Five Illinois Cops Are Caught Lying On The Stand When Defense Produces A Recording Contradicting Their Testimony

from the liars-apparently-still-trustworthy-enough-to-run-a-desk dept

Cops lie. Citizens know this. Defense attorneys know this. Prosecutors know this. Most importantly, judges know this. But rarely does it have any effect on the outcome of the case at hand. But in what has been described as a "Perry Mason moment," five Illinois police officers were caught lying on the stand. (h/t to Trevor Debus)

A seemingly routine suppression hearing in a suburban Chicago courthouse last month took an unexpected dramatic turn when video from a police car was introduced that disproved the testimony of five police officers.

They had said Joseph Sperling was arrested after officers who pulled him over in a traffic stop smelled marijuana, searched the vehicle and found nearly a pound in a backpack lying on the back seat of his car. But the Glenview police video showed the search occurred only after Sperling was taken from his car, frisked and handcuffed, reports the Chicago Tribune (sub. req.).
I suppose once the film rolled, there was little the judge could do but address it. It's one thing for a cop to lie in the courtroom and have it discovered months, weeks or even years later. It's quite another when the testimony is rebutted by video evidence during the same hearing.
"All the officers lied on the stand today," said [Judge Catherine] Haberkorn, who herself is a former prosecutor, at the March 31 hearing. "So there is strong evidence it was conspiracy to lie in this case, for everyone to come up with the same lie."
The officers, currently on desk duty, apparently did conspire to lie about the specifics of the search, at least according to the lawsuit filed by the arrestee shortly after this suppression hearing went sideways.
Joseph Sperling says in his suit that Chicago police asked Glenview officers at the scene of his arrest last June to turn off their squad car dashcams. At least one Glenview officer didn't, resulting in video footage that persuaded a Cook County Circuit Court judge to grant a motion to suppress seized evidence, because police testimony contradicted what the camera showed.
This case has obviously provoked quite a bit of discussion as to how often cops lie and what the final arbiters -- the judges -- do when they take this knowledge into consideration. The answers, unfortunately, are depressing. Even if these temporary desk jockeys manage to retain their jobs, one would think their days as credible witnesses are over. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Scott Greenfield talks about one judge he heard discuss why he kept on pushing defendants into the maw of the prison system, even while knowing those on the law enforcement side weren't necessarily any better when it came to truth-telling.
After a cocktail or two, Harold talked about how his experience as a judge changed him. Case after case, defendant after defendant, victim after victim, made it all a blur. Sure, cops lied. Everybody knew cops lied. Everybody knew cops lied in every case. That was the game. It was their job to put the bad guy away, and the way to win the game was to speak the magic words that the system accepted as necessary…

What was he supposed to do, Harold asked? They may not all be guilty, but they all were guilty. No one could pluck out the one in a hundred who didn’t deserve to be there, and he wasn’t going to cut everyone free because he couldn’t tell who was who. […] He had a job to do, to keep the cattle moving toward the slaughter. Harold could be a rather charming guy, personally. As a judge, he was utterly despicable.
Judge Richard Kopf, prompted by Greenfield's post, offered his own thoughts as to why he finds cops credible witnesses, despite loads of evidence otherwise. It's a bracing read and admirably soul-baring, but it's not going to make anyone feel any better about their odds against a lying law enforcement officer. While he makes several points that indicate he's still more careful in his selection process than the Judge Harold mentioned above, he does make the following indictment of his own beliefs and behavior.
I am a shitty judge of credibility. Truly, I am. See here for what happened when I believed a defendant and it blew up in my face with an editorial cartoon and the whole nine yards. Thus, when forced to judge between a cop and a defendant it is safer to believe the cop than the defendant particularly if a judge cares about his or her reputation. While pleading the subconscious in mitigation, there was a period of time when I really thought I might make it to the Circuit if I were a good little boy. See what happened to Judge Baer when he “screwed” up.
Will Baude at the Volokh Conspiracy, who originally questioned whether these five cops would be unable to offer believable testimony in the future, gathered some notable comments from Judge Kopf's post that lend credence to the belief that everyone in the courtroom knows cops lie, but there's very little anyone's actually willing to do about it, partly because the system destroys judges who refuse to play along.

