Law Officer https://www.lawofficer.com Tactics | Technology | Training Mon, 20 Jan 2020 03:25:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://www.lawofficer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/cropped-lofave-32x32.png Law Officer https://www.lawofficer.com 32 32 Starbucks Employee Writes Shocking Message On Cop’s Cup https://www.lawofficer.com/starbucks-employee/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 03:24:51 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60810 A Starbucks in Tulsa (OK) had a message for law enforcement that may surprise some.

While story after story has emerged in recent months of negative comments and behaviors from Starbucks employees, Tulsa Police Lieutenant Jason Muse was met with quite a surprise Sunday night when he entered a Starbucks located at 9524 East 81st Street.

As Lt. Muse stood in line, an 8 year old girl asked to pay for his drink and upon receiving it, he noticed “Officer Awesome” written on the cup.

Muse tells Law Officer it was one of the “sweetest and kindest acts” he had seen in quite some time.

The kind gesture is in contrast to what many have become accustomed to from Starbucks.

On Thanksgiving Day, an employee wrote “pig” on a cup given to a Kiefer (OK) officer.  That location was in Glenpool (OK), just a few miles away from the Tulsa location today.

Last July, officers were asked to leave an Arizona Starbucks because a customer complained that they didn’t feel safe.

Today’s incident in Tulsa is probably more than the norm but unfortunately doesn’t always get reported to the public.

 

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University professor goes to jail, accused of spending $96,000 in grant money at strip clubs https://www.lawofficer.com/university-professor-goes-to-jail-accused-of-spending-96000-in-grant-money-at-strip-clubs/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 01:41:42 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60795 PHILADELPHIA  – Drexel University is missing $185,000 in research grant funds and a former department chair is facing criminal charges after an audit discovered that he spent $96,000 at strip clubs and sports bars, Fox News reported.

Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, 57, the former head of Drexel’s Engineering Department, was arrested last week on two charges of theft, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported.

“Mr. Nwankpa inappropriately and criminally diverted tens of thousands of dollars that were allocated for research purposes toward his own private enjoyment,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

Nwankpa was freed on bail after a court appearance, according  to Fox 29.

The prosecutor said Nwankpa spent more than $96,000 at strip clubs and another $89,000 in research grant funds on iTunes, meals and other unauthorized purchases, according to the report.

In total, Drexel auditors said they found $185,000 in improper charges, which occurred between 2010 to 2017.

Krasner said Nwankpa tried to hide the strip-club visits by itemizing the charges as catering and food. However, he reportedly ignored the fact that most took place between midnight and 2 a.m.

Last October the university reached a settlement with the federal government — the source of the research funds — that called for Drexel to reimburse the stolen money to the feds.

Nwankpa resigned once the audit was concluded. He has reimbursed Drexel $53,000 to date, according to the report.

 

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2 Honolulu Police Officers Killed, Search For Suspect Underway https://www.lawofficer.com/2-honolulu-police-officers-killed-search-for-suspect-underway/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 21:17:41 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60790

HONOLULU, Hawaii  – Two Honolulu police officers were killed Sunday morning in a shooting near Diamond Head.  Officers responded to a residence after the report of an assault and were met with gunfire upon arrival.

A female officer was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and died.

SECONDS FOR SURVIVAL SEMINAR

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard along with dozens of officers were observed arriving t the hospital.

According to Hawaii News Now, a second officer has also died.

 

 

Following the shooting, at approximately 9:45 am, the home where the incident occurred became fully engulfed in flames.

Sources tell Law Officer that several other homes are on fire along with police vehicles.

Special Operation Teams have flooded the area searching for the suspect.

There have been no arrests made.

 

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K9 Zeke snatches gunman hiding beneath home after long standoff https://www.lawofficer.com/k9-zeke-snatches-gunman-hiding-beneath-home-after-long-standoff/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 20:52:53 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60778 SALEM, Ore. – An hours-long police standoff outside a Salem home Saturday ended with a police dog nabbing a man who was hiding in a crawl space under the house after having fired gunshots outside the residence, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The standoff began shortly before 3 a.m. when gunshots were reported in an unincorporated area of Salem.

