News articles about problems in policing in the greater Quad cities (IL and IA) Area

The purpose of this page is to provide a list of links that address problems with policing in the greater Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa. I created this page to have an efficient way of responding to people who incorrectly argue that there are no problems with policing in our community.

News articles addressing problems with policing in the greater Quad Cities area

Sexual assault and child pornography charges have been filed against an East Moline police officer, who served as a school resource officer at United Township High School: https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/charges-filed-against-student-resource-officer-working-at-united-township-high-school/526-cf6375e4-de9f-4b75-b876-39dd2b455e48

A former Moline Police Department Sergeant has been arrested after an investigation alleged he stole from a department credit card and a local youth baseball bank: https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/former-moline-police-sergeant-arrested-and-charged-with-theft-over-10k-and-official-misconduct/526-d6612b42-fe14-4759-bae7-5117d184efed

Moline’s chief of police registered a blood alcohol level of more than 2.5 times over the legal limit the evening he was cited with an OWI. Other Moline police officers were present in the car with him as he was driving drunk at 90mph in a 65mph zone. https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/moline-police-chief-cited-for-owi-after-bac-was-more-than-2x-legal-limit/526-3823e312-94e8-4d31-885f-ca597f858953

ACLU suing Hampton, East Moline police and Rock Island sheriff’s office for false arrest and excessive use of force against college athlete: https://www.wqad.com/article/news/aclu-suing-hampton-east-moline-and-rock-island-police-officers-for-false-arrest-and-excessive-use-of-force-against-college-athlete/526-48365366-4828-4a44-98bc-ffbb55e49a54

An East Moline, Illinois police officer was jailed and faces six felony charges in connection with a suspicious car sale and an alleged scheme to exploit money from an elderly person: https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/east-moline-police-officer-arrested/526-16b23144-316a-40a6-8447-4d38c47744ad

A Davenport police officer brutally beats department-store shoplifter without apparent provocation, and it’s caught on video. But officer escapes criminal charges – and keeps his job. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/quad-cities-police-office_n_3720974

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Davenport police officer who stomped on a man’s ankle was using excessive force, but that the legal doctrine of qualified immunity means that neither the officer nor the Davenport police department will be held liable. https://qctimes.com/news/local/court-officer-who-stomped-on-suspects-ankle-cannot-be-sued/article_95a9f4b7-9b92-50fe-8e1c-37d8f84b56bf.html

Police brutality and a lack of accountability has been a problem in Davenport, IA for some time now. A Davenport police officer was “disciplined” but not fired for lying on in police report in which he claimed a woman who he attacked was actually the aggressor, is a good example. In that case, the video showed the officer’s violence and lies. The Davenport police chief agreed the officer’s actions were improper but refused to fire him. The local prosecutors refused to bring charges against the officer. https://jonathanturley.org/2013/08/19/iowa-officer-beats-woman-because-she-appeared-willing-to-fight-police-chief-refuses-to-fire-him-and-says-such-things-just-happen-from-time-to-time/. https://who13.com/news/police-brutality-chief-responds-to-allegation/

A jury has found former Muscatine police officer guilty of sexually assaulting a Davenport woman while he was on duty. https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/former-muscatine-police-officer-found-guilty-of-sexual-assault/526-62f29b5b-0e76-4451-9cb0-c068573055c7

Former Muscatine Police Officer Benjamin L. Varela was fired July 12 for violating department code and policies. A week later, he was charged with assault for punching a handcuffed woman. https://qctimes.com/muscatine/news/local/in-incident-report-fired-muscatine-police-officer-said-he-punched-a-woman-in-the-face/article_2de58d04-0ae8-5922-bab5-08d59b2109d2.html

