case to be held in March”, https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/local-news/trial-for-rochester-police-officer-charged-in-brutality-case-to-be-held-in-march/1703250995

Pomona agrees to $700,000 settlement to resolve lawsuit over police beating

It will be the third settlement the city has paid in recent years to resolve police misconduct cases



The city of Pomona has reached a settlement agreement to pay three brothers $700,000 to resolve a federal civil rights lawsuit that claimed Pomona police officers violently and unlawfully arrested them in 2015.

When it receives final approval, it will be the third settlement the city has paid in the past several years in cases in which Pomona police officers were accused of misconduct, the most memorable, a $500,000 settlement paid to Christian Aguilar, a teenager who was beaten and arrested at the Los Angeles County Fair in 2015.

In the lawsuit at the center of the agreement reached Wednesday, Jan. 9, Jesus, Victor and Jose Pelayo detailed an assault at the hands of four police officers that left Jose Pelayo hospitalized with head injuries.

The brothers recalled watching as an officer struck Jose on the head with a flashlight. While Jose lay unconscious on the ground, other officers continued to beat him, the lawsuit said.

“The settlement reached before trial was a successful resolution for my clients, victims of police brutality, who were attacked and arrested in front of their homes while getting ready to go to work, and then were false accused of crimes they never committed,” said Narine Mkrtchyan, a Pasadena civil rights attorney who represented the brothers.

City officials declined to discuss why they agreed to the settlement.

“While an agreement in principle has been reached, it has not been formally signed nor executed,” Deputy City Manager Mark Gluba said in a statement. “As such, the City views this matter as ongoing litigation and will not comment further at this time.”

Mkrtchyan said Wednesday’s settlement was, in part, the city’s attempt to limit further exposure.

“If we proved our case to the jury, which I am confident we would, the city could have faced a lot more in judgment and attorneys’ fees,” she said.

Members of the defense team, which included attorneys from three different Southern California area firms, did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls seeking comment.

The four officers have denied any wrongdoing or civil rights violations.

In court documents, they said there was “probable cause and/or reasonable suspicion” to detain the brothers. To address allegations of assault and injury, the officers said they used force “in self-defense and/or in defense of others,” and were responding to the brothers, who had refused to obey orders and were resisting arrest.

Before the settlement was reached, the judge who oversaw the case said there was not enough evidence to place responsibility on the city or then-Police Chief Paul Capraro, who retired in Dec. 2017.

If the case had moved forward to a jury trial, only the four police officers would have been tried, court records said. The city would have not been tried as an entity. Though if the officers were found guilty, the city would still have had to pay.

When the settlement is final, all claims of wrongdoing will be dismissed.

In a summary judgment, Federal District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez outlined the facts of the 2015 arrest based on testimony and evidence from both the brothers and officers.

At about 3 a.m. Oct. 6, 2015,  Jesus and Victor Pelayo were sitting inside their car outside their Pomona apartment, waiting for Jose Pelayo, who was using the bathroom and looking for his work boots. They had a 4 a.m. shift at a Mira Loma furniture warehouse.

Officers Frank Sacca and Austin Dossey, who were on a foot patrol, had been watching the brothers. After two minutes, the officers approached the car with guns drawn. Without identifying themselves as police officers, Dossey shined his flashlight into the car, in the faces of Jesus and Victor, according to the judgment.

Dossey noticed Jesus Pelayo’s Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap, which Dossey said was commonly worn by gang members in the area.

This detail was a key part of Dossey’s defense. He also told the court that the area was a “high crime/gang area.”

Several residents from the area testified that they had never been victims of any crimes, one of them telling the court that the area was “always quiet.”

Jesus Pelayo testified that he was not aware of any connection between his baseball cap and gangs in the area.

“Whether a reasonable officer would believe that Jesus’s Pittsburgh Pirates hat signified gang membership is also a disputed factual question that must be determined at trial,” Gutierrez wrote in the summary judgment.

Confused and agitated by the bright light from Dossey’s flashlight, Jesus Pelayo walked out of the car, yelling “Get that [expletive] light out of my face!” The officers ordered both men to the ground, dragging Victor Pelayo out of the car.

Jose Pelayo, who was leaving his apartment, noticed the unfolding incident. He walked toward the officers asking, “What’s going on?” with his arms extended to his sides.

“Get down to the ground!” one of the officers yelled. Jose Pelayo claimed he did not know the man was a police officer and kept walking forward.

Dossey ran over to Jose Pelayo, hitting him twice in the head with a flashlight, the brothers recalled. Officers Prince Hutchinson and Timothy Dorn, who also were on foot patrol, ran over to Jose and continued to “use force” against Jose as he lay unconscious on the ground, according to court records.

The three brothers were arrested with no explanation.

In their police report, the officers wrote that Jose Pelayo had punched Dossey in the stomach. The brothers claimed this was false. Based on the police report, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor charges for resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.

The brothers did not have a prior criminal record, Mkrtchyan said.

In July 2017, the DA asked the court to dismiss the case after learning that Dossey had been fired and was the subject of an FBI investigation, the lawsuit said.

Why Dossey was fired was not known, but court records show he had been a defendant in five other lawsuits accusing him of misconduct and civil rights violations during arrests. One of the cases stemmed from his time as a Rialto police officer.

In September 2018, another lawsuit was filed against Dossey and Pomona and remains ongoing. An additional lawsuit against Dossey was settled by the city in November 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

Dossey, along with Dorn and Hutchinson, were also tied to the highly publicized arrest of 16-year-old Christian Aguilar at the fair. That took place one month before the arrest of the Pelayo brothers.

