Archive for December, 2009

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Arrested

December 31, 2009

Subject: CMPD officer arrested December 30, 2009

Less than an hour ago, a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Officer Marcus R. Jackson with the Eastway Division, was arrested and charged with several sexual assault related offenses. He was hired September 8, 2008.

  • CMPD.BMP

 The charges resulted from allegations made against Officer Jackson by a member of the victim’s family. Upon receiving this complaint, CMPD’s Internal Affairs Division and Detectives with the Sexual Assault Unit launched an investigation into these allegations. While investigating the original complaint on December 29, 2009, an additional victim came to us with similar allegations of an incident that took place on December 28, 2009. These incidents occurred while he was on duty, wearing his uniform and operating a marked patrol vehicle.

 As a result of the investigation, Mr. Jackson, 25,  has been arrested and charged with 3 counts of Sexual Battery, 2nd Degree Sex Offense, Extortion, Kidnapping, Indecent Exposure, and 2 counts of Felonious Restraint. As it is still early in the investigation, CMPD expects more charges to be forthcoming.

 Mr. Jackson has been terminated effective immediately.

 “It is both unfortunate and devastating that one of our own was arrested, not only for sexual assault charges, but for also violating public trust, misusing his authority and causing dishonor to his fellow officers who wear the badge, all while serving as an officer on duty,” said Police Chief Rodney Monroe. “All officers of the CMPD are expected to uphold, enforce and obey the law. We continue to applaud the public for coming forward and ensuring that appropriate action is taken.”

 CMPD strongly encourages the public to contact us with any information regarding this case or any others that might be related. Detective Mike Melendez is the lead detective in this case. He can be contacted at 704-353-0560 or you may contact Sergeant Darrell Price at 704-336-4188.

Ofc.  R.D. Harrington

Public Affairs Officer

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

601 East Trade St.

Charlotte, NC 28202

Office: 704-336-2338

Mobile: 980-225-4050

rharrington2@cmpd.org

Advertisements

Ohio justices: Cell phone searches require warrant

December 29, 2009
By STEPHEN MAJORS,  Associated Press Writer Tue Dec 15, 4:13 pm ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Police officers must obtain a search warrant before scouring the contents of a suspect’s cell phone unless their safety is in danger, a divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday on an issue that appears never to have reached another state high court or the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Ohio high court ruled 5-4 in favor of Antwaun Smith, who was arrested on drug charges after he answered a cell phone call from a crack cocaine user acting as a police informant.

Officers took Smith’s cell phone when he was arrested and, acting without a warrant and without his consent, searched it. They found a call history and stored numbers that showed Smith had previously been in contact with the drug user.

Smith was charged with cocaine possession, cocaine trafficking, tampering with evidence and two counts of possession of criminal tools.

During his trial, Smith argued that the evidence obtained through the cell phone search was inadmissible because it violated the constitutional ban on unreasonable search and seizure.

The trial court admitted the call records and phone numbers, citing a 2007 federal court decision that found that a cell phone is similar to a closed container found on a suspect and therefore subject to search without a warrant. Smith was convicted of all charges and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

A state appeals court upheld the trial judge’s ruling in a 2-1 decision. The dissenting judge based his opposition on a different federal court case, which found that a cell phone is not a “container” as the term had been used previously.

Writing for the majority in Tuesday’s ruling, Supreme Court Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger said the only case law available to guide the court appeared to be the conflicting federal court decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t taken up the issue and there appeared to be no decisions from top-level state courts on the matter, she wrote.

Lanzinger said the majority didn’t agree with the state’s argument that a cell phone was akin to a closed container.

“We do not agree with this comparison, which ignores the unique nature of cell phones,” Lanzinger wrote. “Objects falling under the banner of ‘closed container’ have traditionally been physical objects capable of holding other physical objects. … Even the more basic models of modern cell phones are capable of storing a wealth of digitized information wholly unlike any physical object found within a closed container.”

Stephen Haller, a Greene County prosecutor, said the court created a new section of law pertaining to cell phones. He said he will decide within two weeks whether to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I’m disappointed with this razor-thin 4-3 decision,” Haller said. “The majority here has announced this broad, sweeping new Fourth Amendment rule that basically is at odds with decisions of other courts.”

Smith’s attorney and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which described Tuesday’s ruling as a landmark case, said the law needs to account for technological advances.

