How to File a Complaint Against an Officer

Posted on: April 6th, 2013 12 Comments
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If you ever found yourself in a situation where you experienced any form of police misconduct and wanted to file a complaint, it’s possible that you learned the hard way that you can’t simply walk into the station and do it. When investigating the way police misconduct complaints were handled, several civilian testers were sent to different stations to try to file a complaint. The results were devastating – in most cases, the testers were harassed and sometimes even arrested on false accusations. To avoid any kind of problems, follow these useful tips when dealing with a complaint:

  • When filing a “one of a less serious nature” report, the best way is to mail it to Internal Affairs as certified mail with return receipt. This way you’ll have proof of actually sending a report and make it harder for the police to “misplace” it.

  • As soon as possible, write down all details about the incident. You need to answer the five questions – who, what, when, where and how.
  • Provide the name and/or badge number of the officer, explain the nature of misconduct (drinking on duty, harassment, racial discrimination, accepting bribe etc.) and the exact time and place the incident had occurred.
  • Finally, explain in detail how everything happened. Never lie in a complaint. If the police proves you were lying, they will dismiss this and all your future complaints and possibly even charge you with providing a false report. Wait for a couple of days to see if you remember any more details about the incident, then mail the report. The time limit for minor misconduct is 60 days and up to 6 months for serious ones, so a few days won’t make a big difference.

After they’ve received your complaint, the police might contact you via phone or e-mail and ask you to come to the station for further clarification. Never go down to the police station for an interview and don’t answer any questions. Tell them everything there is to know is in the report and stick to it.

If you have a more serious complaint, make sure you hire an attorney instead of addressing to a police agency. Pick an attorney who is not from your hometown or county because locals work with police officers an judges and might not get the best deal for you. You can also contact the Department of Justice or your State Attorney General.

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12 Responses

  1. Tampa Police Dept. raided my home soley on an anonymous tip. They made up several lies which was clearly provin in Discover, which they would not give us. Altough we were never given Discovery the State Prosecuting Attorney moved forward to prosecute even while we were screaming for Discovery. We eventually won the case because police never submitted discovery to records dept. We had to fight for another eight months to get discover to see all the lies–many. We went to a lawyer and paid Micheal Maddox $250 to tell us,”They do it all the time.” We were also told we could do nothing because we were living in a LEO friendly county. We have heard many times form police officers, “We do it because WE CAN.” This new law over rides all other laws and the constitution. WOW

    • john in Tampa says:

      Deborah, my brother was thrown head first over our balcony in Seminole Heights. He then had a gun pulled on him while he was on his back in our front lawn. He instinctively got up and ran away. 10 squad cars and the helicopter came after him. I was in the driveway trying to stop my mom from going after him when 4 cops yanked my feet out from under me and drug me face first out into the street where they then tried to break my back by pulling my legs up behind my head.

      My brother made it back home and once he calmed down, decided to try and reason with police. They slammed his face into the door frame of the cop car.

      They then accused us both of assaulting 8 LEO’s.

      Why was the cop there? Cause apparently the cop was tailing us and my brother failed to put his blinker on when turning in to our driveway.

      They lied to all our neighbors saying it was a drug bust. We don’t do drugs. They had absolutely no probable cause on me, but they lied and said I matched the description of my brother. I am 6-1 155lbs. He is 5-11 220lbs. I have long hair and a beard. His head is shaved and no facial hair.

      We hired lawyers, paid them real good, they basically said the same thing. The judge will instruct the jury that we are guilty and we will be framed for a list of other charges the States Attorney decided to file including, fleeing and eluding, escape from custody, 8 counts of battery on LEO, 4 counts of resisting arrest with violence, disorderly conduct.

      We were each facing 25 years in prison, if we didn’t plead to lessor charges. They forced my brother to plea to battery on leo. They allowed me to plea to disorderly conduct.

      Tampa Law enforcement is corrupt to the bone.

  2. Well, first off I noticed we’re talking about Tampa, FL. Aside from all I’ve heard about Florida, COPS has had a lot of episodes in Tampa, and COPS is a negative propaganda machine that seeks to improve the image of a department and/or desensitize viewers to police misconduct, while exploiting the accused.

