DA asks for TBI review of local drug task force case involving meth charges, and the behavior of two agents

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will review a local drug task force case involving meth charges, and the behavior of two agents during the late November arrest.

Last week District Attorney General Dan Alsobrooks requested TBI review a case charging a Fairview man with possession and promotion of meth and resisting arrest Nov. 26.

Richard D. Lowe Jr., 31, of Fairview, faces single counts of felony possession of schedule II drugs for resale and promotion of meth manufacturing; and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Lowe appeared for a criminal hearing Nov. 30 in Dickson County General Sessions Court, but his case was waived to a grand jury. As of press time, he remained jailed in lieu of $32,000 bond.

Alsobrooks reported Monday that he had not received a complaint from Lowe of “excessive force” by two drug agents during the Nov. 26 arrest.

“When I learned that the case had been made and that there had been a resisting arrest charge, and that there was some force used in the arrest, given all the circumstances we’ve had on some other cases in the district, I just thought it was a good precaution, as you would say, to have the TBI look at it,” Alsobrooks said.



Mayor questions why MPD officer back on job

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -Memphis Mayor A C Wharton has vowed he will get to the bottom of why police officer Terrence Shaw, who is under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in the September shooting death of a teenager, is back on the job.

Mayor Wharton caught by surprise by a decision made by the police department’s deputy director to allow Shaw to come back to work, behind a desk. He won’t be carrying a gun or be able to make arrests, but he’s back on duty in what’s called “non-enforcement” status.

Mayor Wharton is concerned about the public perception of Officer Shaw’s return while he is still the subject of an ongoing  state investigation into a teenager’s shooting.

Shaw, who previously was cleared of any wrongdoing in the 2009 shooting death of a Frayser man, has been at the center of an investigation into Thompson’s death.

At the time Shaw was off-duty and later alleged Thompson attempted to rob him before Shaw shot the teen. A day later, Mr. Wharton called in the TBI to investigate the shooting and announced the entire MPD operation was going to be scrutinized from top to bottom.

Read more: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/20330830/mayor-questions-why-mpd-officer-back-on-job#ixzz2EtuK1dE9

Why Are There No Good Data On Police Use Of Force?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently ran an editorialpraising a new program by University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist David Klinger that will track, analyze the city’s police-involved shootings. This comes on the heels of a study Klinger authored on the same topic finding that the city had improved the way it investigates police shootings, but that the police department is still too opaque about those investigations.

This is pretty typical, as is the fact that attempts to make the department more transparent about officer-involved shootings has been strongly opposed by the police union. Last year, an investigative series Las Vegas Review-Journal found that officer shootings were always deemed justified, even in cases where they pretty clearly weren’t. That led to a federal civil rights investigation by the Department of Justice. The DOJ report,released last month, came down hard on the city.

It’s been the same story in other cities. See Los Angeles, Seattle, ChicagoPortland, and a host of other places.

It could well be that most or even nearly all officer-involved shootings really are justified. The problem is that when police departments shut down the flow of information, when cops are in charge of investigating other cops, and when the blue code is still openly embraced and enforced, few outside of law enforcement are going to trust the integrity of these investigations.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/radley-balko/why-is-there-no-good-data_b_2278013.html?utm_hp_ref=the-agitator

Civil suit targets Millington officials

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

The owner of a transmission shop in Millington is striking back with a federal lawsuit after felony drug charges investigated by Millington police failed to stand up in court last summer.

Thomas Marlin Roberts, owner of the Transmission Doctors, is asking for at least $1.5 million in damages in a civil suit filed Friday in federal court in Memphis, contending that several of his constitutional rights were violated.

The targets of the lawsuit are the City of Millington, former police chief Ray Douglas and the two police officers involved in the undercover drug probe, Michael A. Rose and Degreaun Frazier.

“The actions of the defendants should be considered atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” said the lawsuit filed by Collierville attorney Steven G. Roberts, who also represented Roberts in his successful fight against the failed drug indictments.

A Shelby County grand jury in December 2011 indicted Roberts on 15 counts alleging that he had sold drugs including morphine and cocaine at his business to an undercover informant. The indictments were based on testimony given to the grand jury and evidence submitted by Rose, according to the lawsuit.

However, Roberts’ attorney determined that the alleged drug deals that officers described in their written reports were not reflected on audio and video recordings made by the informant. The Millington detectives had claimed that an audio transmitter allowed them to monitor the alleged drug transactions “in real time.”

In addition, Roberts’ attorney obtained a sworn statement from the informant, who stated that he had not purchased or received drugs from Roberts. State prosecutors dropped the charges against Roberts in August.

Several other people indicted in the same Millington police drug probe also had charges dismissed by prosecutors.



Decommissioned Metro officer resigns from department

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -A Metro officer that was decommissioned in October due to assault charges resigned from the department on Friday.

Authorities said Andre Johnson submitted his resignation in a one sentence letter which stated he “will be retiring from all active duty.”

Johnson was relieved of all law enforcement authority on October 10 after he was arrested on a domestic assault warrant charging that he struck his wife during an argument in February.


Veteran Berry Hill police officer is behind bars, charged with child pornography.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A veteran Berry Hill police officer is behind bars, charged with child pornography.

“Everybody was just stunned. They couldn’t believe this was Bob,” said Chief Robert Bennett.

Murfreesboro Sex Crimes Detectives arrested 56-year-old Robert White,a corporal with the Berry Hill police department on Friday afternoon. He has been accused of five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

“If he’s is proven guilty of these charges I will be there recommending the maximum sentence,” said Bennett.


Former sheriff Harris trial today

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2012 by WhenTennesseePigsFly

ERWIN — Former Unicoi County sheriff Kent Harris is set to once again face trial today at 9 a.m. in Unicoi County Criminal Court on a theft-related charge, one of the 10 felonies a grand jury indicted him on in October 2011.

This marks the second time this year Harris has been tried on the charge of theft over $1,000. A mistrial was declared in the first trial after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.