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Thread: Police line of duty deaths

  1. #21
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    Fallen Rookie Officer 'Left His Family at Home to Protect Yours'

    California Police Chief: Fallen Officer 'Left His Family at Home to Protect Yours'
    March 12, 2018 - Rookie Pomona Officer Greggory Casillas was killed in a shooting Friday night that led to a standoff that ended about 15 hours later when Isaias De Jesus Valencia taken into custody.
    The officers ran into a Pomona apartment building after a pursuit, chasing a suspect who had just crashed nearby and was barricaded in one of the units. As they approached, gunfire blasted through a door. Officer Greggory Casillas, a 30-year-old Upland father just six months on the job, was struck and killed. A second officer was shot in the face trying to save him. The shooting Friday night led to a standoff that ended about 15 hours later when the suspect, identified by authorities as Isaias De Jesus Valencia, 39, was handcuffed and taken into custody by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. "It's a sad day for our community and a sad day for law enforcement in general," Pomona Police Chief Michael Olivieri told reporters, calling the fallen officer a hero. "He left his family at home to protect yours and his ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten." Casillas joined the Pomona Police Department in 2014. He took on different positions — he was a records specialist and jailer before becoming a police recruit — to "better prepare himself to achieve his goal" of becoming an officer.

    He was sworn in as a police officer in September. Casillas was nearly finished with his field training when he was killed. Raised in Los Angeles County, Casillas attended "local colleges and universities," Olivieri said. He is survived by his wife and two children, as well as his parents and two brothers. At the end of the news conference, sheriff's deputies surrounded Olivieri as he walked away from the crowd. Some patted him on the back. "It has been a long night," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. According to an acquaintance, the suspected shooter suffers from depression and drug addiction. Valencia served in the U.S. Army and has two children, said Amos Young, who knew the suspect through his father's Pomona church, Kingdom of God Revelation Ministries. Despite having a home, Valencia often slept on the streets and rejected help from his family, Young said.


    A woman leaves flowersl for fallen Pomona Police Officer Greggory Casillas at the Pomona Police Department Sunday evening in Pomona on March 11, 2018.

    Police said the incident began Friday night after they received a call about a reckless driver. The suspect refused to stop, leading police on a pursuit that ended when he crashed into a parked car. The driver then ran into an apartment building. About 9:10 p.m., dispatchers relayed reports of an officer down in the 1400 block of South Palomares Street near Fernleaf Avenue. A law enforcement source said about 75 officers from several agencies swarmed the scene but were unable at first to move the wounded officers to safety because of gunfire. A mother and daughter who gave only their first names said they ran out of their apartment after hearing the crash. Marlene, 12, said she saw the suspect exit a truck with a gun tucked under his arm and run into the nearby apartment. When the gunfire began, Marlene began recording on her cellphone. The video shows Marlene and her mother, Jessica, 29, running for safety as the gunfire continued. "He's inside," a woman says in the video. "Let's go!"

    Marlene said she saw police bring a wounded officer outside and rip off his vest. In the video, an officer is seen giving chest compressions to an officer on the ground. Several officers huddle around them. Marlene and other neighbors said they spotted a woman they said was the suspect's mother crying and vomiting outside the apartment building before she got into a police SUV. Ninfa Martínez, who lives in a neighboring complex, said she saw residents running out of the building where the shooting occurred. "Then I heard some shots and went back running," said Martínez, 24. "It was crazy." After dawn, Casillas' body was escorted by a police procession from Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center to the coroner's office. More than a dozen law enforcement vehicles blocked the street in front of the apartment building where the suspect was still barricaded. A handful of SWAT officers gathered outside the entrance. Every so often, their muffled megaphone calls to the man to come out echoed through the street.

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    Four-Time Felon Charged With the Killing of Chicago Police Commander Pleads Not Guilty
    March 12, 2018 | Four-time felon Shomari Legghette pleaded not guilty Monday to a 56-count indictment charging him in the killing of Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer last month.
    Shomari Legghette, 44, clad in an orange jail jumpsuit with his hands shackled, made his initial appearance before Cook County Judge Erica Reddick, who was randomly assigned Monday to handle the case. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attended the arraignment along with about a dozen other uniformed police officers in the Leighton Criminal Court Building. Reddick told Legghette of the 56 counts he faces — a number that drew murmurs from the crowded courtroom gallery. Over the objections of Legghette’s lawyers, Reddick granted prosecutors’ request to sign an order prohibiting the public release of audio, video, reports or anything else that may be considered potential evidence in the case.

    Reddick has been on the bench since 2010 after an extensive career as a Cook County assistant public defender. Last year, she presided over the trial of Edgardo Colon, who was convicted of murder in the 2011 shooting of off-duty Chicago police Officer Clifton Lewis during a botched armed robbery of a West Side convenience store where Lewis was working security. Reddick sentenced Colon, the alleged getaway driver, to 84 years in prison in October. A co-defendant is awaiting trial. Legghette’s 56 felony charges include 24 first-degree murder counts as well as additional armed violence, weapons and drug charges. Prosecutors intend to seek a life sentence if he is convicted of Bauer’s killing.