    Having said that, I was the victim of a department that withheld evidence that would have exonerated me in a resisting arrest charge in Santa Rosa, CA. The police are bad all over, and I think there’s a competitive thing going on. Because they were able to withhold evidence (part of a video recording) from my unwilling public defender (maybe it’s true that departments can, with a boldface, withhold evidence without reprisal), the case was dismissed as long as I submitted to drug testing, and enrolled in a rehabilitation program that cost about $800, and was lacking in services, but big on receiving payment.

    The officer lied extensively in the report, obviously fully confident that he would never have to perjure himself in court, or produce the missing footage that would contradict his lies. The accusation alone, without any supporting evidence, made his case, just like this one.

    There don’t seem to be any easy answers, especially for those who can’t afford an able attorney. But, and this is a big but, you can help start an organization much like the one here in Santa Rosa, CA, that receives complaints about police misconduct, and catalogs them for use as evidence of misconduct for presentation to government bodies (like county supervisors, city councils, grand juries), and makes them available for civil rights attorneys and activists.

    The power in this is that departments have denied any misconduct in meetings about abuse, and this is a way of presenting evidence. In cases of civil lawsuits, attorneys can prove a history of abuse by an officer or department that they would never get from a department, or DA’s office, due to confidentiality laws against making public police personnel records.

    Here is the website for the Sonoma County Police Accountability Helpline: . Here is their phone number: 707-542-7224 . Tell them you want to start a similar organization in Tampa, and pick their brains as to how to go about it. I’m sure they would be glad to help. Ask them how their organization is doing; how it is helping the scourge of police misconduct.

    Russell Naylor

  3. terry wagar says:

    On July 01-2009 I found this audio death threat on our computer and it was made by my wife Joan Wagar and her lover officer Eric Carlson and by his buddy’s in law enforcement!
    It is a cryptic audio death threat and they make many references to things not understandable and they are also using sound board character voices to emphasize their threats! They repeatedly say “Good Bye” in many different ways on their death threat and at the end of the death threat they are promising a surprise for me!
    Around July 7th 2009 just a few days later I noticed a car I never seen before parked in front of my apartment and it had the license plate “SAYLVU” on it, so Officer Eric Carlson and his bro’s wanted me to know they are close by and backing up that audio death threat!
    Turns out their big surprise was they used their powers as officers to acquire several apartments around mine and Eric Carlson and his bro’s were paying friends and their children to frame me as a pedophile, and I caught them in the act of doing THAT on July 10th 2009 and I caught them on video doing that.

    These officer’s are murderers and they have already killed relatives of mine and it’s personal on their part since my wife was having an affair with that officer and our own daughters were sleeping around with cops!
    One of my daughters had a baby by Officer Eric Carlson’s partners so that should tell you how personal this all is and they want me dead, and they want me to get the blame for all their crimes as well!
    I also caught these people on video around July 22nd 2009 backing up this death threat they were waiting in ambush outside my apartment and they were going to shoot me and I caught them on video doing that!
    All my 911 calls are covered up by local authority’s, because one cop wants me dead then they all want me dead and police do everything in their power to deny me help!

    On July 10th 2009 I was inside my apartment, I am disabled I was poisoned by my wife, I was alone and I don’t have a phone!
    I noticed outside my apartment there were several adults and children outside in the parking lot making a lot of noise!
    At first I thought maybe they were having a barbeque and ignored it, but then the harassing began!
    The adults outside were telling the children to rind the doorbell, and the next thing I know they were ringing my doorbell, when I look outside no one was at my door, and I could hear adults and children laughing!
    They kept hanging out in front of my apartment and they were either hitting my window screen or ringing my doorbell, at no time was anyone standing in front of my door waiting for me to open it!
    I knew I was being harassed by them and suspected that these people were connected to my wife and her lover, my wife was sleeping around with cops at the time and police wanted me dead because of it!
    I turned on my camcorder and aimed it at my window to record the harassment but I left the shade closed, I was trying to prove I was being gang-stalked by my wife and her lover and by their buddy’s in law enforcement!
    Turns out I was right, because my wife’s lover and his bro’s in law enforcement acquired several apartments around mine and they brought those children there and they were paying those children TEN GRAND to play in front of my apartment and to make false pedophile accusations about me, and they are outside admitting to this and my camcorder caught them admitting they are being PAID TEN GRAND to do this!
    At one point you can hear my wife’s lover telling the children “Say you saw a dick!” and then you can hear the child say “I think I saw a dick!” so you can hear adult cops Eric Carlson and his bro’s directing the children’s words and actions!

