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Defense Attorneys Establish "Bad Cop" Database

February 16, 2015  | 

The largest organization of public defenders in the country is building a “bad cop” database, aimed at helping defense attorneys question the credibility of police officers in court. The database was created by the Legal Aid Society, a New York–based nonprofit that represents an average of 230,000 people per year with a staff of more than 650 lawyers.

The database already contains information about accusations of wrongdoing against some 3,000 NYPD officers, and is being used regularly by Legal Aid lawyers. The ambition behind the project is to create a clearinghouse for records of police misconduct—something the NYPD itself does not make public—and to share it with defense lawyers all over the city, including those who do not work for Legal Aid, Slate reports.

At a time when police departments around the country are being criticized for a lack of a transparency, the arrival of Legal Aid’s database represents a bold attempt to systematically track officers with a history of civil rights violations and other kinds of misbehavior, and thereby force judges, prosecutors, and juries to take the officers’ past actions into consideration when adjudicating cases. If a defense attorney can successfully call into question the credibility of an arresting officer, she might be able to convince a judge to let a defendant out of jail without bail, or maybe even to dismiss the case entirely. Information about an officer’s past misconduct can also serve as a bargaining chip during plea negotiations with prosecutors.

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

AZBIGDOG @ 2/16/2015 3:05 PM

So, you cannot call into question the defendants arrest but no conviction records but you can call into trial an accusation that was never proven. How about the number of times your slimy customers have been arrested and convicted or how about the continual false reports or false accusations proven against them? And maybe we should begin a database against the lawyers who fail their customers and make it available to the public? And how about opening the Bar's cases against the attorneys who have been sanctioned or investigated by the Bar? Probably won't happen since they refuse to be open about any complaints that attorneys receive.

Jon Retired LEO @ 2/16/2015 6:38 PM

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse! The interesting thing is this is New York based. Does this tell us something?

plato's playdough @ 2/17/2015 2:06 AM

Since they threw the first punch, you can NOW swing at them.

Construct a database of incompetent public defenders, especially those who maintain a history of pleading out offenses. Include the offenses of the defendants they represented.

And hit 'em with it.

They can't really say it's privacy invasion, since it became public property in the courts, right?

So hit 'em with it again.

ssc1911 @ 2/18/2015 5:36 AM

This is extremely ridiculous what the Legal Aid Society is doing. I agree with the other comments posted here. The Legal Aid Society needs to be investigated and questioned thoroughly on this proposal and have it squashed, also whose idea at Legal Aid to start this anyhow. legal Aid Society needs to be called to account for this and it must be stopped.

Ima Leprechaun @ 2/18/2015 10:56 AM

By what legal means does this group operate? Police Agencies need to start a defense attorney database to track bad attorney's and their questionable ethics. Then the Police too will have some records about bad attorney's that the Police can use in Court to discredit the defense. Fair is fair!

Jack Betz @ 2/19/2015 7:11 AM

Lets put together a database with lawyers misconduct. How many suborned perjury and intimidated witnesses.

Rodger McClallum @ 7/23/2015 2:59 AM

We need databases like this to keep good cops good, and to shine a light on bad cops everywhere.

TimboGolden @ 1/27/2016 11:09 AM

U.S. Department of Justice,
wakie wakie
let's go fishing!
on G-D'S web
for(e!): stick a fork in the EEOC
chew! chew!

U.S. Department of Justice,
come out, come out, wherever you are
let's go fishing!
on G-D'S web
for(e!): (what) EEOC chairman Clarence Thomas said,
''If we don't deliver then the E.E.O.C. is just a shell and a sham.''
(google it! vs google chrome it! vs bring it!)
chew! chew!

U.S. Department of Justice,
let's go fishing!
on G-D'S web
for(e!): keystone cops
Q: did you 'catch and reel in' (t)HIS:
U.S. Department of Justice,
Q: did EEOC Chairman Clarence Thomas ever rectify
Ms. Bruner's demotion?
chew! chew!

TimboGolden @ 1/27/2016 11:16 AM

U.S. Department of Justice,
come out, come out, wherever you are
let's go fishing!
on G-D'S web
for(e!): U.S. military spending in 2010 was $693 billion —
U.S. Department of Justice,
Q1: how much money did the President and Congress invest in
the EEOC in 2014 to right wrongs here (in America)?
A1: $400 million
Q2: how much money did the Presidents and Congresses invest in
the EEOC over 50 years to right wrongs here (in America)?
A2: < $20 billion
Q3: what percentage of $693 billion (for 2010) is < $400 million?
A3: < one-tenth of 1%
chew! chew!

U.S. Department of Justice,
wakie wakie
let's go fishing!
on G-D'S web
for(e!): Her other accomplishment so far has been to hold
a staff meeting.
"I was told there had never been one before," she says,
ready to discuss the reputation of the beleaguered EEOC,
1) a joke to some critics with its backlog of cases
reaching into six figures
2) a merry-go-round (FATHER! let'S go "on"

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