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New APC Decision by Appellate Court – What Does it Mean?

APC, which is short for “Actual Physical Control,” is a crime that permits law enforcement officers to arrest intoxicated people with the ability to drive, but who are not in fact driving when discovered by the officer.  For example, if a police officer happens upon an intoxicated motorist passed out in the driver’s seat with… read more…

Mug Shots Subject to Open Records Act

A new opinion from Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has declared that mug shots, or booking photos, fall within the scope of the Oklahoma Open Records Act.  According to the Attorney General’s opinion, the image constitutes an “arrestee description.”  This broad interpretation of the Open Records Act could compel law enforcement agencies to change their… read more…

Anchorage, AK Settles Police Brutality Suit

The Anchorage Press reports, “The city has agreed to pay $60,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who claims Anchorage Police Department officers harassed and then assaulted him during a September 2010 altercation downtown. The city has also agreed, as part of the settlement, to provide training for all APD patrol officers in… read more…

Fracking Banned By New Mexico County

The residents of Ocate, NM have banned the practice of fracking in their county.  The residents are concerned about the practice because they get their drinking water from wells. In April, Mora County, which includes Ocate, described as a “poor, conservative ranching” area, became the first county in the US “to pass an ordinance banning”… read more…

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Man with HIV in ADA Case

This week a federal court judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued two rulings favorable to a man living with HIV who filed suit against the Payne County Board of County Commissioners and Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc., a for-profit corporation providing contract-based medical services at the Payne County… read more…

Liability For Probable Cause Hearing May Fall on Officer

Who is responsible for ensuring that an arrestee receives a probable cause hearing before a judge within 48 hours of his or her arrest?  In Wilson v. Ortiz, the Tenth Circuit concluded that it depends upon state law, but liability may rest with the arresting officer. In Wilson, the Tenth Circuit analyzed the failure to… read more…

Staffing Shortages in Oklahoma Prisons Could Result in Litigation

Officials with the Oklahoma Correctional Professionals Association met with legislators yesterday to warn them of the dangerous staffing levels at DOC facilities.  According to the DOC, Oklahoma prisons are currently staffed at 62% while the inmate population at the facilities are hitting maximum capacity. Inadequate staffing can substantially impair the safety of both staff and… read more…

Could Crisis Intervention Teams Curb Incidents of Suicide by Cop?

The numbers regarding suicide by cop are shocking. Forensic pathologist Dr. Kris Mohandie published a study of officer-involved shootings that occurred between 1998 and 2006 in the Journal of Forensic Science.  Mohandie determined that of 707 officer involved shooting incidents, 36 percent resulted from suicide by cop situations.  More problematic is that 97% of these… read more…