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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Police officers MUST carry personal liability insurance NOW!

Read these articles, then YOU decide...

US Police Officers Should Be Required Professional Liability Insurance: Expert

US police officers should be required to carry their own professional liability insurance so that they have personal consequences for their actions, believes Michelle Gross, President of Communities United Against Police Brutality.
WASHINGTON, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - US police officers should be required to carry their own professional liability insurance so that they have personal consequences for their actions, believes Michelle Gross, President of Communities United Against Police Brutality.
"Our organization is working to require police officers to carry their own professional liability insurance, so that officers who engage in brutality and misconduct will have personal consequences for their actions, and so that "repeat offenders" become uninsurable and are forced out of the profession," Gross told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
He explained that the shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, and subsequent uprising in Ferguson had focused renewed attention on the issue of policing, with the community proposing many new solutions.
The issue of policing in the United States is up again after Wednesday's cop-involved shooting in St. Louis, Missouri. African-American teenager Vonderrick Myers was killed by an off-duty white police officer, who also works for a security company. The incident occurred when the officer tried to make a pedestrian check. Myers reportedly ran away, shooting at the officer three times. According to the police, the officer returned the fire fearing for his life.
"This latest fatal shooting by St. Louis police continues a pattern of reckless disregard for the lives of young Black men, and provides yet another example of why police agencies cannot investigate themselves," Gross asserted, noting that an off-duty police officer unleashed a volley of 17 rounds on a young man, although witnesses claim that Myers was carrying only a sandwich.
"Yet, police administration immediately declared the killing justified," Gross pointed out.
"The continued targeting of black youth by police in St. Louis and across the country is an epidemic," Gross stressed. "The US Department of Justice must step in to stem the tide of police-on-black violence as well as police violence against other people of color, the poor and homeless, and mentally disabled."
The officer who shot and killed Myers has been placed on administrative leave, and the investigation is underway.
The killing immediately sparked the protests. One arrest was made, and three police cars were damaged during the unrest.
The death of Myers is the second such incident in St. Louis County since August, when police officer Darren Wilson, also white, shot dead Michael Brown, another 18-year-old African American.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/analysis/20141010/193881823.html#ixzz3SjlG1ef5

Should Minneapolis police officers carry their own insurance?

Members of the group Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) say ‘yes.’  The goal, members say, is to cut down on instances of police misconduct and reduce the amount of money the city of Minneapolis pays out for officer misconduct legal matters.  An MPR News analysis of data from the Minneapolis city attorney’s office show that since 2003, the city has paid out nearly $21 million in police misconduct settlements, judgments and claims.
I spoke with CUAPB member Dave Bicking last month after police chief Janee Harteau announced that the officer involved in the fatal collision with a motorcyclist on May 10 of this year would face no criminal charges or discipline from the incident.  Bicking handed me a flyer spelling out the case for self-insured cops.
“The city could pay the base rate of the insurance premiums, but officers would have to pay any increases in their premiums due to the their personal history. Too many claims or other evidence of risk would cost the officer extra, an effective form of discipline,” reads the flyer. “Consistently brutal cops would become uninsurable, and could therefore not continue on the Minneapolis police force.”
However, some say if police officers become more worried about getting in trouble than capturing bad guys, public safety could suffer.  In 2009 I spoke to attorney Gregg Corwin for a story on police misconduct lawsuits. Corwin often represents officers who get fired or harshly disciplined.
“There’s a joke among officers: ‘You never get fired for just sitting in your car,” said Corwin.
Corwin also said unlike most other city employees, police officers often have to come in physical contact with people who don’t want to be restrained.  Complaints and legal action are just part of the job.
Members of CUAPB are trying to collect 15,000 signatures to put the self-insurance question on the 2014 ballot.  They’re meeting tonight at the Churchill apartment building on Marquette Ave. downtown at 6 p.m. to discuss the petition drive.

The Down and Dirty: What Every Officer Should Know About Insurance and Professional Associations

Categories: Informational
*Disclaimer: We are not legal authorities and any advice provided should be taken as informational only. Do your own research and consult with a professional.*

Despite having insurance to cover law enforcement action, Chris and his family have had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket to cover all of his expenses. He’s had to hire five separate lawyers to handle the wide variety of issues resulting from the incident. In addition to his criminal charges, the deceased’s family brought a civil suit against him for wrongful death, his insurance company sued him for filing a claim on his policy, and he’s had to retain defense and appeals lawyers in both Hawaii and Virginia. Plus, he’s had to pay for numerous flights and housing in both locations for extended periods of time–expensive items that aren’t necessarily covered by insurance.