Responding deputies contacted multiple people near the residence and learned a male had come to the home a short time earlier and fired multiple rounds in front of the residence prior to going inside. Deputies learned the suspect was searching for someone at the house.

Moreover, the suspect also used a firearm to commit a robbery of a a wallet from another man in the home, the sheriff’s office said.

For several hours, negotiators from the sheriff’s SWAT team set up outside the home. In doing so, they attempted to make contact with the gunman and convince him to surrender.

When the suspect failed to surrender, K9 Zeke was deployed and located him hiding beneath the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jeffrey Jeno Garza, 39, of Woodburn, was arrested, accused of robbery, theft and unlawful use of a firearm, the sheriff's office said.

Jeno Garza (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Police arrested Jeffrey Jeno Garza, 39, of Woodburn. After taking him into custody, he was taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries–presumably for puncture wounds caused by the K9 apprehension–before he was booked into the Marion County Jail. The booking charges included first-degree robbery, second-degree theft and unlawful use of a firearm.

No one else was injured, OregonLive reported.

 

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K9 Gabo, once survived being shot five times, passes away https://www.lawofficer.com/k9-gabo-once-survived-being-shot-five-times-passes-away/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 19:23:59 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60771 JONESBORO, Ark. — It’s a sad time for the Jonesboro Police Department as K9 Gabo, a canine that survived being shot several times, has passed away.

The Arkansas police agency said Gabo served the department for 7 years. He was partnered with his handler, Erik Johnson, during his tenure with the organization.

K9 Gabo made headlines in December of 2018 after he was shot five times during an encounter with a suspect. Jonesboro police said a bullet-and-stab-proof-vest stopped the round that would’ve been fatal.

As a result K9 Gabo returned to duty just two months after the shooting, WREG reported.

The Jonesboro Police Department chronicled K9 Gabo’s service:

Gabo was born on 7/1/2011 in Hungary and was imported to the US at roughly 1 year old. This incredible K9 Team specialized in narcotics detection, patrol work, tracking, building search, handler protection and suspect apprehension. Most notably, Gabo assisted in a SWAT callout on December 11, 2018 where he was shot five times at point-blank range. A bullet- and stab-proof  vest presented to him by Vested Interest in K9s stopped the bullet that would have been fatal. Gabo returned to duty just two months later and didn’t skip a beat in working alongside his partner, Inv Erik Johnson, again.

In 2019, Jonesboro Police awarded K9 Gabo and Inv. Johnson “Officer of the Year.” In that same year, CrimeStoppers of Jonesboro awarded the duo “Persons of the Year.” Furthermore, Gabo received the “Medal of Valor” for his service on the night he was shot.

K9 Gabo will fondly be remembered for his service and companionship.

 

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Commercial scuba divers discover remains of woman missing six years in submerged car https://www.lawofficer.com/commercial-scuba-divers-discover-remains-of-woman-missing-six-years-in-submerged-car/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 17:55:53 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60758 NEW JERSEY – Commercial scuba divers made an alarming discovery as they were clearing a New Jersey river of debris. They found the unexpected when they came across a car containing the remains of a woman who had been missing for six years.

Vanessa Smallwood vanished January 27, 2014. She left no trail after walking out of a dry cleaner business in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Yet the mystery was partially solved Thursday when divers came upon her van at the bottom of the Salem River, according to reports. Her final stop was about 40 miles from her last known location. She was 46 at the time she went missing.

As a result of the discovery, New Jersey State Police recovered the remains, which were sent to the medical examiner for an autopsy, The New York Post reported.

No cause of death was released, but foul play is not suspected in the case, according to Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan.

