The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office vacates hundreds of convictions secured based on testimony of corrupt officers, including a New York Police Department drug enforcement officer who planted drugs on an innocent suspect.Prosecutors said Wednesday. He will appear in court, demanding the dismissal of 47 felony cases, and plans to visit Brooklyn Criminal Court later this month to seek the revocation of an additional 331 misdemeanor convictions.
These cases involve 13 NYPD employees who have been convicted of committing crimes while on duty. The majority of the convictions that are reversed were drug-related and included offenses such as planting drugs on suspects and supplying drugs to confidential informants. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Wednesday that his prosecutors “no longer have confidence” in the work of tainted cops, although the investigation did not reveal any wrongdoing in the acquittal case. Stated.
“These former police officers were found to have committed serious misconduct directly related to their official duties, and the integrity of every arrest they made was called into question.” Gonzales said“A thorough review by my conviction review unit identified cases in which their testimony was essential to proving their guilt. I am no longer confident, so I am dismissing these convictions.”
Cases Related to Corrupt Brooklyn Drug Enforcement Unit
Many of the dismissed cases (134 total) included the testimony of former NYPD drug enforcement officer Jerry Bowens, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for murder after killing his girlfriend. In 2008, while assigned to the Brooklyn Southern Narcotics Division, he illegally stole crack from a suspect and offered the drug to an informant in exchange for the information. While waiting for
Bowens was one of four officers on the Brooklyn South Narcotics Department who were convicted in a massive corruption scandal. More than half of the cases where dismissals were scheduled involved testimony from four officers.
Another 14 cases were dismissed for their connection to Brooklyn South Narcotics officer Jason Arbiny, who was convicted of official misconduct and drug planting charges in 2007. Gonzalez has come to seek the dismissal of his 40 lawsuits that relied on his testimony.
A stained conviction resulted in a prison sentence
Gonzalez and the Legal Aid Society noted that those convicted in many cases were sentenced to prison terms.
“These beliefs continue to be around people and continue to influence people in every way.” Gonzales said“If I had known about these cops, I wouldn’t have had these incidents.”
Elizabeth Felber of the Legal Aid Society applauded Gonzalez’s move to dismiss the case, noting that many of those convicted are still affected by criminal histories. He urged prosecutors to continue reviewing past convictions as an issue.
“While we applaud this decision, those charged in these cases have been forced to endure hardships that should not have happened in the first place,” Felber said. “Lost lives after years in prison, and many suffered collateral damage such as housing instability, unemployment, and cut off access to essential services. It’s because of the official’s words.”
“We urge DA Gonzalez and all other New York City District Attorneys to continue to conduct these reviews with full transparency, not only in response to public pressure, but as a duty to “do justice.” I strongly urge you to do so. Otherwise, public trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system will be undermined. ” Felber continued.
The Brooklyn DA office has spent 10 months reviewing hundreds of cases involving dishonorable police officers. Prosecutors said about 100 convictions were upheld based on other evidence supporting the former officer’s testimony.