    At one point my wife’s lovers bro Shannon spoke up telling the children “Take a break, were done with Terry for now!” and the children were jumping up and damn chanting in celebration “Terry’s done Terry’s done Terry’s done!” and during their break the children admitted again they are being paid to make me look like a bad guy, and their admitting I will be shot if I confront them!

    After Eric Carlson leaves the children remain and continue to harass me and once again ring my doorbell, and I am so fed up I went to the door and opened it knowing no ones at my door, and sure enough the children were out there and they were grinning at me as they walked into the apartment two doors away from mine and Shannon was in that apartment!

    When my daughter Shawna came home from work at Domino’s I tried to tell her what happened, she ignored everything I said and pretended nothings wrong!

    My wife’s f-buddy’s caught on video trafficking and exploiting children and their guilty of corrupting a Minor!

    At one point in the video my daughters cat jumps to the window and opens it and there is my wife’s lover outside with those children and he was acting as a body double and dressed like me impersonating me and his partners were photographing him from behind while he hangs out with the children!
    So my wife’s lover is paying these children ten grand to frame me as a pedophile and he is dressed up like me and impersonating me in front of my apartment!

    This is what our tax dollars are being used for by the Portland police and Multnomah county sheriffs!
    This is flat out organize crime!

    This is the day after my wife’s lover and his bro’s in law enforcement framed me by bringing several children to my apartment building and they coached them to call me a pedophile!
    This took place on July 11th 2009 and I just woke up and I was once again hearing a commotion outside of my apartment!
    I looked outside my window and saw a white van parked in front of the apartment my wife’s lover and his buddy’s in law enforcement had and my wife’s lovers bro Shannon was in a big big hurry loading up that van with the children belongings, JUST THE CHILDREN’S BELONGINGS!

    I was very angry I already knew my wife’s lover and his bro’s were framing me the day before RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY APARTMENT!
    I grabbed my camcorder and caught the license plate of the van KNOWING my wife’s lover and his bro’s are covering their butts by getting rid of evidence that they had children in that apartment!

    In between my complaining you can just barely hear Shannon’s voice talking to the two females with him that I am trying to catch them on video, and he never came back out with anything so it was the female officers from that point that is bringing out the children’s belongings and putting them in the van!

    Their caught the day before guilty of trafficking, exploiting, corruption of Minors, framing me using a double, paying those children TEN GRAND to destroy my good name, defamation of character, so on and so on, and of course my apartment manager is guilty as accomplices sine THEY GAVE MY WIFE’S LOVER AND HIS PARTNERS APARTMENTS SURROUNDING MINE AND THEY ARE GUILTY OF ATTEMPTED MURDER!

    Shannon stayed inside their apartment and it was a female officer that drove off with the van, and she was in a big hurry to get rid of evidence that they had children in that apartment the day before! gee I wonder what they are trying to cover up!? NOT!!

    This is a video of me catching my wife and her lover and his brother in attempted murder! I was getting ready to potty my dog Pepsi and when I opened the door I noticed a man in a baseball cap dived behind the van and trailer across the street!
    Thinking I was catching my wife’s lover in attempted murder I turned out my lights, grabbed my camcorder, and aimed it at the trailer!
    To my shock and horror my wife and her lover were waiting an ambush just outside my doorway and they were armed with guns and recoding devices!
    I did not realize who they were at the time it all happened so fast and I was looking through my camcorder when they stepped into view so I did not see their faces until later when I saw this video!
    My wife’s lover Eric Carlson and his bro Shannon are in law enforcement they work for the Portland police department!
    Eric Carlson was holding a camcorder and his gun in his right hand, and my wife Joan Wagar was holding a gun in her left hand and she covered it up with her shirt and she was recoding with a cellphone in her right hand!
    Shannon was the one with the baseball hat and he was not even trying to hide the fact that they want me dead!
    If I stepped outside they would have me flanked on all sides and they were armed with guns and recoding devices!
    This is how police and county sheriffs in Oregon kill off people!

