Friday, August 26, 2016

Line of Duty Death- Police Officer Kenny Moats

 Police Officer Kenny Moats | Maryville Police Department, Tennessee
Police Officer Kenny Moats
Maryville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Bio & Incident Details
Age: 32
Tour: 9 years
Cause: Gunfire
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Offender: Arrested

Police Officer Kenny Moats was shot and killed after responding to a domestic violence call at a home near the intersection of Kerrway Lane and Alcoa Trail at approximately 4:00 pm.
Patrol units had responded to the home earlier in the day for a domestic dispute. Patrol units were sent to the address a second time when another call was received by dispatchers stating one of the subjects was now armed.
Officer Moats and a second narcotics detective who happened to be in the area responded to the scene to assist patrol units.
They parked their vehicle approximately 70 yards from the residence and assisted one person from the home before taking cover behind their car.
As they waited for patrol units to arrive the subject opened fire from a garage, striking Officer Moats in the neck.
The other detective as well as a responding Blount County sheriff's deputy were able to return fire before taking the subject into custody.
Officer Moats had served with the Maryville Police Department for nine years and was assigned to the Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief of Police Tony Crisp
Maryville Police Department
418 W. Broadway Avenue
Maryville, TN 37801
Phone: (865) 273-3700

NYPD suddenly stops sharing records on cop discipline privateofficer.com

Not Released (NR)
New York NY Aug 26 2016 Citing a clause in a 40-year-old law, the NYPD has suddenly decided to keep records regarding the discipline of officers under lock and key — and will no longer release the information to the public, the Daily News has learned.
Critics say the policy change flies in the face of openness claims by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio. Instead, it raises concerns that the outcomes of department trials could be cloaked in secrecy — even proceedings in headline-grabbing cases like the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
“I think it’s part of a larger pattern of secrecy by the NYPD,” said Adam Marshall, a legal fellow with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “It’s hard to imagine information more in the public interest, and the public interest in determining what has happened in these types of adjudications is incredibly important.”
For decades, reporters have had access to a “Personnel Orders” clipboard hanging in the department’s public information office. It listed administrative cases closed out either by a plea deal or by an internal trial held at 1 Police Plaza. It also listed promotions and retirements.
The clipboard has not been updated since April, when an order dated March 31 was posted. At the time, the NYPD told The News it was saving paper.
This week, the NYPD changed the story, saying a cop’s disciplinary record was protected by section 50-a of the 1976 state Civil Rights Law.
Asked what prompted the shift, Deputy Chief Edward Mullen, a police spokesman, said “somebody” in the department’s Legal Bureau realized that, for years, it had been giving out information it should not have.
It was through the personnel orders that The News learned in March that the NYPD had rescinded the promotion of Lt. Vincent Molinini who was set to become commanding officer of the detective unit in the force investigation division.
Molinini, 44, Detective Christopher Corulla and Detective Frank Muirhead were previously suspended for their involvement in a booze-fueled Feb. 26 debacle, which ended with Corulla crashing his car into a Staten Island hair salon. Molinini lost the promotion on March 11, and the record showing the withdrawal was posted March 18.
In a related development, the NYPD in an Aug. 8 letter to Legal Aid Society lawyer Cynthia Conti-Cook denied her request for personnel orders.
The letter, from Jonathan David, a records access appeals officer, suggested that the Legal Bureau wasn’t aware of the clipboard until Conti-Cook mentioned it.
More crime stats and reports are posted online, precincts routinely use Twitter to provide updates and use-of-force reports will soon be provided to the City Council.
But critics said the NYPD is misinterpreting section 50-a, which protects officers’ personnel records from public release unless there’s an order from a judge.
De Blasio, who has also faced criticism for a lack of transparency, is on vacation. Mayoral spokesman, Eric Phillips, had no comment.
As public advocate, de Blasio released a report that gave the NYPD a failing grade for disclosure of public information. He recommended city agencies be fined for ignoring Freedom of Information Law requests. And he said agencies should be required file monthly reports to the public advocate and City Council. None of those proposals have been implemented.
De Blasio has since been blasted for turning his back on his own calls for open public records and creating the term “agents of the city” to keep correspondence between City Hall and outside political advisors under wraps.
De Blasio’s top lawyer, Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter, would not say whether he weighed in on the NYPD’s decision.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board and current Public Advocate Letitia James also had no comment.
Dick Dadey, the executive director of the government watchdog group Citizens Union, said cops “are a different kind of employee” because they have the power to take a life.
“We need to have trust in their actions,” he said. “We need to balance the rights of officers against the people’s right to know how cases of police misconduct are being handled, especially when their actions are being directed at members of the public.”
Christopher Dunn, associate legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the change, at a time when the public wants more police accountability, “is a troubling example of the NYPD becoming more secret and thus less accountable.”

