LA Police Chief Says He Will Pursue Convictions

LA Police Chief Says He Will Pursue Convictions
Posted by FoM on December 25, 2000 at 08:17:43 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Sacramento Bee
 Police Chief Bernard C. Parks said he will continue to support convicting three officers for corruption even though a judge overturned the guilty verdicts."This is not over by a long shot," Parks told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Sunday. "It's unfortunate that we've gone through a trial of this length and depth and then to have to go through it again, but we'll be prepared to refile it if necessary."
Sgts. Edward Ortiz and Brian Liddy and Officer Michael Buchanan were convicted of conspiracy and other charges last month. Prosecutors said the officers framed gang members they claimed tried to run them down with a pickup truck.On Friday, Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor overturned the convictions, saying jurors had been confused about some of the evidence.The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 16.Parks said police investigators will meet with district attorney's officials, who must decide whether to appeal the ruling or seek a new trial.Another possibility is that the U.S. Attorney's office might take over the case in a federal civil rights prosecution, the Times said, citing law enforcement sources close to the Rampart investigation.Ortiz, Liddy and Buchanan were the first members of the now-defunct Rampart station anti-gang unit to be tried in connection with a corruption scandal sparked by the allegations of ex-officer Rafael Perez. He alleged that officers beat, robbed, framed and sometimes shot innocent people.Perez did not testify at the trial. A former girlfriend alleged that he and another officer killed and buried three people. Perez refused to take the stand without immunity from any charges stemming from the allegations. The woman later recanted the allegations and pleaded guilty to making false statements to authorities.Parks declined to comment on whether Perez might testify in a new trial, saying the decision belongs to prosecutors."We've said all along that Perez has to be corroborated by physical evidence," the chief said. "That"s true in this case. The prosecution did an excellent job with this case in the trial, and they"ll be even better prepared next time."Winston Kevin McKesson, who represents Perez, said the judge's ruling will not alter the fact that "the conscience of the community -- the jury -- has spoken.""No amount of post-trial legal technicalities can un-ring that bell that the jury rang on the day they rendered their verdict," McKesson said.Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)Published: December 25, 2000Copyright: 2000 The Sacramento BeeAddress: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852Contact: opinion sacbee.comWebsite: Articles:MapInc. Rampart Articles Rampart Articles LAPD Officers Corruption Convictions Overturned
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on December 26, 2000 at 12:59:48 PT:
"Thrown to the wolves"
Ever wonder where that came from?The idea was that if you were riding with a group of people on a sleigh, and were being chased by wolves, the weakest member of the party would be thrown overboard, to distract the wolves and perhaps appease them; maybe they'd stop chasing the rest and be content to devour the unlucky sod who was pitched.4D has it bracketted perfectly; that's precisely what's happening here. The LAPD bosses, just like every other police department, shudder at the prospect of civilian oversight. They must figure that if they pitch some minor bad apples overboard, the bigger, worm-ridden and putrescent fruit won't be subject to scrutiny. Ever since Rodney King and the Riot of 1992 they have been very quick to nail those officers less politically connected for infractions, but let the 'fair-haired' boys remain unscathed. Thus, their speed in condemning those whose behavior they previously had long as their targets were only poor minority civilians unable to hire Johnny Cochrane to defend them for having their rights savaged.Just like having gangrene: you amputate the finger to save the arm. But what do when an organization is like a fish; it rots from the head down?
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on December 26, 2000 at 09:26:50 PT
fake out
 This is nothing more than a cheap PR move.He wants people to think he is tough,and unbiased when it comes to bad cops.He's hoping that this will calm the publics outrage concerning this whole thing,,,and his biggest nightmare,is to have actual oversight of his department from the outside. Dan is right in suggesting the whole thing is fixed............dddd
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Comment #1 posted by Dan B on December 26, 2000 at 08:55:54 PT:
I am wondering why the police chief is backing convictions so strongly in this case. Is it because he thinks that they deserve to be convicted? Or does he say he wants convictions because he needs the public support and knows he won't get it without at least saying he agrees with convicting these three? It may well be the latter, and if it is, his support is not necessarily good news. He may be saying what he needs to say, all the while aware that the whole thing is fixed. We'll have to wait and see. I, for one, will believe his sincerity only after they are convicted and jailed for an appropriate amount of time (i.e., a very LONG time).Dan B
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