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Let’s take a few minutes to talk about insurance, lawsuits, and professional associations. Many of you in the law enforcement community may be thinking “that sucks for him, but that’s why I have liability insurance.” Well, it’s not quite that simple. Chris had professional liability insurance and was covered under his renter’s insurance for negligence/wrongful death, and they are actually costing him more money.
When the civil suit was brought against Chris for wrongful death, he filed a claim under his renter’s insurance policy to cover the expense of hiring a civil attorney. The insurance company didn’t want to pay, so they turned around and sued Chris, and he had to hire yet another attorney to fight his own insurance company! His lawyer won that suit, so the insurance company is forced to cover Chris for the wrongful death suit in Hawaii, but this policy is very limited financially. Luckily that case has been stayed and will not proceed until the criminal case is over, but the future costs of the lawsuit are still pending, and the policy will likely not be enough to cover all the expenses.
Professional liability insurance is designed to protect officers from being held personally liable for acting within the scope of their employment. It is recommended for all law enforcement officers due the nature of the job and our overly-litigious society. Over a year after the incident, Chris’ attorneys are still fighting with his professional liability insurance policy to provide coverage. At this point, they have neither declined nor agreed, but even if they do end up covering, the coverage limit of his particular policy will only reimburse up to half of what has already been invoiced by his attorneys. The limit has long been passed, and no future costs will be covered.
This is not to say that you should not have professional liability or any other type of insurance to cover you. If and when Chris’ insurance pays his claim, it’s going to help him out quite a lot–but it still won’t be nearly enough since his case is so complex. Everyone should be insured! Just make sure you’re protected to the fullest extent, know your coverages/exceptions and keep in mind the insurance company may not automatically pay your bills just because you pay theirs.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is the largest federal law enforcement professional association. At the time, Chris wasn’t a member of FLEOA, but he became one after the incident. We can’t say enough about what a difference FLEOA has made for Chris–they have supported him throughout the process, providing legal advice even before he became a member, meeting with his attorneys, writing articles about his case, using it as an example to support the Officer Safety Act of 2012, and they are continuing to lobby on Chris’ behalf. If you’re a federal law enforcement officer, it is in your best interest to join FLEOA.
That’s it for today’s lessons to be learned. We believe these are the kind of things that every officer should be aware of, and unfortunately it took our friend Chris learning the hard way to really hit it home for us. Please donate to help him keep fighting the system so that his case doesn’t set a terrible precedent for the future.
Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and tell everyone you know. Personally, we’re sending an email to every cop we know. We need to spread the word about what’s actually going on just as much as we need to raise money. Every little bit helps, so please pass it on.

