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The POST Professional Standards Portal is presented to provide POST Council standards for Idaho law enforcement officers. It also contains a variety of items and issues of interest to preserve the integrity and public trust expected from Idaho’s law enforcement community.

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Officer Misconduct in the News:

Former Alabama Sheriff’s Office Deputies Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Handcuffed Man in Custody

WASHINGTON (January, 6 2012) – The Justice Department announced today that Kirby Dollar and Timothy Watford, former deputies with the Russell County, Ala., Sheriff’s Office, were sentenced in federal court in Montgomery, Ala., for their participation in the beating of a handcuffed man who had been taken into official custody. U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller sentenced Dollar, 37, to 46 months in prison and Watford, 42, to 34 months in prison.

Dollar pleaded guilty on Aug.11, 2011, to willfully depriving the victim of his constitutional right to be free from the use of excessive force. Watford was convicted of the same charge by a federal jury sitting in Opelika, Ala., on Sept, 1, 2011, following a three day trial.

Evidence presented during the court proceedings established that Dollar and Watford, while acting in their capacity as law enforcement officers, punched, kicked and slapped the victim, who was lying on the ground in handcuffs and offering no resistance. The victim suffered multiple lacerations, facial fractures and a ruptured eardrum. Dollar admitted, and witnesses during Watford’s trial confirmed, that the attack was entirely unprovoked.

“These convictions and sentences demonstrate that the use of excessive force cannot be tolerated,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The vast majority of police officers do an outstanding job in protecting both the community and the rights of the accused, even in stressful situations. But when police officers use excessive force to punish arrestees, they will be held accountable.”

“As well intended as some officers may be, police activity must remain within constitutional bounds,” said George L. Beck Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. “Let these two convictions and sentences serve as examples of bad conduct that will be prosecuted by this office. Emotions cannot overcome good judgment. Zealousness cannot overcome good training. And brutality can never be a substitute for effective law enforcement.”

FBI’s Special Agent in Charge Lewis M. Chapman stated, “Today’s sentencing of former Russell County Deputies Kirby Dollar and Tim Watford brings some closure to a breach of trust by law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers must always act within the bounds of the law under any circumstance and particularly while safeguarding our communities and citizens. The investigation of Civil Rights violations continues to be one of the FBI’s top priorities; and, these sentences reaffirm our commitment to enforcing those standards on ourselves and the law enforcement community.”


Deputy US Marshal in Chicago Indicted for Civil Rights Violations

WASHINGTON (January 12, 2012) - A federal grand jury in Chicago returned an indictment today charging Deputy U.S. Marshal Stephen Linder, 36, with violations of federal criminal civil rights law related to two separate incidents in which Linder assaulted a handcuffed civilian.

The indictment charges Linder with a criminal civil rights violation for punching and choking a handcuffed man on July 8, 2010, and with obstructing justice for attempting to persuade another law enforcement officer to withhold evidence of the assault. Linder was also charged with a criminal civil rights violation for head-butting a handcuffed man on May 13, 2008, and with obstructing justice by persuading another law enforcement officer to withhold evidence of the assault.

Each of the civil rights counts carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Each of the obstruction counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Each count in the indictment also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


Former L.A. Co. S.O. Deputy to Plead Guilty to Federal Corruption Charge

WASHINGTON (January 13, 2012) – A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was charged today with agreeing to accept $20,000 in bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Men's Central Jail. The officer was charged with one count of bribery of a public official. In a plea agreement he agreed to plead guilty to the charge and cooperate in an ongoing investigation. The contraband included a cell phone, cigarettes and a note, which in jail parlance is called a "kite." The charge of bribery of a public official carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

 

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