Police

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The Mountain West may not be thought of as a haven for white supremacy but the Anti-Defamation League recently found that the region is responsible for ten percent of all white supremacy propaganda. That's even though there's just five percent of the nation's population here.

Wyoming's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) finally released its report on the officer involved shooting of a Laramie man last November.

Tennessee Watson


Police officers are expected to uphold the law, but what the law requires isn't always clear-cut. For example, how law enforcement agencies interpret legal documents like warrants varies across the state, and what officers decide to do can have serious consequences. On a recent ride-along with the Albany County Sheriff's Office, I witnessed one of those situations.

All certified peace officers in Wyoming are required to do 40 hours of continuing education every two years. The focus of the training to fulfill that requirement has been left up to local sheriffs and chiefs of police, until last year when Wyoming Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST) instituted a new rule.

Back in March, Zayd Atkinson was picking up trash outside his dorm at Naropa University in Boulder when a group of police officers confronted him, apparently refusing to believe that he lived there.

Mike Vananta / http://www.squarestatefilm.com/

The Albany County Commissioners heard public comments Tuesday regarding an officer-involved shooting that occurred November 4, 2018. To accommodate the volume of people who showed up to speak on the issue, the Commissioners moved their meeting to a larger room.


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While the issue has received more and more attention, sexual assault is a crime that's still chronically under-reported across the nation. Concern about how the criminal justice system will respond is one of the top reasons victims say they don't report.

Albany County for Proper Policing

A Laramie group has released an autopsy report that says Albany County Sheriff's Corporal Derek Colling shot unarmed Robbie Ramirez three times, including two shots to the back. The incident occurred on November 4, 2018.

Tennessee Watson

Earlier this month a grand jury found that Albany County Sheriff's Officer Derek Colling was justified in his use of force. Colling shot Laramie resident Robbie Ramirez in November. The grand jury's decision concluded a criminal investigation, but the Albany County Sheriff's office has yet to announce whether Officer Colling will keep his job. He is currently on administrative leave.

Screenshot of footage gathered by KGWN Cheyenne


Last week a grand jury decided not to indict Albany County Sheriff's officer Derek Colling. In November, he shot and killed 39-year-old Laramie resident Robbie Ramirez. The jury found the officer's use of lethal force was justified. The decision hasn't convinced everyone in Laramie that the officer couldn't have made a different choice.

Tennessee Watson

Last week a grand jury decided not to indict Albany County Sheriff's officer Derek Colling for shooting 39-year-old Laramie resident Robbie Ramirez in November. On Monday, Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent announced her intent to take a look at why this incident happened and if it could have been avoided.

The new legal marijuana industry is generating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs, but it's also creating instability, restructuring and some layoffs for one group of workers - drug detection dogs. 

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent made the unusual decision this week to allow a piece of evidence be made available to the media. She allowed the release of a police video including a body cam that showed an encounter between an Albany County Sheriff's Deputy and a Laramie resident that resulted in the resident being shot and killed. Normally such evidence would be held until a trial, but she tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck why she wanted it released.

The Albany County Sheriff's Department released body cam and dash cam footage from Corporal Derek Colling, who fatally shot 39-year-old Laramie resident Robert Ramirez following a traffic stop earlier this month. The body cam footage cuts off before Colling fired the fatal shots.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

On Saturday afternoon a vigil for Robbie Ramirez was held at the Laramie Skatepark. The 39-year-old Laramie resident was shot and killed a week ago by Albany County Sheriff's Deputy Derek Colling following a traffic stop.

Casper Police Department

Tuesday morning, Casper police shot and killed a man after he led police on a high-speed chase and threatened multiple people with a gun. This is the third shooting involving Casper police officers this year.

Cheyenne Police Department

The Cheyenne Police Department would like to equip its officers with body cameras, and is asking the Cheyenne City Council to approve funds for 75 body cams, as well as 75 dashboard cams to replace the current ones.

Last year, the Wyoming Legislature passed a bill limiting the kind of footage from police body and dashboard cameras that can be requested and viewed by the public. The law limits that footage to incidents involving deadly force and complaints against law enforcement, or if the footage is in the interest of public safety.

By ProgWork1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this fall, the University of Wyoming sent emails to law school students with concerns about the 37-year-old man who shot at police officers in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on Sunday morning.  

Matthew Riehl was a UW Law School graduate who at one time practiced law in Wyoming, and a veteran who served in Iraq. Matthew Riehl had been posting threatening and irrational statements about law school faculty, according to UW Police Chief Mike Samp.

