Friday, April 10, 2009


Blogger critical of Phoenix cops says he's now a target of them!

Blogger Jeffrey Pataky is dedicated to ranting about crime - so long as it involves the Phoenix police department.
He's posted about one officer's drunken driving arrest and another's arrest for investigation of sexual exploitation of a minor. He's also blogged about allegations of racism, corruption and ineptitude.
"Do you have some dirt on the Phoenix PD?" reads one of his blog posts. "Perhaps you have a voicemail or a recording you made of someone in management covering up, lying or trying to cover their ass? Then we want it!"
Now, Pataky says, he's paying for his public criticism.
Phoenix police raided Pataky's home last month, seizing computers, electronic records and storage devices. A warrant says Pataky is suspected of felony computer tampering and misdemeanor property theft.
He has another take: "In a nutshell, it was to silence me," Pataky, a former software executive, told The Associated Press.
Phoenix police won't comment on the content of the Web site or address Pataky's allegations, citing an ongoing investigation.
"The department's stance is we don't have enough particulars to do an interview," said Officer James Holmes, a department spokesman. "Because the only thing we'd be saying is, 'I don't know. We don't have a comment.'"
The affidavit for the warrant, which would explain the charges, has been sealed.
Pataky, 41, started his blog - called Bad Phoenix Cops - last April "as a personal rant" to vent about the way police handled accusations against him by his ex-wife.
He said he continues to runs the site to expose what he calls corruption and mismanagement on the part of Chief Jack Harris and other department leaders.
Pataky routinely insults individual officers and has bestowed the nickname of "Mr. Potato Head" on one detective he particularly despises, accusing him of cover-ups and racism.
Pataky also has boasted about getting his hands on an internal memo from the city attorney concerning his case and crowed recently that he got a stack of officers' disciplinary records.
Harris, the chief, is his No. 1 target. "Corruption and Cover-ups are rampant among his Assistant Chiefs and Commanders," he wrote at one point. "Sexual Liaisons, Drunks, Suicides & Sexual Harassment - all get hidden and 'swept-under-the-rug' in Jack Harris' office. His own Police Union thinks he is inept."
Pataky said he gets tips and internal memos and critical comments from 50 to 100 former and current officers who support him, and he solicits more.
Mark Spencer, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, a police union, said the blog is providing an outlet for rank-and-file officers to air frustrations with upper-level mismanagement.
"I think the owner of the Web site is just being honest," Spencer said. "He feels like he's been treated unfairly."
Pataky's anger with Phoenix police began in 2007 when he was listed as a suspect in complaints filed by his ex-wife, Julie Cioppa.
During their messy divorce and child support and custody battle over their two sons, Cioppa alleged that Pataky had stalked and harassed her, videotaped her at home and at the children's schools and told their children, "Mommy is going to die soon."
Pataky denies the allegations. He said in court records that Cioppa was "crazed and bitter and will continually stalk, harass and abuse me."
Pataky was charged with aggravated harassment and domestic violence after Cioppa said he called her 33 times in violation of an order of protection. A judge dismissed the charges during a trial last May.
Pataky sued Harris, Phoenix police, the city and the mayor in federal court on March 16 because of that investigation. The lawsuit alleges detectives relied on false phone records given to them by Cioppa, rather than certified copies provided by the phone company, in pressing the charges against him.
The lawsuit accuses defendants of malicious prosecution, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation of character. He's seeking unspecified damages.
Police searched Pataky's home four days before the lawsuit was filed. While Pataky was away, police handcuffed his roommate and drove Pataky's youngest son to school, according to court records.
"They're basically on a witch hunt," Pataky said. "All of a sudden my life is turned upside down and in turmoil. With the raid, when they took my laptops and all my back-ups, they took my entire life. It's been an emotional toll on me."
Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, said her organization is going to look into Pataky's claims.
"It does certainly set a bad precedent if these actions were based on retaliation," she said. "It creates a tremendous chilling effect for people who share information online. Hopefully that's not the case, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was."
Pataky's blog:
Phoenix police:
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association:

