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$170,000 to Man After Detective “Went Too Far”

Truck driver Frank McClellan, 36, was awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages and another $20,000 in punitive exemplary damages against a Rensselaer, New York police detective for numerous Fourth Amendment violations. The detective plans to appeal the verdict. On November 16, 2000, McClellan was unloading his vehicle when, he claimed, Detective Steve Smith, who was in

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15 Crooked Cop Cases Canned in Illinois

Cook County, Illinois Chief Criminal Judge LeRoy K. Martin tossed the convictions of 15 criminal defendants on November 16, 2017 because the cases were linked to disgraced former Chicago Police Sergeant Ronald Watts. All of the men whose cases were overturned claimed that they had been framed by Watts, who went to federal prison in

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Five Years for Cop Who Fired 16 Bullets Into Car of Teens

Marco Proano, 42, a former Chicago police officer, was sentenced to five years in federal prison on December 4, 2017 for unloading his weapon on a car full of teenagers in 2015. Proano, an 11-year veteran of the force, was indicted in September 2016 for using unreasonable force on the teens. The Chicago Reporter obtained

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Man Ticketed for Singing in Car in Canada

Everybody stop dancing now. On September 27, 2017, Taoufik Moalla was driving to the store when the 1990 C&C Music Factory hit “Everybody Dance Now” came on the radio. Inspired, Moalla began loudly singing along with the catchy tune. Fortunately for the citizens of St. Laurent, Canada, local police were on patrol and were able

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$21,060 Jury Award for Injuries to California Woman in Custody

A jury awarded a California woman $21,060 in compensation for medical costs and pain and suffering related to injuries that occurred while she was in police custody. On February 5, 2004, JulieAnne Shull drove to Sacramento, California with a companion to lobby legislators to pass a bill preserving old growth forests. After meeting with lawmakers,

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Report: Police Killings on the Rise

A report from KilledByPolice.net, a website that tracks police killings, indicates that the number of such killings is up as compared to last year. According to the site, police have killed 884 people as of September 26, 2017. Over the same period in 2016, police had killed 867 people. The slight rise in police related

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Cop Who Firebombed Supervisor’s House Gets 20 Years

A rogue police officer from the Edison, New Jersey police department has been sentenced to 20 years in prison following his guilty plea to a string of violent offenses, including the firebombing of his boss’s house. Michael Dotro was an Edison cop for 10 years before his arrest and conviction. During that time, according to

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Overzealous Prosecutors Getting the Boot

All across the nation, a major pushback against hardline, tough on crime prosecutors is taking place. In the same election cycle which saw the elevation of “law and order” candidate Donald Trump to the presidency, several high profile prosecutors have been voted out of office. In Chicago, incumbent Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez lost the

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Jury Nullification: A Crucial Check on Government Power

The power of government in everyday American life cannot be overstated. In the criminal justice setting, the government is essentially all-powerful. When accused of a crime, a citizen faces arrest at the hands of armed police, incarceration in government-owned jails (for the most part), and prosecution by government-funded prosecutors in courtrooms overseen by government-paid judges.

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