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NEWS > 18 January 2007

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Policeman sentenced over child
A Geelong police officer has received a suspended jail sentence for possessing child pornography.

A joint investigation by the office of Police Integrity (OPI) and the Ethical Standards Department led to the arrest of 41-year-old Senior Constable Alan Crane last year.

The Geelong Magistrates Court heard police raided Crane's Geelong home and seized computers and CDs containing tens of thousands of pornographic images.

The court heard less than 1 per cent of those were of underage girls.

Magistrate Max Beck said he agreed the images were at the lowe... Read more

 Article sourced from

Chicago Tribune - Chicago,IL,U
18 January 2007
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Police cleared of crime in dea

No charges will be filed against three Des Plaines police officers accused of using excessive force 14 months ago while trying to subdue an autistic man who died while in handcuffs, authorities said Wednesday.

Hansel Cunningham, 30, died Nov. 20, 2005, after police responded to a call that he had attacked and bitten a caretaker at a home for autistic and mentally disabled people.

Cunningham broke free from police inside the group home and ran into the back yard, where officers used pepper spray and a stun gun in an attempt to subdue him. When he continued to resist, they tackled and handcuffed him.

"We have found insufficient evidence to bring charges," said Marcy Jensen, spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

The Illinois State Police public integrity task force, composed of state police, state's attorney's office investigators and the Cook County sheriff's police, investigated Cunningham's death and the actions of the police. Their findings, which included no opinion as to whether the officers were negligent, were given to the state's attorney's office.

"Our focus is to ensure there is no criminal action on the part of police," said State Police Master Sgt. Thomas Murray, who led the task force. "We looked at every level of force that was used by police to try and get him under control."

An attorney representing Cunningham's family said that despite the state's attorney's decision, the officers are guilty of using excessive force.

"Our allegation from a civil standard is [the police officers'] conscious disregard of the safety of others," said Richard Burke, who filed a lawsuit in November on behalf of the family against the City of Des Plaines and Rimland Services of Evanston, operator of the group home. "They used excessive force in restraining him.

"We believe [the group home] did not provide timely and proper intervention to Mr. Cunningham--to aid him, provide medical assistance, to avoid the excessive force that occurred upon arrival of the Des Plaines police."

Richard Reimer, an attorney representing the officers through the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, said the two men and a woman acted appropriately.

"There is absolutely no evidence of criminal conduct on behalf of the police officers," he said. "It's obviously a tragedy. Unfortunately, when people resist arrest, the officers have a right to escalate [force]."

Des Plaines Police Chief James Prandini said, "We've treated this as an extremely unfortunate incident, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family still."

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