Monday, March 23, 2009


Deputy Derrick Yancey Shooting jolts DeKalb County Sheriff's Office
Deputy shoots man after wife killed
By April Hunt
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The intruder in his home had just shot his wife, the woman he had loved since he was a teenager, Derrick Yancey told police. So Yancey, 46, a DeKalb County sheriff's deputy who was off-duty at the time, shot and killed the stranger, he said. His wife, 44-year-old Linda Yancey, also died inside the home that the couple shared for a decade. Click here for news video from the crime scene

They had been high school sweethearts. "She was in ninth grade and he was in 11th grade when they met," DeKalb Sheriff Thomas Brown said at a press conference Tuesday. Brown said the incident shook the Sheriff's Office, where both Yanceys worked. Derrick Yancey is a 17-year-veteran deputy whose job was to transport inmates around the state. L inda Yancey had worked for the department for 13 years, first in the county court and most recently as intake officer in the juvenile court.

Police are still trying to piece together what happened inside their brick two-story home. Yancey is the only witness to the shootings that prompted a 911 call to the upscale subdivision at about 1:00 p.m. Monday, June 9, 2008. DeKalb County police, who are investigating the incident, did not release details. Yancey said he did not know the man, who police had yet to identify Tuesday.

"We are still unsure who the man was, how that man got into the house or why he was there," said Mekka Parish, spokeswoman for DeKalb police. Police are waiting for an autopsy to help reveal the identity of the man, identified only as a Hispanic male. A relative told police that the man might have been a day laborer, but police were unable to confirm that information, Parish said. Neighbors in the quiet subdivision said Yancey would hire workers to help with landscaping and plantings at his home. But he also took personal care of the lawn, which stands out even in a neighborhood of groomed lawns and sculpted plants. "His yard is always meticulous," said Rhonda Broughton, who lives down the block. "He cut his grass every two or three days. He had to, because it's that grass they use for golf courses."

Yancey and the couples' two sons, ages 8 and 18, are staying with relatives. The younger son arrived home Monday from day camp to find investigators and media swarming the area, neighbors said. Yancey is on paid administration leave. The Sheriff's Office will conduct an internal investigation to make sure Yancey followed procedures when he fired his gun.


Killings not Deputy Yancey's First Tangle With Law
By April Hunt
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The DeKalb County sheriff's deputy who told police he was forced to shoot an intruder who attacked his wife had brought the man into his home as a laborer, newly released records show. The shootout - described by Derrick Yancey as the laborer shooting his wife, Linda, and Yancey shooting the laborer - erupted when the man tried to rob the couple, say DeKalb police records.

Yancey, 46, had picked up the man "to help him do some work around the house," the report says.
Details of what Yancey said happened inside the Stone Mountain home Monday afternoon emerged as other records show that Yancey had been arrested twice in 2006 on domestic violence charges for confrontations with his son. All charges were dropped. (Of course the charges were were dropped! A domestic violence misdeamor conviction means the offender cannot buy or possess firearms! Cops and prosecutors look out for each other with respect to 'omestic violence crimes!)

After Monday's shootings, neighbors said Yancey previously had hired day laborers to help with landscaping. Yancey told police he did not know the man he hired on Monday. He called 911 after the shootings and led an officer to the basement. The officer saw a yet-to-be-identified Hispanic man lifeless on the floor, "with a silver revolver lying on his left side," the report said. Linda Yancey, 44, was lying in a doorway. The officer spotted at least one silver shell casing on the floor, as well as a "large roll of bills, including $50 and $100 dollar bills," the report said.

"The detectives are not going into any details at this time," said department spokeswoman Mekka Parish. "It's all very fluid." Yancey has not been arrested or charged. Derrick and Linda Yancey both worked for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. Derrick, was a 17-year veteran who transported inmates, and Linda, spent 13 years there, most recently as intake officer in juvenile court.

Neither the Sheriff's Department nor county police officials would comment on Yancey's arrests in April and November 2006, in separate incidents involving his son Karron, now 18. Police reports, which include some improperly redacted information, show that, in the April incident, Yancey told police that his son hit him in the face when he tried to take away the teen's cellphone, as punishment for downloading "dirty music." A relative who was at the home called police, saying Linda Yancey said her husband chased their son out of the home with his pistol and threatened to "blow her son [sic] head off."

Linda Yancey later confirmed the threat but said her husband was not armed when he made it. (So that makes it alright in DeKalb County's cop-justice system!?!) In November, Yancey said he returned home to hear offensive music playing and confronted his son. The teen said Yancey hit him and threw his computer keyboard down, according to the report.