    This video was taken by me some time in September 2009, I stepped outside to head to a nearby store for a pack of cigarettes and as I passed the apartment my wife’s lover and his bro’s were renting they all broke out laughing and opened their door and a man and woman stepped outside grinning at me and then they embraced in a kiss, and they did all this staged crap three feet from me!
    It was their way of rubbing it in my face that they framed me and that I cannot get help from 911 because no one with a badge cares my wife’s lover the cop was framing me!

    Angrily I charged back into my apartment, grabbed my camcorder, and charged back outside and aimed it at them and charged them with framing me right there to their faces!
    I know damn well these bastards are cops I know damn well they just got done framing me for their crimes and their flaunting the fact in front of my face that they still maintain a presence near my home and they want me to know I cannot get help from police!

    These cops are pedophiles and they paid several children TEN GRAND TO FRAME ME AND I HAVE THEM ON VIDEO ADMITTING TO THAT!
    I am not going to give a damn what they think! these damn cops are poisoners, they were sleeping around with my wife, they gave her permission to poison me to death, they cover up my 911 calls, and they recently paid children TEN GRAND to call me a pedophile!

    Where are the police? their too busy trafficking children to give a damn apparently!

    Here is a news website that reported some of these crimes on their website and they published my wife’s diary, my wife is admitting in her diary that I was ill and was accusing her of poisoning me, she admits I could not get help from police and from hospital, she admits hospital refuse to give me a toxicology test, she names off the poisons she was using, she admits she is a liar and a psycho, and she admits to her affair with a cop and that she wants life insurance money’s, and she admits at the end of her diary that she is poisoning a plasma donor!

    Terry Wagar

  4. terry wagar says:

    Cops caught on video waiting in ambush to shoot poisoned victim!

  5. terry wagar says:

    Police organize crimes all the time and all first responders including paramedics and firefighters and ambulance drivers lie for cops and do not help people cops have it out for!

    Police in plain cloths break into people’s homes and plant evidence to frame people and they even poison people’s foods, and they laugh about it because no doctor will help the victim or even admit that the person was poisoned and will pretend the victim is a drug attic to cover up poisonings!

    Poisonings are the cops favorite way to kill off people because there are no external wounds and because the victim is messed up by poison it is easy for cops to label the victim as mentally ill.

    Anytime people go on sites much like this one and complain about cops there always seems to be a jerk that tells the victim to go back on their meds, that is code/slang cops use to make it known to other officer’s that they want that person poisoned,

    Cops use antifreeze as poison they poison the back of their victims coffee pot using antifreeze, and it messes up a person so badly they cannot talk or walk or function normally, and that’s why cops do it because now they can pretend the victim is drunk or a drug attic and or mentally ill, and there is not a single doctor in the USA that will admit someone was poisoned by cops and will instead label the patient a drug attic and mentally ill on their paperwork!

    This goes on all over the USA and cops and their bro’/whores do this to people all the time, why do you think when you hear about a cop committing a horrible crime there never is an outcry of first responders demanding the cops arrest? because the whole system is a bro system and they ALL cover each others butts even when deaths are involved!

    Cops lie all the time and never go to jail for perjury EVER! THEY NEVER GO,,,,,,,,TO,,,,.,,JAIL,,,,,,FOR,,,,,,PERJURY!

    So cops feel free to lie all they damn well feel like because they suffer NO CONSEQUENCES FOR LYING, AT ALL!

    COPS CONTROL THE JURY POOL SO ANYTIME THEY WANT TO ENSURE A CONVICTION OR ENSURE A ACQUITTAL THEY JUST STACK THE WHOLE DAMN JURY POOL WITH THEIR BRO’S, so it don’t matter who the prosecutors and the defense attorney’s select for any given trial because no matter what COPS control the outcome of ALL TRIALS!

