Friday, January 9, 2015

Jonathan Blanks — Reasonable suspicion: Are police lying in use of force cases?

This post is the second in a series examining the official policies and informal practices within police departments that may lead to tolerance of police violence. 

via Rare Magazine:

"During any given criminal case, certain facts in police testimony that appear to be banal or happenstance—such as the placement of a hand or someone dropping a bag of drugs—seem reasonable when taken by themselves. 

But looking at police testimony in similar cases, if some facts continue to appear in case after case, an observer may come to a disquieting conclusion: police are lying. 

“Testilying” is the colloquial term for the police practice of lying on official documentation or in court under oath (i.e., perjury). Typically, testilying is used to justify searches in drug cases that would otherwise be deemed illegal. 

The exclusionary rule, established in Mapp v. Ohio (1961), states that evidence gathered from a search that violates the Fourth Amendment cannot be used in court against a defendant. If, however, a police officer testifies that he saw the drugs dropped into plain view, he has probable cause—and thus, legal permission—to conduct a search without a warrant. 

Some criminal justice observers think it may be the most common manifestation of police misconduct. "

Read complete article here