Two Los Angeles Police Department officers have been found guilty of perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice by a Los Angeles County Courtroom jury. Four years ago, the two officers conspired to convict a defendant on drug charges. However what the two officers never realized was that there would be video surveillance of the entire incident which clearly contradicts their sworn statements under oath. On Tuesday the Los Angeles County Courtroom jury found both officers guilty on one count of conspiracy each and multiple counts of perjury. One officer faces a maximum prison sentence of more than five years, while his counterpart faces a prison sentence of more than four years. The sentencing for both officers is set to take place on December 12, 2012. The jury was deadlocked on charges against a third officer who was also involved in the incident (voting 11 to 1 for a guilty verdict). As a result, a mistrial was declared by the judge and the court now has to decide as to retry the officer who is currently on suspension from the police force.
This case goes back to 2008, when the officers testified that while they were on patrol they recognized the defendant., a suspected gang member in front of his East Hollywood apartment. The two officers claimed that they chased the suspect down the building’s carport, where he threw a small black box against a trash bin. When the object hit the ground they claim it cracked open and that was when an officer picked it up and found rock and powder cocaine. The Surveillance video however depicts different events than those disclosed in the testimony by the two officers. The Video begins with the Suspect being in custody, it then reveals that the officers conducted a search of the suspect for more than 20 minutes before actually finding an object that prosecutors contend held the cocaine. After the prolonged search, the video also captures the officers discussing the opening of the object and later say it contains cocaine. The prosecutor explained to jurors how these two officers conspired to deliver the suspect to the court based on a set of lies. At one point in the surveillance video an officer is heard telling the other officer to “be creative in your writing” after the box was recovered and the officers would have to write up an arrest report of the incident. The other officer is heard responding “Oh yeah, don’t worry, sin duda” (no doubt in Spanish). The defense attorneys for the officers disputed that the video did not capture the entire story.
This story reflects what many defendants facing criminal charges have long proclaimed: that police officers often do lie and/or “misrepresent” the truth. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Los Angles County, you need to hire Los Angeles County Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel V. Cota. Mr. Cota is an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable attorney and will make sure that police do not get away with lying. Call Los Angeles County Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel V. Cota today toll free at (800) 351-6860. He is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.