GALESBURG, Illinois- An Illinois Department of Corrections parole officer was arrested for sexually assaulting two females while working, police say. Garrick Randolph, 52, was accused of sexual assault by one of his female parolees on Aug. 12, 2019, according to a statement from Illinois State Police. The parolee said in mid-July 2019, Randolph sexually assaulted her while she was in her home, the statement said. A second female victim said Randolph also sexually assaulted her while he was working as a parole officer, according to the statement. https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/illinois-parole-officer-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-parolees/526-998be0b3-dc1d-45f6-84df-dd5fedd85ea1

The Cedar County, Iowa Sheriff is not honoring the arrests made by officers of the Durant Police Department. “We had an incident here with a Durant officer wanting our dispatcher to lie on an arrest,” said Sheriff Warren Wethington. The Sheriff says the Durant Police Department hired a retired Iowa State Trooper, Robert Smith, who has a history of abusing his power, according to Sheriff Wethington. https://www.wqad.com/article/news/local/drone/8-in-the-air/cedar-county-sheriff-wont-honor-arrests-made-by-durant-police-officers/526-11b45315-f876-4a3e-b8fb-e10793675d77

The city of Maquoketa and Jackson County agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of Drew Edwards for $4.5 million after he died in police custody. https://www.kwqc.com/2020/09/10/city-of-maquoketa-agrees-to-settle-wrongful-death-lawsuit-for-45-million/

Finally, please note that the vast majority of problems in policing never make the news and so there is no article that I can provide for those cases. This means that what you are seeing above is the tip of the iceberg; the problems with policing in the greater Quad Cities area is much more serious than what I can present here, and I say that as an attorney who has first-hand knowledge of many instances of police brutality, racism, etc., that I can’t discuss due to attorney-client confidentiality.

A couple of articles addressing the problems in policing in general

Police use of force depends upon the race of the suspect: https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2020/06/17/police-use-of-force-depends-upon-the-race-of-the-suspect/

Our criminal courts are inherently racist: https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2020/07/05/our-criminal-courts-are-inherently-racist/

A great example of the ignorance and bigotry of people who oppose civil rights

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I posted about the upcoming peaceful protest against police brutality and racism that will take place at the Davenport police station on Saturday August 22, 2020 at 4:00pm.

In response, Rose Mercer (https://www.facebook.com/rose.mercer.5) commented that I should get a job.

The fact that she is assuming that someone who promotes civil rights must be unemployed is an interesting mixture of laughable and sad. For the record, I’m gainfully employed as an attorney.

Details on our protest can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/events/623795348260566/

The Neonazi counter-protest to our peaceful protest against police brutality and racism in Davenport, Iowa on August 22, 2020

Below are screenshots that provide information on Dave Coghlan Jr., the guy behind the armed “back the blue” rally in Davenport. His swastika tattoo is clearly visible, as is the AtomWaffen Division neonazi mask that he is wearing.

His facebook shows a “Fuck Black Lives Matter” meme. But he does post how “White Lives Matter” and memes about intentionally running over protesters. Dave Coghlan Jr. engages in race-baiting and the fomenting of hatred. He talks about how how won’t die from natural causes but, in a “blaze of glory.”  He also posted a picture of a motorcycle with guns mounted to it, and called it the “protester eliminator bike.” Dave Coghlan Jr.’s facebook posts are a showcase of hate, and he is a member of a various hate-filled facebook groups/pages that express white supremacy and bigotry.

What is especially scary is his apparent interest in law enforcement. He boasted on facebook about seeking a job where they give him a badge and a gun. Given the above-discussed matters, I fear how he would treat me (or some other black/brown person) in the performance of such a job.  Given his posting of the “all lives splatter” meme about running over protesters, I can’t help but worry what he would do with a work-issued vehicle too.

Apparently other people have thought he was racist too, long before I ever heard his name. One of his own facebook posts talks about how a customer expressed concern about him being racist.  Multiple other people have also been finding his posts to be racist and sharing information about that racism on facebook too.