"On duty" armed Houston security guard arrested in prostitution sting privateofficer.com

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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas Aug 26 2016 - Four men, including a security guard, were arrested during an undercover prostitution operation on Aug. 20.
Community outcry prompted action by Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Office in a portion of the business district of the FM 1960 west corridor.
Undercover investigators posing as street prostitutes were able to build criminal cases on the men trying to purchase sex or sex-related acts.
As a result of the operation, four men were arrested.
One of the men, Ramiro Rivera, was an on-duty armed security guard for Texas Counties Patrol Agency.
Rivera, 48, Thomas Dwayne Woods, 23, Madan Lal, 58, and Jamal Washington, 33, were charged with prostitution.
“The businesses and citizens of north Harris County have made it clear that they refuse to just stand by and allow their communities to deteriorate to the point where street level prostitution is looked upon as a normal part of our local society. These types of illegal activities seem to attract other bad elements such as drug dealers and users, thieves and others who would prey upon our local residents. It will not be overlooked, tolerated or condoned within our local communities where we live and raise our children,” Herman said.
To report illegal prostitution or other unlawful activities, citizens may go to the constable's website here, click on On-Line Services, and then click on Regulatory Violation. Complainants can remain anonymous if they choose.

San Jose police officers found to be staying in RV's outside HQ privateofficer.com

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SAN JOSE CA Aug 26 2016 At least a dozen officers are living in RV’s in the parking lot right near the San Jose Police Department’s headquarters.
Mandatory overtime forces them to work up to 17-hour days. Combine those long hours with horrendous traffic, and commutes from as far away as Manteca, Stockton, Tracy and even Reno, these officers are staying in an RV during the week and then driving home on their days off.
It turns out the recreational vehicles are legally parked on city property.
“It’s embarrassing for any city,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.
It turns out city leaders had no idea this was going on, until we brought it up this morning. They’ve just begun scratching their heads about what to do next, like possibly adding more security, including better fencing.
It was Measure B pension reform that voters approved back in 2012 that cut officer pay and benefits, and triggered a mass exodus of officers leaving the department.
Mayor Liccardo said the long term solution is for voters to pass Measure F, which would boost officer pay to hire and retain more cops.
“We need to get some support for Measure F so we can restore this police department so we don’t have officers working multiple overtime shifts in the same day in the same week,” Liccardo said.
Next week, the city will vote to declare a state of emergency to shift 47 detectives back onto regular street patrol.
Council member Johnny Khamis opposes the declaration, saying it’s a short term fix, and that all other options have not been exhausted.
Even after seeing pictures of the RV’s, Khamis stood firm.

“We need to offer our officers more money. There are many things we can do. Declaring an emergency isn’t gonna get the police officers out of their mobile homes, it’s actually going to exacerbate the problem,” Khamis said. KPIX 5

Former Newtown CT police sergeant who ran steroid distribution ring sent to prison privateofficer.com

