Allegations surfaced yesterday that Alex Rodriguez, George Steinbrenner, and Jay-Z’s driver have had traffic violation summonses “fixed,” or made to go away, by law breaking police officers.
It is bad enough that those sworn to protect the law are breaking the law to benefit people they know, but these crimes are also beginning to affect prosecutions.
It is important that a witness in any legal proceeding, and particularly a criminal jury trial, be seen as believable. This is especially true when police officers are called to testify under oath.
A Bronx jury found Lance Williams not guilty of attempted murder because the police officer’s testimony was not believable. Here’s what his mother had to say after the verdict:
“If you work for the law, you should go by the law. [Duran] lied about those tickets and he lied about my son. He should be prosecuted just like my son.”
A defense lawyer for ex-prosecutor Stephen Lopresti is also using the NYPD Ticket Scandal to benefit his client in an ongoing DWI trial.
As if the NYPD didn’t have enough bad news, the Internal Affairs Officer leading the investigation has himself been accused of fixing tickets.
Meanwhile, the average citizen risks fines, license suspensions, or even jail unless they answer these tickets and eventually pay the hefty fines.
There has been much discussion about these cops facing disciplinary action. That should be the least of their worries. Crimes were committed.