“Based upon the medical examiner’s examination, it does not appear as if there was any foul play,” he said.

The morning Smallwood disappeared her cellphone pinged at 10:20 a.m. in the New Jersey town of Clayton, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reported.

“Since that time there has been no activity from the victim, to include her credit/debit cards,” an FBI missing-persons bulletin said.

She was driving a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country van when she disappeared.

Jenuita Lobster told CBS 3 Philadelphia her cousin’s disappearance was always a mystery.

“Now that we know that, yes, Vanessa is indeed no longer on this side with us, we’re okay,” Lobster said. “Now comes the hard part, finding out the details.”

 

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Marilyn Mosby blames police union for ‘fanning the flames’ after sergeant attacked by mob https://www.lawofficer.com/marilyn-mosby-blames-police-union-for-fanning-the-flames-after-sergeant-attacked-by-mob/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:51:53 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60739 BALTIMORE – Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore state’s attorney, and the police have had a contentious relationship for years. And there is no evidence of peace anytime soon after her latest blast at officers.

Saturday, Mosby took aim at the city’s police union after their president condemned a violent attack against a city police sergeant Friday evening.

Mosby accused the police union of “fanning the very flames they then call on me to put out,” saying union officials responded to the violent attack with “inappropriate political rhetoric.”

A video posted on Twitter shows a Baltimore sergeant wrestling on the ground late Friday with a suspect who is accused of spitting in the sergeant’s face. The sergeant is repeatedly kicked by bystanders while trying to make the arrest.

The unnamed sergeant was not seriously injured in the fracas. Maryland’s governor and the city’s mayor and police commissioner all condemned the crowd’s behavior – while also praising the work of the police officer, Fox News reported.

Nevertheless, Sgt. Mike Mancuso, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said city officials shared in the blame for the attack. The FOP president said it was “indicative of a broken city that is being led by people who have absolutely no real time crime plan or, it seems, even know how to formulate one.”

“Crime in Baltimore is out of control,” Mancuso observed, “and until new leadership is elected and appointed, this lack of respect for the law and those who enforce it will continue and deepen.”

The city had a disgraceful year in 2019. It was a year that saw Baltimore set a per-capita record for homicides. Moreover, leadership continued to fray as ex-mayor Catherine Pugh was forced from office. She resigned in May and subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion charges in connection with a scam involving sales of her self-published children’s book.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, expressed sentiments similar to Mancuso’s this week. He indicated that Baltimore’s Democrat city leaders lacked a feasible plan for addressing crime.

“It really takes some leadership in the city to star getting tough,” Hogan said Wednesday at a Maryland National Guard event, Baltimore’s WBAL-TV reported. “There’s no crime plan, there’s no continuity and it’s just simply unacceptable that people are being shot and killed in the streets every single day, and people are fed up with it.”

Later Saturday, Mancuso called out leadership for hypocrisy after Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison addressed reporters at a Saturday news conference about the attack on the police sergeant.

“Clearly, the Commissioner did not fully appreciate the severity of the situation in which our brave Brother found himself, despite its blatancy,” Mancuso wrote in a statement. “He cannot treat our membership with disdain on a daily basis, then run to defend them when it suits his political agenda.”

To the mayor, Mancuso wrote: “Go have your walk on Pennsylvania Ave., spew your rhetoric about the failed crime plan, and tell everyone how tough you are on criminals. We all know the truth is that you are way in over your head! Attacking me is just another attempt to take the heat off your failed leadership.”

Earlier, Harrison had issued a statement saying he was “outraged” by the attack against the police sergeant and pledged that “Those involved will be identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Young wrote that the attack was “a reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face on the job.”

“While we’re all thankful that the sergeant was not seriously injured, the situation could have easily turned more dangerous,” the mayor added in a separate message. He added that one arrest had been made and police were “actively searching for others.”