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HARTFORD, Conn. Aug 26 2016   A former police sergeant who ran a steroid distribution ring and used the profits to travel around the world was sentenced on Thursday to 16 months in prison.
A federal judge in Hartford imposed the prison time on former Newtown Sgt. Steven Santucci, who also must serve six months of home confinement and perform 120 hours of community service after his time behind bars. Santucci, 40, also was fined $5,000.
Authorities said Santucci was the leader of the ring from 2011 to late 2014 and manufactured steroids using ingredients he received from China through the mail. They said he then sold the steroids to other people, who resold them. A dozen people were arrested last year in an investigation by federal agents.
Officials seized hundreds of vials of steroids, more than a pound of raw testosterone powders, more than 1,000 oxycodone pills, about three-quarters of a pound of powder cocaine and four long guns during the investigation.
Santucci pleaded guilty in December to charges including conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids. He remains free on bail and must report to prison on Oct. 10.
He told authorities he began using steroids about 10 years ago when he wasn't getting the bodybuilding results he wanted, according to a sentencing memo filed by his attorney. The steroids were expensive, and he discovered he could save money by making them with ingredients he ordered from China, the memo says.
He started making them for himself and then wound up selling them to several people he knew at the gyms where he worked out, his lawyer, Dan LaBelle, wrote in the sentencing memo.
"Part of the explanation certainly lies in the fact that there is a level of steroid acceptance in the body building community and Mr. Santucci was dealing only with like minded persons from that community," LaBelle wrote.
Prosecutors say Santucci charged more than $310,000 on his credit cards between April 2011 and November 2014. Included in those charges were luxury vacations in Europe, South America and Africa and travel to 23 states plus Washington, D.C.
AP

Man Who Shot, Killed Ohio K-9 Officer Jethro Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison privateofficer.com



Canton OH Aug 26 2016 The man who shot and killed K-9 Officer Jethro, of the Canton Police Department in Ohio, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Kelontre Barefield, 23, received the sentence after pleading guilty to charges related to the police dog's death and other charges in an unrelated robbery case, a spokeswoman for the Stark County Clerk of Courts told ABC News today.
Barefield's attorney, Steven Reisch, didn't immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.
The man who shot and killed K-9 Officer Jethro, of the Canton Police Department in Ohio, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Kelontre Barefield, 23, received the sentence after pleading guilty to charges related to the police dog's death and other charges in an unrelated robbery case, a spokeswoman for the Stark County Clerk of Courts told ABC News today.
Barefield's attorney, Steven Reisch, didn't immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.
Jethro was killed in January after suffering multiple gunshot wounds while responding to a burglary at a grocery store, according to Officer Eric Stanbro, head trainer of Canton PD's K-9 unit.
The death of the 3-year-old German shepherd devastated Canton PD Officer Ryan Davis, who had been Jethro's partner since he was an 8-week-old puppy.
In March, an 11-year-old girl donated all of her allowance money to help get bulletproof vests for all of the department's dogs.
Officer Davis has received 2,000 letters since Jethro's death, and he was catching up with them over the weekend," Stanbro previously told ABC News. "He came across this girl's letter and donation, and it really touched him."
“In the letter, an 11-year-old girl named Allison tells Davis, "I sorry about Jethro. So here is my allowance for the bulletproof vests. God bless you and the dogs."
On Wednesday, the Canton PD's K-9 Unit shared a video of some its dogs and handlers on Facebook "[i]n honor of Jethro's killer being sentenced to 45 years in prison."

The Canton Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for additional comment.

​Man charged after Bristol supermarket security guard attack privateofficer.com

The nearby cycle path was cordoned off for several hours while inquiries were carried out.
Bristol England Aug 26 2016 A 30-year-old man has been charged by police after a supermarket security guard was attacked while attempting to apprehend a shoplifter.
Danny King of no fixed abode, has been charged with wounding with intent, theft, two common assaults and possession of an offensive weapon.
The incident took place on Wednesday morning close to the Morrisons supermarket in Fishponds.
Staff in the store spotted a shoplifter shortly before 8am and chased him out of the store. He was detained on the cycle path behind the store by several members of staff.
One of the supermarket workers was injured during the course of the incident.
The nearby cycle path was cordoned off for several hours while inquiries were carried out.
Speaking after the incident, Inspector Shaun Finn said: "A man suspected of shoplifting was chased from the store by security staff. As one of the staff attempted to detain the man, he was assaulted. His injuries required medical attention.
"We arrived on the scene minutes later to find staff from the store detaining the suspect who was arrested on suspicion of GBH.
"I'd like to thank the brave members of staff for apprehending this man and would ask anybody who witnessed the incident to contact us quoting log number 213 from today."

King was remanded in custody and will shortly appear at Bristol Magistrates Court.

