Judge Tears Into Cops For Beating A Man Who Dared To Question Their Words And Actions

from the [starts-whipping-up-'disgusting-blue-line'-flags] dept

It doesn't happen often enough, but it is so very refreshing to watch a bunch of assholes get torn new assholes. (h/t Peter Bonilla)

A man who was violently "arrested" (read: beaten) by several Allentown (PA) police officers was cleared of all charges last November by a jury. The judge had plenty of harsh words for the officers who participated in this brutal farce. John Perez tried voicing his opinion to some cops who were apparently using a bunch of foul language while "investigating" (read: standing around) reports of an armed man in the neighborhood.

The cops didn't like Perez's questions and decided to punish him for his inquiries. A video that went viral showed the violent response from the Allentown cops, who first pushed Perez to the ground before deciding he needed to be punched into submission. Perez ended up being charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was found not guilty after a jury trial and that's when Judge Maria L. Dantos decided the involved officers needed to be told some things they'd probably never been told before.

The full transcript [PDF] has been released and it's a hell of a read. Dantos briefly recaps her career as a former prosecutor, working hand-in-hand with the DA's office and the PD to carry out raids, search warrants, and investigations. Then she comes to the point: what happened here was inexcusable and shameful and she makes sure the officers know it.

I was very proud of my years of service. I tried to provide to my community. I do protect and serve. But then you come in here with this case and proudly display to this community how you talk to people.

There were at least nine Allentown Police officers there that night. That is likely 90 percent of the evening's platoon. That is a lot for a 200 man department. You came into that scene like angry, hostile bullies from your first contact with those citizens, and especially officer Battoni.

Dantos lights into the DA's office as well for choosing to pursue these charges, despite the actions of the officers captured on video that night. She points out beating someone for talking to cops does nothing to help community relations and bringing charges against a person who was beaten by cops makes that divide even larger. She quotes one officer's own testimony, where he stated "no crime" had been committed at the point he decided to shove John Perez to the ground.

Instead of being community leaders, the cops chose to be thugs with badges and power. And the DA's decision to pursue this particular case highlighted everything that is wrong with that office and the police officers involved in the arrest.

I have seen murder cases, shootings, robberies, burglaries, pled to all manner of offers. In this case nothing? You chose to, instead, put on display police officers calling people pussies, bitches, threatening to shoot a dog, forming your disgusting blue line of four officers who turned their backs and said they saw nothing.

You perjured yourselves. You escalated a situation without cause. Cops smirking on the stand at this jury, laughing at the defense attorney, high-fiving in the hallway after testimony as if there were something, anything, to be proud of here.

What cop thinks this is something that should go unpunished, if not actually celebrated? Far too many, it seems.

You, officer Lebron, shoved Mr. Perez because you were mad, period. And then you got up on the stand and told that jury that you were just trying to make some space. That is not what happened.

[...]

Nine officers, most of the night shift, pulling cars from other areas of the city because you lost it. That's what happened. You lost it. Over nothing. Because someone was talking to you in a manner you didn't like? No crime. You serve them.

Judge Dantos closes this reaming by pointing out this isn't her problem to fix. She can only do so much. But those that need to mend relationships with the community apparently have no willingness to do so. All she can do is point out where the blame lays and who should be holding their own officers accountable so this sort of thing doesn't happen again.

Choices were made. I warned the Commonwealth and yet you displayed this conduct for the world to see. It's shameful. I'd really like to be a healer. I would really like to unite this community between law enforcement and the citizens. But the blame for this lays with you and it is for you to fix.

Will this be the flashpoint for reform? It seems doubtful. The DA took a case stemming from a very dubious deployment of force all the way to a jury and came out with a loss and a judicial dressing down. The Allentown PD has a history of excessive force deployment which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements. But that money hasn't bought them a better police force. While it's good to hear a judge has finally had it with bad cops, it's up to the PD to fix the problem. And it won't because it clearly hasn't done it yet, despite having ample reason to do so.

Filed Under: allentown, judge, maria dantos, police, police violence, respect


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Feb 2020 @ 7:53pm

    You chose to, instead, put on display police officers calling people pussies, bitches, threatening to shoot a dog, forming your disgusting blue line of four officers who turned their backs and said they saw nothing.