Mosby, 39, who became the state’s attorney for Baltimore in 2015, wrote that she too was “disgusted by the blatant assault against the police officer,” but she criticized the police union for being “relentlessly divisive” and accused it of “hypocritical finger-pointing.”

Baltimore city police officers
Marilyn Mosby (YouTube)

“The same sense of outrage in this case should be expressed by the leaders of the police union when their officers are convicted of attempted murder, assault, and unlawful arrest against citizens,” Mosby wrote.

In December, Mosby compiled a list of 305 city police officers, saying their credibility was in question, preventing them from being called as witnesses in criminal cases.

In 2016, Mosby drew sharp criticism for her work on the Freddie Gray case, in which six police officers were charged in connection with the death of Gray, a black arrestee who died in the back of a police van in 2015. All six officers were later acquitted.

Consequently, the animus between the FOP and Mosby continues.

 

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‘Angel of Death’ Nurse Sentenced to Life in Prison https://www.lawofficer.com/angel-of-death-nurse-sentenced-to-life-in-prison/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:25:57 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60722 SAN ANTONIO – Genene Jones, the nurse suspected in the deaths of a string of children under her care in the ’70s and ’80s, has pleaded guilty to the 1981 death of one infant in exchange for a single life sentence, MySanAntonio.com reported.

The plea comes after Jones — already in prison after a 1984 child-murder conviction — opted to alter her plea of not-guilty on charges she gave fatal drug overdoses to five San Antonio babies during 1981 and 1982.

Jones, 69, agreed to the deal in Bexar County’s 399th state District Court Thursday morning. She is suspected of murdering dozens of infants in her care.

Here is some of the backstory published in 2017 from the San Antonio Currant:

It’s been 34 years since a young San Antonio nurse suspected of murdering dozens of infants in her care was convicted for killing a baby girl at a Kerrville clinic. Jones, who the media dubbed the “Angel of Death,” was sentenced to 99 years behind bars. But now, with her pending release from prison, county prosecutors reignited an investigation into other infant deaths potentially linked to Jones.

On Thursday, a Bexar County grand jury indicted Jones, now 66, for the 1981 murder of Joshua Sawyer, an 11-month-old baby who died under Jones’ watch.

“Make no mistake, our office’s only focus is seeking justice for families,” said Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood at a Friday press conference. “Ultimately, true justice will come when she stands before our lord, but until then, we will make sure Genene Jones will take her last breath behind bars.”

Charges in the deaths of four other babies were dropped as part of the agreement, WGNTV reported.

“Ms. Jones, something has to be said for you taking the plea to life on this murder,” District Judge Frank J. Castro told the former nurse, who appeared in court dressed in a blue jail uniform. “But it doesn’t come close to what you did to these families and the tragedies that you caused. You took God’s most precious gift — babies, defenseless, innocent.”

“But I truly believe,” Castro said, “that your ultimate judgment is in the next life.”

On Thursday, as part of the plea deal, Jones had to face the families of children she is believed to have killed as they shared victim impact testimonies. Several held up photos of the children they had lost.

“You should have to serve one year for every year of life you robbed from the babies that you murdered,” Connie Weeks, Joshua Sawyer’s mother, said during her statement. “Although that’s not possible, you should definitely serve the remainder of your life in prison for the babies lives that you have shortened.”

Catherine Babbitt, chief of major crimes with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement that Jones’ victims “were not only children, but they were often critically ill children, and for her to decide on her watch who lived and who died is nothing short of evil.”

“The odds are that she will take her last breath in prison,” she said.

Jones would have been released in 2018 due to a state law meant to relive overcrowding had prosecutors not filed new charges in 2017.

At the time, former Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said evidence showed Jones killed Joshua Sawyer with a deadly dose of Dilantin while he was a patient at Bexar County Hospital in San Antonio, now called University Hospital.

LaHood previously said his office suspected Jones was responsible for the deaths of almost 60 children. Jones worked at hospitals in the San Antonio area for about four years, LaHood said.

