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<br /> Cleveland police hunt for man who aired killing live on Facebook<br />

Cleveland police hunt for man who aired killing live on Facebook
By PoliceOne Staff

CLEVELAND — Police are searching for a suspect they say shot and killed someone live on Facebook Sunday.

Police are warning the public that the suspect, Steve Stephens, is considered armed and dangerous.

Stephens also claimed to have "committed multiple other homicides which are yet to verified," police said.

The video of the killing was posted on Facebook for about three hours before it was removed. His Facebook page apparently was deactivated later Sunday afternoon.

Stephens is 6 foot 1 and is bald with a full beard. He is wearing a dark blue, and gray or black striped polo shirt.

Sources told FOX 8 he is driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary tags.

According to CNN, Stephens spoke to his mother, Maggie Green, on Sunday. Green told CNN that Stephens said he was "mad with his girlfriend that's why he is shooting people and he won't stop until his mother or girlfriend tell him to stop."

Green, who is in disbelief over the incident, told her son to stop, according to the report.

Police are searching multiple areas but no other victims have been found.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Media update on shooting suspect Steve Stephens

— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 16, 2017

.@CLEpolice says their officers are doubled up right now. No one is by themselves.

— Meg Shaw (@MegDShaw) April 16, 2017


— Tara Molina (@TaraMolinaTV) April 16, 2017

My heart is breaking for this family and for the city of Cleveland. #EasterDaySlaughter

— Chernéy Amhara FOX5 (@CherneyAmharaTV) April 16, 2017

Soon: Cleveland Police press conference. Here's what they've said so far about Steve Stephens

— Derick Waller News 5 (@derickwallerTV) April 16, 2017

Cleveland Police have identified the man whose killing was streamed on Facebook Live as Robert Goodwin Sr., 74

— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) April 16, 2017 ]]>

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 20:47:44 GMT

<br /> Videos: Police fire 2 Ga. officers after viral UOF incident<br />

By Kate Brumback Associated Press

ATLANTA — Two Georgia police officers were fired Thursday, a day after authorities say one punched a man who had his hands up and the other kicked the man in the head once he was handcuffed on the ground.

The Gwinnett County Police Department ]]>

Several hours later, police said that supervisor, Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni, had also been fired after a second video surfaced of him punching Hollins in the face as Hollins put his hands in the air.

"We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time," a police department statement says. "However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge."

The department also has opened criminal investigations into the behavior of the two officers. The results will be turned over to the county district attorney, who will decide whether to prosecute the two officers.

McDonald was hired by the department in August 2013 and graduated from the police academy in March 2014, while Bongiovanni was hired in September 1998 and graduated from the academy in February 1999.

No working number could be found for McDonald, and the voicemail at a number listed for Bongiovanni was full. It wasn't immediately clear whether either man had an attorney who could comment.

Another police video surfaces from Gwinnett County today as an officer punches a man with hands up. ????

— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) April 13, 2017

Bongiovanni pulled Hollins over in Lawrenceville, just outside Atlanta, police said.

Video filmed by a witness shows Bongiovanni punching Hollins as Hollins stands with his hands up after getting out of the car, police said.

The other video shows Bongiovanni appearing to yell at a handcuffed man who then lies face-down in a left-turn lane of the busy intersection. McDonald runs up and immediately appears to stomp on the man's head before both officers eventually pull him to his feet.

Hollins, 21, appears to have blood on his nose and lip in his booking photo.

The shift commander initiated an "immediate investigation" and placed McDonald on administrative leave after Hollins' arrest.

Hollins was driving a red Acura Integra with no license plate and a brake light that didn't work, and switched lanes three times without signaling, according to an incident report filed by Bongiovanni.

Hollins yelled and began to "act strange," and based on that and the officer's recollection of Hollins' behavior during a previous arrest in August, Bongiovanni called for backup, the report says.

Hollins yelled and refused to obey orders when Bongiovanni ordered him out of the car and resisted when Bongiovanni tried to arrest him, the report says. There is no mention of Bongiovanni hitting Hollins.

The report mentions McDonald arriving after Bongiovanni had used his stun gun on Hollins and gotten him handcuffed on the ground. It doesn't mention any contact between McDonald and Hollins.