    Donald Trump, to whoever handles White House staffing: Quick, get those guys on my security detail!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2020 @ 8:14pm

    richard poplawski

    will go to his grave, ahead 3-1

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2020 @ 8:15pm

    Sad but at least everyone is alive.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Feb 2020 @ 8:20pm

      A point that's all the more damning and insane in that that's actually worth mentioning, rather than just a safe assumption.

      When 'at least they only beat the victim for talking back rather than beat and then murdered him' is noteworthy you know the corruption and resulting reputation has really gotten bad.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2020 @ 9:19pm

        Re:

        What would the verdict, and the judge's reaction, have been ... but for the video?

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:15am

          Re: Re:

          "What would the verdict, and the judge's reaction, have been ... but for the video?"

          Given how persistently hardened police bodycams inconveniently fail we can assume that either the cameras purchased are all crap less hardened than the average low-budget smartphone...or certain police departments have become VERY skilled at disabling their cameras in order to avoid leaving such footage.

          We know what the verdict often is, then. It's usually handed in as part of a debate on whether the fatal shooting was justified or not, when a police officer "fearing for his life" shot a person 8 times in the back.

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          • icon
            Bergman (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 5:28pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            The thing about the phrase "I feared for my life" is that that is the standard under which ANY citizen may lawfully use deadly force to preserve their life. Supposedly, the aggressor in an altercation cannot use it to excuse themselves for killing their victim when the victim proves abnormally adept at self defense, but that is exactly how far too many cops use it.

            But the definition remains the same for all citizens. When cops move those goalposts and the referees (prosecutors, judges and juries) approve the move, the goalposts are moved for EVERYONE. Unequal enforcement of the law is grounds for a court to strike it down, and all citizens -- police or not -- all fall under the same laws in this sort of incident.

            So if punching someone without cause and them punching you back makes killing them lawful, then it's lawful for EVERYONE. I'm pretty sure that that isn't remotely the sort of legal precedent cops want to set, yet they keep setting it over and over again.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 6:18pm

              Consistency of the goalposts

              That would make total sense if rule of law existed, however it's been long established that we live in a stratified society, in which those of us who cannot afford legal defense (and have to rely on public defenders) can be funneled into the penal system, those who can afford a good enough lawyer won't be prosecuted because of the trouble, and police are reviewed by their own system, not the public legal system.

              It's almost like the middle ages with the high court, the low court and the Church, except there's also a middle class who can afford cheap lawyers, and they get some semblance of a defense.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Unequal enforcement of the law is grounds for a court to strike it down, and all citizens -- police or not -- all fall under the same laws in this sort of incident.

              Theoretically perhaps, but while all animals are equal, some are more equal than others, and as far as most judges go cops and people in similar positions definitely fall into the latter category with their own rules and standards that would not be applied to the general public under the (good if it were reversed) idea that of course the standards are different for them, they're cops.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Feb 2020 @ 8:16pm

    A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

    Nice to see a judge tear into the goons with badges like that rather than just sit back and issue a ruling with no comment, as it sounds like it's well past time someone called them the utter scum that they are, and the fact that no less than a judge did it... well, that's got to sting.

    Would be all the better if every last damn one of them were brought up on charges of assault, convicted and paid the price but sadly it sounds like the local DA is just as reprehensible and corrupt as they are, so sadly the odds of that working out are probably pretty low.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 6:50am

      Re: A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

      "well, that's got to sting."

      Unfortunately that is likely to be the only outcome. Feelings of guilt, shame or personal responsibility? Nah. Loss of career restriction of duty, or even just a black mark on their record? Nah. Financial loss? Nah. A change in their approach to policing and their dealings with the public? Nah.

      Most likely response to the Judge's remarks is a shrug of their individual and collective shoulders.

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      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re: A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

        Most likely response to the Judge's remarks is a shrug of their individual and collective shoulders.

        Actually, I'd expect the most likely response to be complaints about this judge to the media, and an attempt by the union to get the judge removed from office. They're more likely to say this "proves" the judge's bias than to think they're in any way at fault.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:21am

      Re: A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

      Clearly these tyrant pigs need to be arrested and thrown into jail for a few years. The way they are acting in court also sounds disgusting. Now that this case is over, I hope the Defendant sues the crap out of this police department and those officers involved if possible.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

        If literally every LEO in the US needs to get thrown in jail for a while, who is going to arrest them?

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        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re: A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

          The DoJ...oh...wait...

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:01pm

          Who will arrest the police

          The whole point of a civilized police force is proportionality. And when they can't do their jobs the ones who reprise are not going to be proportional.

