Misconduct Allegations

 

Wrongful Detention

Police pulled over a vehicle or stopped someone without reasonable suspicion.

"Do do you think anybody was wrongfully stopped or detained?"

"What makes you think that this stop was wrongful?"

Example: Police are called to a high school after a student is accused of theft. Police and teachers interrogate him as he's held against his will. His parents are not contacted until many hours later.

Example: A motorists gets pulled over for speeding. When the officer asks to search his vehicle, he says no. The officer then detains him for 30 minutes until drug dogs arrive.

 

Wrongful Search

Police conducted a search without a warrant, probable cause, or consent.

"Do you think anybody was wrongfully searched?"

"What makes you think that this search was wrongful?"

Example: An officer writes a man a ticket after pulling him over for an unsafe lane change. When the officer asks to search the car, the man refuses. The officer then orders the man out of his vehicle and searches it without the man's consent.

 

Wrongful Property Seizure

Property seizure which violated the protections provided by the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

"Do you think this property was wrongfully seized?"

"What makes you think that this property seizure was wrongful?"

Example: Rudy Ramirez was pulled over driving to Missouri to buy a used Corvette. A search turned up no drugs. But under civil forfeiture laws, the officers confiscated $6,000 in cash he had on hand to buy the car.

 

Wrongful Property Damage

Property damage which violated the protections provided by the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

"Do you think this property was wrongfully damaged?"

"What makes you think that this property damage was wrongful?"

Example:

 

Sexual Harassment

This includes the use of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.

"Do you think an officer sexually harassed someone? This includes the use of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks."

"What makes you think that sexual harassment occurred?"

 

Sexual Assault

Any sexual act that a person is forced to engage in against their will. This includes any non-consensual sexual touching.

"Do you think an officer sexually assaulted someone? Sexual assault is any sexual act that a person is forced to engage in against their will. This includes any non-consensual sexual touching."

"What makes you think that a sexual assault occurred? We understand that this isn't easy, but please provide as much detail as you can."

Example: An officer put his hand down a motorist's pants, groping his genitals. He said he was looking for drugs.

 

Unreasonable Force

"Reasonable force" is the amount of effort required by police to compel an unwilling person to comply. So "unreasonable force" is any unnecessary or excessive force beyond what's required to do that.

"Do you think the use of physical force on someone was unreasonable?"

"What makes you think that this use of physical force was unreasonable?"

Example: A woman drove into a road construction area by accident. An officer directing traffic approached her and yelled at her to get off the road. He then put his hand through her open window and twisted her arm until she moved her car.

 

Wrongful Arrest

Police took someone into custody without a warrant or probable cause.

"Do do you think anybody was arrested wrongfully?"

"What makes you think that their arrest was wrongful?"

Example: A woman asserts her first-amendment rights by video recording on-duty police. An officer arrests her after she refuses to turn off her camera.

 

Excessive Arrest Charges

Police filed arrest charges to punish someone beyond what's legal or appropriate.

"Do you think the arrest charges filed against anyone were a form of retaliation?"

"What makes you think that these charges were retaliatory?"

Example: Upset about the arrest of his wife, a man accidentally shoves an officer. Another officer responds by violently arresting the man. He's charged with "disturbing the peace," "resisting arrest," and "assaulting an officer."

 

Excessive Citation

Police filed citations to punish someone beyond what's legal or appropriate.

"Do you think the citations filed against anyone were wrongful or excessive?"

"What makes you think that these citations were excessive?"

Example: A motorist gets pulled over and cited for speeding. On the same ticket, the officer also cites him for "illegal window tint," "muffler violation," "seat belt violation," and "illegal lane change."

 

Intimidation With Weapon

Police pointed or flaunted a weapon to intimidate someone who isn't a threat.

"Police are legally allowed to display a weapon if they feel threatened. But it's wrongful for police to use a weapon to intimidate people who aren't a threat. Do you think an officer wrongfully intimidated someone by displaying a weapon or a police dog? (This does not include any violent use of force.)"