Former patient sues Greenwich Hospital over alleged assault privateofficer.com

Greenwich Hospital. Photo: Jason Rearick / Jason Rearick / Stamford Advocate

GREENWICH CT Aug 26 2016— Greenwich Hospital is being sued by a former patient who said he was badly roughed up by a security guard there in March and placed against his will under psychiatric care.
Sean Byrne filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Stamford claiming he suffered extensive bruising and physical injury as a result of what it called “negligent,” “reckless” and “excessive” actions on behalf of the security guard.
Byrne was at the hospital’s emergency unit in the early morning hours of March 19 for a cortisol imbalance brought on by a previous brain injury, the lawsuit said.
According to the complaint, he and a “younger woman” were in a room within the emergency unit when he heard the woman talk about wanting to be discharged from the hospital over the directives of medical staff. A security guard was placed near the open door of the room, the suit states.
A former captain of a volunteer ambulance company in Westchester County, N.Y., and a former EMT, Byrne said he was going to “privately explain” her options as he understood them. He attempted to close the door, the lawsuit says, when the security guard threw him against the wall, then put his weight on top of him.
“The attack on the plaintiff was unprovoked,” the lawsuit contends.
After that, according to the lawsuit, Byrnes was “involuntarily committed to their psychiatric inpatient unit.” He was later charged with disorderly conduct by Greenwich police. A “not guilty” plea has been entered in that case, and the next court date has been set for Sept. 6. A Greenwich police spokesman, Lt. Kraig Gray, had no comment on the case.
Byrne, 50, works in finance. He did not comment on the case this week.
The suit contends that the hospital is liable because it did not properly train and monitor its security staff, and it retained a guard that was described as “known to be overly aggressive.” Byrne’s suit says the security officer had been observed to act in an overly aggressive manner in the past. His name was not identified in court papers.
No monetary damages are specified.

A Greenwich Hospital spokeswoman, Dana Marnane, said the appropriate legal team at the hospital had not reviewed the litigation. A notice of service was filed by a state marshal on June 20 on the hospital’s director of risk management.
Greenwich Times

ABC7 Security Officer Catches Wrong-Way Driver Who Struck Bicyclist privateofficr.com

Image result for ABC7 SECURITY GUARD CATCHES WRONG-WAY DRIVER WHO ALLEGEDLY STRUCK BICYCLIST
CHICAGO IL Aug 26 2016-- A bicyclist was struck by a wrong-way driver who tried to get away in Chicago's Loop late Wednesday night, police said. But a quick-thinking ABC7 security guard stopped him.
The driver was allegedly heading the wrong way on West Wacker Drive when he hit a male bicyclist near North Clark Street just after 11:30 p.m. and kept going, investigators said.
He made a left turn on West Lake Street and caught the attention of ABC7 Eyewitness News security. The red SUV was badly damaged on the front end.
Vincent Lopez, an ABC7 security guard and former police officer, knew something was up.
"We heard a commotion coming down Lake Street traveling eastbound. We looked and we saw a car coming down the road. We could see sparking coming from the front end, because the front suspension had collapsed," Lopez said.
The driver pulled over, right in front of ABC7's rear driveway, got out of the SUV and tried to walk away. Lopez said the driver seemed intoxicated and claimed he hit a curb. That's when he and another colleague cornered him.
After calling 911 twice and talking to witnesses, Lopez figured out that the driver was involved in a hit-and-run crash.
"The car had obviously been involved in an accident. There was front end damage. His passenger side mirror was knocked out and hanging from wires," Lopez said.
When police arrived, the driver was taken into custody. He was ticketed for striking a pedestrian in the roadway, failure to keep in the lane, leaving the scene of accident and traveling the wrong way, police said.

Despite the damage done to the bike, the rider only suffered minor injuries, police said. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.
WLS

Security Officer Stops Burger King Armed Robbery privateofficer.com



CLEVELAND, OH Aug 26 2016
A Cleveland security officer using the restroom at a Burger King Restaurant stopped an armed robbery after chasing the man several blocks.
It happened around 1:30 p.m. at a Burger King on Broadway Avenue when a security officer spotted the man armed with a knife trying to rob the store.
 He opened fire on the robbery suspect but missed him according to police.
The security officer continued to chase the suspect and finally stopped him at gunpoint on East 59th.
He was taken into custody by the security officer.
The suspect is being treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.
No word on any injuries to the security officer or if he actually was on duty at the Burger King.