A bystander captured the county fair incident on a video that showed several Pomona police officers strike and tackle Aguilar.

I 2016, Aguilar and his father, Ignacio Aguilar — who was arrested under suspicion of public intoxication — filed a civil rights lawsuit against Pomona, its police department, and several officers, including Dossey, Dorn and Hutchinson.

The lawsuit accused Dossey and Dorn of unlawfully arresting Ignacio Aguilar and trying to cover it up with false police reports.

Hutchinson was accused of violating the Christian Aguilar’s civil rights for arresting the teen and later trying to cover it up by also writing a false police report and giving false testimony in court. In 2017, the city agreed to pay Christian and Ignacio Aguilar $500,000 in a settlement.

A few months later, federal prosecutors indicted three Pomona police officers in a new criminal case related to the 2015 county fair arrest. Hutchinson was among the three. He currently faces falsified records and obstruction of justice charges and is set to be retried Monday, Jan. 15, after a mistrial last fall.

On Oct. 4, 2017, Mkrtchyan filed the civil rights lawsuit against the city, the police chief, and the four officers, on behalf of the Pelayo brothers.

Hutchinson has been on paid leave since he was indicted in 2017.  Dorn and Sacca are still active employees of the police department.

Burlingame cop fired for seeking sex from suspects

Police officer’s misconduct shared under a new state law designed to enhance transparency

A Burlingame police office was fired after an investigation found he offered to help a woman navigate her driving under the influence charge in return for sex, according to a report released under a new state law designed to enhance transparency.

Without authorization, former officer David Granucci took the phone number of a woman arrested in early March and scheduled an appointment at her house where he sexually propositioned her, according to the report released Monday, Jan. 7.

The woman refused his advance and reported Granucci, leading to discovery of a series of similar transgressions according to the summary released in accordance with a new law requiring police to adhere to more public records requests.

Burlingame Police Chief Mike Matteucci declined to comment on specific terms of the Granucci investigation, but said his department remains committed to examining misconduct concerns raised by residents.

“The department has long been committed to conducting thorough investigations of citizen complaints, and we take our obligations to the public seriously including the newly enhanced transparency requirements under state law,” he said in an email.

The new state law to which he refers is Senate Bill 1421, authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D- Berkeley, who crafted legislation designed to enhance the authority of those seeking more information about police misconduct.

The law amends the state Public Records Act, and allows those requesting information about claims against police officers a clearer path toward tracking down complaint reports or summaries.

The information shared about Granucci is only a summary, as Matteucci said more time would be required to redact sensitive information before a comprehensive report is available.

From the limited material available though, Granucci apparently committed dozens of department policy violations in advance of his eventual termination in June. Reports of his misconduct were sent to the District Attorney’s Office, but charges were not filed. But District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said with the additional reports of misconduct, his office could reopen a new criminal investigation.

Following his firing, two other women who encountered Granucci on the job claimed he acted inappropriately, according to the report. In 2017, he initiated a sexual relationship lasting several months with a woman who he met while trying to serve an arrest warrant for her son.

Two years earlier, Granucci also solicited a sexual relationship from a woman he met while she was being arrested for a warrant. He lied and said he was helping her with her case and attempted to use that as leverage, but was refused, according to the report.

Investigators reviewing the 2018 misconduct complaint found he lied to administrators about both of the earlier reports.

Granucci was placed on administrative leave after the March complaint was received and he was fired Friday, June 29. He was also informed he would be fired again if he got his job back through an appeal, according to the report.

In 2003, Granucci was involved in a fatal shooting of a suspect, but charges were not filed. In 2011, he was honored by the Burlingame City Council for helping to save a man choking at a restaurant.

For his part, Matteucci said his department will continue to comply with the enhanced transparency obligations, but would not speak to specific allegations.

“We will respond to all appropriate requests but will not have further comment on the merits of these cases,” he said.

A New Database Seeks to Catalog—and Hold Accountable—Police Officers Across the U.S.

Pacific Standard spoke with Camille Fassett, a researcher with Lucy Parsons Labs, about the OpenOversight program—a public database indexing law enforcement officers by name, photo, incidents, and more.
Arvind Dilawar,
A police officer in Bakersfield, California.

A police officer in Bakersfield, California. OpenOversight, which is creating a database of police officers and officer incidents, has apparently struck a nerve with some officers.

(Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

OpenOversight is deceptively simple. Anyone trying to identify a police officer can log on to the website, select the police department or federal agency, enter as much or as little of the officer’s last name and badge number as they remember, choose the officer’s rank if they know it, and enter the approximate race, gender, and age. That query searches a database of law enforcement, producing not only names, badge numbers, and identifying features, but photos and incidents too: Officer Jason D. Van Dyke of the Chicago Police Department, badge number 9465, shot and killed Laquan McDonald in October of 2014; Officer Nicole M. Rhodes of the Oakland Police Department, badge number 736, shot and killed Demouria Hogg in June of 2015; Officer Sean Aranas of the University of California Police Department, badge number 76, allegedly extorted a hot dog vendor in September of 2017.

The project isn’t perfect. Of the 684,200 patrol officers in the United States, only 12,900 have been added to OpenOversight. Some of those profiles are limited to names, badge numbers, and ranks, and just 5 percent include photos. Only five police departments—Berkeley, Chicago, New York, Oakland, and the University of California—are included, along with two federal agencies—Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And, as can be seen from the examples above, only high-profile incidents are currently catalogued.

