OFFICER INVOLVED-June 2 Charlena Michelle Cooks

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Lyndhurst, NJ police fatally shot and killed a man wanted for not attending for a jail work-release program on May 29. According to The Record, an officer recognized Kevin K. Allen, 36, and followed him into the library, which is in the same complex as the police department.  Allen was shot on the third floor of the library; two officers were allegedly involved with the shooting. He was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center and authorities announced his death a short time later. Chief James O’Connor told reporters that the officers involved were not physically injured, but both were also taken to the medical center to be treated for “trauma and shock,” O’Connor said. At a brief news conference late Friday afternoon, O’Connor did not provide details about the shooting, except that Allen possessed a knife. O’Connor also did not name the officers involved and referred additional questions to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Body camera video showed two Barstow officers slamming a pregnant California woman to the ground after a parking lot dispute, which started as the woman dropped her child off at school. Reported in the Desert Dispatch, Charlena Michelle Cooks, who was 8 months pregnant at the time, was arrested in January after dropping her second-grade daughter off at Crestline Elementary School. Cooks stated that she was involved in a “petty” confrontation with a school employee and the Barstow officer who arrived did not want to hear her side. After the officer asked for her identification, she declined and made a call to her boyfriend asking if it was justified to not provide identification. The incident was captured on the officer’s body camera and it showed the officer grabbing Cook’s arms, forcing her to the ground and then struggling with another officer to handcuff her as she laid on her stomach. Cooks was charged with resisting or obstructing a peace officer or other public safety official but later had the misdemeanor dismissed. Cooks said that after her arrest she was banned from the school, but the school district retracted the ban early May after the charge against Cooks was dismissed. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which took up Cooks’ case and released the video, said California law does not require someone to identify themselves “for no reason.”

On May 28, a deadly officer-involved shooting with a Carrollton police happened at a local gas station on the 900 block of Bankhead Highway in Georgia. The Carrollton Police Department and The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released audio of the confrontation last Friday, but said the video did not capture the scene because of the way the patrol car was parked, according to WSB-TV Atlanta. The audio recording features Kenneth Joel Dothard, 40 and Carrollton Corporal Chad Cook having a seven-minute long conversation. The GBI says that Cook stopped Kenneth Dothard after a 911 call of a man standing at an ATM with a gun. The conversation escalated when Cook asked Dothard if he is a convicted felon. When he replied yes, Cook radioed for backup. “The questions I’m asking you, you’re making me feel like you know you shouldn’t have this gun on you,” Cook said to Dothard. Less than a minute later, Dothard shot twice in the head and pronounced dead on the scene. The GBI has taken over the investigation. Cook was placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the GBI’s investigation.

Floyd Dent has settled his lawsuit with the City of Inkster, MI for $1.4 million reported by WDIV-Detroit last Wednesday. Dash camera video revealed that Inkster police, William Melendez punching, kicking, and using a Taser on the 57-year-old after a traffic stop in January. Another video uncovered by WDIV of police apparently imitating and mocking Dent at the police station instead of immediately him to a hospital for his injuries. After the videos were exposed, prosecutors dropped assault and drug charges against Dent and instead filed charged against William Melendez, the now-former Inkster police officer who punched Dent 16 times in the head.



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