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Cops Lie: Falsifying Traffic Stops Edition

from the citizens-paying-for-the-dubious-privilege-of-being-lied-to dept

Cops lie. It’s a press release extra factual than statements cops — the individuals given the most important advantage of a doubt in “your word against mine” courtroom showdowns — are likely to make when testifying or filling out reviews.

Here’s the newest instance of cops mendacity. And it’s solely one among a number of.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who confronted a number of misdemeanor fees amid allegations of falsifying visitors cease reviews has pleaded responsible.

That could be Sgt. Zachary Czerniewski, a 10-year veteran who had been promoted twice earlier than admitting to altering visitors cease reviews to change the race of drivers (from black to white), and canopy up warrantless searches of automobiles. The former alterations seemingly stemmed from earlier self-discipline the trooper had acquired for “stopping a disproportionate amount of minorities.” The trooper was allowed to resign.

This trooper is simply one of many Thin Blue Line guys. Cops lie on a regular basis about essentially the most primary perform of regulation enforcement: stops of people and/or automobiles.

Here’s a report about Norwalk, Connecticut cop from February:

[Norwalk police] ran an audit and made an odd discovery. Traffic Division Officer Edgar Gonzalez had entered a number of warning tickets into the system, all for out-of-state motorists, with out ever precise stopping the drivers.

Norwalk police mentioned they don’t understand how Gonzalez obtained the names of the drivers he allegedly entered into the system, or why these specific drivers had been chosen.

Gonzalez additionally resigned whereas below investigation. He can be dealing with felony fees.

From 2017:

Five Arlington law enforcement officials who had been accused of falsifying visitors stops have surrendered their state peace officer licenses to dodge felony fees.

The officers had been indicted Friday, information present, however fees of tampering with authorities information have been dismissed. Eleven different officers additionally gave up their licenses so their circumstances wouldn’t go to a grand jury, mentioned Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district lawyer’s workplace.

Dace Warren, 46, confronted 15 counts;  Christopher John Dockery, 32, confronted 14 counts; and Dane Alan Peterson, 33, confronted 10 counts. Brandon Christopher Jones, 33, and Christopher Michael McCright, 47, every confronted 5 counts. The offenses had been alleged to have occurred within the first half of 2016, based on the indictments.

[…]

In May, the Arlington Police Department introduced that it had suspended 15 officers after an inner audit discovered proof of phony visitors stops. A sixteenth officer was placed on depart later.

That’s a fairly (un)wholesome focus of mendacity cops. And, once more, most had been allowed to keep away from felony fees or license revocation by resigning whereas below investigation.

From 2020, right here’s some LAPD officers making the native gang database even shittier, elevating the variety of officers accused of falsifying info on in-person stops to twenty:

Three Los Angeles law enforcement officials had been charged Friday with falsifying information and obstructing justice by claiming with out proof that individuals they stopped had been gang members or associates, Los Angeles prosecutors introduced Friday.

Why do they do that? Well, first: it’s simple to do. Lots of stops occur. Very few are audited. Second, it helps officers obtain the ends they want, whether or not it’s too look much less bigoted or to make sure a gentle stream of meaningless work by filling crime databases with junk knowledge.

In different circumstances, it’s merely to cowl up wrongdoing.

Two New Jersey law enforcement officials had been discovered responsible of tampering and different official misconduct Thursday in a June 2012 visitors cease on the Garden State Parkway.

Essex County prosecutors mentioned dashcam video disproved Bloomfield officers Sean Courter and Orlando Trinidad’s claims that Marcus Jeter tried to seize Courter’s gun and hit Trinidad. The footage reveals Jeter holding his palms up in his automobile and yelling out “I did nothing wrong!” as officers pull him out of an SUV and cuff him.

An identical scenario, this time on the opposite facet of the nation:

Former LMPD officer Matt Dages has pleaded not responsible to falsifying a report within the arrest of Amaurie Johnson close to the Grossmont trolley station on May 27, 2020.

Dages, a three-year veteran of the pressure, accused Johnson of smoking on the trolley platform, resulting in a confrontation between the 2 males. In bystander video and body-worn digicam footage launched throughout an investigation, Dages will be seen pushing Johnson to take a seat earlier than his arrest on fees of resisting and assaulting an officer.

[…]

Eventually, fees had been dropped in opposition to Johnson and a cost was as an alternative filed in opposition to Dages for falsifying a police report. District Attorney Summer Stephan mentioned Dages mischaracterized Johnson’s actions that day.

Sometimes the falsification of reviews serves to straight enrich officers.

Two former Rohnert Park law enforcement officials are dealing with federal corruption fees of conspiracy, extortion, falsification of information and tax evasion, all tied to an alleged years-long scheme to drag over and rob individuals of money and marijuana.

Brendon Jacy Tatum and Joseph Huffaker had been assigned to Rohnert Park’s drug interdiction workforce at varied instances between 2015 and 2017, based on a federal felony criticism unsealed Friday.

Sometimes it seems to be nothing greater than laziness.

A Delaware state trooper who acquired a number of visitors commendations has been indicted in a fraudulent visitors warning scheme during which at the least two of his victims had been fellow regulation enforcement officers, the Delaware Department of Justice introduced Tuesday.

Cpl. Edwin Ramirez, who was stationed at Troop 9, was charged with misdemeanor and felony tampering with public information; issuing a false certificates, a felony; and official misconduct, a misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces as much as 9 years in jail.

[…]

As state police continued to analyze, they discovered that in April alone, Ramirez issued greater than 30 fraudulent warnings, based on the Justice Department. In some circumstances, motorists weren’t knowledgeable of the warnings.

In different situations, prosecutors mentioned, the visitors cease by no means occurred. 

Here’s a false report that was undermined by surveillance footage captured by a close-by house owner’s digicam. Here are two Philly cops being busted for writing a bogus report back to justify their suspicionless cease of a metropolis resident. Over in Florida, two extra cops are caught handing out faux tickets, together with 24 to the identical driver. A California police officer was indicted for performing bogus visitors stops to rob drug sellers of cash… on the behest of different drug sellers. Here’s a cop who was fired for masking up his assaults of residents by writing false reviews.

More knowledge factors: An officer who lied typically sufficient had 14 of his circumstances tossed. Two extra officers from California indicted for bogus police reviews.

It’s not an epidemic. But it’s additionally simply the tip of the iceberg. This is just a few of the notable signs of regulation enforcement rot. These are simply a few of those that have been caught and disciplined. Others have been caught and their punishment — what there’s of it — have flown below the press radar. Others won’t ever face punishment for his or her actions as a result of their violations haven’t been egregious sufficient.

But this kind of habits doesn’t come up in a vacuum. This occurs as a result of officers really feel comfy doing it. They really feel assured their fellow officers will say nothing about it. And they really feel assured the implications will most probably be minimal. Even those that have been indicted or convicted resigned throughout investigations to keep away from having a firing on their document or, in some circumstances, to keep away from having their regulation enforcement certification stripped.

As police accountability efforts transfer ahead, we’ll see extra of this. If these efforts will be sustained, we hopefully, in some unspecified time in the future, will see reviews of this habits lower. But, in the meanwhile, we’re caught within the center. We’re years away from higher policing. And we’re nonetheless struggling the unwanted effects of a police tradition generated by many years of practically nonexistent accountability.

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