Buffalo Protest Officers Absolved In Arbitration

Many in the United States have seen a five-second clip from a video taken by a journalist of Buffalo police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski (“the Officers”) pushing 75-year-old Martin A. Gugino to the ground during a protest on June 4, 2020. Few, however, have seen the entire video, or bodycam videos taken of the same incident, or heard the testimony of several other Buffalo officers who encountered…

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Cadet Loses Claim Against Austin Police Trainers

Christopher Wise was a cadet in the Austin Police Academy. In a lawsuit he later filed, Wise alleged that on October 1, 2018, he was engaged in “a very strenuous series of physical exercises in an activity entitled Stress Reaction Training.” The training was scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on a day when the high temperature in Austin was approximately 88 degrees and the relative humidity was…

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Drunk Officer’s Off-Duty Shooting Not In ‘Course Of Employment’

In December 2017, the Thomas Fire destroyed and damaged numerous residences and caused widespread power outages in Ventura, California. Sorin Popescu lived on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood that lost power. As the family was trying to decide whether to evacuate, Popescu heard a noise from the house next door. He went to investigate, worried someone might be looting his neighbor’s house. On his way, Popescu encountered Trever Dalton…

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County Not Liable For Sergeant’s Assault On Deputy

Angela Branford was a deputy sheriff with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. Branford met Sergeant Jonathan Christensen when he led a training session. Sometime in 2013 or 2014, Branford and Christensen began a consensual romantic and sexual relationship. During the course of the relationship, Branford described Christensen’s behavior as growing more controlling. Branford attempted on several occasions to end her relationship with Christensen but was unsuccessful. On…

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Rape And The ‘Course And Scope Of Employment’

There are times when court decisions reach contrary results that are simply irreconcilable. And so it was in September 2018, when two neighboring courts reached opposite results in cases involving whether an employer could be civilly liable for sexual assaults committed on the job. One of the cases involved Milwaukee County Corrections Officer Xavier Thicklen. On five occasions, Thicklen sexually assaulted inmate Shonda Martin, both when she was pregnant…

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