    A resident shows support with a sign outside the funeral of slain Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018.

    Bauer’s midday slaying last month outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago shocked the city and provoked criticism from police that Legghette shouldn’t have been walking the streets with his extensive criminal record. Legghette was scheduled to go on trial in 2009 on felony gun and drug charges after serving about eight years in prison for armed robbery when prosecutors suddenly agreed to a deal in which he pleaded guilty to the least serious charge in return for a 3-year prison sentence. Since he had already spent 15 months in custody on those charges, Legghette was released from custody a few weeks later. On Feb. 13, officers patrolling Lower Wacker Drive because of a recent shooting and drug sales in the area approached Legghette, but he took off running, authorities said.

    Bauer, downtown for a meeting with aldermen after attending training for mass shootings earlier in the day, heard a radio call of a fleeing suspect and spotted Legghette running nearby moments later, authorities said. Bauer chased down Legghette at the top of a stairwell outside the Thompson Center and attempted to detain him, authorities said. The two struggled, ending up on a landing below. Legghette, who was wearing body armor, drew a handgun and fired seven shots, fatally wounding Bauer, prosecutors said. Bauer’s weapon was still holstered. His police radio and handcuffs were found next to his body. Officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine in Legghette’s possession as well as heroin, marijuana and cocaine, prosecutors said. Legghette, ordered held without bail last month, is being held in Kankakee County Jail, records show.

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  2. #22
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    Kentucky Police Officer Shot and Killed...

    Kentucky Police Officer Shot and Killed
    March 14, 2018 - Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday night.
    A Pikeville police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday night, according to the city of Pikeville. Scotty Hamilton had been a member of the police department since 2006 and was killed after responding to a call with Kentucky State Police in the Hurricane community around 11:30 p.m., the city said. Hamilton leaves behind a wife and a child.


    Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday night.

    Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter said KSP is in charge of what they are calling an ongoing murder investigation. No other details have been announced. One person is in custody and Kentucky State Police is using drones in its search for a second person involved in the shooting, WYMT reported. The flag outside the Pikeville Police Department was placed at half-staff in honor of Hamilton, according to WYMT.

    If you have any information regarding the incident on Tuesday night, contact the Pikeville Police Department at (606) 437-5111 or the Kentucky State Police Post 9 at (606) 433-7711. Several law enforcement agencies, including the Frankfort Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Carrollton Police Department took to Facebook to send their condolences.

    https://www.officer.com/tactical/swa...hot-and-killed
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    Boy Raises $7,000 for Fallen Indiana Deputy's Family
    March 14, 2018 - Malachi Fronczak brought in more than $7,000 in two days of operating his stand at Solidarity Federal Credit Union and Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.
    A lot of people wouldn’t pay $100 for a cup of lemonade. But people were dropping $100s, $50s and all sorts of bills at Malachi’s Magnificent Lemonade stand last weekend. “It was crazy. It was definitely a crazy weekend,” said Jason Fronczak, Malachi’s father. Overall, 6-year-old Malachi Fronczak brought in more than $7,000 in two days of operating his stand at Solidarity Federal Credit Union and Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. All of that money will be donated to the family of Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett, who was killed in the line of duty on March 2 after he was shot during a foot pursuit.

    This was not the first time that Malachi — who salutes police cars as they drive by his house — has jumped into action after hearing about the devastating loss of a member of law enforcement. At the end of July, Malachi raised about $2,000 for the family of Southport Police Department Lt. Aaron Allan, who died after responding to a car crash. Jason said he and his wife Trisha asked their son if he wanted to raise money again and he excitedly agreed. They set up the lemonade and hot chocolate stand in Solidarity Federal Credit Union on Friday and raised more than $5,000 in just four hours. “Our jaw kind of dropped — we did not expect that kind of a fundraising effort to happen,” Jason said. “It really says a lot about the community of Kokomo as a whole and the greater part of Indiana that showed up from all over the state to filter their money through this little guy to get to the family.”


    Malachi Fronczak brought in more than $7,000 in two days of operating his stand at Solidarity Federal Credit Union and Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

    On Sunday, the Fronczak family traveled to Boone County to visit Deputy Pickett’s memorial. Jason said it was a very somber experience for his family. “It’s very humbling — when we sit here and raise money from afar and you see stuff on TV, you feel sad for the family and you are proud of this hero that stepped forward," he said. "But when you go to the funeral like we did for officer Aaron Allan and then you go down to a memorial and you pray with your family for that family and those little boys, it’s hard not to get emotional and not to think about the changes that this family has coming for them. “The reality sets in, when you are able to see the real impact that one individual was able to have on their community by serving in law enforcement, it does hit you.”

