The CAUTION Group - Practical Education for Police and Community

Another Bad Shoot As Officer Mistakes Camera For Gun

In the story below, we see a Clark County (OH) deputy on a traffic stop suddenly draw his weapon and fire two shots WITHOUT WARNNG hitting a  local newspaper photographer setting up his camera and tripod.  

The deputy has been with the sheriff dept for five years.  He mistook the photography equipment for a gun.  Why?  Why is that the first assumption?  Does Clark County, located in west central Ohio, with a population of about 138,000 mostly in the Springfield metropolitan area, have such a high violence rate that your first assumption is a gun AND so overwhelming that you need to shoot first and ask questions later?

No warning whatsoever!  The officer appears to exit his patrol car and fire twice, striking the newsman.  It is time for training officers at academies and agencies to stop telling officers there is a boogy man around every corner that wants to kill him/her.  Officer safety training is a must but officers need to use their brains before their guns.  This was a bad shoot and the profession must say so.
See Story here

Indifference Can Equal Liability

Indifference Can Equal Liability

Brandon Palakovic, 23, was convicted of burglary in western Pennsylvania and sentenced to 16-48 months in prison.  Brandon was a disturbed young man who reported prior attempts to harm himself and current suicidal thoughts to prison intake personnel who classified him as a suicide risk.  That initial assessment aside, prison officials failed miserably to protect Brandon thereafter and he committed suicide.  His parents brought suit in federal court for 8th Amendment violations (Cruel & Unusual punishment), which the district court denied, and was appealed to the Third Circuit (that includes Michigan), which overturned the lower court.
The Court found severe deficiencies in the prison's mental health handlings including a practice of imposing solitary confinement for long periods of time despite knowing that most suicides occur in solitary.  Brandon received no mental health counseling or treatment or any intervention efforts after the suicide risk classification.
The Department of Justice was conducting a review of the prison at the time and reportedly found serious deficiencies in the system as well.
Indifference by prison staff and officials is actionable in civil court, so said the Third Circuit, but more importantly it cost Brandon his life.
The case is Palakovic v Wetzel (16-2726).

DOJ Finds Louisiana Police Violate Rights

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday issued its finding into the 42 USC Section 14141 investigation of two law enforcement agencies in Louisiana concluding that both engage in a "pattern or practice" of unconstitutional conduct.

The Ville Platte Police Department and Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office both were found to routinely arrest and hold in jail persons without either an arrest warrant or probable cause to support the arrests.

DOJ also found that both departments lacked a basic understanding of when lawful arrests could be made and lacked training and supervision to the extent that civil rights were violated on a broad scale.


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Another Bad Shoot As Officer Mistakes Camera For Gun
Indifference Can Equal Liability
DOJ Finds Louisiana Police Violate Rights


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