Why 7 Police Officers Were Blacklisted in Brooklyn

One officer made “inconceivable” lapses during an investigation. She and the others are now barred from testifying by the district attorney.

Comments: 41

  1. Before I retired I was a Deputy Public Defender. I am delighted with the Brooklyn District Attorney's action. Lying by police officers in my small California county was a serious problem that the District Attorney always ignored if they did not actually encourage it. Cops who lie, steal , abuse or otherwise do not follow the law and treat people with respect should be fired and blacklisted.

  2. @Jeff Your job was to make sure the cops did the right thing, apparently you failed.

  3. Why has it taken so long for a NYC district attorney to do the obvious right thing and take officers' credibility into account. More important, why are these people even still wearing the uniform. They should have been fired a long time ago. As we've discussed numerous times in this paper, corruption in the NYPD and the unions that blindly support them is pervasive and this is a small but meaningful step in the right direction. When integrity and honor don't matter, you end up with the mess we have. Now we need the DAs in the other boroughs to wake up and start holding officers in those jurisdictions accountable for their conduct!

  4. Looking at the big picture, the general public is losing trust in local law enforcement because of the lack of accountability. Isn't this a situation that makes policing more dangerous? It seems to me that it's the best interest of those who "serve and protect" to hold each other accountable, as the bad apples are making everyone else stink.

  5. @CKats Yell fire enough times like Black Lives Matter and eventually any arrest of an African American will be questioned and all police testimony will be thrown out.

  6. What is most troubling to me here is that these officers are so bad as to not be allowed to testify by the DA... yet they remain on the job with the police force. This makes absolutely no sense at all, and goes directly to why police forces in general are losing credibility with the public. Some more so then others for sure... but the fact remains.. this sort of low quality performance by people who carry deadly weapons, are charged with protecting the public (ALL the public) is a real issue and for whatever reason many police forces seem unwilling to address the problem.

  7. Here in Mexico, police officers are not well respected. Recent events demonstrate the results of a lax, poorly respected police force. I fear America is slowly going down that same road. I feel Amercans don't respect the amazing asset they have in their police. The recent media frenzy of negative reports is not an effort to improve polucing, they are an asault on the institution itself.

  8. @John Holding police officers accountable is the only way to maintain the authority of, or respect for, the policing system. Otherwise, people will be right when they say that officer corruption and bad behavior have no consequences, and the police will further lose their credibility and the support of the public. People already know that some police officers and forces can be/have been/are corrupt - what they want to see is a system that holds that corruption, incompetence, or excessive force accountable.

  9. @John Don't you think the respect should be earned by the police force?

  10. @John So true. Only criminals fear the police.

  11. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner office keeps an “exclusion list” banning 28 officers from testifying.

  12. @Rick I thought she was investigated for wrong doing so why is she credible ?

  13. The police union supporting dirty cops regardless of how dirty they are is the problem. If a cop is found to be lying in court or abusing suspects, immediate dismissal and loss of pension should be the norm. That is how the real world functions.

  14. I think that's true of many public sector unions - they protect the bad apples and things get worse for everyone doing their job well and the public. I would be concerned about the lack of due process with this list. How is it not unlike the no-fly list? Is there a process to corroborate or refute being on the list?

  15. This is a baby step, but at least it is in the right direction. It is interesting that NYPD is transferring bad cops to other boroughs, where presumably the DAs are not concerned about testilying.

  16. Thank you, Eric Gonzalez. You have shown your belief that justice is more important than winning - that makes you credible indeed; know that it is appreciated by many. You have shown that it is imperative to raise the criminal justice system's reputation up to levels of respect and trust that has never been seen in many communities. Too bad that the NYPD, instead of firing these officers, merely move them around to another borough, where they remain free to abuse the power they so love, unless and until the DAs of those boroughs follow your example. Or unless and until the NYPD finds the courage to get rid of them and do their best to make sure they never work in law enforcement again. Makes me think of the much-reviled pedophile priests who were known to be pedophiles but instead of being removed from the priesthood, were merely moved to another parish, which then became their new hunting grounds.

  17. I believe prosecutors have an affirmative obligation to inform the court and defense counsel when the credibility of an officer/witness has been determined to be unreliable. The process is supposed to generate what is known as a “Brady Letter,” becomes part of the officer’s personnel file, must be disclosed in court and is a public record. There is a fledgling website, bradycops.org, that has requested, collected and posted Brady Letters from several states. I suggested interested readers go to bradycops.org/washington and look at Whatcom County as an example.