          So nothing is going to happen as the police continue to stomp on the people, until it flips. And the response could come in a variety of flavors.

          Lynch mobs with a rope are classic Americana, but I think suicide bombers would be ironically poetic, especially if it's done by irreligious family members with nothing left to live for but fury.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 5:20am

          Re: Re: Re: A refreshing breeze in a sea of rot

          "If literally every LEO in the US needs to get thrown in jail for a while, who is going to arrest them?"

          As good a modern version of Quid Custodes Ipsos Custodiet as I've ever heard.

          There's a reason the ancient roman republic never invested in an actual police force - they knew damn well it was going to end up being yet another suburan gang. And they kept maintaining that even when the necessity of policing was argued in their senate a few times every ten years.

          Those ancient senators might have a perspective colored by the fact that just to be a senator meant having the wealth to hold a personal army of guards, but by all accounts most of them still walked the city without bringing any.

          Now I'm not saying the romans had a desirable society in most respects but given what we read about these days you almost have to wonder how long it takes until people decide that dissolving the police and relying on paying off Vinnie the Made Man for protection is the better choice?

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  • identicon
    Whoever, 26 Feb 2020 @ 8:45pm

    The judge can do more

    The judge should be recommending that the state authorities prosecute the officers for perjury and make a bar complaint against the DA for suborning perjury.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:17am

      Re: The judge can do more

      "The judge should be recommending that the state authorities prosecute the officers for perjury..."

      Which is the next question which needs asking. Those officers are on record as having perjured themselves in a courtroom. Last i checked that's considered an incredibly severe offense.

      How come they even walked out of that courtroom as free men? How come the DA didn't have, halfway through the case proceedings, a perjury case ready to serve?

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      • identicon
        David, 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:23am

        Re: Re: The judge can do more

        Qualified immunity. They perjured and high-fived themselves, circumstances not previously on record in this combination. So it was reasonable for them to assume that this was legal.

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        • identicon
          Andy, 27 Feb 2020 @ 4:32am

          Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

          Re Qualified Immunity.

          At what point does QI get stripped from these "officers"?

          Given the reaming from teh judge here, it would seam like the next step is another lawsuit against the PD, and the QI issue raised in that?

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 7:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

            "At what point does QI get stripped from these "officers"?"

            When they are no longer working in law enforcement.

            Until that point they have outright immunity to any civil complaint.
            Fortunately, perjury - lying straight into a judge's face, against photographic evidence is not a civil offense but a criminal one.

            Which again begs the question why the DA hadn't drafted a perjury trial subpoena halfway through this trial.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 7:03am

          Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

          "Qualified immunity. They perjured and high-fived themselves, circumstances not previously on record in this combination."

          Qualified immunity only applies to civil suits. Which neatly plugs the hole of it being almost impossible to have a LEO tried in criminal court in most cases.

          Perjury is not unlawful - it's outright illegal. Criminal law applies.
          Which again begs the question why the DA didn't draft an immediate perjury trial halfway through this one where these officers stood and lied against photographic evidence, while in front of a judge.

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      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 5:44am

        Re: Re: The judge can do more

        We’re talking about a DA who knew from the start about the video (at least that’s what the judge seems to imply) yet still insisted on not only pursuing the charges against the victim but not even offering a plea deal (again, from what I can tell from the judge’s lecture). I’d be shocked if that same DA would be willing to file perjury charges against these officers; they were actively helping the officers to pursue their vindictive and petty agenda.

        Quite frankly, this should have never gotten to a jury, but both the police department and the DA were not only unable or unwilling to back down on defending their worthless pride but also to not even consider that they might be doing something wrong or that there was any chance of losing.

        David mentions qualified immunity, but first, I’m pretty sure that only applies to civil suits, not a criminal case like perjury, and second, and more importantly, whether or not the officers have QI against a perjury charge only matters if the DA (or possibly the state AG) is willing to file those charges against the officers in the first place, and that is highly unlikely to happen in general, let alone given what we know about this particular DA’s opinion of the whole thing. In fact, I can’t think of a single case where an officer was ever prosecuted for perjury for lying on the stand about a case where they were acting as LEOs (as opposed to private citizens), and it’s not like there’s any shortage of instances where a cop has been caught clearly, knowingly, and provably lying on the stand.

