Police Department Caught Falsifying Evidence Logs Used In Trial Of PD Employee Who Was Caught Falsifying Evidence Logs
from the Ouroboros-PD-is-proud-to-serve-the-residents-of-Miami-Beach! dept
The Miami Beach Police Department is so full of what we colloquially call “bad actors” that it can’t even make its way through a criminal trial of one of its employees without implicating even more employees. Proper evidence handling? Chain of custody? These are things the Miami Beach PD can’t be bothered to concern itself with.
The case against former Miami Beach crime-scene technician Jason Bruder boiled down to this: He was supposed to transfer evidence from a cabinet to the police property room. He didn’t. So to cover up his sloppiness, prosecutors alleged, he later made entries in a police log to make it appear as if he’d actually moved the evidence.
On the plus side, no evidence was lost. And, so far, the Miami Beach PD claims the sloppiness didn’t affect any criminal cases or undermine any convictions. But the PD can’t be trusted.
[T]he case took a twist Wednesday when it was noticed that copies of key evidence logs, shown to jurors by prosecutors, appeared to have been altered by other members of the Miami Beach Police Department.
That was enough to cast at least one trial in doubt — that of technician Jason Bruder. The judge declared a mistrial and the State Attorney’s Office wants answers from the Miami Beach PD.
But what kind of answers is it expecting? Straight answers? The Gang That Can’t Keep The Chain Of Custody Straight isn’t exactly the source I’d go to if I wanted honest, unaltered answers. Internal Affairs is supposedly all over this now, but it seems like IA should have been in control of these logs long before this, considering the tech was charged (with nine misdemeanors) all the back in 2018.
Three years later, he’s getting a second chance to convince a jury he committed no crimes. At the very least, he’ll be able to demonstrate he’s no worse than his co-workers. If the Miami Beach PD handles this right, the tech will be joined by other officers who’ve been criminally-charged and fired.
But who expects the Miami Beach PD to handle this correctly or even competently? It seems the better solution would be to let anyone other than the PD perform the investigation. Officers appear to have no qualms about falsifying evidence. And the PD appears to have little interest in performing internal oversight.
So, if evidence is whatever the PD says it is, hundreds of criminal convictions should be questioned. It should be on the PD to demonstrate it has not falsified evidence or evidence logs. If public safety is threatened by the release of possibly wrongfully convicted people, that’s on the PD as well. It can’t serve and protect if it can’t do the little — but very crucial — things needed to ensure justice is served.