    Even when Malachi isn’t selling lemonade, he is still running around and trying to thank every first responder and military member he sees, Jason said. “Thank you for saving our world,” he tells them. Malachi will be bringing his Magnificent Lemonade to the south branch of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Jason said they plan to open the stand on Friday as well, but a location has not been set yet. For more information and updates, follow Malachi’s Magnificent Lemonade on Facebook. Haley Church can be reached at 765-454-8580, haley.church@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @HaleyDrewChurch.

    https://www.officer.com/command-hq/s...icketts-family
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    Woman Charged With Stealing Donations for Slain Officers
    March 14, 2018 - A closed-circuit television camera, police say, caught a woman taking $300 from a donation jar set up for two slain Westerville police officers on the counter of a Northwest Side bar.
    Donna Lee Ater, 62, of the 3500 block of Rocky Way Lane on the West Side, was charged Tuesday with theft in connection with the incident this past Saturday at the Average Joe's Bar, 1126 W. Henderson Road. If she is convicted, the first-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.


    Donna Lee Ater

    Court records say that Ater used the stolen money to then play Keno at Average Joe's. More than $300 in cash was stuffed into the jar on behalf of Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering, who died after they were shot when they responded to a 911 call in connection with a domestic-violence incident Feb. 10. Quentin L. Smith, 31, has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder in their slayings.

    Only a few dollars was left in the jar after the money was taken, police said. A break in the theft came Monday when an anonymous caller contacted Average Joe's management and provided Ater's name. Two people who were in the bar at the time were able to identify Ater out of a photo array, court records show.

    https://www.officer.com/investigatio...s-to-play-keno

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  4. #23
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    Woman Charged in Missouri Officer's Slaying...

    Woman Charged in Missouri Officer's Slaying
    March 15, 2018 - Tammy Dee Widger was charged on Wednesday with felony murder in the shooting death of Ryan Morton, a Clinton police officer killed in the line of duty last week.
    Widger, whose rental home was the site of the fatal shooting, had previously been charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and with keeping or maintaining a public nuisance. The second-degree murder charge was added by Henry County prosecutors on Wednesday in an amended complaint, according to court records. Widger allegedly committed felony murder because Morton was shot and killed "as a result of the perpetration of the class C felony of delivery of a controlled substance," according to court records. John Picerno, a Kansas City defense attorney, said that during the commission of a felony, a person can be charged with murder even without directly killing someone.

    Widger, 37, said she has not been provided with a public defender as she sits in jail facing charges. Widger has been in the Henry County jail since the night of March 6, when police arrived at her home at 306 W. Grandriver St. after a 911 call made 20 miles away mistakenly sent officers there. Henry County emergency communications officials later said that a database error sent police to the wrong address. An investigation into that error is ongoing. According to court documents, Widger answered the door and said there was no disturbance. She had not made a 911 call, she said. Five officers went into the house anyway, to ensure no one was being harmed, authorities said.


    Tammy Dee Widger

    An armed man, later identified as James Waters, was at the house. Soon after the officers entered, gunfire erupted. Morton was mortally wounded. Four officers escaped, two of them wounded. Morton lay dying in the home and officers were unable to reach him for hours because of the gunfire. About midnight that night, a Missouri Highway Patrol SWAT team entered the house and Waters was found dead. Widger was arrested at the scene. She was charged that day with keeping or maintaining a public nuisance by using her home to sell methamphetamine, according to Henry County prosecutors. She allegedly told investigators that in exchange for helping Waters distribute methamphetamine, he agreed to pay her bills, according to court documents.

    Prosecutors say that investigators serving a search warrant found a purse with Widger's identification inside and a bag containing what appeared to be marijuana, meth and pills, each packaged separately. A day after the shooting, she was charged with delivery of a controlled substance. Widger made her first court appearance via video March 8 and remains in custody. Her bond has been raised to $100,000. She asked to be represented by a public defender, but according to court records no attorney has been appointed to her case more than a week after her arrest. Widger is scheduled to appear in court April 6. Thousands of law enforcement officers and members of the military attended Morton's funeral in Clinton on Monday.

    https://www.officer.com/investigatio...ortons-slaying
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    Manhunt Continues for Gunman in Fatal Shooting of Kentucky Police Officer
    March 15, 2018 - Kentucky State Police searched Wednesday for a person suspected of shooting and killing Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton Tuesday night as the Eastern Kentucky community mourned the fallen officer.
    Scotty Hamilton was killed after responding to a call with Kentucky State Police in the Hurricane community around 11:30 p.m., the city said. He had been a member of the police department since 2006. According to state police, Hamilton and Trooper Matt Martin were patrolling the area when they saw a suspicious vehicle. The officers spoke with people in the vehicle and then separated as they searched around a nearby residence for someone on foot. After hearing gunshots, Martin found Hamilton close to the residence with a fatal gunshot wound, police said. The shooter escaped. Hamilton was pronounced dead at the scene. KSP spokesman William Petry said police arrested four people who were at the scene on charges unrelated to the shooting, and that police are searching for the suspected shooter.