“People keep their e-mail, text messages, personal and work schedules, pictures, and so much more on their cell phones,” Craig Jaquith, Smith’s attorney, said in a statement. “I can’t imagine that any cell phone user in Ohio would want the police to have access to that sort of personal information without a warrant. Today, the Ohio Supreme Court properly brought the Fourth Amendment into the 21st century.”

The majority’s decision sends the case back for a new trial in which the evidence from Smith’s cell phone can’t be admitted.

Justice Robert R. Cupp wrote the dissenting opinion. He argued that the contents of a cell phone are similar to a traditional address book and therefore open to search without a warrant when obtained during an arrest. He said the majority “needlessly theorized” about what a cell phone is capable of doing and the data it can store.

In New York state, a new look at the wrongly convicted

December 29, 2009

Reuters 

 By Edith Honan Edith Honan Mon Dec 14, 4:06 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A recent spate of exonerations in New York state has put renewed focus on the plight of the wrongly convicted, with advocates saying it is not as easy as it should be to get an unjust verdict reversed.

In the last two decades, 246 people have been exonerated in the United States with the help of DNA evidence after being convicted of crimes.

But advocates say the system still lags for a far larger pool of people — who are part of the 90 percent of criminal cases where no DNA evidence exists, but where compelling evidence might surface, such as questions about the reliability of a witness.

Last week, a 32-year-old carpenter who was convicted of rape became the fourth New York man in six months to have his conviction overturned after flaws in the evidence against them were uncovered.

The man, William McCaffrey, had served almost three years of a 20-year prison sentence until his accuser came forward and said she made the story up and lied in court.

“McCaffrey’s case shows that people can get on the witness stand and … evidence that is convincing to a jury is not true,” said his lawyer, Glenn Garber.

According to the Innocence Project, which helps exonerate wrongly convicted people through DNA testing, the 246 convicts who have been freed with the help of DNA testing nationwide served an average of 13 years behind bars.

Although such exonerations have given hope to innocent convicts, most cases lack DNA evidence, and advocates for those believed to be wrongly convicted say their clients often wait years before they can bring crucial evidence to a court.

“The finality of the conviction is a paramount concern of the criminal justice system at the cost of justice,” said Garber, who created the Exoneration Initiative a year ago to provide free legal assistance to the wrongfully convicted in New York state.

Garber’s is the one of the only programs in the country to take on exclusively non-DNA innocence cases.

“The tides are turning to put the focus back on substance, rather than on procedure,” Garber said. “Courts are looking at the substance of innocence claims without DNA — finally.”

In the state of New York, the law limits post-conviction review of guilt to constitutional claims and cases where new evidence has emerged. Individuals with strong claims of innocence that fall outside these boundaries are often denied a court hearing, experts say.

“It’s hard to prove a negative … particularly when the same system has found guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on its first go-around,” said Stephen Saloom, policy director at the Innocence Project.

The New York state legislature is considering a bill that would remove administrative hurdles to having a court hear an appeal on the grounds of “actual innocence” — cases where a convict claims conclusive proof he or she did not commit the crime.

The bill would codify a remedy that courts have put in place in some form in at least eight states, including New York.

“There are a lot of procedural obstacles to individuals who want to get into court and demonstrate that they’re innocent,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Eric Schneiderman.

The bill specifically considers those cases where there is no DNA evidence but where there is a strong evidence suggesting the individual was wrongly convicted.

Some prosecutors have given a chilly reception to the New York bill and similar efforts in other states.

But prisoner advocates point to the recent exoneration cases as a startling indication of the flaws in the system.

In October, Dewey Bozella, 50, was released after 26 years in prison in New York state for a murder conviction after prosecutors conceded their case against him had fallen apart.

Bozella always maintained his innocence and was denied early release on four occasions because he refused to admit to the crime.

Upon his release from a Poughkeepsie, New York, courthouse, he told a crowd of reporters: “I could never admit to something I didn’t do.”

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Frances Kerry)

Chief To Suspend, Fire Cop In Domestic Violence Case

December 29, 2009

POSTED: 12:16 pm EST December 29, 2009
UPDATED: 6:12 pm EST December 29, 2009

Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Eugene Hlavac Facing Assault Charge

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh police sergeant accused of dislocating his ex-girlfriend’s jaw in an alleged case of domestic violence was given a five-day suspension on Tuesday morning, pending his termination from the police force.

   “I’ve been a police officer since 1991 and I’ve never been more eager to go to court. I’ll see you all there,” Sgt. Eugene Hlavac told reporters after his disciplinary hearing in front of Police Chief Nate Harper. Dan O’Hara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, called the action against Hlavac “a miscarriage of justice” and said, “This is in his private life and it has nothing to do with his professional life, and it hasn’t even been determined that there’s anything was even done wrong here.”