Lorin Duckman, a former New York judge, noted how the system lends itself to accommodating lying cops, if only to keep the system moving at the pace that pleases most of those involved.
It’s not just about the trials. Jurors don’t want to sit, don’t understand the instructions and cannot consider what the sentence should be. They cannot tell if a person is lying or not and tend to believe those who look like them or wear badges, despite instructions to the contrary. It’s not about did the accused did it or didn’t do it, most of the time. It’s about the penalties, the sentences, and the lack of a future when one tries to put a life together after doing time. It’s about judges who need to move calendars, jailers and bailiffs, court reporters and clerks who depend on a steady stream of defendants for their livelihood ...
But Duckman also points out that judges have their own livelihoods to consider, and speaking aloud about the fact that cops lie on the stand tends to short-circuit their futures.
[M]ost of all it’s the Judges who sit silently, listening to the bartering, accepting the stories for fear that they will be removed if they question, dismiss or offer justice. Break my hear[t], they did.

A comment I made, “cops lie all the time,” was introduced as evidence at my removal hearing and served as the basis for finding me biased. I couldn’t have been the only judge who believed that, could I?
The system is broken all the way up and all the way down. These five cops were very possibly only called out because it was unavoidable. Their punishment for being caught perjuring themselves has been desk duty, something that may seem tedious compared to pulling people over and illegally searching their vehicles, but can hardly be considered a true punishment. It's not as though the facts are disputed. The cops are being "investigated" after lying in court in front of a judge and several witnesses. There's literally nothing to "investigate."

This is just two police departments (Glenview and Chicago) buying time until they can weigh possible punishments and outcomes. As few judges are willing to confront the fact that cops lie with the same frequency as other human beings, just as few PDs are willing to terminate officers (partly due to pushback from officers' unions), no matter the wrongdoing.

But before all hope is destroyed, another judge (Alabama's Judge Joseph Johnson) commenting at Kopf's blog noted the status quo is changing, at least in his courtroom.
Yesterday I met with our new police chief (city of 250,000) I I told him I was getting tired of not having video or audio recordings of defendants statements. I said I felt juries disbelieved the rendition by the officer (especially a narcotics officer). I added, I was not sure I was going to believe another citizen consented to the search of his vehicle unless I had a written signed consent to search (which they have). The Chief looked like I had kicked his dog. I said “Hey, the jurors expect this in this age of technology.” We will see.
Looking at this and another set of isolated incidents -- the pushback by two judges against overly-broad search warrants -- gives a modicum of hope that law enforcement will be finally forced to play by the rules that have been existent since shortly after the founding of this nation. It's too little, far too late and it's marked by outliers rather than exceptions to the rule. But at least it's something. And the more the public is informed about the routine abuse of civil liberties by law enforcement, the less those tasked with handling the intersection of cops and civilians will be able to ignore the reality of the situation and blithely (and blindly) believe badges denote a more trustworthy class of human.


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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 4:28am

    Phoenix Wright tells the story...

    A seemingly routine suppression hearing in a suburban Chicago courthouse last month took an unexpected dramatic turn when video from a police car was introduced that disproved the testimony of five police officers.

    Objection!

    They had said Joseph Sperling was arrested after officers who pulled him over in a traffic stop smelled marijuana, searched the vehicle and found nearly a pound in a backpack lying on the back seat of his car. But the Glenview police video showed the search occurred only after Sperling was taken from his car, frisked and handcuffed, reports the Chicago Tribune (sub. req.).

    They're in pursuit!

    Sadly, the world of Phoenix Wright has become even more true... You are guilty until proven innocent.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 5:54am

    Recording cops should be illegal because it makes them look bad and undermines their legitimacy. How can law enforcement expect to enforce laws with the cooperation of the citizenry if no one trusts them. We will have lawless anarchy.

    /sarc

    While I think most cops are good the biggest issue for me is that the bad ones either avoid getting punished or the punishment is not nearly sufficient and is far less than what a citizen would receive had it been the other way around. Until this changes trust in the system will be low and this makes it more difficult for the honest cops.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 5:56am

    Re: Phoenix Wright tells the story...

