This is just the beginning of ending this mess. I do not believe for one second the claim by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Aza that they can locate any child in five minutes! They have NO IDEA where some of them are.
The problem with tRump immigration law enforcement is that they have no priorities – i. e. focus on the dangerous criminals. They lock up everybody, thus further endangering us by wasting resources which should be used to get the bad guys, not the Mom and Dad with 3 kids, who are working hard, paying taxes, and supporting their family!
READ ALSO: 17 states sue to force Trump administration to reunite migrant families separated at border. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-states-lawsuit-family-separations-20180626-story.html
Excerpts from the Article:
The Trump administration has 30 days to reunite migrant families split up by immigration authorities, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, in a rebuke that blocked the administration from continuing the widely reviled practice. The injunction signed by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw temporarily blocks family separations while a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union continues, and requires the government to put together a plan to expedite reunifications. For children younger than 5 years old, the government has only 14 days to put them back into the care of their parents.
Sabraw described the confusion surrounding the family separation policy, the lack of an established process to reunite parents with their children and last week’s hastily crafted executive order substituting family separations with large-scale family detention as “reactive governance” designed to “address a chaotic circumstance of the Government’s own making.”
Under the terms of the injunction, the Justice Department may still prosecute parents on immigration charges when they arrive in the U.S. with their children. But the children may only remain separated for the brief time that their parents appear before a federal judge to face those charges and serve the sentences, which typically run for only a few days. The government may not continue to send the children to shelters hundreds of miles away from their parents.
“This ruling is an enormous victory for parents and children who thought they may never see each other again,” Lee Gelernt, the ACLU lawyer who argued the case, said in a statement. “Tears will be flowing in detention centers across the country when the families learn they will be reunited.”
The ACLU and other immigrant rights advocates say the executive order leaves the Trump administration with far too much discretion to keep splitting up families, and that families already separated aren’t being reunited quickly enough. Last week, the ACLU asked a judge to take urgent action to block the government from separating migrant families and to implement a plan to reunite those already split up within 30 days.
Although the Trump administration has claimed it’s reunifying families, it’s only doing so if the parents agree to be deported, according to reports. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Congress on Tuesday that the government will only reunite children with their parents in detention if federal law changes so they can be detained long-term.
Separately, 18 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to block family separations at the border, arguing that the practice violates parents’ due process rights and is an “irrationally discriminatory” policy because it applies only to the U.S. southwest border and largely affects people from Latin America.
Read the Whole Story:
His cabinet heads are not the only morons working for tRump. His legal team is also full of Bozos. Look at Sessions himself, a legal dunce!
Since this ruling other courts have declared that the federal government cannot withhold funds from cities who refuse to cooperate, as they had threatened to do.
From what country did YOUR ancestors come to America seeking opportunity?
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration cannot cut off grants to Philadelphia over the way the city deals with immigrants in the country illegally. U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson said in his ruling that the conditions the federal government placed on the city in order to receive the funding are unconstitutional, “arbitrary and capricious.” He also wrote that Philadelphia’s policies are reasonable and appropriate.
Philadelphia has said it will turn over immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement only if the agency has a warrant signed by a judge.
The federal requirements included allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers access to prisons to interview people of interest, providing advanced notice of release of those people and following rules prohibiting restrictions on disclosure of any person’s immigration status.
“The public statements of President (Donald) Trump and Attorney General (Jeff) Sessions, asserting that immigrants commit more crimes than native-born citizens, are inaccurate as applied to Philadelphia, and do not justify the imposition of these three conditions,” Baylson wrote.
The city had said that the requirements on federal grant spending were unconstitutional and that following them would promote a perception in the community that it was serving as an arm of federal immigration enforcement. City attorneys had argued that would create a barrier for immigrants to seek out city services ranging from health care to calling the police when they’re victimized.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called the ruling a “total and complete victory,” adding that he believed Trump was being a bully and that attaching the conditions to the grant money was equivalent to a “political shakedown.” Kenney, who was seen dancing outside his office after the decision earlier Wednesday, said the issue of being a “welcoming city” was personal for him coming from a family of Irish immigrants.
“If this was Irish immigration now, I might have been in a detention center right now, or my kids might have been taken away from me,” he said.
A federal appeals court in April sided with Chicago in a similar dispute.
