Asheville police officer charged with assaulting woman

Asheville police officer charged with assaulting woman

Local media outlets report that 22-year-old Ethan Taylor Russell was arrested at his home and charged early Thursday.

The night before, authorities say Russell held down a woman, covered her mouth and told her to shut up. Deputies also say Russell shoved the woman up against a wall by her neck.

Russell was jailed on a $2,000 bond, and it wasn't known if he had an attorney. City officials said he had been on the police force for just over a year and would not comment further on his employment.


Dallas officer arrested, charged

Police: Dallas officer arrested, charged with felony family violence assault

Tristan Hallman

A rookie Dallas officer was arrested Thursday and charged with felony domestic violence assault, police said.

Police say they responded to an injured person call at Methodist Charlton Medical Center. The female victim told police that she and Officer Julian Harris, 27, had an argument that turned into a physical fight at Harris’s Dallas apartment.

Harris, who was hired in June 2013, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony. He is currently in Dallas County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

If he does bond out, detectives have filed an emergency protective order against him to keep him away from the woman.

Harris has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. He was a South Central patrol officer.

In May, he was lauded by the department and the Dallas Police Association forhelping save hooky-playing teens who were swept into a creek during a rain storm.

This post will be updated as more information is provided.


Memphis Police Officer Charged With Murder In Wife’s Shooting

Memphis Police Officer Charged With Murder In Wife’s Shooting

A Memphis police officer charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting her wife has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities charged 34-year-old officer Jaselyn Grant on Wednesday in the death of 29-year-old Keara Crowder. Police say Grant was also charged with attempted murder because she tried to shoot Crowder’s 12-year-old son.

Defense attorney Dewun Settle said after Grant’s arraignment on Thursday that his client “was defending herself.”

Police said the shooting occurred during a domestic argument at the home where the women lived. Investigators said in an affidavit that Grant’s claim of self-defense did not “corroborate other witness statements or the crime scene.”

Records show that the couple had a history of domestic violence, with Grant’s “stressful” job as a police officer possibly playing a role.

“This is a very, very stressful job,” said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

“I don’t think being a police officer exempts you from any of the other pressures of life. We’d hope none of our members would result in violence, especially to the level this particular case has,” Armstrong added.

Grant, who resigned from the Memphis Police Department on Thursday, is currently in jail on a $500,000 bond.

Police in south suburban Matteson say the man who robbed a BMO Harris bank last Friday had been a lieutenant on the Atlanta police force

Steve Miller

MATTESON, Ill. (CBS) – Police in south suburban Matteson say the man who robbed a BMO Harris bank last Friday had been a lieutenant on the Atlanta police force – until he was fired after a DUI arrest.

At the bank robbery last week, Matteson Deputy Police Chief Robert Debeikis says, the robber had a gun tucked into his waistband – and showed it as he demanded money.

Then when the robber left – a chase began – and Debeikis says the robber raised the gun to his head and shot and killed himself.

It was later that police learned the identity of the robber: 44-year-old Maurice Dodd.

Debeikis says Dodd was visiting family in the Chicago area.

But he was from Atlanta – and had been a police lieutenant there – until he was fired after being arrested for DUI several months ago.

“A lot of people recover from DUIs, and I know it’s tough being a police officer losing your job for DUI, but frankly, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t know what the rest of his story was, but it was quite tragic.”

Deputy Chief Debeikis says they’ve learned something about the gun Dodd used to kill himself.

“When we recovered the gun, it did say ‘property of Atlanta Police Department’ on it. So I’m assuming it was from his police job.”

Police recovered $4,100 that was taken in the bank robbery.

Officer reportedly pulled over school bus to deliver son's lunch

Officer reportedly pulled over school bus to deliver son's lunch

An Illinois police officer is reportedly under investigation after he allegedly pulled over a school bus to deliver lunch to his son.

A driver with Durham Bus Service filed a complaint last week with the Johnsburg Police Department alleging Lt. Brian Keller used his unmarked black Dodge Charger to stop the bus in McHenry County to deliver lunch to his son on board,the Chicago Tribune reports.

The bus, which was located outside of Keller’s jurisdiction when he stopped the vehicle, was en route to Marion Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, roughly nine miles from where the incident occurred on Nov. 11.

School officials referred inquiries to the bus service. A spokeswoman for Durham Bus Service would only confirm that the bus was transporting high school students at the time.

Keller and the bus driver were unreachable for comment, the newspaper reports. Keller was identified in a report of the incident filed in McHenry County.

“The apparent purpose of the stop was to issue his son his lunch for the day,” the complaint read, according to the Tribune.  “The complainant was advised that documentation would be made, however, she needed to contact (the Lake County Sheriff’s Office) regarding the incident.”

Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose acknowledged the complaint, which he said was currently under investigation.

“We received information regarding allegations of inappropriate actions by Lt. Brian Keller,” Rose told the news site in a written statement. “As a result of that, Sheriff (Mark) Curran and I have ordered an internal investigation into the allegations.”