    Hey, come on now!

    At least Phoenix Wright has reality on its side!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 5:59am

    Nonsense, the video footage is clearly lying, because it's been written into law in some places that what a cop says gets to override what a video says!

     

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  5.  
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    Anon E. Mous (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:08am

    And folks wonder why there is a dis-trust of the Police. When you a child you are taught that the police officer is your friend and their to help.

    Now a days you have to be wary of some police officers and their intent. It used to be your were presumed innocent until found guilty, in reality your are guilty until you can prove your innocent.

    Technology is a wonderful thing, the public knows as does law enforcement. The problem now is law enforcement has and will abuse technology if they think it will be used to show behavior they do not want the public or the court to know about.

    It is sad to see the deck is stacked against you in a court and that Judges decide that instead of being impartial, they would rather go with flow rather than the law.

     

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  6.  
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    DannyB (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:17am

    Re:

    Furthermore, there are FIVE cops and only ONE recording. Would five cops lie? Would they conspire? Such a thing would be so evil that it simply cannot be true(*).

    Remember: the cops are the good guys(**).

    * Just like John Steele arguing that he could not possibly have done all of the things he is accused of and that courts have said that he actually did.

    ** Protip: when you have to tell people you are the good guys, you aren't.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:21am

    Let's hire judges based on their reputation and what they think others think of them.

    Genius. Simply genius.

    What a pathetic justice system.

     

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  8.  
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    madasahatter (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:23am

    Cops and Perjury

    One simple solution; when a cop or other government employee lies on the stand the charge is not perjury but treason with the only penalty upon conviction - execution with no statute of limitations. Theirs lies convict an unknown number of innocent people they should get hammered much worse than their victims.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:30am

    Problem is not the Cops lying....

    its the system letting them get away with it.

    Agree with madasahatter...

    Promote the crime to treason since this has affected an enormous amount of peoples freedoms. Lets escalate the punishment on them, just like they like to keep doing to the American citizen.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    That is not the problem... the problem is how untouchable they are once they get in. Then their rep counts for garbage.

    Let even some of the nicest people you know run around practically 'unchecked' and you will find out how nicely they can ruin your day.

     

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  11.  
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    PRMan, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 6:56am

    Re: Cops and Perjury

    Any cop caught lying should be immediately fired. Let them get jobs as security at Best Buy.

     

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  12.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:03am

    1785: "That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved." (Benjamin Franklin)

    2014: "No one could pluck out the one in a hundred who didnít deserve to be there, and he wasnít going to cut everyone free because he couldnít tell who was who"

    Yeah, good job, guys...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:04am

    Only good cop

    The only good cop is a dead cop. Regardless of what technology or policies are in place, the truth remains. Power attracts the corrupt; everyone who seeks power over others, either as a police officer or the courts or anywhere else, should be suspect.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:05am

    Re: Cops and Perjury

    I disagree wioth the Treason thing (much as I love me some treasonous villains), but I would put the crime on a similar level to multiple Murder One - guaranteed 25-to-life.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:15am

    Surely #myNYPD would never lie on the stand!

     

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    Someantimalwareguy, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Whoa there cowboy. This is not treason, just run of the mill perjury. Let the punishment be relevant to the actual crime with average sentences or you open the door to overreach and backlash.

    From what I can tell, the average sentence for this is somewhere between 1 - 5 years which I think is appropriate as a deterrent going forward.

    JMHO

     

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    Enzo, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:35am

    The cops shouldn't be allowed to turn off squad car cameras...ever

    It should be illegal to turn off a squad car camera and any officer doing so should be fired immediately.

     

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    Adam (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:38am

    Felony Charges

    Under Illinois law perjury is a Class 3 Felony punishable by two to five years in prison. If I lived in the area this happened I know I would be writing to every politician and local official demanding that the officers be put on trial and held to the same laws as everyone else.

    The only way a police force can maintain any credibility in my mind is that when a situation like this happens is to immediately have the perpetrators face prosecution for their crimes. Unfortunately most police departments in the US have developed an 'Us' vs 'The Public' attitude. They have to realize that they are citizens themselves and we are their peers with equal rights.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re:

    The video footage conspired against the cops.