Deaconess Hospital Considering Idea of Having Armed Security Guards privateofficer.com

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Evansville IN Aug 26 2016
POI News Staff

Another hospital is considering arming their security staff just as other businesses have been looking at increasing security for several years.
Numerous hospitals have armed security officers, added K-9 patrols and in several states, had security personnel sworn in as law enforcement.
Deaconess Hospital officials recently stated that they too are entertaining the idea of having armed security guards at all of their campuses but they have not reach a final decision and do not have any dates in mind of when they might implement armed security.
However, Deaconess already uses off-duty police officers in the emergency department and by having additional armed security officers, it could ensure safety for patients, employees, and visitors said a spokesperson for the hospital.

Deaconess Public Information Officer Ashley Johnson says, "Security models change.
Technology changes said Johnson and we have to change too.
So as things in the nation update every year, we try to stay at the leading edge of these changes.”

Ohio Dept of Public Safety encourages text-a-tip hotline to report unregistered security guards privateofficer.com

COLUMBUS OH Aug 26 2016  - The Ohio Department of Public Safety has launched a tip-line to reduce unlicensed or unregistered security guard activity as state officials say the problem is growing and present in Northeast Ohio and statewide.
"There are a lot of people across the state who work unlicensed," said Geoff Dutton, executive director of the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety's Private Investigator Security Guard Services.
The Private Investigator Security Guard Services is a component of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and is encouraging the public to use a new text-a-tip line if they see someone working who is unlicensed or unregistered and / or someone carrying a weapon without proper firearm authorization.
They encourage anyone to use the number at any time they have questions about a security guard so they can verify if they're working legally.
The number for the tipline is 614 705-2TIP (2847).
Ohio law states that all security companies and each individual guard in the state must be licensed. In order to get a license, guards must go through an extensive criminal background check, firearms training and have proof of liability insurance.
"If you're someone who wants to get in this line of work, and you're not willing to get insurance, you could be a real risk and danger to everybody," added Dutton. "You don't want somebody who is providing security with a weapon on their belt and badge on their shirt who has no business being in that position."
On Thursday, Franklin Harris of Toledo was found guilty of two counts of providing security services without a license, a fifth-degree felony. It's the first felony case of its kind. Harris faces up to a year in prison. He was working as an unlicensed armed security guard in bars and clubs and has two prior misdemeanor convictions in the past 14 months for working unlicensed.
newsnet5

Suspected Mall Shooter, Attempts Getaway With Uber Driver privateofficer.com

 Darryl Eugene Patterson
ARLINGTON TX Aug 26 2016 One person was shot around 6:40 p.m. Wednesday near a parking garage at The Parks Mall.
Arlington Police say the suspect, 19-year-old, Darryl Eugene Patterson, got into an Uber car and fled the scene. 
Witnesses saw this and police tracked down the car and stopped it.
The victim was shot at least twice in the leg and taken to a local hospital.  His injuries are non-life-threatening.
Arlington Police Lt. Christopher Cook said police recovered a gun.
Lt. Cook says off-duty officers were working with mall security when they got a report of a person with a gun near the food court and the ice skating rink.  As they were heading there, they received reports of shots fired.
“I just hear boom, boom and then people started screaming and then you couldn’t hear anything because of the screams but you could definitely tell it was gunshots,” said witness Diana Roel.  “It was insane.”
Lt. Cook said it all started with an altercation near Macy’s between the victim and suspect which involved pushing and shoving.
When the victim and his wife tried to leave the mall, the suspect shot the victim several times with what’s believed to be a .38 revolver, according to Lt. Cook.
“As soon as we walked out all of the stores were closing.  They were putting their gates down and people were saying there is someone with a gun,” said Meriya Morales who was in the mall at the time.
Police are investigating three scenes: where the shooting happened, where the gun was dumped and where the Uber driver was stopped on Arbrook Boulevard near High Point.
Police say the Uber driver had no idea what was going on.
Lt. Cook says Arlington Police are very grateful to the helpful citizens that helped them track down the suspect.
CBSDFW

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Police recover body believed to be missing Southern Methodist University officer privateofficer.com