    Hamilton is survived by a wife and one child. “Wherever I’ve seen Officer Hamilton, whoever he was with, whatever he was doing, he always took the time to shake my hand and ask me how I was doing,” said James Maynard, who worked with Hamilton at the City of Pikeville 911 Public Safety Center. “He was more than a stand-up class act. He was a man’s man. A true American hero.” Maynard said Hamilton loved to spend his free time riding ATVs on trails with his friends and family. Flags outside the Pikeville Police Department and the Pikeville Fire Department were placed at half-staff Wednesday in honor of Hamilton. Dozens of people gathered along Hambley Boulevard in downtown Pikeville to watch and pay their respects Wednesday afternoon as Hamilton’s body was transported to the J.W. Call Funeral Home.


    Kentucky State Police searched Wednesday for a person suspected of shooting and killing Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton Tuesday night.

    A fire truck hoisted an American flag as police cars filed underneath during the procession. Police officers, firefighters and others stood saluting as Hamilton’s flag-draped casket was carried into the funeral home. “Scotty got along with everybody,” said Jason Akers, a friend of Hamilton’s who also worked in law enforcement. “We spent the majority of our time laughing together.” Akers recalled going to ball games with Hamilton and being “literally sore from laughing the next day.” “Scotty’s the type of guy, if he runs across somebody who’s homeless on the street, he would buy them a hotel room and get them something hot to eat,” Akers said. “He was just a terrific guy.”

    Hamilton loved his wife and child “more than life itself,” Akers said. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Pikeville Police Department at (606) 437-5111 or the Kentucky State Police Post 9 at (606) 433-7711. Hamilton’s funeral will be at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville at 1 p.m. Sunday. Two visitations are also scheduled, one for 5 p.m. Friday and another for noon Saturday, both at the East Kentucky Expo Center. A candlelight vigil will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, also at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

    https://www.officer.com/tactical/swa...cotty-hamilton
    Last edited by waltky; 03-15-2018 at 09:45 PM.

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  6. #24
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    Cop killer suspect captured...


    Suspect Captured, Charged in Slaying of Kentucky Police Officer
    March 16, 2018 - A man who was wanted in connection to the murder of a 35-year-old veteran Pikeville police officer was captured Thursday.
    John Russell Hall, 55, of Pikeville, was charged with one count of murder of a police officer and one count of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon in connection with the slaying of Pikeville police officer Scotty Hamilton. Hall was captured near the Floyd County and Pike County border, according to Kentucky State Police. Gov. Matt Bevin said Hall was captured without incident. Hamilton was shot after responding to a call with Kentucky State Police in the Hurricane community around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, the city said. Hall lives in the Hurricane area, according to recent court records.



    John Russell Hall, left and Pikeville Police Officer Scott Hamilton


    According to state police, Hamilton and Trooper Matt Martin were patrolling the area when they saw a suspicious vehicle. The officers spoke with people in the vehicle and then separated as they searched around a nearby residence for someone on foot. After hearing gunshots, Martin found Hamilton close to the residence with a fatal gunshot wound, police said. The shooter escaped. KSP spokesman William Petry said police arrested four people who were at the scene on charges unrelated to the shooting.


    Hamilton was with the Pikeville department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife, Chelsie Hamilton, and his infant daughter, Brynlee. Visitation will be at 5 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday at the East Kentucky Expo Center, 126 Main Street in Pikeville. The funeral is at 1 p.m. Sunday, also at the East Kentucky Expo Center. He will be buried in the Pikeville City Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Brynlee Hamilton Scholarship Fund, c/o Community Trust Bank, P.O. Box 2947, Pikeville, KY 41502.


    https://www.officer.com/tactical/swa...cotty-hamilton

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    Granny says, "Dat's right - let God figger out what to do with him...

    Suspected Cop-Killer Set to Face the Death Penalty
    March 23, 2018 | A Franklin County grand jury has returned a death-penalty indictment against Quentin L. Smith in the Feb. 10 shooting deaths of Westerville Police Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.
    A Franklin County grand jury has returned a death-penalty indictment against Quentin L. Smith in the Feb. 10 shooting deaths of two Westerville police officers. The indictment was announced by county Prosecutor Ron O’Brien at a news conference this morning.


    Officers Eric Joering, left, and Anthony Morelli

    Smith, 31, is accused of killing Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli in an exchange of gunfire after they entered his townhouse in the 300 block of Cross Wind Drive to investigate a 911 hang-up call. Investigators said Smith’s wife told the officers that he had assaulted her and had a gun. Joering died at the scene; Morelli died of his injuries at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Smith was hospitalized with gunshot wounds for a week before being transported to the Franklin County jail, where he is being held without bail.