Yet OpenOversight appears to have struck a nerve. Shortly after launching in 2016, the project became the target of spammers at the encouragement of an anonymous police blog. The president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police has also repeatedly claimed that it endangers police officers by making them identifiable.

But accountability is exactly what Lucy Parsons Labs, the non-profit organization behind OpenOversight, hopes to achieve with this project. Pacific Standard spoke with Camille Fassett, a researcher with Lucy Parsons Labs, about OpenOversight’s reception and its future.


What was the genesis of OpenOversight?

Back in 2016, someone that Lucy Parsons Labs knew in Chicago was assaulted by a police officer. She didn’t get his name or badge number, and for big police departments like Chicago, which has over 12,000 members, this information is critical for identifying officers; in a four-year period, approximately 4,000 complaints were tossed out due to investigators being unable to identify an officer.

She said something that really stuck with us: She said that she would recognize his face if she ever saw him again. So initially OpenOversight was developed to be a digital gallery of photos of police officers. That way, if someone wanted to identify an officer, they could input whatever they remembered, like race and sex and approximate age, and get back a list of possible faces.


Arvind Dilawar, , Pacific Standard, “A New Database Seeks to Catalog—and Hold Accountable—Police Officers Across the U.S.”, https://psmag.com/news/new-database-seeks-to-index-police-officers

Prince George’s raid prompts call for probe

Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun, August 8, 2008

BERWYN HEIGHTS – When the shooting stopped, two dogs lay dead. A mayor sat in his boxers, hands bound behind his back. His handcuffed mother-in-law was sprawled on the kitchen floor, lying beside the body of one of the family pets that police had killed before her eyes.

After the raid, Prince George’s County police officials who burst into the home of Berwyn Heights’ mayor last week seized the same unopened package of marijuana that an undercover officer had delivered an hour earlier.

What police left behind was a house stained with blood and a trail of questions about their conduct. No other evidence of illegal activity was found, and no one was arrested at Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home in this small bedroom community near College Park.

This week Prince George’s police arrested two men for orchestrating a plot to deliver marijuana to the addresses of unsuspecting recipients – among them, Calvo’s wife, Trinity Tomsic.

Yet neither county Police Chief Melvin C. High nor Sheriff Michael A. Jackson have apologized to him, his wife or her mother, Georgia Porter, for the raid that traumatized the family and killed their black Labrador retrievers, Payton and Chase.

Yesterday, Calvo called on the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division to investigate the raid and other similar actions by Prince George’s law enforcement. He said officers burst into his house without knocking or announcing themselves, in violation of the warrant they had.

“Trinity was an innocent and random victim of identity theft. Apparently, so were four or five other county residents whose names and addresses were stolen and used as addresses on drug packages,” Calvo said at a news conference outside his house, near a garden of tomatoes and strawberries.

“However, Trinity and our family have not been treated as victims of a crime. Instead, our home was invaded. Our two beloved Labrador retrievers are dead. My mother-in-law and I were tied up for nearly two hours,” he said. “We were harmed by the very people who took an oath to protect us.”

Berwyn Heights police Chief Patrick A. Murphy appeared with the mayor yesterday and said his agency was never informed of the investigation, despite an existing memorandum of understanding to work together on such operations.

He said not knowing about the raid could have led his officers to fire upon the sheriff’s SWAT team because its members were wearing street clothes, masks and carrying weapons as they approached the mayor’s house.

“What about the safety of my officers?” Murphy said. If consulted, he added, “We could have gotten the mayor to put the dogs away and consent to a search.”

Police officials in Arizona first intercepted the package when a drug-sniffing dog alerted them to the presence of marijuana. It was addressed to Tomsic. An undercover officer in Prince George’s delivered the package near 6 p.m. and was told by Calvo’s mother-in-law to leave it on the porch, according to Calvo’s attorney, Timothy Maloney.

Prince George’s County police arrested two men involved in a scheme to transport marijuana. Once packages were dropped off by a deliveryman, a suspect would pick them up – with the addressee oblivious to the plot. Police seized a half-dozen packages that contained about 417 pounds of marijuana, including the 32 pounds delivered to Tomsic, the Associated Press reported.

Last Tuesday, the mayor arrived home from his full-time job as an executive with SEED Foundation, which establishes urban public charter schools. He took the unopened package inside and placed it on a table near the door. He changed clothes and walked the dogs, waving to the men and women sitting in cars near his home. He did not know they were police.

He returned and went upstairs to get dressed for an event. As he changed clothes, SWAT team members darted across the fenced-in lot. Porter, 50, was cooking artichokes in the kitchen and screamed when she saw the approaching masked men with guns.

The door was kicked in and gunshots rang out, Calvo said. Police killed one dog, Payton – named for football running back Walter Payton – even though Porter was standing next to him.

Police have said the dogs “engaged” officers. Calvo confirmed that Payton probably moved toward the door but would have ultimately done nothing more than lick them.

“He was an aggressive licker,” said Calvo.

Cheryl Compton, a neighbor, said her two sons, 5-year-old Cody and 7-year-old Ty, played with the mayor’s dogs all the time, and that everyone but the Prince George’s County police knew where Calvo lived.

“I would have let them stay in a yard by themselves with those dogs,” Compton said. “It really upsets me to think that I don’t feel safe in my home. If they were to shoot our dog, Amber, I would be outraged.”

Chase was shot while running away from sheriff’s deputies, Calvo said.

“He was hunted down and shot in the back while he fled,” he said. “They didn’t deserve to die. They don’t deserve to be blamed for their deaths.”