DALLAS TX Aug 25 2016 — Dallas police say they believe a body found by a Southern Methodist University police sergeant Wednesday afternoon at the edge of a Trinity River levee near downtown is likely that of an officer who disappeared in floodwaters almost two months ago.
An American flag was draped over the body after it was recovered.
"We're rendering our honors," said Major Jimmy Vaughan. "I'm assuming it's [Mark McCullers], the police officer we're looking for, so we paid our respects."
The Dallas Police Department’s dive team and SMU police responded to the scene at the corner of Oak Lawn Avenue and Levee Street Wednesday afternoon.
A Southern Methodist University police sergeant reported finding the body as he searched the area at about 2:30 p.m. CT. According to sources, the SMU sergeant told Dallas police that he crossed over the levee and could see a body in a uniform.
Dallas police say they're working to confirm the identity of the body.
The discovery comes almost two months after Mark McCullers, an SMU police officer, disappeared after he called for help on July 5. McCullers was working off-duty security at a construction site near Turtle Creek when severe storms led to flash flooding.
Video from July 5 showed McCullers attempting to exit his vehicle, which was swept away in the rushing water.
The body was discovered almost three miles away from where McCullers was last seen.
Authorities salute as a body believed to that of missing Southern Methodist University police officer Mark McCullers is draped with an American flag on Aug. 24, 2016. (Photo: WFAA-TV)
Authorities say SMU police, along with Dallas police dive teams, firefighters and other state and local law enforcement agencies, have frequently searched the area for McCullers since he vanished.
"The SMU supervisor comes here approximately three times a week, usually comes with another officer or two," said Major Jimmy Vaughan, a spokesman with Dallas police. "About a week or two ago, he came with the Texas State Guard, and they came out here with a handful of drones and they've been searching this entire area."
Vaughan said the SMU sergeant was drawn to the area where the body was found Wednesday when he spotted a large pile of debris.
"We haven't stopped looking for him," Vaughan said when asked about their continued efforts to find McCullers after the official search was called off.
"He's one of us," he continued. "We don't stop looking for our own."
Tiffany McCullers, wife of the missing officer, said they were in the process of moving into a new home and that her husband was pulling extra shifts to pay for a new washer and dryer. SMU has informed us that they have purchased a washer and dryer for the family.

 A memorial page for McCullers has been posted on Facebook. Anyone who would like to help the family financially can do so through PayPal at this link, or you may visit any Wells Fargo location to make a donation to Officer Mark McCullers Memorial Fund. (Reference the account number 9976436577)