     

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    Ticketsreview (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:43am

    It's a shame, a disgrace on the face of Police.

     

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    Beta (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:43am

    Re: Cops and Perjury

    If (when the evidence is incontrovertible) they will be tried, convicted and punished like anyone else, then I think perjury is good enough, and appropriate.

    If (when the evidence is incontrovertible) no prosecutor will prosecute them, no court will convict them and no judge will send them up the river, then I don't see the point of increasing the penalties.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:46am

    A pattern in this state

    This is where our President comes from folks...

     

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  23.  
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    Feldie47 (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Hello out there?

    Is there not one word missing here?

    P-E-R-J-U-R-Y

    Under oath?
    You lie?
    You're a cop?

    And you are not prosecuted?

    How cut and dried does this need to be?

     

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  24.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: Cops and Perjury

    Not such a simple solution, actually, as it would be explicitly unconstitutional (the Constitution itself defines treason). To do what you suggest would require a Constitutional amendment.

     

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  25.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:00am

    Re: A pattern in this state

    Good point! And everyone who comes from California is a hippy, everyone who comes from Alabama is a hick, everyone from Colorado skis while smoking pot, etc.

    Broad brushing is fun!!

     

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  26.  
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    McCrea (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Cops and Politicians

    So, this applies equally to the judges provided oversight to the DOJ, I gather. Politicians lies, judges know they lie, and that's the way it's gotta be.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Re: Only good cop

    First off, I know plenty of cops that are honest. Power is defined as the ability to influence people in order to get tasks accomplished. Power in and of itself is not bad. Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King...they all had power. Power in and of itself is not bad, but how it's used determines if it as bad or not. BTW, you're power to express your opinion on how you view cops could also be construed as an abuse of power since you are stereotyping an entire group of people based on the actions of a few.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re: Felony Charges

    Exactly right. Why weren't these five cops IMMEDIATELY put under arrest and thrown into a holding cell until they could be arraigned?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re: The cops shouldn't be allowed to turn off squad car cameras...ever

    I agree that the cameras should be rolling 100% of the time. In addition to being the LEO being fired if the camera is off or the video mysteriously disappears, the case against the defendant should be thrown out.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: A pattern in this state

    We're talking about government and law enforcement aren't we?

    Illinois seems to be rife with corrupt government officials...

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Only good cop

    "Power in and of itself is not bad."

    True, but it tends to attract the exact sorts of people who shouldn't have it.

     

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  32.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: A pattern in this state

    Illinois is hardly unique in that respect. But my point is that casting doubt on a public official's honesty simply because of the state he came from is nothing but lazy stereotyping, and doesn't really make a valid point. Especially when you're talking about Obama, who has an actual track record in the White House that you can easily use to attack him with.

     

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  33.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:32am

    So what I'm getting out of this article is that there is no nation wide government conspiracy, no police state. It's just one giant cluster-fuck. Every part is broken in a tiny way, and it all adds up.

    Well, conveniently, those tiny parts are made up of (supposedly) intelligent people. The broken bits should be able to fix themselves once they realize it's not one giant problem, but a bunch of tiny ones.

    People are scared of big problems, they think they can't do anything about it. But one person can fix their own tiny problem.

    Long story short: Your a judge, this is what you signed up for, do your damn job. Same with the cops, same with the agents, same with everyone. Fix your own little problem and the whole will fix itself.

     

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  34.  
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    Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:10am

    Re: Hello out there?

    The key to your question is point #3. They are a cop. Therefore, they have total legal immunity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A pattern in this state

    Oh right - yes I wasn't trying to use these corrupt and lazy law enforcement and judges as proof that our President is also a lying, corrupt politician. He has proven that all on his own.

    But your point did not get lost on me - as I sat here trying to think of a state in this union that was a pinnacle of non-corrupt government, I realized there probably isn't one any longer.

    The one I live in, California, demonstrates immense corruption on a daily basis. Also, most hippies do come from California - if you also turn that around ;)

     

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    JBDragon, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    1 to 5 years? No, Lets start at 5 years and go to LIFE if that is what they are trying to get a convection on the Criminal for 10 years to LIFE and LIE, those liers should get 10 years Minimum to LIFE is it's a whopper of a LIE.