"What type of weapon?"

"What makes you think that this was wrongful?"

Example: While questioning a pedestrian, the officer pointed a taser at her in a threatening manner.

 

Repeat Harassment

Circumstances where a department member has had repeated or continued contact with a person without lawful police justification.

We asked you to focus this complaint on a single incident. But was this incident part of continued contact with an officer?

Do you think this incident was part of repeated harassment without lawful justification?

"What makes you think that this was wrongful?"

Example of Repeated Harassment: Every few weeks, the same officer stops, questions, and frisks the same group of teenagers. He does this when they're on their way home from school. But he never finds illegal items or arrests them.

 

Bias-Based Policing

An officer's conduct was based on a person's race, gender, appearance, nationality, religion, age, class, sexual orientation, residence, disability, etc.

"Do you think an officer acted in a biased or discriminatory manner? This means an officer's conduct was based on a person's race, gender, appearance, nationality, religion, age, class, sexual orientation, residence, disability, etc."

"What makes you think that an officer's conduct was biased or discriminatory?"

Example: An officer stops a black motorist in a primarily white neighborhood. The officer claimed he fit the description of a suspect.

 

Neglect of Duty

The officer's inaction did not follow appropriate policy, procedure, or guidelines. These are things an officer should have done, but didn't do.

"Do you think an officer neglected their duty by failing to take appropriate action? These are things an officer should have done, but didn't do."

"What makes you think that an officer neglected their duty?"

Example: A woman is groped on the street by an unknown man. When the police arrive, they refuse to file an official report or investigate.

 

Policy or Procedure Violation

An officer took actions which did not follow appropriate policy, procedure, or guidelines.

"Do you think an officer took actions that did not follow appropriate policy or procedure?"

"What actions do you think weren't appropriate?"

Example: An officer parked his police vehicle in a handicap spot. There did not seem to be any emergency to justify this.

 

Conduct Unbecoming an Officer

A reasonable person would find the officer's on or off duty conduct to be unbecoming a police officer, and such conduct reflected adversely on the department.

"Do you think an officer's on-duty or off-duty conduct was improper or unprofessional? This includes conduct that looks bad for the department or for police in general."

"What makes you think that the conduct was unbecoming?"

Example: An off-duty officer likes to get drunk at a local bar. He sometimes gets in fights, threatens patrons, and drives home drunk.

 

Officer Discourtesy

This includes the use of profanity, offensive language, loss of temper, verbal threats, impatience, or any rude behavior.

"Was an officer discourteous in ways not included in other allegations? This includes the use of profanity, offensive language, loss of temper, verbal threats, impatience, or any discourteous behavior."

"What makes you think that these actions were discourteous?"

 

Officer failed to provide ID upon request

An officer refused to provide ID when requested by a subject, though this may be allowed by police and law.

"Did an officer refuse to provide identification?"

 

Wrongful Entry

Police entered private property without a warrant or consent.

"Did an officer enter a private home or workplace? (Yes) Did someone grant permission for an officer to enter? (No or Not sure) Did an officer enter anyway without a warrant? (Yes) Describe what happened."

 

 

Conduct Commendations

 

Valor

The officer showed extraordinary courage in the face of danger.

 

Lifesaving

The officer applied medical aid exceeding the normal call of duty.

 

De-escalation

The officer skillfully calmed down a tense situation, using minimal or no force.

 

Professionalism

The officer behaved in a courteous, respectful, and straightforward manner.

 

Fairness

The officer's use of power was reasonable, appropriate, and free from bias.

 

Constitutional Policing

The officer's words and actions showed respect for the Bill of Rights.

 

Compassion

The officer displayed empathy and generosity beyond the call of duty.

 

Community Service

The officer engaged the community to build bonds of trust.

 

Updated: February 25, 2019