Brooklyn DA overturns 378 convictions due to 13 NYPD officers' misconduct, false testimony

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Thursday, September 8, 2022
Brooklyn DA overturns 378 convictions due to NYPD misconduct
The 13 officers who provided testimonies as essential witnesses were found guilty of crimes including murder, planting drugs, taking bribes and lying under oath.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Brooklyn District Attorney's office has asked a judge to throw out hundreds of convictions that relied on testimony from dirty police officers.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez presented 378 cases to a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge asking for their dismissal based on new evidence that the police officers who testified were not reliable witnesses.

"These former police officers were found to have committed serious misconduct that directly relates to their official job duties, calling into question the integrity of every arrest they have made," Gonzalez said. "A thorough review by my Conviction Review Unit identified those cases in which their testimony was essential to proving guilt, and I will now move to dismiss those convictions as I no longer have confidence in the integrity of the evidence that underpinned them."

The 13 officers who provided testimonies as essential witnesses were found guilty of crimes including murder, planting drugs, taking sex bribes, and lying under oath.

"Credibility and honesty are at the heart of the justice system, and we cannot improve community trust without adhering to the highest ethical standards," Gonzalez said.

RELATED |Bronx DA dismissing 133 convictions after former NYPD detective charged with perjury

The Bronx district attorney says there will be a total of more than 500 cases dismissed because they rely on testimony from former Detective Joseph Franco.

The Legal Aid Society applauded the Brooklyn DA's office for the dismissals and called for other New York City District Attorneys to conduct similar reviews.

"We urge DA Gonzalez and all of the other New York City District Attorneys to conduct these reviews on an ongoing basis and with full transparency, not just in response to public pressure, but as their duty to 'do justice,'" Legal Aid Society Director Elizabeth Felber said. "To do otherwise erodes the public's trust in law enforcement and the criminal legal system."

Among the convictions, the Brooklyn DA will throw out are 47 felonies.

The other 331 convictions are misdemeanor drug possession charges or traffic law violations from arrests between 1999 and 2017.

About 131 of the convictions were made by four officers who were involved in the Brooklyn South Narcotics corruption scandal in the early 2010s.

Another 78 cases were made by two narcotics officers who plead guilty in 2019 to receiving bribes in the form of sex acts.

The cases will be dismissed via a petition that states prosecutors have not identified evidence indicating innocents but that "in the interests of justice, which includes enhancing community trust in the criminal justice system" the DA's office will drop the charges.

The defendants will not receive refunds of any fees or fines they received in connection with the charges.

These dismissals come after the DA's office decided to dismiss 90 convictions that relied on the work of former NYPD Detective Joseph Franco, who lied during several arrests back in 2017 and 2018.

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