    Otherwise it'll just continue as always. It's not only the lies, it's the taking the camera's from people also showing what's really happening and trying to cover things up!!! That's just as bad if not worse.

     

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    JBDragon, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Worse of all, it makes all cops look BAD and Corrupt for the fraction of cops that are Bad and worse!!!

     

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    JBDragon, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: The cops shouldn't be allowed to turn off squad car cameras...ever

    Exactly, there is ZERO reason to turn the camera off unless you're trying to hide something!!! The Camera is not only there to protect the Citizen but more so the Cops that get accused for things that didn't happen.

    Funny how any Video that makes them look Bad gets taken from people, lost, deleted, etc. Every once in a while they slip up like in this case!!!

     

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    DannyB (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    > Let them get jobs as security at Best Buy.

    Great idea! Let's give them a cushy job that is like putting the fox in charge of security of the hen house.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    They don't mind ignoring the rest of the constitution... why should it now matter when it comes to defending them?

    Treat others as you would like to be treated. When the government has taken the path of excessive punishment for petty crime (IP infringement being a GREAT EXAMPLE) then they should likewise experience a disproportionate response when they are caught breaking the law too.

    The US constitution for all intents and purposes is now trash. The absolute reality is that the Government can and will toss your arse into jail for any reason. History shows that the American people really don't care as much as we say we do or it would have never gotten this far.

     

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    Someantimalwareguy, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    How biblical of you to seek an eye for an eye. But is that really a just punishment; even in this case? The talking heads convinced us that mandatory sentencing was essential and it led to the mess we are in now.

    Be careful what you ask for because what goes around has a funny way of coming back around and it might be good to think about the cost/benefit analysis here...

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:06am

    I'm wondering how the one police officer who didn't obey and turn off his dash camera is being treated by his peers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    2014: "Everyone is guilty of something, we just have to figure out what that something is. Thanks to the NSA, that job has never been easier."

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    "Treat others as you would like to be treated."

    Exactly. Which means adhering to the Constitution even if "they" don't.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:17am

    Re: The cops shouldn't be allowed to turn off squad car cameras...ever

    I think we should take it one step further than that. No officer's testimony can be taken into account without a valid audio and video recording to coincide.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    What might be better than disproportionate sentences for perjury is what they do to everyone else - pile on whatever charges *might* be relevant.

    For example, not just perjury, but how about obstructing justice, falsifying police reports, etc. (IANAL, but you get the idea)...

    Make them face what the rest of us would face, should we have tried to pull the same shit. Equal treatment under the law is a concept that is fast going the way of the dodo.

     

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  47.  
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    Mr. Large Prostrate, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:46am

    Once a liar, always a dirtbag cop.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:50am

    Another bad cop story from Cushing. And in other news the Earth still orbits the sun. *yawn*

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 10:51am

    Lying isn't necessarily bad

    Lying about the probable cause to search is often ok. Sometimes you know the guy is guilty of transporting drugs or guns but you don't have the probable cause to pull them. Lying about their not using a turn signal when changing lanes or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or whatever is perfectly ok if that's what it takes to get to the car and then ask for consent to search or "smell" drugs. You do what it takes to get the bad guy off the street. It's not like the guy wasn't a drug dealer. Would you rather the dealer got away? They're not arresting innocent people. Innocent people have nothing to fear, despite everyone's paranoia.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:06am

    Nice Wizard impression

    'I said stop looking behind the curtain!'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:06am

    Re: Lying isn't necessarily bad

    I honestly can't tell if this is a Poe or not, which, I suppose, makes it a perfect example of one.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:08am

    Re: Lying isn't necessarily bad

    You do what it takes to get the bad guy off the street.

    That would be more accurately stated as:-
    You do what you want do to get someone you think is a bad gut off the street. Lie, plant evidence etc.

     

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  53.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:10am

    I'm rather surprised they didn't just ask/demand the video to be stricken from the record.

    I mean, when video contradicts a cop's statement(and especially five cops), obviously it's the video that's in error, not the ever-so-honest cops giving their statements. /s

     

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  54.  
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    Someantimalwareguy, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Well, a good old pile-on is usually about the authorities attempting to extract something from whoever they would be charging. Of what use would this type of pressure be in this case?