Calvo, 37, who has been mayor since 2004, was told to walk backward down the stairs with his hands in the air. He was wearing only boxers and socks. Police handcuffed him and placed him in the living room. His mother-in-law was also cuffed and made to lie on the kitchen floor next to Payton’s body.

Police said they were allowed to enter the house without announcing their presence because Porter screamed and because they had a “no-knock” warrant. Calvo and his attorney, Maloney, say that is not true.

When Tomsic arrived home, she said, she thought the house had been robbed and that police had responded with an impressive show of force. But when she saw the blood and learned what had happened to her dogs, she was in shock.

“They were my kids,” said Tomsic, 33, an employee with Maryland’s Department of Human Resources. “All I could see was the blood and the tissue of the dogs.”

Cleaning the blood, which police tracked throughout the house, was the top priority after the police left four hours after the raid, Calvo said.

“The blood was horrendous,” Calvo said. “They had tracked it everywhere.”

The couple bought the corner lot home nearly three years ago and asked Porter to move from Utah to live with them about 13 months ago. On the front fence, supporters have draped an American flag banner that reads, “Cheye & Trinity We Support You.” Dozens of people have written personal messages to the family on the banner.

Robert Kovalchik, a neighbor and Calvo’s high school history teacher at Parkdale High School, said he was shocked that county officials had not apologized.

“This smacks of something from Nazi Germany,” Kovalchik said.

Calvo said he wants federal officials to examine policies that he said have led Prince George’s police officials to serve warrants on wrong addresses and kill family pets before.

In once such case, Prince George’s sheriff’s deputies executed a warrant on the home of Frank and Pamela Myers of Accokeek in November. The Myerses told sheriffs that they had the wrong address as their dog began barking from the yard. The couple asked if they could retrieve their dog, but deputies refused. Minutes later, two shots were fired and the dog was killed, according to a notice of a tort claims filed by attorney Michael J. Winkelman. The Myerses were never charged and nothing was seized from their house.

“This has happened before, and without oversight, it will happen again,” Calvo said.

Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun, August 8, 2008, “Prince George’s raid prompts call for probe”, https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2008-08-08-0808070248-story.html

New Hampshirle Police Charged and Arrested a Man for Criticizing Them on the Internet


A man getting arrested by a cop.
A police officer arrests a suspect (not Robert Frese).

On May 23, a police officer arrested Robert W. Frese in Exeter, New Hampshire and took him to the station for booking. Frese is no stranger to law enforcement; in the past, he has been convicted of fraud, criminal trespassing, and a hit-and-run. (His vehicle was easy to track because of its notable vanity plate: TRUMP1.) But this latest arrest, Frese learned, had nothing to do with those earlier mishaps. Instead, he had been apprehended for insulting a police officer on the internet.

The facts of the case, laid out by the Seacoast Online and the criminal complaint against Frese, are straightforward. On May 3, Frese wrote a comment on a Seacoast Online article about recently retiring police officer Dan D’Amato. He believed that D’Amato had treated him unfairly and harshly criticized his alleged misconduct. He then tore into Exeter Police Chief William Shupe, declaring that “Chief Shupe covered up for this dirty cop.”

Although the outlet removed the comment, the police charged Frese with criminal defamation of character, a Class B misdemeanor. (In New Hampshire, police departments have authority to prosecute these low-level crimes.) Their complaint allege that he “purposely communicated on a public website, in writing, information which he knows to be false and knows will tend to expose another person to public contempt, by posting that Chief Shupe covered up for a dirty cop.” Frese’s arrest was quite unusual; Class B misdemeanors may result in fines but not jail time, and officers do not typically detain a suspect whose alleged crime may not be punished with a deprivation of liberty. The police released Frese on his own recognizance; his arraignment is scheduled for July 10.

The criminal complaint against Robert Frese.
The criminal complaint against Robert Frese.
Exeter Police Department

Are these actions by the Exeter police actually legal? Almost certainly not. Political speech—and, in particular, criticism of public officials—lies at the heart of the First Amendment, and the Exeter police would have to overcome several hurdles to secure a conviction. Perhaps most obviously, the law under which Frese was charged may be unconstitutional on its face. The statute criminalizes false speech that “tend[s] to expose” a living person to “public hatred, contempt or ridicule,” without distinguishing between expression directed at private individuals and public figures. But the First Amendment protects some false speech, particularly in the context of political debate. And the astonishing breadth of this law, outlawing any fiction that brings “ridicule” upon a living person, raises serious constitutional concerns.

Even if the statute comports with the constitution, its application in this case remains suspect. Under New York Times v. Sullivan, the government may not penalize criticism of public officials (like a police chief) unless it was made with “actual malice”—knowledge of its falsity, or “reckless disregard” to its truth. That stringent standard protects “rhetorical hyperbole,” which appears to be what Frese engaged in here. It’s not at all clear that Frese intended to express a statement of fact; read in context, his comment seems to imply that the police chief excused the patrolman’s alleged misbehavior. Frese is not necessarily accusing Shupe of a crime so much as drawing an inference from his own (manifold) encounters with the Exeter police. Sullivan plainly protects his right to fling this disparagement at Shupe, even if it might not be true in a strictly literal sense.

Even if Frese did aim to charge Shupe with the crime of covering up police misconduct, Sullivan still likely shields his speech from government sanction. All evidence suggests that Frese believes the Exeter police are engaged in wrongdoing that Shupe has concealed. To successfully prosecute Frese, the police would have to prove that he made his claim knowing full well that Shupe is innocent of this crime, or at least recklessly indifferent to the veracity of his comment. There is virtually no chance that the department could clear this high bar.