 Hlavac is awaiting a trial in Allegheny County court on a simple assault charge after the mother of Hlavac’s child said the sergeant hit her across the face as the two got into an argument at her home before Christmas. The woman also alleges that Hlavac tried to get her to say she was injured in a fall.

 A judge threw out a more serious charge of felony aggravated assault at Hlavac’s preliminary hearing last week.

“I’ve been a police officer since 1991 and I’ve never been more eager to go to court. I’ll see you
 all there.”
– Sgt. Eugene Hlavac

 

“This should be tried in the courts, and then we’ll proceed from there. That’s normally how we do things. But because of the women’s groups, I guess, they’re going to handle it differently because of pressure coming from them,” said O’Hara.

 Phyllis Wetherby, of the National Organization for Women, praised the police action against Hlavac.

 “This is not something that is a swift move. We knew that this man had a serious problem with domestic violence two years ago when he was promoted,” Wetherby said.

 The decision to suspend and fire Hlavac can be appealed to the city’s public safety director, Michael Huss. Hlavac’s attorneys hope to have a hearing before Huss next week.

 Because Hlavac is appealing, Huss declined to comment on Tuesday, as did Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s spokeswoman, Joanna Doven.

 If Huss upholds Harper’s decision to suspend and fire Hlavac, it’s expected that the matter will go to arbitration and possibly even court, WTAE Channel 4’s Bob Mayo reported.

 “If he is found innocent of all the charges and brought back to his job, the city will be liable for every day he’s off, so the taxpayers will be paying for a rash decision based on women’s groups wanting quick justice,” O’Hara said.

 Hlavac was released on his own recognizance after being arrested and will remain free while he awaits his trial date.


 Hlavac Known For Previous Problems

 In 2007, the Pittsburgh City Council voted in favor of a bill allowing guns to be taken away from police officers who are involved in suspected cases of domestic violence.

 Ravenstahl promised a “zero tolerance” policy going forward.

  The move came after news broke that the police bureau promoted several officers — one of whom was Hlavac — despite past allegations of domestic abuse.

 At the time the ordinance was passed, Fraternal Order of Police President James Malloy called the ordinance “a witch hunt” and said only one or two of the 2,700 protection-from-abuse orders issued that year in Allegheny County involved police officers.

 At the time, police had been called to Hlavac’s house twice after loud arguments with his girlfriend. Following the calls, he was transferred to another city police zone.

 In 2007, police officials said that Hlavac’s domestic problems were verbal, not violent, and that he completed anger management training.

 Related Link: Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Crisis And Support Resources

 Previous Stories:

Calif. Police Mount Cameras On Officers’ Heads

December 29, 2009
SUDHIN THANAWALA, Associated Press Writer

POSTED: 3:20 am EST December 29, 2009
UPDATED: 2:05 pm EST December 29, 2009

Head Cams Could Monitor Cop Behavior, Clear Cops Of Wrongdoing

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Grainy cell phone images are often used against cops accused of using excessive violence. Now, officers are being armed with their own cameras.

 The so-called head cameras are the latest technology to come from Taser International Inc., makers of the stun guns popular with law enforcement.

 “It’s like the helmet cam you’ve seen on X Games,” said San Jose police officer William Pender, who demonstrated the camera on a recent afternoon.

 Eighteen of San Jose’s more than 1,300 sworn officers have been trained to use the AXON head cameras as part of a free trial. Other departments are expected to be added to the program.

 Experts say the head cameras could help catch officers behaving badly and clear those who are falsely accused so long as they are accompanied by police department policies requiring they be switched on during each encounter and not as an officer chooses.

 “I think it will also make the officers very aware that their behavior is being documented, which could cut down on possible police excesses,” said Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

 The device resembles a Bluetooth earpiece and is attached by a band that runs around the back of the officer’s head.

 It can be connected to an on-and-off button on the officer’s chest, and from there to a video screen on a holster. In San Jose, officers are required to switch on the cameras for even routine investigations, such as vehicle stops.

 At the end of an officer’s shift, the device is placed in a docking station, where it recharges and its content is downloaded and stored on a secure server offsite. A three-year contract for the system for one officer that includes software and video storage costs $5,700, said Tom Smith, chairman and founder of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser.

