A Fulton County judge had no choice last month but to release the man who allegedly shot and killed State Trooper Chadwick LeCroy a couple weeks later, the county’s chief judge said tonight. Gregory Favors was freed on a signature bond not because of “judicial whim or an adherence to some arbitrary self-imposed rule,” but because judges “have a duty to uphold the rule of law,” Judge Cynthia D. Wright wrote in a letter to Fulton County citizens.
An Atlanta police officer should lose three days’ pay for strip-searching a college student who had alleged an earlier beating by his partner, a citizen oversight panel said Thursday. The Atlanta Citizen Review Board said it could not corroborate charges of misconduct in the earlier incident, which left the student with two fractured bones in his face. Police said the student reached for an officer’s gun, but board member Rod Edmond wasn’t buying it: “I believe in my heart of hearts these boys got the crap kicked out of them.”
Police should take action against 24 officers for improperly detaining dozens of patrons at the Atlanta Eagle gay bar in a 2009 raid, a citizen oversight panel said tonight. Recommendations for discipline should wait while investigators determine officers’ levels of blame, the Atlanta Citizen Review Board decided. But several members agreed when board chair Joy Morrissey said the maximum possible penalty — a three-day suspension — would not be enough. “Amen,” one member added.
Atlanta police inexplicably waited nine days to question a key witness to officers’ misconduct in the 2006 killing of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, according to a new investigative report. Instead, they put on a full-court press to track down an informant who corrupt officers wanted to use as their alibi. Cris Beamud, director of a city oversight panel created after the Johnston shooting, says police should find out why it took so long.
A citizen oversight panel could learn today whether it may compel Atlanta police officers to appear to answer investigators’ questions. The Atlanta Citizen Review Board, at the instigation of member Rod Edmond, may file suit to force officers to cooperate if it does not get subpoena power. Maybe even if it does. UPDATE: On a 13-1 vote, the City Council today granted the board subpoena power and require the police chief to discipline officers who won’t cooperate with it.
Citizen overseers have called on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to ensure that police officers are disciplined if they keep refusing to answer investigators’ questions. But for a start, members of the Citizen Review Board said, Reed could return their calls.
Kasim Reed hasn’t even been sworn in as Atlanta’s next mayor, but one of his key supporters has already been promoted. Scott Kreher, the police sergeant who was on desk duty four months ago for talking about wanting to tenderize the mayor’s head with a baseball bat, is now a lieutenant. Kreher runs the Atlanta police union, which endorsed Reed two weeks before he won a Dec. 1 runoff election.
Ten Atlanta police officers have refused to cooperate with investigations of alleged misconduct, and Chief Richard Pennington has failed to respond to a call for discipline in a case of excessive force against a lesbian couple, an oversight panel said in a letter released today.
Federal prosecutors have dropped firearms charges against a convicted felon after a magistrate found four Atlanta police officers were “less than candid” about the circumstances of his arrest. The officers said they stopped Kelvin Bryant’s car in October 2008 after smelling marijuana smoke coming from his car, and that they radioed a dispatcher for a tag check before they pulled him over. U.S. Magistrate Linda Walker, in an Oct. 15 ruling, said she did not believe them. Find out why…
(UPDATE: The indictment says the contraband was a cellphone and battery. Williams is free on a $5,000 signature bond.)
Former Atlanta police Maj. Pearlene Williams, once Chief Richard Pennington’s chief of staff, was indicted today in DeKalb County on two felony counts. Williams, a 28-year APD veteran, was charged with violating her oath and furnishing prohibited items to an inmate. Her son, Muhammad Kareem, 22, was jailed until recently in DeKalb for a 2007 pawn shop killing. He is now serving a life sentence in a state prison for murder.
Atlanta’s police oversight board will study charges that officers implicated in the 2006 Kathryn Johnston shooting, and other officers, had arrest quotas and worked extra jobs while on duty. The Citizen Review Board, created two years ago in response to the Johnston case, will also dig deeper into FBI files that suggest other unindicted officers broke the law or departmental rules
Atlanta NAACP leaders have accused former executive director Judith Withers-Hanson and an aide of stealing $275,000 over a six-year period, according to a police incident report. The pair allegedly charged personal expenses including tuition, dental work, meals and furniture, then covered their tracks with false entries in the organization’s books, the report said.