    The charges against Smith include two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, one count of domestic violence, one count of possessing a gun despite a previous felony conviction, nine gun specifications and four repeat-violent-offender specifications. In Ohio, the purposeful killing of an on-duty police officer and the purposeful killing of two or more people are among the crimes that qualify for the death penalty.

    https://www.officer.com/command-hq/c...9-4a65ba8f3ce9
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    Slain Officer Laid to Rest
    March 23, 2018 - Hundreds of law enforcement officers, civic leaders and other mourners gathered Thursday to honor the short life of Pomona Police Officer Greggory Casillas.
    As the rain fell outside Pomona’s Purpose Church on a dreary Thursday morning, hundreds of law enforcement officers, civic leaders and other mourners gathered solemnly inside to honor the short life of Pomona police Officer Greggory Casillas, who was killed in the line of duty just days away from finishing his field training. During an emotional hour-and-a-half ceremony, mourners recalled in tearful detail a young man inspired to help others and to be a devoted husband and doting father — and whose legacy in the community will persist. Casillas, 30, was shot to death March 9 as he and his partner approached an apartment where a reckless-driving suspect had taken refuge. His partner was injured but survived. “Lord, we have lost a champion of the community,” Glenn Gunderson, Purpose Church’s lead pastor, said in his opening prayer. “Greg Casillas has done the ultimate act of sacrifice for us.”


    Hundreds of law enforcement officers, civic leaders and other mourners gathered Thursday to honor the short life of Pomona Police Officer Greggory Casillas.

    Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval addressed a crowd estimated at more than 2,000, mostly police officers from around the country, during a ceremony that moved many speakers to tears. Among those paying tribute was California Gov. Jerry Brown. “Officer Casillas’ selflessness and dedication to Pomona will never be forgotten, and his loss will forever be mourned in the city. Today we mourn the loss of a real-life superhero, the end of a promising story, ending long before many of its greatest chapters were to be written,” Sandoval said. Casillas’ brother-in-law, Arturo Fematt Jr., recalled a day when Casillas gave his son a police sticker in the shape of a police badge. The boy then excitedly ran up to Fematt and exclaimed, “Now I”m a superhero like Tio Greg.” “‘He’s out there fighting crime, arresting bad guys … for that, he’s a superhero,’” Fematt told mourners including those in a tent set up outside to accommodate the overflow crowd. Some comic book heroes can’t ever be killed off, and in some ways Casillas’ legacy of service and friendship will always be there, mourners said.

    Rather than speak of despair, a former classmate in the sheriff’s academy, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Christian Guevara, wanted to talk about hope and honor and to celebrate Casillas’ life. He said Casillas helped him through the academy in everything from learning to shoot to shining his boots. “I know he’ll be with me on the streets, he’ll be with me in my time of need, when I need to make a decision. He’ll be my guardian angel the rest of my career,” Guevara said.

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    New Details Revealed in Investigation of Baltimore Police Detective’s Death
    March 23, 2018 - There are contradictory theories within the Baltimore Police Department about Detective Sean Suiter still-unsolved killing.
    When Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter was shot in West Baltimore last fall, responding officers found their dying colleague lying face down in a vacant lot. He’d been shot once in the head — and his freshly fired service weapon was beneath his body. Moments before his death, surveillance cameras showed, Suiter had paced back and forth on the street. Then he darted out of view and into the lot where three shots rang out. This and other previously undisclosed evidence, described by sources to The Baltimore Sun, lies behind contradictory theories within the Police Department about Suiter’s still-unsolved killing.

    Some say the evidence — including the location of the gun, the pacing as though preparing himself — suggests Suiter could have committed suicide staged to look like a murder. But others see that interpretation as an easy out for the department in a stalled case. They point to other evidence as bolstering their view that Suiter likely scuffled with an assailant before his death. Sources say the bullet that ultimately killed Suiter entered behind his right ear and traveled forward, exiting from his left temple. The path of the bullet is not typical of a suicide, some note.


    A Baltimore City Police officer salutes as the processional moves under the Seminary Avenue overpass during the funeral for Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter on November 29, 2017.

    In this view, dirt found on Suiter’s clothing, an unintelligible transmission over his radio, and the two other shots from his gun all support the theory that he struggled with an assailant who has eluded detection. Police have said Suiter was killed with his own gun, though the shooting could have happened during such a struggle. “The realistic version of this is that there are two things that are possible: suicide and murder,” one source said. “I could convince anybody why it’s a murder, and I could convince anybody why it’s a suicide.” Suiter’s death is one of the only unsolved killings of a police officer in the Baltimore department’s history. New Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa has said he is preparing to open the case to outside investigators for an independent review. He has declined to share his opinion.

    The detective was shot the day before he was to give testimony before a federal grand jury investigating Baltimore’s corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. Suiter was not a target of that investigation, police have said. The Sun has not viewed the surveillance footage or other evidence in Suiter’s killing — which includes body-camera footage from the first officers who reached his side — but spoke with five law enforcement sources knowledgeable about it. These sources had different interpretations. The new details help to explain public comments made by police that previously lacked context.

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    Cop killer gets parole...

    Nearly 5 Decades Later, Man Who Killed New York Officers Wins Parole
    March 14, 2018 - After the New York City police officers Joseph A. Piagentini and Waverly M. Jones were fatally shot outside a housing project in Harlem in 1971, the Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panther Party, took credit for the killings.
    Within months, arrests were made. The suspects claimed at their trial that the violence was part of their war against the United States. A jury convicted three men — Herman Bell, Anthony Bottom and Albert Washington — and each received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Now, nearly five decades later, and after seven unsuccessful attempts, Mr. Bell has been granted parole. Currently an inmate at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in the Hudson Valley town of Wallkill, Mr. Bell could be freed as early as April 17, according to the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s website.


