Tag Archives: administrative leave

Las Vegas SWAT Team Commander Under Investigation For Financial Exploitation of Elderly Couple

Lt Tom Melton LVMPD SWAT Commander Elderly Exploitation

Last week, it was announced that Lieutenant Tom Melton had been placed on administrative leave (AKA paid vacation) as the result of a criminal investigation. Melton is the commander of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department‘s SWAT team. He’s also been one of the public faces of the LVMPD, oftentimes being interviewed by local media and frequently providing briefings at crime scenes.

Initially, Metro declined to give any details about what the nature of that investigation was. However, soon after his suspension was announced a search of public records indicated that he has ties to a woman already facing over 200 charges of defrauding elderly people placed under her care. Lt. Melton had been appointed as legal guardian and trustee for Jerome and Beverly Flaherty, an elderly couple, who have since died. April Parks, the woman previously charged, was awarded co-guardianship of the Flahertys with Melton.

In March, Parks was indicted on charges including perjury, racketeering, filing false records, theft and exploitation, as part of a for-profit professional guardianship service. Parks has been characterized as the “ringleader of a small group” that included her husband; Gary Neal Taylor, an attorney named Noel Palmer Simpson, and her office manager; Mark Simmons. All four have been accused of taking advantage of the guardianship system to exploit and defraud the people placed under their supervision.

After confirmation was received that Lt. Melton was in fact the focus of an investigation into exploitation of an elderly couple, his attorney denied that he was involved in the fraud. Instead, he maintains that he had only hired Parks to care for the couple, whom he describes as friends of Melton. No other details relating to the nature of the investigation into Lt. Melton’s involvement have been released by the LVMPD.

Of course, it very well could be that he had no involvement in the fraud Parks and her partners are accused of. However, the timing of the suspension could potentially indicate otherwise. The fact that the other people involved were indicted in March and Melton didn’t come under investigation until the end of July would seem to imply that there’s more to it. It’s also a bit contradictory that none of the family members of the hundreds of other victims Parks exploited appear to be under investigation.

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Philadelphia Taxpayers Forced to Pay $4.4 Million to Innocent Delivery Man Undercover Cops Ambushed

Last week, the Philadelphia Police Department agreed to the largest settlement in the history of the city to pay off an innocent man that two undercover cops shot at fourteen times. In April of 2014, Philippe Holland was delivering food when Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey ran at him without ever identifying themselves as police officers.

Holland, having no reason to know they were cops and seeing that one of them was holding a gun, believed he was being robbed and tried to escape in his car. In spite of it specifically being against policy to do so, Farrell and Hanvey used the excuse that they “feared for their lives” from the car being used as a weapon to open fire on Holland. As a result, Holland, who was twenty years old at the time, now suffers from a permanent seizure disorder and still has bullet fragments lodged in his brain.

In spite of witness statements that contradict the two officers’ story, the district attorney (not at all surprisingly) declined to press any charges against them. Instead, they’ve been given a paid vacation for the past two years, while the slap on the wrist they will eventually receive from the department remains “pending.”

Via Philly.com:

It is the largest settlement in a police shooting case in the city’s history, according to Philadelphia Law Department records.

Then-Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said shortly after the shooting that Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey had fired at the wrong man.

On Friday, the mayor’s office called the shooting “an unfortunate, regrettable series of events.”

“We will strive to ensure that tragedies such as this do not happen again in our city,” City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante said in the statement.

Philippe Holland was delivering a cheeseburger to a house on the 5100 block of Willows Avenue in West Philadelphia on April 22, 2014, as police responded to reports of gunshots nearby.

In a deposition, he said he saw Farrell and Hanvey approaching him and thought he was about to get robbed. He slipped into his car through the passenger door, he said – and that’s when one officer shined a light into the car and Holland saw a gun in the other’s hand.

He told police that Farrell and Hanvey never identified themselves as police officers. He said that he panicked and tried to pull out of his parking spot – and that the two men opened fire on him, hitting him in the head and body.

At the time, it was against police regulations for officers to fire at a moving vehicle unless someone inside the car was threatening them or someone else with some form of deadly force other than the vehicle itself.

Hanvey and Farrell told investigators they approached Holland because they saw him walking past a Chinese restaurant on 51st Street and asked a witness on the street where the gunshots she’d heard had come from. They said the woman had pointed toward Holland and said the shots came from where he was walking.

But the woman later told police investigators she had only pointed toward the Chinese restaurant, and didn’t mention a man at all.

Hanvey and Farrell insisted that they told Holland they were police and that he drove his car toward them, making them fear for their lives.

Holland, a student at Delaware County Community College, was left with a permanent seizure disorder and has bullet fragments in his brain, according to his attorney, Tom Kline, who announced the settlement Friday.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges in the case. According to police documents Kline provided to the Inquirer and the Daily News, the department’s Use of Force Review Board concluded that Farrell and Hanvey had violated department policy, though the board did not specify a punishment for that violation.

A police spokesman said that the two have been on administrative duty since the shooting, and that “discipline is still pending.”

The department could not say whether the officers will return to the street.

At least the taxpayers of Philadelphia get to pay for this “unfortunate, regrettable series of events,” while the two officers actually responsible for it have had plenty of time to sit home getting paid to think about what they did. That certainly should ensure that “tragedies such as this do not happen again” in their city.