        Now, QI will likely come into play if the victim decides to sue the cops over this, though frankly, they really shouldn’t be getting any immunity over this as it should be obvious to any judge just how obviously this violated the victim’s rights, and considering how much settlement money has been paid out over this department’s past infractions, I’m somewhat optimistic that any lawsuit filed over this against the cops has a pretty good chance of getting past the QI hurdle. However, I believe that the DA should also be held responsible for pursuing such an objectively meritless case for no good reason. Unfortunately, that will never happen as prosecutors are protected by an even stronger doctrine: absolute immunity. After all, there is no question that what the DA did in this case was certainly within the scope of their authority as a prosecutor, and I don’t see any evidence of any particularly extreme misconduct by the DA, so even though I think the DA was completely wrong here, they are also clearly protected by absolute immunity.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 7:08am

          Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

          An apt summarization.

          What it boils down to is that in practical reality it's impossible to raise a criminal charge against a LEO unless the DA is willing to do so.

          And qualified immunity immunizes the LEO against any civil suit raised by a civilian plaintiff.

          At this point I'm not sure anything short of a live-streamed video of a LEO bludgeoning someone to death while screaming racial slurs would suffice to actually put the officer on trial.

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          • identicon
            Annonymouse, 27 Feb 2020 @ 8:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

            Are you sure there isn't already video on one of those video app sites showing just that?

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          • identicon
            Whoever, 27 Feb 2020 @ 10:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

            What it boils down to is that in practical reality it's impossible to raise a criminal charge against a LEO unless the DA is willing to do so.

            That's why this needs to be referred to state authorities. The DA isn't going to file charges because the DA was complicit in the perjury.

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          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

            What it boils down to is that in practical reality it's impossible to raise a criminal charge against a LEO unless the DA is willing to do so.

            You can apply to the court for a writ of mandamus, which is a judicial order to a government official that basically says, "Do your job or appear before me and explain why you can't."

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 5:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

              "You can apply to the court for a writ of mandamus, which is a judicial order to a government official that basically says, "Do your job or appear before me and explain why you can't.""

              Strikes me that would be an excellent next step for Mr. Perez.

              Given the apparent temper and principles of the nine officers appearing in the OP, however, it also strikes me as an excellent way to end up being beaten to death by nine masked offenders late at night in an alley, at a time the involved officers are giving each other alibis for.

              Who would enforce this writ, if served to a DA?

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              • icon
                btr1701 (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 11:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

                Who would enforce this writ, if served to a DA?

                Typically the county sheriff or the state police.

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 12:19pm

                  Get the county sheriff or the state police to enforce the writ

                  Um, no.

                  As much as our law enforcement departments don't like each other very much (albeit, they do enough to share info on seizable assets) they like the public and NGO watchdogs even less.

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                  • icon
                    btr1701 (profile), 19 Mar 2020 @ 2:31pm

                    Re: Get the county sheriff or the state police to enforce the wr

                    Um, yes.

                    I've personally witnessed writs of mandamus being served by the state police on government officials.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Mar 2020 @ 12:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The judge can do more

                  "Typically the county sheriff or the state police."

                  I'm still not sure it's the path of wisdom for Mr. Perez to give the DA and the nine officers in the OP even more motive to give it to him good and 'ard. Not to mention the County sheriff or the state police for forcing them to serve that writ.

                  Either it makes their uniform look bad, in which case there's plenty of ill will to be raised. Or it makes their colors look bad, in which case there's plenty of nightsticks to be raised.

                  I'm sure there's some instance a citizen could turn to in case of LEO overreach/abuse, but that reaching said instance may need to involve great luck or a lawyer expecting a paycheck well above most people's means.

                  It's not a complete catch-22 but...I'm thinking that in real terms getting vindication if what turns out to be a thug with a badge works you over without reason might be trickier in the US than it really has any right to be...

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:04pm

        Lack of a ready perjury case

        Doesn't the DA have prosecutorial discretion? Maybe now we know why he shouldn't have it?

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 5:54am

          Re: Lack of a ready perjury case

          "Doesn't the DA have prosecutorial discretion? Maybe now we know why he shouldn't have it?"

          Yes and No. Human nature strikes again, I'm afraid. Prosecutorial discretion is a necessary because there's always going to be those case which, although important, can be predicted to cost everyone a great deal of effort while securing no convictions.