Sullivan is particularly relevant here because of the odd facts of this case. It is extremely unusual for the government to prosecute defamation as a crime; the vast majority of defamation claims are civil suits, in which one party seeks redress from the other. Here, the Exeter police are attempting to use the machinery of government to retaliate against an individual for denigrating them. Their charge of criminal defamation is strikingly similar to the old offense of “seditious libel,” or unlawful criticism of the government, which the Sullivan court condemned as anathema to the First Amendment. By using a broad defamation law to suppress speech hostile to state officials, the Exeter police have invoked the spirit of the notorious Sedition Act of 1798, a law the court found to be unconstitutional in Sullivan.

Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, is looking into Frese’s case and told me on Friday that he’s disturbed by the prosecution. “It appears that the police may be using this statute to suppress speech that is critical of police,” he told me. “This is deeply troubling.” He added that while there is a “public interest in preventing defamation,” it is “not sufficient to justify the repressive effect that criminal libel prosecutions may have on public expression.”

“It would be prudent,” Bissonnette said, “for the Exeter police to dismiss this charge immediately.”

The situation in Exeter may seem to be little more than a minor mishap. But as pundits and politicians debate censorship on college campuses, it’s important to remember that law enforcement has vast power to suppress expression it dislikes. Immigration activists have credibly accused federal agents of targeting them on the basis of their speech. Demonstrators protesting police brutality have been subject to violence and wrongful arrests because of their expression. Other police departments have allegedly retaliated against citizens who contribute to negative media coverage of officers and journalists conducting investigations. The Exeter case is a bracing reminder that people with guns and badges often present the most immediate threat to the freedom of speech.

, “New Hampshirle Police Charged and Arrested a Man for Criticizing Them on the Internet”, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/exeter-police-arrested-a-man-for-criticizing-them-on-the-internet.htm,

City agrees to pay $9.3 million for wrongful conviction tied to Burge detectives


James Kluppelberg is released from Menard Correctional Facility in Chester on May 31, 2012, after 20-plus years in prison for charges in a fatal fire. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, January 10, 2018

Chicago officials have agreed to pay $9.3 million to a man wrongfully convicted of setting a 1984 fire that killed a mother and her five children, a crime he confessed to only after he was allegedly beaten by detectives working under disgraced Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

The proposed settlement in the federal lawsuit brought by James Kluppelberg marks the latest in a string of massive payouts by the city involving cases of alleged police misconduct.

It also adds to the ever-mounting costs of the torture scandal involving Burge and his “midnight crew” of detectives, which has stained the city’s reputation and so far cost taxpayers at least $115 million in lawsuit settlements, judgments and other compensation to victims.

The $9.3 million deal, made public Wednesday but reached as the trial over Kluppelberg’s lawsuit was set to go to trial in August, will be considered by the City Council’s Finance Committee at its meeting Friday. If approved , the full City Council will vote on the proposal next week.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department had no comment.

Kluppelberg, 52, spent nearly 25 years in prison for setting the fatal blaze that killed Elva Lupercio, 28, and her five children, ages 3 to 10, in their home in the 4400 block of South Hermitage Avenue. The building was destroyed. Testing did not find any signs of accelerants.

Fire investigators originally labeled the cause undetermined and said it appeared to have been an accident. But the case was reopened more than four years later when a man arrested on burglary charges told police that Kluppelberg had set the fire. The man’s girlfriend had left him for Kluppelberg a few weeks after the fire, Kluppelberg’s attorney told the Tribune after his conviction.

Kluppelberg was arrested and later confessed to the arson. The lawsuit filed by Kluppelberg in May 2013 alleged that he confessed only after being beaten so badly by Chicago police detectives working under Burge that he urinated blood. Doctors found signs of trauma to his back and kidneys, and a trial judge later threw out Kluppelberg’s confession but not the underlying charges.

Kluppelberg’s attorneys at the law firm of Winston & Strawn and the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School had argued that the fire was not intentionally set, citing their expert, who found that it might have been accidental.

The man who first implicated Kluppelberg recanted and said in a sworn statement that he had lied to get leniency in his burglary case. And Kluppelberg’s attorneys alleged that authorities had concealed information about a woman who admitted setting a fire to a home on the same night about a block away. The woman, who was convicted of that arson, told officials she had been too drunk to remember whether she had set the fire blamed on Kluppelberg.

It wasn’t until 2012 that Cook County prosecutors dismissed the charges against Kluppelberg, saying they no longer could meet their burden of proof.

Kluppelberg left prison that year with $14.17 in the pocket of his gray sweatpants. He moved to Indiana to be close to his son and daughter-in-law, who supported him while he unsuccessfully looked for work. He later told the Tribune he felt “lost,” struggling to adjust to life on the outside and sleeping only three or four hours a night.

“I thought my life would be moving forward by now,” Kluppelberg said in the 2013 interview. “In a way, I feel like I’m still locked up.”

Records show Kluppelberg has a home repair business with his son in Crown Point. Calls to the business were not returned Wednesday.

If approved, the $9.3 million settlement in Kluppelberg’s lawsuit would mark yet another massive payout for the city in a police misconduct case. In the past three months alone, more than $100 million in judgments and legal fees have been assessed against the city for police-related cases, including a record $44.7 million jury verdict in October for a man who was shot by his childhood friend, Officer Patrick Kelly, in an off-duty incident.

In December, the City Council approved a $31 million payout for the “Englewood Four,” who each spent some 15 years in prison for a 1994 rape and murder before DNA linked the crime to a convicted killer.