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Dash Camera Video of Native American Kheyanev Littledog Shot By Midland Texas Police Released

On Monday (October 10th), police in Midland Texas shot and killed Native American Kheyanev Littledog, who had been stopped along with another unnamed man, whose presence had not been mentioned in previous coverage of the shooting, while they were walking down the road. Now dash camera video of that shooting has been released.

While the video doesn’t clearly show Littledog in possession of a gun, it does pretty clearly show him reaching toward his waist. However, the second man was reportedly released later without any charges, which brings into question why they were stopped in the first place.

Via the Youtube description of the video:

The Midland Police Department has released video taken from the dashboard camera of one of the officers involved in Monday night’s deadly shooting. In a statement, the Midland Police Department said they released the video because they understand “the importance of community relations in regard to officer-involved shootings.” The released video shows Kheyanev Littledog, 19, on the right in a gray shirt, as well as an acquaintance of his in a blue shirt. The acquaintance was not found to have committed any crime and was released from the scene.

Back on Monday night, officers were called out to the intersection of Terrell St. and Industrial Ave. in Midland in reference to a check person. That’s when, police said, they saw Littledog, 19, with a handgun in his waistband. Police said the footage and witness statements during the investigation revealed that Littledog was reaching for the gun when he was shot by two officers. Littledog was taken to the hospital where he later died. We’re told that Littledog was also in possession of a second firearm in his backpack at the time of the shooting and he wasn’t licensed to carry a firearm.

Via the Midland Reporter-Telegram:

The city of Midland has delivered a video account of the police-involved shooting that took place Monday evening…

Midlander Kheyanev Littledog, 19, was shot by two officers after he reached for a gun in his waistband when confronted by the officers, according to a press release from the city.

During the investigation, officers found that Littledog had a second firearm in his backpack at the time of the shooting. He was not licensed to carry a firearm, according to the release.

The officers, Aaron Renz, 26, and Aaron Trevino, 31, have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal review. Renz is a patrol officer with one year and 10 months at MPD, and Trevino is a K-9 officer who has served the department for seven years and 10 months.

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Framingham State University Campus Police Officer Arrested For Masturbating in Public on Campus

Officer Wilter Dormevil, a Framingham (MA) State University campus police officer, was arrested last week for performing lewd acts in public. Dormevil is accused of masturbating in front of a student employee on campus. As a result of his arrest, he was banned from campus and placed on paid vacation.

Via the FraminghamSource.com:

Wilter Dormevil, 28, of 37A Dedham Street Apt. 1 of Revere, was charged with lewd wanton and lascivious sex, lewd and open gross sex, and witness intimidation. He was arrested on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 12:25 p.m. at Framingham State University.

Dormevil, according to police, masturbated in front of a student employee.

On September 3, at about 12:30 p.m., Framingham State University Police command staff was notified of an incident involving a Framingham State police officer and inappropriate conduct.

“The officer was immediately relieved of his duties and Town of  Framingham police were notified as an independent investigator in the matter. As a result of the investigation, the FSU officer was arrested and charged with several offenses, including lewdness/open and gross, wanton and lascivious conduct, and witness intimidation. The University has placed the officer on Administration Leave and he is prohibited from the FSU campus while the investigation continues,” wrote Framingham State University General Counsel Rita Colucci to Framingham Source.

Officer Dormevil had only been working as a campus police officer at Framingham State University since May of this year, but had been working as an auxiliary (I.E. volunteer) police officer since June of 2015.

As often as police departments hire people with a history of misconduct and/or violence it’s hard to say this with absolute certainy, but this will probably hurt his chances of getting hired on as an actual officer with the Town of Farmingham Police Department. #JusSayin

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Border Patrol Agent and His Two Brothers Arrested in Drug Related Decapitation

Joel Luna, a Border Patrol agent from the Brownsville area in Texas, was arrested by deputies with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office yesterday on a murder charge. In addition to the murder charge, Luna faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Texas Rangers, Customs and Border Protection agents, and members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program assisted the deputies in his arrest. Agent Luna had been with the Border Patrol for six years, working out of the checkpoint at Hebbronville.

The murder charge relates to a decapitated body that was found in Laguna Madre Bay last March. That body was subsequently identified as Jose Francisco Palacios Paz, who worked at a nearby auto shop. In June, police arrested Eduardo Luna Rodriguez, Fernando Luna Rodriguez, Nestor Manuel Leal, and Aaron Rodriguez Medellin, all of whom worked with Paz, in connection with the case.

Border Patrol Agent Joel LunaAdditionally, Eduardo Luna Rodriguez and Fernando Luna Rodriguez are brothers of Joel Luna. All four of them face charges of murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and engaging in criminal organized activity. They are currently being held without bail, although Luna has not been officially fired from the Border Patrol and is instead on administrative leave. (It’s not clear if he’s still being paid or not, at this point.)

According to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, the discovery of a safe containing more than 2 pounds of cocaine, $89,000, three pistols, 17 grams of meth, and his Border Patrol badge at the home of Luna’s mother in law prompted the arrest. the Sheriff also stated that they believe the murder was associated with the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican drug ring believed to be one of the oldest and most far reaching of the cartels.

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