          Without prosecutorial discretion the DA would have a hell of a time because he might have to raise a few dozen cases of public urination before being allowed to prosecute an open-and-shut murder case.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 12:11pm

            A few dozen cases of public urination

            I think strict enforcement of the rule of law (every case is guaranteed a speedy trial) would serve to reveal the failures of our system as it is.

            A few dozen public urination cases, for example, might reveal the scarcity of public toilets. Heck even shopping malls are clearly underserved in this regard.

            If we have a surfeit of seemingly frivolous criminal cases occupying our DA's time before he gets to major crimes that earn him good press, it would serve as pressure to ensure that laws are better written and more specific, and there are actual alternatives to criminal behavior to the public.

            As it is, mostly we go for low-hanging (non-white) fruit to increase our conviction count and put warm bodies into prison cells. As it is, rule of law is a joke, and the treatment of US aristocrats serves to illustrate.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 2 Mar 2020 @ 12:54am

              Re: A few dozen cases of public urination

              "A few dozen public urination cases, for example, might reveal the scarcity of public toilets. Heck even shopping malls are clearly underserved in this regard."

              I found a decent link detailing a few of the costs involved in running trials. Aside from the fact that judges would get swamped, even if the trial is a 15-minute affair of marching into a courtroom, pleading guilty, and have the judge hammer you out a fine, it's pretty clear that every court trial can become a hefty drain on the state or county purse.

              https://www.rand.org/news/press/2016/09/12.html

              Now although the link provides an estimated average by crime category, the real variable involved in the cost is the complexity of the case rather than the severity of the crime. That being the case prosecutorial discretion is absolutely necessary, because there WILL always be trolls who'll take the charge against their public urination to the extreme, taking up the time slots which would be desperately needed for handling assault, rape and murder cases.

              The ability of a DA to make the call of "Look, plead to "being a public nuisance" or something, pay a fine of 1$, then get the hell out of my hair" is what makes the trial system work at all.

              "...it would serve as pressure to ensure that laws are better written and more specific, and there are actual alternatives to criminal behavior to the public."

              If there were ten judges where there is, today, one, then I'd agree this is an idea worth pursuing.

              "As it is, mostly we go for low-hanging (non-white) fruit to increase our conviction count and put warm bodies into prison cells."

              And this is where our respective arguments come together. It's pretty obvious by now that whether the system is motivated by racism, classism, political convenience, face-saving or just collecting political achievements like an OCD'ing gamer racks'em'up on Steam...doesn't matter.

              The reality has become one where law enforcement has to a scary degree in many places become indistinguishable from gang tribalism. When the civic community reacts realistically the result ends up being race/class riots. Anyone remember that image from the "occupy wall street" movement where a policeman hoses kneeling and obviously surrendering protestors down with pepper spray? His smug self-satisfied grin is to this day my image of an american police officer.

              I can't even guess what the image would be for a black person living in Alabama or Mississippi. Though the concept of The Talk speaks volumes.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:14am

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned was the cost to Mr Perez do defend those charges.

    The judge wants to do something? Put an order for costs to "the Commonwealth". She warned them. The responsibility should be on them

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 6:04am

      Re:

      While I cannot completely rule out the idea (IANAL), to my understanding, unless the prosecutor themself did something egregiously wrong (more than simply prosecuting the case), the judge can’t simply award costs to the defendant in a criminal case or sanction the state for it even if the criminal case was clearly frivolous. Fee-shifting is pretty rare in US courts in general—it’s the exception, not the rule—and usually only applies to certain kinds of civil suits (such as copyright, trademark, or patent cases or cases covered by an anti-SLAPP law) barring some truly egregious behavior, like avoiding service, abusive discovery tactics, harassing a represented party directly, violating a court order, turning a motion for attorneys’ fees into a mini-trial, or violating a major rule of conduct for litigation, or if the lawsuit is incredibly and objectively frivolous from the start (though even there it’s pretty rare).

      I can’t think of a single criminal case where the defense has ever gotten an award of attorney’s fees or has even applied for them.

      Should it be possible for the defense to get reimbursed for costs for defending against such objectively frivolous and clearly malicious criminal charges? Absolutely. However, to my knowledge, no part of the law appears to allow for that, and no precedence for such a thing appears to exist within the US as far as I can tell.