The two officers are white and Hollins appears to be black, police Cpl. Michele Pihera said in an email.

Jail records show Hollins faces charges of driving with a suspended or revoked license, operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked registration, failure to signal, having a brake light that's not in good repair, obstructing a law enforcement officer and having less than an ounce of marijuana. He was released on bond Thursday afternoon.

Police released McDonald's personnel file Thursday and said Bongiovanni's would be released Thursday.

McDonald was "an excellent example of a team player with a strong work ethic" who completed his work on time, was always willing to help others and was courteous and professional with the public, Bongiovanni wrote in annual evaluation last June. He gave McDonald a rating of "often exceeds expectations" in many categories and no rating lower than "generally meets expectations."

McDonald received a few commendations and recognitions, including sharing the officer of the month honor in November 2015.

He had filed three use-of-force reports explaining why he used his stun gun or physical force in the course of his duties.

He faced a disciplinary loss of his good driving record after he rear-ended another car in his patrol car in June 2015. But the officer who responded to the accident said in a letter to the department's safety review committee that it would have been very difficult for McDonald to avoid the wreck.


Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:40:42 GMT

Quiz: Can you talk like a cop?

By Uniform Stories Staff


Wed, 1 Feb 2017 01:37:16 GMT

Quiz: Which fictional cop are you most like?

By PoliceOne Staff

Are you the straight-laced, nothing-but-business enforcer of the law, or the lighthearted officer whose department counts on him to provide comedic relief after a rough day on the beat? Take our quick, six question quiz to find out which fictional cop you're most like!


Fri, 10 Jul 2015 18:00:07 GMT

<br /> What cops need to know about sovereign citizen encounters<br />

What cops need to know about sovereign citizen encounters
This article was updated on January 29, 2017.

Law enforcement officers across the country are experiencing a growing number of contacts with sovereign citizens, individuals and groups who possess a strong anti-government ideology.

Because they believe the government, its representatives, laws and policies are illegitimate, sovereign citizens regularly find themselves in conflict with the law. Although it’s difficult to accurately access their numbers, it is safe to say that since 2000, their numbers and the violent incidents associated with them have increased.

Here, I’ll provide you with some investigative tips and suggestions should you encounter a sovereign citizen, but, I’d be remiss if I did not take a moment to emphasize that whether you’re dealing with a novice or a hardliner sovereign citizen, the prospect of violent action and threats to officer safety should never be taken for granted.

1. Proceed with caution

The threat to officer safety posed by sovereign citizens is well known. One must look no further than the tragic deaths of Sergeant Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans of the West Memphis Police Department in order to understand the risk of spontaneous violence from self-proclaimed sovereign citizens. I strongly suggest to any officer encountering a suspected sovereign citizen to proceed with extreme caution, employing all necessary tactical officer safety precautions.

One of the first things to recognize is that a sovereign citizen is likely to be argumentative with police authorities. They may proclaim themselves as sovereign citizens right from the beginning or they may simply challenge your right or authority to stop/detain them.

They may question your authority or where you derive your jurisdiction and inform you that they do not believe in the United States Constitution or any other “illegitimate” government documents from which police powers are derived.

2. Stay on your game

Don’t get pulled into a battle of wits based upon sovereign citizen rhetoric. Many of them speak as if they are reading from a script. Often, their mantra is intended simply to throw you off your game. Too often our egos kick in whenever our authority is challenged and we end up arrogantly contributing to the escalation of an argument rather than guiding its de-escalation.

I encourage you to be knowledgeable about the Constitution, the laws of your state and your enforcement options. With sovereign citizens, I suggest you try to de-escalate any situation when you have the opportunity. Also, recognize that the sovereign citizen may attempt to videotape your encounter.

3. Remain calm and professional

Don’t engage in an argument. Explain your purpose or intentions as you would in any other circumstance. The fact that you are being challenged does not change your training or what lawful enforcement actions are available to you.

On YouTube and other internet sites, there are some great examples of officer/sovereign encounters where officers remain professional and task oriented despite being confronted and challenged.

I also encourage you to take a moment and watch this brief safety video offered by West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert, father of Sergeant Brandon Paudert, regarding the dangers of sovereign citizens:

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } 4. Beware of fraudulent documents

Sovereign citizens can be an investigative challenge. Much of their personal identification information, such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses or vehicle tags are fraudulent documents. When asked to provide a name, they may respond that they don’t have a name.