 “People have been using (this technology) against us for years, unfortunately only for the bad stuff,” Pender said. “So it’d be nice to show our view and our side of what’s going on.”

 San Jose police came under fire recently after cell phone video surfaced showing officers striking and using a Taser on an unarmed Vietnamese student, Phuong Ho, during an arrest in September. Police are investigating the incident, but an attorney for Officer Kenneth Siegel, who is seen repeatedly hitting Pho with his baton, says the suspect was combative and resisting arrest.

 Police officials say the pilot program, which has been in the works for more than a year, is not a response to the incident.

 The device will capture the context for an officer’s response to a suspect, said Jermaine Thomas, a spokesman for the San Jose police.

 Additionally, the video and audio captured by the device cannot be tampered with, Taser officials say.

 The AXON camera already has proven its worth in the only other police department that has tested it so far.

 Prosecutors cleared a Fort Smith, Ark., officer of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting Nov. 11 of a man suspected of threatening his wife with a handgun.

 Officer Brandon Davis was wearing an AXON camera when he confronted Eric Wayne Berry. In the video released to the media, the officer’s gun is drawn as he repeatedly tells Berry, who authorities say was armed, to drop his weapon before opening fire.

 While noting there were several witnesses to the incident, Sebastian County prosecutor Dan Shue said in a letter clearing Davis that the video and audio enabled him to “observe what happened with complete objectivity.”

 “Any evidence that we got about what had taken place is what we’re looking for,” said Joseph Self, chief deputy prosecutor in Shue’s office. “We’re in the search for the truth here.”

 Skyler Porras, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s San Jose office, argued that departments should not only have policies about when to use the cameras but also should allow independent reviews of the video to ensure officers are following the rules.

 “We need to know, ‘Are officers turning video cameras on at the very beginning of an engagement with a resident? Which officers have a 15 percent failure rate in turning it on?” she said. “If they are used appropriately and with proper protocols in place, they could be useful.”

Tenn. boy, 4, caught with beer, stolen gifts

December 17, 2009

Thu Dec 17, 5:20 pm ET

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Tennessee investigators say a 4-year-old boy was found roaming his neighborhood in the night, drinking beer and wearing a little girl’s dress taken from under a neighbor’s Christmas tree.

The child’s mother, 21-year-old April Wright, tells WTVC-TV the boy “wants to go to jail because that’s where his daddy is.” Wright says she and the boy’s father are going though a divorce.

The boy, found outside his house in Chatanooga on Tuesday, was taken to a hospital and treated for alcohol consumption.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Janice Atkinson says the incident is being investigated but the department declined to release the report.

The boy’s mother says she met with child protective services and was told she will get to keep custody of her son.

Police: Vt. woman killed mom, had son bury remains

December 17, 2009
By JOHN CURRAN, Associated Press Writer Thu Dec 17, 6:19 pm ET

WESTFORD, Vt. – A woman fatally shot her Alzheimer’s disease-suffering mother three years ago, burned the body and then had her son bury the remains — which she had placed in a suitcase — before filing a missing person report, authorities said Thursday.

This undated photo released by Vermont State Police shows Jeanne Sevigny, 59. AP – This undated photo released by Vermont State Police shows Jeanne Sevigny, 59. Sevigny told police that …

Jeanne Sevigny, 59, killed her mother, Mary Wilcox, because she had become “a drag,” prosecutors said as they announced her arrest on a charge of second-degree murder.

Investigators said Sevigny burned the body in her backyard and brought the remains in a suitcase to her son, who then buried it in the woods behind an elementary school. She told police in November 2006 that the 78-year-old disappeared after overhearing her talking about putting her in a nursing home, authorities said.

Sevigny’s son, Greg Sevigny, 30, was charged with unlawful disposal of a body.

Jeanne Sevigny’s lawyer, John St. Francis, said Sevigny found her mother with a pistol and was trying to wrest it from her when it went off, shooting Wilcox in the chest. Sevigny then panicked, St. Francis said.

“The poor decision-making afterwards is why we’re here,” he said. “Had she taken different steps, I don’t think we’d be here now. But it’s certainly not a homicide. It’s an accident.”

Prosecutor T.J. Donovan, however, said the evidence suggests otherwise.

“The action of burning a body in a backyard, putting the remains in a suitcase and burying that suitcase on the grounds of an elementary school are inconsistent with an accident,” he said.

Asked about the motive, he said: “Annoyance. A drag. An elderly woman with Alzheimer’s.”

Wilcox’s remains have not been recovered. Investigators descended on Westford Elementary School on Thursday to look for it.

