[an error occurred while processing this directive]

I-Team: Internal investigation at KDPS over student accusations

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: Internal investigation at KDPS over student accusations story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Newschannel 3 I-Team has learned that Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers caught on tape directly disobeying a judge may soon have to face him in court.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is in the middle of an internal investigation.

Dozens of charges against college students have been thrown out because a judge determined Kalamazoo Public Safety officers had provided false information to obtain search warrants at house parties.

Amid allegations of excessive force, many of the students are considering suing the department and the city for violating their civil rights.

Now, Newschannel 3 is looking into what may lie ahead for the officers involved.

Many inside Kalamazoo's legal community are looking for decisive action from KDPS to prevent incidents like this from happening.

If no decisive action is taken, Newschannel 3 has learned that Judge Westra, who signed the warrant in February, has the ability to order a public hearing where he could question all the officers involved to determine what went wrong and who's to blame.

Clearly, that would cause friction with the department, but sources say this is a systemic issue that has to be handled, and some believe the problem is demonstrated in exclusive video obtained by Newschannel 3.

In the video, an officer can be overheard getting out of his car, saying "(expletive) hate these kids. I want to punch every one of them in the face."

Once he actually reaches the party, he seems professional and reasonable, but his demeanor changes when the door is shut and locked in his face.

"If we have to go get a search warrant, everybody is going to jail who lives here, so I suggest you just open it and deal with it," he can be overheard saying. "All we're going to do is tell you to turn your music down and tell everyone to go home, but if you want to make it hard, we can definitely make it hard."

Attorney Tom Ripley represents two of the young people arrested in February.

"At the very least, there were misrepresentations made," he said.

"I believe that Judge Westra never would have signed the warrant if accurate information was presented to him."

The students arrested at that time are making allegations similar to those arrested at a home on Axtell back in October.

"They were just pulling kids from their beds," said one student.

"As I opened the door, I looked directly down a barrel," recalled another.

"I was aware of the case back in October, and frankly, I thought enough is enough, something needs to be done about this," Ripley said.

Ripley says that at least a dozen students from the two incidents in question have contacted him about the possibility of a civil suit, but no final decision has been made.

As for the internal investigation, Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told Newschannel 3 he hopes to have a final report sometime next week.

Only time will tell if Kalamazoo's legal community will find the department's actions sufficient.
comments powered by Disqus
advertisement

What do you want to see?

If you have a story idea for the I-Team, you can contact us using the form below or by calling 269-388-4612.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.

Business News

Last Update on July 25, 2014 17:51 GMT

DURABLE GOODS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in June after a May decline, helped by a recovery in demand in a key category that signals business investment plans.

The Commerce Department says that orders for durable goods increased 0.7 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis following a 1 percent decline in May.

A category viewed as a proxy for business investment plans rose a solid 1.4 percent, recovering after a revised 1.2 percent drop in May. It was the best showing since orders in this core capital goods category rose 4.7 percent in March.

The strength last month came from solid gains in demand for commercial aircraft and machinery. Economists expect economic activity will strengthen in the second half of the year, helped by stronger factory production.

HYUNDAI-INVESTIGATION

DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether an electrical problem can knock out the air bags on some older Hyundai Sonatas.

The probe announced Friday covers about 394,000 midsize cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received 83 complaints about the problem. The agency says a sensor inside the seat belt buckle might fail. This can cause the air bags to malfunction or not inflate if there's a crash.

The problem also can affect the mechanism that tightens the seat belts before a crash. The problem can happen in either the driver or passenger buckles. In most cases the air bag warning light came on.

Investigations can lead to recalls but none has been issued so far in this case.

CHILD TAX CREDIT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has passed a bill that would gradually increase the child tax credit and make it available to more families with higher incomes.

But millions of low-income families would lose the $1,000-a-child credit in 2018, when enhancements championed by President Barack Obama are set to expire.

The bill also aims to make a dent in illegal immigration by prohibiting people without Social Security numbers from claiming a portion of the credit reserved for low-income families.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill, saying it favors high-income taxpayers over the poor, while adding $90 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

House Republicans say the bill strengthens the tax credit by increasing it as inflation rises, and by making it available to more middle-income families.

BRITAIN-ECONOMY

LONDON (AP) -- Official figures show Britain's economy has surpassed its pre-recession size for the first time since the 2008 global banking crisis.

The Office for National Statistics says gross domestic product grew by 0.8 percent in the three months through June compared with the previous quarter. It grew 3.1 percent over the year, putting it 0.2 percent ahead of its pre-crisis peak in early 2008.

The global financial crisis triggered a deep downturn for the British economy. By mid-2009, GDP was more than 7 percent below its pre-recession level.

Treasury chief George Osborne said Friday's figures marked a "major milestone in our long-term economic plan."

Government critics say the recovery is not built on solid foundations and point out that per-capita GDP remains about 6 percent lower than before the crisis.

GERMANY-ECONOMY

BERLIN (AP) -- German business confidence is down for a third month in a row amid ongoing concerns about the economic impact of the crises in Ukraine and Iraq.

The closely-watched Ifo Institute survey fell to 108 points in July from 109.7 points in June. Economists had widely been expecting a slight rise over June's figure.

The institute said Friday that businesses' assessment of their current situation fell to 112.9 points from 114.8 the previous month, while their expectations for the future fell to 103.4 from 104.8.

The Ifo survey is based on monthly responses from about 7,000 companies.

RUSSIA-INTEREST RATES

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's central bank has unexpectedly raised its key interest rate in a bid to stem inflation and support the currency as the country faces increasing economic pressure over its policies in Ukraine.

The bank said Friday it has lifted its one-week auction rate by 0.5 percentage points to 8 percent. The central bank cited "heightened geopolitical risks" that are likely to push down the Russian ruble, fueling consumer price inflation. Higher rates tend to support a currency but can hurt economic growth.

The rate has risen from 5.5 at the beginning of the year. That has helped support the ruble after a period of weakness, but growth is sliding.

The United States last week imposed tougher sanctions on Russia over its alleged unwillingness to help end the conflict in Ukraine.

EUROPE-FLIGHTS CANCELED-ISRAEL

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, says it and subsidiaries in other European countries will resume flights to Tel Aviv on Saturday after canceling operations for several days over safety concerns.

Lufthansa said Friday that it made the decision "on the basis of the most up-to-date information we have available and our own assessment of the local security situation."

It says flights will resume in stages starting Saturday morning. The decision also applies to subsidiaries Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines.

The European Aviation Safety Agency on Thursday lifted a recommendation that airlines refrain from flying to Israel's main airport, which it made because of security concerns after a Hamas missile landed nearby this week. However, Lufthansa canceled flights scheduled for Friday.

AIR CANADA- ISRAEL FLIGHT

TORONTO (AP) -- An Air Canada flight had to circle Tel Aviv's airport for 10 minutes after air traffic control said the conditions needed to be confirmed as safe for landing.

Airline spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said Friday Flight AC84 was advised to circle by Israeli Air Traffic Control shortly before 12 p.m. local time. She says the plane altered its course about 5 miles from Ben Gurion airport and landed 10 minutes later without incident. She did not say why.

Arthur says the return flight to Toronto departed Tel Aviv about two hours later. The airline plans to operate this evening's flight to Tel Aviv.

Flights by Air Canada and other airlines to Tel Aviv resumed Thursday after a suspension Tuesday following a Hamas rocket strike nearby.

advertisement