SIXTH CIRCUIT HOLDS SHOOTING OF MENTALLY ILL PERSON LEGAL privateofficer.com

Oakland CA Aug 25 2016

On July 6, 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Rucinski v. County of Oakland et al.[i], in which the Sixth Circuit examined whether the shooting of an armed mentally ill man was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.  The relevant facts of Rucinski, taken directly from the case, are as follows:
Jeremy Rucinski suffered from multiple mental-health conditions, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and paranoid behavior.
 On the afternoon of January 6, 2013, Rucinski approached his girlfriend Rebecca Vandenbrook in the bedroom of their home and asked her for his cigarettes. Vandenbrook refused to disclose the location of Rucinski's cigarettes and suggested that Rucinski keep smoking his electronic cigarette instead. In response, Rucinski yelled at Vandenbrook, pulled a switchblade knife from his pajama pants pocket, opened the blade, and demanded his cigarettes.
Vandenbrook told Rucinski where his cigarettes were and, after Rucinski had left the room, she shut the bedroom door, retreated to the adjoining bathroom, and called 911. Vandenbrook told the 911 operator that Rucinski was "schizophrenic and [] [was] having a breakdown"; that Rucinski had a switchblade knife in his possession; that Rucinski was alone in the garage; and that Rucinski needed to go to the hospital because she was worried that he might hurt himself.
In response to Vandenbrook's call, Oakland County Deputy Sheriffs Sarah McCann, Sharon Beltz, Eric Rymarz, and Drakkar Eastman drove to Rucinski and Vandenbrook's home in order to conduct a "welfare check." The deputies learned from dispatch that there was a schizophrenic individual in the house's garage who had a knife in his possession. Upon their arrival at Rucinski's house, McCann and Beltz walked up the driveway towards the garage, which was connected to the home, while Rymarz and Eastman went to the front door of the home. The deputies never developed a plan as to how they would handle the situation with Rucinski. 
Vandenbrook opened the front door for Rymarz and Eastman, and allowed the two deputies to enter the residence. Vandenbrook told Rymarz and Eastman that Rucinski was in the garage; that Rucinski "usually carrie[d] a switchblade knife"; and that Rucinski "was off his meds and [Vandenbrook] was concerned about him." Vandenbrook then led Rymarz and Eastman to the door that served as the interior entrance to the garage so that Rymarz could open the garage door and give McCann and Beltz access to Rucinski "[i]n case things went south." Rymarz opened the interior door without knocking or identifying himself, and he then pressed the button to open the garage door. Rymarz and Eastman then began to walk down a short flight of stairs to the floor of the garage.
 As the overhead garage door opened, the deputies spotted Rucinski in the far-back corner of the garage, and Beltz entered the garage between two parked cars with her taser drawn in order to speak with Rucinski. McCann, who had previously drawn her firearm, acted as "cover" for Beltz and took only a few steps into the garage.
Rymarz initiated contact by calling out Rucinski's name, saying "Jeremy, Jeremy." Rucinski looked at Rymarz, reached into his pocket, pulled out and opened his switchblade knife, said "bring it on" or "here we go," and began walking towards McCann. McCann took a few steps backwards and moved out of the garage, but she had to stop after retreating "a couple of feet" because the driveway was icy and slippery. Rucinski refused to comply with the deputies' commands that he "[d]rop the knife," approaching to within five feet of McCann while still brandishing the knife.
At this point, Beltz, who remained between the two cars parked inside the garage, believed McCann was in "danger" and fired her taser at Rucinski. McCann discharged her firearm at Rucinski a split-second later, hitting him in the chest with a single deadly shot. The deputies immediately administered first aid to Rucinski, and Rucinski was transported to Genesys Hospital where he was pronounced dead. McCann later testified that she was not aware that Beltz had already fired her taser at Rucinski when she discharged her firearm.
Debra Rucinski filed suit against officers McCann, and Beltz for excessive force under the Fourth Amendment and the County of Oakland for failure to train, hire and supervise under the Fourth Amendment.  The district court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and the lawsuit was dismissed.  This article will not cover the state law claim, but that was also dismissed in favor of the officers.
Rucinski filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The first issue on appeal was whether Officer’s McCann and Beltz used excessive force on Rucinski.  The court first addressed the legal standard for an officer to receive immunity from a suit such as this.  The court stated
Qualified immunity "ordinarily applies unless it is obvious that [a] reasonably competent official would have concluded that the actions taken were unlawful," Chappell, 585 F.3d at 907, and it affords "'ample room for mistaken judgments' by protecting 'all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law,'" Hunter v. Bryant, 502 U.S. 224, 229 (1991) (quoting Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 343, 341 (1986)).[ii] [emphasis added]
The court further stated that, in order for a plaintiff to defeat an officers motion for qualified immunity, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to show (1) that the officers violated a constitution right, and (2) that right was clearly established such that another reasonable officer in the same situation would have known his conduct was unlawful.
The court then set out to examine whether the officers violated Kucinski’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from excessive force when he was shot.  The court summed up the law relevant to this case as follows:
The proper application of the Fourth Amendment reasonableness test "requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including . . . whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others." Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396 (1989). This is an objective test, to be "judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight." Id. The evaluation of reasonableness must also recognize that "police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation." Id. at 396-97.   