The break in the case came when Greg Sevigny’s ex-girlfriend — who had recently obtained a protective order against him — went to police two weeks ago, a state police detective wrote in an affidavit. The woman told investigators that Greg Sevigny told her that his mother showed up at his workplace after Wilcox’s disappearance with a large plastic case and told him to get rid of it.

When asked what was inside, Jeanne Sevigny said: “Your grandmother,” according to the affidavit by Sgt. Lance Burnham.

The girlfriend told police she never reported it because Greg Sevigny had threatened to kill her if she ever said anything.

When interviewed by police on Wednesday, Jeanne Sevigny said she had found her mother with the gun and that they had struggled over it before it fired, but she didn’t know which of them had pulled the trigger. Sevigny said it was all her fault, according to Burnham.

St. Francis said Wilcox had attempted suicide in the past, and that her daughter’s actions in trying to disarm her were out of fear that she was trying to kill herself. The weapon believed to have been used — a pistol — hasn’t been found.

Greg Sevigny told police his mother told him Wilcox had committed suicide. He said the family had been talking about putting Wilcox in a home “because she was getting to be too much,” the affidavit said.

Shackled and wearing a winter coat, Sevigny, of Westford, looked nervously at her husband, Michael Sevigny, as she was ushered into court Thursday. She pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.

He pleaded not guilty Thursday and was released to the custody of Michael Sevigny, who sat in the front row of the gallery but had little to say about the allegations.

“It’s just all confused,” he said.

His son declined to comment afterward.

Fla. man exonerated after 35 years behind bars

December 17, 2009
By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer

BARTOW, Fla. – James Bain used a cell phone for the first time Thursday, calling his elderly mother to tell her he had been freed after 35 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

Polk County public defender Robert Young hugs James Bain, right, during a AP – Polk County public defender Robert Young hugs James Bain, right, during a hearing at the Polk County …

Mobile devices didn’t exist in 1974, the year he was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping a 9-year-old boy and raping him in a nearby field.

Neither did the sophisticated DNA testing that officials more recently used to determine he could not have been the rapist.

“Nothing can replace the years Jamie has lost,” said Seth Miller, a lawyer for the Florida Innocence Project, which helped Bain win freedom. “Today is a day of renewal.”

Bain spent more time in prison than any of the 246 inmates previously exonerated by DNA evidence nationwide, according to the project. The longest-serving before him was James Lee Woodard of Dallas, who was released last year after spending more than 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

As Bain walked out of the Polk County courthouse Thursday, wearing a black T-shirt that said “not guilty,” he spoke of his deep faith and said he does not harbor any anger.

“No, I’m not angry,” he said. “Because I’ve got God.”

The 54-year-old said he looks forward to eating fried turkey and drinking Dr Pepper. He said he also hopes to go back to school.

Friends and family surrounded him as he left the courthouse after Judge James Yancey ordered him freed. His 77-year-old mother, who is in poor health, preferred to wait for him at home. With a broad smile, he said he looks forward to spending time with her and the rest of his family.

“That’s the most important thing in my life right now, besides God,” he said.

Earlier, the courtroom erupted in applause after Yancey ruled.

“Mr. Bain, I’m now signing the order,” Yancey said. “You’re a free man. Congratulations.”

Thursday’s hearing was delayed 40 minutes because prosecutors were on the phone with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. DNA tests were expedited at the department’s lab and ultimately proved Bain innocent. Prosecutors filed a motion to vacate the conviction and the sentence.

“He’s just not connected to this particular incident,” State Attorney Jerry Hill told the judge.

Attorneys from the Innocence Project of Florida got involved in Bain’s case earlier this year after he had filed several previous petitions asking for DNA testing, all of which were thrown out.

A judge finally ordered the tests and the results from a respected private lab in Cincinnati came in last week, setting the wheels in motion for Thursday’s hearing. The Innocence Project had called for Bain’s release by Christmas.

He was convicted largely on the strength of the victim’s eyewitness identification, though testing available at the time did not definitively link him to the crime. The boy said his attacker had bushy sideburns and a mustache. The boy’s uncle, a former assistant principal at a high school, said it sounded like Bain, a former student.

The boy picked Bain out of a photo lineup, although there are lingering questions about whether detectives steered him.

The jury rejected Bain’s story that he was home watching TV with his twin sister when the crime was committed, an alibi she repeated at a news conference last week. He was 19 when he was sentenced.