Keller reportedly worked closely with the department’s chief until he recent transfer to a new position at a local court.

Do cops target blacks?

Do cops target blacks? FBI stats show arrest disparity

Jay Scott Smith

African-Americans were arrested at some of the highest rates in the country in Monmouth and Ocean counties, according to a review of FBI records.

The statistics for 2011-2012 show that in several Shore communities, blacks accounted for up to 44 percent of arrests in towns where the black population was less than 15 percent of total residents, according to the FBI data compiled by USA Today. Of the 19 local police departments that self-reported their arrest numbers to the FBI, the biggest disparities were seen at the Monmouth County Sheriff's Department and the Wall police department in Monmouth, and the Lakewood police department in Ocean.

Arrest rates and race have come into sharper focus in recent weeks following the shooting death of a Michael Brown, a black, unarmed suspect, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. But while the FBI statistics show the racial disparity, a gulf of opinions divide the reasons. Some people of color will quickly point to the disparity as racial profiling of African-Americans. While it could be an underlying factor, police agencies and others say that there are a number of reasons that go beyond race.

"It doesn't mean that police are discriminating," David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, told USA Today. "But it does mean it's worth looking at. It means you might have a problem and you need to pay attention."

Harris said that while "disparity is not discrimination," people whose local police departments have disparity issues "would have a legitimate reason to go to his or her police department and say what gives, explain this."

The Monmouth County Sheriff's Department, which had the most arrests of the 19 police agencies in both counties, showed the greatest disparity. In 2011-12, 6,768 arrests made and 3,010 were of black suspects, or 44.5 percent, according to USA Today's analysis. Monmouth County has a black population of 7 percent, or about 46,400 residents. The arrests were mostly because of outstanding warrants, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

In Wall, a township where just 638 of its 26,100 residents are black, 17 percent of their arrests — 468 of them — were African-Americans. In Lakewood, where just 6 percent of the population is black, 35 percent of the arrests in 2011-2012 were of African-Americans.

"The hard questions you want to answer is what's behind those numbers, what types of crimes they are, the and the time period," said Al Della Fave, the spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's office. Of note, the Ocean County Sheriff's Department reported that nearly 45 percent of its arrests in 2011-2012 were of African-Americans.

Calls to Wall Township police and the Monmouth County Sheriff were not returned. Della Fave, who said that a majority of the Ocean County Sheriff's Department's arrests come from outstanding warrants, offered the fluctuating population of the Shore as another explanation for the some of the skewed numbers.

"Our county is strange because we have the summer influx," he said. "We have two populations: we have the winter population and we have the summer population.

"During the vacation season, the population almost quadruples," he added. "You've got to take that into account." Della Fave also said that prosecutor Joseph Coronato, who took office in 2013, would look into the numbers to get a better understanding of why disparity is happening.

We Live It Every Day"

Fred Rush has a long history of witnessing and dealing with racial tension and racial issues in Lakewood. The president of Ocean County's NAACP chapter said that the numbers, particularly in Lakewood, are indicative of a bigger problem between the police and its black residents.

"One would say that it because of the community we live in," Rush said. "We are essentially three communities: the Orthodox, the Hispanics and blacks. It's a big concern of ours and we're trying to deal with it."

Rush said that they have noticed the disparities for years and he also wonders what the real answers are, feeling that no straight answers are given.

"You can ask that question as many times as they want and they will tell you that they don't (racially) profile," Rush said. "But one has to believe to some degree that they do. In Lakewood, that's something that I notice.

"I go to the courts a lot and I'll just sit and look at the disparity," he added. "When you look at the (black) population and then look at our courts. There's a few scattered Caucasians, a lot of Hispanics, and then blacks and that's just on the municipal level."

Rush is currently attempting to get the four Lakewood High School football players that are currently awaiting trial on robbery charges to be tried as juveniles. Rush said that he has been asked by judges why he's in court and he said it's "just to see how justice is being administered."

Lakewood Police Chief Robert Lawson could not be reached for comment.

Rush acknowledged that profiling is not the only reason behind the disparity in arrests, saying that societal factors such as lack of education, unemployment and a damaged family structure help contribute to criminal behavior.

"All that goes on here, and it's not condoned, but I would surely say that this is not a way of life here," Rush said. "Disparities are disparities and discriminatory and it's a big problem here in Lakewood."

Rush said that a lot of the issues in Lakewood do not receive much exposure. He said that the problems of African-Americans, particularly young black men, being arrested is a distinct problem that goes beyond numbers.

"It's not something that we just noticed," he said. "You can bring out statistics, but we live it every day and we see it. There's more of a propensity for (a black male) to get stopped than for somebody white."

"Do we have problems? Yes. We have tremendous problems," he added. "You don't really have to be extremely educated to see the disparate treatment of our people and especially with the justice system. You don't have to be a rocket scientists to know that."