    All prosecutors and all defense attorney’s cover cops butts and defense attorney’s that you hire will trick you into thinking that cops cannot be charged with a felony battery and will tell you all you can do is sue the police for excessive force, and the moment you go along with that and fill out the paperwork you just agreed in writing that the cops are innocent of a felony battery!

    So when it comes to covering cops butts the defense attorney’s job is to trick the battered victim into admitting in writing that it is only a excessive force issue, guess what excessive force claims do not go on the cops criminal record!

    That’s how corrupt your system is and that’s the kind of lengths your system will go to cover cops butts!

  6. Andrina says:

    The courts can hide this animals so call COPS” all they want even the K-9 act more human then this true animals I no longer have respect for cops on 9/28 the brutally beat my two sons while my boys were sitting in the car for no reason even thread to ruin my son career as a Marine those young rookies are a bunch of haters those OFFICERS AND DEPUTIES IN THE OSCEOLA COUNTY SHERIFF are true criminals they deserve what they get and because they know is against the law to beat people they continue to find charges on my son they both end up in hospitals I hope I can justice for both of my sons and all this beast who hurt my children go to JAIL!

  7. ???????1400 says:

    You can nearly always be and so ear-full of methods incredible a coffee coffee maker is the place entering your own good friend’s residence.

  8. jj says:

    Sure, would REALLY love to give you the info of the 2 TPD “officers” who just illegally searched my vehicle and subsequently threatened me with arrest. All over 5 undocumented (because my doctor was IN BED) Adderall pills. Totally standup guys, pulling over 2 girls and searching their car without permission. They HANDCUFFED me, then a good 5 minutes later read me my rights. After that they promised to let me go if I “rolled on” my “supplier” and then continued to ask me where I could get “GRASS” or “COKE” and then let me go based upon the hope that I would supply them with some drug dealer tomorrow. If I do not deliver I am apparently facing criminal charges…..??? They threatened that they know where I live….

    NO BADGE NUMBERS. Nothing. Totally preying off fears and scaring 2 girls who did not know how else to react. What should I do?

  9. Lena says:

    How about officer Ray Gerena who a douche and sleeps around on his so called GF who has no idea he is doing that. I feel sorry for her.

  10. Rochelle Bright says:

    If there is ever a class suit, or any such thing………I was the wife of a physician for 24 years, had had a breakdown, after several deaths and these things were known. I had been suicidal for years, but had healed past that. Because of this neighbors phone call (who didn’t know these bad times were over), she saw my husbands WWII rifle in my house and called the police that she were concerned their was a gun in the house (about a historical wwII Japanese rifle my husband collected). Police came, and in the end, they ran my head down the street, and my knees. They told me they would show me what the did to ‘people like me’. Uh, the one who pays your income? I said nothing. Long and short, I didn’t know they were coming, I had decided to go to mall because my neighbors encounter wss so weird. I got in my car, drove down my long drive did stop and turned on my road. ……Police jumped out of my bushes, I thought they were teenagers that didn’t belong in my neighborhood (no markings no, “hey stop”. They were unmarked and reaching at my car as I entered the road. I was looking in my rearview mirror and during this a car pulled out from behind a bus stop shed, not allowing me time to even know who or what. I hit brakes, gas, breaks, then hit the car. In my mercedes no less. I would never have done this. They threatened me w 4 felonies if I fought them. They beat me, sent me to jail and since they told me that if I didn’t accept the one felony….violence in 2nd degree because your car is a deadly weapon.!!!!! I had no choice, no counsel and now here I am, 4 1/2 mo in jail, my husband divorced me, I was threatened into doing all this. I am a researcher. I cannot work because I cannot go on a University campus. My life has been destroyed……..all because of a fun day or plain day for them. I am ruined, but was told I had to do it. Ugh……………..I can’t work.
    I wish there was a way to do something to report this but since I plead guilt under threat….you hearing this is the only public thing I have ever been able to say. Police brutality is alive and well, not just for minorities. I am a blonde 48 yr old female and was college educated but home w my kids. OMG

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