    Herman Bell was captured in 1973 in New Orleans, more than two years after he and two other men killed two New York City police officers. Now 70 years old, he has been granted parole.

    The decision, by a three-member panel of the State Parole Board, immediately opened old wounds about a crime many view as unforgivable, even amid a debate over incarceration policies that keep people behind bars into very old age. Mr. Bell is now 70. Indeed, among the survivors of the two officers, opinion has been split: Officer Piagentini’s widow, Diane, has repeatedly argued against parole for Mr. Bell, once gaining former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as an ally in that cause, while Officer Jones’s children have said in the past that Mr. Bell should be released. On Wednesday, as the news trickled out, Patrick J. Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the state’s parole board had failed. “His release on parole is a painful affront to the families of every police officer who has sacrificed his or her life in the line of duty,” Mr. Lynch said.


    The officers, Joseph A. Piagentini, left, Waverly M. Jones, were killed on May 21, 1971. The Black Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the killings.

    Affixed to Mr. Lynch’s statement was one from Ms. Piagentini in which she too assailed the parole board, which she said had “betrayed the trust” of police families. “The message being sent devalues the life of my brave husband who was taken from his two daughters and for whom there is no parole,” she said. It was a May night when Officers Jones and Piagentini, of the 32nd Precinct, were ambushed and shot in the back multiple times as they returned to their car after answering a call near Macombs Dam Bridge. Those killings were followed by the murders in, January 1972, of another pair of on-duty officers, Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie, who were gunned down from behind as they patrolled the Lower East Side.


    Officer Piagentini’s widow, Diane, has opposed parole for Mr. Bell. In a statement on Wednesday, she said the parole board’s decision “devalues the life of my brave husband.”

    The city was on edge, rife with racial tension and awash in conspiracies. Many patrol officers saw themselves as targets in a plot by black residents to kill them. Some New Yorkers who embraced the Black Panther Party’s identity as a political and self-defense group saw the police as an instrument of governmental oppression. For a long time, Mr. Bell asserted his innocence and, with his co-defendants, sought a new trial on the basis of uncovered evidence showing the first trial was unfair. Mr. Washington died in prison in April 2000. Mr. Bottom, also known as Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, is at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, N.Y., officials said.


    Mr. Bell, in a 2017 prison photo.

    In a statement condemning the decision, Commissioner James P. O’Neill recalled how Mr. Bell and his co-conspirators “shot Officer Piagentini 22 times, including with his own service revolver — as the dying officer pleaded for his own life.” “Over the past 47 years, he has never expressed genuine remorse,” Mr. O’Neill said. In a letter the parole board sent to Mr. Bell this week, however, they credited him with finally taking responsibility “for your actions” and expressing “regret and remorse for your crimes.” Noting this maturation, the board quoted back to Mr. Bell what he told panelists during their interview of him on March 3: “There was nothing political about the act, as much as I thought at the time,” Mr. Bell told them. “It was murder and horribly wrong.


    Police officers and onlookers gathered to watch the coffin of Officer Jones as it arrived for his funeral in 1971. Officer Jones’s children have said in the past that Mr. Bell should be released.

    The board undertook a deep review of several factors, including Mr. Bell’s age, scant disciplinary history in prison and his success in compiling a “sturdy network of supporters,” including the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In the end, a majority of panelists found that the state had prepared Mr. Bell well for release. Though his crime “represents one of the most supreme assaults against society,” Mr. Bell is capable of living a “law-abiding life,” it wrote. “On some basic level this is what parole is for,” said Michael Jacobsen, the executive director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance and a former commissioner of the city’s Department of Correction.


    Officer Piagentini’s funeral in Deer Park, Long Island in 1971.

    The board also cited a letter it called “noteworthy” from a person it did not name — presumably Officer Jones’s son — who expressed continued forgiveness for Mr. Bell “killing his father.” “The simple answer is it would bring joy and peace as we have already forgiven Herman Bell publicly,” the letter, cited by the board, said. “On the other hand, to deny him parole again would cause us pain as we are reminded of the painful episode each time he appears before the board.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/n...pd-parole.html

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    Were at court on a separate matter...

    Mother, Sister of Slain Indiana Sheriff's Deputy Assaulted at Courthouse
    March 27, 2018 - Alice Koontz and Jackie Koontz, the sister and mother of fallen Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, were on the courthouse’s third floor for a paternity hearing when approached by Bryson Smalls.
    A Kokomo man faces multiple felony charges after police say he battered and caused the hospitalizing of two women inside the Howard County Courthouse Monday morning. Bryson Small, 36, faces preliminary charges of attempted involuntary manslaughter, neglect of a dependent, battery against a public safety officer, battery resulting in bodily injury, domestic battery, resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct. He’s currently being held at the Howard County Criminal Justice Center without bond.


    Alice Koontz and Jackie Koontz, the sister and mother of fallen Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, were on the courthouse’s third floor for a paternity hearing when approached by Bryson Smalls.