     

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  55.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:18am

    Re: Felony Charges

    They have to realize that they are citizens themselves and we are their peers with equal rights.

    Nice idea on paper, unfortunately not so true in practice.

    They aren't, and you don't. A cop can do things that would get your average person thrown in jail without hesitation(like say, beat a homeless man to death on camera), and at most they might face a 'And don't you get caught doing that again!' tossed their way.

    When you've got a job that allows you to do anything you want, with zero real repercussions, gives you power and authority over everyone around you, and you know that fellow 'officers' will back you up no matter what you do(or if they happen to have morals or a conscious be pressured out), is it any wonder that it attracts the worst scum out there, and acts like a sociopath magnet?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Exactly slick!
    Everyone should want undue and repressive punishment for people in Power that ABUSE that Power!

    Further more...
    Once you have committed an offense for which you are not repentant you have forfeited your right to that which you have taken from another.

    Take a life, you forfeit yours.
    Take possessions, you forfeit yours.
    Lie and you forfeit truth.
    Remove the Constitution from the people, and it should be removed from YOU!

     

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  57.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    I could not disagree more strenuously. Your proposal is not only immoral and tyrannical, but it guarantees that the very thing that you claim to despise will become even more entrenched in society.

    Also, it is the exact opposite of "Treat others as you would like to be treated."

     

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  58.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    nope, not buying it:
    WE commoners are 'guilty' if WE MIGHT have knowledge of someone, somewhere, maybe committing something that might be merely offensive to the powers that be, never mind an actual, real crime...
    HOWEVER, suddenly, that 'principle' is ignored or turned on its head when it comes to donut eaters, and i refuse to accept that: if ANYONE should be MORE responsible, MORE truthful, MORE willing to expose lies, it is the people given a badge, a gun, and INFINITELY WIDE LATITUDE to jack up ANYONE AT ANYTIME...
    yet, the opposite is what happens: piggies get away with crap a MILLION times more than they get caught at it...
    further, close to 100% of the kops KNOW who are the marginal/bad kops, but they don't say shit, do they ? ? ?
    THAT tars them ALL with the same corruption brush, as far as i'm concerned...

     

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  59.  
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    Calvin (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    How about making the liar subject to the sentence for the crime he/she was lying about?
    If you're lying about drug possession then subject the lies to those sentences, if you're lying about murder then lies become subject to that sentencing regime.

     

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  60.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Sounds like a fair system to me, punish the one lying on the stand by applying the same sentence they're trying to inflict on the person they're lying about to them.

     

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  61.  
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    Zonker, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    You are mistaken, as what you describe is clearly "Treat others as *they would treat you* ". This leads to the inevitable result that everyone would be treated as the worst would treat us. This would destroy our constitutional protections and rights far faster than anything else.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Then you shall enjoy a government of the corrupt, just like it is now and only getting worse. Sir, you are mistaken.

    Human nature does not change with high ideals. It changes when someone has something to fear.

    Like how people are continually held in servitude by their oppressive governments... they are AFRAID of losing their life if they stand up for their rights. Same reason we throw people in JAIL! There must be teeth behind punishment or it is no punishment at all.

    Government is in power. They do not follow the constitution. Tell me where and how you will be able to bring an out of control authority to heel? Follow the law? They ARE the law! It is not being followed... the ONLY option left is to ignore it because it has become a useless tool to the people.

    If the government was actually following the law and showed that it delivered recompense and retribution according to the Constitution then your argument would have a leg to stand on. A Government not obeying the Constitution should be thrown off.

     

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  63.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    It is completely possible to enact change and put the fear you speak of into government without becoming just like the very people you're fighting.

    We must never forget this truth: you become what you hate.

     

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  64.  
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    Zonker, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Only good cop

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men. -- Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Bt"
    The key distinction here are the words "tends" and "almost". Although this is the rationale behind the "limited powers" granted under The Constitution. Limiting the powers of each branch of government and attempting to balance those powers between the branches was intended to limit the corruption of power, but when two or more branches work together (executive, judicial, and legislative) the balance is broken.