When I was learning the basics in law school – ’71 to ’73, never thinking I would become a “whiz bang” trial lawyer and then a fighter for underdogs, I joined the ACLU. At the time, many thought the ACLU was “a bunch of left wing nuts”. But the ACLU really has nothing to do with politics. They are a well organized, well funded, well lead group of attorneys and others who safeguard YOUR rights every day!
Whether you are a “gun nut”, for more gun control, black, white, brown, male, female, healthy or mentally ill, young or old, fat or fit, hated or loved my many, the ACLU champions the precious rights which too many Americans take for granted!
In most countries, you cannot call the president “a dim-witted bumbling baboon” and expect to live or expect not be imprisoned.
In most countries, if you have been seriously harmed by ignorant prejudice, and you have do not have the resources to address it, you are S O L! It is the ACLU which, more than any other organization, protects the rights of everyone every day!
LEARN about the ACLU! = https://www.aclu.org/
Lovin’ doin’ what I do!
Arizona police release video showing them beating unarmed black man, claiming they ‘wanted him to sit down’
Just when you thought it was safe to go into your local police station or to dial 911 for police help …
WHEN will police learn to use “”reasonable force” when force is required, and that they cannot beat the hell out of anyone just because he does not sit down when they tell him to!
And listen to this crap from the police union:
Excerpts from the Article: “The Mesa Police Association feels it is grossly inappropriate to release a portion of video with no audio that does not include the full context of the encounter,” a statement from the association said. “Furthermore, we don’t understand why video is being released when an internal investigation has not been completed. It is important to understand that any use of force, when viewed, is difficult to watch and never looks “good.”
You know what I say to them:
Excerpts from the Article:
Police in Mesa, Arizona have released a video showing officers beating an unarmed black man at an apartment complex in what advocates on the man’s behalf say shows a “culture of violence” at the department. The video shows four officers approach a man later identified as 35-year-old Robert Johnson near an elevator at an apartment complex, while Mr Johnson is leaned up against the wall using his phone. Three of these officers then begin hitting Mr Johnson — kicking and punching him in the head and elsewhere — until Mr Johnson appears to lose consciousness.
Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista told local news that he had placed the four officers on administrative leave, and that his department would reassess their policies towards the use of force. “It is disappointing because this isn’t the way I see the people that I work with and the community that we serve,” Mr Batista said.
Police say that Mr Johnson was at the apartment complex with a friend, who had attempted to enter the apartment of his ex-girlfriend. The girlfriend called police, who then beat Mr Johnson.
The video — which was captured last month — was first discovered by Mr Johnson’s pastor, Andre Miller, who went to the apartment complex after the incident. Police say that the beating was initiated after Mr Johnson refused to comply with an order to sit down, though the video does not have audio to corroborate that claim.
Mr Johnson is originally from Chicago, where he was once employed as a fire fighter, and is currently looking for work in Arizona. The morning after the incident with police, he was set to have a job interview, but missed that opportunity because he had spent the night in jail following the beating.
Mr Miller described Mr Johnson as a “family man” with a child on the way to The Independent, and said that the incident shows a clear instance of excessive force that sent an innocent man to the hospital. Because he is unemployed, he said, Mr Johnson will likely have to pay for medical bills out of his own pocket.
“He did go to the hospital. He’s going to have some continuing treatment because a lot of the physical scars that he had — those will eventually subside, but this has been very traumatic for him mentally, emotionally,” Mr Miller said. “He’s not sleeping, he’s constantly complaining of back pains, neck pains.”
“The Mesa Police Association feels it is grossly inappropriate to release a portion of video with no audio that does not include the full context of the encounter,” a statement from the association said. “Furthermore, we don’t understand why video is being released when an internal investigation has not been completed. It is important to understand that any use of force, when viewed, is difficult to watch and never looks “good.”
For every 1 person arrested, 29 people benefit financially. When you see an article like this you see why there are extremely large groups – prison guard unions, police unions, private prisons, millions who have contracts with prisons and states for various “programs” – most of whom are not helping anyone – SPENDING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO OPPOSE NEEDED REFORMS. IT IS JOB PROTECTION.
When we realize that about 1/3 of all perpetrators are children under the age of 18, we know that this is a major concern. It is sad that only one state mandates special training for police in dealing with youths, especially when we so many false confessions and other convictions of innocent youth. This excellent article identifies the problems and offers solutions.