      Basically, while I agree that the Commonwealth should have to pay for Perez’s costs he incurred in defending against these charges, I don’t believe the judge actually has the authority to do so in this case. Unfortunately.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      Now that this criminal case is over, the city/police department can now be sued. The DA is not going to file charges on these disgusting pigs, but they can still be sued. The Pigs still have their QI, so they can't be sued directly which sucks as they should lose all they have and more.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 4:59am

    These cops sound more like wise guys than law enforcement.

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  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 5:12am

    Finally! Some actual repercussions for violating the public trust and taking violent actions which would have left anyone else imprisoned; this gang of officers got *checks notes* a stern talking-to from someone they were not allowed to assault. Oh the humanity.

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

    • identicon
      Dunn Fee, 27 Feb 2020 @ 6:09am

      Re: A Stern Talking-to

      You don't know! They could have suffered the pain and humiliation of a harsh finger-wagging as well! Do you think the Eighth Amendment proscription of cruel and unusual punishment shouldn't apply to our brave, noble and humble defenders of truth, justice and the American way? How much should these fine officers be forced to suffer?

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 6:49am

        Re: Re: A Stern Talking-to

        "How much should these fine officers be forced to suffer?"

        At the very least suspension without pay. More appropriately though, since they broke several laws (assault, civil rights violations, and perjury that I can think of), prosecution, fines, incarceration, loss of job, loss of license to operate as a law enforcement agent (if they have such in that state) and finally, fiscal responsibility when they lose the lawsuit that the victim is entitled to (though it is more likely that the municipality will endure that burden).

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

      • identicon
        Annonymouse, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re: A Stern Talking-to

        Truth justice and the American way.
        Sorry you only get either the first two or the third since they historically have been antithetical to each other.

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

      • identicon
        David, 28 Feb 2020 @ 5:29am

        Re: Re: A Stern Talking-to

        You are onto something here. Clearly any kind of punishment is unusual for police officers.

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

  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 6:11am

    Wow. 😮

    Wow. While I wish I could say I was surprised by the cops’ behavior and the DA’s determination to pursue these charges all the way to the jury and not the judge’s response, I’d be lying if I did.

    But seriously, I’m shocked that the judge was willing to speak so harshly—and on the record with court still in session—against the cops (as well as the DA to an extent), particularly given the fact that she used to be a prosecutor herself! If this was in a civil suit, I wouldn’t be so shocked, but not in a criminal case that made it all the way to a jury! More judges should speak out like this against stuff like this, which happens far, far too often.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 12:37pm

      Re: Wow. 😮

      Minor correction, it wasn't actually during the case, as if you read the attached transcript(which I would assume the quotes came from) the judge makes clear that the case was over and that while they had a few things to say people could feel free to leave if they wanted.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 7:01am

    Commit a crime in Allentown

    Because what jury would believe anything the police or DA bring to court anymore?

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 7:51am

    Again...

    NEVER TRUST A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. NEVER. They are not there to protect you, they are there to protect their own power. There are no "good cops", as a real "good cop" wouldn't stand by while the bullies do their deeds. Stop trusting LEOs.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:12am

    Is there actually a PD that doesn't behave like this? That has officers that dont behave like these did? Everyday we read about, hear about similar incidents and the moaning by officers (I regard as Nazi thugs) when the public doesn't aid in catching a perpetrator or doesnt assist an officer when needed. There is little, if any public trust in or respect for the police and it's all of their own making! Even worse, the hierarchy of the security services seem to condone these disgraceful actions, while condemning the attitude of the public! Unbelievable!

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

    • identicon
      Annonymouse, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:27am

      Re:

      I suggest to start the search using specific criterea.
      My first filter would be cops not dressed in full recon battle regalia when on general duty.
      Firearms are a limited and strictly monitored option and not carried unless required by the situation.

      Do American PDs know how many firearms they have and who has what? Do any track ammunition down to the individual cartridge or even have any idea of what they have?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re:

        They're supposed to but many or even most probably don't. Firing a single shot should result in a report being filed. Officers are allowed to purchase their own weapons which are supposed to be registered with the PD. Any weapons taken from the PD weapons locker should be checked out so everyone knows where it is and who has it. But how often are audits performed, if at all? Where is the accountability?

        Not saying it doesn't exist, just haven't seen any evidence of it, ever.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 1:51am

      Re:

      "Is there actually a PD that doesn't behave like this?"

      There are. They're usually the ones we don't get to read about.

      When we look at the sort of uniformed thugs which make the papers there's usually a consistent history - that they've been transferred out of multiple departments on their own or after being "encouraged" by their peers to leave. Eventually they end up in a department which accepts their exact brand of bullshit.