During that time, pediatric units showed a sharp spike in infant deaths during the shifts Jones worked.

 

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White police union president says he now identifies as black https://www.lawofficer.com/white-police-union-president-tells-city-council-he-now-identifies-as-black/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 23:28:27 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60718 The former Miami Police Union President, who is a white, Hispanic man, recently announced at a city commission meeting that he is now a black man.

Speaking at a meeting looking at allegations of racism against black employees of the Miami Police Department, Javier Ortiz said “I’m a black male. Yes, I am and I am not Hispanic. I was born in this country. That’s how I feel.”

The bizarre incident happened when Ortiz was being questioned by commissioners after he was accused in the past of discriminatory behavior against African Americans in the city.

Saying he had recently learned that he found out his family were “mixed and are black” Ortiz said that although he listed white on his police application, he has since changed his mind.

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ICE publishes eye-popping list of illegal immigrant fugitives released by New York’s sanctuary policy https://www.lawofficer.com/ice-publishes-eye-popping-list-of-illegal-immigrant-fugitives-released-by-new-yorks-sanctuary-policy/ Sat, 18 Jan 2020 22:55:26 +0000 https://www.lawofficer.com/?p=60704 NEW YORK – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday increased the pressure on New York City’s sanctuary policies. They published an eye-popping list of illegal immigrant fugitives who have been released into the city despite requests from ICE to take them into custody for deportation.

Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence presented the list to reporters at a press conference in New York where he spoke of the dangers in jurisdictions that ignore ICE detainers.

Detainers are requests from ICE to be informed of an illegal immigrant’s pending release from custody. The advantage is to transfer their custody in a safe environment and prevent the perpetrator from continuing to victimize the community.

While the Trump administration has been warning of the dangers of such sanctuary policies for months, it’s a fight that has been brought into the spotlight by the rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman. An illegal immigrant sought by ICE is accused of the heinous crimes.

Reeaz Khan, an illegal immigrant from Guyana, is accused of attacking Maria Fuertes as she walked home on Jan. 6. Fuertes was reportedly found at 2 a.m. in 32-degree weather and near death on a sidewalk with her clothes pulled above her waist. She was taken to a hospital, where she died from injuries that included a broken spine, according to The New York Post. The Post cited law enforcement sources who said she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

“Make no mistake – it is this city’s sanctuary policies that are the sole reason this criminal was allowed to roam the streets freely and end an innocent woman’s life,” Albence said.

The list of fugitives put out by ICE includes suspected illegal immigrants from Nigeria, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guinea, Spain, and El Salvador. Those released have arrests for assault in the first, second and third degrees, attempted robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, gang assaults and other violent offenses, Fox News reported.

ICE
(ICE)

Furthermore, ICE issued a list of illegal immigrants currently in custody, who it says “may be released into New York communities” after they have served their sentences. Among the crimes for which those in custody have been charged include rape, murder and sexual assault against a child, according to the report.

Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to defend the city’s policies. He claims it makes the city safer.

“New York City has passed its own common-sense laws about immigration enforcement that have driven crime to record lows. There are 177 crimes under NYC law that trigger cooperation with federal authorities, if and when someone is convicted,” he said. “That policy has kept us safe.”

But Albence rebuffed the mayor. He cited statistics saying that last year ICE lodged 7,526 detainers via its New York field office. Those individuals accounted for 17,873 criminal convictions and 6,500 criminal charges. He went on to say that those charges and convictions include over 200 homicides, over 500 robberies, over 1,000 sexual offenses, over 1,000 weapons offenses, and over 3,500 assaults.

However, only about 10 detainers were honored by the city, officials said.

“Those who politicize this issue want you to believe that you have to choose between being an immigrant-friendly city and one that cooperates with ICE,” Albence said. “Again that is simply false. The only immigrants protected by such policies are those committing violence and dangerous offenses, often in the same communities these politicians are purporting to protect.”

 

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