Read also: Ken’s Article on Police Training
Excerpts from the Article:
While considerable progress has been made among law enforcement to treat young victims differently, too many police and prosecutors still fail to recognize that in the delinquency setting, young children do not perceive, process and experience the world as adults do and also need to be treated differently. Just as the medical profession has created pediatrics and adolescent medicine to address the unique needs of these age groups, law enforcement agencies need to train and guide law enforcement officials to handle cases with youth with the skills, resources and information necessary to avoid results leading to severe miscarriages of justice resulting in traumatic impacts.
This was made clear by a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in B.R., et al. v. McGivern, et al.. In her concurring opinion, Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch wisely concluded, “This case presents an opportunity to consider alternate methods of addressing the problems that children, growing up in today’s world, experience or cause. To the extent that these issues continue to be addressed in the criminal justice system, it is of unquestionable importance that law enforcement officers receive proper training and support in how to understand and interact with children — whether they are accusers or the accused — in a way that recognizes the unique needs and vulnerabilities of children.”
In this case, police and the prosecutor were sued by the parents of a preteen whose claims included malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failure to adequately train officers. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, including a police detective, the police department where he was employed and the prosecutor involved in the case.
B.R. faced rape charges based on accusations of three other preteen girls. The charges were dismissed with prejudice by the delinquency court, but only after B.R. had spent considerable time under house arrest and in detention. B.R. could have been spared much anxiety had law enforcement and prosecutors been trained to use developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed approaches to policing youth.
The court’s decision, while critical of the conduct of law enforcement officers and the agency’s failure to create train officers for such cases, tacitly condoned the continued absence of policies, practices and training for law enforcement and prosecutors involved in cases of children, preteens, teens and sexual behavior.
The result of these systemic deficiencies was, the court acknowledged, a “terrible tragedy.” But the court added insult to injury when it granted qualified immunity for the defendants, while finding the city was not liable for “regularly assign[ing] officers to investigate juvenile sexual misconduct without proper training.” The court’s decision compounded systemic shortcomings by sidestepping an opportunity to require law enforcement to conform with national standards of care and act to recognize that children must be treated with special skill to avoid violating their constitutional rights.
It is worth describing in some detail how the investigation proceeded in B.R.’s case to demonstrate how a “adultified” approach led to this adulterated result. The plaintiff, a 10-year-old, was charged with raping and sodomizing three somewhat older girls at sleepovers. The accusers were given a special interview by a child welfare worker; the accused was not. The accused child’s parents’ disclosures about how she had been repeatedly bullied, threatened by one of the accusers on Facebook (which the officers did not investigate), and that notwithstanding the claims of rape, all three accusers were planning to attend an upcoming sleepover at the accused’s home, did not stir the officers’ doubts.
In the majority opinion, the court asked: “Could the officers have been more thorough in their investigation? Without question. Could they have, for instance, asked more detailed questions [of the accusers] during the second interviews [where the girls began recanting]? Absolutely.”
In her concurring opinion, Stranch was even more critical of police procedures. Describing the investigation as “artificially rushed,” she noted that it was conducted by officers who were “seemingly unprepared to handle the complex task of investigating allegations of sexual assault made by and against children.” The probable cause determination leading to the arrest of the accused child was “the fruit of an investigation that was inappropriately hurried and lacked necessary grounding in how to deal with children,” she noted.
A higher standard of care — one that is developmentally and trauma-informed—is necessary to avoid violating youth’s constitutional rights. The U.S. Supreme Court put juvenile courts and law enforcement on notice in Roper v. Simmons or J.D.B. v. North Carolina by giving judicial recognition to the science demonstrating that youths’ brains are not yet fully matured until their mid-20s and by directing juvenile justice system stakeholders to treat youth differently at all stages of processing, starting with investigations and interviews. The court could have directed a change in police training, policies and practices. Instead, it offered only nonprescriptive suggestions, a mere slap on the wrist.
This case reinforces what many courts, attorneys, youth advocates, families, social workers and parents have known for a long time: preteens must be treated differently than adults when they offer narratives, accusations and assertions about how the world works. For instance, while there is no consensus baseline data on the absolute extent of child-on-child offending, according to the Younique Foundation: “One uncomfortable fact about child sexual abuse is that about 1/3 of all perpetrators are children under the age of 18, which means that child on child sexual abuse is a difficult reality that must be addressed.” This statistic alone underscores the need for developmentally appropriate training of police officers.
B.R. v. McGivern is only the most recent example of the danger of untrained law enforcement personnel lacking guidance and skills for interviewing and interrogating children. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) issued a report, “Reducing Risk: An Executive’s Guide to Effective Juvenile Interviewing and Interrogation,” because it recognized that the frequency of false confessions of youth interviewed while in police custody resulted from practice and policy that “does not cover the developmental differences between adults and youth nor does it cover recommended techniques to be used on youth versus adults.”