And earlier this month, a federal judge ordered the city to pay at least $5.6 million in legal fees to attorneys for a former El Rukn gang member who won a $22 million jury verdict on claims he was framed by Chicago police for an infamous 1984 double murder.

Meanwhile, Kluppelberg’s lawsuit was one of the last pending cases involving alleged torture by Burge and his crew — a scandal that came to light three decades ago when former Mayor Richard Daley was the Cook County state’s attorney.

Burge was fired from the department in 1993 after it was determined he tortured murder suspect Andrew Wilson. In 2010, Burge was convicted in federal court of perjury and obstruction of justice after jurors found he lied under oath in a deposition for a civil suit when he denied witnessing torture or abusing suspects.

While Burge was not charged with torture, prosecutors had to prove up allegations of abuse to support the other counts. Burge spent 4 1/2 years in prison and on home confinement and now lives in Florida, where he still collects a police pension.

After years of fighting the torture claims, the city did an about-face May 2015 when a $5.5 million reparations package was approved to acknowledge those victimized by Burge

Jason Meisner, January 10, 2018, Chicago Tribune, “City agrees to pay $9.3 million for wrongful conviction tied to Burge detectives”, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-wrongful-conviction-jon-burge-20180110-story.html

Former Edison cop called ‘monster’ by wife sentenced to 20 years

Suzanne Russell, Sept. 7, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK – Former Edison Police Officer Michael Dotro scratched his neck and forehead but expressed no remorse Thursday before being sentenced to 20 years in state prison for setting fire to the home of a superior officer while the police captain and his family were inside asleep.

He offered no apology to the family of Capt Mark Anderko, who had to flee the burning house, no remorse for the witness he tampered with and no remorse for the other officers who lost their jobs because of their involvement with him.

Dotro, who must serve 17 years before he becomes eligible for parole, said nothing in the courtroom during the nearly hourlong sentencing before Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez Jr. as Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan, Anderko and his wife looked on.

The sentence, negotiated under a plea agreement with Assistant Prosecutor Russell Curley, relates to crimes Dotro committed over a period of five years.

Former Edison police officer Michael Dotro enters State

After the sentencing, Carey, standing with Bryan and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Gerald McAleer in the courthouse lobby, said he first announced the charges against Dotro in May 2013.

Since then he has worked with the prosecutor’s office and Edison police to analyze what was going on within the Edison Police Department and “we have surgically removed the cancerous officers from the Edison Police Department.”

“Michael Dotro has now been sentenced for serious crimes, crimes that legitimate police officers find absolutely repugnant,” said Carey, adding that his office has looked at other police officers and worked to clean up that shop.

Carey noted that others have been removed for their connection to Dotro’s offenses and three others were removed for other inappropriate acts.

He said Bryan has hired 53 new officers in the past four years and safeguards have been put in place.

“There is a new tone, a new day in the Edison Police Department,” said Carey, adding that today’s Edison officers are serving with integrity. “The Edison Police Department is a much better and different place than it was four years ago and we’re happy with the judge’s rendering of the sentence today.”

Bryan thanked Carey in helping to make the Edison Police Department more professional after a period of high-profile incidents of police misconduct.

Dotro received 20 years for attempted murder, a first-degree crime, and 10 years for aggravated arson for setting the May 23, 2013 fire at Anderko’s home. The prison terms will run concurrently.

Dotro also was sentenced to 10 years for official misconduct, five years for conspiracy to tamper with a witness and 18 months for conspiracy to retaliate. He will serve five years of parole supervision once released. Jimenez also ordered Dotro to have no contact with the Anderko family and another victim.

After Dotro entered the courtroom, his wife, Alycia, yelled out “you’re a monster. You’re a manipulative monster,” before being told by a sheriff’s officer she would have to remain quiet or risk being removed.

After the sentencing, Alycia Dotro said people don’t know what’s been going on behind closed doors for the past three years, adding that she has been manipulated by a man who was not the person she once knew.

“Basically, I came here to watch him being taken away in handcuffs and give me a chance to start my life,” she said.

But Michael Dotro’s attorney, Robert Norton, said the case is finally resolved.

“I’m not happy with the plea bargain, but we can live with what transpired today,” Norton said. Norton said it was too painful for Dotro’s parents and brothers to attend the sentencing.

Long, winding road

Michael Dotro, 40, of Manalapan, last month pleaded guilty to attempted murder, arson, official misconduct and other charges on the heels of learning the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office planned to file additional charges.

The attempted murder and arson charges relate to Dotro setting a fire May 23, 2013 at Anderko’s Monroe home. Anderko, who was at home with his wife, two children and 92-year-old mother at the time of the 4 a.m. fire. None of them were injured.

While a trial date had not yet been set on the attempted murder and arson charge, the jury had been picked and opening arguments were set to begin last month in the official misconduct case when Dotro was arrested and put in jail in connection with attempting to intimidate a witness in the case. That offense occurred while Dotro was on probation from a prior offense.

During a televised court appearance from the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick on Aug. 18 when he was arraigned on the witness tampering charge, Dotro learned more charges were to come.

He pleaded guilty to all charges, including witness tampering, on Aug. 21 and learned he will serve up to 20 years in state prison.

In the official misconduct case, Dotro was accused of checking police records and notifying his wife of reports related to a tire-slashing incident involving a woman he was allegedly involved with. He also was accused of purchasing marijuana for his wife while in uniform, as well as some weapons charges. Marijuana also was allegedly found in his police duty bag.

