The problem of police lying in court to cover up misconduct has become so widespread in Brooklyn and other parts of New York that prosecutors are keeping lists of officers who are prohibited from testifying in certain cases.
New York city area prosecutors are tracking dishonest officers
The news report reveals that prosecutors in all five boroughs of New York City track NYPD officers for dishonesty. The Staten Island and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Offices have now utilized their lists of dishonest cops to bar them from appearing. This widespread dishonesty is also creating procedural problems. If an officer cannot testify because they are not credible, a criminal case cannot be proven by the state in many instances. This is especially true if one of the dishonest officers was the only one on the scene, or did most of the work on the case. Such widespread lying has gotten to the point where it is wasting law enforcement resources and tax dollars. Other areas like Manhattan use these lists more like a guide to deal with honesty concerns rather than preventing certain officers from testifying altogether.
Some critics have questioned why the lists exist at all, how officers get on them, and if there is any process to have a name removed once an officer has been labelled as dishonest. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office did comply with a request to have the names on the list released to the public. Others have commented that prosecutors need these lists because unions and nepotism make it extremely hard to fire police officers, even if they are known liars.
Why do police officers feel that they need to routinely lie?
It is common for police officers to stretch the truth to cover up misconduct and get convictions. This happens despite the fact that law enforcement personnel are required to swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution. Many officers also have quotas or other performance based benchmarks to meet, so it is in their interest to try to secure as many arrests and convictions as possible to appear as if they are doing a good job.
The real problem of corruption
Because police seem to be able to get away with much more unnecessary violence and dishonesty on the job than any other profession, corruption is becoming a serious national concern. Many departments have had to pay out large settlements to victims who have been falsely arrested or beaten by cops without justification.
Speak with an attorney if the police have harmed you
The Greenberg Law Firm represents victims of police misconduct and brutality in Brooklyn and other parts of New York City. You can get in touch with them to discuss the process of proceeding with a lawsuit against the officer responsible.