      If there's ever the political will in the US to do something about LEO thuggery then the best way to do it might be by just examining the fairly small number of police department the undesirable dregs of law enforcement have percolated into, and drop the audit hammer in a major way on those.

      Of course, with people such as Barr in charge the odds that bad police will be sanctioned rather than openly rewarded for abusing their position are slim to none.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:33am

    Scolding mean cops is a joke. They were over that tongue lashing the second they stepped out of the courthouse.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:38am

      Re:

      Why doesn't the judge file charges against those who perjured themselves in the trial? Make them go clean monkey shit at the local zoo. Something that would either cost them plenty or humiliate the crap out of them publicly.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        The judge doesn’t have the authority to file charges. Only prosecutors can do that.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 1:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I grant judges authority to file charges against cops.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Its called "Civil Arrest."

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:13pm

            Civil Arrest

            The problem is, they have the guns and numbers, unless you can whip up a battalion.

            But at this point, the authority of the DoJ is only based on guns and numbers, and the more they engage in disproportionate violence contrary to alleged law, the less the public consents to be policed, at which point, they're just tax-funded mobsters.

            Which makes the society fecund for more disciplined and people-friendly organized criminals to come in and offer competing services.

            It also changes the definition of the term criminal.

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

          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 29 Feb 2020 @ 1:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            A judge cannot make a “civil arrest” like this. Also, “making an arrest” is not the same as “filing criminal charges”. Like I said, only prosecutors can do the latter in most states. (In some states, private citizens can do so for some crimes, but while at the bench in a courtroom, judges cannot act as private citizens.)

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re:

        Assault with Deadly Weapons and Battery. Gross violations of their civic duties. Somebody SURE AS FUCK SHOULD BRING CHARGES AGAINST THEM.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Or Stop parading this BULLSHIT LAW AND ORDER around to the American public.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Feb 2020 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Somebody SURE AS FUCK SHOULD BRING CHARGES AGAINST THEM."

          There is a certain problem involved in doing exactly that. Imagine walking into a precinct and telling one half of that precinct it should arrest the other half...

          I guarantee you that what will happen in some precincts is that you'll find yourself on an assault and possibly an antiterror and/or drug charge as well, with an even dozen cops swearing that you showed up high as a kite, screaming "Insha'Allah! Death to the scummy borgouisie capitalist infidel pig-dogs! Herp Derp Jahid!".

          And that same amount of cops then saying that the reason you've been bludgeoned into a coma and maimed for life is because they all "feared for their lives".

          It presents, in other words, a unique set of difficulties to bring criminal charges about the police, to the police. Even more so if the DA feels the political climate means that being seen to go after the police might just impact his career.

          And against a lawsuit Qualified immunity presents an almost omnipotent defense.

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

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 29 Feb 2020 @ 1:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          “Should” being the key word here. A judge can’t, and the people who can won’t. I’m not thrilled about it either, but that’s just how it is, and there isn’t really anything that can be done about that in the near future.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 10:48am

    Coward bitches in blue

    Welcome to america

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 1:49pm

    So the entire precinct has been disbanded, right? Right?

    If the consequences are anything short of this then nothing is going to change, and they'll be high-fiving each other over a beating next year.

    Has John Perez been assessed for TBI? He may have perished from the incident yet.

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

  • identicon
    OGquaker, 27 Feb 2020 @ 2:19pm

    Origional Vid; 2:10 PST 27-Feb-2020 says

    "The content you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 5:34pm

    the judiciary is toothless, all bark, no bite. only a silly petson would, knowing a bit of the world, credulously believe in utopian democrat communism.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2020 @ 8:52pm

    I remember the 1968 Democratic convention well. When the Chicago cops beat the hell out of young people in Grant park. Threw them bleeding like bags of garbage into paddy wagons. A friend of mine got thrown through the window of the Haymarket lounge window at the Conrad Hilton hotel.
    The crowd screamed "The whole world is watching!"
    They called the cops "pigs!"
    Well, as far as I'm concerned that's EXACTLY what these cops were..."pigs!" But I think that they were worse than "pigs!" I think that they acted like wild "boars!" The kind that are found in swamps!!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2020 @ 7:49am

    Click-Bait

    "Judge Tears Into Cops..."

    Still no rusty meat hooks.

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


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