The IACP has gone further, working with public defenders, psychologists and linguists to develop and promote Miranda questions and waivers that use a sixth-grade vocabulary and a process for officers to use to ensure a child’s comprehension of their rights. The necessity of law enforcement to revise its policies and processes were demonstrated recently in a study, “The Comprehensibility and Content of Juvenile Miranda Warnings.” It demonstrated that, of the Miranda policies in 122 police departments across the country, “[e]ven under the best of circumstances, preteen suspects are likely to find Miranda vocabulary and reading levels are far beyond their understanding.”
Presently, only Connecticut statutorily requires officers to be trained in using developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed approaches to policing youth. In its 2013 report, “If Not Now, When? A Nationwide Survey of Juvenile Justice Training in the Nation’s Police Academies,” Strategies for Youth found that officers at the academy level spend, on average, less than 1 percent of their time learning how to police youth.
Only eight states reported that they train officers how to understand mental health needs of youth. The report found no training academy that trained recruits to Mirandize, interview or interrogate youth in a developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed manner that would comport with the 2011 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in J.D.B. v. North Carolina.
The decentralized model of policing means that each law enforcement agency creates its own policies, theoretically aligned with their respective state’s statutes and case law. Unfortunately, states do not take responsibility for ensuring that appropriate policies exist and are followed, and whether they have been updated to reflect the law and best practices. The absence of state oversight mechanisms in a decentralized law enforcement system necessarily makes litigation the principal way of reforming practices and policies. Unfortunately, as the B.R. case demonstrates, litigation is sometimes too limited a strategy for yielding systemic change.
Without state-sponsored statutory or regulatory oversight mechanisms, there are few incentives to ensure that law enforcement practices for young children will change quickly. And that’s tragic.
Lisa H. Thurau, Esq. is executive director of Strategies for Youth, a policy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions through community engagement, police training, and outreach programs for youth. Contact her at email@example.com or 617-714-3789.
IF I WERE A CARPENTER
If I were a carpenter, first I’d use my saw,
To cut in half all prosecutors who violate the law,
Then I’d use my screwdriver to remove most politicians who make laws,
For their lack of understanding of the solutions to injustice are a tremendous cause,
Of suffering and unfairness and a justice system run amok,
When dealing with the courts too many need to just pray for good luck,
For Mr. A who commits crime x, may get a sentence of only probation,
While Mr. B who commits crime x, may get a long prison term, causing consternation,
A level could be used to make the system flat and fair, free of racism,
So pervasive that it is a very major disgrace … ism!
With my chisel, I would chisel away all unfair sentencing decrees,
Making them all fair, as far as the eye can see,
My plane would scrape off all vestiges of laws which do not work,
For the politicians never will; they are such a bunch of jerks,
My ruler would constantly measure the performance of judges, make them fair,
And those not measuring up, I would nail, nail, nail, holding them accountable everywhere,
With my hammer, its use would be quite easy,
I’d hammer fairness into everyone involved, and hammer out the sleazy,
But I am not a carpenter; I am an advocate and writer,
So, I shall just continue to be a very forceful fighter.
Police abuse affects more than just the abused individuals, does more harm than just further eroding trust in the police. In every state, it costs YOU, the tax payer, thousands of dollars. YOU pay for their defense, and eventually, any jury award or settlement. And then, in some states, like New Jersey and Ohio, you pay all over again as bad cops bounce from department to department. READ also: The ‘Office Shuffle’: Ohio Police Recycle Bad Apples Among Rural Departments – How many other states? kra
Speak out against it. Here is how:
Excerpts from the Article:
Local governments in New Jersey have had to pay out more than $42 million over the last 10 years because of police criminality and abuse, according to a new series of investigative reports by the Asbury Park Press. The report found at least 19 deaths, 131 injuries, and seven sexual assaults that resulted in settlement payouts in New Jersey. Many of the officers involved remain on duty.
The report also reveals systemic failures that have contributed to a lack of accountability of police officers. Weak oversight and accountability mechanisms that contribute to cursory investigations or instances of obvious conflicts of interest arise, such as the handling of a brutality complaint against Atlantic City officer Andrew Jaques, who had his case investigated by his uncle.