READ ABOUT: Little Rock's Newest Corrupt Police Chief Kenton Buckner

16 Responses to "The Down and Dirty: What Every Officer Should Know About Insurance and Professional Associations"

  1. K APosted on January 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    This is extremely informative. Thank you so much for sharing
  2. adminPosted on January 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm
    You’re welcome! We have a few subjects we plan to discuss in future posts, but if you have specific topics you’d like us to cover please let us know.
  3. JAAPosted on February 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    Can’t preach about FLEOA enough…this LEOs prayers are with Chris and his family.
  4. Tin ManPosted on February 9, 2013 at 6:17 am
    Can you share the name of the insurance company fighting to NOT pay his claim? I’d like to contact them and either 1) tell them I’m canceling my policy and going another company (and tell them why), or 2) tell them why I and my friends refuse to use that company.
    And please tell me his renter’s insurance wasn’t with USAA!
    • adminPosted on February 9, 2013 at 6:23 am
      We can tell you that his renter’s policy definitely wasn’t with USAA (he made his claim with Allstate), but we’ll have to get back to you on the professional liability policy.
  5. jackPosted on July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am
    Actually the carrier for the Prof Liab Policy did not receive notice of this until Oct. 18, 2012, almost 1 year after the incident on 11/5/11. The carrier paid the policy limits for defense costs on 1/28/13. The Prof Liab carrier did conduct an investigation that was hampered due to the criminal charges pending. The carrier did not receive the invoices from criminal defense counsel until 1/21/13.
    So once the proof was received (attorney invoices) the carrier cut a check for the limits 1 week later.
  6. MarkPosted on July 14, 2013 at 9:57 pm
    I got an idea. How about not injecting yourself into a situation that doesn’t need your help? How about acting like a federal agent who was brought to Hawaii for APEC and not a cop? How about not letting down your fellow agents and department by engaging in police activity better left to the locals? How about not carrying your weapon while going out to bars and drinking till 2am? You SA Deedy are a fed, not a cop. What made you think you could play cop without actually knowing what you were doing? Was anyone in danger? What was wrong with your phone that you couldn’t call 911and let the real police handle the situation? You acted like George Zimmerman long before George Zimmerman overstepped his mandate. Nice job, so you failed to fulfill your duty as an SA by failing to be a LEO and forgetting the one thing all street cops know, the badge gets you nothing. Respect is earned. Go to jail Chris. I hope you spend the next 30 years behind bars and think about what honor and duty actually mean. Being a bully with a badge is actually worse than being a bully without one.
  7. Xing WongPosted on July 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    Why isn’t CNN covering this — tells any off duty law enforcement not to intervene in any developing situations that they observe
  8. FrankPosted on August 9, 2013 at 11:15 am
    Mark, I’m curious for whom you work. It’s shameful for you to wish prison on Chris for doing what he believed was the right and decent thing. Thank God the world isn’t filled with cowards like you, who’d stand idly by and let others be intimidated and bullied by drunken druggies (I’m sure your loved ones feel very safe knowing you’d quickly call the police if they needed you!). If you’re also a Special Agent, you’re the one who needs a lesson in honor and duty. You should also consider a different profession.
    Chris, keep your head up. We’re behind you.
    • MarkPosted on August 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm
      Nice Frank – name calling and labeling. That about sums up your age too I am sure. You’ll make a nice jack-booted thug for the governemnt to control I am sure. If you even thought about what I wrote for a second I would be surprised. You don’t get it and you never will, instead of learing from Deedy’s example, all you can do is glorify it. He did not do the right thing, he didn’t even do the next to the right thing. He did the wrong thing, displayed immature and poor judgment and now a man is dead. Just because I disagree with you doesn’t make me wrong. I have a different opion, that’s all. Calling someone a coward because they choose to not intervene like an idiot, against department policy is not only the height of ignorance, it’s also very naive. I am guessing you have less than 5 years on as an SA. I never said I wouldn’t have intervened, but I would have don the smart thing; call the actual cops and have been a good accurate and impartial witness instead of confronting someone after drinking alcohol. I learned my lessons about honor and duty, probably when you were in diapers. You apparantly are not far behind Deedy in learing those lessons.
      • FrankPosted on August 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm
        Thank you for your insightful comment. I’m happy to reply this one time, and then you’ll need to troll somewhere else.
        First, you’re wrong about you’re analysis of my time as an Agent. I’ve been with the Government longer than five years. One doesn’t lose their enthusiasm for the job or the desire to help others at the five-year mark, as you alluded to. In fact, one doesn’t need to be on the job long to realize you don’t lose those things until you’re too fat and old to do the job, and you haven’t qualified with your weapon in years. Only you know where you fit into that, but I have my suspicions.
        Second, based on your comment, I’ll assume you don’t know Chris. I’m sure he’d appreciate your personal counsel and mentorship, given your professed experience in the moral and professional high ground. If only we could all be as brave and sensible as you would’ve been in Chris’ place, we’d all be safer and better off. Perhaps you could teach a class at DSTC?
        Third, I’ll say again that I doubt you know anything about duty or honor. But if you were living both of those when I was still in diapers, you’d be well into your sixties and no longer working as a LEO. And given your warped sense of moral obligation and apparent lack of character (yes, just my opinion), do us all a favor and remain in retirement.
        Finally, and most importantly, this is a website dedicated to SUPPORTING Chris Deedy. If you don’t, no worries. But be an ass somewhere else. This site is run by those who care about Chris and hope he’s found innocent. Since that’s not you, post your opinions somewhere where they dont hurt or offend others needlessly.
        • MarkPosted on August 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm
          LoL! Like you’d ever give me the last word on this site. That’s rich. I know you’re type, you have to respond. Your type of FED, “You will respect ma ah-Thor-it-thai!” Too funny. Yes, I am trolling your “support” site. If only to try to inject some reason into your silly delusional idea that Deedy was right. As I’ve said, you don’t get it, you’ll never get it. You can’t even acknowledge that Deedy was even remotely wrong. Here’s a news flash. He.will.never.survive.the.internal.investigation. He violated your policy and for that, he’ll get fired. Furthermore, the Elderts family will crush him in the civil suit. He acted out of the scope of his duties and against the policies of his own department. Why is that so hard to understand for people like you?
          Lets see if you read this(doubt it): I will stipulate that as soon as Elderts attacked Deedy, a properly identified LEO, Chris was 100% in the right. But what you don’t see is Deedy’s actions, right up until then were 100% wrong.
          So unlike you, I’ll stop. You’ve proven my point time and again. That many, of not most federal LEOs have a much over inflated sense of their own purpose. You included. I am sorry I said he should go to jail. Thanks for calling me on that. In reality, I don’t want him to go to jail. Elderts was a piece of shit. No loss to society there. But what I want is justice. Deedy fuked up. Elderts death, while not especially tragic here, could have been avoided. Here’s the lesson: next time it could be someone who wasn’t a racist POS. So an example has to be made. An example of not to do. I am not saying he should not intervened, I am saying discretion is the better part of valor. He did it wrong, despite what you think. Something you and your supposed LE experince has yet to teach you.
          But you’ll never understand that with your misguided sense of proportion, and your name/label calling. I am not trying to hurt or offend anyone, but you have no idea who I am or what I do. You obviously work for DSS and Deedy is your friend. So you are supporting your friend, I’ll respect that. He needs your help. But this is an open site, anyone can post. I suggest if you just want a circle jerk you make this a closed site.
          Can’t wait to see your response. I am sure it will be as professional as your previous ones.
      • READ ABOUT: Little Rock's Newest Corrupt Police Chief Kenton Buckner