    According to a press release from the Howard County Sheriff’s Department, Alice Koontz, 26, and Jackie Koontz, 54, the sister and mother of fallen Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, were on the courthouse’s third floor for a paternity hearing when approached by Smalls, the respondent in the hearing. Witnesses say Small approached the women and began to attack them, knocking them both to the floor, according to the press release. Both were struck several times by Small. Several bystanders and attorneys in the area responded to help the women, and assisted in subduing Small, the press release states. Infant Amelia Koontz was present in a baby carrier but not injured.

    Alice Koontz and Jackie Koontz suffered facial and head injuries, and Alice Koontz was unconscious prior to being transported via ambulance to St. Vincent Hospital. She was later transported to an Indianapolis hospital for further treatment for facial and head injuries. Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers confirmed Alice Koontz and Jackie Koontz are the sister and mother, respectively, of fallen Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz. Jackie Koontz was also transported to St. Vincent Hospital where she was treated and later released. Rogers commended the actions of individuals who rushed to protect the victims.

    https://www.officer.com/command-hq/t...-at-courthouse
    Last edited by waltky; 03-27-2018 at 11:39 PM.

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    Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Calif. Cop Killer...

    Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Calif. Cop Killer
    March 28, 2018 - A jury on Tuesday recommended the death penalty for Luis Bracamontes in the 2014 slayings of Sacramento Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Detective Michael Davis Jr.
    The verdicts, announced after four hours of deliberation by a Sacramento Superior Court jury, came in a brief hearing before Judge Steve White during which Bracamontes spent the entire time smiling broadly, sometimes at the families of the dead deputies. Whatever effect he was hoping for didn't work. Elated family members of the deputies said afterward that they wanted Bracamontes in the courtroom, and they wanted him to see them smiling back at him as he heard the verdict. "I was smiling back at him purposely," Jeri Oliver, Danny Oliver's mother, said after court. She said she Davis' mother, Debbie McMahon, had agreed that was how they would handle the delivery of the verdict. "We decided we were going to smile at him for a change."

    Bracamontes has acted out throughout the trial, cursing at the families and jurors and threatening to kill more officers. At times, he has insisted he wanted to skip trial and move directly to execution. Family members of the deputies said Tuesday they believe it was all an act. "He's a coward," said Oliver's sister, Phyllis Sylvia. Bracamontes grinned and silently clapped his hands after the verdict was delivered, while public defenders Norm Dawson and Jeffrey Barbour sat grim faced on either side of him in the courtroom. Later he shook hands with his lawyers as deputies prepared to lead him out of the room.


    A jury on Tuesday recommended the death penalty for Luis Bracamontes in the 2014 slayings of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff's Detective Michael Davis Jr.

    Until Tuesday's verdict, family members and law enforcement officials were hesitant to speak out on the record about the case, but with the verdict in place they appeared relieved and unrestrained. "I feel free to say it now, he's a despicable and evil human being and the death penalty is totally appropriate," said Placer Sheriff Devon Bell, who hugged Davis' mother in court before the jury came in. Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones said the verdict won't erase the loss of Oliver or Davis, but that it "is a step along the road toward justice." Others praised the prosecutors – Rod Norgaard from Sacramento and Dave Tellman from Placer County – for helping shepherd the case to its conclusion. "I was ecstatic," Oliver's sister said. "We couldn't have asked for a better team of DAs or a better jury."

    Juror Sam Wood, 56, of Sacramento, spent five and a half months on the case and said that in the end the facts against Bracamontes "were just so powerful." "There were just so many facts," he said. "It was not something that you could go one way of the other on." Wood added that jurors took their responsibility seriously, and did not allow Bracamontes' outbursts – which included threats against them – to influence their decision. "It wasn't like everybody got in there and agreed to one outcome or another right away," Wood said. "We did work at it." Bracamontes is due to return to court April 25 for a formal sentencing by White at a hearing during which family members of the slain deputies are expected to address the court and Bracamontes.

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    MANHUNT: A Hopkinsville, Kentucky police officer has been shot and killed after an altercation.

    Authorities have identified James Kennith DeCoursey as the suspect - WSMV



    Off-duty Kentucky police officer was shot and killed when he was pulled over by a suspect pretending to be a police officer, officials say - WSMV

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    Fake cop kills real cop, then is killed himself...

    Off-Duty Kentucky Police Officer Killed by Man Impersonating Law Enforcement Officer
    March 30, 2018 - A manhunt is on for a suspect after Hopkinsville Police Officer Phillip Meacham was fatally shot by a man impersonating a law enforcement officer who pulled him over Thursday evening.
    A manhunt is on for a suspect after a Hopkinsville, Kentucky police officer was fatally shot by a man impersonating a law enforcement officer Thursday evening. Officer Phillip Meacham was off-duty driving his personal vehicle when officials say a man pretending to be a police officer pulled over his car around 5:10 p.m., according to The Leaf Chronicle. Sometime during the interaction, the suspect, identified as 35-year-old James Kennith Decoursey, shot Meacham.