  18. One more reason for good law abiding people to get out of NYC as soon as possible. The Police Commissioner understands this.

  19. The central question to be answered, and it has not been, is if an officer is not credible then why is s/he still a police officer?

  20. It's about time that prosecutors stopped covering up for dishonest police officers. When can we expect the police department to start disciplining, and ultimately dismissing, officers who are clearly unable to do their jobs and obey the law at the same time? Their fellow officers know who they are, their commanding officers know who they are. Why are they permitted to continue to rob the public of their hard-earned tax dollars, in salaries, benefits, and settlement payments to their victims?

  21. Thanks to DA Gonzalez & team for your transparency - a valuable step in ensuring fair & trustworthy trials. Would love to see this catch on nationwide.

  22. If there are serious enough issues that a prosecutor feels they cannot call an officer to testify, that judges have raised issues with that officer's credibility, then there's a problem with that officer. The question is then should that officer remain on the street, be limited to a desk job or removed completely from the force. While Mr. Lynch's job is to 'protect' officer's jobs, there are some whose jobs should NOT be 'protected.' When a judge says an officer's procedural lapses are 'inconceivable' there's a problem with that officer. It hurts the NYPD when any officer fails to meet expected standards. If an officer lacks credibility with a prosecutor they are NOT meeting expected standards. The fact that prosecutors have problems with so many officers (likely only the absolute worst) only feeds the mistrust felt by the community. Given the power they wield, I want police to be capable and trustworthy.

  23. Hiring standards, possibly mirrored in the efficacy of the police test hiring procedure and the candidate investigation procedure along with the academy training evaluation of the individual could be indicative of future performance lapses. The supervision of the arrest by the first line supervisor and the necessary and initial documentation of the offense and arrest profile given to the DA's Office during the initial intake procedure is intrinsic in affirming the validity of the overwhelming majority of arrests . Exceptions will occur and are dealt with by the structural oversight in place. The demonstratively low crime rates are indicative of a professional police organization notwithstanding the need for constant improvement.

  24. Police officers who commit obvious perjury are still on the job. But so are judges who obviously and corruptly fix cases to favor the politically powerful -- for which the judiciary has given itself immunity from both civil and criminal liability (unless some overt act occurred outside the courtroom) as well as an exemption, in the case of federal judges, from citizen complaints. However, besides a lack of any punishment for the rampant and pervasive judicial case-fixing that is plaguing the courts, the judges' misconduct is actively covered up by other judges, the bar associations, and the media. Worst of all, whistleblowing attorneys who publicize judicial case-fixing are subject to disbarment by -- of course -- other judges! Although the framing of innocent citizens by some police and prosecutors as well as the favoritism shown to VIP defendants is finally being exposed by the media and some do-good groups, exposure of judicial case-fixing is the last remaining taboo. As an attorney, I know this only too well.

  25. @politicallyincorrect A person I know intimately has worked as a scopist for over 40 years now. A scopist is one who edits court transcripts that court reporters take down or record in the course of daily legal cases all around the nation. The information court reporters takes down is often illegible to most people. It's usually taken down in court so fast that many details are not caught until the scopist can listen to each deposition or testimony and put it into an actual readable and usually actuate format for attorneys, judges and such . It's not perfect, but far better than the originals. Anyway, the amount of misconduct that goes on every day is mind boggling. The media and by extension the public is never really aware of the real levels of misconduct. If you ask her, my friend the scopist there's almost no such thing as an honest judge, cop or attorney.

  26. Why are they being dumped in other boroughs ? Why are they still police officers ? Why does Patrick Lynch make me chuckle whenever he speaks ?

  27. "He had expected to be testifying against a white defendant in another case. So when he saw a black defendant seated at the defense table, he was confused and nervous." No one could make this up.

  28. An officer forgot what case he was testifying at? THAT in itself seems disqualifying. That his best excuse for an accusation of racism substantial enough to get put on a list of only 7 officers says a lot about the system and its values. He wasn’t prepped for the hearing? The DA had him show up having no idea what he would say? Without having discussed it? If true, that’s a wild miscarriage of justice. If untrue, how is this person still an officer?

  29. These are the egregious examples. What about all of the petty, myriad mistakes, exaggerations, obfuscations and outright lies that are taking place with other officers? For examples this bad to exist there has to be a bedrock culture that allows it to grow and flourish. I continue to not miss living in that city and wonder what other police departments have similar problems.