Rawlins Police Department

The City of Rawlins is facing a civil rights lawsuit after two of its police officers shot and killed a man in 2015. The suit claims the Rawlins Police Department’s decision not to discipline, retrain, or fire the officers reveals policies that tolerate excessive force.

Casper Police Department

A recently completed outside review of the Casper Police Department reveals morale is up. That’s following controversy that began last year when 30 women accused the department of mishandling their sexual assault cases.

The review, completed by the Center for Public Safety Management, makes 75 specific recommendations for changes at the Casper Police Department, including updating facilities and filling vacancies.
It also recommends more training for officers dealing with crimes like sexual assault, to ensure investigations are not compromised by inexperience.

City of Casper

Casper City Manager V.H. McDonald has announced he will retire from the position on June 1. 

McDonald’s decision to retire follows the Casper City Council's request on Tuesday for an investigation into leadership at the Casper Police Department and complaints that city management neglected to address problems in that department.  

A press release from the City of Casper says McDonald was hired in November of 2015. 

Casper Police Department Facebook page

At Casper’s City Council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Kenyne Humphrey requested an investigation of the Casper Police Department. The request follows the results of a survey taken by law enforcement officers that point to potential issues with the agency’s leadership.

Mayor Kenyne Humphrey said Casper’s local branch of the Fraternal Order of Police brought her the results of a survey taken by current and former members of the Casper Police Department. She said what she saw was alarming.

Maggie Mullen

In the last year, over 30 women have approached the Casper City Council to express their frustration with how the Casper Police Department dealt with their sexual assault cases. The women allege that their cases were either mishandled or neglected by law enforcement.

It’s a quiet afternoon in Casper, shortly before Aimee Kidd will need to leave her house to go pick her children up from school. On her lap, is her 5-month old daughter, Noèmie.

Casper Police Department Facebook page

The City of Casper has set up a community panel discussion regarding how police handle sexual assault complaints.

More than 30 women have accused the Casper Police Department of mishandling or neglecting reports of sexual assault.

Casper Police Chief Jim Wetzel announced the panel discussion at Tuesday’s city council meeting and said the hour-long panel is meant to inform and educate the public on the legal, investigative, prosecutorial, and victim services issues of sexual assault.

Wikipedia

The Wyoming House Of Representatives gave initial support to a bill Wednesday that limits when the public can view footage recorded by police body cameras. The House also amended Senate File 32, to remove dashboard cameras from the bill. A person or the media could view the recordings if they were able to convince a judge there was compelling public interest in releasing the video. 

Supporters of the bill say its intent is to provide clarity to law enforcement and the general public and give parameters and guidance on the handling of policy body footage. 

Wyoming highway patrol

The Wyoming Senate has passed a bill that enhances the penalties for fleeing a police officer or attempting to flee a police officer. 

The bill makes it a felony if a driver tries to elude a police officer and drives recklessly. The penalty is further enhanced if the driver injures someone or causes property damage. 

LaGrange Senator Curt Meier said someone who is driving recklessly is not necessarily committing a felony, and that the bill goes too far.

Graeme Maclean / Wikimedia Commons

Laramie High School and Laramie Junior High have received two so-called clown threats this week. Police presence has been increased at the schools, and on Wednesday both buildings were put in lockout, where no one was allowed to enter or leave the schools.

Dhtrible at the English language Wikipedia

On Tuesday, the Jackson Police Department and the Teton County Sheriff’s Office caught three people at a Super 8 Motel using an undercover sting operation and charged them all with prostitution. Two of the individuals were also charged with human trafficking and interference with a police officer. Two women and a man were charged with the crime.

Aaron Schrank

As more schools make safety and security a priority, School Resource Officers—or SROs—have become the fastest growing job in law enforcement. External threats are rare—and most research suggests that putting cops in schools actually has a negative impact on education. But proponents say, the good officers do for schools and communities can’t always be measured. Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank spent a day with some SROs and has this report.

Aaron Schrank

In the 2011-2012 school year, Wyoming ranked fourth in the country for sending students to cops and courts. Cheyenne’s Johnson Junior High School referred students to law enforcement at a rate 15 times the national average.  

“I started at Johnson in the fall of 2011,” says Manny Fardella, a School Resource Officer, or SRO, with the Cheyenne Police Department. 

“Johnson was a busy school,” says Fardella. “They did have a lot disturbances and fights. There was some drug activity. There was a whole bunch of things going on.”

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