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 largest good thing about a doubt in “your phrase towards mine” courtroom showdowns — are likely to make when testifying or filling out reviews.

Right here’s the latest instance of cops mendacity. And it’s solely one in all a number of.

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

That may 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 autos. The previous alterations probably stemmed from earlier self-discipline the trooper had obtained for “stopping a disproportionate quantity of minorities.” The trooper was allowed to resign.

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

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

[Norwalk police] ran an audit and made a wierd discovery. Site visitors 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 stated they don’t understand how Gonzalez obtained the names of the drivers he allegedly entered into the system, or why these explicit drivers had been chosen.

Gonzalez additionally resigned whereas underneath investigation. He’s additionally dealing with prison costs.

From 2017:

5 Arlington cops who had been accused of falsifying visitors stops have surrendered their state peace officer licenses to dodge prison costs.

The officers had been indicted Friday, information present, however costs 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, stated Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district legal professional’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, in keeping with the indictments.

[…]

In Could, the Arlington Police Division introduced that it had suspended 15 officers after an inside 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 prison costs or license revocation by resigning whereas underneath 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 cops 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? Effectively, first: it’s straightforward to do. A number of stops occur. Only a few are audited. Second, it helps officers obtain the ends they need, whether or not it’s too look much less bigoted or to make sure a gradual stream of meaningless work by filling crime databases with junk knowledge.

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

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

Essex County prosecutors stated 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 exhibits Jeter holding his palms up in his automotive and yelling out “I did nothing unsuitable!” as officers pull him out of an SUV and cuff him.

An analogous state of affairs, this time on the opposite aspect 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 Could 27, 2020.

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

[…]

Ultimately, costs had been dropped towards Johnson and a cost was as a substitute filed towards Dages for falsifying a police report. District Legal professional Summer time Stephan stated Dages mischaracterized Johnson’s actions that day.

Generally the falsification of reviews serves to straight enrich officers.

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

Brendon Jacy Tatum and Joseph Huffaker had been assigned to Rohnert Park’s drug interdiction crew at numerous occasions between 2015 and 2017, in keeping with a federal prison criticism unsealed Friday.

Generally it seems to be nothing greater than laziness.

A Delaware state trooper who obtained a number of visitors commendations has been indicted in a fraudulent visitors warning scheme during which not less than two of his victims had been fellow regulation enforcement officers, the Delaware Division 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, in keeping with the Justice Division. In some circumstances, motorists weren’t knowledgeable of the warnings.

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

Right here’s a false report that was undermined by surveillance footage captured by a close-by house owner’s digital camera. Listed 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 pretend 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. Right here’s a cop who was fired for overlaying up his assaults of residents by writing false reviews.

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

It’s not an epidemic. Nevertheless it’s additionally simply the tip of the iceberg. That 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 may be of it — have flown underneath 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.

However this type of conduct 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. They usually really feel assured the results will almost definitely be minimal. Even those that have been indicted or convicted resigned throughout investigations to keep away from having a firing on their report or, in some circumstances, to keep away from having their regulation enforcement certification stripped.

As police accountability efforts transfer ahead, we are going to see extra of this. If these efforts might be sustained, we hopefully, sooner or later, will see reviews of this conduct lower. However, in the mean time, 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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