  30. Yet another bounding step to punish, intimidate, stigmatize and publicly humiliate people in law enforcement. This is not to say that any police action that effects people’s lives shouldn’t be held to the highest standards, but what can be also judged as honest mistakes can also be potent political weapons to unscrupulous politicians; therefor special care protecting those who risk so much to serve us, should be the rule not the exception. In my day (1965-96) many drug dealers used automatic civilian complaints to intimidate active members and even staged racially tinged conflicts to keep cops away. Murders went from 2,245 to under 300 last year, thousands moved and the city nearly died. This is no time to waver...

  31. Every attorney should openly ask in court if any cop involved in the case has ever been placed on the list, has had occasions where their actions were not conducted properly and we're they were ever disciplined, transferred or suspended, placed on admin leave. This would put the brass culpable if such disclosures were not produced. It's high time that the ranks of the blue force should be trimmed to weed out the marginal or ineffective and overpaid "civil servants".

  32. By this logic anyone with multiple criminal convictions should be automatically locked up, because if they broke the law before they will clearly do it again!

  33. @Donna Gray That's not even remotely the same thing. Law enforcement officers, like all public servants, should be held to a higher standard. If they don't like that, they can a) do their jobs honestly and truthfully, b) find another job.

  34. @Sherif - And if someone mugs repeatedly and is convicted each time, yet still lies about, be treated the same way. The criminal and these police show a pattern of bad behavior but you only think one deserves punishment for FUTURE action (not what they've done). Don't both hurt society? You (and the DA) fail to allow for an individual to to change. My point is are we ready to act against what people may do in the future, based on what they have done in the past.

  35. So many Americans want to be police officers that there is a waiting list here on Long Island. It’s a hard job and you see terrible things, but it is a socialist’s dream come true: great salary, healthcare for life, pension and early retirement and great disability benefits. Did I mention cops are all in a union? But, it’s no different than any other gang: they don’t want to police themselves, and they vote republican because they don’t want anyone else to have the benefits they have. That’s right, the strongest unions in the country vote republican. All these cops could be replaced in a heartbeat, if the department demanded accountability and terminated them, but the union would strike and hold us hostage. Count on it.

  36. This seems like a publicity stunt by the D.A. The seven officers, named, are not and will not be making arrests in Brooklyn, so why the hoopla? These seven probably shouldn't even be cops but that's a different story. The D.A.'s attempt to be progressive-pitiful.

  37. Lying under oath is a crime, right? So if DA Gonzalez believes these officers lied under oath he should prosecute them as such and if he doesn’t think he can make that case then he should refrain from tarring and feathering them in the court of public opinion. I’d also add that a lot of these seem like pretty minor episodes. E.g. a reference to Training Day (a movie starring Denzel Washington as a crooked cop) is in poor taste but unless, there’s actual evidence that the officer in question is actually engaging in blackmail, extortion and police brutality, it hardly seems like a reason to blacklist him. It’s also interesting to me that the majority of commenters applauding the move seem to be from other cities.

  38. Can Pat Lynch just once acknowledge that a cop has committed wrongdoing?

  39. This was a story line in Blue Bloods. Now it's time for the Police Commissioner to publish his list of ADAs who coddle criminals.

  40. We must insist that Training Day is not a valid or desirable model for law enforcement. The comments from Mr. Lynch are at best disingenuous, willfully ignoring the reality that there are officers with serious credibility issues. What he is actually signally to this limited number of bad apples is “I’ve got your six!” Small wonder that the public is less inclined to trust the integrity of officers. A close friend who served as a police officer readily acknowledged that there were a small number of officers on his force he wouldn’t trust to have his back, would reliably lie about or conceal exculpatory evidence if it meant losing an arrest, would solicit sex or money to let “those people” slide but wouldn’t stop the mayor’s kids for speeding. Rick said they were very rare, but everyone on the force knew who they were and did their best to avoid working with them. And yes, the local DA knew who they were as well. But outing them was out of the question. That thin blue line is critical to maintaining order in society; Unfortunately, that thin blue line has holes in it every so often. Why Mr. Lynch objects to closing those holes is sad commentary on what we value as a nation.

  41. These are officers who the DA believes have behaved in a criminal or unethical manner, but did not prosecute for a variety of reasons. How would people feel if another DA released a list of civilians accused of crimes, but not prosecuted for various reasons?