These images were taken from facebook, to include Dave Coghlan Jr.’s own public facebook profile at https://www.facebook.com/scrappycoghlan (although he has since made the facebook page a lot more private). His wife’s facebook also shows pictures of him with an iron cross tattoo and a confederate flag for a pillow.  Review the images:

 

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Screenshot from 2020-08-19 19-05-18

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Protest Against Police Brutality and Racism in Davenport, IA on August 22, 2020

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Some friends and I organized a peaceful protest against police brutality and racism in Davenport, Iowa. The protest took place at the Davenport, Iowa police station on August 22, 2020 at 4:00pm.  Video and news coverage follows:

QC Times article: https://qctimes.com/news/photos-protest-against-police-brutality-at-the-davenport-police-department/collection_78b22457-1c3e-557e-bc54-896e398405d0.html#1

Video interview from our 10:00am counter-protest of the rally organized by the deplorable person discussed here: https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2020/08/19/the-neonazi-counter-protest-to-our-peaceful-protest-against-police-brutality-and-racism-in-davenport-iowa-on-august-22-2020/

More information can be seen on the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/623795348260566/

Police brutality in Davenport, Iowa

My office is in Davenport, Iowa and I have had multiple clients mistreated by the Davenport police.  Due to attorney-client privilege and confidentiality, I am prohibited from discussing those client’s cases here. So, I will instead only discuss cases from the news that do not relate to my clients.  Even with the limitation of not being able to talk about the majority of what I know about police brutality in Davenport, there is still information I can share using only news articles.

Problems with policing in Davenport, Iowa in particular

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Davenport police officer who stomped on a man’s ankle was using excessive force, but that the legal doctrine of qualified immunity means that neither the officer nor the Davenport police department will be held liable. https://qctimes.com/news/local/court-officer-who-stomped-on-suspects-ankle-cannot-be-sued/article_95a9f4b7-9b92-50fe-8e1c-37d8f84b56bf.html

Police brutality and a lack of accountability has been a problem in Davenport, IA for some time now. A Davenport police officer was “disciplined” but not fired for lying on in police report in which he claimed a woman who he attacked was actually the aggressor, is a good example. In that case, the video showed the officer’s violence and lies. The Davenport police chief agreed the officer’s actions were improper but refused to fire him. The local prosecutors refused to bring charges against the officer. https://jonathanturley.org/2013/08/19/iowa-officer-beats-woman-because-she-appeared-willing-to-fight-police-chief-refuses-to-fire-him-and-says-such-things-just-happen-from-time-to-time/

Scott County, Iowa (Davenport is the largest city in Scott County, Iowa)

Despite similar rates of marijuana usage, black people in Scott County Iowa are nearly 13 times more likely to be arrested than white people. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2020/04/20/aclu-iowa-among-worst-nation-racial-disparities-marijuana-arrests/5155632002/

The state of Iowa as a whole

A Black person in Iowa is 7.3 times more likely to be arrested than a white person for marijuana possession, even though both groups use marijuana at about the same rate, a national ACLU study of law enforcement data has found. Iowa ranked the fifth-worst in the nation in racial disparities for marijuana arrests, even as other states are decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. https://www.aclu-ia.org/en/press-releases/iowa-ranks-among-worst-states-racial-disparities-marijuana-arrests

Racism and brutality in policing in general

The following articles provide much more information on the problems of racism and police brutality in the American policing system and criminal justice system:

https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2020/06/17/police-use-of-force-depends-upon-the-race-of-the-suspect/

https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2020/07/05/our-criminal-courts-are-inherently-racist/

Protest Against Police Brutality and Racism in Davenport, Iowa on July 11, 2020 at 4:00pm

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Some friends and I have organized a peaceful protest against police brutality and racism in Davenport, Iowa. The protest will take place at the Davenport, Iowa police station on July 11, 2020 at 4:00pm. The address is 416 Harrison Street, Davenport, IA 52801.

More information can be seen on the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/565306157705631/