The year has been tenuous for police officers and civilians alike. Report after report and dash cam and cell phone camera videos seemed to appear out of thin air capturing officers committing heinous crimes on and off duty. Growing up I was in the Officer Friendly era, where cops were our friends. They were brought into the school for us to trust and build relationships with early. It’s hard for Me, after having grown up in that era, to admit that when a cop comes My direction I tend to cross the street now. I barely trust them in my space. It’s a hard feeling to live with. Police officers are here to help us so why when we are the victims of crimes are we so afraid to call for help? Why are we more afraid of the police than the person who committed the crime against us? I spoke of a case like this is My article last week, Say Their Name, where I mentioned the story of Lavell Hall. Lavell Hall was mentally ill man whose mother called the police for assistance with him. Soon after he was shot dead in front of her by Miami Gardens, Florida Police Officers.
There are so many cops who have been indicted of heinous crimes against civilians in 2015. Many of those crimes caught on camera and replayed over and over on national news stations. Some, like in the case of Officer William Porter, currently on trial for the death of detainee Freddie Gray while in custody of the Baltimore City Police Department, we will see the result of this year. Many however, we will have to wait until next year or later to find out how a jury will rule.
We have seen the conviction of many now former officers this year for crimes they committed against civilians. 10 such cases can be found below. To keep up with crimes committed by police officers across the U.S. bookmark the Police Misconduct website.
- June 2015 – Former LAPD Officer Mary O’ Callaghan was convicted for felony assault for an attack on a handcuffed detainee that left the detainee dead. Dash cam footage showed Officer O’ Callaghan kicking the hand cuffed and leg shacked detainee in the throat and groin until she became unconscious.
- March 2015 – Former Des Moines, Iowa Officer Colin Boone was convicted of assault and deprivation of rights under color law of a suspect during arrest. The evidence showed that Officer Boone ran up to a suspect who was being held by 3 other officers and kicked the suspect in the face, knocking out his teeth and breaking his nose.
- September 2015 – Former NYC Police Officer Brendan Cronin plead guilty to attempted murder and took a plea deal. In an apparent random event, an intoxicated Cronin had shot at a passing car injuring a passenger.
- December 2015 – Former Oklahoma Police offer Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted of 18 charges stemming from the rape of 13 black women while on duty.
- November 2015 – Former officers Sussie Ayaleat and Fernando Laviano were convicted of civil rights violations and sentenced to 6 and 7 years respectively in federal prison. Charges stemmed from the 2011 beating of a handcuffed detainee.
- November 2015- Former Sacremento, California officer Gary Dale Baker was convicted of raping a 75 year old stroke patient who was unable to speak multiple times. He was sentenced to life in prison.
- November 2015 – Former Ocala, Florida police officer Bennie Wilson was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
- November 2015 – Former Connecticut State Trooper Aaron Huntsman was convicted of stealing from a dying man after a motorcycle accident. He stole $3,700 in cash and a gold crucifix.
- December 2015 – Former officer Jenchesky Santiago of Prince George’s County Maryland was convicted of assault and misconduct in office. Officer Santiago had been caught on camera pointing his gun at a civilians head.
- December 2015 – Former officer Brett Russell was sentenced to 18 months for the 2011 excessive force arrest and beating of a suspect.
These are just the stories of 10 trials in which former officers have been convicted just this year of crimes against the very people they have sworn to serve and protect. The sad part is there were so many more and the list of officers awaiting trial is just as long. So many of these cases were only brought to light when cell or dash cam video surfaced leaving us to wonder how many more officers deserve to stand trial for the crimes they commit while “keeping the peace”