An officer's use of deadly force is reasonable if "the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others." Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 3 (1985). We have said that "[w]hen a person aims a weapon in a police officer's direction, that officer has an objectively reasonable basis for believing that the person poses a significant risk of serious injury or death." Greathouse v. Couch, 433 F. App'x 370, 373 (6th Cir. 2011).[iii] [emphasis added]
The court then examined the facts of Rucinski’s relevant to the Fourth Amendment issue.  The court noted that Rucinski pulled a switchblade knife from his pocket, opened the blade, told the officers “here we go” or “bring it on”, and then began moving toward Officer McCann.  Rucinski failed to comply with the officers’ repeated orders to drop the knife and got within five feet of Officer McCann.  At that point, Officer Beltz fired her Taser at McCann and a split second later Officer McCann fired one shot from her handgun at Rucinski who was hit and killed.
The Sixth Circuit noted that there was other court precedent that was relevant to Rucinski’s case.  Particularly, the court stated:
Our holdings in Chappell, 585 F.3d at 911, Gaddis v. Redford Township., 364 F.3d 763, 776 (6th Cir. 2004), and Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F.2d 117, 118 (6th Cir. 1991), confirm the district court's judgment that McCann and Beltz acted reasonably as a matter of law in using force against Rucinski when he approached to within five feet of McCann while brandishing a knife. Our prior decisions in Chappell, 585 F.3d at 911, and Rhodes, 945 F.2d at 118, are most directly on point. In Chappell, where detectives shot and killed a fifteen-year-old boy after he moved to within seven feet of them while holding a steak knife over his head, we held that the detectives' use of deadly force was reasonable as a matter of law, 585 F.3d at 911. Similarly, we held in Rhodes that an officer acted reasonably as a matter of law when he shot and killed a suspect brandishing a knife after the suspect did not comply with commands to drop the knife and approached to within four feet of the officer, 945 F.2d at 118. Thus, the implication of Chappell and Rhodes: McCann acted reasonably as a matter of law in using deadly force against Rucinski when he approached to within five feet of her while wielding a knife. And of course, these precedents also establish that Beltz acted reasonably as a matter of law when she deployed non-lethal force (her taser) against Rucinski.[iv]
Rucinski argued that Chappell and Rhodes are both different from Rucinski’s case because in those two cases, the officers involved were investigating crimes, whereas in his case, the officers were merely conducting a welfare check.  However, to this the court responded as follows:
Rucinski identifies no case law restricting an officer's ability to use deadly force when she has probable cause to believe that a mentally ill person poses an imminent threat of serious physical harm to her person; indeed, out of circuit case law weighs against this argument. See, e.g., Sanders v. City of Minneapolis, 474 F.3d 523, 527 (8th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bates ex rel. Johns v. Chesterfield County, Va., 216 F.3d 367, 372 (4th Cir. 2000)) ("Knowledge of a person's disability simply cannot foreclose officers from protecting themselves . . . when faced with threatening conduct by the disabled individual.").[v] [emphasis added]
Thus, the court held that the officers acted reasonably in accordance with current court precedent in their use of force (both deadly force and Taser) against Kucinski and the fact that he was mentally ill did not have the effect of preventing the officers from being able to lawfully defend themselves.
Rucinski also argued that the court should consider the officer’s alleged poor planning and tactics in this case.  However, the court declined to deviate from the “segmented approach” to its use of force analysis, in which the court focuses on the events of the moments immediately preceding the officer’s use of force.  To this, the court stated the following:
[W]e may not disregard this Court's long-standing practice of analyzing excessive force claims in segments. See, e.g., Lubelan, 476 F.3d at 406 ("The proper approach under Sixth Circuit precedent is to view excessive force claims in segments."); Dickerson v. McClellan, 101 F.3d 1151, 1162 (6th Cir. 1996) (using the segmented approach to analyze an excessive force claim). And in any event, even if we were able to consider whether the deputies, through their lack of planning and alleged bad tactics in initiating contact with Rucinski, created circumstances that led to McCann's use of deadly force, the Supreme Court has recently weighed in on this very issue, stating that plaintiffs "cannot establish a Fourth Amendment violation based merely on bad tactics that result in a deadly confrontation that could have been avoided." City & Cnty. of San Francisco v. Sheehan, 575 U.S. —, 135 S. Ct. 1765, 1777 (2015) (internal quotation marks omitted) (applying without adopting the Ninth Circuit law in Billington, 292 F.3d at 1190).[vii]
Thus, the court held that they would continue to apply the segmented approach and the use of force was lawful.
As to the claim against the county for inadequate training and supervision, the court held that that claim must be dismissed because there was no underlying constitutional violation in this case and in order to establish municipal liability, the first thing that must be proven is an underlying constitutional violation.
As such the court affirmed the grant of qualified immunity and summary judgment for the defendants in this case.
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Note:  Court holdings can vary significantly between jurisdictions.  As such, it is advisable to seek the advice of a local prosecutor or legal adviser regarding questions on specific cases.  This article is not intended to constitute legal advice on a specific case.