A lack of statewide authority on professional standards allows problem cops to bounce among the state’s 466 local departments. In other parts of the U.S., a domestic violence arrest, a sustained misconduct allegation, or a failed psych exam might lead to an officer being decertified to work in law enforcement, state-wide. Not so in Jersey, where in addition to cash payouts, settlements with terminated officers often include agreements not to disclose disciplinary histories or misconduct allegations to other departments where the officer might seek employment.
Another contributing factor to the lack of police accountability is the practice of settling claims with taxpayer money, rather than challenging protective laws and police unions willing to spend substantial amounts on litigation. Additionally, cops facing termination can sue to keep or regain their jobs, imposing significant costs on the jurisdictions trying to get rid of them. “In scores of lawsuits, the pattern is the same,” the newspaper notes. “Towns routinely take the path of least resistance, at taxpayer expense, to minimize their liability…. Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent, nobody admits wrongdoing and officers accused of misconduct often remain in place.”
The ‘Office Shuffle’: Ohio Police Recycle Bad Apples Among Rural Departments – How many other states? kra
UPDATED 5/25/18 READ also: $42 Million Paid Out in Decade of New Jersey Police Criminality, Abuse – YOUR money! kra
This is alarming, and should not be happening. Once a really bad cop has shown his colors, he should be barred from ever working as a police officer again; he has betrayed the public trust. Perhaps there should be a national law on this.
We can only wonder to what extent this very dangerous practice goes on nationwide.
Of course, part of this problem is that so many police officers have made the headlines as a “bad cop”, that it is extremely difficult for police departments to attract good candidates.
Excerpts from the Article:
An Ohio police officer who resigns under a cloud of pending disciplinary action or who is fired may not have reached the end of a law enforcement career. In some Ohio towns, employment as a police officer in another department is just down the road.
WCPO Cincinnati collected disciplinary records from 40 police departments in the Tri-State area and discovered that police officers who resign rather than face severe disciplinary action or termination are being hired by other police departments. Often the new department is lax on checking prior employment history and does not know about the previous disciplinary issues. Unfortunately, some of the officers continue the same practices that forced them out of their previous jobs.
WCPO found that some departments fail to do even the most basic of background checks. That’s what happened when the New Miami Police Department hired Joe Redmond, who avoided criminal charges by resigning his post as a Colerain Township police sergeant after he improperly used Ohio’s Law Enforcement Automated Data System (“LEADS”) to access information about his then-fiancée and a man who was dating one of his co-workers with whom he was also involved. That was criminal unauthorized use of the computer system. The co-worker claimed Redmond also followed her home, repeatedly stopped by her home, and drove by the other man’s home while on duty. The department let him resign in lieu of filing criminal charges.
Only after he hired Redmond did New Miami Police Chief Danny Gilbert discover that Redmond was subject to a lifetime suspension from LEADS. In his request to reinstate Redmond’s access, Gilbert wrote, “I have been in law enforcement for 32 years and consider myself a strong judge of a person’s character and honesty.” System administrators decided to reinstate Redmond’s LEADS access but warned that New Miami would be liable for any misuse. Less than a year later, another former fiancée complained that Redmond had used LEADS to gain information about her. New Miami fired Redmond soon thereafter.
Jacob Goodwin resigned as a Village of Newton police officer about a year after he started work there. He had been told that multiple pending disciplinary actions would result in his termination. The last one involved a woman discovering Goodwin in her home in the middle of the night. He was given the opportunity to resign rather than being fired. He was soon hired by the Aberdeen Police Department but resigned after about a year for unspecified reasons.
Goodwin was then hired by the Elmwood Place Police Department and continued his pattern of poor decision making and receiving complaints. Two years later, he was fired after he was found going in and out of consciousness on duty at the police department and refused to submit a urine sample. About a year later, he was arrested for six counts of aggravated robbery and seven counts of robbery.
Elmwood Place police officer Justin Habig received more complaints than any other officer. In one week alone, he received four complaints—the number most officers amass over the course of two or more years. He reportedly harassed and threatened to shoot people from vehicles he had stopped. A woman complained that he repeatedly kicked her, then shoved her into a police car when she was six and a half months pregnant. Finally, after less than two years with the department, he was fired for “unsatisfactory performance.” Habig’s law enforcement career was far from over. He got a position with the Addyston Police Department and then the Cleves Police Department.