Ed Threadgill, who prosecuted the case originally, said he didn’t recall all the specifics, but the conviction seemed right at the time.

“I wish we had had that evidence back when we were prosecuting cases. I’m ecstatic the man has been released,” said Threadgill, now a 77-year-old retired appeals court judge. “The whole system is set up to keep that from happening. It failed.”

Eric Ferrero, spokesman for the Innocence Project, said a DNA profile can be extracted from decades-old evidence if it has been preserved properly. That means sealed in a bag and stored in a climate-controlled place, which is how most evidence is handled as a matter of routine.

The project has a bigger problem with lost or destroyed evidence than getting usable DNA profiles from existing evidence, he said.

Florida last year passed a law that automatically grants former inmates found innocent $50,000 for each year they spent in prison. No legislative approval is needed. That means Bain is entitled to $1.75 million.

Police Gather For Slain Penn Hills Cop’s ‘Final Roll Call’

December 9, 2009

Officer Michael Crawshaw Remembered For ‘Big Heart’

PENN HILLS, Pa. — For the two and a half years that Officer Michael Crawshaw worked at the Penn Hills Police Department, he began every shift with a roll call.

Crawshaw-Police-Hug

Police officers hug each other at the ceremonial final roll call for Michael Crawshaw in Penn Hills.

About 100 officers from Penn Hills and surrounding areas gathered for a ceremonial “final roll call” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, marking what would have been the start of a shift for Crawshaw, who was shot and killed in the line of duty over the weekend. Many of the officers cried for their lost brother.

 “May Officer Crawshaw rest in peace. Protect us from above. Now we will observe a moment of silence,” an Allegheny County radio dispatcher said in his transmission.

 Family and friends will be welcomed Wednesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Schellhaas Funeral Home (388 Center Ave., West View) for a viewing. A Fraternal Order of Police service for Crawshaw will be held at the funeral home at 8 p.m. Thursday. Funeral services will be at St. Boniface Church of Holy Wisdom Parish on Pittsburgh’s North Side at 10 a.m. Friday.

 Colleagues and members of the Penn Hills community are paying tribute to the fallen officer, who was a campus police officer for the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Penn Hills.

Colleagues and the community left flowers and other tributes at a memorial to fallen Penn Hills police Officer Michael Crawshaw.

 A makeshift memorial with flowers continues to grow in front a large picture of Crawshaw at the Penn Hills police station, and black ribbons have been tied on wreaths outside the building.

 Also on display is a sign with Crawshaw’s name and the phrase “E.O.W. December 6th, 2009.” E.O.W. stands for “end of watch.”

 Share Your Condolences:Share your thoughts on our message board.

  A moment of silence was held at the Penn Hills Board of Education meeting in memory of Crawshaw.

 Crawshaw, 32, was shot with a high-powered rifle as he waited for backup to arrive at 201 Johnston Road at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, county police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.

 Robert Robinson, 32, of Homewood, is charged with two counts of homicide — one for Crawshaw and one for Danyal Morton, 40, who police said was shot over a drug money dispute shortly before Crawshaw responded to the house and was shot himself.

 More Details: Penn Hills Cop Shot Dead In Car After Drug Shooting

Officer’s Helmet Stops Two Bullets

December 9, 2009

Officer’s Helmet Hit By Bullets While Confronting Suspect

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police were investigating an apparent murder-suicide on Sunday night in which a police officer’s helmet stopped two bullets, WLWT in Cincinnati reported.

 Officers said Kaniesha Dangerfield, 22, was found dead in a car at an apartment complex on Sunday afternoon.

 Police Chief Tom Streicher said a man who was with Dangerfield saw Leetae Williams with a gun looking for the woman. Streicher said Williams approached, demanded that Dangerfield get out of the car, and when she didn’t, Williams shot her through the car window.

 The man with Dangerfield, a concealed weapons permit holder, pulled his gun and fired one shot at Williams before his gun jammed, then ran to find help, police said.

 Police cornered Williams, 28, in an apartment later Sunday evening.

 As a SWAT unit entered the apartment, Streicher said, Williams fired two shots blindly through a curtain, both shots hitting the right side of an officer’s helmet.

 Williams then retreated to a back room, where he shot and killed himself a short time later, police said.

 The officer was not injured. He is on administrative leave, Streicher said.

 Streicher showed the helmet to reporters Monday, pointing out the impact points and saying they believe one bullet is still embedded in the helmet’s Kevlar lining.

 Police said they are trying to determine the relationship between Williams and Dangerfield.