    James Kennith Decoursey, left, and Officer Phillip Meacham

    The 38-year-old officer who worked for the Hopkinsville Police Department since May 2017 was transported to Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville where he was pronounced dead. Officials said that Decoursey fled on foot after the shooting before stealing a 1997 white Chevrolet pickup truck with license plate number 2070GH. He is described as a white male, 6 feet, 1 inch tall with brown eyes and black hair. Authorities say Decoursey should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone who spots his vehicle is advised not to approach him and to call 911.

    Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton Sumner said he wasn't sure if the men two men knew each other personally, but that since both are from the small town it's likely. "Officers are never off duty," Sumner told reporters after the shooting. "This is new to me. I don't know how to do this. I don't know what I'm supposed to say. I just ask for everybody's support." Kentucky State Police has taken over the investigation of the fatal shooting. Meacham, who worked for more than a decade at the Christian County Sheriff's Office before joining the Hopkinsville police force leaves behind a wife and two children.

    https://www.officer.com/tactical/swa...nating-officer
    See also:

    Accused Cop-Killer Claimed He Was 'Just Trying to Scare' Trooper
    March 29, 2018 | New York State Police Trooper Chris Wyant testified Wednesday that Justin D. Walters told him he “was just trying to scare him” when he allegedly shot and killed Trooper Joel Davis last July.
    The Fort Drum staff sergeant accused of killing Trooper Joel R. Davis last summer during a domestic incident is headed to trial in the fall. On Wednesday, Justin D. Walters appeared in court for an evidence suppression hearing in which a trooper testified that Walters told him he “was just trying to scare him” when he allegedly shot Trooper Davis in the driveway of the defendant’s County Route 46 home last July. Walters also is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Nichole V., 27, multiple times at their Theresa home on July 9 and injuring her friend, Rebecca Finkle. Trooper Davis was responding to a domestic incident. Ms. Finkle has since recovered from her injuries.

    Trooper Chris Wyant was the first officer to arrive on the scene and heard gunshots as soon as he got there. The exchange occurred when Walters was walking down the driveway with his hands out to his side, saying “I’m done. I’m done,” according to Trooper Wyant. Walters asked if the trooper was okay. Trooper Wyant responded that his friend was dead. Gesturing to another trooper near the deceased Trooper Davis, Walters told Trooper Wyant “No, he’s not. He’s right there.” “No, there’s another trooper dead in the ditch,” Trooper Wyant told Walters, referring to Trooper Davis. “I was just trying to scare him,” Walters said.


    Trooper Joel Davis, left, and Justin Walters

    A number of state troopers and investigators testified during Wednesday’s hearing about what happened the night Walters was interviewed. Walters gave several statements, both at the scene and then later when interviewed at the troopers’ station. While the interview occurred over several hours, Walters asked for a lawyer about 54 minutes into the session, Jefferson County District Attorney Kristyna S. Mills said. Anything after that request will not be used during the trial. Walters is accused of three counts of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all 55 counts lodged against him in a grand jury indictment. Walters’ attorney, Edward F. Narrow, said he would file a notice to use “mental disease or defect” as a defense for his client.

    In the weeks leading to the shooting, Walters posted to Facebook about death, getting treatment at Fort Drum’s Warriors in Transition Unit and frustrations with the Army. He had been in the Army for 10 years and was deployed to Afghanistan twice. Walters will continue to be held in the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building without bail. Jefferson County Court Judge Kim H. Martusewicz told the district attorney and Mr. Narrow to submit a written “memorandum on the law” by April 13. The judge will decide whether any of Walters’s statements should be suppressed. He will also determine whether evidence collected by investigators from the house, the yard, some electronic items and the T-shirt containing blood that Walters was wearing should be suppressed.

    https://www.officer.com/investigatio...per-joel-davis
    Related:

    Man Convicted in Slaying of New Orleans Police Officer
    March 26, 2018 - A jury on Saturday unanimously found Travis Boys guilty in the 2015 murder of veteran New Orleans Police Officer Daryle Holloway.
    The family of a slain New Orleans police officer says that justice has been served after the suspected gunman was convicted over the weekend. A jury on Saturday unanimously found Travis Boys guilty in the 2015 murder of veteran Officer Daryle Holloway, according to NOLA.com.


    Fallen New Orleans Police Officer Daryle Holloway’s family speaks after the jury finds Travis Boys guilty of first-degree murder.

    A group of about a dozen New Orleans officers and commanders stood after the verdict was read in a salute to Holloway as family members embraced in and outside the courtroom. "Daryle did not deserve what was handed to him that day, but today we were able to see justice handed out of Daryle Stephen Holloway," Olander Holloway, the officer's mother, said outside the courthouse.

    Holloway was taking Boys to jail on the morning of June 20, 2015, when the man crawled through the small window opening between the front and back seats in the officer's patrol car and fatally shot him. Judge Karen Herman set a May 3 sentencing date for Boys, who faces an automatic life sentence. Holloway's family is expected to give victim impact statements at the hearing.

    https://www.officer.com/investigatio...aryle-holloway

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