    There are good and bad cops, good and bad judges, good and bad Presidents, and (believe it or not) good and bad legislators and lawyers.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Tell me, whom is suffering tyranny?

    The government or the people?

    With your mindset, there will never be another free nation. But that suits you fine right? All the slavery, oppression, rape, and murder are fine with you, because we can't lower our standards to stop them.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    I definitely agree with you... yes it is possible. I hope we can recover from this mess without becoming like the police.

    But how can this happen if the people we need to combat it are the very ones not helping. I am not saying we need to do the EXACT same things to them that they are doing to us, but I am saying we should no longer allow the constitution to bar us from a response. Should they return to the constitution, I would welcome returning the same.

    The Constitution is not explicitly a moral law... I only follow a moral law. Any moral value you destroy cannot be used in your defense.

    The Government has destroyed that moral value, therefore they should not be afforded its defense.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Equal treatment under the law.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    Groups that appoint themselves to power can impose a worse tyranny than the worse government, such as that imposed by the Taliban.

     

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  69.  
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    Zonker, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Lying isn't necessarily bad

    You sir are the very definition of a bad cop.

    You should not do these things because of the harm done to the rights of the innocent: privacy, security, freedom of movement, etc. You don't get to stop people you believe must be guilty without evidence to support it. If you're so sure they are guilty, what's stopping you from planting evidence to prove your case? After all, you couldn't be wrong and not finding evidence just means the person you stopped must be really good at hiding it. And we must believe you because you're in a position of authority.

    But what happens when you're the bad guy? Do your victims get to charge you with a crime and prosecute you in court? No, because they don't have the authority to, you and your District Attorney do. Your power is not limited or balanced enough to afford the public protection from your abuse.

     

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  70.  
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    beltorak (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Lying isn't necessarily bad

    I'm going to say this is a parody:

    > They're not arresting innocent people.

    That is the part it all rests on, and is demonstrably false. In fact it's proved false all the time. Especially here.

    But there's another more subtle fallacy this "argument" rests on:

    > You do what it takes to get the bad guy off the street. It's not like the guy wasn't a drug dealer. Would you rather the dealer got away?

    Equating drug dealers with "bad guys" without condition. There are some that believe that pot dealers are the scum of the earth, but there are many that do not.

    Heading that off is also the assertion "You do what it takes". Our founding fathers realized that there are many things that could be done to stop bad people from doing bad things, but that way lies despotism and a complete abandonment of the rule of law. We may as well forgive the prosecution of any procedural missteps in the pursuit of a conviction. After all, innocent people are never brought before a judge, are they? We may as well forgo warrants and let the police conduct inspections of any thing in any place at any time. After all, the police are only interested in "getting the bad guys off the street" and won't take an interest in anything else.

    What is implied by "They're not arresting innocent people" is something that flies in the face of human nature; that there there is no such thing as a bad cop, that there is no such thing as a corrupt judge, that these people who are in positions of power never abuse that power. And furthermore it implies that they are infallible, that they always make the right choice and never make mistakes.

    Anyway I have a hard time believing that someone actually thinks this way.

    So I believe that it is a parody, but I do fear that it might not be.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    True, that happens all to often.

    But once we devolve to that level... it is very hard to get people to wrap up their vitriolic hate.

    We call this upon ourselves by letting government get so far out of hand that we can only become what appears to be tyrants to resist them. You must become a criminal to overthrow and in some cases even resist your own tyrannical government. Well, today we call those guys terroists (like Reid did)... didn't take long to apply that label everywhere huh?

     

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  72.  
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    Hans, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:51pm

    Excellent thread, Mr Cushing...Thank you for the
    courage of addressing this issue, which has sent
    so many innocent defendants to jail.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Lying isn't necessarily bad

    I really hope this is sarcasm, because if it isn't, then you sir are part of the problem.

    Let me ask you, when does it NOT become OK to lie about the probable cause? When it's YOU that's on the receiving end?

    Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

     

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  74.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A pattern in this state

    damn, dirty hippies...
    good thing we didn't listen to them about their totally unrealistic hysteria about global climate change, the benefits of a certain herb, stopping war-making, and a nascent police state...
    oh, wait...