Former DeKalb Sheriff's Deputy Derrick Yancey Charged In Two Murders
DeKalb grand jury doesn’t buy story that day laborer was shot after killing deputy's wife
By Mary Lou Pickel & David Simpson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 15, 2008

Jose Cax Puluc never believed his brother was a killer. DeKalb County sheriff’s Deputy Derrick Yancey claimed day laborer Marcial Cax Puluc killed his wife in an armed robbery June 9, forcing Yancey to shoot him. But on Thursday, a DeKalb grand jury indicted Yancey, accusing him of both slayings.

Relatives and friends of the young illegal immigrant from Guatemala insisted from the beginning of the investigation that he was not a violent person. His 30-year-old brother, Jose Cax Puluc, reached by phone Thursday as he painted a house in Florida, paused when told the news. “That’s good,” he said finally. “My brother did nothing wrong,” Puluc said in Spanish.

Yancey, 49, surrendered at the DeKalb County Jail Thursday afternoon about an hour after authorities announced his indictment on two murder charges and two counts of using a gun in the commission of a felony. Yancey, a 17-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, resigned on Monday.

Yancey's indictment follows a murder charge leveled last month against former DeKalb County police Officer Torrey Thompson, (ADD LINK HERE!) who was indicted in an unrelated case after he shot an unarmed suspect in 2006.

Yancey was to be moved to another jail because of his former job with the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office, which runs the DeKalb jail, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Mikki Jones. Defense lawyer Keith Adams said Yancey will be proven innocent. He plans to file a motion today seeking Yancey’s release on bond.

Neither DeKalb police nor the district attorney’s office would discuss exactly what they think happened in the Yancey home near Stone Mountain, but police Sgt. Dave Fonseca said the case would lean heavily on forensics and ballistic evidence. Adams predicted that “the evidence will show that what happened in that basement is consistent with what Mr. Yancey said.” Yancey told police he had hired Cax Puluc to do yard work. He said the man found one of Yancey’s guns in his home and used it to try to rob Linda Yancey, fatally shooting her. Derrick Yancey then shot Cax Puluc with the gun he carried on the job, Adams has said.

Police records show no evidence of any prior violence between Derrick and Linda Yancey. But then-Deputy Derrick Yancey was arrested in April and November 2006 because of separate confrontations with his teenage son. Prosecutors later dropped the charges in both cases.

Linda Yancey also worked for the Sheriff’s Office. She spent 13 years there, most recently as an intake officer in Juvenile Court. Eugene Thomas, one of her brothers, said he had no idea what might have led to her death. “I was surprised. I was shocked. I was devastated, and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since this occurred,” he said at a news conference at police headquarters Thursday.

Ludin Perez, who was one of Cax Puluc’s roommates in an apartment near Stone Mountain, said Cax Puluc, whose family says he was 20, was timid and would not rob anyone. He had been in the United States six weeks. “They have in their hands the opportunity to do justice,” Perez said of the police and prosecutors. “This is what we hope happens,” he said in Spanish. “This case is very sensitive in that it affected the state’s relationship with another country,” police Chief Terrell Bolton said. It’s about a person whose “life didn’t seem to have value,” he said.


Former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy In Court On Murder Charges
By David Simpson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 22, 2008

In a courtroom where Derrick Yancey often escorted shackled prisoners, it was Yancey who was shown to the defense table Thursday by his former colleagues in the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. Yancey, wearing a pinstriped suit and no handcuffs, made his first court appearance on murder charges for a 45-minute hearing on which judge will preside at his trial. He walked past 25 relatives and friends of his slain wife, Linda Yancey, without looking at them.

Linda Yancey, a 44-year-old juvenile intake officer for the Sheriff’s Office, and day laborer Marcial Cax Puluc, about 20, were found fatally shot in the Yanceys’ home near Stone Mountain June 9, 2008. Deputy Derrick Yancey told police that Cax Puluc killed his wife in an armed robbery attempt, forcing Yancey to shoot him.

HOWEVER, authorities said last week that lab tests showed that Derrick Yancey shot both victims. The district attorney’s office wants Superior Court Judge Anne Workman and all the county’s judges to disqualify themselves from the case because Yancey worked in their courtrooms.