    • Police Professional Liability

      Why do I need this policy when the city or county I work for already has a general liability policy?

      You may need coverage because the potential exists for personal responsibility for certain activities you may engage in. This liability is not properly covered by a general liability policy. It is not designed to replace them.

      The balance of rights between the lawbreaker and the law has changed. Courts have made it easier for criminals and suspects to bring suits against law enforcement and criminal justice personnel. Awards have skyrocketed and the courts have recognized extended liability of the defendants' superiors, including the mayor, municipal manager and executives. To make matters worse, the number of suits has increased dramatically. While many cases do not result in settlements or judgements, all have to be defended. At the price of litigation today, this can be devastating to municipal budgets.

      Another threat to law enforcement personnel is the lack of specialized experience on the part of legal counsel once a suit has been filed. Because it is also in our interest to minimize the number of judgments brought against our policyholders, we provide quailified defense attorneys. However, we do welcome your recommendations of local counsel.

      New legal interpretations and liberalizations of the Civil Rights Act have left the field of liability wide open.

      Often times, charges don't stop with the officer and neither does our Law Enforcement Liability protection. If you don't know about VICARIOUS LIABILITY and how court rulings have changed, you'd better find out now! If you go to court, the average defense cost is $10,000, it is not uncommon for defense costs to exceed $10,000 whether you're held liable or not. So even if you win, you lose. Our liability program is designed to protect you against vicarious liability charges.

      The customary complaint is failure to adequately train subordinates, but vicarous liability can also include hiring (Did you weed out the unfit?), failure to direct (Do you have a written manual of policies and procedures?), negligent assignment (Was a subordinate unsuitable for the assignment?), negligent retention (Why wasn't this person fired some time ago?) and negligent entrustment (Did you properly supervise "off-duty" officers where they used a gun, car, night stick or other property belonging to the governmental agency?).

      There are more facets to vicarious liability than you can imagine and new exposures will be continuallly created. It doesn't make sense to face the potential loss of income and even financial ruin from known exposures that can be covered. Consult with your attorney.

    • READ ABOUT: Little Rock's Newest Corrupt Police Chief Kenton Buckner

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