A day after Dotro pleaded guilty, his wife was admitted to a pre-trial intervention program that could clear her record after two years.

Alycia Dotro was charged with hindering for allegedly providing false information during the investigation of her husband and his involvement in the fire. She also was charged with official misconduct, conspiracy and criminal mischief in connection with her criminal involvement in slashing the tires of a car owned by an Edison woman. She was indicted on both charges.

The attempted murder, arson, official misconduct and witness tampering were not the only legal issues Michael Dotro has battled in recent years.

In September 2016, Dotro pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy, admitting he sought retaliation against a North Brunswick police officer who had ticketed another individual for drunk driving. Four other former Edison police officers pleaded guilty to their roles in the retaliation plot.

Norton suggested there may be two Michael Dotros because the one he knew was cooperative, built a successful restaurant while on probation, renovated houses and was someone who could be rehabilitated.

Curley disagreed, calling Dotro’s case “one of the most shocking this state has seen in years.”

Curley said Dotro took an oath as a police officer to  protect and serve his community but disgraced and turned his back on that oath in a vicious, vengeful and calculated way.

“And the wrath of this man’s vengeance was akin to something you would find in the Old Testament. If anybody crossed him, he was going to have exact revenge,” Curley said, adding it was evident in all of Dotro’s cases. “No one was immune from this man’s wrath and vengeance.”

He said there is a sinister Michael Dotro that Dotro needs to recognize to control that demon because it keeps coming out in very destructive ways. With that, Curley said, Dotro is certain to offend again.

Jimenez noted that Dotro had 14 documented contacts with the criminal justice system before becoming a police officer in 2003 and more since joining the force, including 40 municipal court convictions. Norton later added that they were mostly town ordinances involving college students.

“He was sworn to uphold the law and disregarded it,” the judge said. “This defendant took the position of a police officer and turned it into a nightmarish story line. There is no way to rehabilitate this defendant. This defendant cannot be deterred from violating the law under any circumstances because he hasn’t been deterred from violating the law since 1998 until the day that he pleaded guilty.”

“Mr. Curley and his band of heroes caught you four times,” Jimenez said, warning Dotro that if he commits another offense, Curley will catch him again.

Suzanne Russell, Sept. 7, 2017, mycentraljersey.com, “Former Edison cop called ‘monster’ by wife sentenced to 20 years”, https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/crime/2017/09/07/former-edison-cop-michael-dotro-sentenced-20-years/614680001/

SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow

Police department places two officers on leave as internal investigation continues.

Luke Ramseth, September 01, 2017


Hours after Salt Lake City’s mayor and police chief apologized for an officer handcuffing a hospital nurse who refused to take blood from an unconscious patient, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday he wanted a criminal investigation into the episode.

“On the face of the evidence, there is concern that is raised about this officer’s conduct,” Gill said in a Friday interview. “But the whole point of an investigation is to gather the information about this situation.”

Gill said he discussed the situation with Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Chief Mike Brown on Friday morning, and they agreed it would be appropriate to conduct an investigation in the name of ”transparency and institutional accountability.”

City officials said late Friday the Unified Police Department would conduct the criminal probe. Meanwhile, an internal affairs investigation by Salt Lake City police into the officer, Detective Jeff Payne, also is ongoing. Payne was placed on administrative leave Friday afternoon, as was a second unnamed officer connected to the confrontation.

Earlier in the day, Brown and Biskupski called the University Hospital nurse, Alex Wubbels, to apologize. They then held a news conference, saying they were alarmed by what they saw on police body camera footage of the arrest, which took place July 26, and said changes to police blood draw policies and officer training had been made.

The mayor said Thursday was the first time she had seen the officer body camera footage documenting the encounter between Payne and Wubbels. The chief said it was the first time he had seen the video in full. The footage became public Thursday during a news conference held by Wubbels’ attorney, Karra Porter, who said no claim or lawsuit has been filed.

“I am sad at the rift this has caused between law enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with,” Brown said. ”I want to be clear, we take this very seriously.”

“What I saw is completely unacceptable to the values of my administration and of the values of the Salt Lake City Police Department,” added Biskupski. “I extend a personal apology to Ms. Wubbels for what she has been through for simply doing her job.”

City offices, including the police department, were bombarded with social media backlash and phone calls as the video skipped around the country Thursday and Friday. And several city and state officials weighed in on Payne’s conduct, including Gov. Gary Herbert, who tweeted Friday morning that Wubbels’ arrest was ”disturbing” and that the city’s police should ”rectify the situation.”

Payne arrived at the hospital July 26, seeking a blood sample from a burned and unconscious patient, 43-year-old William Gray, who had been involved in a fiery collision the same day in northern Utah. Gray was driving a semi north on U.S. 89/91 near Sardine Canyon when a man fleeing from the Utah Highway Patrol crashed a pickup truck into him head-on, according to Logan Police, who investigated the crash. That man, Marcos Torres, 26, died at the scene.

Logan police Capt. Tyson Budge said an investigator on the crash called Salt Lake City police and requested the department get a blood draw on Gray. Budge said such a request is routine, especially involving serious injury or fatal accidents, despite the fact that Gray was not a suspect in the crash. ”It’s being thorough, and documenting everything in a serious crash,” Budge said.

The video footage shows Wubbels explaining that blood cannot be taken from an unconscious patient unless the patient is under arrest, unless there is a warrant allowing the draw or unless the patient consents. Payne acknowledges in the footage that none of those requirements is in place, but he insists that he has the authority to obtain the draw, according to the footage.

