American citizens are no longer tolerating the misconduct of police officers. Today, we are seeing more cases in the news about police misconduct. This isn’t necessarily because there are more bad cops in the country than before. People are simply tired of them getting away with it.

Are Officers Facing Conviction In Misconduct Cases?

Philip Stinson is a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University. He created a database to track these shootings.

In 2021, 21 U.S. police officers were charged with murder or manslaughter. These deaths were a result of on-duty shootings.

This is the highest number of convictions in any year since recordings began in 2005.

In the previous four years, fewer officers were charged for on-duty shootings:

  • 26 officers charged in 2020
  • 12 officers charged in 2019
  • 10 officers charged in 2018
  • 7 officers charged in 2017

Still, the number of charges remains small, and it doesn’t cover all police brutality cases. Stinson only tracks police shooting deaths.

According to Mapping Police Violence, police kill about 1,000 people every year.

155 officers were charged with murder or manslaughter since 2005. Despite this, only about a third of those officers were convicted. A third was not convicted, and another third is still pending.

 

police shooting stats

Case #1: Statutory Rape Of A 16-Year-Old Girl

South Bend, Indiana’s Special Victims Unit began investigating officer Timothy Barber in October of 2021. The parents of a 16-year-old girl found texts between their daughter and Barber.

The girl told detectives that Barber would often come into the restaurant where she worked. He would do so to talk to her, and he would be in full police uniform. During one of these visits in July 2021, he asked her for her phone number.

The situation escalated in August when Barber picked up the girl in his squad car. He proceeded to take her to “a secluded location”. There, he committed statutory rape. He committed statutory rape again in September after picking her up in his squad car in full uniform.

The girl stated that she felt pressured and intimidated by Barber because he was a police officer. Barber also allegedly told her that it was legal for him to have sex with a 16-year-old.

Despite this, Barber will not face prison. Instead, he was let off with just four years of probation.

The actions of Barber also ruined the girl’s dreams of becoming a police officer after she graduated.

 

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Case #2: Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Girl

On August 27, 2021, three Philadelphia police officers opened fire outside an Academy Park High School football game. The three officers were patrolling the Sharon Hill area near the high school.

As the crowds were leaving, gunshots came from the 900 block of Coates Street. Upon hearing the gunshots, the three officers discharged their weapons in the direction of the football field.

8-year-old Fanta Bility was killed by the officer’s gunshots, said the DA. Three others were also injured.

The three officers were Devon Smith, 34, Sean Dolan, 25, and Brian Devaney, 41. They were each charged with voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless endangerment.

Case #3: Violent Arrest Of Alleged Trespasser

In July 2021, Colorado police officer John Haubert was arrested on felony charges.

Haubert and his partner, Francine Martinez, were dispatched to investigate a trespassing report. They came across three individuals, all of which had outstanding felony warrants. Two of the individuals ran away. The third individual did not resist after Haubert pointed his pistol at him.

During the arrest, body camera footage saw the officer beating the man with his pistol. He grabbed the man’s neck, pressed his pistol to the man’s head, and struck him at least seven times. He also choked the man and threatened to kill him.

As this was happening, the man repeatedly told Haubert, “You’re killing me, bro.” Despite this, Haubert continued to hold the man down and strike him. Haubert told the man, “If you move, I will shoot you.” He also told the man to “Stop fighting” as he fought for air.

Haubert is under investigation for attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and felony menacing.

Martinez was also arrested as she failed to stop her colleague. Colorado now has a “police accountability law”. It requires officers to intervene when their fellow officers are committing wrongdoing.

What to Make of These Police Misconduct Cases?

In the past, many of these cases would have been brushed aside. Prosecutors and juries would have simply labeled them “tragedies”. They would have simply believed the word of the officers.

Today, officials are facing more pressure than ever to investigate these cases thoroughly. United States citizens want more accountability.

Even so, many people feel this isn’t enough.

Police Misconduct Victim? Contact a Los Angeles Civil Rights Attorney

Victims of police brutality, violence or wrongful death need justice—this includes inmates as well. The Sehat Law Firm’s civil rights lawyers understand it can be intimidating or downright scary to face abusers on their own. We represent you and fight for your civil rights. It is important to contact us as soon as possible in the event you cannot file suit any longer due to the California Statute of Limitations. Contact us here today