They may identify themselves as “the representative of…(their legal name).” If you do receive a name, it may be a sovereign name, compounded with “El” or “Bey” and intended to denounce their association with the name provided them by a government entity.

Be sure to document all known aliases.

5. Gather intelligence

Another challenge faced by investigators is the fact that the sovereign citizen movement is not an organized civil or criminal enterprise. It’s a fractured series of loosely affiliated individuals who adhere to anti-government ideologies.

This lack of organization does little to help investigators to get a foothold. However, the more we are able to learn about these unique individuals, the better armed we will be for future encounters and successful prosecutions. Despite the challenges posed by sovereign citizens, intelligence gathering will be our most valuable investigative tool. Therefore, officers should conduct thorough background checks based upon the information he or she is able to gather.

Obviously, we will look at their criminal records but go beyond that. Make use of every database you can think of, including social media, to learn as much as you can. Consider the areas they frequent, the vehicles they drive, the people they associate with, their interests, hobbies, family, their parole or probationary status, employment or social service benefits status, prior drug/alcohol abuse, scars, marks, tattoos and possible weapons in the home.

As much as they proclaim their disdain for the government, they are known to take full advantage of all the government is willing to give them. You’ll see below that as much as they admonish our justice system, they are happy to try to use it against us.

6. Interview and debrief

Upon arrest, make it a point to talk to these individuals. I don’t mean interrogate them; I mean interview and debrief them. Attempt to learn as much as you can about them.

I like to begin with an information sheet. This is a form that gathers general but pertinent information about them. Not only name, birth date., address, phone number and physical description, but also where they work, who they reside with, their marital status, children, emergency contact information and who they might stay with in the event of an emergency.

This seems like a standard part of arrestee processing, but what it actually does is gathering intelligence while establishing a dialogue that helps them acquire a level of comfort with being questioned.

Proceed by asking curious questions about their sovereign status. Your posture should be one of understanding rather than confrontation. In a non-arrest situation, I advise officers to complete and submit FI reports detailing as much information as possible.

Informants, family, friends or other associates also have relevance with regard to sovereigns. These associations may help you determine, locations, hideouts, vehicles, weapons caches or other useful information toward building a case.

7. Share information

Communicate all the information you gathered with specialized units within your department or agency. Some departments have an intelligence unit which gathers and records as much information on sovereign citizens in as possible. Communicate with neighboring jurisdictions, state and federal authorities, prosecutors and even your local attorney general’s office.

One reason to share this information is the FBI has recently deemed sovereign citizens paper terrorists.

Sovereign citizens have been known to inundate the courts with false or fraudulent documents intended to file lawsuits against law enforcement and other judicial or government officials. Sovereigns may also attempt to place a lien against your personal property.

Only a handful of states have laws in place to protect public officials from such claims and allow law enforcement to criminally charge sovereigns for such false filings. Therefore, sharing all the information you gather will help to keep everyone informed should you be targeted.

8. Conduct surveillance and search warrants

Conducting surveillance is another beneficial investigative effort. Not only might you want to target them visually but, depending on the circumstances and laws within your state, you may want to consider applying a GPS unit on a target vehicle or installing pole cameras in known sovereign territory.

Surveillance will not only serve the purpose of gathering intelligence but also provides vital officer safety information should a search warrant execution be required.

Conduct search warrants whenever probable cause exists. Obviously, an officer will document the probable cause contributing to the case but, if possible, include intelligence/background information on known or suspected sovereigns and their anti-government ideologies.

Include items to search for such as anti-government papers, pamphlets, books, false documents and weapons.

Their computers and electronic data storage devices can contain information on social media and other websites visited. Hard drives can be of tremendous evidentiary value.

9. Use tact, patience and persistence

Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric and remain task oriented. Work hard to learn as much as you can about sovereigns through traditional and non-traditional methods and share what you’ve learned.

Ask questions and seek the advice of those investigators who have had frequent contact with sovereigns.

10. Above all, stay safe

Be creative, be thorough, but most of all when it comes to sovereign citizens, be safe.


Thu, 28 Mar 2013 15:30:00 GMT

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