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 2:21pm

    Pride Integrity and Guts? Sometimes a CIGAR is just a cigar, and some times a PIG is just a pig.

     

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  76.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    "With your mindset, there will never be another free nation."

    History proves you wrong.

    "All the slavery, oppression, rape, and murder are fine with you, because we can't lower our standards to stop them."

    Wow, talk about hyperbolic! All I am saying is that there is no point to using slavery, oppression, rape and murder to stop slavery, oppression, rape and murder -- because nothing has actually been stopped if you do. You're just changing the names of the criminals (and becoming one of them.)

     

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  77.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    "The Government has destroyed that moral value, therefore they should not be afforded its defense."

    For someone who claims to follow "moral law", it's a little scary that you can shed them so easily. Behaving morally is not a reward you grant to others, nor something you do to gain a reward.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 3:33pm

    Sounds like a case of parallel construction to me.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A pattern in this state

    And I never said being a hippie was a bad thing.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:40pm

    Re:

    Thx, im now a bit more dead inside

     

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  81.  
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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Lying isn't necessarily bad

    Well, Mr. Officer, sir, how about when the FBI is stopping you based on a made up pretense?

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2014 @ 1:21am

    What bugs me....

    Is no matter what City...any Government agency...have the newest cars...nicest equipment...finest retirements....all paid by the payroll taxes of us lowly citizens who drive around 10 year 200,O00 miles beat up cars while we pull in the drive- through to order off the dollar menu....somethings wrong with that picture

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2014 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Only good cop

    How honest are those cops when one of their badge buddies crosses the line? You know "plenty" of cops that value integrity so highly that they're literally willing to destroy their livelihoods and alienate their friends in the interest of honesty?

    This is not about individual LEOs and their moral fiber. This is about a systemic, nation-wide corruption of law enforcement and the administration of justice. This is about the consistent and growing violation of universal rights we once held dear. The honest cops you know...they're irrelevant.

     

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  84.  
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    Pragmatic, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cops and Perjury

    What John Fenderson said. Morality is a solid, absolute set of principles rooted in the very fabric of our civilization. We couldn't have an ordered society unless everyone broadly agreed (at least in principle) on what morality is and how to enforce it.

    I'd advise against relativism as a guide; in such a case, morality would be determined by whoever is in power at the time. Not a good idea.

     

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  85.  
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    Pragmatic, Apr 28th, 2014 @ 5:44am

    Re:

    Uh, sort of. People want a quick solution that doesn't make them think too much or put a lot of effort into dealing with, preferably outsourced to others to they can blame them for any failings. I've seen enough comments here to back that up.

    Fix your own little problem and the whole will fix itself.

    Not quite. I'm sure there are plenty of conscientious judges out there, we just don't get to hear about them (unless we're talking about the Prenda boys getting slapped down. Again.). The trouble is systemic and can't be resolved by conscientious judges hoeing their rows effectively. There's no quick fix or simple solution.

    Itís about judges who need to move calendars, jailers and bailiffs, court reporters and clerks who depend on a steady stream of defendants for their livelihood

    That's the problem; the system is set up to find someone ó anyone ó guilty, so they can lock them up, tick the boxes, fill in the paperwork, and collect their paychecks. We the people put up with it because we have convinced ourselves that they're being tough on crime, which makes us feel safer.

    Ultimately, we're going to have to campaign for or support a candidate who is willing to take this mess on and deal with it. Given the vested interests involved, it'll be an uphill struggle. But it's worth struggling for, even if it does take a long time to resolve.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Hatfield, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 7:16am

    Why Cops Lie

    One reason cops lie, perhaps, is because they get away with it. I mean, if you or I lied in court while giving sworn testimony, we'd be facing perjury charges. If cops lie they get desk duty, at most. If there were one standard of justice these problems would greatly diminish.

     

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  87.  
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    jeremiah o driscokk, Oct 22nd, 2014 @ 11:23pm

    dirty cops

    I got a story of 6 cops pulling me over in Edision park,and holding me I jail,event to hospital while. In 16th,long story,somebody should call me one email me odshog@gmail.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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