Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: U.S. Park police

Black Secret Service Agent Claims He Was Detained, Held at Gunpoint Because of His Race

By Steve Neavling

A now-retired Secret Service agent can proceed with his lawsuit claiming two U.S. Park Police officers arrested and held him at gunpoint because he is black, a federal judge ruled.

Nathaniel Hicks alleges in the suit that he was in his Secret Service-issued vehicle on the shoulder of a Maryland highway waiting to join Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s motorcade when he was arrested by the Park Police officers in July 2015.

According to the suit, Park Police Officer Gerald L. Ferreyra approached Hicks’ vehicle, “drew his gun, pointed the weapons at Special Agent Hicks, and began screaming at him.”

Hicks said he explained what he was doing and showed his credentials to Ferreyra, who kept his gun pointed at the agent, whose car had a police antenna and a flashing bar.

The lawsuit alleges Ferreyra called for backup anyway, and Park Police Officer Brian Philips arrived. For more than an hour, according to the suit, the officers detained Hicks, and Ferreyra yelled and “spoke to him in a degrading manner.”

Meanwhile the motorcade passed, and one of the officers “mockingly waved his hand goodbye at the motorcade as it passed.”

After a supervisor arrived, Hicks was finally released but he was not able to reach the motorcade. According to the suit, Phillips then pulled over Hicks again and demanded his identification and car registration “despite just having had possession of these documents, and continued to talk to him in a demeaning and degrading tone with no possible justification.”

Hicks was eventually let go.

The officers, who dispute Hicks’ versions of events, asked a judge to dismiss the case against them, arguing immunity because they acted in a reasonably lawful way and did not violate Hicks’ rights.

Hicks’ attorneys disagree, saying the officers had “discriminatory motives,” partly based on their hostility toward Hicks.

“Based on upon the absence of probable cause, or even any reasonable suspicion to justify his prolonged seizure, it appears that Special Agent Hicks was singled out for unlawful treatment because of his race,” the complaint alleges.

In his deposition, Hicks described a tense encounter.

“When there is a gun pointed at you, regardless of what time it is, whether it’s night or day, you’re not going to forget that,” Hicks said. “In all my years of my position as a law enforcement officer, I never had that happen before.”

U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm declined to dismiss the suit this week, saying the officers did not have a good argument for failing to release Hicks before the motorcade arrived, NBC News reports.

“It is clearly established that detaining a person under these circumstances — when the officers had a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was underway but, after some investigation, became aware that no criminal activity was happening at the scene — is a violation of the individual’s Fourth Amendment rights,” Grimm wrote.

Hicks, who retired shortly after filing the suit, is suing for compensatory and punitive damages, saying he suffered “significant embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, and the deprivation of his constitutional rights.”

“In addition to the manner in which defendants spoke to and treated him, it was particularly humiliating to be held on the side of the road as his colleagues passed by. That he was subjected to unlawful treatment because of his race compounds his emotional distress,” Hicks’ lawsuit said.

U.S. Law Enforcement Officials Continue to Trek to Israel to Learn About Terrorism

By Allan Lengel

U.S. law enforcement officials continue to trek to Israel to learn a thing or two about dealing with terrorism and homeland security.

The latest group included Assistant D.C. police chief Diane Groomes and U.S. Park Police Deputy Chief Robert MacLean of the U.S. Park Police, the Associated Press reported.

The week-long trip, completed last month, was sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League as part of of an ongoing program to show American authorities how Israel deals with the ongoing threats.

AP reported that D.C. cop Groomes was impressed show the Israeli national police force responds to a disaster and how accepting Israelis are of the security precautions taken in that country.

“I was just struck by how they can handle a scene, process and clear it and plant within it” in hours, Groomes told AP. “If we had a bomb on a bus, it would take us maybe a day or to handle. They said they just want life to go back to normal as soon as possible.”


U.S. Park Police Officer Shoots and Wounds Armed Man

By Allan Lengel

A U.S. Park Police officer shot and wounded an armed man early Tuesday morning in Southwest Washington, D.C.  at Hains Point, the Associated Press reported.

The Park Police said an officer was patrolling the park about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when he spotted a man in a car with a gun in his hand, AP reported.

The officer ordered the man to drop the gun, but he refused and the man was shot outside the car, AP reported. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Board Rules that Fired U.S. Park Police Chief Can Be Reinstated and Get 6 Years of Back Pay

Teresa Chambers

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Patience and persistence has paid off for Teresa Chambers, who was fired as U.S. Park Police chief in 2004 in what turned into a highly controversial situation in the nation’s capital.

The Merit Systems Protection Board has ruled that she can have her job back, plus more than six years of back pay. It concluded that the evidence against her was weak, and that the Interior Department retaliated against her,  according to the ruling first reported by WTOP radio Tuesday.

WTOP reported that she was fired for publicly commenting to the media about budget problems and complaining about a staff shortage that was forcing her to cut back on patrols.

WTOP said that in 2004 the Park Service’s deputy director, Don Murphy, said Chambers’ broke the rules by commenting publicly about budget discussions and lobbying.

“In sum, we find that the agency’s evidence in support of its actions was not strong at the time it took the actions, the record demonstrates that the acting officials had a significant motive to retaliate against the appellant, and the agency did not show that it took similar actions against similarly-situated non-whistleblowers,” the merit board wrote in its ruling.

The Washington Post reported that her attorney, Paula Dinerstein, called the decision “a wonderful ruling, not only for Chief Chambers but for thousands who believe that honesty is part of public service.”

The Post reported that the National Park Service, which oversees the Park Police, was reviewing the ruling.

To Read more click here.



U.S. Park Police Probe Whether Its Officers Improperly Provided Escort for the Infamous Salahis

U.S. Park Police Detective Saves Drowning Dog in D.C.

istock photo

istock photo

By Allan Lengel

Talk about the dog days of summer.

A U.S. Park Police detective “put her pistol aside Sunday afternoon and jumped into the murky waters of the Washington Channel to save a drowning dog, police said”, according to a story written in the Washington Post by reporter Martin Weil.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a Park Police spokesman, said the dog named Scout, described as a border collie,  appeared to be having trouble, possibly the result of heat.

“The dog was having severe difficulties in swimming,” he said, according to the Post.

To read more click here.