“Some researchers refer to this as the ‘officer shuffle,’ moving them from one agency to another after getting in trouble,” according to Phil Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University. “It’s a problem.” Stinson explained that many smaller police departments cannot afford to send a recruit to a police academy. Instead, they have to hire people who are already certified peace officers. “As a result, you do provide opportunities for people who have washed out from one agency to be hired in other places,” said Stinson.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine argues that police officers should be required to turn in their peace officer certificate when fired or allowed to resign in lieu of disciplinary action. He also suggests that the state create and maintain a database documenting sustained police misconduct as a way to reduce officer shuffle. However, he did not say he has any plan to implement either suggestion. So Ohio will just have to contend with the shuffle of bad officers between rural police departments, and that puts residents at risk.
New York Times Investigation Spotlights NYPD Practice of ‘Testilying’ – It’s Called “Perjury” or “Filing a False Report”, a Crime! – kra
I have written many articles about perjury by police, a real epidemic. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.” Bullshit! That is perjury. Besides the obvious most awful consequence of having innocent people convicted, this article points out the other more subtle but terrible consequences to the system and society.
READ Rush to Sentence: http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/rush-to-sentence-a-major-awful-consequence-of-our-war-on-drugs/
Excerpts from the Article:
An extensive New York Times investigation of the New York Police Department has uncovered that “at least 25 instances were found where judges or prosecutors reportedly determined that a cop’s testimony was likely untrue or embellished” since January 2015. It’s what observers commonly refer to as “testilying.” According to NYPD Officer Pedro Serrano: “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.”
Officers take advantage of the fact that such a high percentage of criminal cases, especially with indigent defendants, generally end with a negotiated plea rather than a trial. As a result, many of the exaggerations and false statements are never subject to cross-examination and exposure, and the conduct carries over into the next case. However, the practice consists of more than just stretching the truth—it often crosses over into the more insidious practice of planting evidence, manufacturing testimony, and falsifying lineups.
The deceptive practices are taking place in an era when a majority of people have cellphone cameras, and few arrests or police encounters are not subject to some form of video recording. The widespread use of surveillance video on private and public premises, not to mention dashcam video and bodycams, also complicates the concealment of police misconduct.
Nonetheless, one Brooklyn officer told the Times, “There’s no fear of being caught. You’re not going to go to trial and nobody is going to be cross-examined.” Lawrence Byrne, a legal spokesman for the NYPD, maintains that, “it’s harder for a cop to lie today. There is virtually no enforcement encounter where there isn’t immediate video of what the officers are doing,” he said, saying that it’s a product of a “bygone era.” Or is it?
Despite the assertions of Byrne that, “Our goal is always, always zero,” of the “testilying” instances, it appears to still happen on an all-too-regular basis. The Times uncovered numerous instances where police officers embellished testimony or planted drugs or weapons on innocent individuals, and then lied about it.
In most instances where police are caught engaging in misconduct, prosecutors dismiss the charges and seek to seal the case. The Times reports that these summary dispositions of tainted cases make the tracking of police misconduct almost impossible, but the result of this misconduct is substantial. Ethics-challenged cops leave in their wake dozens of innocent individuals whose lives have been turned upside-down by the expense and life disruptions caused by defending themselves in court.
These instances of misconduct have other unfortunate effects on the criminal justice system. According to the Times, “Police lying raises the likelihood that the innocent end up in jail—and that as juries and judges come to regard the police as less credible, or as cases are dismissed when the lies are discovered, the guilty will go free. Police falsehoods also impede judges’ efforts to enforce constitutional limits on police searches and seizures.”
The Times found that officers lied not only to attempt to “tip the scales of justice” toward guilt, but also to defeat the “exclusionary rule” that mandates that illegally seized evidence be excluded from consideration in a criminal case. Recently, however, there have been cases in which NYPD officers have paid a price for their falsehoods.
According to the Times, “Earlier this month, two veteran NYPD detectives were indicted on charges of official misconduct and filing false paperwork for lying about a drug deal that went down in Queens.” A Brooklyn detective also was indicted on federal perjury charges, accused of attempting to “conceal the fact that he had falsified documentation” related to the photo lineups.
Another Brooklyn officer, speaking anonymously, said: “You’re either a ‘lie guy’ or you’re not” and that he had been pressed to embellish the facts of drug arrests and manufacturing “probable cause” to avoid the arrests being dismissed in a suppression hearing.
The question we should all ask ourselves is whether the misconduct of NYPD officers is unique to that city, or whether it is, in fact, engrained in the DNA of police departments in other cities and jurisdictions as well. It is certainly a question that deserves to be answered.