Yancey, 49, resigned from the Sheriff’s Office last week. Don Geary, a chief assistant district attorney, said the public could mistrust rulings if they come from a judge who had worked with Yancey. “People will scream, ‘Home cooked. Look what he got. Nobody else is going to get that, he’s a deputy,’” Geary said.

Defense lawyer Keith Adams opposed the request, saying it would delay consideration of his request for Yancey’s release on bond. “If you’re in jail one day or six months, it’s a long time to be in jail,” Adams said. (it's a long time to burn in hell too, Deputy Yancey...)


DeKalb Sheriff's Dept. Crook & Two Other Thugs Indicted In Bail Bond Scam
Trio preyed on people who spoke poor English (which is about 80% of DeKalb County residents)
By David Simpson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 26, 2009

Two Atlanta men who claimed they were helping people get bond refunds conspired with a manager in the DeKalb County sheriff’s office to steal $350,000, a grand jury alleged Thursday. A DeKalb grand jury indicted Nathane Hoyte Jones, 42, Shandarrick Barnes, 33, and Dorcas Jernigan, no age available, of Decatur. They are charged under a state racketeering law for a conspiracy, which included theft, forgery, bribery and false swearing.

Jernigan was the manager of an office that issued refunds to people who had posted bonds for criminal suspects, said Sheriff Thomas Brown. Brown said Jones and Barnes ran a company offering to help clients, many of whom spoke little English, retrieve bond money.

They are accused of forging signatures of non-clients with Jernigan’s help. “We became aware of it when one of these individuals was written a check for $38,000 … but in this particular case, the father showed up who had put up the cash bond for the son” about a month later, Brown said. Jernigan has been fired, Brown said.

District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming said a related scheme took $61,000 from Cobb County, Georgia. (The smart money says EVERY Georgia county sheriff's office is running some variation of this scam, the REAL SMART money says most of the scammers will get away with it....)


Atlanta Police Want Review Civilian Review Board’s Procedures Changed
Some fear move would ‘defang’ new oversight committee
By Tim Eberly
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 9, 2008

Atlanta police are pushing for changes to the city’s new police oversight system that some say would turn the long-awaited and brand-new Citizen Review Board into a toothless “paper tiger.” The Atlanta Police Department, with the help of the city’s Law Department, introduced legislation Tuesday to amend city law regarding how the Citizen Review Board investigates complaints about Atlanta’s law enforcement officers.

The proposed change comes just as the review board has begun its work. Created in the wake of an illegal police shooting which killed an innocent 92 year-old black woman, the board was intended to restore the public’s trust in the police department. The city law recently enacted to create the review board gives the board “full access” to police reports and documents.

Police officials are asking the city to allow them to only turn over documents and information that are public record, which is minimal when an investigation is ongoing. If the change is approved, it would essentially allow the police department to withhold most information from the Citizen Review Board until after the department conducts its own investigation.

Those on both sides of the issue attended the city’s Public Safety Committee meeting, including Lane Hagin, the police major who heads the internal affairs unit and spearheaded the effort. No police officials spoke, but state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) and the review board’s secretary, Rod Edmond, addressed City Council members, both voicing their opposition to the amendment. “In effect, it would defang the Citizen Review Board and make it nothing more than a paper tiger,” Fort said.

Edmond described the amendment as “ridiculous” and “insulting.” He compared the review board to referees for sporting events and said that, if the amendment passes, board members would be like referees trying to do their job blindfolded. Hagin said he and the department are pushing for the changes because they fear that the Review Board doesn’t have the experience or the resources to conduct investigations. Investigations are fluid and constantly changing, he said, and the department worries that turning over police reports early would cause the review board to rush to judgment before knowing all the facts, Hagin said. “For us, I think it’s better if we do our investigation in a reasonable period of time and then turn it over to them,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think the board is going to be impressed with the kind of work [the internal affairs unit] does.”

The four City Council members who attended the committee meeting didn’t offer an opinion on the proposed legislation. Council member C.T. Martin said that he’d heard that some frustrated board members were considering stepping down and encouraged them not to do so. “Just tell them to, please, stay in place,” Martin told Edmond. “I want them to have faith in the process