June 17, 2014

Charles Oliver: Don't do good or waste water

• Officials in Arlington, Va., have banned the Boy Scouts and other groups from holding charity car washes. Officials blame tougher state regulations on runoff into the stormwater system.

• Former Anderson, Calif., police officer Bryan Robert Benson has pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under the color of law after sexually assaulting a woman he was taking to jail. Benson pulled into a parking lot and forced the woman, who’d been arrested for DUI, out of his patrol car. He then raped her against the back of the car. Benson’s plea deal calls for him to receive five years in prison.

• Former Jersey City, N.J., police officer Mario Rodriguez has pleaded guilty to transporting stolen goods and extortion. Rodriguez stole more than 500,000 cigarettes and tried to extort $20,000 from someone he thought was a drug courier but was actually a government informant.

• Officials in Springfield, Mass., agreed to pay $28,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by two women who were given “an extensive strip and body cavity search” by the side of the road in front of at least seven male officers and passing motorists. The officer who conducted the search, Carla Daniele, did not wear gloves during the search. She and the other officers were not disciplined for the search.

• Former Lexington, Neb., police officer Terrance Smith was sentenced to 120 days in jail after pleading no contest to attempted burglary. He was apparently caught on video while on duty entering a local business and searching through drawers and cabinets.

• Former Chesapeake, Va., police officer Michael Mobley pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement. He reportedly stole marijuana and cash from three prostitutes, telling them he was seizing it for official purposes. He faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

• Chase Culpepper, 16, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund say his rights were violated by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV refused to take Culpepper’s photo for his driver’s license until be removed the makeup he was wearing. “When this young man has to show his ID, his ID shows that he’s male. The card says he’s male (and therefore), he needs to look like a male,” said a DMV spokeswoman. But Culpepper says he wears makeup to school and on his job. “This is how I am every day. And if a police officer wanted to recognize how I am, then, he would want to see who I am in my picture as well,” said Culpepper.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.

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