perjury

What Law Enforcement Calls Justice

Seal of the Philadelphia Police Department.

This is what it gets us:

Currently, the Defender Association of Philadelphia is seeking to have more than 500 convictions involving Officer Christopher Hulmes reopened and tossed out. In 2011, Hulmes admitted to lying in open court in a drug-and-gun case against two black men who claim they were framed. He did so in front of a judge and prosecutor. But he was not charged with perjury until this April ....

Reporter Daniel Denvir brings to Salon reporting he has been working on all year, including an April article for the Philadelphia City Paper explaining:

Last Thursday, District At­torney Seth Williams an­nounced that Phil­adel­phia Police Officer Christopher Hulmes, a narcotics cop who admitted in open court to lying under oath, had been charged with perjury and other offenses.

It only took more than three years.

During that lapse, Hulmes continued to patrol the city’s bustling drug markets and to testify in criminal trials that likely sent many defendants to prison. Some of those convictions could end up being overturned and costing the city in civil settlements.

That Hulmes admitted in 2011 to lying multiple times in a drug-and-gun case is without question. But precisely what he intended to cover up, and why it took an August 2014 City Paper investigation to prompt prosecutors to file charges, is much more complicated.

It always is.

More complicated, that is.

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The Time to Show Your Unequivocal Support for Law Enforcement

Ah, Arizona!

“Sadly, the bloodshed will most likely continue until those in positions of power realize that the unequivocal support of law enforcement is required to preserve our nation.”

Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Debra Milke has been exonerated after spending twenty-two years on death row for apparent police and prosecutorial corruption:

Key to the case’s dismissal was prosecutorial misconduct, mainly that of a detective, Armando Saldate, who said Milke confessed to the crime to him — even though there was no witness or recording.

Prosecutors withheld from the jury Saldate’s personnel record which showed instances of misconduct in other cases, including lying under oath.

The two men with whom Milke was accused of conspiring were tried separately and are still on death row.

(Ahmed and Botelho)

What we have here is an accusation and conviction of murder and conspiracy, based on an apparent lie told by a detective, and prosecutors deliberately working to cover for that lie.

Twenty-two years.

Remember, we owe these law enforcement officials unequivocal support; if we don’t praise their corruption, America will not survive.

At least, that’s what a cop said.

You know, for whatever that is worth.

____________________

WBAL. “Baltimore police union releases statement on NYPD shootings”. WBALTV.com. 21 December 2015.

Ahmed, Saeed and Greg Botelho. “Debra Milke, who spent 22 years on Arizona death row, has murder case tossed”. CNN. 24 March 2015.

Another Case of NYPD Public Relations Heartburn

NYPD-car

There are those who suggest there is no such thing as bad press, but Tinseltown wisdom does not necessarily carry over into other industries. Certes, there is an argument to be made on a case by case basis, but some days other things are clear. To wit, the New York Police Department probably doesn’t need more bad press right now.

Taken individually, the cases seem to be routine examples of differences between the police account of an arrest and that of the person arrested. But taken together, the cases — along with other gun arrests made in the precinct by these officers — suggest a pattern of questionable police conduct and tactics.

Mr. Moore’s case has already been dismissed; a judge questioned the credibility of one of the officers, Detective Gregory Jean-Baptiste, saying he was “extremely evasive” on the witness stand.

Mr. Hooper spent a year in jail awaiting trial, eventually pleading guilty and agreeing to a sentence of time served after the judge in his case called the police version of events “incredible.”

In another example, Lt. Edward Babington, one of the four officers in Mr. Herring’s case, was involved in a federal gun case that was later dismissed and led to a $115,000 settlement. In that case, a federal judge said she believed that the “officers perjured themselves.”

(Clifford)

You know, like that.

____________________

Clifford, Stephanie. “In Brooklyn Gun Cases, Suspicion Turns to the Police”. The New York Times. 11 December 2014.

Something About Justice

Detail of cartoon by Matt Wuerker, 27 November 2014 (via Daily Kos Comics)This is what it comes to. This is the problem. And no, it is not so simple as black and white.

Jenny Durkan, formerly a U.S. Attorney from Seattle, offered some insights recently, in the wake of the Ferguson Grand Jury decision to not charge Officer Darren Wilson with any crimes related to the shooting death of Michael Brown, about why it is hard to secure any sense of justice when police officers have the appearance of being criminals. “I know firsthand,” she writes, “how difficult it is to prosecute police officers.” And then she recounts a really awful period in the history of the Seattle Police Department, a force whose misconduct demanded and received federal attention, a story that is still playing out, a hyperdrama that includes the police complaining that they cannot do their jobs properly and safely without excessive force.

There comes a point at which some might argue that of course the police are going to fight for every last scrap of force, and it really is properly arguable in the context of how the laws of our society operate and intermingle with diverse customs. Trying to identify a threshold between what is tacitly known and accepted—officers can customize their incident reports, omitting or rearranging details as they please to make for a more prosecutable narrative, and the state is allowed to destroy the evidence that would support or contradict those narratives—is an abstraction both peculiar and common. It is customarily inappropriate to speak ill of the police in any terms, which is its own bizarre question insofar as we should not hold our breath for any explanation of just how one applies to become black.

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