After Wubbels consults with several hospital officials about the policy, Payne tells her she is under arrest and grabs her, pulling her arms back and handcuffing her, then putting her in a patrol car. Wubbels screams, ”Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong!”

In Payne’s report of the episode, he writes that Lt. James Tracy had ordered him to over the phone to arrest Wubbels if she refused to allow him to get a blood sample.

But after Tracy arrived, he learned that the hospital automatically draws and tests blood, and that accident investigators often get a warrant to access the hospital record of the blood draw, Tracy wrote in his own report.

Tracy wrote that it was ultimately determined “that we would release the nurse and write our reports and detectives could decide if charges were appropriate or not for this case.” Police spokeswoman Christina Judd declined to say if the second officer put on leave was Tracy.

Another officer, Denton Harper, who was dispatched to the hospital to assist Payne, wrote in his report that he asked Payne “why he didn’t look into drafting a search warrant for the patient’s blood. Payne told me Logan Police Department said they didn’t have enough probable cause to do so.”

Gill said he reached out to the police chief and the mayor late Friday morning expressing his concern and requesting a criminal investigation into the episode. The district attorney said he asked Brown to find an outside agency to look into the case, and by the end of the day, Unified had agreed to look into it.

Gill said once the investigation is handed over to his office, prosecutors can decide if any laws were broken and if there is “somebody who should be held accountable.” He added that he was grateful that the mayor and chief were “committed to transparency” and were in support of further investigation.

The district attorney wouldn’t specify whether the investigation will be centered on the officer’s actions or something else, saying it would be unfair to make that call without having all the evidence in front of him.

Judd said the agency had initiated an internal affairs investigation within hours of the July 26 encounter. Payne was initially taken off the blood-draw team, and allowed to stay on desk duty as a detective. But, by Friday, as a criminal investigation got underway, he was placed on administrative leave.

The internal affairs investigators would gather the footage, and conduct interviews with all parties involved, then present the information and a recommendation to Chief Brown. Such a probe could result in Payne’s firing.

Payne could not be reached for comment Friday.

Judd said that soon after the blood-draw episode, the assistant chief quickly apologized to hospital administration for the encounter and arrest. The department examined its policy for blood draws, which was tweaked, and committed to additional training for its officers who conduct draws. The department has continued to meet with university medical officials in recent weeks, she said, to ensure adequate procedures are in place so ”it doesn’t happen again.”

The updated policy, provided by the department, states that a blood draw requires consent by the subject, or a search warrant — noting that ”implied consent” by the subject of the draw is no longer allowed. The updated policy also notes that ”blood draws are subject to established search and seizure laws.”

Payne is one of about 10 officers who are certified to take blood from people who have been involved in serious crashes or other accidents, or are suspected of driving under the influence, Judd said. They carry their own blood-draw kits, she said, and are often called upon by other police departments, such as Logan, to take blood at Salt Lake City hospitals.

Judd said there was some confusion about the video, with many people assuming “that the officer was demanding that the nurse draw the blood.” But Judd said Payne was in fact ”demanding to find out where Gray was” being treated in the burn unit of the hospital, so Payne could draw the blood himself. (Gray remained in serious condition at the hospital this week, officials there said.)

Several Salt Lake City Council members and state officials, including Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, who heads the Senate’s judiciary committee, weighed in on the encounter Friday, with Weiler saying he would “stand against any form of unnecessary police brutality or inappropriate behavior.”

Councilman Derek Kitchen posted on Facebook that the bodycam footage “is one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in awhile.“

Many others around the country apparently agreed.

The video caused an uproar on social media, and multiple national and international news outlets picked up the story Friday. Thousands of people angrily commented on the police department’s Facebook page, many demanding Payne’s firing or suspension. Other Utah police agencies were also being mistakenly bombarded by angry social media commenters, including the Unified Police Department and South Salt Lake police.

A change.org petition called ”Justice for Alex Wubbels” had about 85,000 supporters by Friday evening, while various YouTube videos documenting the encounter had been viewed millions of times. And the local organization Utah Against Police Brutality announced it was holding a protest rally at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building

National nursing associations weighed in, too.

“It is outrageous and unacceptable that a nurse should be treated in this way for following her professional duty to advocate on behalf of the patient as well as following the policies of her employer and the law,” American Nurses Association President Pam Cipriano said in a statement.

Jean Ross, co-president of National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses, said there was ”no excuse” for Payne’s actions, which she added would send a ”chilling message about the safety of nurses and the rights of patients.”

Hospital administrators sent an open letter to faculty and staff Friday morning. It said when law enforcement officers request blood samples, they should immediately be directed to a supervisor. It said that since the incident, hospital staff has worked with Salt Lake City police to ”create a clear policy” that allows for better communication and protects nurses and patients.

“During a stressful situation Nurse Wubbels chose to focus first and foremost on the care and well-being of her patient,” the letter said. ”She followed hospital procedures and protocols in this matter and was acting in her patient’s best interest.”

Wubbels, in a statement, said she accepted the apologies of the chief and mayor.

“The outpouring of support has been beyond what I could have imagined,” she said. “Since the incident, the city has taken this matter seriously, and I believe that positive change will occur.”

Tribune reporters Jessica Miller, Tiffany Frandsen, Pamela Manson and Mariah Noble contributed to this story.

Luke Ramseth, September 01, 2017, The Salt Lake Tribune, “SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow”, https://www.sltrib.com/news/2017/09/01/salt-lake-city-police-apologize-for-officer-handcuffing-nurse-who-refused-blood-draw-of-unconscious-patient/#gallery-carousel-2543132